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Your Top 5

Coming to Boston in a week, looking for some seriously good eating. What are your top 5 personal favorites? I am purposely keeping this broad because I want a wide sampling of what is out there.

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  1. Yikes - this is impossible to answer without knowing what you want.
    For example, do you want steak or do you want ethnic food? Similarly, do you want a fancy dining experience or do you want to try something funky? Finally, do you have any budgetary, location or food restrictions?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Delhiwala

      we like everything!! what are your favs?

      1. re: homesmax

        Pizzeria Regina (North End location only)
        EVOO (Camb/Som line)
        No. 9 Park (Beacon Hill)
        Lala Rokh (Beacon Hill)
        Mamma Maria (North End)

    2. 1. Clio (Elliot Hotel), fine dining, decent service, really good desserts
      2. Men Tie (Herriford between Boylston and Newburry) Japanese noodle shop
      3. Santarpios (East Boston) Pizza, old school boxing bar
      4. Brown Sugar (Comonwealth) Tia food
      5. O-sushi (Westin Copley) Sushi

      1. Mamma Maria
        Eastern Standard
        Pizzeria Regina (North End location)

        1. We're vegan and I'm gluten-free, so our list takes that into consideration.
          Martsa on Elm, Tibetan, Davis Square, Somerville
          Asmara, Eritrean/Ethiopian, Central Square, Cambridge
          Elephant Walk, French/Cambodian, Porter Sq. Cambridge, Boston, Waltham
          Veggie Planet, Harvard Sq, Cambridge
          If you're venturing further afield...Organic Garden in Beverly or Life Alive in Lowell.

          1. Ten Tables
            Jo Jo Taipei
            breakfast at Centre Street Cafe
            Pizzeria Regina - North End

            8 Replies
            1. re: Allstonian

              Taking those five (all of which are on my list as well) out of consideration, I would add:

              Cafe Brazil
              breakfast at Deluxe Town Diner
              New Jumbo Seafood
              Speed's (he claimed he'd be around on weekdays until December, so you'll be just under the deadline)

              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                can you recommend anything specific at namaskar? i've been there twice now for their lunch buffet and found it extremely uninspired. westernized-indian-out-of-a-box was how it felt. the naan was light and buttery, but otherwise it was very yawn-worthy. i'm sure there's more going on since it's been a consistent board favorite, so any guidance would be helpful.

                also, as to the centre st brunch--have you tried vee vee's yet? it's only sundays, i think, but it's probably my favorite in the city so far. especially because we haven't had to wait in line for it.

                1. re: autopi

                  I didn't even know Namaskar did a lunch buffet, since I'm never in Davis Square at lunchtime, but rarely are Indian lunch buffets NOT uninspired. I've never been disappointed in anything I've ordered there, but I keep going back to the saag gosht, which is probably my favorite lamb dish in the entire city.

                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                    Agree on the saag gosht.

                    The dal makhani is outstanding, as has been every vegetarian dish I've tried. These days, we usually get the vegetarian platter for two, which has about a half dozen small servings of assorted vegetarian dishes.

                    Tandoori meats (freshly made, not from the buffet) are consistently excellent.

                    But my absolute favorite items at Namaskar are the breads. The poori are the best I've had anywhere.

                    1. re: finlero

                      thanks to both of you for the recs. i'll give 'em a shot next time. re: indian buffets, the one at kebab factory is quite good. and the nepalese lunch buffet at kathmandu spice is (based on my 1 visit) extraordinary.

                      1. re: autopi

                        Have to second both those lunch buffet recs from autopi, they line up with my experience in being WAY above average lunch buffets.

                        1. re: GretchenS

                          I agree and will add the weekend brunch at Bengal Cafe (N. Cambridge)--not huge but different..

                  2. re: autopi

                    had a nice goat curry at namaskar about a year ago

              2. Orinoco
                Angela's Cafe
                Katmandu Spice
                Neptune Oyster

                1. Trattoria Toscana (Fenway)
                  EVOO (Camb/Som line)
                  No. 9 Park (Beacon Hill)
                  Dante (Sonesta Hotel Cambridge)
                  Sandrines (Harvard Sq)

                  1. Toro (South End)
                    Green Street (Cambridge, Central Square)
                    Neptune Oyster (North End)
                    Za (Arlington)
                    Eastern Standard (Kenmore Square)

                    1. The Helmand, Afghan, Cambridge
                      Brookline Family Restaurant, Turkish, Brookline Village
                      Hungry Mother of Cambridge, Southern-influenced, Cambridge
                      Oleana, Middle Eastern, Cambridge
                      The Kebab Factory, Somerville

                      The Helmand
                      143 1st St, Cambridge, MA 02142

                      Brookline Family Restaurant
                      305 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02445

                      134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                      The Kebab Factory
                      414 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

                      Hungry Mother
                      233 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02141

                      1. Fuloon! Incredible Szechuan, etc./Malden (close to T)
                        Angela's Cafe - Eastie - also close to the T
                        Mulan - Cambridge

                        1. 1. Eastern Standard
                          2. Craigie on Main
                          3. Hungry Mother
                          4. Troquet
                          5. Galleria Umberto (lunch only)

                          1. FuLoon (all around regional Chinese cookery), Malden Center
                            No. 9 Park (a Boston area instiution)
                            La Voile (French bistrot in the sense of extension of your living room hominess)
                            DalĂ­ (Spanish - ducking the brickbats sure to be thrown my way extolling Taberna de Haro or Ken Oringer's place over this)
                            Blue Ginger (Ming Tsai's Asian fusion joint in Wellesley)
                            honorable mention to Brookline Family Restaurant (Turkish in Brookline Village)

                            1. Sure, I'll play along. Within Boston city limits only, and may change the list on a moment's notice:

                              Neptune Oyster
                              King Fung Garden
                              Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe (breakfast)
                              (honorable mention: Franklin Cafe, Ten Tables, Icarus, Pigalle, Mamma Maria, Galleria Umberto, Pizzeria Regina, Peach Farm, Clio, No. 9 Park, Grill 23, Brown Sugar, India Quality, Shabu Zen, Toro, El Pelon)

                              Expanding out from Boston, but still staying within public transportation range, consider:

                              Oishii (Chestnut Hill)
                              Helmand (Cambridge)
                              Tamarind Bay (Cambridge)
                              East Coast Grill (Cambridge)
                              Oleana (Cambridge)

                              Dok Bua, Matt Murphy's (Brookline), Atasca, Mr. Bartley's, Dolphin Seafood, River Gods (Cambridge), Martsa on Elm, EVOO, Dali (Somerville), Kelly's (Revere Beach).

                              1. hearty thanks to everyone who contributed! we had a fabulous weekend. neptune oyster is unbelievably good. the lobster roll was to die for--warm toasty brioche slathered with lobster butter and piled high with some of the most incredibly tender, juicy, sweet lobster i've had (in 25 summers at the cape). WOW.

                                had delicious dim sum at hei la moon and a great martini at 28 degrees. wish we could stay another night!!