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Fav Onion Rings in Boston area

The 2 versions that I'm going to include here- I have not heard mentioned on previous years' posts.I've been enjoying these for years and wanted to share w/ youall.

Sonsie on Newbury Street, in addition to consistently innovative and delicious food, has just the BEST onion rings- for me. They are smoked in a small smoker, then coated w/ flour and fried. no batter.
I get them takeout and they keep a good week or more in the frig.I reheat them in a toaster oven, on a bak. pan, covered with a disposable alum.take-out pan(so they heat to get crispy, but don't burn); oven set on Bake at 350 degrees- ready in 7 plus minuites. YAY!!

Lucy's Wok and Noodle at Huntington Ave/Mass Ave corner.Wonderful toothsome noodle dishes and so many other things. Their Rodeo Rings are spicy crisp, again no thick batter, and perfectly accompanied by a super chipotle catsup.

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  1. I know that the most overrated onion rings are Bartley's. Those are onion strings, not onion rings!

    I'm definitely a thick onion ring fan. I must say, chain or not, the ones at Flemings are quite yummy, and about the size of donuts.

    3 Replies
    1. re: tamerlanenj

      I humbly disagree re: Bartley's -- much prefer the emphasis on the onion rather than batter, they're onions rings, not batter rings.

      On a different note, the onion blossom at Frank's is surprising good. Not rings, but battered and deep fried all the same.

      1. re: limster

        I enjoyed the Bartley's rings as well, for the emphasis on the onion. I've not been to many places with good onion rings though, most of the bar food 'rings I've had are the typical Sysco kind =(

        I think the batter vs. onion debate is much like the fries vs 'rings debate, matter of preference, and something that must be differentiated when discussed.

        1. re: Nechushtan

          It's also a sub-regional preference: the portion of the New England coast south of Portland tends to have a strong preference for merely dredging onion rings (either in seasoned flour or flour/cornmeal*), whereas the more more northerly coast prefers batter. (Why is the coast an issue? Because onion rings are a definitive clam/lobster shack thing, even more than a burger thing, that's why.) I strongly prefer dredged rather than battered rings.

          * Though you might get more flavor if the onions themselves were seasoned rather than the flour/batter....

    2. I had the Blackjack burger and the half and half at R.F. O'Sullvan's last night. The onion rings are really good. Not the best I've ever had, but quite tasty. I only wish you could order only rings with your burger.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Dreamworks

        Gotta disagree with Dreamworks on the RFO rings -- I think they're nothing special (and BTW you can order them with your burger) -- and with tamerlanenj on the Bartley's rings -- call 'em whatever you want, but I think they're pretty darn good.

        1. re: Blumie

          You can absolutely order just rings at O'Sullivans - I do it all the time as I do not enjoy their fries.

          Love the onion rings there. Also enjoy the rings at the Bristol Lounge - nice and thick!

        2. re: Dreamworks

          Odd -- I was at RFO on Friday night. I had the cheddar and onion burger, which defaults with all onion rings, and my other two friends who did not order the same were offered the option of fries, rings or half and half (they both opted for half and half).

          I'm actually not nuts on the RFO rings either -- they're OK, but nothing spectacular and also a bit overbattered to my taste. I've always had a soft spot for the Bartley's stuff, but then I've always had a soft spot for Bartley's in general.


        3. I don't usually order onion rings, so I don't have much in town to compare them to, but I enjoyed the ones that came with the pulled pork torta I recently ordered off the bar menu at Gargoyles. The batter was very crisp and light-tasting, though it adhered somewhat unevenly to the onion slices and some of the rings were stuck to each other. Just thought I'd mention them in case you haven't tried them yet and would like to see how they compare....

          1. woodman's in essex - crispy and greasy - so good. we never go their for clams, etc. anymore, but once a summer, i have to make the drive for the o-rings!

            2 Replies
            1. re: NoShoGrl

              Totally agree. Love their onion rings. Given the lines, prices, and other great places in the areas, there is little reason to go there, but the onion rings, omfg, so good.

              The batter is unlike what I've encountered elsewhere, and I absolutely love them.

              1. re: DoubleMan

                One thing that might make the rings at Woodman's different than most is that I believe they use real lard for their frying. Not a bad thing in my book!

            2. My fav onion rings in the area are at The Paddock in Somerville. Absolutely delicious. Great bar pizza there, too.

              1. Funny this topic came up now. Yesterday, I just had some of the best Onion Rings I've eaten around here, at Henry's Root Beer Stand in North Quincy (on Newport Ave, across from Stop and Shop).

                They were huge, fried to a perfect dark golden brown crunchy goodness, with nice sweet onion inside. Really good. Oh, and the rest of the food was pretty good as well. If you are a Root Beer fanatic, they have a really nice version here; very good vanilla flavor, and lightly-carbonated so the flavor is strong. Not bad at all.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mwk

                  I've been meaning to go to the Henry's in Taunton for a while. Isn't that one a drive-in? Quincy would be easier but is it a regular restaurant? Feel like I should get the drive-in experience if possible.

                  1. re: Joanie

                    I've only been to the one in Quincy. They have maybe 6 tables indoors, and a few picnic benches outside, so you could eat there if you wanted. It was pretty crowded when I went on Saturday afternoon around 2pm.

                2. Well, I usually like RFO's rings. The problem is that they don't always season them. I usually ask before ordering them to please season them. I guess it's hit or miss for me.
                  I agree with the poster about thick rings. I don't usually like the strings. I want the thing to look like a friekin' onion.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: uman

                    My problem with the RFO rings cannot be rectified with seasoning. The problem is how battercentric they are -- they're all about the batter, with a bit of onion inside -- whereas a Bartley style of ring is much more onioncentric. Note Limster's post above about onion rings vs. batter rings. I agree completely.

                  2. I recently had the onion rings at Skampa in Cambridge and they are unbelievable. They are thin, but crispy and the onion was almost carmelized under the batter. I said at the time that they were the best I've ever had. I've only had them once, but i suspect they are always that goo.

                    if you're in the area this place is great (I had a really good BBQ roast beef sandwich and their chicken/tuna salads are quite good too), and cheap. it is an order-at-the-counter kind of place.

                    424 Cambridge St.
                    E. Cambridge(?), Down by the courthouse

                    1. The best I've had in the Boston area are probably those at The Paddock in Somerville. Amazing rings!

                      I love O'Sullivan's, but I'm not a huge fan of their onion rings. Kinda bland, in my opinion. BTW, if you ask nice, you may be able to get rings with your burger. :-) I actually order rice instead of fries with my burgers there, as it's a slightly healthier option.

                      1. The best I can recall having around here was at Uncle Pete's. I wasn't too impressed with their BBQ, but the rings were great: cut to just the right thickness (in particular not too small to be falling apart and consumed by batter), a perfect, crispy, light fry job.

                        1. Take a ride out to Sullivan's on Day Blvd, Carson Beach in South Boston for some of the tastiest, flakiest onion rings in the area. You can also enjoy the planes flying low overhead, taking off and landing at Logan Airport. Trust me!

                          1. My favorite onion rings are at the Galway House in JP and it only costs $2.95 for a huge basket. (Their beer is also pretty cheap compared to most places in Boston.)

                            1. Dairy Joy has great onion rings. Very thin, sliced on a deli slicer. Rather expensive though