HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

New to Boston; Jamaica Plain Restaurant Reccomendations?

  • s

My husband and I are new to Boston and getting to know our new neighborhood of Jamaica Plain. Aside from 'City Feed & Supply' (yum) we haven't ventured out much (we literally just arrived). Before branching out to other neighborhoods we want to find the gems in our own backyard. The Mister is a vegetarian so veggie friendly places are a priority. We are also interested in nice cafes, great bakeries, a tasty place for breakfast? Thanks for the tips everyone!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Welcome to our neighborhood. We love CityFeed, too, so you must be near us and Stonybrook. JP has a good, if limited selection as you'll hear here. Sorella's is a small diner, with great pancakes of bizarre concoctions, good quick Sunday morning fix in Hyde Square. Centre Street Cafe is a love it or hate it place. We love it, but hate the Sunday morning line. Their waffles and Cuban Scramble dishes are my favorites. Dinner is more subdued and healthy. It's got a funky JP vibe. Great neighborhood place. Asian food is JP Seafood for sushi or Wonder Spice for decent thai. Bukhara is good Indian....James Gate is probably the best pub for burgers and Irish stew and such...Bella Luna is so-so Italian, pizza's not bad. But it's very friendly and fun. I'll stop there, have fun exploring

    1. We have only lived here a year, but have found the best food in JP to be Wonder Spice. We like the pizza at Same Old Place, but have found the best pizza down the road in Roslindale at The Pleasant. Great El Salvadoran food at a little hole-in-the-wall just east of Bella Luna on Centre St. - on the south side of the street, on the corner. Can't think of the name right now. James Gate is a great place for a beer by the fireplace on a cold, rainy or snowy day and for a beer on the patio at dusk on a warm summer night.

      1. I would guess I'm a little more picky than the above posters; so I'll give you my picky-person version of the JP restaurant scene: largely indifferent, or overpriced, or both.

        Exceptions: The only really great restaurant (in my opinion) in JP is Ten Tables. You'll need a reservation. This place has great new-french food for reasonable prices. The tasting menu nights (weeknights) are great: good food, super cheap prices, (and to make up for the prices, small portions). There really are 10 tables, plus a chef's table, so you'll need to reserve ahead, for any day of the week.

        Tacos el Charro on Centre street used to be a favorite, but they've fallen on hard times: the food might be recovering. The tacos were once awesome.

        Centre Street Cafe, Sorella's, Bella Luna are all generally overpriced or overhyped, although worth a visit if you want to work through the menu and find what you like.

        At any rate, Ten tables is a must visit. The next closest must visits in my book are Matt Murphy's and Pomodoro in Brookline Vilage, both owned by the same woman.

        1. Hi, Welcome! I live in the 'hood, too.
          Vegetarian: Centre Street Cafe
          Bakeries: you have a traditional bakery in Fiore's, and then more 'refined' bakeries are Blue Frog and Canto 6.
          Breakfast, Sorella's and Centre Street Cafe. Be prepared to wait in a line at both places.
          Dinner: Zon's, The Alchemist, Wonder Spice and JP Seafood are among my favorites.

          1. Another thing about Ten Tables that the mister would appreciate is that they have a vegetarian tasting menu (4 courses for $25) - I think it is served every day except Wednesday (when they do three courses for $25 from their menu). I have been for the Tuesday wine dinners several times. They are a fantastic value - 4 tasty courses (not huge, but I am always quite full by the end) and 4 glasses of wine for $35. They usually have meat involved, so if you plan to go on a Tuesday you should call ahead to make sure the vegetarian option would be available.

            1. We think Cafe D is very nice- a little small and crowded but the food and service are good. I believe they have several vegitarian options.

              1. Oh, yes. And I second Cafe D. (The first time I went there, we had a waiter who was awful -- sarcastic, impatient, generally unpleasant. I contacted the management. A couple of weeks later they wrote to tell me they had 'taken care of the problem.' I don't know if that means he was fired, but I've been back since and I have not had this awful service againe. But I have to say, an experience like that, when it was our first time there, makes you doubt the management's judgment.)

                1. no one has mentioned pizza oggi or pupusa guanaca. are they no longer good? (been away a while, but was surprised not to see them listed)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: louise8

                    Pupusas are delicious and the soups are great for fall too. Love that place. In great hopes that the wonderful El Oriental de Cuba on Centre will open again soon (fire).

