Culinary tour of East Boston
My husband and I are on the prowl for the most authentic, spiciest, most delicious restaurants Eastie has to offer.
We've already been to Angela's and the pizza place (name escapes me - the famous one you can see from the airport).
Please fork over some recommendations! We love all types of food.
I've called Eastie the most underrated chow destination in Boston, though I've barely begun to scratch the surface myself, but some places I've been to and like include: Angela's Cafe (my favorite Mexican in Boston), Santarpio's (the famous pizza place, though I prefer the kebabs), Rincon Limeno (Peruvian), Taqueria El Rancho Grande (inexpensive Mexican), Pupuseria Mama Blanca (Salvadoran), Ecco (casual, trendy bistro), Dough (gourmet pizza, sandwiches), Carmen's Kitchen (casual Italian-American), Royal Roast Beef (counter-service Greek-run fried seafood and roast beef sandwich place), Cafe 303 (good little indie cafe), El Paisa (nice-looking Colombian place), Belle Isle (moslty takeout shore food and fish market). I know I'm forgetting some.
I would agree with what's been posted, and add the following:
Rosticeria Cancun in Maverick Square - good roast chicken and excellent pupusas - truly a hole in wall, as they only have limited counter space along both walls (I know they opened a new place on Meridian, but I love the feel of the original)
Roy's on Marion Street - excellent cold cuts, nice candy selections, and my favorite italianesque sub anywhere, the Roy's special
El Chalan on Chelsea Street - if you're just in the mood for pollos a la brasa
Betty Anns on Bennington - if you're around before 8 am, excellent donuts
Peaches and Cream/Betos on Bennington - my favorite alfajores
Fria Rico on Bennington - stock up on Peruvian supplies, including a very good aji sauce (in a pouch, not in a jar) if you're there on the weekend, grab a few tamales for breakfast the next day.
re: MC Slim JB
I think they are very similar. Can't remember if there is much of a difference in price. The packaging is almost identical. Another thing I had recently at Betos was what they called, if I remember correctly, "mil pisos", a thousand floors, which was many layers of a thin wafer like cookie, with manjar blanco (the alfajor filling) in between.
As if you don't have enough...
Rino's Place on Saratoga St. has excellent house-made pasta. It is the type of huge-portioned red-sauce joint that may be ubiquitous in the North End, but the quality is much better. My personal favorite dish is their “Matriciana.” And, like most of the places you might visit in Eastie and have been recommended, as a bonus you get a healthy dose of character from both the patrons and the servers.
Donna’s in Orient Heights is a diner-type location (only open from ~6-1 or so) that has an extra-healthy dose of the aforementioned character. Donna herself - quite extraordinarily considering the size of the space - takes all orders personally. Although it may not be the most ultimate Chow destination, the food is quite good and worth a visit, if only to get a true sense of the local color.
i think there are more underrated chow destinations than east boston but here are some of my favorites from the area...
el buen gusto (salvadoran)
rincon limeno (peruvian)
el paisa (colombian)
el jardin (colombian/panaderia)
el penol (colombian)
el chalan (peruvian)
taqueria el rancho grande (mexican)
taqueria jalisco (mexican)
beto's/peaches and cream (peruvian/bakery)
frio rico (peruvian market with prepared foods and desserts)
meridian food market (italian market with hot/cold subs and prepared foods)
saigon hut (vietnamese)
Couple added notes:
I haven't had it, but others here highly recommend the seafood stew at Topacio. Meridien Market's best (I think!) is their "special" (sub) - get the large - twice the size for a couple more dollars, and you won't regret it! Rosticeria Cancun Dos (almost next to Meridien Market): Several of us stuffed ourselves happily for almost free (maybe $4 each)
Also, another new place with lots of "character" and great sandwiches, good coffee, is Scups - in the Marine industrial area (literally) so make you sure you get directions.
Also, Angela often makes a "special" that will appear for a week or two (call and ask Luis or Joel, her sons) and has added fish tacos and other things to her menu.
I don't think of Eastie as having "spicy" food - but it does have lots of good things to eat! Do a search for the famous (year old? maybe more?) thread, where someone made an exhaustive list and others added on.
Reviewing the responses to your inquiry, Swankalicious, it would appear that practically every single place that food is available in the ~6 square miles of East Boston has been recited or recommended. Let us know if Chowhound was useful for your tour and the results!
I'd add Mi Pueblito on Border Street to the list. It's Mexican-Salvadoran, and has great pupusas and mojarra frita. Nice folks work there too.