Hungry? Boston offers plenty of restaurant options for hungry residents and visitors alike. Here are our picks for the best food & dining in Boston for 2015.
All the pies at this South End stalwart are terrific, but we’d argue that the best pizza of all is Picco’s “Alsatian” pie, which tops a crisp and pillowy long-fermented crust with caramelized onions, crème fraîche, bacon, and Gruyère. No, this isn’t health food, but a small pizza for two ($14.50) is so good, it leaves your stomach satisfied and your dignity intact.
513 Tremont St. 617-927-0066; piccorestaurant.com
At $4 a pop (with cream cheese), these bagels might come with a side of sticker shock, but trust us: They’re worth it. One bite of the cracklingly crisp exterior and the moist, chewy center will remind you that all those so-called bagels you’ve been eating are really just sandwich rolls with holes. Don’t miss the breakfast sandwich ($6): a just-cooked jumbo egg with extra-sharp cheddar and mustard butter.
1796 Massachusetts Ave. 857-285-6103; bagelsaurus.com
Kirkland Tap & Trotter, Somerville
At his fine-dining restaurant, Craigie on Main, Tony Maws earned a cult following for a grass-fed burger, served only at the bar, made from three different cuts of locally sourced meat. At Kirkland, his more-casual tavern, the burger ($16) has the same deeply flavored, perfectly cooked beef with updated accents: Emmental cheese and a zingy kimchi Russian dressing. Even the bun and ketchup are homemade.
425 Washington St. 857-259-6585; kirklandtapandtrotter.com
Best Affordable Waterfront Dining
KO at the Shipyard, East Boston
We’re letting you in on a little secret here: The best waterfront views of Boston Harbor aren’t in Boston. They’re in up-and-coming East Boston. And the best view is from Piers Park, a refurbished waterfront idyll with incredible views of the city skyline. Just a short walk from the park, you’ll find the Boston Harbor Shipyard, a working marina where KO Catering & Pies operates a small café. KO’s food is inspired by both the home flavors and world travels of Australian owners Sam Jackson and Kara Butterfield. The menu includes savory beef pies ($6.25), piri piri chicken ($9), and sticky date pudding ($8). So grab some food to go and bring it to the park, where a summer concert series provides the soundtrack and the sunset provides the magic.
256 Marginal St., Building 16. 617-418-5234; kocateringandpies.com
Best Romantic Spot
Jason Bond is a culinary romantic, expressing his passion for New England ingredients in menus laced with wild beach plums, Cape Cod oysters, Delicata squash, and local pasture-raised chicken (all entrées $30). His food is sensuous in the purest sense. His partner, Monica Higgins, brings the same aesthetic to the dining room, stoking the fireplace in season, arranging little floral still lifes here and there, and greeting customers with genuine warmth. In short: There’s no better place to spark a new flame or rekindle an old one.
279A Broadway. 617-661-0009; bondircambridge.com
Uni Sashimi Bar, Boston
A caveat: This is not your go-to place for spicy tuna takeout. But if you’re interested in sushi as real cuisine, Ken Oringer’s small eatery in the lower level of the Eliot Hotel pairs exquisite fish (and pork belly, and foie gras …) with an international palette of flavors. That means Maine lobster tempura with Singapore black-pepper chili sauce ($20), sea urchin with quail eggs pomegranate, curry, and raita ($18). There’s also late-night ramen Fridays and Saturdays after 11:00.
370 Commonwealth Ave. 617- 536-7200; unisashimibar.com