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These Are The 25 Best Restaurants in Boston Right Now

best restaurants in Boston

Mari Ganesh Kumar / unsplash.com

Apart from New York, Boston is another city in the US renowned for its food, with so many wonderful restaurants that could easily prove to be a foodie’s paradise. The birthplace of the American Revolution is well known for their traditional steakhouses, lobster rolls and clam chowder.

New Englanders cherish their rich history, but with the technology and education sectors striving in the last few decades, the city diversified in other fields as well. With people from all over the world making Boston their new homes, their cuisines and culture also followed suit. And the much welcomed variety is here to stay!

From street food inspired eateries to omakase tasting counters and understated sushi restaurants, you get all the variety your little heart desires. That’s why today we’ve decided to make a list of the 25 best restaurants in Boston right now. Go feast your papillae at any of these venues, you will be glad you did.

25. Yume Wo Katare

Yume Wo Katare

Yume Wo Katare / Photo by Japanese-American in Boston

Address: 1923 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

A very different palace awaits you at this tiny Porter Square ramen destination. Their menu is simple, and it usually includes only one type of ramen.

The Jiro-style is heavy on pork and garlic, but absolutely delicious. And if you dare, at the end of your meal you can stand up and share your dreams with the staff and fellow diners.

24. Daksen

Daksen Boston

Daksen restaurant

Address: 195 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

Located in Somersville’s Davis Square, Daksen is a busy, happy place to try traditional Thai food. Although the place might seem a bit chaotic at first glance, the atmosphere is very uplifting.

With spicy flavors and funky vibes, you can immerse yourself in the lively upbeat mood of the restaurant. Go for the tom yum soup or the Khao soi, and you’ll leave satisfied.

23. Cicada Coffee Bar

Cicada Coffee Bar

Cicada Coffee Bar

Address: 106 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA 02139

A great addition to the Boston-area dining scene, Cicada is a Vietnamese cafe during the day, but by night it becomes a restaurant and wine bar.

With dishes such as oxtail with lemongrass broth and spicy duck tartare, it transports you to far away lands. In the summertime, try to dine al fresco in their peaceful garden.

22. Urban Hearth

Urban Hearth

Urban Hearth

Address: 2263 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

A charming, tiny restaurant located steps from Somerville’s Davis Square, Urban Hearth got started as supper club before converting into an unpretentious eatery.

The owner and chef Erin Miller offers elevated New American fare in a chic and whimsy atmosphere. The food has a Slight European approach to their dishes, and the menu is on constant weekly rotation.

21. Tasting Counter

Tasting Counter

Tasting Counter

Address: 14 Tyler St, Somerville, MA 02143

For a progressive dining experience, you must try chef Peter Ungar’s Somerville locale. His background as a French chef can be noticed from his multi-course creative tasting menus at Tasting Counter.

Prepped in front of you at the 20-seat counter, this multi-sensory delight will not leave you indifferent. But make sure you reserve your seats in advance, or you’ll miss out .

20. Giulia

Giulia Boston

Giulia Boston / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Address: 1682 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

A rustic and romantic place for your next date, Giulia pampers their guests with delicious homemade pastas and impeccable service. Chef Michael Pagliarini pairs many of his homey dishes with wine that is inspired from his Italian travels.

Their desserts also deserve a special mention, because you will not taste pistachio ice cream that good west of Italy.

19. Celeste

Celeste Boston

Celeste restaurant / theinfatuation.com

Address: 21 Bow St, Somerville, MA 02143

Bringing you a taste of South America, Celeste is a renowned Peruvian restaurant that got its start as a home-based pop-up. Just a short stroll from Union Square, it is a favorite of many Cambridge and Somerville patrons.

Among some of their standard fare you will find the causa, ceviche, or the lomo saltado, as well as many pisco-based cocktails to sip.

18. Barra

Barra Boston

Barra Boston

Address: 23a Bow St, Somerville, MA 02143

Somerville is a neighborhood that offers a variety of restaurants, and this Mexican eatery is a good option for those who enjoy their traditional cuisine. Their margaritas are also some of the best in the city, but you must try some of their specialties.

Their cactus salad is yummy, as is the freshly fried chicharrin topped with guacamole.

17. Nightshade Noodle Bar

Nightshade Noodle Bar

Nightshade Noodle Bar

Address: 73 Exchange St, Lynn, MA 01901

Located in the North of the city, this intimate Vietnamese restaurant is a cozy neighborhood joint. Started off as a pop-up venture, Nightshade Noddle Bar became what it is today in 2019.

