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New to the Neighborhood: West Newton/Moody Street

My boyfriend and frequent DC are moving to West Newton-but only a mile or so from Moody Street in Waltham. This is uncharted dining territory for both of us- with the exception of Blue Ribbon BBQ. But a girl can't live on pulled pork alone (okay, she could, but she'd get really chubby). So, any of you have some good suggestions for must-eats in our new 'hood?

We eat...everything (so, really, I'm trying to avoid 'chubbier').

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  1. For Moody Street, we like Solea for tapas. Ponzu is not bad for pan-Asian. Haven't tried Tuscan Grill but it gets okay reviews here. For more expensive/upscale Italian, there is Il Capriccio and La Campania. Both are on Main Street Waltham instead of Moody Street.

    Last night we tried out Kebab and Tandoor on Main Street - really good food. We also like Baan Thai on Main Street; and Elephant Walk next door is decent too. Yasu a few doors down supposedly have pretty good Korean (Korean/Japanese but Korean is better), but we haven't tried it yet.

    Ponzu Fine Dining
    286 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453

    Elephant Walk
    663 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451

    Tuscan Grill
    361 Moody Street, Waltham, MA 02453

    Solea Restaurant & Tapas Bar
    388 Moody Street, Waltham, MA 02453

    Il Capriccio
    888 Main St., Waltham, MA 02453

    Kabab & Tandoor
    699 Main St, Waltham, MA

    La Campania
    504 Main St, Waltham, MA 02452

    Sushi Yasu
    617 Main St, Waltham, MA 02452

    Baan Thai
    659 Main St, Waltham, MA 02451

    1. I have lived in waltham for 8 years now, here are some of my favorite places...

      On Moody Street:
      Bison County (great south carolina grilled wings) and good for a burger
      Tom Can Cook (can look dead inside at times, but a large selection of food, and great for take out)
      Lizzys (great ice cream)
      Tempo (for a more upscale "trendy" place, they make really good food and good cocktails)

      Off Moody Street
      Pisanos--it is a mexican/guatamalan restaurant off the path that has really good margaritas, and very good food. Located on High Street. Stay away from Margaritas on Moody Street...overpriced, bad food.
      Il Capriccio--for a fancy meal since it is pricey, but the best Italian in the area

      Surprisingly there are a lot of great breakfast places in waltham. My favorite is In A Pickle on Main Street.


      1 Reply
      1. re: marn209

        I believe it is "Paisanos" on Newton Street. But I wouldn't bother...really mediocre IMHO.

        Another possibility for upscale Italian is La Campana, on Main Street.
        Definitely second Amarin Thai...some of the best you'll find outside of Brookline!

      2. Does anyone know if the Lincoln is still open and if it serves food? Silvertone is a fave and I was hoping I could get a mac n cheese fix there instead (same owner)?

        1. For a good pub burger and fries in West Newton try The Local. For a special (fairly expensive) night out in West Newton, try Lumiere, small, chef-owned restaurant, New American food. Don't miss the movies at the West Newton Cinema, excellent foreign and smaller budget films.

          1. If you head East on Washington St. in Newton you will find Lam's (Thai/Cambodian) and Rice Valley (Chinese) in Newtonville. A bit further East is Cabot's which will never win any awards for great cuisine, but it is one of the last of a dying breed of family run ice cream shoppes with great frozen yogurt and even a decent chicken salad sandwich. If you head to Newton Corner you will find Amarin (Thai) and Buff's pub known for their Buffalo wings.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sushidad

              Further down on Main Street is Dom's - excellent subs (never had the pizza and pasta...) Sabatino's on Main serves up a decent slice. I strongly second the recommendation for In A Pickle. i work on Main and eat there at least once a week. You'd also do well to hop in a car and go to Russo's - not far from you.

            2. I second Ponzu, Tuscan Grill, Solea, Sushi yasu.
              Also, add to your list:
              Bombay Mahal - excellent Indian
              Upper Crust- local chain- great pizza -great atmosphere and they serve beer!
              Masao's Kitchen - kind of weird in a good way japanese/macrobiotic- very interesting and good.
              Watch City Brewery - great pub food - awesome nachos and sweet potato fries- their beer is kind of mediocre, but we like to support our local brew pub nonetheless.
              The Skellig is my favorite moody stret bar and has my favorite veggie burger ever.
              Also, I've heard the pizza place in West Newton- Sweet Tomato or something like that is excellent but haven't been myself.
              Bon App!

              1. Gotta second (or third!) the rec for breakfast at In a Pickle.

                Also, right off Moody St (on Crescent St) is a place called Victoria's where they have a yummy breakfast too. It's in the old watch factory building.

                The bar Franco's on Moody has good pizza. It's on Moody a wee closer to Newton than the rest of the restaurant area. (www.francospizzeriaandpub.com, but it looks like the site is down


                Baan Thai is decent like someone mentioned. And they have sushi now. (Weird, but what I had was pretty good.)

                And, Dominic's was mentioned already too, but they have the best eggplant sandwich I have ever had. So freakin' good!

