Darwin’s Ltd (Mt. Auburn Street)

Darwin's Kid Friendly Restaurant in Harvard Square

(credit: Facebook)

kid-friendly restaurant review

Spork Rating: 2

The Details:

  • Neighborhood: Cambridge/Harvard Square
  • Cuisine: Lunch, Sandwiches
  • Price: Cheap Eats. Breakfast Sandwiches: $5.20-$8.95; Sandwiches $7.80-$9.30
  • Hours:  Mon-Sat: 6:30am-9:00pm; Sun: 7:00am-7:00pm
  • Reservations: No
  • Recommended For Dining With: Kids

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(credit: Darwin’s Facebook Page)

Overview:

It comes to no surprise Harvard Square would be home to a place called Darwin’s Ltd., one of the more enduring sandwich and coffee shops in the area. Darwin’s has been preparing “comestibles” and “caffeinated provisions” for over 20 years — much needed fuel for all the brainpower in a 10-block radius. Darwin’s has two locations a stone’s throw from the heart of Harvard Square, (148 Mt. Auburn St. and 1629 Cambridge St.) and will be expanding to two other locations in Cambridge.

Darwin’s bohemian-meets-hipster vibe, killer sandwiches and free wi-fi attracts students, professionals and even a few celebrities. But is this a kid friendly restaurant in Harvard Square for families? Yes and no.

family-friendly restaurant tip Darwin’s Mt. Auburn location is divided into two sections: left side is the sandwich shop and neighborhood market for beer, wine, produce and gourmet food items. Right side is the café (coffee shop), with seating for 20+ people, mostly taken up by people working on their laptops.

KidTude:

Okay. The 20-somethings sandwich artists and baristas are happy to answer your questions when they are not staring down the long line weaving through the wine selection  that often forms during peak lunch hours. Darwin’s is not the most kid friendly restaurant in Harvard Square, so don’t expect to find families with young kids in the Mt. Auburn location.

family-friendly restaurant tip Because Darwin’s sandwiches are crafted with care and loaded with tons of fresh ingredients, service can be on the slow side.

family-friendly restaurant tip Darwin’s is a popular lunch spot all week long. You can avoid the wait and long lines if you arrive before 12pm.

Main Menu:

Darwin's Kid Friendly Restaurant in Harvard Square Menu

Darwin’s Sandwich Menu

Darwin’s serves up mostly breakfast sandwiches (until 10:30am), signature sandwiches, sandwiches made to order, soups and salads. The main attraction is the sandwiches as their “legendary sandwiches speak for themselves.” Darwin’s uses the freshest ingredients and huge selection of bread from Nashoba Brook Bakery. Look on their massive sandwich menu and you’ll find all their sandwiches are named after area streets and landmarks, including these favorites:

  • The Story – Prosciutto, Pesto, Fresh Mozzarella, Lettuce, Tomato and Vinaigrette
  • The Longfellow – Ham, Sliced Apple and Aged Cheddar, Dijon Mustard, Lettuce, and Tomato
  • The Hubbard Park – Hummus, Avocado, Apple, Carrots, Tomato, Sprouts & Honey Mustard
  • The Appleton – Chicken Salad with Diced Apple, Celery, Raisins, Lettuce and Tomato

family-friendly restaurant tip Darwin’s sandwiches are great for picnics. Skip the wait for an open table and head over to the Charles River or park bench in Harvard Square for people watching.

Kid’s Menu:

There is no kid’s menu but families eating out with kids will have plenty to choose from – if they like sandwiches. Darwin’s sandwiches can be made as half sandwiches – perfect for kids.

Darwins Kid Friendly Restaurant in Harvard Square pbandj

PB and J on Cinnamon Raisin Bread

family-friendly restaurant tip Kids in the mood for PB&J instead of one of Darwin’s signature creations? Darwin’s will be happy to accommodate. Just order on the sandwich shop side and pick up on the café side.

family-friendly restaurant tip Kids (and adults) will delight in the baked treats selection

Nearby Attractions:

  • Harvard Square
  • Charles River
  • Memorial Drive (road closed on Sundays for pedestrians and biking)

family-friendly restaurant tip Check out Planet Records next store for a good dose of nostalgia with the kids

Amenities:

Darwin’s does not have any key amenities for young kids. There are dog treats for customers with dogs however.

family-friendly restaurant tip There are stairs leading up to most of the seating in the café, so best leave the stroller parked outside.

family-friendly restaurant tip Kids will get a kick out of the stools made of tree trunks on wheels on the café side

family-friendly restaurant tip Darwin’s restroom rivals Strip T’s bathroom for most unique/scary. Located in the basement under the stairs by the kitchen prep, the restroom does not have a changing table. Ask for a key to the bathroom at the register.

Getting There:

  • Limited metered street parking and parking lots nearby
  • MBTA Red line to Harvard Square
  • MBTA Bus 71 to Harvard Station