Border Cafe

(617) 864-6100 | View Website

32 Church St, Cambridge, MA | Directions   02138

42.374316 -71.120244

Open Hours

M-Th 11-1, F-Sa 11-2, Su 12-1

 
Restaurants, Mexican, Cajun & Creole  more

More Cuisine: Southwestern

Price: $

Tags: Bar Scene, Cheap Eats, Dine At The Bar, Family Style Dining, Family-Friendly Dining, Group Dining, Late Night Dining, Local Favorite, Lunch Spot, People Watching

Payment Methods: American Express, MasterCard, Visa

Neighborhoods: West Cambridge

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Border Cafe
Border Cafe
Menu
Cajun Popcorn, Blackened Chicken Fingers, Camp Town Shrimp, Crawfish Etouffee, Guacamole, Flaky Pastries Filled with A, Chorizo Mexicana, Chorizo Flambado, Chili Con Queso, Tejas Chicken... more

Reviews for Border Cafe

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

The most disorganized and lying management ever! – So, I accidentally left my credit card in the restaurant and immediately went back to retrieve it. For some unknown reason, the manager took it home, and I needed to talk to the other managers. At first, the first manager denied knowing any waitress who looked like my description, I showed him the bill with her name printed on it and he then changed his mind. Yet, he did not answer my question about the credit card although the waitress said that she had given the card to another manager. In the meantime, another manager somehow got involved, but had no clue what steps to take, and the first two managers simply disappeared for a while. I left the restaurant to return the next day. No phone call the next day, no voicemail about the credit card, no apologies, whatsoever. I had to go to the restaurant 3 times to retrieve the card finally! The managers are so disorganized, don't communicate with one another, and are simply rude. Not professional at all.

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

Easy, cheap and fast! – Been twice and both times had very good experience. First time we had a wait of 15 minutes and the second time we were brought right to a table. I purposely chose to eat mexican the first time, burrito was OK, chips and salsa and margaritas were very good, service great. Second time through, we were seated promptly, served promptly, food right out of the oven, atmosphere is just right. I recommend highly.

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

Do not go there as the folks running the place are extremely rude! – This last Saturday we were a party of 11. We reached the restaurant at around 9:15 pm. They gave us a buzzer and the manager at the door told us to wait for 30-45 min. We stayed at the bar until 10 pm. We asked for the status of our table. At this time we talked with the ?manager? (or someone who said he was in charge) and told us to wait for 15 minutes more. At about 10:20 pm we were told that we still had to wait 10-15min to get the table. Since he was very rude and we found unacceptable his excuse for making us waiting for that long and watching other people being sited (there were empty tables but they were separated and they could not put them together) I asked for a complain book or similar. At this point he became more aggressive, he laughed at us and he mentioned that they did not have such thing. I felt stupid since in many countries you can always ask for a complain book so I asked to talk to someone over him. He said there was no one over him (Andy Olson) so he gave me a personal card with the name of some man (Robert Murphy) who represents (probably) Border Cafe. More amazingly, 1 min later a younger man with a blue shirt told us he was the manager. I do not have words to describe ?this manager?. When I asked him to identify himself he only wrote his first name in the back of the card so I asked him to give me his full name, because there could be many ?Johns? in the restaurant. He answered me taking back the card and breaking it in two peaces in front of me and one of my friends.

That was it, 10:45 -11 pm and thanks to them we have to start looking for another restaurant.

If you only have three large tables for a party of more than 10 you should tell the people to make their on choice and not make them wait forever. Rudeness and all the other disrespectful behavior we received from the ?managers? should not be accepted from anybody. People shouldn?t even go for a drink. The service and management are the most rude I have ever seen.

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

HORRIBLE service (especially manager) – I have been coming to this restaurant for 4 years.Tthe food is pretty good and worth coming back for but the service, especially from the manager, has convinced me to never go back there again. I was sitting with friends and ordered my favorite meal and my wife forgot her ID so she couldn't get a drink. this is completely understandable why they refused to serve her a drink. what made it an unpleasant experience was when the manager came up to us and said "move your drink away from her she keeps reaching for it and i don't have time to keep watching you."

That comment left us all shocked. The whole table heard everything he said, he didn't say please, he treated us like minors, not even a simple I'm sorry. We where all professional in different health care fields. this stupid punk manager had a grin on his face as he said this to us as well. his tone was disrespectful like he had to babysit us. The thing the idiot didn't notice is the chips that the waiter put was next to the drink and my wife kept reaching for the chips not my drink. the table was small so even if she reached for anything i could understand how they would confuse it for reaching for the drink but the words he chose, the tone and volume he used, and the look on his face (stupid smug grin), and his AGE, made me and my friends and hopefully anyone else never go back to that place. I have shoes older then that brat. my wife was completely humiliated so much so she lost her appetite.

