Where are the best places to eat in Boston? From North End restaurants to Beacon Hill bistros and the best places to eat near Fenway, we’ve got you covered.
By Yankee Magazine
May 16 2016
The Brewer’s Fork | CharlestownPhoto Credit : Christine Maus
It’s the tourist’s perpetual challenge: to find a good meal near whatever museum, theater, or historic site you’re visiting when hunger strikes. This dilemma keeps sites like Yelp in business, but eventually, all crowd-sourced reviews tend to drift toward three-and-a-half- to four-star uselessness. Here we present our list of favorite low- to mid-price Boston restaurants near the city’s most popular destinations. Most serve lunch. So just where are the best places to eat in Boston, neighborhood-by-neighborhood? Read on for our 2016 Yankee Magazine Editor’s Choice picks.
For 10 years, Eastern Standard has been the gold standard of Boston brasseries for delivering on three key variables: great service; a cutting-edge bar program; and offering something for truly everyone: the burger with Vermont cheddar for the after-game set, the carrot agnolotti for vegetarians, the curated cheese plate and oyster bar for the foodie crowd. 528 Commonwealth Ave. 617-532-9100; easternstandardboston.com
Star chef Tiffani Faison’s homage to Southern cooking means giant, pillowy biscuits and pulled pork good enough to earn a blue ribbon. 1381 Boylston St. 617-266-1300; sweetcheeksq.com
A mere six-minute walk from the U.S.S. Constitution Museum and “Old Ironsides” herself (that is, at the end of the trail), this Charlestown gastropub is drawing raves for its impressive beverage program (25 beers on tap and an international roster of hard ciders) and excellent wood-fired fare. Don’t miss the pizza, the impeccable burger, or the mussels cooked with cider, cream, and bacon, all enjoyed in a lovely outdoor beer garden, spring through fall. 7 Moulton St. 617-337-5703; brewersfork.com
The team at JM Curley (named for James Michael Curley, the Boston politician and sometime inmate) serves comfort fare in a spirit of fun: housemade “cracka jack” popcorn, duck poutine, and barbecue-pork mac-and-cheese. If you’re touring the Freedom Trail, Curley’s location near the Common makes it a great spot for a break. 21 Temple Place. 617-668-5333; jmcurleyboston.com
This year-old indoor food market at the Haymarket T station houses some 40 vendors, many of which offer snacks, drinks, or full meals to go, from the stellar grilled-cheese sandwich at the Cellars at Jasper Hill stand to the smoked-haddock chowder at Boston Smoked Fish Company to a reuben from Beantown Pastrami Company. Finish it off with ice cream from Crescent Ridge Dairy, fresh cider doughnuts from Red Apple Farm, or a marshmallow confection from Sweet Lydia’s, or take home some yogurt and cheese from Appleton Farms, or leafy greens from Corner Stalk Farm. The only tough part is deciding where to start. 100 Hanover St. 617-973-4909; bostonpublicmarket.org
Who can resist this mainstay of traditional New England fare since 1827? A Boston visit would be incomplete without it. We recommend sticking with the classics: chowder, prime rib, pot roast, baked beans, and, of course, Indian pudding for dessert. 340 Faneuil Hall. 617-227-2038; arkrestaurants.com/durgin_park
Since its red-hot opening in 2014, Alden & Harlow has remained a bright star on the Harvard Square dining scene. Michael Scelfo’s imaginative take on American food means local corn pancakes with popcorn, shisito peppers and maple, or crispy pork belly with caponata, walnuts, and Anson Mills grits. This is ambitious food, but the sane prices make it a great place to sample and share, as the menu encourages. And there’s a great burger for the meat-and-potatoes crowd. 40 Brattle St. 617-864-2100; aldenharlow.com
If you want to get a feel for Harvard Square life, grab a sandwich and talk tenure with the locals at this mainstay café. (We’re partial to “The Story”: prosciutto, pesto, fresh mozzarella, and vinaigrette.) 148 Mount Auburn St. 617-354-5233; darwinsltd.com
The thing about the North End is that it’s never just about the food. So although there are many good places to eat, we like The Daily Catch not just for its fried calamari or its linguine with clams or saucy puttanesca, but for the crowd-pleasing, pan-clattering, elbow-to-elbow authenticity of a real North End restaurant. Even the long wait can be part of its charm, if the weather is fine and you keep a snack in your bag. 323 Hanover St. 617-523-8567; thedailycatch.com
It’s open only for lunch, but this North End institution serves stupendous slices of Sicilian pizza and addictive arancini at prices that themselves feel historic (under $2 for a plain cheese slice!). As with many North End favorites, the line may be long, but it’s worth it. 289 Hanover St. 617-227-5709
Chef Lucas Sousa makes classic French bistro fare with New England–grown ingredients, so you’ll find frisée salad, moules frites, and duck confit—but the menu goes beyond the classics to include tagliatelle with truffle butter and short-rib tortellini with scallops and Asian pear. In the bistro tradition, the restaurant serves a more-casual lunch, making it a lovely place to settle into a comfy banquette and watch the parade of doyennes and politicos. 25 Charles St. 617-723-7575; beaconhillhotel.com
Owner Tzurit Or’s Israeli upbringing infuses her breakfast and lunch menus with ingredients such as grilled halloumi cheese in an herb-studded salad, halva in a sweet morning bun, and rosewater in cloudlike meringues. But you’ll also find croque monsieur and vegetable tarte tatin with a full French accent. 70 Charles St. 617-723-5555; tattebakery.com
Where are your favorite places to eat in Boston?