Great chow in Lawrence
[We split this from another thread for better visibility -- The Chowhound Team]
Not sure how controversial this is, but one of the truly underrated towns for restaurants is...Lawrence. Excellent Vietnamese, Korean, Italian, Sicilian, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Salvadoran, and so on. Also, great places for pizza and hot dogs.
BTW, this is one of the best topics I've seen on Chowhound. Thanks for starting it, opinionatedchef!
Sure, why not? Here goes:
Sal's--excellent New York style pizza in a terrific environment (w/outdoor patio on the river)
Napoli--terrific Sicilian pizza
Tripoli--even better Sicilian pizza, plus great pastries
Fisichelli's--little known pastry shop that I like better than Tripoli for pastries--you have to try the chocolate chip cookies with a layer of fudge in the middle
Tacos Lupia--we all know about their food, and yes, there is one in Lawrence
Cafe Azteca--some of the best authentic Mexican cuisine north of Boston
Pollo Tipico--great cubanos, though not quite up to the level of Chez Henri
Cesar's--another good place for cubanos
T&N Vietnamese Restaurant--decent place for Vietnamese food--good pho there
Lawton's--from what I hear, a place that hot dog lovers must check out (I haven't been yet)
I'll try to think of some more when I'm more awake...
I'll add a few more, which you probably know about already:
Mounir's Restaurant - Lebanese
Bruno's North End - Fresh Sandwiches & Italian Meals
Ceasar's Cafe - Sandwich shop. Good place for a Cubano Sandwich
El Tipico - same owners of Pollo Tipico
Cedar Crest Restaurant - Diner side. Great breakfast spot, nice lunch specials and excellent burgers.
And a few more. North Lawrence: On Common Street, Tripoli bakery/pizza and Napoli Pizza are literally a stone's throw from each other and Cafe Azteca. I like the Tripoli pizza and the Napoli spinach and meat pies by the slice or whole. You can also get a half/half spinach/meat. Next door to Napoli is
The Italian Kitchen where on the weekend, you can get all sorts of Italian (esp Sicilian/Southern Italian) treats--rice balls, crispelli (plain, anchovy or cheese).
Lawton's deep fries their dogs. This might offend some, but they are cheap and good.
Speaking of cheap and good, in South Lawrence in what used to be the Irish section of town, Hardy's bakery. Great soda bread, and cheap, excellent breads (to die for snowflake rolls), pastries and both sweet and savory pies.
Also in South Lawrence, down the street from Hardy's, Yokohama Japanese Steakhouse.
I second Hardy's: very inexpensive, very old schoo0l - and old enough that it was back in a time when things tasted good! Good meat pies, without the soapy artificial taste, for about $1.50! Just once I got (and I don't know if they still have them) raised doughnuts stuffed with ricotta. They were only on Sunday mornings, and only until they sold out, but very fun.
Garden House is Korean home-style cooking with some Japanese (no sushi). Excellent noodle soups and Tchigae (stews).
The Hee Bin restaurant at the end of South Union does great Korean BBQ and also sushi.
Up the street from Hee Bin, where the old registry used to be, there is a decent Korean food store, Shin-Shin that has a fresh meat and fish section. They have Kalbi (thin sliced cross-cut short ribs) and lots of other goodies.