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Boston Restaurant Recommendations


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All the restos mentioned ar good but will add my unusual favorites:

Dali's, Spanish Tapas in Cambridge

Helmond's, Aphganistan, cambridge

Oleana, Fusion at its best ".

I've heard good things about Helmand. Any recs for Korean food?

I really like Hometown in Union Square (Somerville), but New Jang Su (Burlington) has great BBQ. You'd need a car to get to New Jang Su however as it is 20 minutes north of the city.

And 30 minutes south of Nashua--thanks!

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oops, I almost forgot about a New England must -

Seafood:

B & G Oysters in the South End is a local favorite (owned by the uber-successful lady of No. 9 Park), but crowded - oh my! I was unimpressed by their ginormous lobster roll, but they are a lovely little spot to hit for oysters and champagne.

Great Bay - a little pricey, but really lovely - located in Kenmore Square right near another one of my favorites - Petit Robert Bistro, a charming and affordable little French bistro.

Neptune Oysters - in the North End - North End meets stylish Oyster bar. Always packed, but DELICIOUS. :wub:

Last but not least is East Coast Grill in Inman Square (right near you in Kendall) that does really great seafood. They don't take reservations though, but their brunch and bloody mary do-it-yourself bar are killer on the weekend.

Edited by gini (log)
Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.
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If you're staying near Kendall Sq., then the Blue Room is the place to go. Always reliably good and good value, occasionally excellent. Comfortable atmosphere, well priced wine list.

LOVE Helmand. Not high end, actually quite reasonable for over-priced Boston, but delicious and unusual. Order the pumpkin!


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  • 3 months later...

Chicago e-gullet family with two toddlers need a few recs for one dinner and early and late lunches. No car but we like mass transit/ T/ bus etc. Plan to go to Giacomo's for Italian and would like a Chinese rec-(seems Peach Farm, Taiwan Cafe and King Fung Garden are popular-which one(s) would you choose) and one more. Have scrolled down about ten pages and some nice things were said about Antico Forno (pizza)and Matt Murphy's (fish and chips). Would like to stay in the Giacomo price range if possible. Your opinions,comments and recs would be appreciated!

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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For pizza - Antico Forno, Pizzeria Regina (famous North End Local) or Santarpio's for a unique Boston take on pizza. If going to Santarpio's - it's in East Boston off the Blue line - don't forget to get an order of lamb and sausage to start. The place a real "eastie" feel.

For Chinese - I would take Taiwan Cafe, Peach Farm then King Fung in that order. King Fung has good peking ravioli and noodle dishes, but their pre-order $32 duck is not great - just a good value. Taiwan Cafe is AWESOME. Peach Farm has some excellent seafood dishes.

Other places to try: Dok Bua for Thai in Brookline, Aneka Rasa for Maylasian in Brighton, Audobon Circle of burgers in Kenmore, or Bartley's for burgers in Harvard.

I've never been to Giacomo's. A better option for Italian might be Trattoria Toscona in the Fenway.

Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.
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Personally, I think you ought to go for dim sum if you're looking for Chinese. My kids devour it, and it's fast, noisy, and *very* child-friendly. Hei La Moon or China Pearl are good choices. Also, Chau Chau City is supposed to be good, but I can't vouch for it myself until I've been there.

Another kid friendly choice would be Jasper White's Summer Shack over near the convention center. There are other locations -- some of which get mixed reviews, but it's got shucked oysters; fried clams; decent chowder and a very good corn dog. (It's true!)

Lastly, it's not supremely kid-friendly...but the Langham Hotel in the financial district has a chocolate bar on Saturday afternoons from noon to 3. You do need reservations, but your kids will definitely remember it!

