Food & Drink

Boston's 10 best spicy dishes

Published On 08/08/2014 Published On 08/08/2014
Spiciest Foods BOS
Michelle Lahey

Think you have a high tolerance for heat? Why shouldn't you, it has Pacino AND De Niro. But anyway, let's talk about spicy food. Here are 10 Boston dishes that are sure to test just how much culinary heat you can suffer through. From a fiery cocktail to a blistering banana, we’ve got all kinds of ulcer-inducing deliciousness.

Jin Gu Fish Filets

Sichuan Gourmet (address and info)
Marked as the spiciest dish on Sichuan Gourmet’s menu, the Jin Gu Fish Filets consist of tender sole swimming in an insanely spicy broth bath. This can-easily-feed-two dish is packed with chili oil and an abundance of chopped Thai chilies. Although rice doesn’t come with the dish, we highly recommend ordering some (your tongue will thank you). Just be prepared to sweat -- and possibly cry a little.

Michelle Lahey

Banana Rellena

East Coast Grill (address and info)
Inman Square
The creators of "Hell Night" know a thing or two about making food spicy, and East Coast Grill’s Banana Rellena is one hot dish. Available at Sunday brunch, this innovative plate features smoked pork stuffed inside a roasted banana, all topped with house-made Inner Beauty Hot Sauce -- which is made with Scotch bonnet peppers. The sweet banana helps to tame the hot sauce’s spice, but it’s still fierce enough to keep you sucking down your Bloody Mary.

Michelle Lahey

Thai Chili Peanut Ice Cream

FoMu (address and info)
Vegan-friendly FoMu makes 100% plant-based, kosher, and from-scratch ice creams, with creative flavors to boot. And if you’re looking to get your spice on, the Thai Chili Peanut is the flavor to order. Packed with chopped peanuts, shredded coconut, and visible flecks of Thai chili, the aftertaste packs quite the surprising punch. Not into nuts? FoMu also makes a Mango Habanero ice cream.

Boston Burger Company

Inferno Burger

Boston Burger Company (address and info)
Davis Square/Back Bay
The Boston Burger Company is known for piling their 8oz certified Angus beef burgers with innovative toppings, but their spiciest offering is the Inferno Burger. This spice bomb is topped with house-made habanero salsa, cheddar cheese, and spicy chili pepper mayo, and you'll want to get your hands on it even if your familiarity with Dante is mediocre at best.

Michelle Lahey

Sweet Corn with Smoked Bacon, Jalapeños, and Thai Basil

Tico (address and info)
Back Bay
There are several spicy dishes that grace Tico’s menu, but the sweet corn with smoked bacon, sliced fresh jalapeños, and Thai basil is delightfully heavy on the heat. The warm corn kernels bathe in a delicate, cheesy sauce while chunks of bacon, spicy jalapeños, and crushed red pepper flakes end up in every forkful. This borderline addictive dish is equal parts comforting and perspiration-inducing. 

Lucky’s Lounge

Lucky’s Wings

Lucky’s Lounge (address and info)
South Boston
For those who have scorched their mouths on buffalo wings enough times to find themselves seeking more, Lucky’s Lounge’s Lava Sauce-laden wings are the move. To make their signature sweat-inducing sauce, Lucky’s spikes their classic Buffalo sauce with ghost chili peppers, habanero peppers, and Sriracha. Thankfully, blue cheese is served on the side to help cool your tastebuds -- although it may not help all that much.

Poe's Kitchen at the Rattlesnake

Cranberry Jalapeño Margarita

Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake (address and info)
Back Bay
Promoting good urinary tract health -- no longer just a holiday thing! At Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake, you can pair the tart red fruit with spicy jalapeños -- in liquid form. This fiery libation is made with Patrón Añejo, muddled jalapeños, and cranberries. It’s refreshing enough for a humid day, and boozily spicy enough for pretty much whenever.

Michelle Lahey

Vegetarian "Extra Hot" Sandwich

Chacarero (address and info)
Downtown Crossing
Piled high with green beans, roasted red peppers, sliced tomato, and cheese, this vegetarian-friendly, Chilean sandwich makes for one hot lunch -- as long as you order it "extra hot". This simple request packs a punch of intense, lingering heat in every mouthful, thanks to the hot sauce they'll slip inside. The request for heat is available on any of Chacarero’s sandwiches, and fearless folks can ask for extra sauce on the side for an additional $1.

