CAMBRIDGE – Comfort food, great drinks, and no attitude. That’s what you look for in a great neighborhood restaurant, and that’s exactly what they serve at The Automatic in Kendall Square.

“It is a modern take on the neighborhood bar: unpretentious, affordable, fun,” co-owner David Cagle said. “Lots of bright flavors, super-fresh, lots of love goes into everything.”

In terms of atmosphere, there is nowhere else that looks anything like The Automatic. It has a 1950’s, retro, Sputnik, Grandma’s kitchen vibe, with the wood paneling, flamingoes and cool chandeliers. We aren’t sure if it’s supposed to be old school or new school, or somehow a Brooklyn hipster chic. But whatever it is, it works.

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Let’s talk hot dogs. You probably usually only get hot dogs when you are at a ballgame or grilling in your backyard. You don’t get hot dogs at a restaurant, right? Well, you should when you come to The Automatic. The hot dog itself is the absolute best in the business – Pearl Kountry Klub all beef franks. They have great snap and perfect taste.

The Atomic Dog at The Automatic (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

If you are in a boring mood, you can order your dog plain or with mustard. If you are a little more interesting, get the Green Dog – a New England style Chicago dog. If you want the dog with no dog gone substitute, go for the Atomic Dog. It is the ultimate chili cheese dog made with big, beefy chili and secret Inner Beauty hot sauce.

The French fries at The Automatic come in three different varieties. There is the standard, served hot and fresh and covered with just salt and pepper. There are the sushi-inspired Funky Fries with toragashi, nori, and mayo. The pièce de résistance is The Freaky Fries – a big old pile of hot fries covered with parmesan cheese, juicy meat and a side of bone marrow. Marrow has tons of fat, tons of flavor and is exactly what you never knew you needed on top of French fries.

Freaky Fries at The Automatic (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Greater Boston has gone crazy for fried chicken sandwiches. When you taste the one at The Automatic you will understand why. This might be the greatest chicken sandwich of all time. It is Korean style, made with a deep fried chicken thigh and dripping with sauce. This sandwich is served on a toasted sesame seed bun with a big pile of homemade kimchee.

Fried Chicken Sandwich at The Automatic (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

When it comes to dessert, you have never seen a dessert tray like this one. At The Automatic, they peddle frozen candy bars and frozen Klondike Bars.

A testament to the food and atmosphere at The Automatic happens every night after 10 p.m. That is when waiters and bartenders from other restaurants pile in to eat and drink. You can join them at The Automatic at 50 Hampshire Street in Cambridge, and online at

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