Clover Food Lab - HUB

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 16 reviews )

1075 Cambridge St (at Harvard Square), Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 02138

Food truck company turned brick n mortar outlets. Serves vegetarian fast food with burgers, sandwiches, vegetable platters, fries, daily soup, hot and cold beverages. Open Mon-Sun 7:00am-12:00am, Fri 12:00am-12:00am.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, Fast food, Take-out

16 Reviews

First Review by markc7

great spot - Edit

Great spot. Has many vegan options including all soups being vegan. Staff are very friendly and helpful. They can easily make any of their entries vegan upon request. All utensils are compostable and they have a fine selection of drinks as well

Pros: delicious, nice space

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Please stop calling Clover vegan-friendly. It's not. - Edit

As a company, Clover goes out of its way to antagonize vegans.

As a restaurant, they make the dumbest choices possible and try to sneak dairy into every single thing.

As a staff, no one ever has a single clue what's in any of the food. Go in there three days in a row, ask what's in the same sandwich and you'll get three completely different answers.

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Vegan Meetup - Edit

I have repeatedly taken my monthly vegan meetup to THIS Clover location (among their many Greater Boston sites, some of which are closer to my home and work).

Updated from previous review on 2017-11-13

Pros: Can get vegan food, Staff appreciate vegans and their food requirement, Affordable, though not cheap. Great coffee and soy

Cons: Not entirely vegetarian, and too much 'fun food', Sometimes crowded, and order lines can be long, 'Fun food' is ot cheap, but not expensive, either

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Don't come here if you're vegan or at all - Edit

I've had a pretty bad experience at this location and I would give them a one star if I could. (If you want good tasting fast food and great service, go to their Financial location on Federal St!)

When we arrived a staff member took our order and was very confused at the mention of us being vegan. We explained what we can and can't eat and he tried to figure out what on the menu was vegan.

Fast forward to our food being ready. We heard our name be shouted for pickup, so my boyfriend got up to get our food only to find DAIRY CHEESE in our platter. Of course he asked (politely) if they could remake our food, only to get a snarky response back that they could just remove the cheese, which if you're vegan you know that's still a no-no.

Finally they agreed to re-make the dish. When they called out names again the staff member added "I have an order here for _____, no animals were harmed in the creation of this dish, cruelty-free, no animal products whatsoever" in an extremely mocking tone. The atmosphere of the place was pretty bad considering the extremely unfriendly and disrespectful staff.

Needless to say, we will never be returning there and I wouldn't recommend anyone visiting either.

Cons: Horrendeously disrespectful staff, Don't know what the term "vegan" even means, The menu doesn't specify what is vegan

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Good for vegetarians, not very good for vegans - Edit

I went there with my husband. I am vegan, whilst he's vegetarian. He liked very much the seitan BBQ sandwich, vegetarian. I asked for the vegan version of the same sandwich but it was too simple... You can taste that something is missing. Clover should work more to improve their vegan recipes.

Pros: vegetarian recipes

Cons: very few vegan options (not good)

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Fresh food - Edit

I really like the concept: they seek to make satisfying fast food that's also fresh and nutritious. They certainly deliver on that. Their various offerings are quite tasty, and they're always working behind the scenes to innovate and improve.

However, the portions are on the small side, so I need two helpings to get full, which makes for a pretty expensive lunch.

My biggest complaint is with the breakfast. I came here to meet several friends on a Saturday morning. After reading and re-reading the breakfast menu a few times, I was surprised to find nothing vegan. I figured I must be missing something, because what kind of vegetarian establishment doesn't offer a vegan option? So I asked a worker, and he feebly suggested that I get a muffin (which wasn't actually vegan...). It was disappointing that this veggie spot lacked vegan options, and it was even more disappointing that the staff seemed oblivious to this oversight.

Pros: fresh food, fast, innovative

Cons: small portions, limited vegan options

2 Responses
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HappyIcosahedron 02 Aug 2017 - Definitely agree that Clover has its flaws. But your claim about non-vegan muffins is simply false! As a long-time vegan recently turned vegetarian and frequent Clover customer, I know that their muffins ARE vegan. They were specifically formulated to give vegan customers more breakfast options:

They also have ingredient lists available online which confirm this (although their availability isn't totally consistent).  

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nafanc 02 Aug 2017 - Thanks for the clarification. Although it unfortunately didn't help in my case. After he suggested the muffin, I asked him to confirm if it was vegan, and he said something along the lines of, "oh whoops, I don't think so." Maybe it was vegan, but the staff seemed unsure, so I definitely didn't want to take that chance!

I appreciate the tip though. It will help next time I find myself at Clover!


