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suggestions for interesting restaurant where parking is easy?

Jessie B Mar 9, 2011 08:05 PM

We are looking for an interesting/unusual restaurant (any cuisine or price is acceptable) in Boston or its suburbs where it is easy to park (without a valet or paid parking lot). We will have someone with us who cannot walk very far. Any suggestions?

  1. PinchOfSalt Mar 9, 2011 09:04 PM

    Golden Garden in Belmont. Northeast Chinese cooking - unusual, delicious, and very moderately priced. Just pull up, drop off your fellow diner, and park on the street, probably only steps away. Search this board and you will find plenty of praise for this restaurant.

    Golden Garden
    63 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478

    1. opinionatedchef Mar 9, 2011 09:46 PM

      Bergamot in Somerville near Harvard Square -has an open lot next door; always has open spaces. Easy/quick to drop off your guest and you while partner parks.
      Gargoyles in Davis Sq. Somerville has rear parking lot/row reserved for customers and a bigger city lot behind that/adjacent to it.
      Both places are favs of ours; excellent creative food, comfortable relatively quiet dining areas; professional gracious service.

      Our fav. suburban pizza spot is Stonehearth Pizza in Belmont; its back door opens onto a large city parking lot.

      Gargoyles On the Square
      219 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144

      1 Reply
      1. re: opinionatedchef
        PinchOfSalt Mar 10, 2011 04:52 AM

        As a long-time Belmont resident, I must warn that the town lot can get filled up, depending on the time and day. Dinner time is a better bet than lunch time.

      2. s
        stomachofsteel Mar 10, 2011 02:16 AM

        If I remember correctly, Oleana customers can park at a lot across the street for free. I've always enjoyed my meals there and I think they qualify as interesting/unusual.

        The Blue Room validates at the nearby Kendall Square lot, which is also not far from Hungry Mother, so parking is easy for those two. But there is still a short walk from the lot to the restaurant, which may be too far for your guest. Also not sure I would classify them as "unusual," though I enjoy the food at both places.

        Summer Winter in Burlington is in a Marriott, so there is a large parking lot right in front of the hotel/restaurant. While not unusual by Boston standards, I think it is probably has one of the more interesting menus in that area.

        Hungry Mother
        Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

        134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

        The Blue Room
        Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

        1 Reply
        1. re: stomachofsteel
          Madrid Mar 10, 2011 09:03 AM

          yes, Oleana has parking in a lot across the street for free. I"m not sure if it gets filled up as the evening goes on, however. Excellent, excellent food if the menu appeals to you at all.


          not free, but East Coast Grill in roughly the same Inman Square neighborhood in Cambridge has validated parking across the street for $5. I've always enjoyed brunch there, in particular.

          East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
          1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

          134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

        2. Bob Dobalina Mar 10, 2011 05:42 AM

          This is kind of a funny question, because I could suggest Angela's in East Boston, where there is usually plenty of free, on-street parking right around the restaurant. You could also go to East Coast Grill which validates with the pay lot across the street. Why not apply PinchOfSalt's advice and drop off your guests and then find parking? Then you can go anywhere.

          Stomach - you are right about the parking lot across from Oleana - only caveat is that it can be a tight squeeze and you have to back out into the street upon leaving. Definitely no room for the Lincoln Leviathans and Chevy Monstrosities of the auto world.

          East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
          1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bob Dobalina
            bear Mar 10, 2011 06:44 AM

            Right on the parking lot across from Oleana, Bob. It was even a tight squeeze for our Civic. Worth the effort, though. Wonderful experience, and certainly interesting, unique flavors.

            134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

            1. re: Bob Dobalina
              Madrid Mar 10, 2011 09:05 AM

              Sorry, Bob Dobalina, I replied before I saw your post....hours earlier, with the same info!

            2. f
              Fort Point Mar 10, 2011 05:43 AM

              Gaslight (French) in the South End has a free parking lot next to it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Fort Point
                C. Hamster Mar 10, 2011 06:50 AM

                A parking lot that you can use to eat at any of the other fabulous restaurants in the area

                1. re: C. Hamster
                  bear Mar 10, 2011 06:57 AM

                  Can you park there and walk to other places? Sometimes there's an attendant watching and we figured they must monitor who parks there. It would be awesome if it was open parking.

