Unlike April's epic seven-hour Sox-Yankees marathon, life rarely goes into extra innings. And while there’s plenty to do in Boston before your final at-bat, there are also plenty of things you need to eat. (But not all at once.) From secret burgers to sushi pizza, here are 50 unforgettable vittles you need to devour in the Hub before heading to that big dugout in the sky.
The Boston Food Bucket List: 50 Things You Need to Eat Before You Die
1. Secret Burger
Craigie on MainAddress and Info
This one’s a no brainer. Chef Tony Maws’ masterpiece half-pound patty unites many choice cuts (brisket, short rib), bone marrow, and suet into one unforgettable burger. Remember: it’s in limited supply (only 18 per night) and only available at the bar, so go early to get your fix.
2. Boston cream pie
Omni Parker HouseAddress and Info
One of our gifts to the culinary world, Boston cream pie is a Parker House original, and its chocolate-covered, pastry cream-filled goodness has been a crowd-pleaser since 1856. That’s a pretty good run.
3. Lobster roll
Neptune OysterAddress and Info
According to experts, Neptune’s lobster roll reigns supreme throughout New England, but you need to taste it for yourself. The hot butter option is the way to go, and it has tail, claw, and knuckle meat loaded onto a toasted brioche bun.
4. Roast prime rib of beef
Durgin-ParkAddress and Info
Where is it?
Available in three sizes (Boston Cut, Yankee Cut, or the preposterously gigantic Durgin Cut), Durgin’s prime rib is extra juicy and seared to perfection. And filling. You won’t walk away hungry, because you’ll be napping at the table.
5. Italian cheese pizza
Santarpio’s PizzaAddress and Info
Chelsea and Peabody
Beloved Santarpio’s has many fans, and for one great reason… its pies are tasty. Chewy crust: check. Melty Italian cheese: check. Even its straight-up basic flagship pizza (still only $9.50) is out-of-this-world good, and then you can add toppings. (We recommend hot peppers and sausage.)
6. Roast Beef 1000
Cutty’sAddress and Info
There are roast beef sandwiches and there are roast beef sandwiches, and you really can’t go wrong with any roast beef sandwich. However, Cutty’s Roast Beef 1000 defines “special” with its house-roasted meat, crispy shallots, and sharp cheddar drizzled with Thousand Island dressing on a brioche. Yeah, that just happened.
7. Baked Alaska
OleanaAddress and Info
From the first sight of the sculpted and toasted meringue to the last bite of chewy coconut graham cracker macaroon crust, Oleana’s baked Alaska transcends. And then there’s the house-made coconut ice cream with passion fruit caramel sauce tying the whole thing together. Note: could be habit-forming.
8. Fried chicken
The Coast CaféAddress and Info
The Coast Café crew makes some of the best soul food ever, and their fried chicken is off the chi-zain. (Even our Southern comfort food expert thinks so.) The chicken is artfully battered and fried for maximum crunchiness while maintaining maximum chicken juiciness. It’s the real deal.
9. The Double Awesome
Mei MeiAddress and Info
Audubon Circle, roaming food truck
Within seconds of its debut from Mei Mei’s food truck, The Double Awesome became Boston’s sandwich obsession. The quirky combo of cheddar, two soft eggs, and local greens & pesto wrapped in a scallion pancake catches you by surprise, then you catch yourself ordering another one.
Yume Wo KatareAddress and Info
Besides being one of the friendliest places around, Yume Wo Katare keeps everyone smiling with its slurp-alicious ramen… even if you have to wait in that really long line. There are only two options, pork and extra pork (+$2), and both are swimming in Yume’s signature Jiro-style broth that’s been slow-simmered for 24 hours… with more pork.
Sweet CheeksAddress and Info
Available by the bucket, these are the best biscuits you’ll have north of the Mason-Dixon line, and possibly south of it as well. (Again, our Southern food expert agrees.) They’re everything you want in a biscuit: substantially sized; flaky, yet soft; and oh-so buttery. And then you get to spread on more house-made honey butter.