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Hey all you Bostonians. I am getting married this summer, and because we are broke as hell, we're gonna put off our real honeymoon a while and go to Boston. Just because. Anyway, I am a professional cook, we are both dedicated aficionados of good food, but neither of us have the faintest clue about Boston restaurants. Where are the good places? We've heard Oleana (sp?) and, of course, Olives. Price is no object (although ideally under 100$/person!) , location is no big deal either. We'll be there probably 4-5 days, so if you know any good casual breakfast/lunch places that would be awesome too. I wanna eat a real lobster roll! I've never been to Boston. Tell me what's good, Bostonites!

"A culture's appetite always springs from its poor" - John Thorne

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We really enjoyed Elephant Walk, it's French/Cambodian. When we were there I believe they had a special three course dinner for $40. per person that had many dishes in which to choose. It's been a few years, unfortunately I don't remember the details.

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Skip Olives. It's gone way down hill and for the price there are much better options. For my money, the best lobster roll in town is at B&G Oysters in the South End (they also, obviously, have a great oyster selection) - this is owned by Barbara Lynch of No. 9 Park and is outstanding.

If you are in the North End, Lucca, Bricco and Prezza are all very good, or for more casual, the original Pizzeria Regina.

In the South End, there is an embarrasement of riches, but my favorites are the new Tapas place by Ken Oringer - Toro, where you can have really good food relatively cheaply, although the wait can be daunting; Tremont 647; Aquitaine for steak frites; and Jae's - a pan-Asian restaurant that's been popular for many years.

If you leave Boston proper, Blue Ginger (Ming Tsai) in Wellesley never disappoints; Dali (more Tapas, but in a better setting) on the Somerville/Cambridge line is an amazingly sexy and yummy experience; and East Coast Grill in Cambridge.

For more casual food, the Barking Crab can be fun, especially in the warmer weather. Decent seafood, right on the water, with an open air (but covered) seating area. For lunch, it can be fun to stroll through the Quincy Market food court (at Fanueil Hall) at least once, or if you are shopping on Newbury Street, walk the couple of blocks over to the Parish Cafe (they have an impressive sandwich menu in which each sandwich has been designed by other chefs around town).

To be honest, Boston doesn't do breakfast very well. If you are staying downtown, there is a nice bakery/cafe at the end of Charles Street (I think it's called Panifico, or something like that). There are decent neighborhood places, but they tend to be out of the convenience factor for most visitors. For brunch, Tremont 647 (and many, many other places in the South End) do a good job.

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I would agree with what most posters here have said and recommended.

When I travel I try to go to some places that are well established and avoid the so called "hot/trendy" operations of the moment.

East Coast grill and Jasper White's Summer Shack are musts.

I would also add Loch Ober--maybe for lunch--this is a Boston/New England institution that has been updated by Lydia Shire (I believe she is still there) she is an outstanding chef and also somewhat of a Boston institution. The atmosphere here is priceless--old world Boston!

I would also look at Hammersley's Bistro--this has been around quite a while and IMOP is often overlooked in favor of more trendy and fleeting spots. The food here French/Mediterranean is wonderful and Gordon Hammersley is usually at the stove.

Also the Legal Seafood in the Park Plaza Hotel is great (I believe this is the original)--inexpensive seafood really done well--stick to the simple offerings.

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I would agree with what most posters here have said and recommended.

When I travel I try to go to some places that are well established and avoid the so called "hot/trendy" operations of the moment.

East Coast grill and Jasper White's Summer Shack are musts.

I would also add Loch Ober--maybe for lunch--this is a Boston/New England institution that has been updated by Lydia Shire (I believe she is still there) she is an outstanding chef and also somewhat of a Boston institution. The atmosphere here is priceless--old world Boston!

I would also look at Hammersley's Bistro--this has been around quite a while and IMOP is often overlooked in favor of more trendy and fleeting spots. The food here French/Mediterranean is wonderful and Gordon Hammersley is usually at the stove.

Also the Legal Seafood in the Park Plaza Hotel is great (I believe this is the original)--inexpensive seafood really done well--stick to the simple offerings.

