Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
May 23, 2008 09:12 AM

Charlestown - what's the food scene like?

We currently live in Chinatown and are looking to move to Charlestown for more space etc. Being spoiled by all the yummy, accessible and inexpensive food in our current neighborhood, I'm worried that being in Charlestown will be like moving into a chow wasteland.

I'll still be working around the Chinatown area, so will be able to satisfy those cravings at lunch and on the way home. We like Tangierino, but that's the only place we've tried over there...

Thanks in advance,

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Food scene in Charlestown...what food scene?

    Seriously though food is not the Chuck's strong point. I like the pizza and simple Italian dishes at Paolo's. I also think Olives has been quite consistent over the past two years and do not mind going there (though you can find differing opinions throughout the board). Other than, there is not much I can reccomend in Charlestown. At least the North End is walkable, and Somerville, Cambridge, etc are not far.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Gabatta

      I always liked Chow Thai on Main Street when I lived next door... FWIW

      1. re: Small Plates

        The scene is thin. In addition to the above mentioned:

        - Sorelle Cafe: medicore baked goods, decent sandwiches, meh coffee, higher prices, and sometimes surly counter help (City Square location, not Main Street.)

        - Tangierino: Morrocan cuisine, somewhat authentic (and non-authentic cuisine too); cool interior/vibe: belly dancing

        - Navy Yard Bistro and Wine Bar: Never been, but described as solid, well prepared American/Fusion Food

        - Warren Tavern: America's oldest Tavern. And food to match.

        - Tavern on the Water: Great view. Food is OK on a good day.

        73 Main Street, Charlestown, MA 02129

        Sorelle City Sq
        100 City Sq, Charlestown, MA

        Sorelle Bakery Cafe
        1 Monument Ave, Charlestown, MA 02129

        Tavern On the Water
        1 8th St # 6, Charlestown, MA

        Warren Tavern Restaurant
        2 Pleasant St, Charlestown, MA 02129

    2. Actually it isn't a wasteland. Sorelle's is a great little bakery, sandwich shop. Though I'm not a fan, Figs is on Main Street. Navy Yard Bistro in the Navy Yard is very good. There is Turkish restaurant on Main Street that I have forgotten the name of, again not bad and there is always the Warren Tavern which has very good chowders.

      I lived in Charlestown for 12 years and it is now better than it was back when I lived there and Speedy Wong's was considered good food.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kate used to be 50

        I lived in Charlestown for 7 years. The food scene is lacking. In addition to the lists above, Zumes Coffee House is a solid spot for coffee, pastries, and sandwiches. During the fall, spring, and summer I never seemed to mind living in Charlestown because it was easy to walk into the N. End or take the bus and T to Somerville and Cambridge, or the rest of Boston. You can really get anywhere from Charlestown with minimal effort.

        During the winter, I often got frustrated with Charlestown. The neighborhood spots get old quickly and I found myself taking a cab to other parts of the city.

        But I have to say, overall I enjoyed living there.

      2. Sorry JT, but your choices/options are going to dwindle considerably. I moved from Charlestown to the South End almost 5 years ago and it was like going to Churchill Downs from Suffolk Downs to watch a horse race. There is no comparison. I believe that the biggest thing you will miss is not being able to walk to so many places in your neighborhood, especially on cold, rainy or snowy nights. Yes, the North End is "just over the bridge," and Sommerville and Cambridge are close, but the options of places to walk close to home will be very limited. Depending on where you live, you will only have a couple of choices.

        Olives is your best bet. Many people who haven't tried Olives in the last few years are critical, but it's improved a lot since Joe Brenner is back at the helm.

        Ironside is a good place to watch a game and get decent, casual pub food.

        Tangereino is a nice dark place for a drink and decent food.

        Navy Yard Bistro is decent standard fare.

        Sorelle service is surly. Sandwich nazi.

        Tavern on the water, good for a beer, the view and to watch a game.

        Warren Tavern. Bar, Burger and Baseball hats.

        Figs. Good pizza and decent food.

        I'm with Gabatta...what food scene?

        4 Replies
        1. re: PJ Mac BJ

          Thanks everyone for the the input. Now here is an additional question:

          What about good food shopping close to Charlestown? Right now since we are car-less we get our Asian produce close to home in Chinatown and then order peapod for the bigger, heavier stuff and stuff that has any trace of dairy. I know there is one grocery store close to the T at Bunker Hill, but is it any good?

          Thanks again!

          1. re: jennyt

            Johnny's Foodmaster - I would go in there starving and come out empty handed. The 95 bus goes from Sullivan Square down the road to Stop & Shop in Somerville on Rte 38 - it is great. Everything you need, good staff, great produce - fish is hit or miss, but I usually go to East Cambridge for that anyway... the butchers there will do anything you need... OK cheese department... all the staples are there and the prices, while not Market Basket... are reasonable with good specials. As a personal chef, I am in there 4 days a week and usually find everything I need. For higher end items, obviously, I go elsewhere.... but overall S&S in Somerville gets the job done and is accessible to C-Town. Give it a try... even if you have to pay for a cab on the way back, it is better than going to Johnny's.

              1. re: PJ Mac BJ

                Another opinion re: Johnny's - mega dump. Moved out of Charlestown to another town with a Johnny's and its a dump too. I drive 11 miles one way to get decent groceries.

        2. Haha, you guys are forgetting about some stellar food picks- Friendly's, Papa Gino's, and The 99!

          1 Reply
          1. re: SaraASR

            I actually did like the steak and cheese at Papa Gino's. That is if you could make it through the gauntlet of thugs and townies on the sidewalk in front of CVS without getting into a fight.