The owner and chef Rachel Miller offers great food that will leave you wanting more. Some treats are the foie gras with the coconut sticky rice and sour cherries, or the Viet Cajun shellfish boil.

16. Pammy’s

Pammy’s Cambridge

Pammy’s Cambridge

Address: 928 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

Hip trattoria Pammy’s is located between central and Harvard Squares, and it brings in a hip, young clientele. The decor has a touch of retro feel to it due to the globe lights that give a soft amber glow and a double sided fireplace.

The food relies heavily on Asian inspiration that is applied to Italian dishes for a flavorful fusion cuisine. Take their lumache with bolognese and gojuchang, for example. A real delight!

15. Oleana

Oleana Restaurant

Oleana Restaurant

Address: 134 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139

Sarma’s Somerville sibling Oleana is located in Cambridge, and it is another quiet gem in Boston’s bustling restaurant platform. The serving quality and delicious food they offer at Oleana is inspired from the Middle East, and Turkey in particular.

Their seasonal rotating menu will always bring something new to taste, but one constant is their baked Alaska dessert, a real treat at the end of any meal.

14. Chickadee

Chickadee Restaurant

Chickadee

Address: 21 Drydock Ave, Boston, MA 02210

Mediterranean influenced Chickadee is a great Seaport hotspot to try out if trying food prepared with local products is very important to you. Start off with the smoked sea trout dip with salt and vinegar, followed by the slow roasted porchetta wrap with broccoli rabe and giardiniera for lunch.

The dinner menu is slightly different, with options such as the lobster campanelle fra diavolo, which is scrumptious.

13. Neptune Oyster

Neptune Oyster

Neptune Oyster / Photo by Ana M. Reyes

Address: 63 Salem St # 1, Boston, MA 02113

This tiny bistro opened its doors in 2014, and since they’ve grown a reputation for some of the best lobster rolls in the city. They do offer some other great sustainable seafood splendors as well.

Expect a long wait that’s totally worth it, because the place really is that good. A lot of their patrons are out-of-towners, but the locals will not keep away either. If you want to avoid the long wait, in winter the line is a bit shorter, or during the period between lunch and dinner.

12. Cafe Sushi

Cafe Sushi

Cafe Sushi

Address: 1105 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Located in a nondescript building near Harvard square, Cafe Sushi will pleasantly surprise you upon entering it. Shaped in a L, the restaurant first opened in 1984, but it was renovated in 2018. What many Bostonians love about this place, besides the delicious sushi, is that they are able to see the sushi chefs in action.

There’s something about watching people prepare your food that gives you a sense of security and that guarantees freshness. Their sashimi and nigiri menu changes daily, and stalwarts are always readily available.

11. Tawakal Halal Cafe

Tawakal Halal Cafe

Tawakal Halal Cafe

Address: 389 Maverick St, Boston, MA 02128

A tiny family-owned cafe that is located near Logan Airport is another unassuming treat you must try. When you enter Tawakal Halal Cafe you will notice strong aromas of cardamom and other fragrant spices, and it will warm you all over. If you’re in a rush, their chapati flatbread sandwiches are like no other sandwich you’ve ever tasted.

But if you’re in the mood for a feast, their biryani plate comes with a heaping of your choice of meat or falafel over a mound of basmati rice. Top it off with their habanero mango sauce for a different level of spiciness.

10. Sarma

Sarma Boston

Sarma Restaurant

Address: 249 Pearl St, Somerville, MA 02145

When wandering through Somerville, you must stop close to Union Square and try this hip Middle Eastern meze spot. The unassuming door might have you wondering if you got the wrong place, but once inside, you’ll realize what a gem you’ve stumbled upon.

Sarma‘s food is a mingling of Mediterranean favorites and Kofte sliders, as well as their aromatic shawarma. All the Middle Eastern delicacies will fill you up, but try and leave some room for their pumpkin baklava.

9. Uni

Uni Boston

Uni Boston / Photo by Beautiful Cuisine

Address: 370A Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Executive Chef David Bazirgan made this place what it is now, by combining the exacting techniques of traditional sushi with cosmopolitan global influences. The dining room gives you a dark and sexy vibe, and the food is absolutely sublime.

Known for the most decadent starter in the city, the Uni Spoon is quite an experiment. It is a raw piece of sea urchin with quail egg yolk, which is topped with osetra caviar, and it’s meant to be eaten in one single bite.

