Boston >Food & Dining > Franklin Cafe
278 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA | Directions 0211842.342996 -71.069176
Monday To Sunday From 05:00 PM To 02:00 AM
Neighborhoods: South End, Shawmut
A perfect experience – This place was reccommended by a bartender at another restaurant when I asked where I could go eat at that time of night (around 11:00 PM). I was on vacation, my mother was in the hospital, and I had spent most of my time either there or lost somewhere. When I called the Franklin for directions, whoever answered the phone was very patient and specific. When I finally found the place, it was full except for one seat at the bar. The bartender acknowledged me right away. The menu isn't huge, but it's got all the essential fine-dining options even though the place is casual. I ordered the steak frites and a pinot noir from Chile, which the bartender let me taste before pouring the whole glass out, then served some crusty bread with a side of garlicky white bean hummus. The steak arrived quickly and was perfectly cooked...I enjoyed my meal as The Roots played on the cafe's sound system. I took note of the extensive liquor options also. I will make sure to go back next time I am in Boston and hopefully I can bring some people.
Impossible. – Franklin cafe is hands down one of my favorite restaurants in Boston. It is impossible to have a bad meal here. I have been numerous times for dinner and always have a delicious meal. This place is also a great date spot if you are inclined; however, be aware that they do not take reservations, so if you are coming on a Friday or Saturday, be prepared to wait...or eat late.
Underrated – Consistently one of my favorite restaurants/bars in Boston. Hats off to the staff for making this place time and time again great. I never hesitate to bring an out of town guest or come to Franklin for a special meal. The menu is not huge and there are no desserts, however almost everything that comes of the kitchen is done right. My only complaint is that you have to come early. They dont take reservations and if you expect to be seated right away, opt for an early or late dinner. Keep up the good work, Franklin!
Delicious!! – I went to Franklin Cafe a few weeks ago with some friends for dinner, and was super impressed with everything! The food is delicious, fresh, and interesting and on top of that, the drinks were great too. I got some fantastic recommendations from the bartenders, and they are machines when it comes to consistency!
great food, good service, awesome drinks! I will definitely be back.
Consistently excellent food – The consistent quality of this restaurant makes it a popular, but crowded choice, so arrive early or be prepared to wait. The menu is creative, fresh, and inviting. The staff are attentive, friendly and professional. It is a high quality neighborhood place, not a destination for a relaxed lingering dining experience. Crowds waiting to eat lead to not so subtle pressure to finish up and leave.
My personal Experience – This past weekend I was visiting Boston for 3 rd time, I always hear that this restaurant is pretty good, so we decided to try, we arrived at 7:00 pm, the place was pack, the host told me 30 to 45 minutes, I have a glass of Wine, very good attention by the barttender, the restaurant is very well decorate and located, like the lights and the services of the staff is class A, they really take care of the clients. After 45 minutes I asked the Host in a very nice way, how long do I have to wait, I was told that he did have not idea, at the same time partys of 4 or 6 were sitting and my friend and I just waiting for a table, I finished my wine, he finished his drink, a gentlerman that was next to me arrived and 10 minutes later his party of 8 were seated, I ask again and the Host reply to me I do not have a cristal ball, after 1 hour and 45 minutes, we left no one try to help us, I did enjoyed my wine, but the waiting list is not fear, plus if you go with a big party you will have more possibilities to have a table otherwise good luck.
Never a bad meal! Cannot say the same about the new staff. – I love Franklin Cafe. I would even go as far as saying it is my favorite restaurant in Boston. Unfortunately, the last two times I have been there (twice since August 2007) the new wait staff has been a little less friendly than usual. Both of my parents and a lot of my friends are in the Service Industry, therefore, I have a lot of respect everyone in it.
What is the wait staff lacking? Personality, pleasantries, politeness. They appear as if they are not trying to please the client. It almost seems as if he knows the restaurant is great and there is no need to try since people would come anyway...bad philosophy.
I think the food is amazing, I love the ambiance and the drinks are great! I just hope they put the same level of care into their staff as they do to their food.
One of the best option for late night dining in Boston – We tend to work really late in the evening. Franklin Cafe is certainly becoming a frequent destination for after-work-late-dinner for us.
The menu is quite nice and the specials are always there for us to look out for. The "Steak frites with Roquefort butter" is definitely a safe bet for anyone (except vegetarians I suppose). They allow you to call in even late. They serve until 1:30am which is a big plus for us.
I would warn everyone though that parking could prove to be challenging. Be prepared to drive around the blocks a few times before finding a stop. Taking a cab may be your best option.
Great menu, reasonable price, trendy atmosphere – I love this place! It's trendy, has great drinks, everything on the menu is delicious, and it's open super late - what's not to love??? Although this restaurant is in the South End the location is a bit hidden - it's a little hard to find if you don't already know where it is. The music is a little bit loud and it's extremely dark in there. Those are the only cons - otherwise, the food is excellent and the prices are very reasonable especially considering the quality of the food, service, and wine list. The service at this restaurant is also very good - highly recommended!
Don't get the hype - UPDATE – Visited Franklin Cafe for a much anticipated dinner. The dishes were swimming in salt. And I don't mean just the feature of the course - the whole plate was doused with salt (salad, side dish included). We weren't impressed with the server either. She greeted our table asking if we wanted water but never asked if we wanted a cocktail. The rest of her service was just as bleak. Not much personality and not very interested in making the experience enjoyable. Unless it was "salt night" at this restaurant, I would not recommend it. Much better choices elsewhere in the South End. I E-MAILED THIS SAME REVIEW TO THE OWNER OF THE RESTAURANT. HE WAS QUICK TO RESPOND, APOLOGETIC, GRATEFUL FOR THE CRITISICM AND DISAPPOINTED WITH OUR EXPERIENCE. BECAUSE OF THAT, WE PLAN TO RETURN TO GIVE IT ANOTHER TRY.
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