Boston must try Restaurants under $20
Okay, I've been lurking here forever (and have learned a lot)
Now I am so into trying new restaurants, I need some ideas. I'd like to have a list of restaurants with entrees under $20 I must try. I like all kind of food, really... (and I can't afford more expensive restaurants, for now, I am just broke)
I already know my way around Chinatown.
Thank you :)
Welcome to the board!
A list like this will be HUGE and possibly unmanageable. Maybe it would be helpful to list the restaurant as well as the dish in particular that makes it worth chowseeking out?
My vote for now goes to ---
Kathmandu Spice in Arlington - try a dish called Aloo Tama. It's a ubiquitous and very traditional Nepali comfort food, and is a hearty stew of potatoes, black-eyed peas, and a type of fermented bamboo shoot that's very hard to find here. The fermented bamboo is stringy and crunchy and has a flavour that might take some getting used to. Although I've grown up eating this stuff, I could possibly describe it as a combination of sour, umami, smoky, pickle-y... hmm.. maybe. :)
Anyway, that's my vote.
166 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474
Here are a few of my favorites in that price range that are in or near Boston:
Tacos Lupita, Somerville (Salvadoran, Mexican)
Angela's Cafe, East Boston (Mexican)
Pizzeria Regina, North End (pizza)
Dok Bua, Brookline (Thai)
Shanti, Dorchester (Indian)
India Quality, Kenmore Square (Indian)
Antico Forno, North End (Italian)
Moulton's, Medford (seafood)
Reef Cafe, Allston (Middle Eastern)
Shanghai Gate, Allston (Chinese)
We tried Moulton's for the first time last week. It was great, fresh simple seafood for about the same $ as it would take for us to make it at home. The grilled salmon and swordfish was some of the freshehst I've had in awhile. There was only one other table in there, and a few people eating at the bar. The service was very friendly, and it took less than 10 min to get there from mid-Cambridge.
I would put this place on par with Out of the Blue. The fish at Moulton's was fresher, but OOTB has better atmosphere. For the record, Dolphin Seafood less than two blocks away, but we never go there. Both OOTB (and now Moulton's put it to shame.
Lots of good recs already.
In the downtown area, more for lunch - oh and some spots really aren't "restaurants" but you can eat just as well standing up.
Chacarero - on or near Bromfield - one large combo is a meal.
On the redline - The Porter Exchange spots -
I'll throw in a Con Sol recommendation - Portuguese on Broadway in Cambridge - I think entrees did not exceed $14.
Pretty much any Viet spot in Field's Corner
As a note, Laurel seems to get a lot of mixed opinions on this board, but I think the best bet is to sit at the bar and try a reasonably priced (though not necessarily interesting) entree, and have cocktails. We would go mainly for the fantastically entertaining bar tender, Erryl.
Here's my list:
Cafe Jaffa, Back Bay (Middle Eastern)
Cafe Polonia, South Boston (Polish)
Addis Red Sea, South End (Ethiopian)
Brookline Family Restaurant, Brookline (Turkish)
Audobon Circle Pub, Boston (mixed/gastropub)
Harvard Gardens, Beacon Hill (gastropub)
Redbones, Somerville (BBQ)
Jose's Mexican, Cambridge
Brown Sugar Cafe, Boston (Thai)
Koreana, Cambridge (Korean)
Sunset Cafe or Portugalia, Cambridge (Portuguese)
Moqueca, Cambridge (Brazilian)
India Quality, Boston
Zaftig's, Brookline (Jewish/Deli)
Here's an off the top of my head list of general cheap eats:
Blue Fin, Porter Square Cambridge - sushi
Any of the stalls in the Porter Exchange Mall, Cambridge - various Japanese
Druid, Inman Square, Cambridge - Irish pub grub
Publik House, Washington Square, Brookline - Belgium pub grub
Miracle of Science, Central Square, Cambridge - burgers & skewers
Tacos Lupita, Wilson Square, Somerville - Salvadorean
Rincon Limeno, East Boston - Peruvian
You already know about Chinatown
Angela's Cafe, East Boston - Mexican
Taqueria El Amigo, Waltham - Mexican
Gitlo's, Allston - dim sum
Blue Ribbon BBQ, Arlington - BBQ
Trattoria Toscona, Fenway, Boston - Tuscan
Qingdoa Garden, North Cambridge - Northern Chinese
Wang's Fast Food, Magoon Square, Somerville - Northern Chinese
MuLan, Kendall Square, Cambridge - Taiwanese
Namaskar, Davis Square, Somerville - Indian
Martsa on Elm, Davis Square, Somerville - Tibet-in-exile
House of Tibet Kitchen, Teele Square, Somerville - Tibetan
Il Panino Express, North End, Boston - Italian fast food
Most of the places in Allston. Do a search.
Adding onto the growing list:
-Atwood's Tavern on Cambridge St - not your usual pub fare (soba noodle and seaweed side anyone?)
-Deep Ellum in Allston Village - Their newly revamped website is much nicer than the old one. The veggie/vegan pot pie is calling my name - has anyone tried anything from the new-to-me winter menu?
