Lengthy dismissed as the house of chowder and baked beans, Boston has a lot extra to present. Certain, there’s loads of meals historical past value exploring, however there’s additionally a more moderen whirlwind of worldwide influences to find. This information will ship you straight into the ever-growing eating and consuming scene in Boston correct and a few of its close by suburbs.

Welcome to the Land of Seafood

Whereas Boston is much more than the sum of its chowder-filled components, seafood actually is the star right here, from a number of kinds of lobster rolls to an enormous variety of dollar-oyster offers to excellent sushi, to not point out the informal fried clam shacks which are particularly prevalent north of the town.

Past seafood, different regional specialties embrace North Shore-style roast beef sandwiches, South Shore-style bar pizzas, and even oddities just like the chop suey sandwich of Salem and the chow mein sandwich of Fall River.

The Boston space additionally has unimaginable pockets of meals from particular nations and areas of the world. Chinatown and the North Finish (the latter that includes Italian meals) are most likely the best-known, however don’t miss, for instance, the Vietnamese meals in Dorchester, the Caribbean meals in Jamaica Plain, or the Armenian meals in Watertown.

For a fast snapshot of what Boston has to supply, begin with a few of its most iconic dishes: Do a style take a look at of two of the North Finish’s cannoli choices, Mike’s and Fashionable. Likewise, strive the pizza on the unique North Finish Regina, after which head to East Boston to match Santarpio’s.

Head downtown to benefit from the good instance of a contemporary New England seafood restaurant, Row 34, and comply with dinner with drinks at one in all Boston’s flashy new crop of cocktail bars. Discover some area for a sticky bun at one in all Boston’s Flour Bakery & Cafe areas, the baked Alaska at Oleana, and even perhaps some haggis on the Haven, Boston’s “Scottish headquarters” since 2010.

The place to Begin on Eater Boston’s High Maps

Eater Boston publishes and updates maps a number of instances every week, highlighting the very best locations within the space to eat a number of the greatest meals on the town. There are many apparent classes — pizza, burgers, brunch, and so forth — however we additionally spotlight neighborhoods, akin to Boston’s South Finish and Cambridge’s Central Sq.; cuisines, akin to Chinese language meals and Thai meals; particular food and drinks gadgets, akin to hand-pulled noodles and dumplings; and conditions, akin to date-night dinners, splurge-worthy tasting menus, and late-night eating.

There’s lots to get by means of, so beneath, we’ve picked just a few of our prime maps — and some factors on every — that can assist you prioritize your eating plans.

A view of Boston’s skyline, featuring skyscrapers over the water, at dusk. The sky and water are shades of deep blue and purple.

Downtown Boston at nightfall.
Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/Shutterstock

Scorching Eating places: Up to date month-to-month, the Eater Boston Heatmap highlights a number of the hottest new eating places; current additions embrace the glam restaurant and stay music venue Grace by Nia and Through Cannuccia, a comfy Italian trattoria in Dorchester.

Important Eating places: The Eater Boston 38 consists of 38 of the world’s most important eating places throughout a variety of neighborhoods, cuisines, and costs, akin to Expensive Annie, a convivial Cambridge wine bar and pescatarian restaurant; Taiwan Cafe, an totally dependable Chinatown staple; and Celeste, an intimate Peruvian restaurant in Somerville’s Union Sq..

Important Irish Pubs: Boston nonetheless has fairly just a few glorious Irish pubs, though a number of high-profile spots have sadly closed in recent times. Begin with classics just like the Burren in Somerville’s Davis Sq., Mr. Dooley’s in downtown Boston, J.J. Foley’s in Boston’s South Finish, and the Behan in Jamaica Plain.

Important Brunches: Sure, iconic Cream of Wheat is a factor; strive it on the Neighborhood in Somerville’s Union Sq.. Different important brunch spots embrace Brookline Lunch in Cambridge, breakfast tacos and kolaches at Vincent’s, and the all-you-can-eat brunch set to the tune of stay jazz at Darryl’s Nook Bar & Kitchen.

