Best Restaurants in Boston
Beantown: even Boston’s most famous nickname involves food, hinting at the city’s obsession with lip-smackingly delicious bites. As you stroll from neighborhood to neighborhood, it becomes clear that there are a multitude of dining options in Boston. And you’d better fuel up! The Freedom Trail is a long 2.5 miles on an empty stomach.
Below we’ve outlined our favorite restaurants in Boston. We marked each one by cuisine type, neighborhood, and price range ($ for budget, $$ for mid-range, and $$$ for high-end). Options range from food trucks to fine dining. Browse the best restaurants in Boston to find your favorite!
American: best restaurants in Boston
M&M Ribs Truck (Southampton St, $)
The barbecue this food truck slings will leave you licking sauce from each and every finger. Sink your teeth into a whole slab of ribs, and add an order of pulled pork for good measure. Save room for scrumptious sides like mac and cheese and baked beans.
Grass Fed (Jamaica Plain, $$)
Cave into your carnivorous cravings! This Jamaica Plain establishment serves up mouthwatering grass-fed burgers with plenty of tempting toppings. Order the Kitchen Sink Burger to get a burger piled high with bacon, provolone, Swiss, crispy onions, mushrooms, pickles, and Kranyak’s special sauce.
Alden & Harlow (Harvard Square, $$$)
This upscale establishment boasts sophisticated takes on simple meals making it one of the best restaurants in Boston. Softshell crab gets a touch of cherry vinaigrette and chicken-fried rabbit with chili oil. If you’re feeling a little parched, sip on one of the many unique cocktails.
Steak: best restaurants in Boston
Abe and Louie’s (Back Bay, $$$)
Serious beef-eaters flock to this Back Bay institution to celebrate chophouse classics. Surrounded by wood panelled walls, diners tuck into steaks aged-to-perfection and jumbo baked potatoes. Surprisingly, a fish dish— the swordfish steak— is this eatery’s unofficial signature dish.
Bogie’s Place (Downtown, $$$)
This unmarked spot adds a hint of exclusivity to classic steakhouse experience. Tucked inside one of Boston’s greatest bars, this steak speakeasy dolls out surprisingly affordable steak cuts with a side of classic cocktails.
Seafood: best restaurants in Boston
B&G Oysters (South End, $$$)
If Neptune, god of the sea, lunched in Boston, he’d pick this spot. Dip your trident into rich clam chowder or nibble on a seaworthy lobster BLT. This spot is equipped with a patio, perfect for pairing oysters and champagne on warm summer evenings.
Select Oyster Bar (Back Bay, $$$)
Housed in a classic townhouse space, this New England seafood shack shells out regional favorites and is one of the best restaurants in Boston. Blue prawns and sea bream make appearances on the menu, alongside lobster and an extensive wine selection.
Indian: best restaurants in Boston
Punjabi Dhaba (Inman Square, $)
Groove to the sounds of Punjabi music while you tantalize your tastebuds with aromatic curries. This Indian eatery serves all the standbys, including samosas and chicken tikka masala in a no-frills dining room. Want to spice up your order? Give owner Mohan Singh’s western Indian dhaba jerk chicken and spicy chili masala with paneer a whirl.
India Quality Restaurant (Kenmore Square, $$)
Curry hounds all over Boston have followed their noses to this delicious and reasonably priced joint. The extensive menu is jam-packed with Indian favorites while tables are piled high with bombastic flavors.
Mexican: best restaurants in Boston
The Painted Burro (Davis Square, $$)
This Mexican spot’s funky name hints at its playful vibe. Located within burrito-chucking distance of Tufts University, The Painted Burro is where locals nosh crab cake tacos and the un-missable crispy Baja-style fish.
El Centro (South End, $$)
This South End hot-spot one-ups every other Mexican joint in the city with creative menu bites and decor hand-picked by the owner in Mexico. As one of the best restaurants in Boston, this cantina draws locals in with its Campechanos tacos, a combination of carne asada and al pastor.
French: best restaurants in Boston
Shepard (Harvard Square, $$$)
This neighborhood spot focuses on seasonal foods, adding French flair to simple dishes. The half-chicken is just one of the many treats Shepard serves that will have you begging for more.
Paris Creperie (Coolidge Corner, $$)
Be transported from Brookline to Paris with the delicious sweet and savory crepes served at this creperie. Locals crowd the cozy counter-service cafe, but don’t stress! The efficient staff whips up Nutella-spiked drinks and imaginative crepes.
Italian: best restaurants in Boston
Ostra (Back Bay, $$$$)
Although this restaurant has a Spanish name and a Mediterranean-heavy menu, the Italian dishes at Ostra take center stage. Flavorful Italian bites land this eatery at the top of the best restaurants in Boston list. Start your feast at the raw bar and transition seamlessly to ricotta gnocchetti followed by lamb osso buco.
Sportello (South Boston, $$$)
Italians are the second largest ethnic group in Boston, and you can taste Italy’s influence on the Boston food scene at this stellar trattoria. Delicate fresh pasta shines at this crowd favorite, but before diving into frutti di mare, pique your appetite with spicy tomato soup.
Armando’s Pizza and Subs (Huron Village, $)
Step through the doors of this charming pizzeria and enter an Italian timewarp. The place hasn’t changed much since its opening in 1971—plywood paneling, Little League trophies, and old school seating. And like the decor, the pizza here is timeless. Thin crust pizzas and zesty house-made marinara combine to make these ‘zas irresistible.
