Charlie’s Kitchen

80s Music / Artists / Bar Food / Beer / Beer Garden / Beer Lovers / Blue Collar / Burgers / Dive Bar / Finger Food / Hip-Hop / Hipster / Indie / Jeans and T-Shirt / Jukebox / Laid back / Live Music / Live Music Venue / Locals / Outdoor Area / Punk / Restaurant / Sandwiches / Seafood / Sports / Steak / TVs / Vegetarian Food / Wings / Young Professionals
Charlie’s Kitchen A neighborhood institution for over forty years, Charlie's Kitchen is a laid-back hangout that's hard to miss and always happening. Boston United States 42.372494 -71.121685
4.4 8
Charlie’s Kitchen - Beer Garden | Dive Bar | Live Music Venue | Restaurant in Boston.
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Party Earth Review A neighborhood institution for over forty years, Charlie’s Kitchen is a laid-back hangout that’s hard to miss and always happening. An extensive beer list, burgers and fries, and a cheerful atmosphere draw a loyal clientele... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    M–W, Su 11am–1am, Th–Sa 11am–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Charlie’s Kitchen Review

The Scene

A neighborhood institution for over forty years, Charlie's Kitchen is a laid-back hangout that's hard to miss and always happening.

A neighborhood institution for over forty years, Charlie’s Kitchen is a laid-back hangout that’s hard to miss and always happening.

An extensive beer list, burgers and fries, and a cheerful atmosphere draw a loyal clientele of locals, blue-collar workers, and funky young professionals, who all pack into the bright and bustling diner on the ground floor to people-watch from the window tables or relax over a brew and a BLT in one of the red and black booths.

Chatty students gather at the bar for a few imperial stouts and some pub grub, while regulars head to the divey second-floor bar, where edgy artists and low-key hipsters huddle in black leather booths or pump pocket change into the jukebox to select punk, indie, hip-hop, or 80s favorites.

Though darker and mellower than the first floor, the upstairs bar still brings the party with karaoke, trivia, and occasional live music. In nice weather, patrons pile into the adjacent outdoor beer garden to indulge in the plethora of drafts on tap.

Relaxed and casual, Charlie’s Kitchen is the perfect spot to hang with friends over cheap eats and soak up classic tunes on the jukebox.

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Tip from Jonah:

Bring your appetite – most of the burgers are doubles, and you can’t substitute for a single. The good news is that the venue is big on ‘green initiatives’ – so if you can’t finish your meal, they’ll just compost the leftovers!

  • Crowd

    Mix of casual young professionals, students, professors, blue-collar types, and artists, early 20s to late 30s+.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Weekly events include live music upstairs on Mondays starting around 9pm, karaoke on Tuesdays around 10pm, and quiz night on Sundays 8–10pm. Year-round (weather permitting) outdoor beer garden. Jukebox with selections from the Beatles to Wu-Tang. Flat-screen TVs tuned to local sports and news. Occasional Maker’s Mark tastings.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Pub menu featuring Charlie’s famous double cheeseburger, lobster rolls, and BLTs.

  • Prices

    Appetizers $5–$9, burgers and sandwiches $5.25–$12, entrées $8–$12. Beer $4–$10, cocktails $5–$10.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: hoodies, t-shirts, jeans.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Any day for a good crowd at lunch and dinner, and Friday and Saturday nights for a packed scene.

  • Close By

    Casablanca (40 Brattle Street), also known for its jukebox, plays old jazz and rock albums nightly.

Charlie’s Kitchen User Reviews

Average rating:
unpretentiously hip, best place in Harvard Square for a burger, beers, and tunes
Wendy D. May 14, 2013
Oh, Charlie's. Since I came of age, you have been one of my standby's for good cheap drinks, delicious food, and perhaps most importantly, an unerringly cool rock and roll vibe. The juke box selection is on point, the staff is hip and cute, and you never know what sexy stranger in a leather jacket you may meet upstairs. Want to see some rad local bands? Charlie's got em. Karoake nights? Yep. A beer garden for soaking up the sun in the summertime? Check. They even have a pub trivia night if you want to prove you know your pop culture better than those brainy Harvard kids. Don't forget to try the waffle fries!!
A Bar for All Seasons
Nat M. Mar 31, 2013
There aren’t many culinary intersections between Town and Gown in Cambridge, but this is one. Just a short block from the Harvard Square T stop, this two-story bar greets all comers with a chaotic front display of neon signs. The neon signs are inside, too, behind the first story bar, which is lined with shiny red stools. Most people, however, sit at the booths that run the length of the wall opposite the bar. But Charlie’s is two bars in one. Up a rickety staircase is another bar serving many similar tables and booths, but up here everything is grungier. Here the customers choose the music at the jukebox, and you’re more likely to find a sports game on the TV without a team from Boston in it. Just watch out for flying darts. During Boston’s two weeks of summer, however, Charlie’s becomes the most popular bar in town. That’s because its beer garden is the perfect place to mingle in pleasant weather. What unites all three sections of Charlie’s, however, is its budget menu. The all-star is the delicious double cheeseburger with fries, which is actually less expensive than many of its beers, which are impressively diverse. The menu offers soup, fried treats, and even some wraps, but it’s no place for the dieting and the meat-averse. It is the perfect place, however, for those looking to get away from the snootier parts of Cambridge and kick up their heels among a true cross-section of Cambridge.
Storied bar and restaurant in Harvard Sq offers cheap, delicious eats and drinks with a side of hometown personality
Chris C. Feb 12, 2013
Charlie's Kitchen is one of those well-kept secrets that every local cherishes and every visitor and new resident is dying to discover. Nestled in a busy section of Harvard Square, this charming bar and restaurant has, for over 40 years, provided cheap, delicious eats, an expansive list of flavorful draft beer, and exciting contemporary live music to a large and dedicated local populace. Their famous $5 cheeseburger alone has legions of ravenous college students for generations. The place is always packed and bustling with a diverse crowd of young professionals, students and old locals. Its got a homey, lived in feel, but is surprisingly clean and professionally staffed. Charlie's is the sort of place where one can read quietly for hours, meet a first date, or celebrate with friends for a long night of revelry. In short: Charlie's Kitchen is a must-know standby for anyone who likes comfy, local bars with cheap quality eats and a personable, friendly ambiance that only decades of steady success can produce. If you're visiting Cambridge, this bar/restaurant is a perfect mid-day stop, and if you live in the area, its a reliable choice for local nightlife spot without pretense. What more could one want?
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