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Border Cafe

Mexican Restaurant and Cajun / Creole Restaurant$$$$
Harvard Square, Cambridge
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8.9/10
866
ratings
238 Tips and reviews
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  • margaritas
  • Mexican food
  • fajitas
  • lively
  • good for groups
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  • Nandanie S.
    Nandanie Spahr 😻💕August 29, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the pastelitos!!! And their vegetarian quesadilla is the best I've ever had. So full of veggies and yummy cheese. Yum...Don't forget to try their $5.50 jumbo glasses of sangria!
    Upvoted Mar 14
  • Molly B.
    Molly BigleyFebruary 24, 2013
    Richard is by far the best bartender in/around Boston! Every time I come back he is so friendly, strong margs & is genuinely interested in you & how you are. people like that don't exist anymore !
  • Dal C.
    Dal CogerJuly 15, 2013
    2 thumbs up!!!! This place is great if you like Mexican Food!! I like their Fish Tacos; and their Tostada Salad Bowls are pretty dang good as well!! Go when you are hungry!!
  • Sudeshna M.
    Sudeshna MukherjeeMarch 17, 2014
    Huge portions and good vibe! Wait time was 20 minutes on a Thursday evening. So you can imagine how ridiculously popular this place is. Also, a favorite haunt of the Harvard students (I am told).
  • Kelsey O.
    Kelsey O'MaraFebruary 27, 2014
    They have the best empanadas here! Haven't found a better Mexican restaurant around the area. Love this place. Fun atmosphere, decently priced food, and I always take home leftovers!
  • Nandanie S.
    Nandanie Spahr 😻💕February 2, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Chimichurri steak meal is the best! And their quesadillas, fajitas, pastelitos...oh man I could go on forever. Don't forget their HUGE margarita-sized glasses of sangria for about $6!
  • Zac C.
    Zac ChanceSeptember 5, 2014
    Solid tex-mex in a city where it is hard to find. Prices are surprisingly affordable for being in Harvard Square. Recommend chicken quesadilla, chicken bandera, and queso.
  • Yasemin
    YaseminApril 25, 2016
    Been here 10+ times
    Vegetarian options can be made vegan, staff is super nice and very accommodating about it. Sadly, tortilla chips aren't vegan – there's milk in them.
  • Stefanie F.
    Stefanie FriedmanJuly 9, 2015
    If your a west coast transplant like myself... This is the best Mexican food you will probably find in the area. Cheese enchiladas aren't bad and there margaritas are decent.
  • Samantha M.
    Samantha McAfeeAugust 10, 2011
    The pulled beef burros are to die for, the sodas are huge, and the sour cream on the side is very generous. What more could you want? Great service? They've got that too.
  • Linda S.
    Linda SongOctober 18, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Great portions, solid solid and delicious cajun dishes. Great strong and cheap drinks. I can see why they have such a following and lines!
  • Carleen
    CarleenApril 17, 2012
    Unlimited, free refills for the hot, fresh made chips. Seriously the best chips I've had in my life. Get the catfish New Orleans or the blackened catfish.
  • Emily
    EmilyOctober 20, 2012
    Best Mexican in the city but expect to wait up to an hour on weekends. Still, the huge portions and amazing margaritas are well worth it
  • Keerthana R.
    Keerthana RajagopalNovember 22, 2016
    Vegetarians - Get the corn and black bean empanada
    Upvoted Mar 14
  • Piqui B.
    Piqui BerriosAugust 7, 2014
    One of my favorite spots in the boston area a really fun plaxe with good enough food and lots of drinks to choose from.
  • Sandra R.
    Sandra RubinchikJuly 2, 2015
    The rice here is so good. It's so good. Get the rice. I mean, definitely get something else. But also get the side of rice.
  • Sofia P.
    Sofia PapastamelosOctober 25, 2016
    Love to come here for margaritas and dinner with a big group of friends. Wait time is always way shorter than the hostess says.
  • Pavlina S.
    Pavlina SchrielNovember 30, 2014
    My favorite place to come when I visit the area. Drinks are huge. They have vegetarian options on the back of the menu.
  • Harvard University
    Harvard UniversityJuly 7, 2010
    This Cajun/ Mexican restaurant has great food and atmosphere. Among the many dishes, don’t be afraid to try the Catfish New Orleans! But get there early or be ready to wait. Read more
  • Jake S.