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What's good is amazing - Edit

I came to clover while on a trip to Boston and tried the very best sandwich I think I'll ever have in my life. It was a hakurei turnip sandwich with a miso carrot salad, crispy fried onions and a togarashi mayo. It was to die for.
But originally I had ordered the mezza plate and was less than impressed; a few tablespoons of some okay salads, a plain pita and a mass of hummus. I tried a bite of my mum's hakurei pita and luckily went back to get my own.
Overall it started out as quite disappointing but ended up being the highlight of my trip!

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Affordable, tasty vegetarian student cafe - Edit

Clover is a vegetarian fast food style cafe with a few vegan options. The service is friendly and the food is quite tasty. I did have to eat with a plastic fork and knife, however.

I can recommend the chickpea fritter and the rosemary fries. Unfortunately, the BBQ seitan was not as good as I hoped.

Pros: affordable, tasty, fast

Cons: plastic fork and knife, fast food style

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Great for a quick lunch - Edit

They have a few vegan options and most of them are tasty. I haven't had problems getting veganized food or getting understood as vegan. Try especially the rosemary fries! Service is fast and everything is compostable.

Pros: many vegan options, fast

Cons: not totally vegan, a bit noisy at times

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eh - Edit

The place has a cool look and feel but I wasn't overly impressed by the food. I'm vegan and I got the BBQ seitan platter--the seitan was so hard and rubbery that I broke my fork trying to cut it. The Rosemary fries were really good though.

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we gave it a shot - Edit

It's definitely not somewhere you go I have your way for. But the food was good. And the staff was very helpful

Pros: vegan available, food was tasty even to my heart my son who doesn't, concept is inviting to students

Cons: not somewhere I would take somebody out to dinner., felt fast food like in its ordering area, it's a place for a quick bite not a nice dinner an

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Doesn't Understand Vegan... - Edit

First of all, I would give this restaurant one star if I could, but as they are "Vegetarian," HappyCow requires at least two stars.

I am a vegan, and if you are reading this, I'm assuming you understand that that means no dairy and no eggs. I am always cautions when eating out, even at a vegetarian restaurant and made a very specific request that I am vegan and would end up very sick if I consumed dairy. I then ordered per the host's suggestion with a request for no cheese or may on my sandwich. I didn't inspect my food before digging in, and a few bites in realized that there were large chunks of cheese in the sandwich. I don't know if it was an issue of cross-contamination or what, but I brought it back and asked for a replacement specifying "vegan, no eggs no dairy" once again. Upon inspection I realized that the new sandwich had mayo.

Needless to say, if you are vegan for whatever reason I would not go here, unless you plan on thoroughly inspecting your food before eating it. I would consider this service unacceptable for any restaurant but I find it even more disappointing coming from a vegetarian one.

Cons: Adds dairy to vegan food

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half baked concept - Edit

Only disposable "compostable" ware, shortsighted idea of ecology.

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fans and cheap - Edit

fast and cheap

Pros: fast, cheap

Cons: not enough raw, not enough Gluten free, no sweet potatoes

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Not the best for vegans - or anyone - Edit

I have had enough bad experiences here that I have decided to stop going even though it is so conveniently located.

Before I get into the food, I'll say that it's not really a fun experience because you have to wait for them to call your name to get your food, and they don't have any speaker system, so you have to listen really carefully, and sometimes it's nearly impossible to hear. It's not uncommon to spend the first 15 minutes of your time there straining to hear your name.

Now the food:

The day it opened, I ordered the cauliflower soup. It was possibly the worst thing I've ever eaten. If not the worst, definitely the second worst. It tasted fermented. It was bubbly and sour. I could only take about 2 bites before I gave up. Unfortunately, I had ordered it to go, so I couldn't easily take it back.

The main reason I kept going back was that the fries are really good. However, lately they have been very inconsistent. One day, there was way too much salt, and the next day there was almost none. They need to train the staff better so that they can have a consistent product.

Also, they don't have a lot of vegan options. Once I mentioned it to a staff member and he said that they weren't trying to be vegan-friendly. However, they did later get Vegenaise.

I went last night and saw that they had seitan chili. I asked if it was vegan and was told it was, so I ordered it. When it arrived, it had what looked like sour cream on top, so I asked the employee if it was vegan sour cream. She said, "No. Did you not want sour cream?" I said, "I was told the chili was vegan." She said, "The chili is vegan, but not the sour cream." Why would they tell people something is vegan if they put something non-vegan on top of it without asking? Anyway, she then said she would fix it, and I watched as she scooped off the sour cream and dumped it in the trash.

I will not go back.

Pros: fries, location, chickpea fritter

Cons: sometimes horrible food, waiting for your name to be called, misinforms about what is vegan

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tasty, simple, cool - Edit

Minimalist decor and service does not detract from the positive experience of eating at clover. The service is quick, the food tasty and cheap. Portion sizes are nothing to write home about, but you get a decent meal.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday February 22, 2012

Pros: cool environment, fast service

Cons: portions fairly small

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