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Coming from NY, these posts for Boston did not fail. Over one weekend, we hit many of the Boston chowhound choices. Eastern Standard (acceptable), Aquitaine (excellent) Regina's in the North End (excellent) and Deluxe (?) (good).

Looking for comfortable mid priced late dinner. For those who are familiar with NY, basically we're looking for a Blue Ribbon, Momofuku Ssam, Freeman's, Five Points, hell I guess even a Schiller's type place if the vibe is good. any kind of food, it's the quality and vibe that's important. Not divey (I like dives btw, just not the occasion for it), not meat-packing annoying, not touristy antiseptic. Places where we get a good lively neighborhood vibe with some good food. We're all in our mid-thirties designers living in the East Village and Lower East Side.

By the way, sorry for the NY references, but I don't know Boston that well and from past posts a lot of people from Boston know NY well enough to know what I mean.


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  1. Not a lot of good late night choices in Boston, but one great one: the Franklin Cafe. Although it's hard to compare it to the NYC places on your list, it nonetheless should keep the East Village/LES set.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Blumie

      I have always equated Franklin Cafe to Blue Ribbon. Not quite as extensive a menu, but similar in vibe and theory.

    2. I've been to none of the places in NY you mentioned, and yet I'm making recommendations.

      The bar at Sage (formerly in the North End, now in the South End) is open late (for Boston).

      The Monday Club at Upstairs on the Square in Harvard Sq. is open late (for Cambridge). I wonder if, as designers, you'd get a kick out of it.


        1. it's too bad you didn't think ES was so good, it has a bit of a Schiller's feel, altho much bigger and more comfy. The Franklin suggestion is a good one. The bars at Prezz, Bricco and Lucca serve pretty late. But how late are you talking? As you know, Boston choices go way down after 10 on the weekday and 11 on weekends.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Joanie

            Hi, only went once so maybe it was an off night. Salad wasn't that fresh, food was over salty. Liked the vibe, although maybe a little on the big side. Late meaning a 9pm or 10 pm meal. Where they aren't mopping the floor when you're having an after dinner drink (exaggeration, but you know what I mean).

            1. re: hominaray

              B&G Oysters, a board favorite, is open til 11:00. I've arrived as late as 10:45 and didn't feel rushed at all. The mops won't come out til after you leave!

          2. For two great Boston places with a distinct Boston (er Cambridge) vibe I would check out B-Side or East Coast Grill in Cambridge.

            Don't think either serve dinner NY late though.

            1. Isn't Freeman's the place with the animal heads on the wall? We have nothing like that in Boston, though the Eagle Brook Saloon in Norfolk (45 minutes southwest of Beantown) may have a couple a two or three hanging from the walls. ;-b

              You might want to check out Orinoco in the South End. Nice neighborhood place in a section of town that feels a bit like the West Village (beautiful row houses, tree-shaded streets, etc.). They feature excellent Venezuelan cuisine at decent prices. The digs are a bit tight, however, so you might not like it if you're claustrophobic.

              Orinoco is open until 10:00 Tuesday-Wednesday, and 11:00 Thursday-Saturday. Not all that late, but, well, this is Boston, where it's tough to find much of anything open late! (I miss Scruffy Duffy's in NYC's Hell's Kitchen, where I believe the sign on the wall still says "last call: 3:59 AM")

              7 Replies
              1. re: hiddenboston

                Had a lovely dinner at Orinoco the other night. If you don't like the tight quarters, their sidewalk patio is a very pleasant alternative.

                1. re: hiddenboston

                  Yes. I just like lively neighborhood places (not sceney, not house music pumping loud). A place where you can have fun but it's not obnoxious. I know this is all subjective, but I think most of you know what I'm talking about.

                  1. re: hominaray

                    Another one you might like is Chez Henri between Porter and Harvard Square in Cambridge. Their bar area is fun without being too snooty or too loud, and the Cubanos are about the best in town. And if you need a change of scenery after awhile, Cambridge Common is basically across the street (real neighborhood pub vibe, with lots of locals from Arlington and Somerville there, as well as a handful of Harvard students and faculty).

                  2. re: hiddenboston

                    Yep, Freeman's has some kind of odd hunting lodge decor going for it. But I like it for it's intimate space, lively atmosphere (as opposed to "sceney"). Orinoco sounds nice. Any other spots?

                    1. re: hominaray

                      There is a restaurant called Dish, which is just up the street from Orinoco (Shawmut Avenue). It is a charming little spot with some outdoor seating out by the sidewalk. They serve some comfort dishes as well as New American cuisine. It is another place that has a "West Village" feel to it (mellow, a bit quirky, set amidst row houses and tree-shaded streets).

                        1. re: hiddenboston

                          yep i used to live across the street from Dish, it's a cute place.

                    2. We just moved to Boston from NY - you mentioned our favorite places in NY...sadly I don't think Momofuku can be replicated...things that have reminded us of the east/west village so far (we've only been here for 1 month but have eaten alot) have been Neptune Oyster (in the North End) and Franklin Cafe. They both have a local, laid back vibe with great food.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: gramercyfoodie


                        Thanks for the response. I'm glad you got the references, because I was having a hard time explaining it. I looked at Franklin cafe and I think you nailed the vibe.

                          1. re: hominaray

                            So glad I could help - your request is our quest too...hopefully we'll be able to expand on the list for your next trip here. As for Franklin, I'm sure you discovered they don't take reservations and frequently have long waits, but we've been lucky so far this summer though and the waits haven't been terrible. Have a great trip.