Pizza: Boston dabbles in quite a few pizza kinds, notably wood-fired Neapolitan-leaning. Attempt that at locations like Posto in Somerville’s Davis Sq., Ciao in Chelsea, and Space 4 in Cambridge’s Kendall Sq. — or the Neapolitan offshoot with a good puffier crust, canotto-style, at Si Cara in Cambridge’s Central Sq.. Additionally remember to take a look at Sicilian slices at old-school North Finish spot Galleria Umberto, South Shore bar-style at Scorching Field in Somerville’s Union Sq., and Detroit-style pizza — a rising development right here — at Avenue in Somerville’s Ball Sq..

A vibrantly colored portion of ceviche is presented on a white plate on a white table, with a glass of beer on the side.

Ceviche and a beer at Celeste, one of many space’s most important eating places.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston

Burgers: Boston’s received ‘em all, from cheap flat patties to fancier variations for which individuals wait in strains. Native chain Tasty Burger, with 5 areas in Boston and Cambridge, is a superb instance of the previous; strive Bronwyn’s “bronburger” for one thing fancier.

Chowder: Although the native meals scene has come far in recent times, Boston remains to be identified for its creamy clam chowder. Attempt a traditional model at any location of Authorized Sea Meals (of which there are roughly 1,000,000), or go just a little extra upscale at a spot just like the Banks Fish Home in Again Bay, the place the chowder consists of Berkshire pork stomach and chive oil.

Cafes: Get your caffeine repair with a facet of waffles at Curio Espresso close to Lechmere station in Cambridge, get severe about espresso at Gracenote Espresso in Boston’s Leather-based District, and snack on banh mi alongside Vietnamese espresso at Cicada in Cambridge’s Central Sq..

Italian: Sure, you must discover Boston’s North Finish, however there are Italian highlights elsewhere in and round Boston, akin to South Finish dive bar Anchovies, the place you must strive the rooster parm, and acclaimed South Boston vacation spot Fox & the Knife, impressed by the Emilia-Romagna area of Italy.

Important Bars: In search of a spot to drink that’s not an Irish pub? Boston’s received loads of different choices, from famend cocktail bars like Backbar to funky little wine bars like Insurgent Insurgent to old-school jazz golf equipment like Wally’s.

Boston and Boston-Space Meals Neighborhoods to Know

Boston’s many various cuisines are sometimes tied to distinct neighborhoods, every with their very own particular character. Need Italian meals? Head to the North Finish. Discover the very best Korean meals — together with must-try twice-fried rooster wings — in Allston, the very best Vietnamese meals in Dorchester, the very best French meals within the South Finish, and the very best Sichuan and Cantonese meals in Chinatown. Listed here are six Boston neighborhoods to know, in addition to just a few essential meals suburbs to maintain in your radar.

North Finish

There’s loads of good Italian meals in Boston outdoors of the North Finish, however the North Finish is successfully Boston’s Little Italy. Sit on the bar at Regina Pizzeria, one of many metropolis’s titans, and eat a pie cooked in a century-old brick oven, together with a Peroni or two. Attempt a sq. slice and a few arancini for lunch at Galleria Umberto, and remember to get there early, as a result of it sells out shortly. For dessert, cease in at Mike’s or Fashionable for cannoli and hit up Bova’s for a late-night lobster tail (the pastry, not the seafood). The Sunday macaroni at Carmelina’s — a neighborhood gem with numerous love for red-sauce, grandma-style Italian-American meals, and a shocking and reasonably priced wine listing — is stuffed with meatballs and sausages and quick rib, completed with a beneficiant dollop of whipped ricotta. For one thing from the ocean, head to the Day by day Catch for a Sicilian dinner in an intimate setting or to Neptune Oyster for its beloved lobster roll.


In the event you’re on the town for an evening and also you solely have time for one meal, Chinatown is the place you must go. Head to Dumpling Cafe for Taiwan-style pan-fried pork dumplings, candy and spicy eggplant, and deep-fried pig intestines, or pop by Peach Farm — a late-night favourite amongst restaurant trade employees — for lobster with scallions and ginger, which is among the many prime bites in your complete metropolis. There’s Mongolian sizzling pot on the Q, pho and different Vietnamese treats at Pho Pasteur, sushi at Avana and Irashai, kaisen don (and extra sushi) at Tora, and nice Cantonese at Hong Kong Eatery. Dim sum brunch at Winsor Dim Sum Cafe can also be obligatory. In the event you’ve received any room left, discover these bakeries for mooncakes, pineapple buns, egg tarts, and extra.

