Little Donkey

4.7
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1410 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Tapas / Small Plates
Little Donkey is the latest restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette of Boston’s beloved Toro and Coppa. Located in the heart of Cambridge’s Central Square, less than a mile from Harvard, MIT, Inman's Square, Kendall Square, Harvard Square, Porter Square, and Lesley University. Little Donkey is Oringer and Bissonnette’s first Boston-area restaurant in over six years, offering a welcoming, day-to-night dining experience that features market-driven, global small plates, inspired by the chefs’ world travels such as the Pickle Brine Fried Chicken Sandwich, General Tso Chicken Wings, Caviar Sandwich, as well as many Vegetarian and Vegan options which are always on menu and available.

What 1410 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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A
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Interesting and eclectic options combining a wide variety of cuisine influences. Nice wine selections as well.

k
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

In all my times at this restaurant, I have NEVER had a bad meal. Everything about this restaurant is consistently OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!

E
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Little donkey was one of the best dining experiences I have ever had. We had George as our waiter and he was amazing, he made great suggestions for food and drinks and we loved everything he recommended to us! Highly recommend the restaurant, and dishes to try are: the squid ink fusilli, and the salt and pepper blow fish! Will definitely be returning to dine there again.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I went here for a date and loved everything we ate! I’m pregnant, so I couldn’t enjoy everything, but our server was knowledgeable and helped guide our choices based on my restrictions. Each plate was staggered which allowed us to enjoy everything we ate. We will definitely go back!

J
New England
11 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food there is CRACK. One of the best brunches I’ve had in a while.

BF
New England
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We shared a variety of dishes at the table; each was fun and delicious. Our server attentive and friendly. There are still dishes on the menu I want to try - definitely going back!

GD
New England
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food — our server was great, giving us recommendations for drinks, dinner, and dessert, and they were all excellent choices. I would highly recommend for date night or a small group of people as it’s easier to share the small plates. For two people, we had 6 oysters, 6 app/dinner plates, and 2 desserts, which was the perfect amount. This was my third time, and I will definitely be going back for more!!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Nice waiter, really salty food

OT
London
9 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very lively restaurant with great savoury food, innovative drinks and good service.

Stripped Bass and raw bar items are standout from highly inventive and excellent savoury part of the menu.

Don’t bother with dessert, especially the cookie dough one - it’s pretty average and crazily big / rich. I think it’s just designed to fill you up, so you think better of the price point - it is quite pricey and not all portions that big.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Went here for a birthday. Was a hip place, but wouldn’t consider it romantic. Noise levels were a little high for us old folks (mid 30’s), but had a good server and food/drinks were timely. We ordered 6 or 7 dishes. 2 were great and the others were pretty good. Cocktails were delicious. Especially the Ectocooler. All-in-all a nice evening out.

DD
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Little Donkey initially reported that I was "no show" for my Open Table reservation :(
The menu looks fabulous, but the execution is inconsistent. A number of dishes were oversalted -- and I like salt!
We had trouble finding waitstaff when I spilled a creamer, and then again to receive new cream, so I had cold coffee. :(
I have been twice with the same experience of great anticipation but disappointment at the uneven execution.
Wanted to be wowed.

M
New England
4 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent brunch. We had a bunch of baked goods (pastries, muffins, and Khachapuri) and they were all fantastic. After having recently spent 6 weeks in Paris, this is certainly a place that meets expectations for good baked food.

DS
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Little Donkey was AMAZING!! Such creative brunch options and everything was absolutely delicious! Great helpful service as well. Can’t wait to go back for brunch again and try it for dinner!

a
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, must have the crab nachos!

DA
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great food and service! Innovative dishes that were on point both taste and presentation wise. Although, Lighting was rather low for perfect pics! 😊

JZ
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Little donkey is always a great place for brunch. Very cool vibe great food and awesome staff. Great place and a reasonable price for what you get.

Would recommend!

AL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 1

Food was good, but the restaurant was so dark you could barely see the food. The people around us had to use their phones as flashlights to see the menus.

JN
New England
33 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Delicious food, small plates. Our waitress told us in advance that the food came as it was ready. This was definitely true. There were 4 of us and each plate was delivered at a separate time.

WW
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Overpriced for so-so food. Not very good tapas. Drinks came separately and with long delays.

