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BostonFoodBae's Food Guide: My Favorite Spots in Greater Boston

Updated: May 28

There are just so many restaurants in Boston so it was pretty difficult to narrow down this list. I still have yet to try a lot of the new restaurants that have popped up over the years, but hopefully I have covered at least some of the best spots in town. If you're just looking for burgers and mac & cheese recommendations, this might not be your type of post. However, if you love dope ass food that's full of FLAVOR as well as food from different ethnicities and backgrounds, I think you might like some of my suggestions. Life is too short to have basic-ass food, so let's dive right in ;)


Japanese

Sushi

- Tora Japanese Restaurant - my ultimate favorite go-to spot for sushi and sushi bowls, my favorite dish to get is the "Sake Aisuru Don"

- Oiishi - beautiful sushi spot for anniversaries and special occasions; definitely on the pricier end but if you got that type of money ;)

- Sakana - the sushi tastes premium but is surprisingly quite affordable compared to other higher

end sushi spots in Boston

- Thai Bar Shi - serves delicious sushi and Thai food; located in Weymouth, MA

- Purple Shell - beautifully crafted sushi rolls; located in South Boston

- Karma Burlington - serves Asian-fusion sushi with styles of France and Cantonese cuisine; I personally think the sushi tastes a lot better than the Cantonese dishes

- Omori Izakaya - amazing izakaya with sushi and Japanese bites; makes me feel like I'm back in Japan

- Zuma - high quality sushi and Japanese dishes inside of Four Seasons; great spot for birthdays and celebrations

- Nagomi Izakaya - they have beautifully plated sushi and the omakase platters are very IG-worthy

- Fuji - one of the top Asian-owned restaurant groups in Boston; they have multiple locations (Quincy, Assembly Row, Ink Block in South End, Kendall)

Ramen/Udon

- Yume Ga Arukara - best udon noodles I've ever had in Boston, definitely get the Spicy Cold Niku Udon

- Futago Udon - absolutely LOVE their udon! they have so many options but my favorite is the Uni Cream Udon *chefs kiss*

- Ganko Ittetsu Ramen - in my opinion, one of the best ramen in Boston - they also have incredible Japanese karaage and gyozas

- Soup Shack - locations in Jamaica Plain, Brookline, Porter Square

- Hokkaido Ramen Santouka - still today one of my favorite spots in Boston as they never disappoint

- Momosan - Chef Morimoto's ramen and sushi restaurant at Hub Hall near North Station

- Sugidama Soba & Izakaya - solid spot for those who enjoy soba noodles and izakaya-style dishes

Other

- Gyu Kaku - the SPOT for Japanese BBQ, they also have AYCE options

- Izakaya Ittoku - amazing izakaya for traditional Japanese dishes and tapas, makes you feel like you're in Japan

- Cafe Mami - known for their Japanese comfort food; my favorite dishes are the curry sets

- Bcafe - fast casual Japanese spot in Quincy, MA that's known for their sushi, teppanyaki, rice bowls, and smoothies


Chinese + Taiwanese

- Gaga Seafood Restaurant - one of my favorite spots to eat traditional Chinese food in Chinatown

- Wai Wai Restaurant - literally a hole in the basement and an OG spot in Chinatown; I love their Wai Wai Chicken and ginger scallion sauce

- Chinatown Cafe - good prices and large portions; I go here for roast duck and roast pork

- Cubist Circle - serves authentic Szechuan cuisine and Taiwanese-influenced sushi in Weymouth

- Dolphin Bay - there's not a lot of amazing Taiwanese restaurants in Boston in my opinion but I do love Dolphin Bay since it was my go-to spot when I used to study at Boston University. They have very affordable Taiwanese dishes, bubble tea, and shaved ice!

- Chili Square - small family-owned spot in Quincy, MA that has been around for years but has bomb-ass hand-pulled noodles and other spicy noodle dishes

- Gene's Chinese Flatbread - they currently have 4 locations and also have amazing hand-pulled noodles along with Chinese flatbread sandwiches

Dim Sum

- Winsor Dim Sum House - I prefer the one specifically in Quincy; it's my #1 favorite spot in Greater Boston to get dim sum. Cash only.

- Great Taste Restaurant - this is my second favorite spot to get dim sum; located in Chinatown

- Ming's Seafood Restaurant - my third favorite spot to get dim sum; located in Malden and Quincy

Hot Pot

- Liuyishou - good quality and authentic hot pot in Chinatown; they are known for their cute cow-shaped butter that melts into the hot pot broth

- Happy Lamb - another great spot for hot pot; locations in Chinatown and Cambridge

- Q Restaurant - one of the first hot pot restaurants in Chinatown but still a great option; they also serve sushi

- Spring Shabu Shabu - vegetables, noodles, fish balls are All-You-Can-Eat (AYCE) and meats are a la carte; everyone gets their own individual hot pot and broth. The matcha soft serve is a must-try!