Doesn't Recommend
2.0
over a year ago

Good food, horrific attitude – This has been my favorite restaurant for ten years. But as sad as it sounds I, a regular customer even after I moved to the west coast, had a major setback in what I think of the place.

I flew in from San Francisco last week and met with a friend and went to Border Cafe to eat. A second friend was going to join us later but she was not going to eat. Now we were refused a seat in the restaurant until my second friend who wasn't going to eat arrives.

Even though the restaurant was at least half empty and I explained to the manager the situation that the third person will not be eating but will be here to see me and catch up and that I had just flown in from SF and that I was starving and wanted to eat at my favorite restaurant. All that meant nothing to the guy.

He absolutely would not seat us. He kept a sarcastic smile throughout my attempts to explain.

I was really disappointed. Maybe it is restaurant policy but to be honest when I left the largely empty restaurant being refused a table, I had to wander if it is my dark features. I hope it is just the silly policy.

In either case it is not worthy of being my favorite restaurant if I get treated so senselessly and quite indifferently.

The next day I went to my favorite Thai restaurant (Brown Sugar) and I managed to order the crispy duck during lunch even though it is a dinner dish and takes time to make. They were very happy to hear I was returning from out of town to eat at their restaurant and were glad to make my favorite dish.

So I take my stars away from Border Cafe for their ill-treatment of even such dedicated customers as me. High stars should go for truely good service places.

But to be fair I love their blackened chicken fajitas and I still say they're the best fajitas I had. They get 2 stars for that.

Thanks.

Recommends
3.5
over a year ago

Massive margaritas and affordable Tex-Mex fare combine to yield one of Harvard Square's most popular restaurants. – The Scene
Due to the area's lack of inexpensive dining options, the wallet-friendly Border Cafe is the restaurant of choice among Harvard Square's younger residents. (Translation: expect hour-plus waits on weekends.) Large groups gather at massive tables scattered among the two Southwestern-themed dining levels, while solo diners flock to the tiny bar area and its TVs. At night, indulging in a gargantuan frozen margarita is the favored method of counteracting the high noise levels and hectic environment.

The Food
No one has ever confused the sizzling fajita platters or overstuffed quesadillas with gourmet Mexican fare, but overall quality is good and portions are exceptionally large. (Rare is the table that orders an entree for each diner.) After plowing through a basket of warm tortilla chips and fresh salsa, patrons select from the menu's lengthy listing of standard Tex-Mex (chicken enchiladas) and Cajun (spicy blackened swordfish) dishes.

Hits
Setting the standard for group dining, Border Cafe encourages sharing thanks to huge portions and no plate-splitting fees.

Misses
The menu's Cajun offerings feel misplaced, as it's difficult to enjoy gumbo when nibbling on chips and salsa while surrounded by Tex-Mex decor.

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

Good food for the price – I've been to Border Cafe many times and I've always gotten my money's worth. The chips and salsa are really good and they give you huge portions of everything (from drinks to food) for relatively cheap. There's nothing particularly outstanding about the food, but it's good, and anyway - you're not paying loads of money for something fancy. I will say it's probably my favorite Tex-Mex place in Boston (though there don't seem to be too many to choose from). Other reviewers were right in saying that on weekends, it can get really loud and it's hard to hear the people you're sitting with. But it's a fun place with a lively atmosphere and my friends and I have always had a good time here. Plus, it's located in Harvard Square which is a nice area to roam around after a big meal.

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

Great tex-mex, but be ready to lose some hearing – Border Cafe is hands down my favorite tex-mex restaurant. Their food is easy on the pocketbook yet still of great quality. I usually end up eating too many chips, salsa, and guacamole and ruin my dinner. They make one of the best margaritas in Boston. I would recommend, however, visiting them at an off hour. Come Friday and Saturday nights, the place is packed and food and drink quality shoots way down. Be ready to wait outdoors, buzzer in hand. About 3 out of 4 visits we get an attentive waiter, but there have been some flops that nearly ruined our experience.

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

Love this place – Great service, tons of menu options, good maragaritas and fresh, hot tortilla chips and salsa served before the meal.

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

Great food and service! – My fiance and I often dine here and had nothing but a good experience. I am a vegetarian and there is only around 10 vegetarian options on te menu and since i am the type that enjoys trying a different dish each time I already tried every vegetarian meal. They are all great just wish there were more options!

Its fairly affordable. Depending on time/date you are going the wait can be anywhere from getting a table right away to waiting a half an hour to sit. If you and your party are nondrinkers you can get a table in the nondrinking section of the restaurant and so far i have yet had to wait to sit in that section.

the service is excellent. they refill your drinks (non alcoholic) for free and give you free chips and salsa!

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Border Cafe

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