After meeting with a Harvard student in Boston, they told me that the best place to eat in the area was Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers. Harvard does produce some smart students and apparently ones with sharp taste buds as well.
Located on Massachusetts Avenue by the famous Harvard Yard, Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers has been serving up freshly ground beef burgers since 1960. As a result of them grinding their beef fresh daily, they are one of the few restaurants that I know who can serve a burger rare if asked.
This place was actually featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives but was already famous among the locals and select public figures with Shaquille O’Neil, Mindy Kaling, and Jacky O having dined there as well.
Aside from their regular burger menu that you can find above the grill, they have their specialty burgers that are named after pop culture icons such as The Beyoncé, The Obamacare, The Rob Ford (w/o the crack). In honour of one of my favourite Food Network hosts, I tried the Guy Fieri medium rare which had muenster cheese, tomato, lettuce, red onion and russian dressing. Really juicy, tender and nicely charred. I ordered it with a side of sweet potato fries and I felt they were one of the few places that keep the integrity of the sweet potato by cutting it into slightly larger cuts than most restaurants.
While you’re waiting for your burger, I highly suggest taking the time to read the signs they have plastered all over their walls. With witty meme-worthy content from decades ago, the walls are half the entertainment at Mr. Bartley’s. I’m going out on a limb, but I would love to see “The Piquey Eater” be a burger here topped with bacon, tomato, provolone cheese, with sour cream and chopped chives as a dressing.
Definitely worth checking out if you’re out by Hahvahd.
Until we dine again,
-The Piquey Eater