- LaMei Hot Pot - solid hot pot spot that also specializes in spicy - they make all of their broths in-house and from scratch, and has a DIY sauce bar with multiple options


Dumplings* - to be honest, I might be a little biased, but I feel like I haven't had any dumplings in Boston that has completely blown my mind. I've traveled all across China (Shanghai specifically), Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc. and I've had some of the best ones in my life. I'm still currently looking for AMAZING ones in Boston. Lots of people say Gourmet Dumpling House is good but I think it's MEHHH, and a tourist trap!!!


Vietnamese + Thai Food

- Banh Mi Ba Le - the Dorchester location is the OG spot; this is my absolute favorite spot to get banh mi sandwiches and smoothies/shakes

- Saigon Chicken House - I go here specifically for one dish: Bò Né (a Vietnamese Steak and Eggs Breakfast) that's served on a cow-shaped sizzling skillet and with a whole baguette & side of fries

- Chalawan Asian Eatery - delicious Thai, Indonesian, Singaporean dishes

- Anchan Thai - might be my favorite spot for Thai cuisine that's located in Braintree; I love ordering the Pad See Ew and the Green Thai Iced Tea

- Rod D - amazing traditional Thai cuisine that's also very inexpensive


Korean

- Seoul Soulongtang - my favorite Korean restaurant in Boston that serves more authentic/traditional Korean dishes

- Kaju Tofu House - best spot in Boston to get Korean tofu soup and delicious Korean dishes

- Coreanos Korean-Mexican fusion spot in Allston that has delicious fast casual bites; I love the chicken poppers, fried chicken the kimchi fried rice

- Kimchipapi - love this spot for Korean corndogs, Korean-inspired poke bowls, and their crab salad


Asian Fusion

- Nautilus Pier 4 - I'm VERY picky about Asian-fusion because I hate it when people think adding some soy sauce to a dish or raw salmon automatically makes them FuSiOn. One of the few spots I've had so far that has actually impressed me is Nautilus Pier 4 (it's on the pricier end though and dishes are tapas-style so aka smaller portions!)

- Moonshine 152 - this is the only other spot in Boston that I thought did Asian-fusion pretty well


Italian or Italian-American

- Carmelina's - Make sure to make reservations weeks ahead of time because they book up fast!

- The Daily Catch - if you love delicious seafood, you have to go here~

- Giacamo's Ristorante - probably one of the most popular restaurants in the North End; the lines are always out the door and start forming even before they open!

- Trattoria Il Panino - this is another one of my favorite spots in the North End. They serve their pastas in pans!

- Neptune Oyster - another hot spot for tourists but there's a good reason for it, they have the best lobster rolls. Make sure to go early to get your name on the list because they are always packed!

- Tony & Elaine's - if you love Italian-American food and large-ass portions, this is the spot for you

- Panza - I specifically go here for their lobster ravioli, so good!

- Coppa Enoteca - they have some of the best pasta and pizzas I've had!

- Bar Cino - one of my favorite spots in Boston for bolognese and their thin-crust pizzas (they provide scissors to cut the pizzas!)


Mexican

- Chilacates Mexican Street Food - my favorite Mexican restaurant in the Greater Boston area

- El Pelon Taqueria - I used to always come here when I was in high school because it was just a few minutes walk for me

- El Potro Mexican Grill - OMG huge ass portions here and everything smacks lol

- Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar - I don't know if this is Mexican-owned and it gives me American vibes but the Mexican-inspired food here is solid - I love coming here for their $1 oysters on Tuesdays

- Taqueria El Amigo - I randomly stumbled upon this little gem in Waltham when I was in the area, and I'm so grateful!! It's literally the smallest little food joint and is always packed with locals


Greek

- Greco - this place is perfect if you love fast casual spots in Boston. Make sure you try the gyros and loukoumades for dessert!

- Krasi - one of my favorite Greek restaurants in Boston, they have amazing brunch and dinner

- Saloniki Greek - another great spot that offers gyros and is a very similar concept to Greco


Pizza

- Ciao Pizza & Pasta - the #1 spot for pizza in Greater Boston in my opinion! there's a reason why they have 5 stars on Yelp! It's located in Chelsea!

- Source Restaurant - this is a great spot for brunch in Cambridge! I love their pepperoni pizzas and souffle pancakes

- Area Four - the pizza dough is delicious and they have interesting pizza toppings like the clams & bacon; it's the combo I didn't know I needed!

- Prairie Fire - my favorite dish from here is specifically the Fennel & Sausage fire-grilled pizza. IT SMACKS.


Brunch/Breakfast

- Cafe Weekend - the cutest little cafe/brunch spot in Allston - they have delicious but affordable brunch EVERY DAY and ALL DAY LONG. One of their popular items is the croffle (croissant + waffle). They are also Asian-owned!

- Bootleg Special - if you love Cajun-style seafood, this spot is for you! I love coming here for brunch because they have souffle pancakes and Eggs Benedict that comes with lobster, crab and crawfish!

