Taps: 21 / Bottles: 100
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 55 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
4.4/5 rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$$
The second Bukowski's ... same format, same attitude, same prices, same dedication to beer, same food menu and pretty much the same beer menu, but with more on-tap; roughly 16 and cask when they have it (call ahead), and well-over a hundred in the bottle, ranging from rare to imports to local to swill. Prices can run high; $5.25 for a premium craft beer to $6-$9 for a Belgian in the bottle and even higher for rarities or large bottles ... but where else are you going to find these beers in such good condition in town, if at all? Suck it up and enjoy! If you're tight for cash, go for a 16oz bottle of Brubaker or Schaeffer for $3 or something local on-tap. Nearly everything is served in its proper glassware and poured to spec, especially Belgian and German beers.
Much bigger than the Boston location, with open floor to ceiling windows in the front and art deco booth-style seating adding even more to the feeling of spaciousness. Painted Charles Bukowski murals cover the walls and load punk, hip hop and alternative music soaks the air. It can get very loud, and it does get very smokey at night (until Cambridge goes smoke-free in Oct. 2003) ... but whatever, if you're into it, like me, you can hang in this place for hours!
Food is always great; basic to eclectic. Try their Mac and Cheese, Buck Burger with Mashed, Peanut Butter Burger, White Trash Cheese Dip, Sweet Potato Fries or my favourite ... Tunn Brod Rulle, a Swedish sandwich with a maple hot dog, mashed potatoes, thousand island dressing and a secret kick hugged in a lavish wrap.
Staff is kick-ass, interested in beer and trained in beer. Service is always great, and served with the renown Buks attitude ... embrace it with some patience and your visit will always be a great one. But, walk in as a beer nerd with a chip on your shoulder and you will get stomped.
Bottom-line: Buks in Cambridge is always a great time, and always has a great selection for the quaffin'. If you're in the area ... do not hesitate in dropping by for some beer and food. It's a must. Oh, and bring cash ... or use their ATM that's located in the back. Like the other Buks, this place is "In cash we trust."
07-05-2003 12:45:23 | More by Todd
3.95/5 rDev +1.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Same as the first but different from its self, whatever that means. It's the second installment of the original but everything is the same other than the full bar.
The food is the same as well as the service. As long as you act like you belong there you are all set. The prices are the same as well, this is Cambridge (Boston area) and this is the way it is. You could be worse off and go to a trendy club to drop $6 on a short pint of Guinness. This is a no holds barred beer bar so just sit back and enjoy the ride.
06-25-2003 22:11:01 | More by Jason
More User Reviews:
4.16/5 rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I had read about Bukowskis and finally had a chance to have a drink there when I visiting friends in Cambridge.
It's a very unpretentious place and low-key hipster. No attitudes here.
I was impressed with the server's knowledge of beer, and she poured possibly one of the best wheat beers I have seen in a bar.
The beer menu is varied. Some excellent beers and some macro fare. I drank a Berkshire Brewing scotch ale which was quite good. My friend had a Port Brewing Board meeting which was far superior to a bottled beer I had bought a few months earlier and full flavored.
Our friends had German beers.
The appetizers are very good. The sweet potato fries were better than in most restaurants, and the pita and hummus was fresh.
Overall, an excellent Cambridge bar. Perhaps too hipster-grungy for some folks, but craft beer drinkers should check it out.
10-27-2013 22:22:36 | More by brureview
3.61/5 rDev -7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
as far as Boston-area bars which are filed under the craft-centric heading go, Bukowski's to me is somewhat middle of the road. (measured against your everyday bar it impresses considerably more, obviously.)
atmosphere is good; dimly lit, with booths lining the center of the room and the bar stationed off to the right. a collection of high tables is arranged at the front, opposing floor-to-ceiling windows which are removed during warm weather.
service is very hit or miss. I've had bartenders/waitstaff be friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive, and I've had servers such as the one we had last night; while not overtly rude, definitely caught a strong impatient/unfriendly vibe from her - not the level of affability you kind of expect from someone in the service industry (expecting to be tipped).
selection is solid, covering a broad range of styles and breweries. that said, have never really found anything rare or off the beaten path. again, if you're looking for some good craft brews in general? you won't be disappointed. if you want to be blow away? you'll probably be disappointed. if you're in the area it's absolutely worth a stop but not the kind of place you need to go out of your way for.
08-19-2013 06:00:35 | More by BostonHops
3.13/5 rDev -19.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$$$
I keep going back to Bukowski's, and I almost always leave wondering why. This place could be so great--the open garage doors along the front in the summer, the collection of booths, high-tops and the bar, the very solid beer list and pretty good menu. But it messes almost everything up, and it almost always has to do with unreasonably high prices and rude staff.
The room is great--dimly lit with booths in the center of the space and high-tops in the front. But the music is always blasting in a room that would be loud already from conversation. I like music and human voices in a bar, but when I have to shout for the person next to me to hear, there's really not much point in going out to a bar. On quiet evenings in the summer, when you can seat by the windows, it's great. Otherwise, the noise level ruins any chance at having a conversation over your beers.