A plate with a blue border embellished by birds holds a portion of lobster with scallions and ginger

Lobster with scallions and ginger at Peach Farm in Boston’s Chinatown.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston


Dorchester, which you may hear known as Dot, is Boston’s largest neighborhood, each by land and by inhabitants. In the event you haven’t spent any time in Dorchester, you actually haven’t spent any time in Boston, both. As a result of Dorchester is so huge, its culinary choices are many — one can discover nice Dominican, Jamaican, Southern soul meals (at a curler rink, no much less), and Trinidadian (don’t miss Singh’s Roti), to not point out a wonderful brewery with barbecue on-site. But when Dorchester is thought for one delicacies sort, it’s Vietnamese. Dorchester is house to a well-established Vietnamese neighborhood, particularly close to the place Dorchester Avenue and Adams Road converge close to Fields Nook. There are such a lot of nice Vietnamese eating places in Dorchester, however Banh Mi Ba Le is a should. The banh mi is served on recent bread that’s shatteringly crisp on the skin and pillow-soft on the within. Get the grilled beef, which is marinated with lemongrass and is floral and salty and candy and ideal.

East Boston

East Boston boasts a number of the space’s prime Mexican meals (and the nicest waterfront views of downtown Boston). Ensure that to cease at Angela’s Cafe for the mole poblano. Eaters may also discover Colombian meals in abundance right here. There’s additionally glorious Australian meals within the type of meat pies at Seabiscuit; very good Somali meals at Tawakal Halal Cafe in Maverick Sq.; and a number of the metropolis’s most beloved pizza at Santarpio’s on Chelsea Road. Don’t miss Jeffries Level whiskey bar the Quiet Few for an instance of a more moderen spot that has carved out a comfy area of interest for itself within the neighborhood.


Few neighborhoods boast a road with as many culinary riches as Allston’s Harvard Avenue. Add Brighton and Commonwealth avenues to the combination, and it’s clear that Allston is a feast, and Korean meals is what’s on the menu. Discover one of many metropolis’s greatest fried rooster sandwiches at Fiya Rooster, after which head to Coreanos for kimchi fried rice and bulgogi tacos. Kimchipapi Kitchen is serving Korean-Japanese-Hawaiian fusion (its model of poke is phenomenal) that isn’t to be missed, whereas Korean Backyard is the spot for barbecue and bibimbap. And make certain to not sleep on the soju-filled watermelon at Myung Dong 1st Ave., served with a facet of Ok-Pop. However Allston isn’t simply about Korean meals; it’s additionally house to the most effective Thai eating places within the metropolis, S & I; a enjoyable taco spot, Lone Star Taco Bar; and a few traditional dive bars, just like the Silhouette and Mannequin Cafe.

South Finish

A drinker can be hard-pressed to discover a higher neighborhood bar than Delux Cafe. Its partitions are lined with outdated data, and there’s a Vegas-era Elvis lamp consistently holding court docket on the finish of the bar. The half-chicken is miraculous, as is the burger, each of which come out of what needs to be one of many smallest kitchens in Boston. If dive bar meals isn’t what you’re after, no hassle: The South Finish is a smorgasbord, particularly with regard to French delicacies. Really feel très Parisien underneath the awning on the sidewalk in entrance of Petit Robert Bistro, or eat complete branzino within the greenhouse-like again room at Frenchie whereas sipping on some fascinating biodynamic wines. Mida and SRV are serving beautiful Italian meals, with the latter centered particularly on Venice, whereas Anchovies is the spot for Italian American meals and cheap-ish beers. Coppa can also be a mainstay; don’t miss the cavatelli with slow-cooked broccoli and rooster sausage. And Bar Mezzana is the spot for crudo and pasta. (See, not all the Italian meals is within the North Finish.) The neighborhood’s additionally a stronghold for Spanish delicacies: Attempt the inimitable Toro (Coppa’s sibling) for paella and grilled corn; Estragon or Barcelona Wine Bar for tapas; and newcomer Atlántico for a seafood-focused take a look at the entire Iberian Peninsula. Preserve globe-trotting with extraordinary Greek at Kava Neo-Taverna and japanese Mediterranean at its sibling spot Ilona.

