Despite what you might've learned in history class, Paul Revere did not eat bone marrow gratin with a side of crispy onions and brioche every night before bed. He just didn't. Somebody made that up. But the Hub does have a lot to offer when it comes to good food, which is why Boston editor Dave Baldwin is here to fill you in on his favorite spots around town.
Favorite Dish: I would never try to name the Hub's 'best' dish, but my absolute, hands-down 'favorite' one is the steak tips at Silvertone. Ridiculous. And they're only $12! Add some mac & cheese and consider your evening made
Best Brunch: Tremont 647, Toro, and Gaslight all have pretty epic brunches. The Tremont crew wear their pajamas. Toro can get mad crowded, but their pressed bocadillo involves Marcona almond butter and bananas on grilled sourdough, and that's just silly good. In the 'bridge, Inman's Ryles brings a strong jazz game
Best Italian: I've been hitting the same Italian joint in the North End since I moved to Boston years ago, and that's Panza (formerly Cibo). Not just because of the baby rigatoni w/ sausage and goat cheese, but because I'm loyal, and that's important to Italians. If you're on the other side of the rivaah, two spots that ring up rave reviews on Mass Ave are Giulia and L'Impasto
Most Gut-Busting Meal/Dish: Eagles Deli's Burger Challenge, no contest... other than the challenge, which is, of course, a contest. Sixty bucks gets you five pounds of burger, 20 pieces of bacon, 20 pieces of American cheese, five pounds of fries, a fountain soda, and, of course, a single deli pickle
Most Romantic: I used to call this place "Third-Date Dali". Then I got married. Which in no way changes the fact that this tapas restaurant off Inman Square remains dead sexy
Best Lunch: I do not allow first-time guests to leave Boston without a mid-day visit to Parish Cafe, during which I oppressively push The Regal Regis steak sandwich on them
Best Wings: And the winner is... the kids at Tufts, because the best chicken's at Ball Square's Eat at Jumbo's. They come in not one, not two, not 10, but 34 different flavors, including Ragin Cajun, creamy pesto, and spicy Thai peanut.
Best For Work: Because the boss doesn't bring you to the Tattoo Convention every year, take advantage and let him or her pick up the tab for some super fresh seafood at Boylston Street's iconic Atlantic Fish Company
Best Cheap Eats: Galleria Umberto in the North End. At least for lunch. Some of the best Sicilian slices in town, and they're just north of a buck fifty. Be prepared to wait though, 'cause the line gets long.
Best for Partying: Scampo, in the Liberty Hotel. The scene around the bar is lively, and the action once you finish dinner is right there at Clink, Alibi, and the always-happening lobby bar
Best Late-Night Eats: At Uni, the weekend-only menu includes ramen, deep-fried hot dogs, and pork belly buns.
1. Silvertone69 Bromfield St, Boston
2. East Coast Grill1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge
3. Tremont 647647 Tremont St, Boston
4. Gaslight Brasserie du Coin560 Harrison Ave, Boston
5. Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers1246 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
6. Tasty Burger40 JFK St, Cambridge
7. Panza326 Hanover St, Boston
8. Giulia1682 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
9. L'Impasto2263 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
10. Olé11 Springfield St, Cambridge
11. Eagles Deli & Restaurant1918 Beacon St, Boston
12. Dali Restaurant & Tapas Bar415 Washington St, Somerville
13. Parish Cafe and Bar Tremont493 Massachusetts Ave, Boston
14. DooWee & Rice868 Broadway, Somerville
15. Eat At Jumbo's688 Broadway, Somerville
16. Atlantic Fish Company761 Boylston St, Boston
17. Union Square Donuts16 Bow St, Somerville
18. Galleria Umberto289 Hanover St, Boston
19. Scampo215 Charles St, Boston
20. Deuxave371 Commonwealth Ave, Boston
21. Bondir279A Broadway, Cambridge
22. Clio370A Commonwealth Ave, Boston
At Silvertone, enjoy mac & cheese topped with buttered breadcrumbs, Southern-style meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and steak tips that're soaked in a Long Island marinade.
East Coast Grill showcases chef Jason Heard's love for Southern food and BBQ, as well as cuisines from around the world. Enjoy a hearty selection of ribs and BBQ alongside bites like Asian-style Island Creek oysters, seared tuna tacos, and Creole-style BBQ shrimp.
This South End eatery serves up American grub, with flair -- fried chicken with rosemary biscuits, fontina-stuffed tater tots, and a .5lb "Burger Daddy". Don't miss their epic brunch, which the staff serves in their PJs.
Parisian brasserie complete with cafe tables, communal booths, and an eclectic bar. Extensive wine list with over 20 French wines by the glass, and an impressive menu chock full o' Parisian delicacies.