Five Horses Tavern

Toro Furioso Taco

Five Horses Tavern (address and info)
Davis Square/South End
When something’s marked "SPICY" in capital letters on a menu, you know you’re in for it. Five Horses Tavern’s Toro Furioso Taco is marked as such, and for good reason -- the dish consists of marinated short rib, banana peppers, pickled Thai peppers, Red Dragon chile sauce, and micro cilantro, all spooned into a flour tortilla. If and when your mouth catches fire, you can cool things down with one of their 36 rotating draft beers.

India Quality Restaurant

Chicken Tikka Masala

India Quality Restaurant (address and info)
Kenmore Square
Ordering anything "hot" at India Quality is a mouth-blistering guarantee, but their chicken tikka masala tends to be a customer favorite. When ordered hot (extra spicy), this authentic dish -- consisting of boneless chicken cooked in tomatoes and a creamy sauce -- is given an impressive kick. Can’t handle the heat? Order some yogurt-based raita on the side to help extinguish your mouth fire.

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Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Sichuan Gourmet 1004 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446 (Brookline)

Located near BU, Sichuan Gourmet is the place to go to get schooled on solid, no-frills Chinese food. Their lunch specials are fantastic, their drinks are cheap, and some of the dishes are turned up to 11 on the heat scale, if a good spice attack is what you're after.

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2. East Coast Grill 1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (Inman Square)

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.

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3. FoMu 481 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134 (Allston Brighton)

FoMu is the place to go for quality vegan ice cream. All of the dairy-free treats here are made with a coconut milk base and sweetened with all-natural, minimally-processed sugar. The ice cream is way more exciting than just unprocessed sugar, though -- FoMu boasts untraditional flavors like chocolate pudding, cardamom pistachio, cherry amaretto, salted caramel, and brownie malted stout. You know what they say: once you go vegan, you never stop eating ice cream...right?

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4. Boston Burger Company 37 Davis Sq, Somerville, MA 02144 (Somerville)

BBC's a gourmet burgery/casual cafe harnessing the power of black angus to offer 22 styles of half-pound, hand-packed burgers grilled in an open kitchen tempered with dark wood/beige walls, three faltscreens, and a French-doored facade opening onto Davis Square.

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5. Tico 222 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116 (Back Bay)

Residing in the space of the former Cottonwood Cafe, this Spanish/Latin eatery from the big deal chef behind Radius boasts a robust lineup of tequilas to wash down small plate shareables like spicy shrimp/bacon/avocado tacos.

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6. Lucky's Lounge 355 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210 (Financial Dist Waterfront)

During the early days of the Fort Point renaissance, Lucky’s opted for out-of-the-way-no-sign-having coolness in this red, plush '50s-esque lounge. Even cooler: there’s FREE shuttle service to Lucky's from anywhere in South Boston!

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7. Poe's Kitchen at the Rattlesnake 384 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116 (Back Bay)

For a while, Rattlesnake got by on being the only spot on Boylston with a rooftop deck, but eventually doing the bare minimum wasn't enough. To remedy the situation, the RS folks brought in chef Brian Poe to ensure that customers nevermore (see what we did there?) walked away complaining of the rooftops's lack of carne asada tacos. That, plus quesadillas, nachos, BLTs, a whole range of tequilas, cocktails, beers & wines, is exactly what they're now offering up. On a roof. On Boylston. It's the perfect combination at last.

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8. Chacarero 101 Arch St, Boston, MA 02110 (Downtown Crossing)

Chacarero, a one-time food truck turned Downtown fast-casual counter, specializes in the eponymous traditional Chilean sandwich. The signature chacarero starts with house-made round bread and your choice of grilled steak or chicken (or both). The sandwich is then filled with Muenster cheese, tomatoes, steamed green beans (not a typo), hot sauce, and an avocado. Do as Bostonians do and get in line for the namesake sandwich... and order some empanadas on the side for good measure.

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9. Five Horses Tavern 400 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02144 (Davis)

Because the only curses that matter are the ones hatefully screamed at Nick Swisher whenever he's on deck at Fenway, the dude behind Five Horses Tavern is opening his bar in the jinxed space that formerly housed Sagra, Sauce, and 400 Highland, hoping that 116 brews, a full bourbon bar, and an eclectic lineup of globally inspired fare will help him succeed where others have failed.

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10. India Quality Restaurant 484 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215 (Fenway Kenmore)

Hit up India Quality when you're in the mood for quality Indian (maybe there's something to that name), and order your favorite dish "hot" when you're in the mood to punish your tongue with delicious, euphoria-inducing spice.



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