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Taps: 21 / Bottles: 100
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1281 Cambridge St
phone: (617) 497-7077
(Place added by: Todd)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 55 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is my go-to tavern, my first choice, a great neighborhood establishment. The beer selection, quality, and diversity should get you in the door. What will keep you coming back, besides the beer, is the staff, the atmosphere, and the food.
Bukowski's is probably best known for its Dead Authors Club - drink 1 each of 133 different bottled beers on a predetermined list that covers the gamut of beer types within 6 months, and you are rewarded with immortality in the form of a numbered mug engraved with the name of the author of your choice, well, dead author of your choice. From then on you can fill your mug with whatever beer they have on tap at the time (about 16 different ones at any given time) at a significant discount. Joining the club is a bit daunting at first, but a couple of beers a day a few times a week will get you there. Plus, you can learn a lot in the process, about both beer and yourself. I didn't realize how much I liked Scottish Ales and Belgian Strong Pale Ales, my current fave, until I had started my mug quest.
Pursuing (and attaining) membership in the Club will keep you coming back, but if it weren't for the other positives of Bukowski's, it would not be nearly as enjoyable. The staff are great, very friendly and knowledgeable. The food is underrated! The menu is creative, and new items are added often. Finally, the environment is wonderful because it's versatile and neither too big nor too small. When the weather is nice, they open up the front floor-to-ceiling windows for a near-outside dining/drinking experience. You can of course sit at the bar by yourself or with a friend or two, and if you want to have a big group party, there's space for that, too.
Note that they are a cash-only establishment, but if you forget to cash up before you arrive, the ATM in the back will conveniently solve that problem for you.
The location (Inman Square) is not the most accessible if you're not local because it's a bit of a hike from the nearest T stops. Honestly, though, I like it that way. It's got a healthy level of activity as it is, and we really don't need any more student watering holes or conveniently located magnets for pub-crawling posers who are looking to pound 4 or 5 PBRs with their new best friends, now do we. Bukowski's is not for them. However, if you enjoy great beer and great food, it might just be the place for you.
06-26-2010 22:34:57 |
More by RBWoodward
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$$
I was anxious to visit this bar with beatnick character - it certainly lives up to its namesake. The walls are adorned with quotes and surreal images. The staff is young and friendly. I ordered a Sazerac and my server wanted to ensure that I liked it. The crowd seemed to be mixed with all ages and walks of life. The music was ok - mostly popular alt. rock. I would have appreciated more underground stuff. The appetizers were good but pricey and nothing special. The beer selection however, rocked! They had a cask beer, good beers on tap and an extensive bottle menu - including Cantillon Iris 2007! They had a big boardwalk style wheel you could spin if you couldn't decide what to get. There was also a funny 'hobo special' of a hot dog and a 40 in a take out brown bag. Really fun place - check it out!!
11-15-2011 04:15:11 |
More by Neorebel
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$$
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
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I had been wanting to try out the Cambridge Buk's for a while and it didn't disappoint. The server was as nice as can be. She gave me 3 or 4 different samples with no "when are you gonna buy something? " look at all. We stayed for a while. I had leather-lips from the Tap brewery on cask to start. Then I had a Hitachinos sweet stout which I shared with my friends.
The decor is fairly new tile floors and quite clean looking, not as divey as Dalton street. Still has kind of a dark feel to it like the Boston one. Selection is excellent although I have to admit I am intimidated about spending 8 or 9 bucks for some rauchbier I have never had before so I didn't. They had at least 3 rauchbiers on the 99 bottles wall and all proper glassware is used here for almost all the beer.
I did try the food -mac and cheese with chorizo. It was good but could have been hotter and a little cheesier. Had a couple of the Mojo IPAs on tap and we headed home.
Overall, I like this place better than the Boston one but it is more out of the way for me to get to. I highly recommend it though--
whenever I go to the CBC --I head over to Inman square after and Bukowskis is one place to hit every time.