- Cafe Luna - I love this spot for brunch; it's located in Cambridge and is usually packed

- Rosebud - this is such a cute iconic diner! I love their chicken & waffles

- Woods Hill Pier 4 - beautiful restaurant right on the pier in the Seaport District/Waterfront; great for brunch and dinner with friends and family

- Milkweed - this spot is a little outside of the city but it's worth it. They have some of the best brunch in Boston!

- Vester - Asian + woman-owned cafe that's badass af - they got healthy, fresh and delicious menu items; it's such a cute spot!


American

- Lincoln Tavern - solid spot for American food that's located in South Boston; they also have $1 oysters on Tuesdays!!

- Atlantic Fish Co - this restaurant is great for seafood lovers; they have everything from clam chowder, tuna tartare, and crab cakes to bacon-wrapped scallops, lobster ravioli, lobster rolls, and shrimp scampi

- Saltie Girl - an amazing seafood restaurant to visit if you're in Boston

- Boston Burger Company - the burgers here are a little too heavy for greasy for me now that I have GERD, but I remember it being so damn delicious. If you love burgers and don't give a F about calories, definitely go here. They also have crazy freak frappes.

Steakhouses

- Abe & Louie's, Capital Grille, Ruth's Chris, Boston Chops


Sandwiches

- Sam LaGrassa's - family-run shop acclaimed for their specialty sandwiches. Locals say it's the Best Sandwich in Boston. They are only open for lunch on weekdays.

- Mike & Patty's - I love this small spot for breakfast sandwiches, they are DELISH!!

- Banh Mi Ba Le - if you like Vietnamese Sandwiches (Banh Mis), you have to go here. They also have some of the best smoothies! It's located in Dorchester, MA.

- Bisq - @ Time Out Market - you have to try the chicken sandwich, it's juicy af

- Underdog Hot Chicken - want to try some amazing fried chicken sandwiches in the Allston area? If you love spicy anything, definitely get the hot version. They also got wings and fried oreos!


Boba Tea

- Tiger Sugar - if you love brown sugar boba and have a sweet tooth like me, go here! They currently have two locations in Boston: Chinatown & Allston

- One Zo - solid bubble tea spot in Boston; they have two locations in Boston: Chinatown & Allston

- Coco Fresh Tea & Juice - this is probably my favorite boba spot that I always go to when I visit NYC I'm so glad that they have two locations in Greater Boston now: Quincy & Lexington


Cafes/Bakeries

- Pressed Cafe - this cafe has just about everything on their menu for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert. Although it's a cafe, it's open from 5am till 10pm on weekdays, and till 1am on Fridays and Saturdays. They also have a beautiful full bar, making it a great spot to grab some drinks with some friends.

- Flour Bakery - this is an iconic bakery/cafe founded by James Beard award-winning pastry chef Joanne Chang!! Everything is delicious here. You HAVE to try the sticky buns. There are currently 9 locations in Boston.

- Tatte Bakery - another iconic bakery/cafe that's founded by Tzurit Or. They have over 18 locations in Boston & Washington.


Food Halls

- High Street Place (Financial District - 100 High St)

- Hub Hall (North Station near TD Garden)

- Time Out Market (Fenway area)

- Bow Market (Somerville)


Black-Owned Restaurants to Support

- Rhythm N Wraps

- MIDA

- Cafe Sauvage

- Lucy Ethiopian Cafe


Desserts

- Egg Puffs from Egg Puff Lady Cart in Chinatown

- Loukoumades from Greco

- Matcha and Ube Soft Serve from Matcha Cafe Maiko

- Croffles (Croissant + Waffle) from Cafe Weekend

- Waffles and Boba from Sweet Waffles & Boba in Chinatown

- Donuts from Union Square Donuts

- Egg Tarts from Great Taste Restaurant

- Gelato from Amorino and Table Caffe (North End)

- Any ice cream from New City Microcreamery

- Vegan Ice Cream from FoMu

- Ice Cream from Christina's Homemade Ice Cream

- Bubble Tea + Thai Milk Tea Soft Serve Ice Cream from Chaji Creamery


Drinks & Night Out

- Lookout Rooftop & Bar - rooftop bar that has a gorgeous view of the city; located in Seaport

- Drink - they have lovely custom drinks (no-drink menu where bartender makes you a drink based on your conversation)

- Next Door Speakeasy - hidden speakeasy in East Boston - make sure to book reservations, they are usually booked for months!

- Colette Lounge - cute lounge that serves NOLA-inspired cocktails and small bites; located inside of Shaking Crab in Boston Common

- Sojuba - if you have a large party and happen to love Korean food and Soju, this spot is for you!

- Make sure to check out Thrillist's new article on the Best Bars in Boston, it has great recommendations!


Others

- Poke Bowls from Big Poke

- Asian-inspired Cupcakes from Small & Sweet Bake

- New Golden Gate - for Late Night Bites, they close at 4am everyday




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