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Moving to Medford . . . What are the local haunts?

We're moving to Medford (West Medford-ish) soon, and I'd love to hear about what's good and local. We've already been to Tenoch and Chung Ki Wa, and Chili Garden is on our soon list. Would love recommendations for favorites at those places - I have a feeling they're going to be our regular rotation.

What are the local places that aren't necessarily travel worthy, but are solid go to options? Any decent Thai or Vietnamese?

We've been in Cambridge for a while now, so I'm very familiar with options in the Somerville/Arlington direction, but not very familiar with what might now be in easy range in Malden, Melrose, Lynn, Everett, etc.

Very excited to see that Gene's is moving to Woburn - looks like the new location is about 15 minutes from the new place.

Feel free to point me towards any threads that exist on this topic - I did a search, and the most recent threads along this line were 5 or 6 years old.


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  1. Mikes Roast Beef in Everett R Beef and Fried Clams are IMO the best anywhere

    Cafe Costa Del Sol Revere Excellent Papusas and tacos

    Victors Italian Kitchen Saugus Excellent Italian

    Santarpios Pizza East Boston

    Big A in Medford for great subs

    Popeyes Everett

    Kanes Donuts Saugus

    BW Revere Breakfast is very good

    Billy Tse Revere for Chinese

    4 Replies
    1. re: Locutus

      Big A's is in Malden.

      Other good Malden options are Fuloon and All Season's Table. Ferry Street Food and Drink is a new gastropub that is getting good reviews but I haven't tried it yet.

      1. re: wandergirl

        Also in Malden, Moroccan Hospitality on Salem St. Great tagine dishes. Bocelli's on Main St in Mefa is also good.

        1. re: treb

          Moroccan Hospitality in Malden closed. It is now open in Somerville.

          1. re: Madrid

            Moroccan Hospitality is at 585 Somerville Avenue, midway between Porter Square and Union Square, in a little white building with an orange awning. A beautiful room with delicious food.

    2. In Medford we like Moulton's Seafood and Blue Fuji. Carrol's is ok.

      1. LOVE Moulton's for casual, no-frills broiled or fried fish and seafood dinners - very hospitable family business

        Modern Pastry is a satellite from the North End - and good for what it is.

        BIstro 5 was really good (if overpriced), but it was a couple of years ago for me - I will invest in the drive and parking for other top spots in the Boston metro area if I am paying at that level.

        1. you're moving to 'Medfah" great food area! keep arlington and sommerville in your search

          21 Replies
          1. re: Bellachefa

            Tenoch for beauteous burritos.

            Chili Garden for scrumptious coconut shrimp.

            Massimo's Malden for heaps of red sauce and pasta.

            1. re: Swankalicious

              Ebisuya--good Japanese grocery store with sushi and some pork buns to go.

              I don't know about their sushi, but
              I really enjoyed their fresh tofu, obviously made in house.

              1. re: Swankalicious

                I am pretty sure Massimo's has closed. I couldn't confirm it online but their phone has been disconnected and I'm almost positive the space was empty the last time I passed by.

                1. re: wandergirl

                  Massimo's is closed and a Korean restaurant is moving in this summer.

                  My favorite Italian in Malden is Pasta market Cafe. They make everything except the angel hair pasta. Good raviolis too - the lobster ones are really stuffed with lobster.

                2. re: Swankalicious

                  The sichuan dishes at Chilli Garden are quiet good, and the lamb bone soup, spicy bamboo shoots mmmm

                  1. re: VintageMolly

                    It's Medfid. Never Meffa! Nobody from Medford ever pronounced it that way.

                      1. re: jgg13

                        Don't believe it. I'll give you the occasional "Meffid", but not Meffa.

                        1. re: jgg13

                          Same here. Good friend, born and raised and still lives in Medford and she writes "meffa" but it sounds more like "medfid" when she says it out loud. But since Molly was not born or raised there, she should probably call it Medford with whatever accent she has in real life.

                          1. re: smtucker

                            The line between a 'medfid' and a 'meffa' can be thin :)

                            1. re: smtucker

                              Yeah, I'm going to stick with Medford. I wasn't born in these parts.