Japanese & Sushi: best restaurants in Boston
Hojoko (Fenway, $$)
Laid-back with a hipster vibe, that’s the energy at this Japanese hangout. Slurp ramen while munching on maki rolls, and don’t forget to add a frozen tiki drink for good measure.
Empire (South Boston, $$$)
Classic maki rolls contrast nicely with creative items (like the avocado and gobo tartare roll) at this high-end spot. Sip a cocktail and sample Empire’s innovative items, or stick to the classics—egg drop soup and a spicy tuna roll.
Mediterranean: best restaurants in Boston
Sarma Restaurant (Somerville, $$$)
Take a journey through Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine at this small plates spot. Authentic touches make this a best restaurants in Boston. Turkish-style lamps set the mood as you nibble grilled haloumi and dig into spanikopita drizzled with tzatziki. An excellent craft cocktail menu only adds to the hip vibe this crowd-pleaser exudes.
Cafe Mangal (Wellesley Square, $$$)
Turkish touches are sprinkled throughout the Mediterranean and American menu at Cafe Mangal. Exotic and delicate dishes will spark your fancy at this cozy diner. Start with traditional hummus and work your way to the Turkish-style shrimp casserole. Baklava—crispy layers of phyllo dough topped with walnuts and sugar— is the perfect end of this Turkish meal.
Historical: best restaurants in Boston
Amrheins (South Boston, $$)
Grab a seat the oldest hand-carved bar in America still in use and throw back a local brew this at this oldie-but-a-goodie. Amrheins opened in 1890 and has been serving hearty meals ever since. Fill up on chicken pot pie, oyster, and pot roast that would put your grandma’s version to shame.
The Green Dragon Tavern (Haymarket Station, $$)
Once upon a time, patriots gathered at the Green Dragon to plan the American Revolution. Although the tavern is no longer the unofficial “Headquarters of the Revolution” you can still snag fine eats that would satisfy a hungry revolutionary. The menu is packed with basic American cuisine, from burgers to flatbreads to braised short ribs.
The Warren Tavern (Charlestown, $$)
If you could travel back through time a couple hundred years, you’d find our Founding Fathers George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Paul Revere discussing democracy over drinks at this neighborhood haunt. Known as the “oldest tavern in Massachusetts,” this tavern has an accessible and delicious menu— burgers, sandwiches, and, of course, New England clam chowder.
Food Trucks: best restaurants in Boston
Bon Me (Food Truck, $)
With five trucks and two brick-and-mortar locations, it’s easy to get your hands on mouth-watering bánh mì sandwiches. Stick with the Vietnamese classic— crispy baguette loaded with meat, mayo, and fresh herbs— or experiment with a customized noodle salad. Top yours with paprika tofu or miso-braised pulled pork.
Roxy’s Grilled Cheese (Food Truck, $)
After decades as a lunchtime staple (and after finding its perfect partner in tomato soup), the grilled cheese sandwich has earned its spot as a top comfort food. Roxy’s Grilled Cheese food truck is worth chasing around Boston. Gooey, rich cheese melted between soft, grilled bread, and jam some guac and bacon in there, too? You’ve got a deadly, and delicious, combination.
Batch Ice Cream (South End, $)
This ice-cold food truck scoops award-winning ice cream flavors. Although not technically a restaurant, this food truck is the sweetest entry on the best restaurants in Boston list. Its Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar Bourbon and Pecan ice cream took home a prize, but the Caramelized Banana and Walnuts flavor is worth the impending brainfreeze.
Chinese: best restaurants in Boston
Dumpling Palace (Fenway, $$)
True to its name, the Dumpling Palace is royalty among the juicy bun eateries in Boston. Sink your teeth into dumplings stuffed with everything from pork and leeks to parsley and shrimp. Curious where dumpling come from? Take a peek through the glass window of the dumpling station and stand in awe as cooks whip up these tiny tasty treats.
Myers + Chang (South End, $$)
Chinese cuisine meets Thailand meets Vietnamese-inspired dishes at this self-described “indie diner”. Sample a multitude of Asian fusion dishes, and fear not, diners with dietary restrictions! Myers + Chang has special allergen-specific menus for people avoiding meat, shellfish, gluten, or nuts.
Breakfast and Brunch: best restaurants in Boston
Puritan and Company (Inman Square, $$$)
Relay on the time-honored Thanksgiving dinner trick and bring out the sweatpants with the elastic band before heading to Puritan and Company for brunch. Keep it simple with Berkshire pork hash and the sourdough griddle cakes, or dive head first into the insane pastry selection. Smoked mushroom pinwheels, orange monkey bread, and, the city’s namesake pastry, Boston cream donuts.
Pier 6 (Charlestown, $$)
Breathe in the salty fresh air as you dine on an omelet with lobster and spinach. This seaside standby serves up twists on classic breakfast cocktails (the Dirty Texan is a play on the Bloody Mary) and Instagram-worthy omelets.
Coffee: best restaurants in Boston
Render Coffee (Financial District & South End, $)
Get a strong jolt of java at this caffeinated cafe. Sip on international grinds or swig coffee from local roasters. Whichever potion you pick, match it with carefully crafted sandwiches, like the applewood-smoked bacon and spicy aioli diddy on 7-grain bread.
Wired Puppy (Back Bay, $$)
This Back Bay beauty pays homage to the environment by carrying only organic, direct trade specialty coffees and teas. Snag a cup of joe and settle in for a cozy afternoon at this dog-friendly joint.
Enjoy the best restaurants in Boston while on your Boston Tour!
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