12. Any burger
R.F. O’Sullivan & SonAddress and Info
Somerville and Lynn
The R.F. O’Sullivan team is serious about their burgers, and it takes them 20+ minutes to prep and cook each half-pound patty to order. And your patience will be rewarded. They have many different combos, so pick your preferred toppers and enjoy the ride. Along with being satisfying, these mega-burgers are also wicked-cheap and max out under $11.
13. 100-day aged prime ribeye
Grill 23Address and Info
Weighing in at a whopping 18oz, Grill 23’s 100-day aged prime ribeye hits all the right notes: a deftly charred salty crust, deep/rich flavor, and tender “you can cut it with a fork” meat. For serious carnivores, it really doesn’t get any better than this.
Modern PastryAddress and Info
While there are many fine pastry shops in the North End, everyone knows that Modern’s cannoli are the best. The crispy-yet-chewy shell gently hugs house-made ricotta cream, and Modern has different flavors and toppings (i.e., chocolate). Since they’re only $3, you might as well try a few. You know, for science.
MuquecaAddress and Info
Served bubbling hot in a special clay pot, moqueca is a hearty fish stew and a Brazilian staple… and it should be yours, too. It’s all about the completa with fish, shrimp, mussels, and calamari swimming in a rich tomato broth. Pro tip: dash it with pirao, a light gravy of fish broth and cassava flour.
16. Lobster sandwich
Alive & Kicking LobstersAddress and Info
Another favorite of our lobster roll experts, the lobster sandwich at Alive & Kicking sets the bar high with its lightly dressed meat-centric salad nestled between two pieces of toasted scali bread. Every bite starts with a pleasing crunch and ends with extra-pleasing fresh-catch lobster. Yep.
17. Fried chicken
Strip-T’sAddress and Info
Chef Tim Maslow knows poultry, and he brines his birds for three full days (for extra awesomeness) before they get dunked in the fryer. The buttermilk batter has ample crunch and spice while still allowing the juicy chicken to shine through… as it should be.
18. Sushi pizza
ItadakiAddress and Info
If you love sushi AND pizza, Itadaki’s sushi pizza is obviously a dream come true. Starting with a golden fried rice cake, you choose from seven different sashimi offerings such as Itadaki spicy tuna, snow crab meat, and lobster. So you get the crispy saltiness of the rice cake, then the delicate taste of fresh seafood. You win.
19. Rumanian pastrami
Sam LaGrassa’sAddress and Info
Boston institution Sam LaGrassa’s is the king of giant sandwiches, and nothing beats its famous Rumanian pastrami. The house-made, dry-cured beef is definitely where it’s at -- seasoned then smoked before being piled high on light rye bread and crowned with Swiss.
20. New England clam chowder
Legal Sea FoodsAddress and Info
Theatre District (& Other Locations)
There’s a reason why Legal’s chowder has been served at every presidential inauguration since 1981: it’s delicious. And it’s got everything you want: salt pork, littleneck clams, onions, and potatoes hanging out in clam broth, fish stock, and light cream.
21. The Giambotta
Pizzeria ReginaAddress and Info
North End (& Other Locations)
It’s like the original meat lover’s pizza before there were meat lover’s pizzas. Pizzeria Regina weighs down The Giambotta with all your Italian faves (pepperoni, Regina sausage, salami) then adds mushrooms, peppers, onions, and mozzarella for good measure. Pro tip: go really old-school classic with anchovies on this one-of-a-kind pie.
22. Roast rack of Colorado lamb
MistralAddress and Info
One of Mistral’s best-known dishes, the roast rack of Colorado lamb, gets you from the first superbly grilled nibble straight through until you’re caught trying to suck the meat off the bone without being noticed. Suddenly the well-seasoned juices take over your brain and you attack your plate like a honey badger.
23. Fried Kumamoto oyster
O YaAddress and Info
Everyone loves a great fried oyster, and O Ya takes things to the next level with its well-composed Kumamotos. Chef Tim Cushman carefully sets a golden brown oyster on sushi rice wrapped in seaweed, then tops it with yuzu kosho aioli and froth of squid ink bubbles… so you get salt, crunch, tartness, and spice in one bite. Better get a couple of orders.