    Jake SmithJanuary 13, 2012
    Try the French Quarter Chicken. In my opinion, it is the best menu item. The creamy lemon pepper sauce really does me in.
  • Dan G.
    Dan GruzmanNovember 8, 2014
    Delicious margaritas, fresh unlimited salsa/chips, very attentive staff. Cajun portions smaller than Mexican but equally as good if not better
  • Ha D.
    Ha DiemApril 17, 2016
    Be prepared for a wait on the weekends, cause this was the spot to be for dinner. Came here for the frozen margaritas and they didn't disappoint!! Definitely need to go back and try the food.
  • Karthik R.
    Karthik RamanSeptember 15, 2015
    Reviews didn't lie - catfish New Orleans can't be beat. Crispy, spicy, creamy. So good. Get it with the jambalaya.
  • Jory
    JorySeptember 24, 2013
    I have dreams about the Steak Fajitas. They were so good. I can't wait to go back next time I'm in Boston.
  • Patrick H.
    Patrick HaneyMarch 26, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Careful not to fill up on the freshly made, free tortilla chips. Everything on this menu is delicious, especially the margaritas.
  • David D.
    David DeutschJuly 8, 2016
    I loved the Border in Burlington, but this location is surprisingly large, well staffed and really comfortable and clean.
  • Ali R.
    Ali RorickOctober 24, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    My new favorite neighborhood gem - great margs and 'dillas. Chips are served fresh out of the oven too!
  • Linda S.
    Linda SongOctober 17, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Their campustown shrimp: not pretty, but BOY is it delicious. I wish I had extra bread out mashed potatoes to finish that gravy...
  • Jeanette C.
    Jeanette CajideOctober 1, 2011
    the corn and beans empandas are quite possibly one of the most addictive things I've ever eaten. one of my fave dishes in cambridge.
  • Chew 0.
    Chew 001July 22, 2016
    Never disappointed. Great vegetarian options if that's what you are looking for in specific. Love their drinks selection.
  • Thomas S.
    Thomas SimersMay 31, 2016
    Vegetarian empanadas were flaky and delicious.
    Upvoted Mar 14
  • Kaila S.
    Kaila SchleuApril 23, 2016
    This place is a gem. Truly. Cajun/Texmex that's highly confusing but surprisingly good. Large food portions, suggest splitting. Salsa=no.
  • Jake F.
    Jake FriedmanJanuary 18, 2015
    The food is cheap and incredibly tasty. There are not nearly enough Cajun places in Cambridge! Warning: night terrors may occur after eating here.
  • Roberto A.
    Roberto AriasMarch 9, 2011
    Good, cheap food... They serve a mad salsa and margaritas. Be prepared to go home and take a nap after the meal because they serve in excessive proportions. ENJOY!!
  • Tamara H.
    Tamara HOctober 12, 2013
    Cheap, festive, bottomless chips. What more does a girl need? Oh right. A margarita. They have those too!!!
  • Pablo G.
    Pablo GoldbargJune 9, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    The Quality is always great and great service. I love the pastelitos and the fish. Eggplant is also great.
  • Briar B.
    Briar BNovember 25, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    This greasy Tex-Mex place is pretty decent, but the things that keep me coming back are the great chips and salsa, and the super cheap margaritas.
  • René F.
    René FurlanJanuary 5, 2015
    Really Good food. Nice price and the waitresses is very polite. Delicious "burro", I'll go back for sure..
  • A S.
    A SSeptember 8, 2015
    Empanadas are great. The fried flour tortilla in the tostada is just so oily, overpowers the healthy virtue of the salad.
  • Favecast
    FavecastNovember 15, 2013
    Brooke highly recommends the Border Cafe for an awesome dinner with friends. Check out her Favecast about it here- http://www.favecast.com/349CfKRT6b
  • Brian P.
    Brian ParkNovember 16, 2015
    Cheap Margaritas, and cheap tex-mex/canjun foods! The definite go-to for college students, even outside Harvard.
  • Anthony T.
    Anthony TecceMarch 7, 2013
    Ate here about 3 times a week when I was at Harvard. Try the Jalapeno Ravioli and the catfish salad.
  • Constantin W.