                  1. re: bear
                    C. Hamster Mar 10, 2011 07:00 AM

                    i do all the time.

                    though we generally have a cocktail at gaslight before heading elsewhere. but not always

                    1. re: C. Hamster
                      robwat36 Mar 10, 2011 07:33 AM

                      Oh, you mean that's not the Myers + Chang/Gallows/Oishii parking lot? I mean, um...

              2. StevieC Mar 10, 2011 06:34 AM

                Ecco in East Boston has its own (free, non-valet) parking lot in the back. As soon as you exit the Callahan Tunnel you are basically there. The food and and atmosphere is very good.

                Other than that, Doyle's and James's Gate in Jamaica Plain come to mind. The restaurants in and around Roslindale Square as well, though I have not been to that area in a while.

                People think East Boston is a big deal to get to, but it is actualy far, far easier than the JP/West Roxbury/Roslindale side of town.

                James's Gates
                5 McBride St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

                107 Porter St, Boston, MA 02128

                4 Replies
                1. re: StevieC
                  C. Hamster Mar 10, 2011 06:51 AM

                  "People think East Boston is a big deal to get to, but it is actualy far, far easier than the JP/West Roxbury/Roslindale side of town."

                  I guess that all depends on where you are starting out from, eh?

                  1. re: C. Hamster
                    StevieC Mar 10, 2011 07:48 AM


                    Yes, of course. Relative to downtown was my point.

                  2. re: StevieC
                    robwat36 Mar 10, 2011 07:52 AM

                    If JP's in the mix, Vee Vee, Bon Savor, and Ten Tables are all very good, and parking on Centre St. isn't so difficult. There's a giant public lot behind the area that stretches from Blanchard's to Bukhara.

                    Ten Tables
                    597 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

                    Vee Vee
                    763 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

                    Bon Savor
                    605 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

                    1. re: StevieC
                      devilham Mar 15, 2011 01:24 PM

                      It IS easy to get to, it's the getting out that's the problem! $3.50 toll to get back in Boston proper....that being said, it's not a ton of loot compared to parking prices, and I have ALWAYS found parking out there within 2 blocks of Santarpio's (which makes it one block/half a block from Ecco (which looks pretty swanky I might add, but haven't tried it yet)

                      107 Porter St, Boston, MA 02128

                    2. Aromatherapy Mar 10, 2011 09:00 AM

                      Evening and weekends, Gran Gusto in Cambridge has lots of parking in back of the building.

                      Gran Gusto
                      90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

                      1. c
                        CookieLee Mar 10, 2011 09:52 AM

                        Chung Shin Yuan on California St. in Newton has a small adjacent parking lot. Here is a thread about them.

                        1. l
                          lc02139 Mar 10, 2011 10:13 AM

                          Both Shangri-la and Golden garden in Belmont have on street paking right in front, that tend not to be too crowded, the Mount Vernon has a lot behind and a pay lot out front.

                          149 Belmont St, Belmont, MA 02478

                          Golden Garden
                          63 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478

                          1. greygarious Mar 10, 2011 10:50 AM

                            The Pongal on 3A in Billerica, near the Burlington line, has one of the best pan-Indian lunch buffets around, 7 days a week. It has ample free on-site parking. On weekends it has an even larger spread than the generous variety of the weekday lunch, costs a couple of dollars more, and can be crowded. Best to go just before noon or after 2.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: greygarious
                              opinionatedchef Mar 14, 2011 01:39 PM

                              grey, i became a non-fan of pongal once i tried udipi bhavan in lowell outskirts. hope you'll try it.

                            2. KilgoreTrout Mar 15, 2011 07:55 AM

                              Posto has a small lot for customers

                              1. 5
                                5thAndNowhere Mar 15, 2011 08:17 AM

                                Elephant Walk outside Porter Sq has a big lot in the back, OK for patrons after 5. Highland Kitchen outside Davis does as well (tho it is small).

                                Il Casale in Belmont? That public lot behind Macys is pretty easy at night.

                                Elephant Walk
                                2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140

                                1. f
                                  fredid Mar 15, 2011 12:58 PM

                                  Further out of town - Fuloon in Malden for excellent Chinese - but search the board for recommendations there as they have a huge menu. Also, if you'd like to try excellent Ethiopian, Habesha is down the street.

                                  Habesha Restaurant
                                  535 Main St, Malden, MA

                                  1. s
                                    suzysue2 Mar 16, 2011 09:55 AM

                                    AKA Bistro in Lincoln has great sashimi and French fare and a huge parking lot.

                                    AKA Bistro
                                    145 Lincoln Rd, Lincoln, MA 01773

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