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Mar 5, 2007 05:22 AM

eating ethnic in Worcester ?

We don't eat out much but have friends coming to visit soon who love any and all ethnic food. What are your recommendations for the best ethnic restaurants in Worcester? Many thanks!

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  1. By far, my first recommendation would be the Bamboo Hut at 1394 Main St. (past Webster Sq.) for creative Vietnamese. Service is friendly but very laid-back, so don't be in a hurry. Order off the daily specials menu for upscale food at real bargain, or off the regular menu for wonderfully executed traditional fare. BYOB.

    DaLat on Park Ave is reliable for more straightforward Vietnamese in a more informal setting. Also BYOB.

    There are many middle-eastern choices; my favorite is Shiraz on Park Avenue. Not much in the way of atmosphere, but great food and quite inexpensive. Sahara on Highland St. is a close second -- much better atmosphere, more expensive, service can be slow.

    There are a few Indian choices, all of which I think are pretty good. Of the lot, I'd say the Bollywood Grill (just over the line into Shrewsbury on Rt 9) has the most interesting menu and atmosphere, and when you tell them you want something spicy, they don't mess around. Surya (off Shrewsbury St.) and India Cafe (across Rt 9 from the Bollywood) are also pretty good, I think.

    Italian isn't really ethnic dining in the US, but my favorite Italian in town is Rovezzi's on Grove St. Many, many Italian-American options in town, but that's even less ethnic.

    I'm sad to say that good Korean and Hungarian places have closed their doors in the past year. None of Worcester's Mexican, Chinese, or Thai options are very exciting.

    1. El Basha Park ave and Belmont St. for Lebanese.
      I second Da Lat, also Green Bamboo on Green St for Viet. They also have a hot pot, which is fun. A couple good Bahn Mi, the betst being on Millbury St.
      The Polish Deli and Bakery on Millbury t. have some great goods to take home and prepare.
      Moving down the St., Widdoff bakery has butt kicking rye bread.
      Toms Internatonal Deli recently changed hands, can't vouch yet.
      Ya mon, One Love is a true love on lower Main St. Soulful Jamaican.
      There are a plethora of hispanic eateries in the lower main st, chandler st area.Not my area of expertise.
      Pampas, very good churasca on Shrewsbury st.
      Prince and Ziyadee on Providence St. is African. Ate thereonce, had the special on Friday, stewed beef and chicken, spicy yum, served with rice. $6., enough for 2, but I didn't share..

      3 Replies
      1. re: trufflehound

        Hi trufflehound, I haven't been to El Basha. Do you recommend any location over the others, I think there's a Westboro location as well? TIA

        1. re: Harp00n

          I like the original Belmont St.location. It's run by the eldest, most cordial brother. Westboro has the advantage of being BYO and since it's the newest, their mother may actually be cooking there, which is always a plus.

          1. re: trufflehound

            I knew I could count on one my of Peeps!
            Thanks truff

      2. Didn't love Bollywood. India Cafe much better IMHO.

        2 Replies
        1. re: phelana

          Bollywood has a nice atmosphere, and I would describe them as being more upscale. But I think the food at India Cafe is awesome. I've eaten there a number of times and always enjoy it.

          I haven't had a lot from Bollywood, but their menu is definitely more expensive. I can't say whether or not their food is superior. I've only had some naan from them. Once in a while I get a naan craving and I've ordered it from both places. The naan at Bollywood was fancier, but it was two three times as expensive and while it had more potato stuffing inside, there weren't any more servings.

          1. re: puppymomma

            Bollywood is more of an americanized dining experience. India Cafe, which is directly across the street, is more of the old hole in the wall authentic Indian diner. The service can be a bit spotty at times (much of the help has some trouble with English, although there is a young waiter there now who is really starting to get to know his customers), but the food is great!

            India Cafe does a lot more business in the take-out scene. And you can pretty comfortably take a group of up to about 15 or so there without any real problems.

        2. Thanks for all your great suggestions and comments!

          1 Reply
          1. re: weesie

            Loved Bamboo Hut (peculiar setting) and Dalat. Baba for sushi is great. Osaka in White City is beyond bad. Shiraz has pretty darn good Middle Eastern food.

          2. I'd add Sahara to this list. It's middle eastern food (similar to Shiraz & El Basha) but I think the food is better quality, and the atmosphere is much nicer. The waitstaff is quite slow, but that can be good for a romantic night out.