A Harvard Square mainstay since 1960, Mr. Bartley's slings greasy, 7oz patties in this always-busy American diner. There are tons of photos cluttering the walls that boast celebrity visits, the tables are so close you’re practically sharing them, and you can’t go a minute without hearing a thick Boston accent yelling out burger orders. The highest-stacked and most popular burger with locals and Guy Fieri alike is the Harvard Double: two fat beef patties with molten cheese, crispy bacon, and thick barbecue sauce are piled with a mountain of grilled red peppers and onions. Soak up the juice with a mound of Mr. Bartley’s signature extra-crispy, extra-thin deep-fried onion rings.
On the first level, you'll find the burger shop, complete with amazing smells and 1950s-style decor. Downstairs, discover the lounge area that features some billiards, a beer and wine bar and lively music filling the air, all of which is open til 4a.
Panza's 45-seat space boasts beige brick, giant wooden cooking implements, and iron lamps. Feast on signature dishes like tarragon fettuccine and grilled lobster, a breaded/fried tomato caprese salad, and the namesake sun-dried tomato and balsamic marsala-smothered Veal Panza.
This 70-seat trattoria in Cambridge is a diamond in the rough, forgotten stretch of Mass Ave between Harvard and Porter. Former Via Matta chef Michael Pagliarini spends hours each day rolling out his handmade doughs at the restaurant's centerpiece pasta table, and the resulting ravioli, fusilli, and pappardelle truly taste like they were made hours earlier. At night, the table transforms from a workspace to a communal dining table that serves family-style tasting meals.
L'Impasto is an authentic-as-it-gets Italian eatery peddling fresh handmade pastas and breads in a quaint 20-seater that welcomes guests with an open kitchen, an intimate two-table sidewalk patio, and hung kitchenware.
Although not much about Cambridge screams Mexican food, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the authentic eats coming out of this Inman Square joint's kitchen. They're serving up modern takes on traditional dishes, offering baja style fish tacos, tamales stuffed with mushrooms and cheese, and a chorizo-stuffed pork chop, among others. Without a doubt, the highlight is their tableside-made guac, which they've been doing since way before that became a super popular trend. So give them credit for that before giving them your credit card, too.
This classic deli is also home to the not-so-classic Burger Challenge: Sixty bucks gets you five pounds of burger, 20 pieces of bacon, 20 pieces of American cheese, five pounds of fries, a fountain soda, and, of course, a single deli pickle.
Pouring pitchers of sangria and Iberian cerveza like Estrella Daura & Alhambra, Dali also plates up beef short ribs in a Rioja wine sauce, salt cod croquettes w/ coriander aioli, and squid stuffed in its own ink.
A four-star American resto, this second edition of the Parish Cafe at Tremont builds delicious gourmet sammies and also serves up plenty of apps, comfort food and brews, in a space furnished with mahogany tables and a marble-top bar.
DooWee & Rice slings an eclectic mix of Asian dishes, like steak & rice w/ a Vietnamese chimichurri sauce, deep-fried whole anchovies, crispy chicken hearts, and a whole bunch of different baos.
Jumbo's does aggressively husky portions of comfort food classics in a yellow-walled 28-seat space featuring curated local art and elaborate liquid-chalk menu boards.
Atlantic Fish Company serves up seafood classics (lobster, chowder, pot pie) on Boylston in Back Bay.
Union Square Donuts is a charming, unassuming counter-serve in Somerville that is well on its way to knocking Dunkin' off its throne with a variety of specialty doughnuts. Each doughnut is thick and fluffy while remaining airy and light. The fan favorite is Maple Bacon, a maple glazed donut topped with pieces of crispy, salty bacon. Rotating specials include the peanut butter cream-filled donut topped with Fluff glaze and peanuts, in honor of Somerville's annual Fluff Fest.
Galleria Umberto is worth the trek to the North End. The pizza cash-only spot has been a neighborhood staple for awhile, serving Sicilian-style pizza and other Italian eats. The Sicilian pizza, in particular, is great for three reasons: it's cheesy, the crust is thick, and it has the perfect amount of chew for those of you who are tired of thin crust. However, we suggest going earlier rather than later because the shop shuts down once all the pies are sold.
Located in the Liberty Hotel, Scampo is an upscale Italian restaurant with Mediterranean influences.
Deuxave rocks an upscale, locally sourced new American menu in an elegant 90-seat dining room replete w/ a giant framed vintage map of Boston in the 1800s, a slat stone fireplace, and a front bar and lounge area.
His name is Bond. Jason Bond. And he's the seasoned-vet of a chef behind Bondir, which serves a menu of "Modern Farmhouse" fare that's constantly changing based on the availability of local ingredients, in an atmosphere that's warm, inviting, and full of country goodness.
Stop in for truffle pot pie with a soft poached egg; duck drummettes with cocoa pimente in an XO sauce; fried chicken w/ kimchee & ginger mustard, pork belly, and crispy yuba buns; and a late-night ramen menu (avail Thurs-Sun).