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Franklin Cafe

South End
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278 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118-2125
(617) 350-0010
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5:00 pm - 2:00 am
Open now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 5:00 pm - 2:00 am
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Drinks, Seating, Waitstaff

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 127 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 58
  • 48
    Very good
  • 10
  • 6
  • 5
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    4 of 5 stars
Nice young casual spot

I wouldn't really see this as a restaurant, rather a bar with decent food. Food starts at $11 and goes up to $19 for a full plate. They have a nice selection of beers. It's small and noisy so if you don't like that kind of atmosphere it is probably not the right spot for you.

4 of 5 starsReviewed October 28, 2015
Noemi V
Dublin, Ireland
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127 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2015

I wouldn't really see this as a restaurant, rather a bar with decent food. Food starts at $11 and goes up to $19 for a full plate. They have a nice selection of beers. It's small and noisy so if you don't like that kind of atmosphere it is probably not the right spot for you.

Thank Noemi V
New York City, New York
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2015

We came here for dinner- space is tiny and dark, not too mention loud! The restaurant is dominated by the bar, and when we were there they were blasting music from the early 2000s. We asked the waitress to turn the music down, and she acted like she would, but it never ended up being changed. The food was overpriced... More 

Thank Suzanna B
Level Contributor
99 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2015

My friends took me to one of their favorite neighborhood spots for a pre-theater bite. A cozy, tavern-style place with booths parallel to the bar. Service was friendly, although a bit slow. The food was excellent and very reasonably priced. I noticed that they serve dinner until after midnight so we will almost certainly return for a late night visit.

Thank dangerFlorida
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

Where we always end up late night. I cannot get enough of their steak plate w fries. I feel like I order the same thing every time. drinks are always delicious and the bartenders are friendly and well known.

1 Thank Lizzyfizzy123
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
143 reviews
113 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2015 via mobile

After reading the reviews on TA we decided to experience I had the tuna tartare and it was super good. The staff were super friendly. The downside to me was that the place is too dark and the air conditioning was too low. So I wish I had brought a sweater .

Thank Jlonga
Level Contributor
77 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015

We dined here early on a recent Friday evening and had a great experience. No reservations but it is not crowded early. The have a large assortment of beers on tap, wine and interesting cocktails. My son enjoyed his "Moscow Mule." We tried the Thai chicken wing appetizer to start. It was good but I am used to chicken a... More 

1 Thank cubiclegirl
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2015 via mobile

Went there with a friend .. We had some margaritas to start.. Was delicious.... Than i ordered some pasta... Was good too... The barwomen was friendly and nice..

1 Thank Joe S
East Meadow, New York
Level Contributor
87 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2015 via mobile

Went there on our first night in boston based on reviews I read. Ordered the mussels and the chicken wings-both excellent as well as the bread with a nice butter to go with it! Main dish my husband had a fish and I ordered the steak fritte medium rare. It first came out raw-I sent it back and they made... More 

Thank Audralindley
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
74 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2014

franklin was THE place to go years ago when it first opened and the owners were in the kitchen and behind the bar. it had great food at a very fair price. these days the prices are still fair however the last 2 times we went our meals were not well prepared. was it due to a quiet sunday at... More 

2 Thank steve g
Arlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2014 via mobile

Have come here several times and always fun. Small place that gets packed quickly. Bar area and booths along wall. Great drinks and place to hang to meet friends at the bar. Nice local place in the middle of the South End highly recommended!

1 Thank Warmbrookfarm

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 278 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118-2125
  • Location: United States  >  Massachusetts (MA)  >  Boston>  > South End
  • Neighborhood: South End
  • Phone Number: (617) 350-0010

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 20 - 25
  • Cuisine: American, Cafe

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Bar scene
Open Hours
5:00 pm - 2:00 am
5:00 pm - 2:00 am
5:00 pm - 2:00 am
5:00 pm - 2:00 am
5:00 pm - 2:00 am
5:00 pm - 2:00 am
5:00 pm - 2:00 am

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Franklin Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?

Staying in South End

Neighborhood Profile
South End
Stroll down the beautiful brownstone lined streets while capturing views of Boston’s tallest buildings from a distance. Some of Boston’s best restaurants are scattered around this neighborhood. There are many gems to be found, from jazz clubs to classy bars and restaurants. It is also home to art galleries, interesting boutiques, artsy stores and SOWA open market during the summer months. The South End is a true find in the city, with a more residential feeling than Back Bay.