24. Crispy cod and chips
Matt Murphy’s PubAddress and Info
There are many fine fish & chip plates around Boston, but Matt Murphy’s has been the standard-bearer for a long time. The not-too-heavy batter complements the delicate flakiness of the cod, while pickled onions and malt vinegar put a bit of zip into the mix. Plus, it comes wrapped in newspaper, so you know it’s legit.
25. Micro sundae
Toscanini’sAddress and Info
It should be called the “magic sundae.” Take one scoop of your Tosci’s favorite (Salty Caramel, Khulfee, whatevs) and smother it in hot fudge, a dollop of fresh whipped cream, and nuts… annnd, VOILA! It’s Toscanini’s famous micro sundae, a perfectly sized treat brimming with sugary indulgences.
26. Crepa de Cuitlacoche
Tu Y YoAddress and Info
Powder House Square
Tu Y Yo cranks out majorly authentic Mexican delicacies, and its Crepa de Cuitlacoche is a signature showstopper. Cuitlacoche, a fungus-turned-delicacy, gets folded into a soft crepe with onions, corn, and cheese for a distinct earthiness balanced by some sweetness. And also some heat, courtesy of the completely addictive poblano pepper sauce.
27. New York strip
Bogie’s PlaceAddress and Info
If Ron Swanson lived in Boston, he would eat at Bogie’s Place because it’s for “Adults Only” and it has a killer New York strip. The 12oz steak is dry-aged for 30 days to deepen the flavor, then seasoned before searing to get that savory salt/pepper crust. “Give me all the New York strips you have.”
Mr. Bartley’sAddress and Info
Voted one of the best burgers in America so many times, Bartley’s ample patties should be on every Bostonian's training table. Each half-pounder is handmade to order and served on a lightly toasted bun. Simple, yet effective.The basic setup totally rules, or you can go for one of its cheeky combos like The Viagra with blue cheese dressing (get it?) and bacon.
29. Maple bacon donut
Union Square DonutsAddress and Info
Another city-wide obsession, the maple bacon craziness at Union Square Donuts is a game-changer. The tire-sized donut is glazed with maple and bedazzled with substantial pieces of bacon. It’s a complete breakfast, in donut form.
30. Egg in a jar
West BridgeAddress and Info
It’s a whole jar of tasty, and it’s just for you. (Because sharing is hard sometimes.) As if a poached duck egg, mushrooms, artichoke, and pomme puree weren’t enough, the West Bridge crew tops it all off with pieces of crispy duck skin. The egg yoke, once “activated,” adds yet another layer of rich creaminess to this unique dish.
31. Fenway frank
Fenway ParkAddress and Info
C’mon, you know they’re delicious.
32. Italian grinder
CoppaAddress and Info
Located on the appetizers menu (umm?), this super-sized sammy comes fully loaded with house-cured salami, prosciutto, and mortadella, then finished off with provolone, pickled cherry peppers, oil, and vinegar. It takes two hands to control it, and you’ll have a hard time controlling yourself once you taste the savory deli meats.
ChacareroAddress and Info
Unless you’re actually in Chile, you won’t find a better version of the country’s signature sandwich. House-made bread is stuffed with tender grilled steak or chicken (or both), Muenster cheese, steamed green beans, tomatoes, avocado spread, and some secret mojo for a crazy combo like no other.
34. Mexican chocolate
Taza ChocolateAddress and Info
Factory (with store) is located in Union Square; products available in many Boston-area shops
The Taza team hand-carves their own granite millstones to produce these authentic (and organic) Mexican-style chocolate discs. So there’s that. The chocolates have a rustic texture, derived from said milling, and come in a variety of must-have flavors such as the hearty 85% Super Dark and Guajillo Chili.
35. Lobster tail
Mike’s PastryAddress and Info
North End and Harvard Square
Also known by its Italian name la sfogliatella, this beauty has a giant flaky pastry shell on the outside, and a cavern of white fresh cream filling on the inside. Both light and rich, Mike’s lobster tail is a not-to-be-missed morsel. Note: this one’s a whopper, so share.
36. Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown
All Star Sandwich BarAddress and Info
If you like major heat, this scorching sammy from All Star is exactly what you need. Inner Beauty Hot Sauce sets fire to the grilled house meatloaf, Jack cheese, and red onion jam while the grilled sourdough keeps the flames from spreading. It hurts so good.
