At the risk of mislabeling one of our favorite Cambridge cafes, we’ll stick with the simple category of North African food. Though the Baraka Cafe chefs were differently influenced as they grew up (in Algiers and as the child of Tunisian parents, respectively), their fused style has a flair all its own.
Rose lemonade might be the coolest refreshment on Pearl Street, but that will only wet your whistle for more. Baraka’s varied menu is cheap, even for appetizers and small plates. Salads under $6 even at dinner? Yes please.
If you stop in for dinner, you’ll be much happier if you keep your party to a minimum. Seating is limited, and parties simply won’t feel comfortable taking up half the restaurant. (Trust us, we’ve tried it.) Instead, bring a date to impress with lamb, couscous, or squab. Yes, you read that right. 36-hour notice is required if you’d like a marinated pigeon, and the market price varies. And if the idea horrifies you, you can swing the other way. The vegetarian platter is a cool $12 and has a little bit of everything. Desserts are divine - creme brulee, Turkish coffee, green tea with roasted nuts, and a somewhat infamous chocolate torte are worth their own trip to Baraka.
We recommend reservations for this tiny spot, no expectation to get tipsy (they’re a dry restaurant), and bring more than plastic. They only take cash.