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help! in Allston

  • h

Recently relocated ourselves to Allston for a deal on rent, but it seems that the bulk of the local eats we have tried have been very disappointing.

Surely there must be someone out there who can point us in the right direction - cheap is nice, but not when it is bad or conspicuously mediocre.

Help. Where are the good eats around here?

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  1. Reef cafe, Cafe Brazil, the food court at Super 88

    1. Second Reef Cafe (Thai place next door is actually quite decent) and Cafe Brazil. Ajisen's ramen at the Super 88 is about as good as it'll get around here.

      Some other places you might like:
      Pakistani at Madina Market.
      Taiwanese at May's Cafe.
      Bubble tea at Infusions.
      Indian at Indian Dhaba (try some of their Indo-Chinese dishes).
      Chilean at La Mamma's (it's not just a pizzeria).
      Buk Kyung II for Korean, esp. Chinese cross over dishes like jajiangmyun.
      Harrell's for ice cream.

      A little further: Choe's for Korean, Kaguya for pretty good Japanese (stick with cooked dishes).

      4 Replies
      1. re: Limster

        The made-to-order empanadas at La Mamma for $1.25 are pretty fantastic. I want to try the Chilean sandwich next. The Cubano is ok, nothing special.

        1. re: Dax

          If you're talking about their chacarero, it's delicious. I've only tried the chicken - it's almost as good as the one they make at the place downtown.

        2. re: Limster

          Ajisen? They closed up shop in the Super 88 food court some time ago..THANK
          GOODNESS. I had a horrible ramen there. I suspect you mean Ken's Ramen at Super
          88..not in the food court, but across the hall, and an excellent bowl of 'men! Umai!

          Also within walking distance, although not a restaurant, is Clearflour Bakery, which has
          _killer_ breads and the like to bring home to make sangwiches or eat on the side.

          1. re: amatto

            Check the date -- that was a post from 2004, when Ajisen was still open and long before Ken's time.

            However, there's no question that Ken's squashes it like a grape.

            If the OP is even still living in Allston, I'd cautiously recommend Deep Ellum: brand new, so still with kinks, but the meal we had there was extremely promising.

        3. Take a little trip up Harvard St. toward Coolidge Corner to Dok Bua for excellent Thai food.

          1. Cafe Brazil, yumyum. SOOO good, and the waitstaff are all darling.

            Alfredo's on Brighton ave is excellent authentic (yet great prices) Italian food. I eat there for lunch often and am never disappointed...and I'm Italian!!

            Tokyo City always has great sushi and other Japanese/Korean dishes. They're right next to Herrell's, which, by the way, has the best coffee ice cream in the world.

            I always recommend Bagel Rising on Commonwealth for the best bagels and inventive sandwiches. Great coffee too.


            1. Carlo's for Italian, Rangoli for Indian, Pho Pasteur and Sai Gon for Vietnamese, Sunset Cafe for passable bar food with hundreds of draft beers, El Cafetal for Colombian, Cafe Brazil for Brazilian. More worthy options if you push out into Brookline and Brighton.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                I too recommend Cafe Brazil, Rangoli and Carlos.

              2. For Italian pasta and sandwiches, I absolutely love Bottega Fiorentina on Harvard Street in Coolidge Corner. I also think the Shwarma King II on Beacon Street is the best cheap Middle Eastern in the Boston area.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JMello

                  I second Shwarma King, it's worth the travel if you aren't nearby.

                2. I'd just like to echo Reef Cafe. This is absolutely fantastic homestyle Lebanese food. The service can't be beat and the prices are dirt cheap. Last week I stopped in for lunch and had a very sizable vegetarian kibby sandwich, complete with those heavenly pickled turnips. I also ordered a coffee, which came after my meal. The meal totaled $5.25, but the guy would only take $5 from me. Then, as we both enjoyed a demitasse cup of coffee, he brought me a piece of very good, not too honey-syrupy-sweet baklawa...free of charge. He said that one should not drink the coffee without a little something on the side. Please try this place, it seemed that traffic was a little slow for weekday lunch...I'd hate to see them go under.

                  1. Finally made it to Reef Cafe and yes, it was homey and delicious and friendly and cheap. There were only 4 people there between 12:45 and 1:30. Not good! I'll go back and do my bit. I wanted to try the coffee but they were out (couldn't get the kind of coffee they like).

                    1. The Sunset Grill & Tap... corner of Brighton and Harvard.

                      1. Brown Sugar has a location near Super 88 and also has excellent Thai. The beer selection at Sunset is outstanding, although I haven't tried eating there.

                        I wasn't too impressed with Buk Kyung; have only been once for the crossover Chinese-Korean. It was OK, but I wouldn't hurry back.

                        1. I was just about to second...third, um...fourth? Reef Cafe! The place is such a gem. I just stopped in today to get some rice pudding for my mom. That vegetarian kibbe sandwich (and those pickled turnips) is the best thing going. I do worry about their day-time traffic. Times seem tough for Middle Eastern food in that neighborhood (Anadolu Cafe on Comm. Ave is closing, the Turkish grocer in Union Square has a big "for rent" sign up) but Reef is really something special.