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Best Onion Rings in Boston area?

  • g

Who do you think has the best onion rings in the Boston area? I'm thinking of the thick-cut kind, separated into single rings, with a very thin, crisp cornmeal coating - not a bread ing, sort of a dusting. The Rainbow Rib Room (Mass Ave at Newbury St.) made them this way; sadly closed. Anyone had a good experience?

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  1. Well i dont like the type you like. I like the thin sliced battered ones. Dairy Joy in Weston makes an excellent version like this. They slice them fresh on a deli slicer and batter them.

    1. i'm partial to the onion rings at bartley's in harvard square. you can order them as a separate side, in which case they are more expensive than you'd expect but you get a gigantic portion.

      2 Replies
      1. re: autopi

        You're right, autopi, those are mighty good ones. A little on the skinny side, really onion strings, but the coating is right.

        1. re: Guido

          The Bartley's onions rings are the best in Boston!

      2. I love thin sliced, lightly battered/breaded onion rings. To be honest, the kind we got as a kid once a year at Howard Johnson's in Concord.

        There are four places locally where I have found onion rings that I enjoy: Mr. Bartley's, Skampa [who would have thought?], Mike's Roast Beef, and the Clam Box. A previous chow-post indicated that Pescatore's has onion strings under the fried calamari that fit this description, but that the regular orders are the fatter, battered version.

        Clam Box of Ipswich
        246 High St, Ipswich, MA 01938

        Mike's Roast Beef
        127 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149

        Bartley's Burger Cottage
        1246 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

        424 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

        1 Reply
        1. re: smtucker

          Wish I had read this thread before I got some take-out from Mike's Roast Beef. I've never had onion rings here and would have ordered them too! Just finished a junior beef with lettuce, extra sauce, and mayo, along with fried shrimp. As good as always.

          Fried Shrimp:

        2. I think the onion rings at U Burger are excellent. Not thick cut but crispy, well-seasoned and always served piping hot from the fryer.

          1. Two of my favorites (both handcut and thick, though I recall them being thickly battered) are perhaps from unlikely sources: Jake's Seafood in Hull and an obscure little Irish pub in Walpole Center called The Paddock (no relation to the one in Somerville, which also has good rings, BTW).

            1 Reply
            1. re: hiddenboston

              Yes, l love the ones at Jake's! (Dining room closed for the season now, I believe.)

            2. Champion's Pub on Foster St in Peabody. thinner than what you're looking for but absolutely knee buckling good.


              1. Someone coincidentally told me tonight about Red Robin's onion rings. It's a stack about a foot high of thirteen rings served with a ranch dressing and bbq variant. There is one in Plymouth and one in Millbury. He said the rings are worth the trip - I've never been there, but he does love food.

                2 Replies
                1. re: almansa

                  I think Stephanie's on Newbury does a similar onion ring tower. Haven't tried them myself but they are the thick-cut battered variety.

                  1. re: heathermb

                    Jake's in Waltham does the thick cut, battered rings in a tower too. I thought they were very good.

                2. Redbones has a really nice version.

                  1. My all time favorites were at Rainbow Ribs and its successor - Hoo Doo barbecue at the Rat in Kenmore Square. I once read that their secret was to put them in buttermilk before they dusted them.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Northender

                      does anyone know where you can get good thick cut Onion Rings - where they are server as a large veritical stack, preferably propped up by some type of pole?

                      1. re: jogo7375

                        Betty's Wok and Noodle serves them like that. They're located near the Symphony T station.

                        1. re: Pegmeister

                          Another vote for Betty's version if you are in that area. The onions aren't thick, but they are very good.

                        2. re: jogo7375

                          That's what I saw served at Stephanie's on Newbury.

                          1. re: jogo7375

                            Flemings, not too remarkable in most respects (although your typical decent steakhouse food) has AWESOME onion rings, as thick as donuts, served stacked on a pole.

                          2. re: Northender

                            I'm with you, Northender, those were the best. Any idea what happened to those guys? The only thing I have had that comes close was fried green tomatoes in Savannah, GA - see my post here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/450489

                            1. re: Guido

                              They resurfaced briefly at a place on beacon Street jsut past Kenmore Square but it failed rather quickly and don't know what happened to them. The guy who founded it and made the recipes not only indicated that he used buttermilk in the onion ring batter but also a little bitter chocolate in the barbecue sauce for the ribs. Wish he would resurface somewhere - those wer egreat meals.

                          3. Been a while since I've been in the Boston area.But I cant imagine there would be any better than the ones served at the little shack on the road to Salisbury Beach.Yes they were the size of doughnuts-beer battered i supposed.In the late 60's you got like 4 of these monsters for a buck.i dont think the place had a name other than "onion rings" but it was the nuts,especially after a day of playing pinball at the Beach.
                            For the thin "string" type you couldnt go wrong with Jimmys Dairy Bar on High St. in Danvers.I know they are still around as Jimmy's Supreme Roast Beef or something like that.

                            1. Wow, The Rainbow Rib Room. Saturday nights in 78-79 hangin with Eddie G doing the Hi-Fi Party on WERS. Finish the show head to the Rainbow and see Jim, pick up a ton of food and head back to Central Sq where a dozen or so crazy folks would hang around to watch that hot new comedy show Saturday Night Live. More fun than humans are allowed. Always chuckle when I'm at Eastern Standard, knowing all the great times we had at the HooDoo and the Rat

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jeff Turton

                                Loved The Rat! and there's a story that the actual bar from The Rat is installed at Keon's 105 Bistro in downtown Haverhill.

                              2. I went to Flemmings and tried them there, yes they were expensive, but they were so crispy and were huge! they came out as a 12 inch tower stacked perfectly. They are worth a try if you go.