Will Horne
Morgan Ione Photography
Ward 8
Jacki Morisi
Eric Luciano
Del Frisco’s Grille
Highball Lounge
Mei Mei
Dirty Water Dough Co.
Tornado Restaurant & Lounge
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1. Gather 75 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

Inside of District Hall is Gather, modern American fare that ranges from small bites like duck fat-fried chicken wings to full-force plates like lamb osso bucco or veal shank and sage gnocchi. Beautiful views of the ICA and harbor round out a very worthwhile experience.

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2. State Park One Kendall Sq, Cambridge, MA 02139

Good jukebox, good pinball, good live music, very good fried chicken: an evening at this subterranean spot is kind of a bonding-time classic. And seriously, the Nashville-style, hot sauce, and honey fried chicken is amazing. State Park's menu changes often, but the comfort food vibe (and the fried chicken) is always present.

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3. Row 34 383 Congress st, Boston, MA 02210

Row 34 is an industrial-chic oyster bar in Fort Point that complements its menu of fresh, local seafood with a powerhouse 24-tap craft beer lineup (and a sizeable bottle cellar). From the team behind Kenmore Square favorite Island Creek Oyster Bar, Row 34 serves up elegant plates like striped bass, pan-roasted cod, and Jonah crab cake, which the staff will expertly pair with a selection from the impressive beer program (the sour beers are always a good choice) or their favorite rosé.

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4. Ward 8 90 N Washington St, Boston, MA 02114

Ward 8 brings classic cocktails (via bar manager Mike Wyatt of Eastern Standard) and delicious eats like a Lobster Roll with black truffle mayo to the North End.

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5. Fairsted Kitchen 1704 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02445

The Fairsted Kitchen finds contemporary American food in a comfortable atmosphere set in Washington Square. Try the pig head lettuce wraps or grilled wagyu zabuton, and pair it with one suggestion from Steve Bowman (house sommelier).

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6. Commonwealth 11 Broad Canal Way, Cambridge, MA 02142

Part market, part restaurant, Commonwealth is a huge, 500sqft space including a dining area, bar/lounge, a raw bar, and a 10-seat chef's table (plus the aforementioned market section) -- they are focused on utilizing the products of nearby farmers, fisherman, and other local providers.

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7. Del Frisco's Grille - Chestnut Hill 33 Boylston St., Suite 3370, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Located in The Street and overlooking Hammond Pond, Del Frisco's in Chestnut Hill is headed by Executive Chef Layne Coppell of Legal Sea Foods, serving up delicious regional fare like Berkshire pork meatballs and East Coast fish tacos.

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8. Ostra 1 Charles St S, Boston, MA 02116

Savor the flavor of your favorite seafood at this Mediterranean spot that uses fresh ingredients and light preparations to bring out the best in your briny delicacies, all in the comfort of swank surroundings (piano lounge, anyone?).

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9. Highball Lounge 90 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02108

Located in the Nine Zero Hotel, Highball Lounge is a retro-looking spot where you can enjoy small bites like Korean fried chicken nuggets alongside unique cocktails while playing the type of board games you would find in your parents' old basement (which is coincidentally, and awesomely, the very space the Highball is trying to emulate).

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10. Mei Mei 506 Park Dr, Boston, MA 02215

Specializing in creative Chinese-American cuisine, Mei Mei is the brick-and-mortar incarnation of the beloved food truck of the same name. The 36-seat space is livened by bright yellow chairs, walls lined with Sriracha, and an open kitchen, where crispy dumplings (and pierogi), dan dan noodles, vegetable-packed curries are made. Stop in during lunch for the Double Awesome, a scallion pancake sandwich made with pesto, cheddar, two eggs, and your choice of protein (cottage bacon, ham or turkey). There’s also a takeout-only menu equipped with late-night items like hot dog & kimchee fried rice, sweet corn fritters, and, naturally, the Double Awesome.

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11. Slowbones Modern BBQ 80 Mall Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

Founded by industry legend Steven "Kip" Kolow (the wonderful genius behind Boston Market), SlowBones is ready to rock out some home-style Southern comfort food.

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12. Dirty Water Dough Co. 222 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116

With a booster shot of custom-made Cape Ann IPA in every bit of dough (a refreshing alternative to actual dirty water, Boston patriotism aside), Dirty Water Dough Co. is serving up both classic pies and pizzas with exciting new toppings (Steak 'n Cola, mac 'n cheese pizza).

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13. Tornado Restaurant & Lounge 2 Florence St, Malden, MA 02148

Found in Malden, Tornado Restaurant & Lounge is a modern, comfortable lounge offering up delicious East and Southeast Asian tapas (and a few entrees, too).