                              1. re: VintageMolly

                                You are very wise. Too many hollywood actors and movie extras have embarrassed themselves trying to talk like a local! And too many dialect coaches fail to recognize the difference between old school Medford, Dorchester, Southie, Revere accents.

                                1. re: Bellachefa

                                  From Revere and it's definitely MED-fid for me.

                                2. re: VintageMolly

                                  My own pronunciation is somewhere between med-fuhd and med-fuhrd depending on how quickly I'm talking

                                1. re: pemma

                                  Mefid is the correct version. We do not pronounce the D in the middle of the word.

                                  1. re: MeffaBabe

                                    Ha, I was hoping you would chime in, MeffaBabe.

                                    1. re: bear

                                      I pronounce the "D". South Medford "dialect" may leave it out.

                                      1. re: pemma

                                        I grew up at the bottom of the Medford Hillside (what's now Moulton's was our corner store), and we all said Medfid, sometimes shading toward Mehfid.

                                        When talking to people who doubt I'm a Boston-area native, since I don't have a discernable accent, I use Meffa to establish that I'm really from there.

                            2. Haven't been, but the rumour is that the W Medford Regina's is one of their better outposts. Can anyone verify?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: justbeingpolite

                                If you mean the Regina Station Landing location (not West Medford), it is pretty good. Heads above Allston, which is the only other one we've tried outside the North End.

                                1. re: justbeingpolite

                                  I think the Medford Regina is better than all the other outposts. I always ask for my pizza well done, and it comes with a nice char.


                                  1. re: justbeingpolite

                                    Medford isn't quite up to the quality of the North End Regina, but it is much closer to the original than Allston or Polcari's in Woburn. It's very good pizza.

                                  2. Meatball Sub from Nappi Meats is a must.

                                    Ravs from Bella Ravioli. Their sauce and meatballs are great too.

                                    Chicken Parm or chicken cutlet sub from Victors Deli in Somerville - favorite cutlets in areas...

                                    Italian sausages and grillables from Doms Sausage in Malden.

                                    Bistro 5 used to be killer, have not been in years tho.

                                    Bread and Almond Croissants from Mamadou’s Artisan Bakery in Winchester.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: mjg0725

                                      Can some one explain Nappi's? I found this Hidden Boston article on it: http://www.hiddenboston.com/Nappi.html

                                      Is it a restaurant? A grocery? I'm confused and intrigued.

                                      1. re: VintageMolly

                                        I guess Nappi used to be a grocery store/takeout joint, hence the strange name, but they had a renovation and it appears to be like any other restaurant. There is one big difference - there is no menu. You just tell the waitress what you want to eat and they make it for you. I guess they always have the basic Italian offerings; all sorts of pastas, sauces, and you can pair it with any protein they have available (sausages, seafood, meatballs, chicken, veal, etc.). I also saw some beautiful looking antipasto platters with prosciutto, artichoke hearts, eggplant, mushrooms, and roasted red peppers. It is cash only and BYOB.

                                        I found the no menu concept a little stressful, to be honest. I want to peruse and see what tempts me on a menu.


                                        1. re: gltsoi

                                          Sounds like the perfect place to take my mother in law next time she's in town. Thanks.

                                          1. re: gltsoi

                                            We went to Nappi's a couple of months ago. It was fun. The food is pretty good but didn't blow us away. I had haddock piccata with homemade fusilli which was well-cooked and tasty. The antipasto was indeed quite good, and the byo certainly helps with the cost. One thing I will highly recommend is the limoncello cake. I'm not a big dessert person, but even I loved it.

                                            It's not a destination place, but it is a fun neighborhood joint.

                                      2. Thanks for all the suggestions!

                                        Any ice cream or other frozen treats places?

                                        What about local markets and groceries besides Ebisuya? I'm thinking there are probably some decent Italian markets? I know I'll still be driving to Watertown for my Russo's fix, but any good places for fruits & veggies?