    Constantin WOctober 1, 2016
    Good value for Money mexican Food and also nice daiquiris!
  • Georgia L.
    Georgia LuddeckeAugust 21, 2016
    The chimichurri steak is delicious, but no matter what you get, order a side of cornbread 👌🏻
  • Raj T.
    Raj TrivediMay 20, 2010
    Get the chimmichurri burrito...or any fajita...and don't drink anything but the traditional margarita on the rocks (to die for)Like Chi Chi's - but better in every aspect
  • Danielle C.
    Danielle CMarch 24, 2011
    Love this place. The cheese enchiladas are my favorite. Awesome at this location as well as the one in Saugus.
  • Abby
    AbbySeptember 24, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    No one mentions this but the house salad for 3.98 is an amazing deal, and delicious
  • Simone d.
    Simone de JongeSeptember 1, 2016
    Swordfish tacos. Smoked avocado is to die for. Could fill myself up on the free chips!
  • Ovgu C.
    Ovgu C. O.November 7, 2014
    Awesome fajitas, large portions, and great amosphere😊 don't miss the margarita👏
  • Brett A.
    Brett AfrickMarch 11, 2016
    Get a chicken burro for $8 and leave satisfied and not broke! Amazing!!
  • Michael T.
    Michael TroianoJune 10, 2012
    The catfish is really good. And in general the Cajun stuff is better than the Mexican.
  • Stephanie F.
    Stephanie FloresOctober 7, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Order a swirl at the bar. Ask them to pour half frozen sangria and half frozen margarita and swirl it together. You won't be disappointed !
  • Osa O.
    Osa ObanorJanuary 27, 2012
    Don't try...GET the catfish new Orleans, popcorn shrimp...and 2 Grande margaritas ...and thank me later
  • Laura D.
    Laura DJune 15, 2011
    If you're a vegetarian make sure to ask for white rice with your meal, the brown rice is made with chicken broth.
  • An X.
    An XiaoApril 18, 2010
    Delicious Mexican food (and I'm from LA!). If you have a long wait head to the Harvard bookstore to avoid the crowds. Our reservation thingie got reception.
  • Linda S.
    Linda SongOctober 17, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Their salsa, guac, and chips are deathly good. Was almost to full to eat my actual entree!
  • Brittany
    BrittanyNovember 16, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Chicken and cheese fajitas are like crack. They season the chicken so well.
  • Neal R.
    Neal RFebruary 24, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Absolutely anything here is good, but you can't go wrong with the fajitas
  • Sean P.
    Sean PerssonJuly 26, 2013
    This is the best margarita bar in the world. Me and my beautiful girlfriend have had a 5 year romance with each other and this bar.
  • Carla D.
    Carla D'AvanzoMarch 14, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Amazing patron margaritas with jalapeno in it...spicy and strong ;)
  • Gretchen B.
    Gretchen BartlettJune 28, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    If you are looking for a healthy option, try the gaucho chicken without the fries.
  • Faith W.
    Faith WhalenJune 5, 2012
    To all you whiny punks about the nachos... Get the Queso it's awesome!
  • Erin
    ErinDecember 11, 2011
    really good margaritas and chips, but i'd pass on the entrees. tex mex drowned in cheese.
  • Prathmesh J.
    Prathmesh JadhavJuly 28, 2013
    The food is awesome, servers are helpful and portions are huge!!
  • Victoria F.
    Victoria FragerMay 14, 2015
    Swordfish tacos! And the guac for appetizer is worth it
  • Jenny M.
    Jenny MackintoshSeptember 7, 2009
    Been here 5+ times
    Go to Border Cafe in Harvard Square and order the camptown shrimp app and a margarita on the rocks with salt. Combined with the piping hot chips and tasty salsa, you're done.
  • El C.
    El CampeadorJuly 5, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Blackened catfish fajitas are the best thing you'll have all week, guaranteed. House margarita, don't stump for the expensive ones.
  • Bobby K.
    Bobby KennedyFebruary 15, 2016
    Great place for Tex-Mex in the heart of Harvard Square.
  • Stefanie F.
    Stefanie FriedmanAugust 13, 2015
    The cheese enchiladas are pretty darn good! Also a decent margarita.
  • Nicholas S.
