The Most Smartphone-Friendly Restaurants in Boston

By Scott Kearnan  |  May 12, 2015
Credit: Michael Young

It sounds like a Lifetime movie of the week. "It Happened To Me: Stranded at a Restaurant With a Dead Smartphone." (Gasp! Sob!)

But seriously: whether you're trying to coordinate a meet-up with friends, field some important work emails between courses or just really, really bummed out that you're unable to Instagram your dinner, a depleted cell phone can be a sore inconvenience when you're eating out. Luckily, we've noticed that a few restaurants have been helping out, installing electric outlets and USB ports in a conscious effort to keep guests charged — and happy. If you need to make sure you stay connected, here are a few spots that are convenient go-to's. 

On the other hand, if you're the type of person who directs more dinner conversation to Twitter than to your table mate, please stop reading now. You need a nice plate of cold turkey. 

Alden & Harlow. Michael Scelfo's Harvard Square hit, which specializes in shareable plates of rustic-meets-modern American cuisine, installed nearly 40 electric outlets at its long wraparound bar, so you can filter your dinner until your heart's content. While you're at it, make sure to follow the Instagram account of Scelfo, one of our 7 Must-Follow Social Media Stars40 Brattle St., Cambridge; 617-864-2100

The Backroom at Moody's. The just-opened restaurant and wine bar in the rear of Moody's Delicatessen and Provisions, the cured-meats paradise run by Tico alum Joshua Smith, has a row of USB ports on the underside of the bar, so you can keep your tardy dinner date apprised of the charcuterie selection without fear that you'll slice into your battery life. 468 Moody St., Waltham; 781-216-8732

Bostonia Public House. The bar and banquette areas were designed to accommodate a number of electric outlets for charging, but there's another reason Bostonia is a battery savior: loaned chargers for all smartphones are available by request. That's a nice off-menu order. Now wondering what to eat? Check out our Cheat Sheet131 State St.; 617-948-9800 

Brasserie Jo. The good news: you remembered to grab your iPhone's USB cord on your way out the door. The bad news: you forgot that little square doodad that connects it an electric outlet. The solution: Back Bay French spot Brasserie Joe, which has installed eight USB ports at its cocktail tables for just such an emergency. Cheers. 120 Huntington Ave.; 617-425-3240

Bukowski Tavern. The Cambridge Bukowski (pictured above) has been totally renovated under the direction of its new partner, chef Brian Poe. And besides raising the game (we mean that in the literal, there's-lots-of-interesting-animal-meat sense), the glossy new bar features five electrical outlets for staying juiced while getting buzzed. (Check out our deeper look at the revamp here.) 1281 Cambridge St., Cambridge; 617-497-7077

Chopps American Bar and Grill. If a shopping spree at the neighboring mall leaves your iPhone spent, take dinner at this 245-seat chophouse with a culinary program devised by consulting chef Daniel Bruce of Meritage. The wood communal table (below) has multiple USB and power outlets built in, so you can join solo stragglers nursing a cocktail or plate while scoring a recharge. 1 Burlington Mall Rd., Burlington; 781-221-6643

Fairsted Kitchen. We get a charge out of the rotating draft cocktails at this Brookline hot spot. Also giving us a charge:  the eight USB ports in charging stations on the underside of the bar. #BUZZED. 1704 Beacon St., Brookline; 617-396-8752

Firebrand Saints. Given its proximity to the start-up epicenter that is Kendall Square, it's no surprise that this neat-o New American (with an interior that features interesting installations created by MIT Media Lab) has a slew of power outlets running underneath its bar. Innovation types can plug in, drink up and get "creatively inspired." 1 Broadway, Cambridge; 617-401-3399

Gather. The restaurant teems with tech wizards and start-up ingenues who would rather lose a limb than their smartphone. (After all, it's housed in District Hall, a public innovation center for flexible work, meeting and hackathon space.) Naturally, they've installed 10 or so electric outlets along the bar, lest anyone miss that long-awaited email from an angel investor. 75 Northern Ave.; 617-982-7220  

King St. Tavern. The American restaurant inside the Ames Hotel recently revamped its culinary approach (check out the new menu here). And visitors can also "be their guest" and use a handful of loaner (and bright-orange) mobile chargers for iPhone 5 and 6 and Androids, available by request. (Smartphone side note: you can also make your dinner reservation via the new Ames app.) 1 Court St.; 617-979-8100

Pastoral. First: read our Cheat Sheet on the Fort Point haven for pizzas, pastas and beer cocktails. Then saddle up to the bar (pictured at page top), plug your iPhone into one of the many USB ports scattered throughout and dig in. 345 Congress St.; 617-345-0005

River Bar. Let the juice flow. At chef Patrick Gilmartin's Assembly Row hot spot there are more than enough charging outlets underneath the bar (both traditional electric outlets and direct-USB connections) for every seat. So fire up your phones inside before sipping cocktails around the outdoor fire pits. 661 Assembly Row, Somerville; 617-616-5561

Strip by Strega. Park Square's new steak-centric addition to the Strega family of Italian restaurants has a glittery Vegas vibe, particularly at the 40-seat main bar, made of vitreous glass mosaic tiles and surrounded by AV screens controlled by a built-in DJ booth. Music to our ears: that there's a strip of charging ports for cocktail-guzzling guests. (For our look at the entire space, head here.) 64 Arlington St.; 617-456-5300

Trident Booksellers & Cafe. Where can you grab a hot cup of coffee (or a cold beer), an all-day breakfast (or cheap lunch sandwich) and power up your phone while you page through a new book? This Newbury Street landmark, of course. 338 Newbury St.; 617-267-8688

West Bridge. Given its setting in the middle of the Kendall Square start-up world, it's no surprise that West Bridge keeps its clientele well charged. The bar area boasts 10 electric outlets for keeping yourself fully online. 1 Kendall Sq., Cambridge; 617-945-0221