                1. Go all the way up Moody to Main Street. Turn left, go down a couple of blocks, and look for Beijing Star on your right, opposite Hannaford's supermarket. It's an excellent Chinese restaurant - get the pink menu. And Hannaford's (enter from the parking lot on the back) has a good selection of international ingredients.

                  In the first block to the right on Main is Elephant Walk, a Cambodian/French restaurant. Your best bet is Cambodian for apps and dinner, French for dessert. If you want to eat there, actually, drive straight across Main and park in the garage on your right.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: peregrine

                    >And Hannaford's (enter from the parking lot on the back) has a good selection of international ingredients

                    Did they ever replace the international sections at Hannaford's? The last time I went, they seemed to get rid of alot of that stuff due to the remodling that has been going on. That was the last time I shopped there about 2-3 months ago though.

                    1. re: LStaff

                      It's actually surprisingly nice in there now. For a while it was like... every two days everything would be in a different place, but they've essentially finished remodeling now and-- *gasp*-- it kind of looks like a modern grocery store now.

                      1. re: HJSoulma

                        Yes, they have decent selections of many things. Only 2 drawbacks: no decent bread and organic is VERY expensive....much more than WW!!

                  2. Is there no place in Waltham that has serves anything adventurous for breakfast? I've been to almost a dozen different breakfast joints in the area in the last year since moving to Waltham, and the most unusual thing I've seen on a menu is some greek type sausage. Everything else is just run of the mill eggs, omelettes, pancakes, etc. and the homefries I've had at every place were unseasoned.

                    If anyone knows anywhere in the area that does anything out of the norm for breakfast, I'm all ears.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: LStaff

                      For breakfast, you can try Victoria Cafe. It is American/Peruvian, but the one and only time we went for breakfast, I think the breakfast menu is 100% American.

                      If you consider weekend brunch = breakfast, Elephant Walk offers Sunday brunch. They offer a variety of Cambodian dishes on the brunch menu. Or you can go to Beijing Star for their weekend dim sum (starts at 11:30am).

                      1. re: y2000k

                        I tried Victoria's and although it was one the better breakfasts I've had in the area, but still kind of boring.

                        Corn flake encrusted french toast seemed a little different for the area though if you are into that kind of breakfast.

                        1. re: y2000k

                          what peruvian dishes do they have on the menu at victoria's cafe?

                        2. re: LStaff

                          You could try Taqueria Mexico or Mi Tierra for breakfast. The Skellig also has some Irish brunch options like black and white pudding, irish rashers, bangers, etc.

                        3. There are some excellent Mexican restaurants in Waltham as well. My favorite is Taqueria Mexico. It's right off of Moody closer to the Main Street end.

                          Also, try the steak tips at Sadie's, and the chili at Jake's Dixie Roadhouse. Don't love the barbeque there, but the chili is great. Also at Jake's the deep fried twinkie with blueberry sauce is magically delicious.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Eatin in Woostah

                            Taqueria Mexico is amazing- cheap and delicious- and also they have yummy sounding breakfast- although i've only been for dinner.

                            1. re: Eatin in Woostah

                              Sadly I have to now qualify my reco of the chili at Jake's. Had it twice and it was great both times - nice big chunks of pork, no beans. We went there on Friday night and it was like a bowl of pulled pork with some red sauce on top. Not good at all. But the Black, Black, Blue, and Bacon fries were sinfully good - sort of a poutine with blue cheese dressing instead of gravy.

                            2. Great suggestions, and warnings. I'll add Fiorella's for comfy Italian and friendly staff. Their pizza's are great and very affordable. We sat at the bar and ordered wine while we waited for friends, we were given bread sticks and red sauce. lovely gesture.

                              There are fantastic markets on Mt Auburn: Sevan, Arax and Massis. yum.

                              1. I heartily recommend Mi Tierra in Waltham on Moody St., great latin food, really nice people--and they also serve breakfast. Also in Waltham, we love Little India on Moody Street and Taqueria el Amigo on Willow. Coconut Cafe in Newton Centre is pretty good Thai food, Shogun in W. Newton is good sushi.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Chris in Newton

                                  No offense to Chris, but my experience has been quite mediocre at those spots (with the exception on Little India, which I have not been to). Just because you are living in W. Newton, PLEASE don't limit yourselves to W. Newton and Moody Street in Waltham. 5 minutes away in Chestnut Hill is Oishii...arguably the best sushi in the Boston area (tiny place with 2 tables and a sushi bar....call ahead and put your name on the list). Likewise with Amarin Thai, just down Washington Street in Newton Corner. Also, don't miss Sweet Tomatoes pizza in W. Newton...a bit pricey but good.

                                  1. re: Science Chick

                                    I love Oishii but to be fair, it is at least 10 minutes away IF there is no traffic. However I would plan at least 30 min at most times. Osihii is tops for sure, but hardly in the vicinity the OP is asking about.

                                    I will enthusiastically second Woostah's Sadie's recommendation, and like Franco's slices as well (though I preferred the old location for some reason). Note there is a pizza joint called Franca's as well, but I am referring to Franco's with an O on the end. Personally I avoid Upper Crust.