I would absolutely second Hamersley's Bistro. And I agree with the other poster about Olives- I wouldn't bother.

The link from a previous poster has some great suggestions. But I would avoid Haymarket - if you want an outdoor market, there are a couple of good ones - Monday and wednesday at City Hall Plaza and Copley Place Tuesday and Friday and there's a newer one at the Northern Ave bridge on Thursdays. You can get wonderful cheese, bread, fruit for a picnic.

Enjoy your honeymoon. Boston is gorgeous in the summer!

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Avoid Pizza Regina at any cost. Went there last summer based on the reputation of the place and was disappointed. First we had to wait on the street but that's all right, it's lunchtime after all. When we got seated, the waitress came to our table asking "What do you want?". How 'bout a menu to start? The pizza came quick but the pops were terrible and flat. The restrooms are dirty and stinky. Also, they state in the menu that their sauce is made only with fresh California tomatoes. Then why did I see a delivery truck loaded with cans of tomatoes dropping boxes in the warehouse part of the restaurant?

I've had pizza in a lot of places and this was one of the worst. Sorry to say but Pizza Hut is better.

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I like Chau Chow for dim sum or any other time for that matter. My three guys love it too and they have the big fish tanks which kids love. China Pearl is ok- I think it is kind of greasy but my husband's family swears by it.

The North End is the Italian part of town. Many of the restaurants are kid friendly. We really like Artu when the kids are with us- it is around the corner from Paul Revere's house. Save room for desert and go to one of the pastry shops- Mike's, Caffe Vittoria, etc. We often will just walk around and check out the menus to see what looks good. Also, it is nice to go at off times (like mid afternoon) on weekends with the kids. We've had good luck with strollers, too. Also, if you want to go to the Aquarium, you can easily walk to the North End.

I second Summer Shack- the food is great and it is very kids friendly. The one I've been to is in Cambridge. Generally we drive so I don't know the proximity to the T.

Boston is a great city. I hope you get to take the kids to a few museums. When my guys were littler their favorites were the Aquarium and the the Children's Museum. My four year old likes the Museum of Science, but I think that's about as young as I'd go with that museum. The MFA is lovely. They are stroller friendly and sometimes have art activities for kids. With the exception of the MFA, the museum food is horrible. I would encourage you to eat outside the museums!

Have a great trip.

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Wow, thanks everyone! I hadn't really considered Olives for real, I just knew of its reputation. Glad to find out about so many other places to check out. I also just managed to score Red Sox tickets, so that'll be another exciting first (Fenway.) Although our inexpensive mini-honeymoon is starting to get not-so inexpensive (as anyone who's ever tried to get Sox tickets can probably vouch for!) Ah well, you can't take it with you. Thanks again everybody.

"A culture's appetite always springs from its poor" - John Thorne

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Don't be fooled. Jasper White's Summer shack SUCKS! There are better fast food places. Don't go! Stay away.

As for East Coast Grill, I've never had a good meal at one of Chris Schlesinger's restaurants. ECG, had cockroaches running across the table. When he owned Back Eddy, they took a reservation and when we showed up a few minutes later they told us they had no water all evening and couldn't feed us.

It may be just me, but every time I think of the Barking Crab, I remember how many times it has been closed by the health department. Maybe it is just me, but I wouldn't eat there on a dare.

Olives is a has been. Some of Todd English's restaurants may be worth a trip, but there are better places.

For good meals try Number 9 Park. It's one of the top places in town. We always have a good meal at Troquet. The better half has enjoyed Sibling Rivalry and B&G Oyster (also run by Barbara Lynch of #9Park).

As for me, I try and avoid the North End restaurants. I think there are good restaurants there, but I find that no parking, no desserts and th ebum's rush to turn the table is not worht it. Stick to the other areas of town. Especially the south end (different than southie).

