Inside Boston’s Best Markets and Food Halls
The best restaurants in Boston, all in one place.
It’s easy to see how food halls have enjoyed such immense popularity in recent years—enjoying Mexican street tacos, Belgian frites, Korean barbecue, and local craft beer under one roof is certainly one of life’s greatest pleasures, and Boston is no stranger to the idea.
While the city has offered food hall-esque concepts like Haymarket and Quincy Market since the early 1800s, the modern-day scene reflects a far more worldly take, with no shortage of international cuisines mingling with classic lobster rolls, Boston cream pie, and clam chowder.
A sparkling new addition to Boston’s food hall scene, High Street Place made its downtown debut in March, providing locals with more than 20 drinking and dining options to choose from. Food spans all walks of life around here, with options ranging from close to home—Tiffani Faison’s Dive Bar is a top spot for New England seafood prepared with a Gulf Coast flourish—to far-flung, with Hum’oveh specializing in shish kebabs, mezze platters, and a wealth of other Middle Eastern favorites. Burger lovers take note: High Street Place serves as the current home of Wheelhouse, a local favorite that made waves in 2019 as the winner of Boston Magazine’s prestigious best burger award.
Equipped with 15 distinct food and drink venues scattered across more than 25,000 feet of cafeteria space, Time Out Market Boston is Fenway’s top spot for the indecisive diner. There’s a particularly diverse array of cuisines found across the property, allowing diners to snag some crispy fish tacos and vegan chorizo quesadillas from Taqueria El Barrio, then follow it up with a couple of spicy tuna maki rolls at Gogo Ya for a world tour of flavors. After a hearty couple of courses, La Saison Bakery offers some prime Persian pastry opportunities, while Time Out Market is equipped with an on-property bar for those who prefer their dessert in liquid form.
Whether you’re searching for a new favorite Italian restaurant, stocking up on Mediterranean ingredients, or just hoping to marvel at more pasta than you could possibly finish in a lifetime, there’s no better spot than Eataly. Launched in 2016 in Boston’s polished Prudential Center, this three-floor market is currently home to four full-service restaurants alongside cafes, gelato stands, and even a cooking school. For a crash course introduction to some of Italy’s most beloved dishes, La Pizza & La Pasta is an absolute must-visit, while Terra is a haven for braciola di maiale, tagliata di manzo, and a wealth of other wood-fired Mediterranean classics.
A senior of the Waterfront dining scene, Boston’s Quincy Market has been in operation for close to two centuries, officially opened back in 1826 at the behest of mayor Josiah Quincy. Though Boston itself has undergone a truly massive array of changes since then, the market has largely stuck to its original purpose, providing locals and visitors alike with top-tier drinking and dining opportunities. Enchiladas, Philly cheesesteaks, and arancini are just a couple of the dishes up for grabs around here, but Quincy Market is best known for its wealth of New England seafood restaurants, offering tourists an opportunity to sample fried clams, calamari, and—of course—New England clam chowder.
Once home to little more than a collection of empty storage units, Bow Market has taken on new life over the past few years, now offering 30 individual drinking, dining, and shopping destinations to the citizens of Somerville. Upon arrival, there’s a cornucopia of global flavors just waiting to be explored—the Filipino-focused Tanám is a haven for pork lumpia and double-fried chicken wings, while nearby Buenas is well-versed in crafting savory empanadas paired with a healthy dose of chimichurri. In terms of plant-based dining, the Belgian-focused Saus excels in the art of comfort food sans animal protein, providing diners with top-tier poutine, nuggets, and burgers.
Though Boston is equipped with a wealth of food halls, it’s far from the only city in the region with its fair share of them. Case in point: Common Market Restaurants, a bustling Quincy venue that combines sit-down restaurant service with fast-casual food hall dining. For serious French cuisine aficionados, the beloved Café De Paris serves as a particularly popular attraction, offering haddock Parisienne and white wine mussels since 1989—though it’s far from the only place worth checking out. In addition to the aforementioned bistro, the space is also home to the Village Food Court, a fast casual-focused concept that’s lined with pizza, pasta, and frozen yogurt venues.
Stuck in North Station with a long train delay? Pass the time with a trip over to Hub Hall Boston, a TD Garden-adjacent hangout spot that’s been in business since 2019. There are 18 venues to choose from around here, with fresh seafood, decadent burgers, and Mediterranean cuisine all on the menu. During morning hours, guests can start the day off strong with a Tropical Sun Smoothie from JUICYGREENS, while the afternoon offers unlimited opportunity for sampling a wide array of Boston all-stars like Mike’s Pastry and Sullivan’s Castle Island. And the best part? Hub Hall is equipped with a pair of top-tier bars, one offering a constantly-rotating wine list and the other boasting more than 20 different varieties of craft beer on tap.
Fresh produce and homemade goods abound at Boston Public Market, an indoor venue located steps away from the Haymarket T entrance. While dishes around here range from decadent sandwiches from Beantown Pastrami Company to baked goods courtesy of The Popover Lady, each dining concept is united through one core tenant: a steadfast devotion to the flavors and ingredients of New England. Whether you spring for a plate of Perillas’ bulgogi beef bibimbap or a sweet lamb bowl from Mo’Rockin Fusion, you can rest assured knowing that each dish was lovingly prepared right here in the northeast.