                  2. Pizza Oggi only has a downtown location now.

                    1. Two places jump into the forefront of my mind... #1 Canto 6 bakery for Incredible baked goods, truffles and sandwiches... #2 Ten Tables for a Great dinner with a wonderful atmosphere.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: king76

                        Ten Tables is definitely a good option

                      2. The Dogwood Cafe has very good pizzas (be sure to request them "well done" for a perfect crust).

                        For veggie Cali-Mex, try the Purple Cactus.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Bostonbob3

                          Thanks Hound-sters. I am the orginal poster above and in my three months since arriving in JP I have tried most of the reccomendations listed. In my humble opinion, 'Ten Tables' is hands down the best restaurant in the neighborhood (it's like enjoying dinner at a home of a good friend). The $25 vegetarian tasting menu is genuis! We adore Canto 6 for terrific baked goods and divine sandwiches. Wonder Spice for very good Thai/Cambodian (terrific Drunken Noodles). On my next visit to 'Dogwood' I will ask that my pizza linger a little longer in the oven. My first experience was disappointing as the crust was undercooked (what is the point of touting a pizza prepared in a woodburning oven if the crust doesn't come out crispy and browned)? I still have not found very good Mexican (either in or out of the neighborhood). Any recs?

                        2. There are a few good Mexican restaurants in and around Boston...I love El Pelon in the Fenway for their burritos; both Tu Y Yo in Somerville and Ole in Inman Square/Cambridge have great Mexican as well, though they are a little pricier than the average Mexican joint. I have yet to try Zocalo in Brighton...anyone have any opinions on that restaurant?

                          1. Hi, Don't live in the neighborhood, but Ten Tables is a must. Can't wait to get back. Enjoy!
                            CocoDan

                            1. OK - I'll agree it lacks in dinner-time atmosphere, but I have been pleasantly surprised at the freshness and quality of the dinners I've had at Centre Steet Cafe. Breakfast is a madhouse, dinner is more relaxed, and really, really, good.

                              Also - I might have missed it, but I don't think anyone mentioned Bukhara which is good (not as good as Rani in Coolidge Corner, though).

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jcanncuk

                                i'm afraid i have to disagree about bukhara--i find it very uninspired, greasy, just generally bad indian-american-suburban-strip-mall food. you could do much better for indian in boston, just not in jp.

                              2. Welcome to JP! I'm right near Stonybrook too.

                                Definitely, definitely try Apollonia, the Albanian restaurant in Roslindale - one of the hidden gems in the Boston area. Great vegetarian options - the food is just exquisite, and they often bring in really cool seasonal specials. Live music sometimes too. Very reasonably priced.

                                Also, not in our hood, but orange-line-accessible, try this one for exquisite Mexican-- (it reminds me of some of the really good food I found in Oaxaca)-

                                Casa Romero in the Back Bay on Gloucester St. Fantastic flavor and it's just gorgeous inside. YUM. Definitely not cheap, but I believe they also offer a price-fixe: three courses for $19 if you're out by 7pm. There used to be a Sunday promotion too - anyone know if that's still on?

                                1. I am so happy to hear someone else raving about Apollonia! This place is delish! Incredible food, especially their appetizer platter which has a wonderful yogurt sauce, a lamb and an eggplant warm ragou type thing and the most wonderful grilled pita you will ever have.

                                  Another place to consider is Zon's (just went there last night in fact!) They have great upscale comfort food, consistently very, very good.

                                  Tacos El Charro is good but not great for Mexican. La Papusa is a great tiny little place for Salvatoran food and is yummy and cheap cheap!

                                  Centre Street does not really have evening atmosphere but dinner is good there if you want to stay in the 'hood. 10 Table is solid as everyone has said too, really yummy.

                                  Casa Romero is great for upper-scale Mexican cuisine, lovely place to go in the summer for their patio and sangria. Their pork tenderlion dish is wonderful too and you really feel like you're not in Boston anymore. Very much hidden away below L'Espalier down that tiny little alley/side street.

                                  1. When you want to venture outside of JP you might try a couple of the new places in West Roxbury - Phuket - new Thai place was quite tasty and very reasonably priced. You could also try Misono - little Japanese place on the other side of VFW parkway - by Bertucci's in the little strip mall place. You could venture over to Roslindale - also not far away and try Dephino's and Birch Street Cafe, I think Apollonia has already been mentioned. I would heartily second Bukhara in JP.