1246 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA | Directions 0213842.372474 -71.116095
Bartley's Burgers, Harvard Square, Only good for takeout, TERRIBLE Service! – We were 4 going to dinner, my husband was parking our car and us three ladies walked in ahead of him. We told them we needed a table for 4 and that the fourth person was parking the car but we would place his order for him. We were told to wait OUTSIDE! It wasn't even crowded inside, plenty of tables were available! When we were getting seated there were multiple tables available and we requested a table in a corner. She replied with a NO, you can sit here! And threw our menus on the table almost hitting the guy next to us! A table for 4 opened up next to us and we were moved there finally. We placed our order and I placed my husbands order as well. When he walked in, the waitress walked over to my husband and asked if the order I had placed was indeed what he wanted! HOW RUDE! Of course it was! The check came way before we were done eating and she tried to take our plates half way through dinner! As she removed a plate she pulled it off the table and the fork on top of it fell on my friends arm and on the floor, the waitress didn't even apologise for the ketchup that ended up on my friends' sleeve. We gave a $5 tip for a $51 dinner, yes, I would have given less, but my husband insisted... I will NEVER go here again and I will spread the word of the terrible customer service, either way, the food isn't worth sitting through that! And it's dirty in there! We had to ask the waitress if she could please wipe off our table before we sat down!
Mr. Bartley's is the best!! – Bartley's Burgers is a fine example of genuinely great food. I have gone there so many times, and have always left full and happy. This is a true example of Boston at it's finest, and is quick also (as long as you don't go on a Friday/Saturday night!) The oreo cookie milkshake's and the Mitt Romney Burger are both highly reccomended. It is truly a burger place though, plastic chairs and "communal" eating tables, a.k.a. tables pushed together, but that doesn't really make any difference in the quality of the food. If you're looking for a Burger, Mr. Bartley's is the place!
Good for out of towners – One of the few places in Boston where I've felt happy eating. Mr B took our order, and we were shoved into the crowded hole of a restaurant. They use proper beef patties that aren't pressed into perfect cow-patties. Got a couple of different types of burgers. Nothing fancy, just what I like from a burger. Fries were hot and crispy, and the onion rings aren't the kind that are batter-rings filled with pureed onion. They were nice and crispy, lightly floured onions. It's a hoot if you're taking normal people around Boston.
I would give a thumbs down if I could move my arms inside of Bartley's!!! – I have eaten here many times but in the last couple of years this place has really tanked!! The tables are now so close that you can't get comfortable, even if you could with the management breathing down the
servers necks to get that check down and the next customer seated. They asked for my order outside then
plunked down the meal immediately and then the check. I had barely had a bite. My med rare burger was
served a full 10 minutes before the rest of my party's, do you start eating w/o them or opt for cold food? All of this aggravation for the priveledge of paying 9-11 dollars for a burger!! They have no restroom, Legal?, doubt it. The cook, who may have been an owner spent the entire time screaming at his staff. They looked like kids trying to earn money for college, give em a break. Maybe if they didn't stuff the place to over capacity, they wouldn't need to yell!!!
I will spend my money and indulge my burger cravings elsewhere!!
Appalling Customer Service – I've been a regular customer of Bartley's for 5 years, but yesterday's?and today's consequential?experience with their management has left me with a resolve never to go back.
I was short-changed $10?mistakes happen, no harm done?and went back to resolve the issue. The manager I spoke with effectively labeled me dishonest by telling me she couldn't do anything until after the drawer had been counted out that evening. So after it turned out I was right (she called me last night), I was forced to go back again today, spending a total of $6.80 on the subway for the 2 round-trip tickets to get back my $10?which is now worth only $3.20. I understand it's not their fault I have to take the subway, but if they would have practiced good business by giving me?a patron?the benefit of the doubt, the total financial loss to them would have been equivalent to the listed price of a single burger HAD I BEEN MISTAKEN.
It's appalling that they chose to upset a patron over what is to their business such a minimal amount of money, but what has to me proven to be a waste of time, a loss of money, and annoyance, and an unpleasant experience I will not risk replicating by ever eating there again.
The worst part is that when I tried to explain to the manager today why I was upset, he interrupted me, handed me my "$10," and said "That's the best I can do." If you want to support an establishment that doesn't have the manners to interact with its dissatisfied patrons, this is the place for you.