                                2. When my husband and I lived in West Newton, we used to love to go to Paddy O's - an Irish pub around the corner from Blue Ribbon. Their red sauce certainly won't win any awards, but it's a great little place to grab a pint and a burger! I definitely also can recommend Sweet Tomatoes on Washington and Le's a bit further down the street.

                                  1. A few additional suggestions (most of my faves have already been mentioned):

                                    -Biagio on Moody (by the train tracks) for terrific Italian in a beautiful setting. Also have an upstairs lounge and outdoor patio.
                                    -Sabatino's - in addition to pizza, their specialty pastas are great. And they come with wonderful pizza dough rolls a la Bertucci's!
                                    -Erawan of Siam on Moody is my go-to thai place.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: alt11

                                      Hardcore second on Sabatino's and Erawan. I didn't know I liked Thai food before I went to Erawan (I originally come from way out in the 'burbs, and the only "Thai" restaurant around just served Chinese food with pineapples in it), and Sabatino's has the most ridiculously inexpensive, delicious HUGE portion pasta ever. Be warned though, it's not exactly an "upscale" restaurant-- it's delicious and cheap, but not really a place to sit.

                                      Not responding to this post but in general, I also recommend Little India for Indian. Prospect Cafe, which is near Moody street but not on it, has tasty calzones and a thousand flavors of frozen yogurt.... um... Dragon Chef is a dive-y but surprisingly good Chinese food restaurant that's worth mentioning because it's open into the wee hours of the morning...

                                      Avoid Tiki House at all costs. Also, you'll be tempted to go to Lizzie's for ice cream, but really, there's better stuff out there. Try the Chilly Cow in Arlington (frozen custard!), or if you're up for a drive White Mountain Creamery in Chestnut Hill is quite tasty and all their ice cream is made with fresh New England cream... let's see...Cafe on the Common on Main st. in Waltham has wonderful cappucinos...

                                      Really, there's just a LOT of really amazing food in the area, and I recommend getting used to driving around the city and becoming good friends with Google maps or a GPS. There's nothing more fun than finding a new restaurant-- be adventurous!

                                      Edit-- Also, I just noticed someone mentioned Baan Thai, which I've never actually *been* to but have gotten a lot of takeout from-- very tasty and not too expensive. For other takeout Thai I've heard very mixed theings about Tree Top, of which the only memory I have is food poisoning.

                                    2. Another place to try in West Newton is Comella's. It's smack dab in West Newton Square. You can't get better for good, cheap italian. It's a takeout counter with a few seats inside but it's really tiny. You get a lot of food for cheap. A takeout pasta container that feeds 2-3 runs ~$13.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: qc204

                                        There certainly has been some debate here whether Comella's is all that good anymore. I've tried them a couple of times and was thoroughly underwhelmed, even though I really *wanted* to like them. Lackluster sauces, overcooked pasta. And cheap? Well, according to their menu online, the 1/2 bucket size (first size up from a single) runs from $18-27, and that's for plain pasta w/sauce. If you want anything else, you pay from the "extras" menu, at $1.50/meatball. You'd do better to make some pasta at home and throw on a few Trader Joes frozen meatballs at a fraction of the price.

                                        1. re: Science Chick

                                          second the opinion that comellas has sadly gone downhill. they also used to run CB'S (comella brothers) which was on the other side of the cinema, good solid standard pie with in-house crust. they have since sold out and it is called west newton pizza and is standard poor to fair.

                                      2. W. Newton:
                                        Rice Valley (very good)
                                        Shing Yee (ok)
                                        Paddy O's (good)
                                        Local (ok but pricey)

                                        Solea (very good)
                                        Il Capriccio (quite good but special occasion prices)
                                        Bison County (very good)
                                        Mother India (good)
                                        John Brewer's Tavern (ok)
                                        Iguana Cantina (passable but a close one)
                                        Joe Sent Me (good)

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: ShelT54

                                          I completely agree that New Mother India is very good. The Malai Kofta and Shahi Paneer are both excellent.

                                          Sadly Iguana Cantina is gone. It had gone severely downhill in recent years, so wasn't too sad a loss. There is a new place there now, can't recall the name.

                                          Has anyone been to the caribbean place across from the Landmark theater next to Sadie's?

                                          1. re: Eatin in Woostah

                                            I haven't been to NMI in a few years -- we loved it, and had our first date there-over 12 years ago, but the last time we went there, it was horrible, empty, and the owners, who we recognize, were no where to be found...

                                            Has New Mother made a come back? We used to really like it.

                                            1. re: cheesehead in recovery

                                              They've been renovating, and we haven't been in a few months. When we walked by last week it looked very different inside.

                                              Funny, my husband and I also had some of our first dates there, about 13 years ago. :)

                                              We'll have to go see how it is. Maybe mother's day evening.

                                          2. re: ShelT54

                                            Iguana is indeed closed, and it is now called the new landing. Pretty basic food, nothing great. Good bar scene though, and a nice patio in back during the summer time.