    Nicholas StevensJuly 29, 2016
    So far the best Mexican food I've found in Boston or the surrounding area.
  • Christina V.
    Christina VarrassoSeptember 1, 2014
    Great late night menu featuring quesadillas, hot chips and salsa
  • Ariadna G.
    Ariadna GranéMarch 17, 2015
    Good, huge amounts of mexican food, not expensive and absolutely full of students!!
  • Parham H.
    Parham HaghighiJanuary 21
    Get the Half and half Fajitas and you'll be super happy!
  • Nicole D.
    Nicole DurandDecember 29, 2010
    Been here 50+ times
    Ask your server about the honey mustard dressing, it used to be amazing and they may switch back...if they do. Get it.
  • Caysie C.
    Caysie C.January 10, 2012
    Order the chicken quesadilla for lunch and you'll have enough to take home for dinner!
  • Seth C.
    Seth CargiuoloFebruary 4, 2013
    Catfish New Orleans - I've been getting this dish for 20 years. Classic. Can't beat it!
  • Julia C.
    Julia CarlsonFebruary 21, 2012
    French Quarter chicken, Gumbo, and a margarita. That's all you need for happiness here.
  • Gwen S.
    Gwen SlatteryMay 19, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Ryanne is a fabulous waitress who was very accomodating for my food allergies. Empanadas are divine washed down with a smooth sangria.
  • Max S.
    Max SklarJune 28, 2014
    The chicken fajitas kept me full for at least a day, but they were ridiculously tasty
  • Jake M.
    Jake MercurioApril 16, 2011
    Get the most bang for your buck. The Texas Margarita is worth the extra $1 for contreau!
  • Allison F.
    Allison F.April 17, 2012
    Food is big, great to share. Margaritas are the best
  • Muhammed B.
    Muhammed BulutAugust 11, 2014
    Fajita is very delicious. Ambiance is also good.
  • Mazda
    MazdaNovember 17, 2010
    Their margaritas are ridiculously huge, cheap, and really good. Best combo ever.
  • Priyam S.
    Priyam ShahMarch 9, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Camptown shrimp is probably the best thing you will eat all year.
  • Harshal C.
    Harshal ChaudhariSeptember 13, 2013
    Great atmosphere and food! Cool place to hangout with friends!
  • Elçin E.
    Elçin EmreMarch 9, 2013
    Best margarita I have ever had!!!!
  • Anastasia B.
    Anastasia BogomolovApril 15, 2016
    Been here 50+ times
    Have been coming here for over 20 years. Still that good.
  • Justin T.
    Justin TouchetteJuly 2, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    For no discernible reason they have the best diet Coke on earth: you think "how can that really be true" but you'll see
  • Xiyan
    XiyanJuly 21, 2010
    Best fish tacos in Boston. Also try the chicken burros and you will not be disappointed!
  • Patrick G.
    Patrick GilmoreOctober 20, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    The Hornitos Margarita is the best! And try ranch dressing on the chips & fries.
  • randall
    randallDecember 29, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    What's up with the new tortillas? Used to be thin, smooth and "flexible". Now they're like dry pancakes that crack when you try to wrap them. Totally ruins the whole eating/tasting experience! :(
  • Alex B.
    Alex BurkeFebruary 12, 2011
    Seconding the pastelitos. Piping hot and just spicy enough to leave a satisfying burn.
  • Wassel M.
    Wassel MohammedJanuary 8, 2015
    Best nachos, great food, not expensive
  • Jeffrey Z.
    Jeffrey ZhaoMarch 22, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Portions are pretty large but the food is decent. Get a margarita too while you're there
  • Frankie M.
    Frankie MartinsDecember 19, 2012
    Catfish tortillas. Eat it. House margaritas. Drink them.
  • Melissa
    MelissaJuly 14, 2012
    Cheap and delicious margaritas! Try the watermelon.
  • Marissa W.
    Marissa WindowApril 28, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Frozen sangria is the way to go - hands down.
  • Tom S.
    Tom SpruceOctober 7, 2016
    For being so far from the border, they have good fajitas and margaritas
  • Nima Z.
    Nima ZahediJune 21, 2012
    Swordfish tacos are cheap and a must
  • Scott T.
    Scott ThibeaultJanuary 21, 2012
    Best margaritas in the city, then best crawfish etupfe in town...
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