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: VintageMolly

                                          I like Soc's in Saugus for ice cream (a seasonal stand but they have a long season...this year they were only closed from Christmas to March I believe). Cravings in Wakefield has good hot fudge and mix ins, and Meltharb's in Wakefield is another good choice for ice cream and frozen treats. There are now J.P. Licks outposts in the new Assembly Square Row (or whatever it is called) and Lynnfield Marketplace.

                                          Some other thoughts. Abbondanza in Everett has good Italian food. Super 88 in Malden can be an economical choice for produce.

                                          1. re: VintageMolly

                                            vm, we have lived in winchester, 5 min from w medford, almost 30 yrs. We are luckily retired and because we're not so time pressured by jobs and kids, we tend to drive to fav or new spots in camb/som/boston etc. The good thing is your new location, which is very well situated for getting to good places w/ a quick drive. I'll rattle off a bunch of places.( I'll try to organize by town but some times i'll fail. ) Keep in mind that I'm a pretty harsh judge, and there are usually plenty of CHs who like places that i don't (and I'm glad that they enjoy them. )

                                            I am not a fan of Bistro 5; it's not bad at all, but as another poster said, there's better. I've heard good things about Tavola in Winchester Ctr (also owned by Bistro 5 guy but w/ diff chef.) There is also a fairly new spot, Black Horse Tavern in Winch Ctr.- pub food. Stone Hearth Pizza in Winch Ctr we've loved a long time but it may be sliding. Starbucks there too, across from CVS.
                                            Couple of good tailor shops.

                                            La Patisserie bakery in Winch has lovely owners and some of their breads are good, but i have always thought their (beautiful to look at) pastries and sweets- are worthless. They don't use 100% butter and you can really tell. But still they thrive...... Ditto Gingerbread Muffin with its oversized cloyingly sweet muffins and cookies (there are CHs who really like this place but i am not one of them.) Mamadou's has some v good breads:

                                            I have very strong non-cheerleader feelings about food places in Stoneham and Woburn and my own town, Winch. Stoneham is a total waste imo except for the old time Italian spot, Felicia's.
                                            Ditto Woburn, except for Pinxto Pincho Tapas Bar and the new Portguese place, and Gene's to be. A good friend really likes the Thai place next to PPincho. And another eally likes the Pho place in a diner just north of the Woburn cinema on rt 38. Masa, the SW place in the SoEnd, has an outpost by our Whole Foods but i found it meh. Our WF is pretty crummy compared to FrPond.
                                            Winch does have a Sat. Farmer's Market, and the town bought Wright Farm recently and sells their own produce and pickyourown raspberries. Winch Pub Library much better than Medford's.

                                            In Medford, a number of CHs love the subs at Bob's Deli (they also sell Ital. imports there.) Further down that same street as Bob's is Bella Ravioli, a funky funky funky 2nd generation fresh pasta making store. Michael and Robert, sons of orig owner; mom runs register. cash only. My fav pasta in Boston; no fancy flavors, but they will make ravs for you if you bring them your filling.
                                            No good ice cream super nearby. Ditto Japanese except Arlington. Ditto chinese (we do chilli garden and fuloon usually.) Ditto indian and Thai.

                                            Davis Sq has a number of good spots but maybe you know them alrdy- Dave's Pasta for sdwches; JPLicks, Pigs Fly Breads, Amsterdam Falafel, Sessa's(?) Ital food Imports....

                                            W Medford has a neat history; hope you enjoy it there!

                                            1. re: VintageMolly

                                              Count me as a fan of the muffins at the Gingerbread Construction Co.in Winchester. For donuts in Medford, Demet's and Donuts with a Difference are both very good (and very different from one another).

                                              There's an ice cream shop attached to the Capitol Theatre in Arlington that serves Richardson's. Not the same as a made-on-premises place, but still good stuff.

                                              1. re: VintageMolly

                                                How could I forget?? Dairy Delight (or maybe it's Delite?) on main Street in Malden. It's a walk-up ice cream place, their chocolate is my favorite.

                                                Alittle farther down the road at the intersection if Main and Center streets is Jays Ice Cream, which carries Richardsons.

