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Good restaurants in Boston

I haven't really explored Boston in over a decade (since college!), so I'm looking for recommendations for really good restaurants in the city.  I've experienced most of the old school seafood places from having spent summers there as a kid, but what newer and nicer restaurants should I check out now as an adult?

By the way, I'm also going to Fenway Park during the trip, so any good restaurant recommendations to eat prior to going there would be great, too.  Thanks!

6 Answers

top answer by
Andrew from Minneapolis

Fenway Park is one of my favorite ballparks in the country. The lights, the Green Monster, it's just fantastic. Before the game, you should try to stop by the vendors on Lansdowne Street for an Italian sausage. They're made on flat griddles and loaded with onions, peppers and tasty sauces.

As far as other food options go, there are so many great restaurants in Boston. O Ya Restaurant is one of my all-time favorite restaurants. Chef Tim Cushman’s goal is to create single bites of food that pack in the flavor of an entire meal. 

Clio Restaurant is another one of my favorites. Chef Ken Oringer is the innovator behind Clio Restaurant. Lately, he's been collaborating with Harvard University science and cooking class. It's amazing the foods that cook up in a lab.

Craigie On Main is also great. Everything in this French restaurant is made from scratch by James Beard award-winning Chef Tony Maws and his talented team.

For another French restaurant, Pigalle Restaurant is everything you expect for a small French-style bistro in Boston, except even better.

For Italian, Coppa serves Italian small plate, house-made charcuterie and pasta, and wood-oven pizza. The food here is genius.

If you like tapas, Toro offers the best features of Spain's own tapas bars, with an extensive menu of traditional pinchos and tapas. The wine is exclusively Spanish and the bar has an innovative cocktail with a signature Sangria.

Radius Restaurant is nice, too. Hang out in the lounge or make a reservation for a table, either way the wine pairings are fantastic and make sure to not pass on dessert. The goat cheese cheesecake is amazing.

If you're in the mood for Japanese hot pot, Shabu Zen is the place to go. You get a plate of vegetables and pot of broth, order a dish of raw meats, toss it in and enjoy!

For good roasted chicken, Hamersley's Bistro serves roasted chicken done right and a seasonal selection of rabbit and venison dishes.

For something unique, Oleana specializes in Mediterranean-inspired cuisine using some new and unusual flavors. I love the veal sausage with beans, pumpkin and feta.

If you want to take some meat home with you, check out the Butcher Shop. It's a Barbara Lynch restaurant that is the perfect place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine before picking up a dinner to go package and cooking your own meal at home.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Fenway Park (attraction)
  2. O Ya Restaurant (restaurant)
  3. Clio Restaurant (restaurant)
  4. Craigie On Main (restaurant)
  5. Pigalle Restaurant (restaurant)
  6. Coppa (restaurant)
  7. Toro (restaurant)
  8. Radius Restaurant (restaurant)
  9. Shabu Zen (restaurant)
  10. Hamersley's Bistro (restaurant)
  11. Oleana (restaurant)
  12. Butcher Shop (restaurant)
5 thankscomments (3)

answered first by
Kenin from Florida

If you like Italian food you can't miss if you head out to the  North End. You're sure to find an excellent and fine crafted meal. If you are looking for seafod the North End also features the  Neptune Oyster. In the Back Bay area try  Atlantic Fish Co and downtown try Oceanaire Seafood Room. If you are looking for a safe chain  Legal Sea Foods is also all over the city. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. North End (neighborhood)
  2. Neptune Oyster (restaurant)
  3. Atlantic Fish Co (restaurant)
  4. Oceanaire Seafood Room (restaurant)
  5. Legal Sea Foods (restaurant)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Sean from Hudson Valley

I lived there for 20 years (and miss it dearly!).  One thing I can say for sure is, if you go hungry in Boston, it's because you tried!

Rather than recommend a specific restaurant, allow me to make a suggestion.  Once you're there look for the free, weekly newspapers dispensed from plastic, curbside boxes.   The Phoenix, The Metro, and Stuff @ Night all have current restaurant reviews and listings. 

Now, get out there and eat!

2 thanks

answered by
R A from Boston

Not sure when you asked, but just an update on other answers:  Hamersley's Bistro was truly excellent, but it is now closed.  I think Radius Restaurant is closed too.  Pigalle Restaurant is still there, but with a new name ( and ownership, and gotten mixed reviews since it reinvented itself.)  Neptune Oyster is indeed the darling of the North End, but it is extremely hard to get in--no rez and long wait times.  Our current "newer and nicer" favorites are Erbaluce (named after a white grape) on the edge of the theater district, and Deuxave, at the corner of Mass Ave and Comm Ave.  Erbaluce is real Italian, has a chef that comes out into the dining room, and right now probably has some fresh truffle dishes.  Deuxave (get it? two avenues) is upscale ($$$$) but not pretentious--excellent atmosphere, food, service and presentation.  For seafood, try Trade, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Ostra or Row 34.  Lots of good choices that are not Legal Seafood.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hamersley's Bistro (restaurant)
  2. Radius Restaurant (restaurant)
  3. Pigalle Restaurant (restaurant)
  4. Neptune Oyster (restaurant)
  5. Erbaluce (restaurant)
  6. Deuxave (restaurant)
  7. Trade (attraction)
  8. Island Creek Oyster Bar (restaurant)
  9. Ostra (restaurant)
  10. Row 34 (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Jill from Windsor, Connecticut

Scampo at the Liberty Hotel is fantastic and you can take a nice passeggiata down Charles St after dinner!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Scampo (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Kelly from Massachusetts

I love Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in the theater district. Great food & fun environment!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery (restaurant)
1 thanks

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