Boy do I sound like a curmudgeon in this post. I want to tell you ther ARE a LOT of good restaurants in Boston. Just not the ones mentioned here.

Just my opinion.

Dan

Edited by dans (log)
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For that real Boston flavah, go to Kelly's in Revere (pronounced "Rah-vee-yah") Beach and have a roast beef sandwich...if you have a car, a trip to the North Shore for fried clams is always nice. Clam Box in Ipswich...or is it Essex?

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I hope we will have a few more discussions about Boston restaurants in the near future...I was already wondering why there were so few posts.

so here are my favorites (nrs 1 and 2 my strongest recommendations, especially when considering price) :

1) Oleana definitely is a great choice. The food is smart without being overly constructed, and very well executed. the vegetarian tasting is especially exciting, even for meateaters.

2) Craigie Bistro is similarly pleasant. The dishes are original and tasty modifications of traditional french food with an american twist. I especially enjoy the "Chef's whim" served on a few days after 9pm; it is a prix fixe and the chef will serve whatever he feels like. I am sure he will be especially creative for another chef on honeymon. I also like the really nice staff.

3) B&G oysters is indeed the best place for fresh oysters (usually more than 10 different ones) and the Lobster roll you are craving for.

4) For the more expensive places I like Radius and No 9 Park best. Their food is complex without being overly complicated and based on impeccable ingredients. I think their food is more elegant than at most other of the upscale places in town (I think No 9 has also a reasonably priced lunch).

5) I have not been to Hammersley in a long time, but from that last experience I would agree to what has been written before. Laid back, self-assured and tasty.

6) I also do like the Summer Shack, but only the one in Alewife. One should stick with basic preparations plus something from the raw bar. In that case one will have a fun experience and enjoy very fresh seafood at rather reasonable prices. And be prepared for the interieur.......it is indeed a huge shack.

7)For lunch in downtown I recommend Silvertone close to Park Street station. They have quite good simple dishes like sandwiches and my favorite mac'n cheese. And you can splurge with a bottle of wine or champagne. their list is small, but the selection is super smart...and the prices close to retail!

8) Legal seafoods is a chain and tastes like it. The quality of the raw seafood is rather high but the cooking incredibly uninspired. And the sides are awful. And so is the interieur. If it can not be avoided eat oysters, clam chowder and a grilled blue fish. That keeps it cheap, and makes a reasonable meal.

Enjoy Boston

Edited by glauer (log)
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Skip Olives.  It's gone way down hill and for the price there are much better options.  For my money, the best lobster roll in town is at B&G Oysters in the South End (they also, obviously, have a great oyster selection) - this is owned by Barbara Lynch of No. 9 Park and is outstanding. 

In the South End, there is an embarrasement of riches, but my favorites are the new Tapas place by Ken Oringer - Toro, where you can have really good food relatively cheaply, although the wait can be daunting; Tremont 647; Aquitaine for steak frites; and Jae's - a pan-Asian restaurant that's been popular for many years.

I prefer Neptune's hot lobster roll to B&G's monstrosity.

For the most part, the food in the South End seems to be overpriced and mediocre. Not really a great value for your money over all. There are some gems though...

For good meals try Number 9 Park. It's one of the top places in town. We always have a good meal at Troquet. The better half has enjoyed Sibling Rivalry and B&G Oyster (also run by Barbara Lynch of #9Park).

I second Troquet.

1) Oleana definitely is a great choice. The food is smart without being overly constructed, and very well executed. the vegetarian tasting is especially exciting, even for meateaters.

2) Craigie Bistro is similarly pleasant. The dishes are original and tasty modifications of traditional french food with an american twist. I especially enjoy the "Chef's whim" served on a few days after 9pm; it is a prix fixe and the chef will serve whatever he feels like. I am sure he will be especially creative for another chef on honeymon. I also like the really nice staff.

3) B&G oysters is indeed the best place for fresh oysters (usually more than 10 different ones) and the Lobster roll you are craving for.