                                              2. Bob’s Italian Foods, for imported italian ingredients, a decent deli counter (I like the artichoke stems), and unhealthy hot subs.

                                                I didn’t dig the takeout pasta dishes, but loooove the grocery. They have these cute little non-homemade burratinas. I also like the shredded mozz for my pizzas, if you can believe that.

                                                Blood orange juice in cartons
                                                frozen imported italian desserts, the kind in fruit rinds or plastic champagne flutes
                                                00 flour
                                                chinotto, etc., other bitter fizzy drinks

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: enhF94

                                                  We looked at a house around the corner from Bobs. I guess we should have thought more seriously about it!

                                                  1. re: VintageMolly

                                                    No no, residents around that block freak out about nonresidents stealing their parking spaces. I myself got discussed in depth as a bad person by folks who assumed I didn’t speak English because I was returning from Oasis, the Brazilian place. (To be fair, I was a nonresident and I did accidentally park in resident parking.)

                                                    Oh, hey! Speaking of which, I like Oasis a lot - it’s a Brazilian churrasco, by-the-pound buffet, and a-la-carte combo. I like it because 1. they season their meat really well, 2. the salad bar usually has baby spinach and some other interesting healthy vegetables like hearts of palm, 3. chicken hearts, 4. pretty good feijoada “with real parts ’n’ bones!," 5. they are happy to explain things to the gringo (I try to ask at slow moments which are rare- it’s pretty popular).

                                                    They also opened a bakery next door in the last six months or so. I’ve only been twice so can’t give a detailed report, but, y’know, they have that puffy powdery cheesy bread, so that’s good.

                                                    1. re: enhF94

                                                      That's funny. We certainly got the vibe that there was parking drama in that neighborhood in the 30 minutes or so we were there.

                                                2. Moutlon's Seafood- they do awesome fried clams that rival the north shore places.

                                                  Bacci's in Stoneham on Main St/Pleasant St

                                                  Bob's on Main St Medford

                                                  Carroll's love their hand cut onion rings and their reuben

                                                  Great Ravioli's to take home and cook is Bella Ravioli in S. Medford

                                                  Assembly Square is going to have multiple restaurants but I bet they will all be big chains stores like Station landing.

                                                  We also like to go to Mario's in Lexington or Luigi's in Bedford

                                                  10 Replies
                                                  1. re: MeffaBabe

                                                    I think Assembly Square is going to have a J.P. Licks, but that's the only thing I've heard going in there I'm excited about.

                                                    1. re: VintageMolly

                                                      The JPLIcks at Assembly has been open for over a month now.

                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                        Ha! That's a pretty good metaphor for my level of attention to the whole project.

                                                        1. re: VintageMolly

                                                          Ernesto's is opening their first location outside the N. End there. I like their slices.

                                                          1. re: CportJ

                                                            My son's friend swears by Ernesto's slices. How do you compare the pizza to Regina's? We just got excellent takeout pies from the NE Regina's last week but I've been wanting to try Ernesto's.

                                                            1. re: bear

                                                              It's a counter slice place, so more of a place you'd pop in for a bite than a destination, but also not usually much of a wait. Pretty big, thin, floppy slices, I think thinner than Regina's. I usually have one of the more traditional slices in terms of toppings, cheese or sausage, but they seem to sell a lot of buffalo chicken. They don't necessarily char the crust, so you may want to ask them to keep it in a little longer if that's your preference. I think it's hard to beat as a by-the-slice-place for the price, but I would say it's not the top whole pizza place in the Boston area. But Assembly Square should be a great spot for them and is lucky to have them -- an interview I read sounded like they were taking great pains to replicate the N. End location. I think a nice slice makes a good shopping break, and I'd rather stop there over the other places that I've heard are going in to the new Assembly project (unless they bring back the Good Time Emporium).

                                                              1. re: CportJ

                                                                Big floppy slices + JP Licks? That sounds awesome.

                                                                1. re: VintageMolly

                                                                  BIG slices. like the biggest slice of pizza i have ever seen.