Cambridge and Somerville

Boston correct isn’t the one present on the town, after all; its neighbors Cambridge and Somerville — most of that are simply accessible by way of public transportation — are culinary locations in their very own proper.

Attempt the gochujang Bolognese at Pammy’s in Cambridge’s Central Sq., and pop into Brick & Mortar — simply down the road — for a cocktail and a few good vibes on vinyl. Pagu is the spot for Japanese- and Spanish-influenced small plates, and for those who’re after sushi, Cafe Sushi has the most effective omakase conditions in Larger Boston (though dine-in service is on hiatus as a result of pandemic).

In close by Kendall Sq. and East Cambridge, discover Afghan meals on the Helmand that’s out of this world (get the mantwo, which is a pastry shell crammed with onions and beef, topped with carrots, yellow cut up peas, and a wealthy sauce); low-cost beer and Nashville sizzling rooster at State Park; bagels, pastrami, smoked fish, and different Jewish delicatessen and appetizing delights at State Park sibling Mamaleh’s; and outrageous hand-pulled noodles with beef at Silk Highway, one of many solely Uyghur eating places within the area.

Khao soi — a yellow curry with chicken, egg, lime, crispy noodles, and more — is served in a traditional Thai-style bowl decorated with a rooster. The bowl sits on a yellow surface.

Khao soi at Dakzen in Somerville’s Davis Sq..
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Inman Sq. is house to Puritan & Firm, a unbelievable restaurant centered on native New England fare, in addition to Momi Nonmi (a pleasant little izakaya), Punjabi Dhaba (a very good South Asian restaurant), Oleana (house to probably the most romantic patio on the town), Zuzu’s Petals (a cell-phone-free wine and dessert bar), and plenty of glorious others.

Simply north of Cambridge is Somerville, which is house to a number of of Larger Boston’s greatest meals neighborhoods, together with Davis and Union squares. Drink a beer the scale of your head on the patio at Mike’s in Davis, or head to Dakzen for actually unbelievable Thai road meals. Union is only a hop, skip, and a bounce away and is house to one of the crucial thrilling meals and beverage hubs in Larger Boston: Bow Market. Seize a beer from Remnant Brewing or a glass of wine from funky wine bar Insurgent Insurgent, and snack on roast beef sandwiches and South Shore-style bar pizza Scorching Field, poutine from Saus, and peanut butter chili crisp cookies from Korean American bakery 9 Winters. Past Bow Market, you must most likely additionally strive a doughnut from Union Sq. Donuts, ceviche from Celeste, and a cocktail from Backbar or Barra when you’re within the neighborhood.


There’s a lot to discover in different Larger Boston suburbs, too, and these are additionally accessible by public transportation, whether or not by the T (Boston’s subway system), bus, commuter rail, or a mixture. Brookline, for instance, has excellent cocktails paired with Sichuan delicacies at Blossom Bar; a novel Thai restaurant, Mahaniyom, with a menu you received’t see wherever else within the space; a Spanish mainstay, Taberna de Haro; unbelievable wood-fired pizza from Stoked; and numerous different eating choices.

Close by, take a meals crawl by means of Newton, paying specific consideration to sibling spots Sycamore, Little Huge Diner, Buttonwood, and newcomer Jinny’s Pizzeria. Take a look at Newton’s village of Nonantum, too, for Italian meals galore.

North of Newton, Waltham has a focus of nice eating spots on Moody Road, together with Italian at Candy Basil and Cuban at Gustazo. Elsewhere in Waltham, Taqueria el Amigo is an area favourite for tacos; strive the al pastor.

