Party Earth Review Marked only by a small neon sign, Toad is a tiny bar and music venue with a far bigger reputation than its diminutive size might suggest. Attracting a diverse clientele of music lovers, artists, hippies, and hipsters... ... read full review
1912 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02140
Red Line: Porter Square
M–W 5pm–1am, Th–Sa 5pm–2am, Su 3pm–1am
Cambridge / Somerville, Boston –
Marked only by a small neon sign, Toad is a tiny bar and music venue with a far bigger reputation than its diminutive size might suggest.
Attracting a diverse clientele of music lovers, artists, hippies, and hipsters, this popular nightspot – which boasts such alumni as Tracy Chapman, G Love & Special Sauce, and even Eddie Vedder – consists of a single narrow room where talented blues, rock, folk, and Americana performers fill the stage every night.
Decked out in bright red paneling and not much else, the space offers a long, classic polished wood bar adorned with brass toads on one side, and a few scattered tables on the other where laid-back patrons meet up for drinks earlier in the evening.
Both the atmosphere and the music tend to start out mellow when a slightly artsy after-dinner crowd of casually-dressed Cambridge locals trickles in to catch the early show, but as the night wears on and the bands get louder – and conversation becomes impossible – a livelier crew starts flocking in to bounce to the beats and down their share of the dozen microbrews on tap.
A varied roster of musical acts – usually two bands a night – means the scene can change at a moment’s notice, from older hippies enjoying some low-key cocktails and hot jazz to boisterous groups of in-the-know hipsters and Harvard students getting down to some hard-stomping rockabilly.
Definitely not for those interested in quiet conversation, Toad promises a loud and lively night of some of the best music in town – and all without a cover charge.
Varies according to band, but generally laid-back students, alternative types, artists, hippies, and hipsters, 20s to 40s.
Live music every night, usually two bands per night. Check the website for a music schedule.
Beer $3–$5.50, wine $4–$8, cocktails $6–$11.
Any night a band of interest is playing, Thursdays through Saturdays to see more established bands, and Sundays for Sunday Spins where DJs play vinyl records.
The next-door Christopher’s Restaurant (1920 Massachusetts Avenue), owned by the same people, is a good place for a pre-show dinner.