37. Slice of cheese pizza
Galleria UmbertoAddress and Info
For one of the best Sicilian pies on this side of the pond, look no further than the North End’s tiny Galleria Umberto. It bakes its sheet pizzas until the crust AND the cheese both get nice and brown, and a slice will only set you back $1.55. Seriously.
38. Crispy oyster slider
Island Creek Oyster BarAddress and Info
Every trip to ICOB requires a tray full of its mightiest app: crispy oyster sliders. Salty bivalves get dunked in light batter, fried golden brown, perched on a brioche roll, and sauced with lime chile aioli. It’s like your birthday, but in sandwich form. (And they’re priced to sell at $4 each.)
39. Osso bucco
Mamma MariaAddress and Info
Mamma Maria knows how to take care of you… in that “mangia, mangia!” Northern Italian mom kind of way. And the stick-to-your-ribs osso bucco, a hulking veal shank, is evidence of that. The fork-tender meat is prepared in the classic style and served with creamy saffron risotto milanese.
40. Prime bone-in ribeye
Boston ChopsAddress and Info
Boston Chops’ 18oz prime bone-in ribeye is a serious man’s steak, cooked to order in a cast-iron skillet with butter, garlic, and spices (like rosemary). It’s pure meat decadence. ‘Nuff said.
41. Taco al pastor
Angela’s CaféAddress and Info
Anyone who is really into tacos needs to experience the authentic Poblana cuisine made in Angela Lopez’s kitchen, particularly the taco al pastor. The pork is marinated in adobo sauce and slow-roasted for maximum flavor. Then Angela adds diced pineapple, cilantro, and onions for maximum freshness. As our taco expert noted, “It’s just not fair how special the food is there.”
42. Egg sandwich
Sofra Bakery and CaféAddress and Info
You’ll never look at a McGriddle again after you’ve had the egg sandwich at Sofra. This is not your average breakfast sammy, as it’s heavy on the exotic: spiced feta butter, halloumi cheese, and bacon on house-made brioche. It’s why the phrase “good morning” exists.
43. Sticky bun
Flour BakeryAddress and Info
Fort Point Channel (& Other Locations)
Even Bobby Flay couldn’t beat these treats. Joanne Chang starts her ultra-famous sticky buns with traditional yeasted French brioche dough, and finishes the cinnamon sugar/toasted pecan goodness in a pan filled with brown sugar glaze. The extra caramelization shows the extra love.
Helmand RestaurantAddress and Info
You won’t believe your taste buds after trying Helmand’s exotic kaddo for the first time. The crew pan fries and bakes a sugar-coated slice of baby pumpkin, tops it with zesty ground-beef sauce, and serves it on tart garlic yogurt. Those things don’t sound like they go together… AT ALL. But they do. Oh, they do.
45. Lobster pot pie
Stephanie’s on NewburyAddress and Info
Chef/Owner Stephanie Sokolove might be the Empress of Salads, but her lobster pot pie is a total game-changer. Fresh Maine lobster goes swimming in a crock of savory broth with pearl onions, peas, corn, potatoes, and carrots, and a sage crust blanket keeps everything nice and warm. (You’re welcome.)
46. Henry’s Soup
MarliaveAddress and Info
This ain’t your daddy’s French onion soup. No offense to your dad, or his French onion soup. It’s just that Marliave’s high-end version contains short ribs. Short ribs, people.
47. Bronwyn bretzel
BronwynAddress and Info
Your quest for the ultimate pretzel is over. Bronwyn’s über-popular “two hands required” bread knots have that slightly dense/slightly salty exterior concealing a soft, buttery interior. Spicy horseradish mustard seals the deal and puts the “oomp” in “oompah.” (Oomp, there it is.)
48. The Hungry Man sandwich
Eagle’s Deli has so much to offer an empty belly, and The Hungry Man will fill up your tank like no other sammich. You could also call it the “Kitchen Sink,” because it has everything: grilled corned beef or turkey, coleslaw, Russian dressing, sliced tomatoes, melted provolone, and… wait for it… French fries. Yeah, on the sandwich. We’re done here.
