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Boston Area's Best Lunches?

My husband and I are staying around here for our vacation next week and are looking for suggestions for places to go to lunch in the Boston and Metrowest Areas. So what are your favorites?

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  1. Where are you staying, food preferences, price range, will you have car to travel?

    2 Replies
    1. re: bakerboyz

      Galleria Umberto on Hanover St. in the North End, Monday through Saturday for arrancini (rice balls) and pizza, Durgin Park (good lunch specials), Oishi in Chestnut Hill for excellent sushi, Bartley's Burger Cottage in Harvard Square, and several places in Chinatown for dim sum.

      1. re: chuck s

        Just a caution on Durgin Park. I was there a few weeks ago for lunch and the 86 list was longer than the menu. They didn't have oysters, lobster, or clams.

    2. I live here in Waltham but usually am not out and about for weekday lunches b/c of work.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ngaffin

        Waltham has a boatload of good places for lunch: New Mother India (Indian buffet), Erawan of Siam or Green Papaya (both Thai), Bison County (BBQ), Taqueria Mexico (Mexican, and for the area pretty authentic), and Domenic's (Italian and subs) will start you off. Sadie's is a board favorite for steak tips (haven't been) and some like Carl's for huge steak subs (less a favorite of mine, but there's much worse). There are also a few Salvadoran spots that are good whose names escape me.

        1. re: ngaffin

          The two places I'm planning to hit for lunch when I take a few days off next month are Galleria Umberto and Chacarero.

        2. my current fav for lunch is to to go the super 88 food court in allston--there are quite a lot of options (vietnamese, ramen, indian, chinese, taiwanese, some others i'm forgetting) that are tasty and not very expensive.

          1. Sultan's Kitchen for Mediterranean food-Broad St. in the Financial District. Redbones in Davis Square for BBQ.

            1. Neptune for, of course, oysters.
              Antico Forno for chicken parm
              Artu for pizza with gorgonzola; potato and prosciutto
              Marias for a slice of the riccota pie with the chocolate in the middle
              Cafe Paradiso for expresso martinis
              Silvertones for mac & cheese with a nice glass of wine
              Shabu Zen on Tyler St in Chinatown for hot pot cooking
              Drinks atthe Oceana Lounge at the Marriot Long Wharf for the view

              Well, it's a start at least.

              1. The Cheese Shop in Concord, MA!

                3 Replies
                1. re: joebelt

                  The Cheese Shop does have a tasty menu but it's not a sit-down kind of place. If you want to picnic at the Old North Bridge or rent a canoe at the place off Main St., a take-out from the Cheese Shop is a great idea but don't expect to eat there.

                  1. re: three of us

                    Why not they have a bunch of tables if you want to sit down. Yes they do not do table service if that's what you mean.

                    1. re: joebelt

                      If I was on vacation and looking for a destination place, the tiny tables in cramped quarters wouldn't be my thing. If I was looking to grab lunch and was already in the Center, I still wouldn't find the place a comfortable setting for a sit-down lunch.

                      At the intersection of Walden and Main, down the street from the Cheese Shop, is a coffee/sandwich place with more spacious seating. There is no table service but it's got more room and a nice view of the street for people watching. The food is better at the Cheese Shop, though.

                2. Sam Lagrassa's for some of the best pastrami sandwhiches. I'll second Silvertone, just great simple food and some of the best bartenders and staff in Boston. Also Hi-Rise in Cambridge has some great sandwhiches.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: FoodArt

                    the fireplace grill in brookline has excellent lunches at great value. their french fries are first rate and they make a fine mussels dish as well. lunch prices range from about 9 dollars for a first rate hamburger and fries up to about 14.

                    1. re: FoodArt

                      I went to Lagrassa's for the first time yesterday and had its turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce. OMG, it was so fabulous. The stuffing was homemade and they laid down a nice, thick layer of cranberry sauce. The bread was also excellent. My only thought here, though, is that it seems better to take out than to eat in that frenetic atmosphere.

                    2. Sel de la Terre has a very good lunch menu, and is a pretty space.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bear

                        agreed except for the one in the Natick Mall. That one feels like you are eating in a Crate & Barrel store. :)

                        1. re: joebelt

                          I've never been to the Natick location, but I can certainly imagine that to be the case. Part of the charm of a restaurant of SDLT's quality are the location, and it is pretty tough to create an ambiance that tricks someone into thinking that they are in a special location. Better to go to an authentic destination.

                          I actually hesitated to post the rec, thinking that if ngaffin lives in Waltham, she could easily make it to the Natick location some other time. Now I feel that the rec stands, since the original location is the one to go to.

                      2. I'm surprised no one's suggested more upscale things, like the 3 course lunch at L'Espalier for $25. i think Radius and No. 9 have that too for about the same price. Abe & Louie's only serves their burger at lunch and brunch and that's a good deal. I'd also hit Rachel's Kitchen on Fri. for the lobster roll, which I haven't had but who knows if you'll be able to get it again. I also like going to Charley's Sandwich Shoppe on a weekday right before it closes when it's not packed. If you're downtown, I'd grab a sub to go from Al's on State St.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Joanie

                          No. 9 Park has stopped lunch service.

                          1. re: Joanie

                            Hey, Joanie,

                            Check out this thread for Rachel's Kitchen update.


                            1. re: bear

                              Right, that's why I said they should go this week when they're on vacation.

                          2. Angela's Cafe (East Boston) for chicken mole.
                            China Pearl Best Cafe (Chinatown) for char siew/glazed roast pork rice.
                            Flat Patties (Harvard Sq.) for burgers and onion rings.