This Harvard Square landmark has been synonymous with burgers for more than 40 years. – The Scene
For one of the Boston area's most unique--and beloved--dining experiences, visitors must cross the Charles and head toward the edge of Harvard Square, where Mr. Bartley has lured people to his "cottage" for more than four decades. Mr. B can still be found seating students and area workers in his hectic single-room restaurant that's jam-packed with young, eclectic waiters and humorous posters from bygone eras.
Bartley's has satisfied cravings of many a hippie, yuppie and celebrity by taking seven ounces of freshly ground sirloin, grilling it to perfection, slathering on any number of toppings and giving it a humorous, politically tinged billing (the "Dick Cheney's only a heartbeat away"). Every once in a blue moon, someone passes on a burger to nosh on a gigantic, fresh salad or comfort dish like franks with Boston baked beans. Almost as popular as burgers are tangy raspberry-lime rickeys and extra-thick frappes.
One of a kind! – I had never eaten at Mr. Barley's prior to today, but an old friend of mine suggested that we get together for lunch there. It was definitely worth going! We arrived around 12:30 and were seated immediately. As other reviews have noted, the place has a unique atmosphere which includes zero privacy. But that's half the fun!
If you have never had a Lime Rickey, you have got to try one. It is the best tonic (Boston term for soda) that you'll ever taste. The onion rings really are that good. They tasted very sweet -- I would guess vidalia onions were used. Very light batter and no salt, so you will have to season to taste. The owner was walking around to all of the tables telling the patrons to try the sweet pepper relish -- It's from his grandmother's recipe.
The menu items and decor are updated periodically. There was a brand-new Matsuzaka jersey hanging in a glass case just as we walked in. Sweet!
Cash only. Average price for a burger with fries is $8-$10. Including tip, figure about $15 per person.
I have very little of an idea as to why people think this place is so good. I have never been so disappointed. I have been hearing raves about this place for months, and finally tried it today. Mr. Bartley's is the most overrated burger place in the USA. The hostess is rude and only interested in seating you where she wants, not where you want. The waitress got my drink order wrong. The frappes, which supposedly are "famously" good, were terrible. Very thin and fake-sweet tasting (I had a chocolate one). The burgers are OK, but nothing spectacular. Super greasy and very expensive for what you get. The bun is good, the veggies are fresh (although the tomato was hard and tasteless) and the meat is OK, although cheap. They pile the stuff on too high so you can't even get your mouth around it. I hate that. Certainly better than a fast-food burger, but I have had much much better at places like In-n-Out on the West Coast. Even the 5 Guys chain in DC is better than Mr. Bartley's. They have no restroom, they only take cash, and it's dirty. They are obviously counting on word of mouth, Harvard square tourists, non-discriminating college kids and magazine hype b/c the place is substandard by any definition of a great hamburger stand. Also, if you are interested in smelling like grease, by all means go to Mr. Bartley's. The place is so small, crowded and non-ventilated that sitting in there for 15 minutes is the equivalent of being dipped in hamburger grease. I can't wait to take a shower. Wow, what a disappointment. I guess Boston/Cambridge people have never had a truly good burger at a clean place with good service. Pity.
Excellent Burgers, but LOUD – My boyfriend and I had been wanting to try this place for a long time. I must say, it does live up to its reputation. The burgers are fantastic: juicy, not TOO big, and tasty. I love the fries, but was not crazy about the "famous" onion rings. I love the selection of soft drinks (Rasberry-lime rickey...YUM) and the desserts. We were too full to have any dessert, but they looked great. It is not a place to linger and have a quiet lunch, however. The space is super cramped and the noise level is very high. Right after we finished, we needed to leave just to escape the atmosphere. I might go back once a year, but mainly because I'm not a huge burger fan to begin with.
A Beloved Cambridge Institution – Big juicy burgers cooked to order, probably the world's greatest onion rings, real New England styled frappes and an unlimited supply of napkins to wipe your mouth after every bite. Bartley's is one of the great burger joints in the entire USA. If you dare, there are many excellent non burger choices including franks and beans, great sandwiches and fried seafood.
First timers take note that Bartley's only accepts cash. Real money for real food is the theme here.
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