11-21-2004 14:18:21 |
More by rousee
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
First time visit.... stopped in w/Bro Artied2, as he wanted to drop off an essay for a writing contest. Bumped into the omnipresent Truh as well...
Similar vibe to the other Buks, but a bit more airy (with an open front facade to the place) and not as noisy. Still dark overall, with a bar on the right and plenty of booths/tables in the front, center and left. A few TV's around for Sox games or other stuff on the air... and plenty of semi-loud music... Bier paraphernalia and bottles adorn the walls.
Suds? Very nice selection of draft stuff, from local breweries as well as other top shelf places like Victory, and it was supremely tasty. Our 'tender (Buddy Holly?) was right on top of things, and he knew his bier and glasses. The Bro had a big burger, and a couple dogs 'n' chili did it for me. Prices were a bit higher than some places, but being a foreign country (The Peoples Republic of Cambridge) 'twas to be expected. Rates well on the "return to" list.
atmosphere: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
09-14-2005 01:03:05 |
More by Bierman9
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
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4
A dark dive of a bar, where the light is reserved to bathe the bottles lined up on the wall. Somehow they look a bit too clean. Surely they don't dust them???
At the tables, it's almost too dark to read the menu. That's okay. The staff knows it well, and can rattle off the list on tap readily enough. The food is excellent, especially the fries. It's not cheap though.
Not only is the beer selection infamously wide, they carry some wonderful specials. On my first visit they had Heavywight Scotched ale on tap that made me forget my disappointment at missing the cask. Other than that, I've have wonderful cask ales, mostly from Cambridge Brewing Company and the Tap. The only downside is that it seems to be the most expensive place for a pint.
Despite the expense, I'm liking this place more and more every time.
02-15-2004 02:43:24 |
More by gentlebubbles
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Located in a "college area", this is one of the better joints you may find (at least in any college area, not necessarily in all of Boston). Close to public transportation and Harvard University. Parking can be difficult.
On one wall there are doors that can be opened when the weather is nice. Thre is a long bar, along with several tables and booths. If you're looking to watch sports you may want to head somewhere else or be sure to sit near a TV.
The policy in this location is cash only. Not sure why, but they do provide an ATM in the back of the bar.
The beer selection is quite large. Beer is served in correct glassware at the correct temperature, and the staff seems to be pretty knowledgable about what style the beer is and what characteristics it has. They do have beers like Miller Lite in case someone is interested in that.
The food is decent, pretty much bar food. I wouldn't expect anything out of the ordinary or exceptionally fancy.
Buowski's is a good place to go whenever you want to gather with some friends for some good beer. I recommend this place if you're in the Harvard area.
05-30-2008 18:48:55 |
More by BeerSox
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Neat little place, in a way. Just mid-way over the bridge from this neat old fire station. Can't miss it due to its bright orange red color. Walked in and bar was full but shortly thereafter I got a seat. Great selection of beers available on draft and in bottles including locals, regionals, macros, both craft and mass brewed. Bartender was friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. Patrons, on the other hand, while not rude, certainly were some of the least friendly I've ever run into: no chit chat, no eye contact, real stand offish. Would've given a better ambiance and overall grade but for that.
06-28-2010 03:08:38 |
More by drpimento
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
When to Bukowski's on a Monday after work from about 5 to 9:30pm. When i go there it was quiet with music (a little louder than i would have liked). Had a seat at the bar. It was the Southern Tier tap take over so tap selection was a little different than the norm. For a monday the place got pretty busy. The beer on tap was great at a reasonable price. The bottle beer list was extensive. They have a great menu organized by style. Over a great place to grab a drink.
Also if people were wondering how to get a mug with you name on it you need to drink all the bottled beers they have in 6 months or less. The bartender said it was 136 of them.
06-16-2010 03:43:44 |
More by rebelthrower
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Bukowski Tavern in Cambridge, MA
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