Emerging food scene we may be, but Boston still has little in the way of late night eats. There are hardly any dinners, our food trucks are required to pack it up at disappointingly early hours, and the college neighborhood pizzerias can barely be bothered to heat up a slice because hell, they know you’ve got hardly any other options. A solid late night spot, a stop over on the way home from a night of revelry, can mean the different between an annoying morning-after headache and a day on the couch. Something needs to soak up all that alcohol- preferably (for me) something that involves grease, cheese, and a bit of heat.
Enter the newly-opened Beantown Taqueria in Central Square, Cambridge. They’ve taken over the depressing little space that was once the Olive Tree Cafe with what seems to be a gracious acknowledgement of the void in both the area’s late night spots as well as quick, authentic Mexican food (or “soul food" as their motto goes). The menus are packed with fresh, relatively affordable options (ranges somewhere between standard grab and go burrito and sit down restaurant prices) and most are made to order (an exception I’ve noticed are the roasted poblanos, which seem to be prepped ahead of time but stuffed and thrown on the griddle as ordered). I say “menus" because there are actually two: the “Autentico" and the “Tex-Mex." While the Tex-Mex seems to be the more popular of the two I’d recommend the Autentico, as its dishes tend to be on the spicier, more flavorful, and cheaper side (win-win-win).
It’s a family-run joint, which makes their good humor and great service all the more respectable (can’t imagine working one shift, let alone a double, with any of my relatives). Despite many intoxicated and otherwise annoying customers the staff remains friendly, proficient, and even upbeat (with the help of some great music blasting from an i-Pod near the cash register). Great people, good food, clean bathrooms, and unbeatable hours (Sunday through Wednesday 7 AM-11 PM and Thursday through Saturday 7 AM-4 AM) make Beantown Taqueria a worthy option if you’re in the area.
Beantown Taqueria is located at 245 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square, Cambridge. We recommend the Chile Relleno plate (only $1 more for rice and beans!) and are curious about their breakfast options- let us know if you try them!