                                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                    Bigger than Casa Razdora downtown? They literally slice a large pizza into 4 (yes, four!) pieces and sell those chunks as their slices - only two types available (cheese or soppresata) but really tasty!

                                                                2. re: CportJ

                                                                  Thanks, sounds right up my alley. I may not ask them to char it so that I can get a whole pie and reheat it on my pizza stone.

                                                                  My sons spent many a night at Good Times!

                                                    2. I live very close by - I go to Tenoch at least once a week. They almost always have tamales now, which makes it even more tempting.

                                                      Blue Fuji's sushi certainly isn't fantastic, but it's definitely not bad. I tend to get sushi either there, at Hana on Mass Ave, or at Ebi in Union Square. Apparently the takeout sushi at Ebisuya is also good.

                                                      Also, Guru the Caterer in Teele Square has great (takeout only) Indian food. People also like Masala (I think that's what it's called?), but I had a pretty bad experience there.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: nyc_to_ma

                                                        Good recs overall but i really do differ on Guru the Caterer. We finally went a few months ago and ordered quite alot of the limited menu. Except for one dal dish, all the others were extremely Meh. No desire to return.

                                                      2. I really like Bistro 5. It's not cheap, but the food is very, very good and no matter what anyone says they are not as high as you would pay in town. And, of course, parking is free or you can walk. The recently remodeled and put in a bar. There is no bar menu (there really should be) but the bar special on Tues. are $1 oysters and Thursday is burger night. You aren't going to get wowed at Carroll's, nothing's very creative, but everything I have had there has been properly prepared and is fresh It's a good, casual place. Moulton's is great for seafood -- very fresh and cheap! There is something opening up in West Medford Square called "Snappy Patty's" that will feature patty melts. They have been taking forever to get it ready and I thought it was an odd concept and there must be some amateur behind it, but I have heard the person opening was a chef at the Franklin Cafes and Citizen Public House. Bocelli's in South Medford is has good pizza and is good for red sauce, too. Salvatore's in the square is very nicely done and has a nice bar. The food is OK. You kind of have to figure out what you like on the menu, but the menu changes often. The inside of Chilli Garden is kind of depressing, but the delivery is great (don't order from the Chinese-American items). When you do want Chinese American, May's Café is good for delivery. All Season's Table in Malden is very good. As someone else noted, Bacci's in Stoneham is good for red sauce and also some more interesting items that appear as specials.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: pemma

                                                          I love Bistro 5 too. Their veal Milanese is one of my all time favorite dishes. They never disappoint - the service is lovely, the chef attentive to his food and to his diners... and the addition of the bar and the dollar oysters is a definite plus.

                                                          1. re: Small Plates

                                                            This episode of Neighborhood Kitchens takes place at Bistro 5 before the renovation. It's a fun show.


                                                        2. Tom yum koong in Medford for Thai has been good. I've heard Saigon noodle in malden is good Vietnamese but can't speak from experience. Highly recommend tom yum though.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Amlee73

                                                            Can you describe what you like there and what it is about it you like? I've been intrigued for a while but am always highly skeptical of thai spots

                                                            1. re: jgg13

                                                              different poster but: tom yum koong is americanized inexpensive thai, but it is generally a cut above other things in its price range. It's nothing special, but it's been consistently good-and-fast-and-cheap for us. We often want to walk to dinner, so Salvatore's and Tom Yum Koong see a lot more of our business than their food deserves, because they're consistently OK and have good service.

                                                              Other recs:
                                                              Habeesha in Malden for Ethiopian. Half the price of the Camberville Ethiopian restaurants, just as good or better.

                                                              I like Emilianoz in West Medford for taqueria/casual mexican, especially when I want something a little lighter since their stuff is light on the oil/cheese.

                                                              If you have a car, being out in W. Medford opens up the northern suburbs to being a much quicker drive -- Burlington is really close. So Ritu Ki Rasoi isn't far (vegetarian Indian street food), and the Burlington H-Mart is convenient.

