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New to Newton/Watertown

I've just moved up to the area and am looking for food food and more food.

So far I've found:

Johnny's Luncheonette (love the cornbread french toast)
Jumbo Seafood (food was eh, service terrible)
New Ginza (I think I love this place, the gyoza was amazing and the aioli for the calamari divine)
Crown Cafe (tasty no frills pancakes, and cheap)

(Also stopped by Boloco and a bar & grill chain in Natick. Boloco I would do again although it was just average, the other place no -- I think it was Joe's American, but I'm not sure.)

Where else should I go? Although my palette would like Lumiere my wallet would much prefer frozen pizza or something of the sort. So... I compromise and try to eat out on a budget. Hole in the wall type places are perfectly acceptable and maybe even preferred so long as they are tidy. Definitely looking for something within 5 or 10 minutes of that ridiculous circle/rectangle at Centre and the Mass Pike.

I really like Latin cuisine, although not so much Spanish -- Cuban and Mexican place high. So does Korean. I'm not familiar with Brazilian food at all, but would love to know a good place to try it out (seems to be a decent Brazilian population here). Italian is always good, Chinese and Japanese fine, pizza, subs... whatever is out there as long as it's good!

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  1. In Newton, I would recommend Biltmore Cafe, Dunn and Gaherins and Green Tea in Newton Upper Falls.

    In Newtonville, Lam's and Rice Valley are good oriental options as is Amarin in Newton Corner.

    The best area eating, however is in Waltham. On Moody Street you will find spanish (Solea) a variety of Latin American, Indian and Asian restaurants as well as higher end establishments such as Tuscan Grill.

    If you want to venture to Needham I highly recommend Rice Barn for Thai food and Sweet Basil for Italian.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sushidad

      While I whole-heartedly agree with the Biltmore, Dunn and Gaherins is mediocre bar food at best.
      Green Tea is very good - good place for dim sum, too.
      Rice Barn is overpriced, IMO. I like Sweet Basil, but some of their food is overly salted (esp. their risottos)

      YMMV

      1. re: mirage

        I agree with the biltmore- excellent place! Sweer Basil- eh!

    2. This ought to get you started:

      Watertown:

      Deluxe Town Diner (breakfast/brunch especially, good dinners too)
      Strip T's Restaurant (local mostly seafood joint, try the turkey burger too)
      Demos (Kabobs, simple, cheap and good)
      Sushi 21
      Napoli Pizza (ny-style)

      Newton:
      Lam's (Vietnames with some other asian mixed in)
      Sweet Tomatoes Pizza (thin crust)
      Mango (Thai)
      Blue Ribbon BBQ

      Belmont:
      Shangri La (Sichuan Chinese)

      -----
      Shangri-La
      149 Belmont St, Belmont, MA 02478

      Blue Ribbon Barbecue
      1375 Washington St, West Newton, MA 02465

      Deluxe Town Diner
      627 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

      Lam's Restaurant
      825 Washington St, Newtonville, MA 02460

      Sushi 21
      54 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

      Napoli Pizza
      9 Main St, Watertown, MA 02472

      Mango Thai Cuisine
      115 Elm St, Newton, MA 02465

      Demos Restaurant
      64 Mount Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

      Strip-T's Restaurant
      93 School St, Watertown, MA 02472

      Sweet Tomatoes Pizza
      1279 Washington St West, Newton, MA

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ruprecht

        Sweet Tomato and Blue Ribbon are a must!! You won't be disappointed.

      2. Definitely Sweet Tomatoes in Newton Centre and West Newton. For a quick slice, Raviolis in 4 corners is not bad.

        One of my favorite restaurants in Newton is Farm Grille on Needham St. Great Greek food, really clean restaurant (order at counter). Also Demos in Watertown for good Greek, also casual.

        For great Thai, try Amarin in Newton Corner. I've never had a bad meal there, and the atmosphere is very relaxing, they don't rush you out.

        have fun!

        6 Replies
          1. re: Bighead

            Fiorella's has been getting a lot of plugs lately. The place is ok, particularly if you have a hankering for veal parm, but it's not great. The pizza is to be avoided.

            1. re: Blumie

              tastes are relative and you pan everything anyway :)

              fiorella's is the best value itialian for budget concious diners in either town in my opinion. it's a cheap, clean hole in the wall..as requested.

              1. re: Bighead

                You're not very familiar with my reviews are you? I only pan bad restaurants!

              2. re: Blumie

                I've found Fiorella's pizzas to have the perfect balance between doughy and crispy crusts, which is the deciding factor for me. But to each his own.

                1. re: qwertyu

                  Well there's only one thing for the OP to do then, isn't there? Certainly a visit to Fiorella's is not a significant investment; it is very reasonably priced. So go and see for yourself. If you happen to really like the food, I agree with the others that it's a nice place: a warm, neighborhoody place with warm, neighborhoody service (albeit in a very nondescript setting, at least from the outside). Note that there often are waits at peak times. (I do not recall if they take reservations.)

          2. I'd vote for Thai Thai Kitchen in Newton Centre over Amarin.

            FYI, Sweet Tomatoes stops serving slices around 4 p.m.

            Rice Valley is quite good Chinese.

            If you venture to Waltham, try Taqueria Mexico. It's the best Mexican food I've had in the Boston area.

            Sushi 21 in Watertown Square is really good and their $1 lunch specials can't be beat.

            Talk of the Town Diner in Watertown Square (breakfast and lunch) makes the best omelettes I've ever had. The ambience of a neighborhood/family-run restaurant can't be beat.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Velda Mae

              I wish Sweet Tomatoes would change that slice policy.

            2. For Italian, I'll throw out Appetito in Newton. I've been three times over the past couple of years and it was consistently decent for a pretty modest price. Stick to the basics. It's pretty similar to Carlo's in Allston, but not as good, imo. It's definitely easier to find parking near Appetito and there is usually a lot less of a wait than Carlo's.