Whether you are a seasoned foodie or a newcomer to the Boston restaurant scene, these picks are sure to satisfy your palate! Here’s my list for the top ten overall restaurants in the city.
Beehive: Best Live Music, Atmosphere, and Brunch
Downbeat Magazine named Beehive one of the “Top 100 Jazz Clubs in the World” and the restaurant has been receiving much acclaim locally as well, including a “Best of” award by Boston Magazine and The Boston Phoenix. Sit downstairs to really take in the music and quirky-cool interior decor.
Try: Truffled Potato and Cheese pierogies (appetizer), Pan Roasted Scallops with Farro Salad and Crispy Poached Egg
541 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
Monday-Wednesday: 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Thursday-Friday: 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Brunch: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Toro: Best Tapas
Toro is Chef Ken Oringer’s Barcelona-inspired tapas restaurant in the heart of the South End. Visit Toro with friends and order a few small plates to share with the table. Toro features delicious, locally-grown ingredients and a great affordable wine list. Doors open at 5 p.m. for dinner- no reservations. Arrive early on peak nights if you don’t want to wait!
Try: Costilla de Buey (beef short ribs), Anna’s Empanadas (chicken and potato empanadas), and ask for the sweet corn (not on the menu).
1704 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118
LUNCH: Monday-Friday: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
DINNER: Sunday: 5 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.
Monday-Thursday: 5:30 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.
Friday: 5:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.
Saturday: 5 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.
BRUNCH: Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
BAR: Sunday-Thursday: 4:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Friday-Saturday: 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Sportello:Best Quick Bite
Sportello is an Italian-inspired lunch counter owned by award-winning Chef Barbara Lynch. Pull up a stool at the counter for a short lunch break, or grab-and-go from the fresh bakery–featuring cupcakes, cookies, pastries and several take-out lunch options.
Try: Spicy Tomato Soup and, for a sweet treat, the Peanut Butter Crispy Bar.
348 Congress Street
Boston, MA. 02210
LUNCH: Monday-Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
DINNER: Sunday-Thursday: 4:30p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
BRUNCH & LUNCH: Saturday-Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
BAKERY & RETAIL: Opens Monday-Friday at 7 a.m.
Opens Saturday-Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Giacomo’s North End: Best Italian
Giacomo’s North End is the surest bet if you are looking to enjoy a classic Italian dish without any bells and whistles. Fried calamari, chicken parmesan and an array of customizable pasta dishes are always available. Don’t be surprised to find a line of people outside the restaurant on peak nights waiting to be seated, no reservations! Also, be sure to bring cash, since credit cards are not accepted.
Try: Mozzarella Marinara, Shrimp and Scallop Fra Diavolo
355 Hanover Street
Boston, MA. 02113
Monday-Thursday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Sunday: 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Figs: Best Pizza
There are countless options for pizza in Boston, but I choose Fig’s for the medium-thin crust and delicious tomato sauce.
Try: Warm Bacon and Spinach Salad, Oliver’s Pizza (traditional), Bianco Pizza (mozzarella, tomatoes, arugula, balsamic)
42 Charles Street
Boston, MA. 02114
Call 617-742-3447 for hours.
No. 9 Park: Best Upscale
No. 9 Park is a Boston legend (to put it mildly) situated in historic Beacon Hill. Critics have consistently crowned No. 9 Park the best overall dining experience in the city. Visit No. 9 for a one-of a kind culinary experience and to “see and be seen”.
Try: Prune stuffed Gnocchi (famous among Bostonians), Roasted Duck Breast
No. 9 Park
9 Park Street
Boston, MA. 02108
Tuesday- Saturday: 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday-Monday: 5:30 pm. to 9 p.m.
Island Creek Oyster Bar: Best Oysters & Seafood
Island Creek Oyster Bar succeeds in its goal to join “farmer, chef, and diner in one space”. The menu changes daily based on what comes off the fisherman’s boat.
Try: Oysters, obviously! Also, the Lobster Roe Noodles (braised short rib, grilled lobster, maitake mushrooms, Pecorino).
Island Creek Oyster Bar
500 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA. 02215
Monday-Saturday: 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Barlow’s: Best American
If you’re willing to make the trek to Southie, this is the place to be. Barlow’s offers straightforward menu options in a contemporary environment. Plus, they have a beautiful wrap-around stained wood bar. I have been twice on Saturday night and enjoyed some great live music as well.
Try: Half Roasted Chicken with ginger barbecue glaze, corn succotash.
241 A Street
Boston, MA. 02210
LUNCH: Monday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
BRUNCH: Saturday: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
DINNER: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
DINNER: Thursday-Saturday: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
BAR MENU: Sunday-Wednesday: 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday: 3 p.m. to midnight
House of Siam: Best Thai
When it comes to Thai cusine, the most important element is fresh ingredients. House of Siam delivers just that in each dish I have tried. Also, the staff is friendly and accommodating.
Try: Steamed Mussels with lemongrass, basil, and lime (appetizer), Pad Thai
House of Siam
592 Tremont St.
Boston, MA. 02118
542 Columbus Ave.
Boston, MA. 02118
LUNCH: Monday-Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
DINNER: Monday-Thursday: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday: 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Warren Tavern: Best “Historic”
For all you history buffs out there, George Washington and Paul Revere were both known to frequent this famous Charlestown watering hole. The Warren Tavern retains its old colonial charm to this day, making it the perfect place to bring visiting guests who are looking to experience a piece of Boston’s past.
Try: Clam Chowder, Tavern Burger with house garlic-herb cream cheese, honey Dijon
2 Pleasant Street
Monday-Friday, Sunday: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.