                                                              For ice cream, CB Scoops in West Medford is just another local place serving Richardson's, but they're always friendly and seemingly always open. There's nothing funky in the frozen dessert area in walking distance; Rancatore's in Belmont and JP Licks in Davis (depending on if you want to drive or T) are closest.

                                                              The West Medford Whole Foods is kind of terrible, IMHO -- bakery and prepared foods often taste off (not spoiled so much as not properly made) and the selection isn't as good as the Woburn one. But it's the only walking-distance grocery. The liquor store next to it is reasonably well-stocked.

                                                              1. re: antimony

                                                                On Tom Yum Koong--I'd agree, decent, but I've gone a whole lot less since Rod Dee opened in Porter. There is pretty good Vietnamese in Malden Center and on Rte. 99 in Everett, but if I'm going that way I almost always just head over to Revere for delicious Cambodian at Thmor Da. Habesha is really good.

                                                          2. Spadafora's Ice Cream on Highland Ave in Malden also serves Richardson's Ice Cream.

                                                            I like Bacci's Restaurant in Stoneham on the corner of Main/Pleasant St. Another favorite is Mario's in Lexington on Mass Ave.

                                                            Medford I love Mouton's for all my seafood (Clams rival the N.Shore Shacks)

                                                            Carroll's is good for drinks and appetizers, great hand cut onion rings, Rubens are great too.

                                                            Breakfast I like Dempsey's in Haines Square, Lantana's on Salem St is great as is Pasta Lina's across from the old Johnnies on Salem St.

                                                            Americanized Chinese I like Asia Taste on Middlesex Ave and Second St I think.

                                                            I have to say...unlike Brandywiner I have a very prominent Boston accent. When ever I travel (or meet out of state tourists in Boston) everyone always knows exactly where I am from. I have no "R"'s in my vocabulary and some D's are occasionally missing as in Mefid, the city I was born and raised... 3rd generation born and raised I might add!

                                                            1. Oya, a Cuban restaurant in Malden, has gotten great reviews, I'm planning to try it next week:


                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: wandergirl

                                                                I did end up visiting Oya Cuban Cafe last weekend and I had a great meal. The staff is very warm and welcoming, the food was delicious (the compound butter that comes with the warm rolls is a nice start and I greatly enjoyed the Arroz Imperial con Maduras...the fried sweet plantains were especially tasty). I am already planning my next visit!

                                                              2. Tom yum koong for Thai ... I heard Saigon noodle in Malden is good but have yet to try it

                                                                1. Most everything has been covered but I will add:
                                                                  Apparently a lot of people are fans but Chili Garden has disappointed me every time. Dull and drab interior, poor service and food that was not good.
                                                                  Also don't go out the back door at night. There were no lights out there and I tripped in the dark trying to find my car.

                                                                  Bob's subs are huge and great!! (Since parking is a challenge we always go with two of us so one can run in while the other drives around the block!!)

                                                                  Tom yung koong is pretty good, with the crispy basil chicken being my favorite.

                                                                  The mini cannolis from Modern pastry are also worth trying to park and run in for!

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Walthamfoodman

                                                                    as to chili garden; agree with everything that WFM said except that i find the food good if not the best sichuanese food in the b-area.

                                                                    1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                                                      For me the go to Sichuan place is Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica. Not a bad drive and the food never lets me down. The Dan Dan noodles are excellent!!

                                                                      1. re: Walthamfoodman

                                                                        I also prefer the billerica sichuan gourmet. I'd put Chilli Garden somewhere around the Framingham SG outlet, which is still pretty good in my book - I just like the billerica SG the most out of the local options.

                                                                        That said, CG delivers to me which means they get much much much more of my business than any of the other options.

                                                                        1. re: jgg13

                                                                          I also like the billerica sichuan gourmet best, but if I were "out" for a nicer ambiance, and especially drinks, too, I'd definitely go to Sichuan Garden 2 in Woburn. And, in fact, for some dishes (Chonqing Chicken, I'm looking at you) there's no real drop in quality.

                                                                  2. I really like Donuts With A Difference. Same style (and price) as DD, but much better.