Some (maybe even most) of the servers are friendly, but some are incredibly rude, unknowledgeable about beer and simply full of themselves. Last night, our server stood waiting for me to finish my beer, so he wouldn't have to come back to pick up another empty glass the next time he passed by. Well, tough shit. I just paid $7.50 (plus tax) for a 12 oz glass (full to maybe 10 ounces) of beer that elsewhere would be $6 for a pint; I'm not rushing so you can save five seconds.
The beer list here is often very good, but rarely astounding. I take that back, the prices are always astounding. Last night, not a single beer (Harpoon IPA and PBR excepted) was under $7. And most of those came in 12 oz glasses (or smaller), with the at least honest qualifier that that is the glass, not the pour size. Add to that that when the bill came, I remembered that unlike most bars, the price at Bukowski's doesn't include tax. So the bill for five beers last night came to over $40. That's insane! An otherwise good tap list with nothing reasonably priced can't be described as above-average.
And it's a similar story with the food. $10 for onion rings? Are you kidding me? The food is fairly (and in some cases very) good, but for the prices, like the beer, it's unreasonable. And I don't mind when local businesses are cash only--I don't want my and their hard-earned money going to Visa--but when Bukowski's is charging upwards of $7.50 for a 10 oz pour, they can eat the credit card fees.
I want so badly to like this place, and I understand that Boston is an expensive area--I pay rent here, too. But when I can consistently get the same beer--sometimes in a larger serving--for $1-2 at other, nicer bars where I can have a conversation, there's really no excuse for Bukowski's absurd prices.
10-14-2012 23:46:10 | More by FrankLloydMike
4.33/5 rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Met up with some friends in Cambridge for dinner and beer at Bukowski's. We were there on a Sunday afternoon and had no problem getting a table.
They have a fairly extensive tap beer list and a separate book for bottled beers. Nothing super rare, but great beers like Ithaca Flower Power and Jack's Abby Hoponius Union. They also have a cask and some cellar selections.
The food is terrific. We got some white trash chips and all of us had peanut butter burgers. Super tasty! My friends have been there before and said the other burgers on the menu are just as good.
Our waitress was terrific. She knew her beers and was there when our beers began to run low. Also the appetizer and burgers arrived quick. Granted, it wasn't a very busy day, but service seemed quick just the same.
Prices are reasonable, but its a cash only establishment.
I think my only complaint was the bathrooms. They were dirty and graffiti covered. Overall though, I really enjoyed Bukowski's and look forward to my next visit.
03-27-2012 01:42:09 | More by WanderingFool
4.6/5 rDev +18.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$$
I was anxious to visit this bar with beatnick character - it certainly lives up to its namesake. The walls are adorned with quotes and surreal images. The staff is young and friendly. I ordered a Sazerac and my server wanted to ensure that I liked it. The crowd seemed to be mixed with all ages and walks of life. The music was ok - mostly popular alt. rock. I would have appreciated more underground stuff. The appetizers were good but pricey and nothing special. The beer selection however, rocked! They had a cask beer, good beers on tap and an extensive bottle menu - including Cantillon Iris 2007! They had a big boardwalk style wheel you could spin if you couldn't decide what to get. There was also a funny 'hobo special' of a hot dog and a 40 in a take out brown bag. Really fun place - check it out!!
11-15-2011 04:15:11 | More by Neorebel
3.86/5 rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Came here with bring and a couple friends for a couple beers.
The place seems to fit its name fairly well, other than the fact that they serve expensive beer. Though the Hobo Special (hot dog and a 40) works.
Took a seat at a bar table and had a few adult beverages. The tap list was pretty eclectic and featured a nice range of beers that I had not tried/can't get back in California.
The service was pretty decent, especially for what I had expected (hoped?) from Hank's namesake. The thing I liked was that they offered half pours of everything on the menu.
10-04-2011 22:12:43 | More by womencantsail
4.14/5 rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in for a few drinks while in the area after having visited the Boston location for lunch earlier in the day.
Atmosphere is nice, it's certainly more open than the location in Boston, especially in the summer. 4-5 tables sit near the open-air windows and a bar sits on the right upon entering. Certainly more relaxed than the Boston location.
Quality is good. The beer arrived at the proper temperature with a good amount of head.
Service is also good. Our waiter knew about the beers down to the style as well as their attributes, which was nice to see. We had to wait a few times to get our glasses refilled but nothing over the line.
Selection was very good, as I found it at the Boston location. 30-40% of the beers on-tap were locals and the rest were solid selections covering a good range of styles. The number of 5% beers was striking and well-received by me. As with the Boston location, the bottle list was far from extensive but was well thought out.
Value was good, a bit expensive to a Georgia boy but par for the course in the area.
Overall this location didn't have quite the amount of character I found in the Boston location, but the openness and more relaxed vibe made up for it. Worth a stop if you're in the area.
08-15-2011 23:58:16 | More by glid02
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Bukowski Tavern in Cambridge, MA
88 out of 100 based on 56 user ratings.