Recommendations for Needham, MA
I'll be in town next week for business (no car) and staying at the Sheraton Needham. Could you please make recommendations for good food? It's my first time in the Boston area and I would dearly love to try the regional favorites like fried clams, lobster rolls, etc. Thanks!
Not alot of seafood in Needham. Best restaurants are considered to be Blue on Highland and Sweet Basil. Got a few decent places serving different Asian cuisines.
Wellesley is one town over and has Ming Tsai's Blue Ginger, which should be checked out.
Without a car, though, you can't get to any of these places without a decent hike. Blue on Highland is 1.3 miles by foot.
The hotel does have a shuttle. If they take you to the closest MBTA stop (probably Newton Highlands, Green Line), then you can go most anywhere (but not really Needham or Wellesley!). 51 Lincoln is very good and is close to that Newton Highlands "T" stop.
The Farmhouse and Sweet Basil in Needham are good. If you want regional seafood however, you'll need to get yourself into Boston. Needham has a commuter rail. Or there is an Enterprise place right near the Sheraton.
Sadly, you're not all that close to lobster rolls, etc. since you are stuck in the 'burbs. If possible, you can walk over to the Enterprise car rentals near the hotel and rent a car for a day and drive the 7 miles or so into the city. We're not all that far from the hubbub of the city but the public transportation is ungainly from this area and getting into the city will take at least 45 minutes and that doesn't include getting back out to wherever you are heading. A cab will be $$$$.
If you can solve the transportation problem, Island Creek Oyster Bar in Kenmore Square will make you happy. Just reserve well in advance. Neptune Oyster in the North End is delicious but they don't take reservations and I find the whole experience there more smooshed.
If you can time it right, Captain Marden's Cod Squad truck occasionally comes to Needham's office park just behind the Sheraton. https://twitter.com/codsquadtruck They do fried clams and other things, and the actual store has expensive but very fresh, quality fish.
Spiga in Needham is walkable from the Sheraton and is a very solid option for Italian (better than Sweet Basil in my opinion).
Blue Ribbon BBQ sets up in a parking lot on 2nd Ave across from the Charles River Landing apts for good but not great bbq.
And if you just want a quick bite, Pronti Bistro has very good Indian roti-style wraps.
The Farmhouse in Needham is getting better with experience and is probably the best risk/reward proposition in Needham currently (Blue is consistently solid, but I've never been wowed there and I eat there a lot and I still don't get the raves about Sweet Basil, although the BYOB is nice, especially now that you can buy wine in town).
51 Lincoln would also be a short cab ride and is probably better. I agree with others that your best bet for oysters, etc. is to drive or take the T. Another good option on the T, but on the C-branch of the Green Line is Lineage, which usually runs a 1/2 price bottle wine special in July and also has $1 oysters at the bar from 5-7, at least they did a few months ago. They make some pretty good drinks and the food is very good, specializing in seafood.
I know this is too late for the OP, but Sycamore, in Newton Centre, is a very short cab ride away and I believe it is much better than anything else you'll find locally, although I haven't yet tried The Farmhouse. IMO Sweet Basil is hugely overrated and Blue on Highland is meh.