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Apr 24, 2011 07:21 AM

Moving to Chestnut Hill

Hello all,

I grew up in Chestnut Hill (pre-Chowhound era), moved away nine years ago, and am now moving back (pretty much across the street from BC) after spending the last eight years in the New York area (West Village, Park Slope and the inner NJ suburbs at various times). My recollections of local food are pretty minimal: Oishii for sushi, Legals for seafood, and, well, Bertucci's. I'd love some tips on what's new, what's changed, what I never knew about in the first place, and generally some pointers on my new old food neighborhood.


- Pizza: I loves me some Bertucci's and am very happy to have that as a delivery option, but yeah, it's chain-restaurant pizza, which seems like a shame in Boston. Anything better nearby?

- French/Italian: I got nothin'. Anything low-key local places worth knowing about? Boston is close enough for special events, so I'm not looking for lights-out places, just something local and decent.

- Sushi: is Oishi still everything it used to be? Still an hour for a seat on a Tuesday evening? Are there less crazy alternatives if I don't want to wait that long?

- Other ethnic foods: Thai? Indian? Good (i.e. authentic, regional) Chinese? Good (non-greasy) bad (non-authentic, comes-in-a-carton) delivery Chinese? For Mexican, we stumbled on El Pelon yesterday and were very happy, so I think we're covered there unless there's anything else we should know about.

- Is there a farmer's market in the area? My recollection of Allendale Farm is more serviceable than extraordinary, but it'll do in a pinch.

- Bakery/patisserie: in all my time in New York, the only decent baguette I ever found was at the Fairway supermarket chain, and croissants were always a challenge. Anything worthwhile within an easy drive for a Sunday morning croissant?

- Bagels: OK, I'm not expecting Brooklyn, but anything better than the pillow-soft monstrosities that pass for bagels in most of the world these days?

Thanks for any suggestions, and apologies for the long, long list. Looking forward to being in the area again! Of course, I'll update with my own findings over time.


El Pelon
2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

280 School St Ste G100, Mansfield, MA 02048

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  1. bagels - rosenfeld's in newton center - among the best even by ny standards. breakfast - try town diner in the newton center train station. french upscale: lumiere or 51 lincoln. mid-priced and very good mediteranean, Kouzina. Aquitaine for decent bistro/french. La Rotisserie for quite good takeout of the barbecue/chicken variety. very good newton farmer's market (cold spring park I think). Don't know the chinese/ethnic scene in Newton so much, but I do like Lam's on Washington Street. Rosie's is a reasonably good bakery but I don't know whether they make croissants (they make a good rugelach).

    1649 Beacon St, Waban, MA 02468

    1. chris, welcome back! you sound like the best kind of receive-and-give-back CH. Your very specific info about yourself and what you seek- will have lots of Boston CHs eager to help.
      Thinking of recent threads:

      here's one link re bakeries:

      i think clearflour in brookline will please you for croissants, baguettes, etc. Also check out Japonaise.Bakery.

      El Pelon, as you have begun to discover has some exc. mexican (certain things, not all)- do a search.

      and alot of good schwarma and kabob near you

      since allston/brighton/ brookline village/ coolidge corner - are so close
      to you, do some searches with those names in the search box.

      El Pelon
      2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

      Clear Flour Bread Bakery
      178 Thorndike St, Brookline, MA 02446

      Japonaise Bakery
      1020 Beacon St, Brookline, MA

      Esperia Grill
      344 Washington Street, Boston, MA

      Garlic 'n Lemons
      133 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA 02134

      1. Pizza: There's a Pino's vs. Presto thread (or five) on here, so search for it. Hint: Presto is better. ;)

        Oishi is still awesome, the trick is to get there early (pre 6PM), or take it "to go". If you sit at the bar to eat dinner, you'll quickly figure out that 2/3 of their business is take out. Since you're close, you shouldn't lose much flavor in that time, although you will lose out on interaction.

        Bagels: Agreed on Rosenfelds. I still like Kupel's, but I'm the only one on Chowhound.

        1. a few more:

          sushi: Daikanyama inside Bloomingdales
          cantonese: Bernard's in Chestnut hill mall
          shanghainese: Shanghai Gate in Allston
          taiwanese: Jo Jo taipei in Allston

          4 Replies
          1. re: barleywino

            add sakanaya for sushi/sashimi take-out only; very, very good.

            1. re: cambridgedoctpr

              second the sakanaya rec. unbelievably reasonable prices, from a proprietor who really knows his fish.

              $7.50 only for a crate of pristine uni, imagine that!

                1. re: Science Chick

                  Yes, at the corner of Brighton and Linden.

            2. As stated, Clear Flour in Brookline is a superb bakery, there's always a queue, but it moves pretty fast.

              For non-authentic, but delicious Chinese, I really like Bernard's in Chestnut Hill Mall -- scary name, scary location, and I was v. suspicious until I went myself (we live in south Chestnut Hill), but it's actually pretty good.

              Oishii is still great -- and if one dines earlier, as noted, it's usually OK to get a seat. Great lunch deals, if you're free mid-week.


              1 Reply
              1. re: trueblu

                Agree about Oishii - we get takeout from them weekly . It's excellent.

                I bet that Allandale is much better now than it was in the past - they've ramped up their produce offerings, and expanded their store. They sell excellent cheeses and I think that they're now selling Canto 6 pastries (IMO, the best bakery in Boston...)