49. Peking ravioli
Mary ChungAddress and Info
A Central Square secret since 1981, Mary Chung’s Peking ravioli (either pan-fried or steamed) are the must-have app at this neighborhood hole in the wall. Tender and chewy, the house dumplings are jammed with pork sausage and come with soy-chili dipping sauce.
50. Full tandoori chicken w/ naan
Punjabi DhabaAddress and Info
Inman’s always-bustling Indian roadside café cranks out authentic fare, and its 24-hour marinated tandoori chicken is the best you’ll find outside the subcontinent. The secret family spice blend sinks deep into the chicken during the roasting process resulting in hearty/earthy flavors and fall-off-the bone meat. (Note: the tandoori action pairs well with Punjabi Dhaba’s other specialty, the thirst-quenching mango lassi.)
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1. Craigie on Main853 Main St, Cambridge
2. Omni Parker House60 School St, Boston
3. Neptune Oyster63 Salem St, Boston
4. Durgin-Park340 Faneuil Hall Market Pl, Boston
5. Santarpio's Pizza111 Chelsea St, Boston
6. Cutty's284 Washington St, Brookline
7. Oleana134 Hampshire St, Cambridge
8. Coast Café233 River St, Cambridge
9. Mei Mei506 Park Dr, Boston
10. Yume Wo Katare1923 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
11. Sweet Cheeks Q1381 Boylston St, Boston
12. R. F. O'Sullivan & Son Pub282 Beacon St, Somerville
13. Grill 23 & Bar161 Berkeley St, Boston
14. Modern Pastry Shop263 Hanover St, Boston
15. Muqueca Restaurant1008 Cambridge St, Cambridge
16. Alive & Kicking Lobsters269 Putnam Ave, Cambridge
17. Strip T's93 School St, Watertown
18. Itadaki269 Newbury St, Boston
19. Sam LaGrassa's44 Province St, Boston
20. Legal Sea Foods26 Park Plz, Boston
21. Regina Pizzeria11 Thacher St, Boston
22. Mistral223 Columbus Ave, Boston
23. O Ya9 East St, Boston
24. Matt Murphy's Pub14 Harvard St, Brookline Village
25. Toscanini's899 Main St, Cambridge
26. Tu y Yo858 Broadway, Somerville
27. Bogie's Place at JM Curley21 Temple Pl, Boston
28. Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers1246 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
29. Union Square Donuts16 Bow St, Somerville
30. West BridgeOne Kendall Square, Cambridge
31. Fenway Park4 Yawkey Way, Boston
32. Coppa253 Shawmut Ave, Boston
33. Chacarero101 Arch St, Boston
34. Taza Chocolate561 Windsor St, Somerville
35. Mike's Pastry300 Hanover St, Boston
36. All Star Sandwich Bar1245 Cambridge St, Cambridge
37. Galleria Umberto289 Hanover St, Boston
38. Island Creek Oyster Bar500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston
39. Mamma Maria3 N Square, Boston
40. Boston Chops1375 Washington St, Boston
41. Angela's Café131 Lexington St, East Boston
42. Sofra1 Belmont St, Cambridge
43. Flour Bakery & Cafe12 Farnsworth St Fl 1, Boston
44. Helmand Restaurant143 1st St, Cambridge
45. Stephanie's On Newbury190 Newbury St, Boston
46. Marliave10 Bosworth St , Boston
47. Bronwyn255 Washington St, Somerville
48. Eagles Deli & Restaurant1918 Beacon St, Boston
49. Mary Chung464 Massachusetts Ave, Boston
50. Punjabi Dhaba225 Hampshire St, Cambridge
Chef and owner Tony Maws' Craigie on Main serves French-accented bistro food in Central Square. The à la carte and tasting menus are constantly changing with exciting new dishes, but one signature remains: The Burger. The half-pound patty blends brisket, short rib, bone marrow, and suet into one unforgettable burger that reached peak food fame when it graced the cover of Bon Appétit.
Billed as Boston's oldest and most storied hotel, this historic, 551-room landmark opened downtown in 1855 and lays claim to having hosted literature's legendary Saturday Club (Longfellow, Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes), inventing the Boston Cream Pie, and serving as ground zero for JFK's no-doubt-epic bachelor party.
