Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Jul 11, 2013 09:59 AM

Newcomer to Boston...need a list of "must try" restaurants.

I have been to Boston many times, but as a new resident I need a list of restaurants that I just have to try. From breakfast to brunch to an extravagant dinner...I want it all. Even if it's just a great food neighborhood, street, market, whatever. I am in the food world and the wine world, so I'm up for the best. I am always weary of the interest "best of" lists. I like to hear from people.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Good, you're in the right place, read this board.

    1. Welcome! Where will you be living? What have you tried and liked previously? What have you tried and not liked?

      1. All right, I'll play. By neighborhood, this would be my list:

        Downtown: jmCurley - gastro pub - awesome burger

        Back Bay: L'Espalier, fine dining French - Louis Frissoli best fromager in the city -

        Dorchester: 224 Boston - quaint - been doing the local thing for over 30 years -

        South Boston: Franklin Southie -

        South Station/Seaport: Tavern Road -

        North End: Prezza - upscale Italian -

        South End: Hammersley's Bistro - the garlic lemon chicken is legendary -

        Eastie: You have to try Santarpio's Pizza near the airport once. Lots of love for Belle Isle lobster rolls. I don't share the love, but most do. I must have had the only two bad experiences there to be had. and

        Kenmore: Island Creek Oyster Bar - make sure to get a res and enjoy some of the best New England oysters -

        Brighton/Allston: Jo Jo Taipei - really great Taiwanese -

        Kendall Square Cambridge: lots of great newish restaurants to explore - my favs include Catalyst - and Bondir - - which is arguably one of THE best new restos in the area. Just outside Kendall heading toward Harvard

        Central Square Cambridge: Rendezvous -

        Porter Square Cambridge: Porter Exchange - lots of good, cheap, Asian cuisine - see this thread for recs: ALSO Giulia - - and L'Impasto are two new Italian restaurants meeting with much acclaim

        East Cambridge: Check out Courthouse Seafood - and New Deal Fish Market -‎ while you are there!

        Inman Square Cambridge: Puritan & Co. - Also love Trina's Starlite Lounge for cheap eats and a cool cocktail ambience -, and the Druid for a really great Irish pub -

        Davis Square Somerville: My fav is Dave's Fresh Pasta - sandwich shoppe, Italian pasta and sauce kiosk, gourmet groceries, and Spoke - the wine bar right next door!!

        That's a start - many will have their own favs and may agree or disagree with mine. I just wanted to give something to go on rather than "search for yourself." Enjoy!! :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Small Plates

          Thank you so much. This is a great start. I've heard from others that I need to check out L'Espalier and Island Creek Oyster

        2. Welcome, you should do some searching on this board about Boston and places people like. opinionatedchef posts here a lot and has made pretty good lists of places to go in various parts of the city. If you are serious I would read a few posts and find posters who you tend to agree with (same likes dislikes ) and see where they like to go.

          Posters here pretty much want to know about you so they can tailor their recs to you

          1 Reply
          1. re: lc02139

            Guide to Boston by Areas and Restaurants:



            Dinner Spots that I would highly recommend :

            Oleana- really unusual Turkish/Mediterranean menu; (owner's farm)-to-table;charming patio. Aside from the food being delicious, this is a real 'foodie's delight' because the menu will be full of things you will not see elsewhere in the U.S. Cambridge

            Erbaluce- unusual inventive No.Italian Piedmontese. South End

            Craigie on Main- famous for offal but also seafood. Cambridge

            OYa- v.v.expensive Japanese American inventive. South Station

            Neptune Oyster- crowded tiny, always a line, top quality raw bar; inventive seafood along w/ trad.Leave your name and stroll the fascinating North End. (no resvtns-NR
            Island Creek Oyster Bar- the BEST service, large room yet intimate, more trad but some inventive.

            Toro- possibly the loudest room in Boston, full-out Tapas (the inventive often more successful than the trad) yet their Paella is unbeatably unctuous .South End .NR

            Aquitaine- THE spot when you're exhausted and you want to be taken care of. Classic French Bistro food beautifully done in a beautiful room, w/ gracious top notch service. South End.
            Strip T's (in a 'suburb', 10 min cab from Harvard Square) Casual small treasure for serious foodies; Momofuku chef; great inventive Asian- inspired, but also exc.fried chicken and unusual terrific burger. Watertown.

            Ribelle- new Brookline expansion for Strip T's owner/chef. A very broad menu w/ two or three times more components than you would likely see on other menus. With dishes this inventive and full of surprises, the food is the focus for the night, and the starches and veggies are as exciting as the meats and seafood.

            Sycamore- 30 min car or train ride West to affluent Newton Centre and this welcoming veteran run spot with many unique twists (see the Daily Duck, Lamb or Pork board- with four mini entree ,starch and veg.medleys.)


            For brunch, you cannot have more fun than at East Coast Grill in Cambridge. 25 yrs as a real locals' fav for all ages; latin, mexican,bbq and and seafood; Bloody Mary bar; great vibe.

            Another neighborhood hotspot is Highland Kitchen in Somerville,packed w/ 20's and young families.'Comfort food' plus daily specials ( but not consistently successful); great music. NR

            For more refined brunch, Aquitaine and Mistral ($French elegant) are popular. South End.

            Boston is flush w/ new restnts that i haven't tried.

          2. Eastie also has Rincon Limeno, for tasty Peruvian. Waltham has Taqueria El Amigo.

            Porter has Yume Wo Katare (shut down this month for a break) for a delicious bowl of pork fat and noodles! (Jiro-style ramen).

            Gene's Flatbread Cafe in Chelmsford is a delicious dive.

            Bahn Mi at the old Super 88 food court... thai at Thai North.

            Lobster on the deck with your BYOB drinks at Chauncey Creek Lobster Pound in Kittery.

            2 Replies
            1. re: grant.cook

              or you can just walk down the block from Rincon Limeno and go to Taq Jalisco, which is better

              1. re: Luther

                Lulz at this comment.

                Not only are you dismissing someone elses opinion, but you are comparing apples to oranges... Jalisco has better ceviche than Rincon? And how is their fried seafood?