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Local flavor, real deal, one hit wonders, down scale, no reservations, hole-in-the-wall in Boston area…

I’m a fairly recent immigrant to the Boston area and New England in general. I have a couple of friends coming in for a visit from Houston and I’m looking for some recommendations. They’re foodies and particularly enjoy downscale local places that have a lot of atmosphere. Definitely nothing fancy. Places with a lot of history are great but local ethnic spots that are simple and real are also in order. Anthony Bourdain “No Reservations” type places, etc.

Two places that I’m thinking of so far (that I’ve found on Chowhound) are Floating Rock and Daily Catch in the North End. If what I’m talking about makes any sense and you get what I’m talking about, I’d really appreciate a recommendation or two. Thanks.

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  1. Pomodoro in the North End would fit the bill.

    1. Ethnic I would do Angela in Eastie and downscale local with great ( non ethnic) food I would do Green Street in Central Sq...

      1 Reply
      1. re: capeanne

        Green Street is pretty far from downscale; half of the entrees are over $20.

      2. I'm not sure if I'd call it a "hole in the wall" (that term seems as subjective as "dive bar" these days) but maybe Casa Portugal in East Cambridge?

        1 Reply
        1. re: LeoLioness

          Privus in Brighton (the spaciest bar and the best korean fried chicken) - Shanghai Gate in Brighton - JoJo Tapei in Brighton - Any of the vietnamese places in Dorchester (Sunrise Cafe comes to mind) - Orinoco (great drinks, good Venezuelan food) - Tupelo for southern - and the list goes on.....

        2. floating rock definitely fits your criteria but keep in mind that they're closed until next wednesday (1/6)

          1. What you are talking about is largely in essence what this board is about, and there are dozens of respectable replies, give the board a good read some time when you have a few hours, that said, a few that come to mind:

            Yoma
            Fuloon
            Silvertone
            Doyles
            Buff's Pub
            Peach Farm
            Best Little Restaurant
            Kathmandu Spice
            Kebab and Tandoor
            Rincon Limeno
            The Original Pizzeria Regina
            Galeria Umberto
            The Warren Tavern
            The Sevens
            Winsor Dim Sum
            Mittapheap
            D'Leomar
            El Oriental de Cuba
            Dok Bua
            Blue Ribbon
            Shangri-La
            Lobstaland (Gloucester)
            The Clam Box (Essex)
            Toraya
            Wang's Fast Food
            One of the various Brazilian BBQ places.
            That'll hold ya for a meal or three, etc. etc.

            1 Reply
            1. re: StriperGuy

              Should make it clear that you're talking about the belmont shangri-la. Wouldn't want the OP to wander into the Boston one by accident :) That place is certainly *down scale*.