8. Season To Taste

Season To Taste

Season To Taste / Photo by Stephanie Cornell / cntraveler.com

Address: 2447 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

Located in the Northern part of Cambridge, you’ll be glad you made a detour for Season to Taste. Formerly known as The Table, the restaurant is a 20-seater open-kitchen concept that offers you an unforgettable culinary experience.

Based on what’s in season, the menu changes every six weeks, but you can always count on the catch of the day and a handmade pasta. The prix-fixe menu is decided by the chef du jour, so you can visit several times and get a totally different cuisine.

7. James Hook & Co.

James Hook & Co.

James Hook & Co.

Address: 440 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02210

Urban lobster shack James Hook & Co. is a family owned business that’s been around since 1925. You probably cannot find a better lobster roll in the whole city, take our word for it.

The menu is simple, but when you are so confident in the quality of the classics that you offer, you don’t really need to expand. Crab cakes, shrimp cocktail, and their famous clam chowder pretty much cover it, but they are to die for.

6. Menton

Menton Boston

Menton Boston / Photo by Wayne E. Chinnock

Address: 354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

Menton can be easily considered a fine dining restaurant by all standards. Just like the charming French riviera town after which its named, the food here is French inspired with Italian influences, and the mix of haut cuisine with New England seafood offers patrons a true feast. Expect to spend quite a bit of money while dining here, but you will not be disappointed.

The fresh halibut is served en croute with java bean puree and it melts in your mouth. Another must-try are the langoustines that come in a phyllo nest, and topped with pumpkin seed oil and sliced rhubarb.

5. Fox & The Knife

Fox & The Knife

Fox & The Knife

Address: 28 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127

A fairly new Italian restaurant opened its doors last year in the South Boston area. Fox & The Knife immediately became a smash hit with fans of Chef Karen Akunowicz, the Top Chef contestant from 2015.

Not only because she became famous from her TV appearance, but because her approach to Emilia Romagna cuisine is sublime. After having spent some time in Modena, she made the traditional classics her own.

4. Grand Tour

Grand Tour Boston

Grand Tour Boston

Address: 314 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115

A refined yet unpretentious approach to fine dining French Food, Grand Tour has classics like steak frites or mussels steamed with leeks and fennel. Their leg of lamb is also something to feast on. The meat is so tender, it almost falls off the bone.

For lunch, another lamb specialty is the burger, but it’s off the menu, so don’t look for it. Wednesdays are their ‘Date Night’ special, where you can get a prix-fixe dinner for two at a discount.

3. O Ya

O Ya Boston

O Ya Boston / Photo by Richard Perry / nytimes.com

Address: 9 E St, Boston, MA 02111

This 30-seat small restaurant off a regular side street in the Leather District is one of those rare gems you’ll be glad you discovered. The cult-classic sushi and omakase restaurant might have an understated venue, but the food is anything but.

If you consider yourself a true sushi lover, then you must try O Ya at least once when you’re in town. You have the option of ordering a la carte, but if you want the best culinary experience, go with the omakase menu.

2. No.9 Park

No.9 Park

No.9 Park

Address: 9 Park St Pl, Boston, MA 02108

For surf and turf, the city’s best restaurant is No.9 Park, without a doubt. They’ve been around for more than 20 years, serving their loyal customers amazing food. Once you try their unique dishes such as the Hokkaido scallop crudo or prune-stuffed gnocchi with foie gras, you’ll understand.

Other treats such as the rosemary tagliatelle with crab, hazelnuts and chorizo vinaigrette are delicious. Or stick to their classic grilled bavette steak, always seared to perfection.

1. SRV

SRV Boston

SRV Boston / Photo by Katie Chudy / eater.com

Address: 569 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118

More approachable than fine dining but a tad more elevated than your neighborhood’s next door joint, SRV has a bit of both worlds. Chef Michael Lombardi offers Italian favorites such as spaghetti and meatballs, or the upscale Venetian snails and mussels. You can start off with a variety of small snacks to open up your appetite.

Their calamari crostini with nduja, their fried olives, as well as the salted cod baccala, are all absolutely divine. If you’re not sure what to pick, because everything looks scrumptious, let the chef decide with the tasting menu.

These are the 25 best restaurants in Boston right now. Compiling this list gave us some serious cravings, if we are to be completely honest here. Which ones will you try next when you’re in the city?

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