Little Donkey

By Amy Fukuizumi · 01/05/2017    Cambridge · Tapas · $$$

From morning to night, this Central Square haunt’s playful, interpretive dishes and cocktails will make you say hmmmm. Little Donkey takes typical dining convention and kicks it right in the you-know-what—and that’s exactly what we love about it.

Opened in 2016 by the James Beard Award-winning Boston culinary power duo Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette (also behind Toro and Coppa), Little Donkey’s small plate format and meant-to-be-shared menu pull flavors and influences from just about everywhere around the globe. And we mean everywhere.

Cucumber salad from Little Donkey

At dinner you’ll find small-small plates like Parker House Rolls (sweet rolls with chives and Chinese sausage, like an upgraded pork bun), slightly larger plates like Cucumber Salad (bright green cucumbers rolled around feta cheese and dotted with roasted peppers and savory herbs on a bed of buttermilk), and heartier fare like the flavor-exploding Burger (dry aged beef, buffalo pickles, onion soup mayo, foie gras, jalapeño chips). Mind. Blown.

If that’s not enough, opt for lighter choices like the fluffy, buttery caviar sandwich and our favorite citrusy, served-in-shell razor clams.

Razor clams from Little Donkey

And of course, desserts and cocktails to round it out. Foams, shrubs, whole fruits, and spicy accents lend a simultaneous uniqueness and sense of comfort to those offerings. Though it’s always hard to pass up cookie dough served on the mixer beater and a punch served in a grapefruit, we can say with certainty that any pick you make will be the right one.

The wide-open dining room holds a mix of high, communal bar tables, bench seating along the walls, and low tables and seats at the bar itself. If you’re heading there for dinner, reservations are highly recommended.

Burger from Little Donkey

PSA: Little Donkey offers takeout and delivery! Check out the menu here.

Looking to dine alfresco? Little Donkey has a lively patio.

Everything at Little Donkey is meant to be shared. Two to three plates per person is recommended, depending on the size (and how hungry you are). Raw bar items are treated more as accompaniments—so we say order as many as you want.

Must Haves

  • Fluffy, grilled Martin's potato roll, whipped butter, and chives assemble for the classiest little sandwich around.

  • Trust us: Not boring! Cukes become a dainty vessel for feta, peppers with Turkish spices, and charred tomato.

  • Buffalo pickles? Onion soup mayo? Foie Gras? Evidence of Little Donkey’s disdain for the generic.

  • As if this nod to your favorite guilty pleasure weren't blatant enough, it's served on the beater-it does taste better that way, no?

Fun Fact

The herb garnishing that vivid cucumber salad is called nipitella; it’s part of the mint family and smells like a cross between mint and oregano.

Tastes of Little Donkey

So good we can't stop writing about it. Read more about Little Donkey!

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Sign up for our weekly newsletters for curated guides, can't-miss dishes, restaurant recommendations, and more.

Enter Email