-Forest Cafe Mass Ave outside Harvard Sq. Not your typical Mexican. Plus, who wouldn't want to drink/eat with famous Cantabridgian drinkers who seem to constantly populate the bar?
-Rangzen Tibetan in Central Sq. I've never had dinner there, but the lunch buffet keeps bringing me back again and again..
-Hometown Korean in Union Sq. Get the jajangmyun (noodles with scary-looking, but mild black bean sauce) or jampong (spicy seafood soup with the same noodles), particularly in this cold weather.
-The Independent in Union Sq. Upscale pub food. I like eating at the bar on the "restaurant" side versus the pub side. You'll see what I mean if you choose to stop in. Restaurant side feels nicer.
-Highland Kitchen outside Davis Sq. Our new favorite. Nab a seat at the bar and James will take great care of you. Green Street-esque food (owned by Mark Romano, so no surprise there).
I can definitely recommend Rangzen for dinner -- I imagine the lunch buffet is quite nice as well, although unfortunately I'm never in Central Square at lunchtime.
One quick clarification, though: Deep Ellum is in Union Square Allston (the confluence of Brighton Ave, North Beacon, Washington and Cambridge Sts), which is not the same thing as Allston Village, which is Harvard between Comm Ave and Cambridge Street.
Hmmm....We stopped into Deep Ellum today and we saw an "Allston Village" sign in the vicinity of Yoma.
I tried the veggie pot pie - it was comically HUGE. Order it and you will see. Appropriately mild and comforting. I could have used a bit more spice/pepper. We brought more than half of it home and it had to still be a pound or two of food (I really dislike those nasty styro take-away containers - oy). I drank the St. Bernardus (?) tripel - not as floral as I would like - and the High and Mighty Farmhouse ale. He had the vegan seitan burger which he wasn't crazy about (I have had it before and I did like it...but then again, he doesn't often go for the faux meat but wanted to give it a try...he'd also prefer a toasted/grilled bun). He also had High and Mighty ale and Dogfish Head Ale 90 min IPA. We shared the malt fries and steamed pretzel with housemade mustard.
Sultan's Kitchen on State Street--Turkish, lunch only. Wonderful spicy soups.
Greek Corner on Mass Ave, North Cambridge Moist tasty swordfish.
Courthouse Fish Seafood Restaurant on Cambridge St near (the Court House) Fish!
Basta Pasta on Western Ave in Cambridge........... and by the way, a lot of us are also broke but still like to eat well!
my fave cheap eats, mostly asian:
*rod dee: BEST thai food, brookline
*dok bua, thai, brookline
*pho pasteur, viet on brighton ave
*may's cafe, authentic taiwanese, brighton/allson
*boston pizza express, bu area, great chicken wings
*color, korean, brighton
*begood, burgers, backbay
*cafe mami, porter exchange, japanese - VERY good (2 most popular dishes, burger on rice and boneless fried chicken)
*mulan, taiwanese, cambridge
I'd add Galleria Umberto in the North End
-Cafe Polonia (Polish) in Southie
And I might get flogged, but La Verdad for tacos/ tortas on Lansdowne
Not that's it's really a restaurant per se, but Villa Mexico has pretty damn good Mexican food, especially considering it's in a gas station on Beacon Hill.
Don't forget Michael's Deli in Coolidge Corner for the best corned beef you will ever eat. You can even get a Cel-Ray with it.
wow-- this list has become nutty! so many places...I will pick up on the trail... as you said you've only really ventured to Pizzaria Regina in the North End-- (which is not my personal favorite, but is for many others--for pizza)-- I would strongly suggest as someone else did here, that you try Galleria Umberto. It is only open for lunch, and has some crazy 12-2 hours I believe-- but they have arincini, pizza, calzone, etc. all cheap-- ! If you haven't done it, and are looking for something new, give it a shot. Also, lower on Hanover are a few places before you get to the 7-11, on the left side of the street toward the water-- some great spots for lunch, take a walk and peruse the menu's. If you've been here that long, you've gotta check out the North End & get some favorites there!!! ; )
If you want cheap you shouldn't settle for less in quality, i would suggest-
*Medina market-allston-excellent pakistani food almost everything is under 10 bucks
*Sunrise-dorchester-very very good vietnamese, someone else recomended pho2000, any viet place along dot ave is a good bet!
*tamarind bay-indian-there lunch special is really cheap and good
*The restaurants in side of porter exchange mall-japenese-the sushi place has really cheap lunch deals and the fish is fresh
hope that helps!
Some more suggestions: Casablanca, Algiers, Wagamama, Silvertone, Bukowski's, Charlie's Kitchen, Matt Murphy's Pub, Soulfire BBQ, the Burren.
Try Galleria Umberto, CK'S Shanghai, Zoe's, Blue Ribbon BBQ, Shangri-La, Mr. Bartley's, the bar in Casablanca, Flour, Hi-Rise, Duk Bao, and Basta Pasta.