This classed-up seafood joint has an epic raw bar and offers up one of the Hub's best lobster rolls.
Aside, maybe, from the Freedom Trail, it doesn't get much more historic than Durgin-Park in Faneuil Hall. Technically, this restaurant dates back to the pre-revolution days, but it's been operating under its current name and location for around 200 years, so these guys know what they're doing. Fresh local and imported fish makes for the best New England staples (clam chowder, lobster bisque) and bread baked in-house makes for unbeatable burgers and sandwiches. Just beware, Durgin-Park flaunts its history loud and proud, so it's a little touristy.
Santarpio's Pizza has been around since 1903, so when we say “old-school,” we mean it. Much to the dismay of certain Bostonians, Santarpio’s is known primarily for its New York-style pizza, which is served with heaps of melted “Italian cheese” and can be customized to your taste buds’ content with vegetable and meat toppings. But Santarpio’s isn’t a one-hit wonder; it also offers skewers of lamb, steak tips, and sausage barbecued to savory and crispy perfection. The East Boston location is cash-only, so spare yourself a Santarpio scolding delivered from one of the notoriously cranky servers and head to the ATM beforehand.
After spending years as a food industry observer at Cook's Illustrated, this debut culinary endeavor from a CIA grad/former editor is an organic/locally sourced, fast casual artisan soup, sammie, and breakfast nook.
Oleana is a bastion of tasty Mediterranean cuisine on Hampshire St. Enjoy some falafel, or the Sultan's Delight (if it is on their seasonal menu), and follow it all up with a fantastic Baked Alaska from their seasoned pastry chef.
The next time you're craving some soul food, swing by Central Square's Coast Cafe for lauded fried chicken, juicy ribs, and a plethora of comforting sides. Don't miss the sweet potato pie, which is as smooth as you are (on a good day).
A brick-and-mortar incarnation of the beloved food truck, Mei Mei delivers locally-sourced Chinese-American deliciousness like their Kung Pao chicken dip and John Crow Farm pork chop & belly combo.
Yume Wo Katare serves ramen, and nothing but ramen. Each bowl is filled with rich and silky broth, a mountain of long noodles, and thick-cut slices of tender pork. The portions are huge, and once you've slurped your last noodle, a waiter will give you a piece of paper to write your life goals, which will then be hung on the wall. The tiny Cambridge spot racks up quite a crowd, so be prepared to wait at peak lunch and dinner hours.
Launched by a former Top Chef contestant, Sweet Cheeks is serving up tender, flavorful comfort food in huge proportions. The cuisine is a mix of influences, as the owner had grown up in a military family traveling across the South. The mostly Southern-style dishes deliver intensely flavorful ingredients that are reasonably sourced and with cooked with modern culinary techniques. Communal tables are made from repurposed church doors and there is a covered beer garden out back. The casual, lively dining experience is adding new personality to Boston.
Sure, this dive known only to locals has a full menu of pub-style food like fish & chips and rib tips, but what R.F. O'Sullivan & Son really specializes in is portion-defying burgers. A master of the art, this place offers dozens of topping choices for its round, thick sirloin patties. From basic American bacon and garlic to Italian red peppers and onion to Greek feta, to French bleu cheese, every corner of the map is represented by the burger section of this Spring Hill spot's menu alone.
Designed with a multi-floor dining room, enormous traditional columns, and plenty of dark mahogany paneling, Grill 23 provides the ideal setting for sophisticated white-tablecloth dining. The menu offers one of the only Kobe steaks in the city, as well as a much raved about 100-day dry-aged ribeye and of course, signature truffled Grill 23 Tots. The wine list is equally laudable, and will include at least a few options to match whatever savory entrée you pick.
This classic pastry shop has been churning out killer cannolis, hand-made cookies, lobster tails, pastries, and cakes for generations. Their recipes are "Old World Italian" and come from over 150 years of experience and work.
Check out this Brazilian spot and treat yourself to a steaming pot of their namesake dish -- moqueca. This bubbling seafood stew comes in seven different varieties, everything from a vegetarian Plantain and Tofu number to the Completa -- fish, shrimp, mussels, and optional added calamari.
