Cantab Lounge

(617) 354-2685 | View Website

738 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA | Directions   02139

42.366180 -71.105306

Open Hours

Monday To Wednesday From 08:00 AM To 01:00 AM Thursday To Saturday From 08:00 AM To 02:00 AM Sunday From 12:00 PM To 01:00 AM

Lounges, Bars & Clubs, Dive Bars  more

More Categories: Neighborhood Bars, Piano Bars, Restaurants

Bar & Club Special Features: 21 & Over, After Work, DJ, Live Music, Open Mic

Bar & Club Type of Music: DJ - Soul & Funk, Blues, Folk & Bluegrass, Funk, Soul & R&B, Jazz

Neighborhoods: Riverside

Cantab Lounge
Chicken Wings, Wing Dings, Wing Dings and Fries, Mozzarella Sticks, French Fries, Spicy Fries, Chili Fries, Onion Rings, Potato Skins, Potato Skins... more

Reviews for Cantab Lounge

over a year ago

What can you say about the Cantab?! – It's kinda cool to walk into a bar and you think you are in 1981! Funky music by musicians who have been playing in town forever. Can get really loud, obviously, but a fun dive bar and the anti- to every new bar in Cambridge/Somerville/Boston. They keep it simple, cheap drinks, terrible bartenders kick ass music!

over a year ago

Best R&B in the Boston Area!!! – Do not miss out on The Fat Back Band. It does not get any better. They are there on Friday and Saturday, Candy, The Couper Brothers and Bruce. The music is sweet!! The crowd is friendly and the Cantab rocks on!! Wednesday night with Lenny Bradford is worth coming out to hear. The place may be funky but the music and crowd is no where else but....The Cantab. It just keeps getting better!!! Hard to believe but easy to dance!!! It's showtime so shake your bootie!!

over a year ago

Does Little Joe Cook and the Thrillers still play a weekly gig here? I remember seeing them 20 years ago and having a blast.

Doesn't Recommend
over a year ago

DO NOT GO TO OPEN MIC MONDAYS!!! – If you are in to open mic nights, this is probably about one of the worst scenes there is. The old burnt out hippie who's in charge it, Jeff, is usually very drunk by 9 o'clock. He forgets to write down the names of people who want to perform, so you might not get to play even if you show up early and remind him multiple times. He's also one of those "close talkers" with a lot of extra saliva.

Even though they advertise that they give preference to first-timers, they actually do the complete opposite and give regulars and "friends" preference, most of which are horrendous and also very drunk. They always let the sound guy PJ play too - if you call standing on stage and growling angry lyrics playing.

On top of that the Cantab is one of the dirtiest, grungiest bars in the Boston area, and that's saying something. The waitresses are extremely surly and rude and the bathrooms are disgusting. On top of that, they're cash only! It's called the "Can Tab" but you can't start a tab! The only good thing I can say is that it does draw a diverse (if mostly older) crowd, so there is the occasional good act, but that is far overshadowed by the arrogance of Jeff and his drunken burned out clique.

over a year ago

Enduring Central Square dive delivers an eclectic alternative to the alt-music scene. – The Scene
Reflecting Central Square's colorful palette of residents and students, Cantab's regulars come in all shapes and sizes. By day, the down-on-their-luck (or those who pretend to be) suck down beers and watch TV through the dingy room's thick clouds of smoke. At night, the action heats up via live entertainment (a Cantab staple since 1975). Grizzled, congenial bartenders look and act like they've seen it all.

The Draw
The lounge's fulcrum is none other than "Little" Joe Cook, who's entertained area crowds for decades with an upbeat R&B act that includes his 1950s hit "Peanuts" and the folksy "Down at the Cantab." Wednesdays are reserved for Cook's blues jam, weekends for his concerts with the Thrillers. Other nights bring open-mic events, poetry slams, improv comedy and the area's top bluegrass action. After paying a cover, which varies depending on the night, expect an inexpensive night of drinking.

over a year ago

Great Blues/Live music bar – Used to go there when Little Joe Cook played, he was the best. A legend. He has since retired but this place could be a breeding ground for living legends.

over a year ago

Best Dive in the city – The Scene:

Your classic dive bar. A Group of locals sitting at the bar listening to music or watching the game. Live music just about every night of the week. The stage area is so small it feels like you stting in your living room. The music is consistently good. I've never seen a bad show at the Cantab. Blue Grass Music on Tuesday is definitely a highlight.

The Food:

The food is good and inexpensive. If you go the Cantab you have to get the ribs - Trust me, there the best ribs I've ever had anywhere. Get a Half-Rack with Rice and you'll see what I mean. They also have sandwhiches and the usual bar fare.

Overall one of my top 5 favorite bars in Boston.


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Best of Citysearch

Won for:
Dive Bar (2008)
Nominations Nominated for:
Dive Bar (2007)
Dive Bar (2005)
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