C
New England
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing food and incredible service.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great tapas, nice service, a little music would've been a good touch

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food

NF
New England
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

If you're looking to leave hungry and have the sense you were just robbed of a weeks pay, I invite you to hop on your mule and head on down to the Little Donkey in Central Square. Saying this place is over-hyped would be an understatement. Either people love feeling taken advantage of or have nothing else to compare this to other than their weekly Applebee's jaunt. It would be no short of a lie if I said the portion sizes were liberal and the food palatable. Mediocrity is all I can stomach (mind the pun) to describe the food and portion sizes. For the price and hype this place received, I was expecting to be "WOW'd", rather I was left with a deep-pitted "wow" that couldn't fill the void of my hunger nor my disappointment. Every dish uncannily had that luke-warm industrial microwaved tang. The Mexican Dan Dan noodles were nothing but mush. The Istanbul meatballs left us with this funky after taste. The shrimp Tikka Massala was as stringy as a ball of yarn. The flavor of the $15 burger slider...again the. $15. slider. the size of a small child's fist...could not have been mistaken for anything other than a White Castle burger straight from the freezer of your local Star Market. Four scrawny young men having cut it into fourths each toasted to our $4 snack size piece. The biggest complaint by far from everyone at our table was the prices of the dishes which were absolutely, outrageously, and absurdly expensive. The average price range of each "dish" if you were to call it that was around the $15 dollar mark with several reaching and pushing over $20. For our party of four the waitress recommended between 8-10 dishes. Needless to say, all of us stared in bewilderment at each other when we quickly realized that this bill was already going to be pushing over $150 before we ordered a thing. I will say the service was great though. Our waitress was very prompt, plates were cleaned off regularly, and water refilled with religious frequency and fervor. Would not recommend.

M
New England
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Little Donkey is my new favorite place around! The food is delicious; the staff is wonderfully helpful and friendly, and the drinks are fun and so good too!

The only complaint I have in any way is that the lighting at night is a little dim for my growing-older-eyes.

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Great food but menu has fallen off since Matzo Ball ramen taken away from us.

RM
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic meal. Sat at the bar, got great recommendations from the bartender (sorry, don't know his name). Every dish was great. The wagyu tartare and branzino were standouts!Seriously, if I lived there I'd be back tomorrow. Keep up the great work and hope to be back some time soon!

S
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 5

They lied about what was gluten free—I got VERY sick. Avoid for gluten free folks!

Rest of my party said food was great, though!

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friend and I had brunch to celebrate my birthday. We were seated in a cute two-person booth. The mimosas were good and the food was great! I also loved the ambience.

P
New England
9 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Big fan of this place, some of my favorite dishes in Boston. However last night's food was not up to par with the previous experiences. the Famous burger is not made with consistent quality.

RC
New England
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great and very innovative food, great friendly service. fairly loud with a ectectic, young croud. Caviar sandwich was expensive, but worth it for the indulgence.

R
New England
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Many of the dishes surprised us and were so delicious. We can’t wait to go back and try more of the menu! The service was also outstanding

A
New England
11 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Went for a birthday dinner. Food was delicious. Interesting flavors, creative combinations. The drinks are also well crafted but not a great value. Ambiance is lively but for some reason they dimmed the lights quite a bit as the evening went on.

M
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 2

Net net, I found it difficult to like this restaurant. I went with a group of five - it was loud to the point of not being able to have a real conversation. I had heard it was dark so I was surprised when we arrived, I thought it was pretty standard restaurant lighting. Forty five minutes later the lights dimmed considerably. OK, now I get it. Then, twenty minutes later, they dimmed again. Now, we’re talking dark. Opium den dark. It’s going to be spooky dark if it gets any darker. I asked someone who works there: “So, if you can see the menu and carry on a conversation without yelling, does that mean you have excellent hearing and don’t need to bother having an eye exam for at least a year?” Her response was perfect: “Yeah, something like that”.

Overall, food was very good, creative, but not pretentious. No one left hungry or felt it was over priced.
Service was excellent and gracious.

Recommendations for future diners - reserve a table in advance, ideally for no more than 4 people, 2 or 3 is probably ideal in terms of sharing and being able to have a conversation.

S
New England
11 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Went to Little Donkey for lunch, the place is really nice inside and the food was great, the price of the draft beer was the only downside... having said that though I would go back

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Great atmosphere. Solid good food, but small portions for price. Flavorful, but did not wow me. Service was just average. Waitress was very indifferent and seemed like she was over her shift.

m
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Hip trendy energetic industrial vibe restaurant . Food was tasty but some dishes were a bit salty. Service was friendly and courteous .

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

Poor lighting in restaurant, could barely read a menu. Waitress told us that it was at insistence of owner. Please relay this message to owner, the poor lighting is completely unnecessary. No Chardonnay by the glass on menu. Excellent food.

CK
New England
7 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The latkes, toad in a hole, french toast are all AMEN. :D

AR
New England
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Go and put your faith in your server, you won't be disappointed.

AH
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

pretty awesome place. I had been there a couple years ago but wanted to bring my husband this time and it did not disappoint. the food and drinks were outstanding.

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