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Feb 11, 2008 03:12 PM

Two Weeks in Worcester - Cheap Eats and Must Eats?

I'm a New York writer who's in Worcester for two weeks of research, and I'm am eager to check out the hounding scene here. Anybody have great recommendations for cheap eats, little gems, the best of the local diners, and must-try spots (other than fancy dining -- as I said, I'm a writer and living on a writer's budget....)? Fortunately, I love Vietnamese and Middle Eastern (apparently Worcester's two specialties) and most other ethnic cuisines.

I've already been to Pho Dakao (really good pho, but a little pricey, I thought) and tonite I had two dogs with the works at George's Coney Island (yum... I could've gone for a third). I plan to check out One Love soon, too.

I heard there's a bahn mi place nearby -- anyone know where? And all other recommendations welcome. I have a car and can get out to some of the nearby towns as well if there's something I've gotta try while I'm here.


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  1. Viet: Banh Mi on Millbury St. at Asadoorian Plaza(don't lnow the name) has consistently good, not outstanding Banh Mi. The son recently took over and expanded the menu. There is also another place on Chandler St. and one on Main St. near Clark U. a fast food Viet place. The first time I thought I had my new Banh Mi, very good, fresh with lots of filling. Second time I got grossed out by the mayo. Da Lat is my favorite Pho on Park St.There are a couple others on Park. I've eaten at the one near Royal pizza.Also, the market on Green St. has Banh Mi.
    Middle Easter: El Basha has the best, and I prefer Belmont St.Can't go wrong with the mezza, fattoush, kibbe, etc.Sahara is also good. A little nicer. Then there is Bay State bakery on Water for fresh bread and good sandwich lunch. Kays on Hamilton has the best bread. They don't make much. Bahinian on Pleasant has good baked and other goods, Ed Hyders is a great market also on Pleasant.Shiraz has very good Armenian, no atmo.
    Dippin Donuts on Main.
    Neh Veh, African on Providence St. on Vernon Hill has spicy filling African food. There is another African place on Cambridge St. I don't know enough to recommend anything.
    Pizza: Wonder Bar on Shrewsbury, the place on Highland.Sorry, forgot Juniors on Highland.
    Tripe at Big Joes on Shrewsbury.
    Diners, Diners, Diners. My favorite is Mac's for lunch. Kenmore for breakfast, and also the Boulevard.
    Someone elses turn, now.

    1. I don't know a lot - I just have a kid at Worcester Polytech - but somebody on here turned us on to Corner Grill. We LOVE it. If you like THIN pizza with all sorts of tasty and interesting toppings check it out:

      1 Reply
      1. re: CindyK

        Corner Grille is the best pizza I have had outside of Regina's in the North End.

      2. Best "bang for the buck" that I've found is the Puerto Rican place by Clark next to Saigon Restaurant. My wife had to hold me back to keep me from buying everything on the menu, and even then it would have been less than $20!

        1. The Bamboo Hut at 1394 Main St has really good Vietnamese cuisine. I stopped there with three friends after the Hunting and Fishing Show last Saturday. We were very happy with the food and the prices.

          1. Bamboo Hut is a must. Splurge on a special if you can spring it. Tell them what you like -- they will work with you there.

            Corner Grille is great but Via's pizza on Shrewsbury St. is even better.

            For a lunchtime treat go to Emilia's on Pleasant St and have a fabulous middle-eastern sandwich. The fish sandwich (Wednesdays and Fridays, I think) cannot be beat. Lentil and onion is also righteous.

            Mighty fine banh mi to go at the Ha Tien market on Main St.

            For a middle-eastern dinner treat, order the lehmajun plate at Shiraz on Park Ave.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Rick_V

              Rick -- Is Via's real thin? Thanks.

              1. re: CindyK

                IMO, I think Via is good but not great. for what they they charge and the service is a joke. I ran into a bartender at funky murphys who used to work at Via and even he said he thought the food wasn't that great. as compared to the sole and the 111 chop house. I'd rather go to the boynton on highland for pizza than Via. again, just my opinion.

                1. re: CindyK

                  Yes -- very thin and crispy. It's the closest thing to pizza from Italy I've tasted in the Worcester area.