Oleana is indeed lovely, as is Craigie St. The latter's chef's whim for $40 some odd dollars on Wednesday and Sunday nights is such a treat.

B&G does have a nice selection of oysters, but again, I urge you to try Neptune.

Most of what's been mentioned here doesn't seem to mesh well with being broke. I see that you asked for dinners under $100 - Craigie Street, Oleana, Grotto, and Gargoyle's spring to mind.

I assume at some point you'll have to eat lunch or run out of money:

Most anything in Chinatown - dim sum at Hei La Moon, anything from Taiwan Cafe, Wing's Kitchen to name a few.

Dinner at Petit Robert in Kenmore - many people have had bad experiences, but I've never had anything but the best experience - and the ROI - jesus.

Dok Bua for Thai in Brookline.

Michael's for deli in Brookline.

Bazaar for takeout Russian in Brookline - grab some for a picnic in a nearby park.

One of the Portugese restos in Inman Square.

Aneka Rasa in Allston for Malaysian.

Hometown (Dok Bykung) in Union Square as well as the second incarnation in Brookline for Northern China's take on Korean - the noodle dishes are a standout.

I agree that Boston does not do breakfast well - there are a few bakeries, however, that seem to be good - Clear Flour, Hi-Rise, Flour. Many people like Soundbites in Ball Square, Somerville for breakfast, but that's rather far if you don't have a car.

Have fun on your honeymoon! Don't forget to take a ducktour - it's campy and ridiculous.

Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.
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We live in NC and haven't been to Boston in almost 20 years. On our last visit I recall eating at Legal Seafood. We will be visiting there again this weekend....going to support our team in the Women's Final Four basketball tournament....arriving on Saturday and I'll leave Wed. morning; hub will stay on a few days to attend a conference. I've read through this thread with great interest. Would someone be so kind as to tell me which places are in the area of Boston Common? Any suggestions for reasonably priced breakfast places....we'll be staying in a nice place, but not interested in paying big bucks for hotel breakfasts. Thanks so much in advance for your help and advice.

Cheryl

CBHall

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We live in NC and haven't been to Boston in almost 20 years.  On our last visit  I recall eating at Legal Seafood.  We will be visiting there again this weekend....going to support our team in the Women's Final Four basketball tournament....arriving on Saturday and I'll leave Wed. morning;  hub will stay on a few days to attend a conference.  I've read through this thread with great interest.  Would someone be so kind as to tell me which places are in the area of Boston Common?  Any suggestions for reasonably priced breakfast places....we'll be staying in a nice place, but not interested in paying big bucks for hotel breakfasts.  Thanks so much in advance for your help and advice.

Cheryl

A lot of the places mentioned above aren't too far from the common.

No. 9 park abuts the Common, it's across from the State House.

Silvertone's is on Bromfield St., running up to the common. Great casual food as someone said above. Mac and cheese, meatloaf, steak tips.

Ivy on Temple Place just opened. Have heard good things - Italian small plates.

Troquet is on the other side of the Common from No. 9 Park on Boylston st. I think that was also mentioned above.

Breakfast? Paramount on Charles St. is a good one and relatively close to the common. As someone said before, breakfast isn't a thing in Boston like in NYC. I would recommend hitting one of the bakeries in the South End as someone said above (Flour or South End Buttery). I think Tremont 647, also in the South End, is one of the few places in the city that is known for its brunch.

Good luck! Weather is supposed to be warm and sunny (by our standards) this weekend!

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Breakfast? Paramount on Charles St. is a good one and relatively close to the common. As someone said before, breakfast isn't a thing in Boston like in NYC. I would recommend hitting one of the bakeries in the South End as someone said above (Flour or South End Buttery). I think Tremont 647, also in the South End, is one of the few places in the city that is known for its brunch.

Good luck! Weather is supposed to be warm and sunny (by our standards) this weekend!

CBHall

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