South of Boston, Quincy is jam-packed with glorious Chinese language meals (strive East Ocean and Chili Sq.) and Vietnamese meals (strive Pho Pasteur), in addition to fried seafood (Tony’s Clam Store and the Clam Field). One other Quincy must-visit is cocktail bar Idle Hour, which contains a artistic consolation meals menu with choices like Southern fried pork chops and a killer burger.

Boston Glossary of Phrases

Bar Pizza:

These small, virtually personal-sized pies are an indicator of Boston’s South Shore (although some variations have positively migrated north). The pizzas are skinny — although not precisely cracker-thin — and the toppings stretch to the sting, so there’s hardly an exterior crust. The cheese (the mix often consists of cheddar) types a lacy, charred perimeter. Exemplary variations could be discovered at Lynwood Cafe in Randolph, Poopsie’s in Pembroke, and City Spa in Stoughton.

Boston Cream Pie:

Origin tales are sometimes apocryphal, however in keeping with lore, this dessert — which is definitely a custard-filled sponge cake, not a pie — was invented on the Parker Home Resort within the Eighteen Eighties by a French pastry chef. As we speak, it’s greatest referred to as the official dessert of the Commonwealth. (Its shut cousin, the Boston cream doughnut, can also be the state’s official doughnut, due to course it’s. Attempt one at any Blackbird Doughnuts location.)

A mini round Boston cream pie, which is yellow cake with a milk chocolate and white chocolate glaze, sits on a white plate, garnished with a dollop of whipped cream, a strawberry, and chocolate sauce drizzled into a line of heart shapes

Boston cream pie at its birthplace, the Omni Parker Home.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater


Don’t underneath any circumstances pronounce “chowder” this fashion, thanks. Do, nevertheless, get your self a mug (or a bowl, or a head-sized bread bowl) of clam chowder. Observe: Although custom could counsel in any other case, clam chowder is healthier within the winter than in the summertime. Who needs a bowl of sizzling cream and shellfish when it’s 96 levels and humid?


Pronounced “frap,” not “fra-pay,” that is what most individuals within the U.S. name a milkshake however folks in Larger Boston positively don’t. For Bostonians, a milkshake is simply milk and syrup, whereas a frappe consists of milk, syrup, and ice cream. And for those who’re within the southeastern a part of the state or Rhode Island, you may even hear somebody consult with it as a cupboard (as a result of that’s the place the blender is saved). In different ice cream information, you could spot one thing known as a Hoodsie or Hoodsie cup; it’s a small cup of ice cream — half chocolate, half vanilla — that comes with just a little picket spoon. Delve deeper into regional ice lotions on this glossary.

Fried Clams:

One more iconic North Shore deal with, with one more apocryphal origin story. The Nice Marsh (particularly the stretches in Essex and Ipswich) is roundly regarded to have the very best clam flats on this planet, and there’s no higher strategy to eat these clams than dipped in batter and deep-fried. The dopest spots (the Clam Field in Ipswich, and J.T. Farnham’s and Woodman’s in Essex) could be discovered alongside Route 133 on Cape Ann.

Greek Pizza:

Greek pizza isn’t pizza topped with Greek substances like kalamata olives and feta; it’s a mode of pizza invented by Greek immigrants to New England (particularly Larger Boston) in the midst of the twentieth century, most frequently served at counter-service pizzerias utilizing the naming scheme “[Town Name] Home of Pizza.” At its greatest, Greek pizza has a mushy, spongy inside crust and an virtually deep-fried exterior crust. (In that sense, it’s not not like focaccia.) It’s topped with a mix of cheese that’s heavy on low-cost cheddar. If accomplished proper, it’s nice pizza like some other regional variation is nice pizza. If accomplished poorly…

Parker Home Rolls:

These catcher’s mitt-shaped buns are the best dinner rolls. Flavorful, crispy exterior; mushy, pillowy inside; good crumb density for sopping up gravies and sauces. They have been invented on the Parker Home Resort within the 1870s (most likely accidentally) and have since emerged as New England’s favourite dinner rolls. Attempt them on the Parker Home, which stays in operation; at a New England-y restaurant like Puritan & Firm; or at Beacon Hill steakhouse Mooo (or its new location within the Seaport District), which is extra upscale than its cutesy identify suggests.

