148 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge, MA | Directions 0213842.374111 -71.124961
Mon: 6:30am-9pm, Sat: 6:30am-9pm, Sun: 7am-7pm
Neighborhoods: West Cambridge
Darwin's Ltd. specialty sandwiches, prepared dinners and mouth watering baked goods make the intellectuals of Harvard drop their books and take a bite. – In Short
Darwin's highbrow approach to sandwich-making is reflected in its promise to provide "comestibles and spirituous provisions." Sandwich creations sport locally inspired names like the "Mount Auburn" (smoked turkey, avocado, fresh veggies, vinaigrette and Swiss) and the "Brattle" (smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and onions). Special fresh breads like a flavorful rosemary-garlic rotate daily. Other offerings include gourmet coffee drinks and freshly-made baked goods.
Creepy Old Ladies – Darwin's use to be a great place to hang out. Grab a coffee/tea and use the generous free wifi but during the summer months it turns into a hang out for local foul smelling homeless and politically obsessed cranky old women. I'd advise waiting for the fall and for the students to return before going to the shop on Mt. Auburn.
Neighborhood Gem for quality Sandwiches, Coffee and Community. No wimps allowed. – I've been going to Darwin's sandwich shop for many years now because it's one of Harvard Square's remaining neighborhood gems. I've watched it evolve from a little corner take-out place, into 2 popular community hot-spots. That's because in this society of corporate largesse and sameness, Darwin's remains independently owned and original, serving inventive, high quality and super tasty food. The word is out about this place and it does get crazy busy in there during lunch hours. But the places hums along, and they couldn't fit any more employees behind that counter if they wanted to. Generally they're friendly, hard-working, and doing the best they can. I get to know some of their names, I ask what the 'specials' are that day - it gets me through the line quicker, and I enoy my delicious, authentic Darwin's experience in their crowded but lovely cafe eating area. Or I sit on the bench outside and then I go back to work - nourished and energized. I highly recommend it, but not for the weak at heart.
Great sandwiches, HORRIBLE service – The sandwiches at Darwin's really are some of the best in Cambridge. Fresh ingredients, excellent bread, interesting combinations. However, the service is absolutely terrible. Last time I went there, I waited 45 minutes for my sandwich. 45 minutes! For a sandwich with three ingredients at an over-the-counter deli. The time before that, there were hardly any other customers in the place, and I stood at the counter for 5 minutes, completely ignored, waiting to place my order, only to be given a completely condescending and sarcastic attitude from the person taking the orders. Unfortunately, Darwin's is so popular in the neighborhood that they have no incentive to improve their service. Terrible.
Laptoppers get the lovin' – Sometimes when I'm at work, lunch calls for something better than what the adjacent Shell Gas Station has to offer. Sometimes, I head over to Darwin's Cambridge Street location. The sandwiches are deeelish and the staff serves you with a friendly smile but when it comes to finding a seat you're pressing your luck. Group tables are peppered with nerd-surfers and data-darlings who all know the game: one laptop user per table, and take up as many tables as possible, and when a sea of patrons stare at you surfing, kindly smile and remember: surf away, look away. This little restaurant is best summed up as a cyber cafe, with some tasty takeaway if you're hungry. So without a laptop, I am stuck sipping my sanpel and chomping on my sandwich back at the office.
Darwins, your new office with no open seats. – The sandwiches are great, albeit a little expensive. Although, don't ever hope to sit down in Darwins, because at 9am, 25 laptop-wielding wifi squatters rush the doors and take all the seats. They don't buy anything, and don't acknowledge the desires of paying customers to _auctually_ eat the food they purchased at the same location. If you can get beyond all those idiots and the staff that won't simply turn the wifi off during lunch or ask people to leave, then its a fine sandwich shop.
Love the new location... – I used to go the mt.auburn location during the last few years until they opened the new shop on cambridge street last spring! Further way from harvard square than the other (and closer to me), friends and I cannot keep ourselves away from the place!! Like the original it is still a great place to meet up with friends, grab a coffee, read the paper, do some studying, and of course grab one of their delicious sandwich creations, although now with different sandwich names than the original (confused me at first). I have not found a better sandwich bite for money spent in the cambridge area yet! I am especially a fan of the vegetarian sanwiches. Will admit sometimes the service is a bit slow, but they are sandwich craftsmen, meticulously layering in each ingredient (as most creations ahve quite a few), like scooping fresh avocado out onto your sandwich...unless you're a regular, speak up and let them know your're there and hungry and want a sandwich or you might be ignored as they tend to other business...nonetheless, it's a great spot for the lunch or dinner hungry sandwich-lover (+other fresh options).
fantastic food, great coffee, free wireless, and awesome people – I have been going to Darwins for about a year now and enjoying their delicious sandwiches, the gourmet beer and wine and the fine selection of salads to go and desserts, not to mention the coffee. Delicious! I must say all of the bad reviews about the staff are undeserved. I have found them to be more than friendly and always willing to accommodate my sandwich or coffee demands. I think the only reason one might think that they are being rude is because the person feels a little left out because the staff knows so many of the regular customers by name, like myself, who come in there and make small talk with them. It might seem as if they are not working or they are giving special treatment to people, but the thing is thats Darwins! Everyone knows everyone there and yes if you come in only once in a blue moon you might feel a little left out, but, its a community that they foster which is very easy to get into just come by more often and start chatting, after all they do offer free wireless ;)
Love the food, if only I didn't have to deal with the staff... – I always go to the "other" location because it's near my doctor. The sandwiches are large, and really are fresh and delicious. The dining area is always crowded and people are averse to sharing tables or cleaning up after themselves. The wait staff leave something to be desired.... my friend tried to place her order three times, but the person taking her order kept getting distracted by the personal conversations going on behind the counter. There were two people at the register. While I was paying the person not helping me was going through my private papers which I had to lay down on the counter in order to pay. WHAT? The staff definitely think alot of themselves for working here, but I was not impressed by them.
Great food, horrific service – I recently discovered Darwin's and love the sandwiches, so I was thrilled to find a new neighborhood spot, even if it can be a bit pricey. Unfortunately, every time I have been there, the service has been either indifferent or downright hostile. I am not expecting much, but basic civility really doesn't seem like too much to ask. I have decided that I won't be going back because I don't want to give my money to a place where the staff seems to be put out by having to actually interact with customers.
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