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Aug 16, 2014 06:58 AM

Good restaurants in/around Natick?

Looking for a young hip place to have dinner and drinks around Natick??

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  1. Can you define what 'young hip' means to you? Also an idea of budget, likes/dislike, etc would be helpful as well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: foodieX2

      Hey, somewhere where some friends and I can make an evening out of one restaurant and that is not a corporate driven restaurant. Young and hip would be more of a place that draws a young crowd with unique cuisine that isn't standard restaurant fare.

      1. re: Milcdud

        Unfortunately you really are not going to find anything that meets that description in Natick. Are you willing travel a bit? You could try the Capital Grille in Chestnut Hill where you can at least get a good (albeit overpriced) cocktail and the bar scene, while not hip, is usually pretty active. The same could be said with the Met but I have found it to be less active and have an even older clientele (disclaimer only been there twice)

    2. I'm curious as to possible answers to this question.

      "Within" Natick is going to pose several problems. The first, is the general demographic of Natick, and the businesses which have sprung up to service that demographic - given the rules and regulations in place (more on that in a bit).

      Natick isn't currently, for the most part, a young-hip-happening town. Natick is a mix of suburban bedroom families, old-school townies, and a small smattering of technologists. None of that is particularity supportive to the young-hip-happening scene.

      I say this as a Natick resident of almost 30 years (which probably disqualifies me from the "young" part of young-hip-happening). It's a great town, with some good places to eat, but it's not conducive to the establishment you're looking for.

      Which brings us to another issue with establishing that sort of place in Natick: the town's CURRENT liquor licensing regulations and bylaws almost prohibit the type of place you're looking for. CURRENT regulations effectively prohibit liquor service without food in front of the patron. There's also a byzantine set of regulations regarding the ratio of liquor sales to food sales that effectively bars any sort of clubs, nightclubs, or bars - excepting licenses for private clubs or hotels.

      The regulations and bylaws are currently under review, and are allegedly being rewritten for review and possible approval by Town Meeting. If that happens, there might eventually be the type of place you're looking for within Natick.

      6 Replies
      1. re: NE_Wombat

        Some places I haven't been to yet, but might meet the criteria, or at least try to cater to your criterias might be the new place in the Hampton Hotel, I think its Boxx Gastro Pub, does Margaritas qualify as corporate if its a small chain? The Chateau in Wayland is kind of non-hip hipness...British Beer company is another chain but decent. Funny thing is that someone at work just asked where to go in Natick and someone who frequents lots of places like you describe in lots of towns/cities, actually said they love Zaftigs! go figure...hipness has a wide variety of appeal..Does Framingham count, since it right on top of Natick?

        1. re: chompie

          Thanks for your input! I have been to Zaftigs for the breakfast portion (SOOOOOO Good), but never the evening side. I just checked hours of operation but too bad they close on the early side. I just looked up Skybokx 109. That seems pretty decent of a place. I guess I am spoiled living in Boston where I have a variety of places. Recently my work has brought me out to Natick, so I guess you can say I want to check out the "scene." Has anyone been to Skybokx or The Met at the mall?

          1. re: Milcdud

            I have eaten at Skybox 109. The food is not very good. Think Friday's/Chili's quality burgers, sandwiches and appetizers. It's a straight up sports bar and I personally would never classify it as "hip". At best, it is a decent place to watch a game, have a beer (they do have a couple of decent beers on tap) and snack on some very average apps. Have you thought of Blue Ginger or The Local both located next door to Natick in Wellesley? Also take a look at Juniper in Wellesley that just opened a month or two ago. Reviews have been pretty good so far. As mentioned upthread, the problem with a request like this is that Natick and surrounding communities are bedroom communities and most residents would find a place like the OP is looking for to be "too loud and the crowd too young" for their tastes. If you must stay in Natick, you could do worse than very good sushi at Oga's but again I would not describe it as young and hip.

            1. re: Gordough

              Totally agree. Food is average at best at Skybokx, and they reduced the size of the menu so choices are limited. And it is VERY LOUD.

              1. re: L2k

                I am not a Beer Works fan but the Framingham Beer Works (only a mile or two from Skybox) is leaps and bounds better than Skybox.

                1. re: Gordough

                  Oh ya I forgot Framingham beer works is in town. They have a great selection. I found the one in Boston to be so overpriced

      2. The Met at the mall is OK; probably as hip as you will find in a town where, as agreed, there is very little hipness. I've eaten there several times and while there isn't much in the way of culinary uniqueness, the food is satisfactory.

        1. Anyone been to Violet Thorn? They appear to be cultivating a "young n' hip" vibe.

          1. For something different how about the Tropical Cafe in Framingham. Sunday eves from around 6-10 they have awesome blues music.. Other nights are latin music i think. I have never been but its on my list of places to try..

            I have had some nice nights at Szechuan Gourmet in Framingham. Not my favorite of the locations but good food for the area and they do serve drinks. No real "scene" of any sort..

            1 Reply
            1. re: hargau

              Thanks everyone. I got a couple places on my list now. Topping it off is tropical cafe just cause it sounds really unique drawing in different crowds. Skybokx sounds good , although a sports bar wasn't what I was looking for, but maybe an after work place?!