Peking Ravioli:

When chef Joyce Chen of Joyce Chen Cooks fame opened her first restaurant in Cambridge in 1958, she figured it will be shrewd to attraction to the world’s Italian inhabitants. So she known as her dumplings “Peking ravioli,” and the remainder is historical past. They’ve since unfold to menus at Chinese language eating places all through the area.

Roast Beef Three-Method:

One more North Shore staple. Roast beef retailers are ubiquitous north of the town, particularly in cities like Beverly, Danvers, Lynn, Peabody, and Salem; native mini-chain Kelly’s Roast Beef popularized — or perhaps invented — this fashion of sandwich and impressed mega-chain Arby’s. A roast beef three-way consists of thinly shaved roast beef topped with a slice of American cheese, barbecue sauce, and mayonnaise, served on a hamburger bun. (In the event you go huge and get a so-called tremendous beef three-way, it is going to be served on an onion roll.) Haters say including lettuce is blasphemous, however haters are incessantly flawed. Make it a four-way, people.

Reservations to Make in Advance

You’ll usually be capable of discover someplace to eat on the final minute in and round Boston, even on peak nights out, however there are just a few eating places you’ll wish to guide as far prematurely as potential.

In Boston correct, plan forward for Row 34 (seafood in Fort Level), O Ya (high-end omakase within the Leather-based District), Toro (tapas within the South Finish), Mariel (Cuban downtown), and Contessa, a glitzy Italian vacation spot situated on a Newbury Road resort rooftop. Observe that one of many metropolis’s most notoriously busy eating places, Neptune Oyster, takes walk-ins solely, so go at an odd hour if potential.

Mussels, shrimp, and clams sit atop a skillet of rice and vegetables

Paella at Toro in Boston’s South Finish.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston

In Cambridge, Italian stunners Giulia and Pammy’s each guide up early, in addition to japanese Mediterranean mainstay Oleana. If it’s commencement week or one other huge occasion at Harvard or MIT, you’ll most likely wish to lock down a Harvest reservation fairly early as properly. (You’ll wish to be particularly proactive about reservations normally throughout any main college occasions round Boston — move-in and move-out intervals, huge sports activities occasions, and many others.) In Somerville, Oleana’s sibling Sarma will get fairly busy, and tiny Peruvian spot Celeste is a should as properly.

Observe that even for those who can’t get a reservation on your desired spot, just a little flexibility goes a good distance. At most eating places, you’ll have luck exhibiting up proper at opening and grabbing a bar seat (most eating places serve their full menus on the bar).

Head Out of City

A part of the great thing about Boston is its proximity to all kinds of journey locations that’ll fulfill seaside followers and mountain fanatics alike. Massachusetts has Cape Cod, after all, however there are many different coastal locations to go to as properly. And New England cities like Portland, Maine; Kittery, Maine; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire are a simple drive away.

Overhead view of a cruller with a white glaze. It sits on white tissue paper on the surface of an aged picnic table.

A cruller at Lil’s Cafe in Kittery, Maine.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Go to Eater Boston’s New England journey touchdown web page to seek out maps, guides, and meals crawls all through the area. You’ll discover out the place to eat and drink in Mystic Connecticut (past the Hollywood-famous Mystic Pizza), the way to eat your approach by means of Portland (and elsewhere in Maine), which New Hampshire seaside is ideal for a booze crawl and air-brushed T-shirts, why neighboring cities Portsmouth and Kittery are an absolute pleasure to go to, and much extra.

Observe the Information

Eater Boston is up to date a number of instances each weekday with breaking information tales (restaurant openings, closures, and many others.), options, maps, and extra. Listed here are just a few methods to remain within the loop:

  • Merely regulate the Eater Boston homepage. New tales usually present up close to the highest and circulation down towards the underside of the web page as they grow old, whereas a number of essential current tales stay pinned on the prime for a while. Additionally, take a look at our huge sibling, Eater.com, for nationwide and worldwide meals information.
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Get in Contact

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