This locals-only, no-frills seafood market in Cambridge is known for its lobster sandwich (not roll), as well as its steamers, chowders, and daily fresh-caught fish. Instead of a split-top bun, Alive & Kicking packs its lobster salad -- a simple mixture dressed in light mayo, salt, and pepper -- between two pieces of Italian scali bread.
This Watertown resto offers up seafood and killer pizzas.
Open on Newbury St, this Japanese izakaya has a full liquor license, and Chef Fuji is rolling out unique bites and fusion flavors (including SUSHI PIZZA!), with over 30 types of sake and 15 shochus to wash it all down.
Located in the heart of downtown Boston, Sam LaGrassa's is touted as having the #1 sandwich in Boston. We'll let you be the judge.
There are a number of Legal Sea Foods locations for a reason: they're just damn good, serving up fresh seafood and a gigantic wine selection.
Ask anyone where to find the best pizza in Boston and they'll most likely tell you Regina's in the North End, proven by the line of tourists and locals stretched down the street, mouths watering for the secret thin-crust pizza recipe born in 1926. The family-owned and operated icon (recognized by its neon-lit sign on the corner of Thatcher and N Margin) cooks up high-quality brick-oven pizzas with a light, spicy-sweet sauce, homemade mozzarella, and fresh toppings. Call ahead and order a pie to-go, or eat (and drink a pitcher of beer) inside the cramped, wood-laden space, where a gruff yet friendly waitress with a thick Boston accent will take your order among an abundance of framed celebrity portraits.
This South End eatery serves up classically elegant cuisine with an innovative twist, like beef tenderloin/truffle oil/mashed potato thin crust pizzas.
Stop raking your neighbor's lawn like a loser, and spend Saturday afternoon getting learned about your fave Japanese rice wine as o ya pairs their artisanal sakes with choice plates from the menu.
Out of all the Irish bars in Boston, Matt Murphy's is absolutely one of our favorites to visit. Here you can enjoy perfectly poured Guinness pints, authentic Irish dishes, and a cocktail list full of Irish whiskies. Matt Murphy's should be on your list of places to visit in Boston.
Tosci, as it's known to its Cambridge fans, is world-famous for its simple, yet delicious vanilla ice cream, as well as its burnt caramel.
Inside Somerville’s Powder House Square, Tu Y Yo is a family run restaurant with dishes based on its own Veracruz recipes. Be prepared to try old-country ingredients like cactus and chapulines (grasshoppers).
A steakhouse speakeasy is about as cool and one-of-a-kind as it gets in Boston, and this little surprise is tucked inside jm Curley, one of the city’s greatest bars. There’s no website and only the tiniest of signs pointing you to a curtained doorway in the back of the bar. Beyond that burgundy curtain is a small, dreamy chophouse doling out classic cocktails (Ward 8, French 75), caviar service, a wedge salad, and surprisingly affordable steak cuts, adorned with the likes of bone marrow and foie gras butter. If you're looking to impress a date/client/IRS auditor, Bogie’s is your meal ticket.
A Harvard mainstay since 1960, Mr. Bartley's slings 7oz patties of perfection under ridiculous names like the Mark Zuckerberg ("Richest Geek in America" -- their attribution, not ours) with boursin & bacon; the Situation ("The Situation is Awful") with bacon, cheese, 'shrooms, and onions; and the Michelle Obama ("She's hot and spicy") with blue cheese and Cajun seasoning.
This cakey collab between City Chicks and the kombucha/ice pop cyclists at Culinary Cruisers is now a takeout joint in the one-time Sousa's Market on Somerville Avenue.
Housed in the historic former Boston Woven Hose & Rubber Factory and sporting the original name of the Longfellow Bridge, WB's the inaugural eat/drinkery from a couple of Aquitaine alums who wanted to sling tasty 'tails alongside a lineup of modern French sustenance with "a New England perspective" -- so be prepared for your food to grumble suspiciously about this year's unseasonably mild Winter.
Located in the heart of Boston's Kenmore Square, Fenway Park has been home to the Boston Red Sox (and the famous Green Monster) since 1912.
This bucolic enoteca in the South End plates tapas of the Italian variety, as well as wood-fired pizzas and a multiplicity of pastas for the lucky patrons who manage to snag one of the 38 seats.
Authentic Chilean empanadas, satisfying sandwiches, and enticing vegetarian options rule the day at Chacarero.
Possibly because Willy Wonka's one is guarded by terrifying, orange-faced, green-haired midgets who sing about eating candy in moderation, the dudes at Drink Craft Beer have orchestrated a clever takeover of the Taza Chocolate factory instead, where for a mere $5 donation to charity, they'll hook you up with four local craft brews paired with just the right Mexicano chocolate, plus access to all the chocolate bacon grilled cheese sammies you can take down.
Mike's will almost always have a line out the door, but don't let that stop you from sampling the deliciousness inside -- top-quality brownies, cookies, cannoli, and more will make you forget about any time you spent waiting.
If you're looking for light fare while in Cambridge, this might not be the place for you -- with epic sandos such as the Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown.
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.
This upscale raw bar/seafood joint in the 175-seat former Great Bay has been completely overhauled with reclaimed Wyoming snow-fence plank window shutters, a Colorado granite bar divided into three parts (dining, raw, drinks), wood salt-picket Vermont barnwood fences built around circular booths, and an entire booth-to-ceiling steel-caged wall filled with tens of thousands of oyster shells.
Romantic row house setting serving classic Italian dishes, just like Mamma used to make.
Brian Piccini and Chris Coombs -- the guys behind Deuxave and Dbar -- took over a rumored cursed South End space to make this high-caliber urban steakhouse. Offering a modern takes on overdone streakhouse staples, the steak frites menu is everything you could want from life. It's a simple choice of cut (hanger, strip, skirt) and sauce (bearnaise, bordelaise, chimichurri butter) that comes with a bottomless bowl of fluffy fries. Leather banquettes and dark wood furnishings might indicate a traditional steakhouse, but decadent cocktails point to a much fuller dining experience.
Angela's Cafe has authentic Poblana cuisine for you to enjoy, like their tacos al pastor, tilapia with creamy chipotle sauce and avocado, or classic steak with onion and cilantro.
From the people behind vaunted resto Oleana, Sofra is an infinitely more chilled out Middle Eastern sandwich shop & bakery, sporting an open kitchen and Boston's only Sagge -- essentially a griddle that is shaped like an upside down wok.
Joanne Chang's award-winning bakery is usually known for its amazing pecan sticky buns, but many don’t know that the bakery also makes killer donuts. Its rich, brioche-based jelly donuts are a must try, but make sure you get there early since they sell out fast.
With a wood-fired bread oven in the right in the dining room, Helmand is an awesomely cozy spot to enjoy some hearty Afghani cuisine, like the Chowpan -- a marinated and grilled half rack of lamb with sautéed eggplant, pallow rice, and a quartered fresh pear.
Stephanie's is where you want to start or end your day on the busy Newbury St. Or take a break in the middle. Have a drink outside and people watch or seek refuge by the fire with some down-and-dirty mac and cheese. It'll be the classiest chicken fried steak you've ever had.
Downtown Boston’s Marliave might be the city’s fourth oldest city, but that only galvanizes its commitment to freshness both in décor and ingredients. The French and Italian restaurant creates all breads, desserts, sauces, pastas, ice cream, and stocks in-house, all of which combine to create the menu’s raw bar dishes, appetizers, eggs, pasta plates, risotto, meat and fish, sandwiches, and sides. The second-floor dining room is jam-packed with black tables, white-cushioned brown chairs, and a panorama of glass windows.
This cozy Union Square restaurant serves up modern twists on traditional and authentic German fare (borscht, massive bretzels, every wurst imaginable). And, in true German fashion, Bronwyn offers dozens of beers (by the liter, boot or bucket) from all over central Europe and New England. Owner Tim Wiechmann was aiming to imitate the atmosphere of a European dive or hostel with this location, and he totally nailed it with its nearly medeival look (dark, heavy wooden tables, worn-leather bar stools, rustic red and blue walls).
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.
Your run-of-the-mill family-owned Chinese place, except the food is exceptional and the spice levels (if you choose to opt in) are staggering. That said, proceed with caution.