- Island Creek Oyster Bar $$$ (My favorite restaurant!!)
Island Creek Oyster Bar is my favorite restaurant in Boston. It is located in Kenmore Square near Fenway Park. They have an amazing farm-fresh raw bar but also some of the best seafood around. Their menu changes daily and I have never had a seafood dish I did not like. This fish is always perfectly cooked so I usually choose my dish based on what the fish is paired with. To get in here you need to make a reservation early (over a month before your trip) or arrive and put your name in and expect to wait about an hour. If you put your name in they will take your cell number and you can go next door to Hawthorne for a cocktail. I recommend the Roscoe Pound which is a mix of bourbon, honey, and ginger. It is delicious and not too strong. Every person that I have taken to Island Creek and Hawthorne has loved their food and also loved the Roscoe Pound!
- Oleana $$$
Oleana is an Eastern Mediterranean restaurant located on Hampshire St in Cambridge. They have very creative dishes. My favorite appetizer was the hummus which sounds boring but it was one of the most amazing things I have ever eaten. I also saw their Lemon Chicken, Za’atar and Turkish Cheese Pancake dish featured on the Food Network. If you enjoy Mediterranean food I highly recommend this place. It is hard to get into so make a reservation early.
- Asta $$$$
Asta is an upscale New American fixed-price tasting-menu restaurant. You can choose from 3, 5, or 8 courses with or without wine pairing. This place is very very expensive and you do not get to choose what you order since the menu changes daily and it is a fixed tasting menu, but you can choose how many courses you want and each of the choices has different menus. I recommend sitting at the hightop table right by the sommelier and kitchen. You can watch your whole meal be prepared which is fun and the sommelier will spend extra time explaining why they paired each wine with each course. Our bill for 2 people doing the 5 course menu with wine pairing was around 300$ but it was very worth it for a special night out.
- Sweet Cheeks $$
Sweet Cheeks is a barbecue restaurant in Fenway that is owned by Tiffani Faison who competed on Top Chef. Everything comes on a Tray with many southern sides to choose from. I recommend the Big Cheeks Tray where you can choose from 2 of the following; pork belly, pulled chicken, brisket, pork ribs, or pulled pork along with one hot scoop and one cold scoop. For the “scoops” I recommend mac and cheese, broccoli casserole, or farm salad. You also MUST order the biscuits as a started. They are to die for and are served with warm honey butter.
- Shojo $$
Shojo is a trendy Asian fusion restaurant in china town. They have delicious cocktails and many small plates to share. Some of my favorite dishes are the Kimchi fried rice, Chicken and Waffles, Suckling pig Bao, or the Ramen.
- Panza $$
Panza is an affordable Italian restaurant in the North End. It is small but easy to make a reservation on OpenTable.com. They have daily specials but my favorite dishes are the Lobster Ravioli and Potato Gnocchi Bolognese. If you are going out to eat in the north end make sure to stop at Mike’s Pastry for a Cannoli.
- The Beehive $$
The Beehive is a great restaurant for brunch or dinner. It is located in the South End and serves New American Cuisine. They have live Jazz music for brunch on Saturdays and Sunday and also for dinner every night. The music is always good and the atmosphere is very fun. They do have an outdoor patio but there is no live music outside. I recommend sitting by the stage to enjoy the music.
- Neptune Oyster $$$
Neptune Oyster is a very tiny seafood restaurant in the North End that specializes in oysters obviously and also Lobster Rolls. They serve two types of Rolls, one served cold with mayo and the other served warm with butter sauce. Both are amazing. It is hard to get into this restaurant so you will have to go and put your name it and expect to wait over an hour. Try to go for lunch or an early dinner.
- The Haven $$
The Haven is a Scottish Restaurant in Jamaica Plain that has THE BEST BURGER in Boston! I also recommend the Scottish Egg and the Fried Mars Bar. This restaurant is different from anything you have tried but everything is amazing and it is worth the short 15 minute drive/cab outside the city.
- Franklin Cafe $$
Franklin Cafe is a cozy restaurant in the South End of Boston with a menu that changes daily. They do not take reservations but the wait is usually not too long and you can get a drink at the bar while you wait. They almost always have the steak frites on the menu which are my fiances favorite. I usually get the fish dish of the day or the pork chop which is a regular.
- The Salty Pig $$
The Salty Pig is a fun Charcuterie, pizza and wine bar right in Back Bay. You can mix and match to make your own charcuterie board or have them choose for you. I recommend coming here for apps and drinks and then maybe going across the street to Douzo for sushi.
- Barcelona $$$
Barcelona is a tapas restaurant with 2 locations. The closest location to Back Bay is in the South End. They offer many Spanish-centric small plates & wine. This is a romantic restaurant which would be perfect for a small group or just 2 people. It is hard to share small plates with a large group in my opinion.
- Liquid Art House $$$
Liquid Art House is a combination of Art Gallery and Restaurant. If you are interested in art this is the perfect dinner spot for you. Once you sit down they give you a handout of all the current artwork with artist. They have many fancy cocktails to choose from and offer global cuisine.
- Cuchi Cuchi $$$
For a fun atmosphere and delicious cocktails I recommend trying Cuchi Cuchi. It is located on Main St. in Cambridge and serves global small plates & fruity cocktails with vintage Hollywood decor & burlesque costumes. It is totally different from any restaurant you have ever been to. The plates are all tapas style (small plates to share) and we loved everything we ordered. Our favorites were the cuban cigars which are beef short ribs wrapped in dough with black bean salsa and also the French Banana Bread Extravaganza for dessert. For cocktails I would recommend one of the hand muddled drinks like the strawberry basil or blackberry cosmo.
- Toro $$$
Toro is similar to Barcelona in that it is a Spanish tapas and wine bar but is more intimate. They do not take reservations so either go early or expect to wait. I think Toro is better than Barcelona if I had to choose but I really like both. Barcelona is easier to get into and Toro may be a little more expensive though they both state they are three dollar signs.
- Douzo $$$
Douzo is my favorite sushi restaurant in Boston. It is a trendy and modern restaurant that is located right in Back Bay so you could walk from your hotel. They take reservations or walk ins.
- Taranta $$$
Taranta is located in the north end and offers creative Peruvian-Southern Italian fusion creations. I recommend the antipasto appetizer and the pork chop for dinner. It is the largest pork chop I have ever seen but amazing! If you are dining out in the north end don’t forget to stop at Mike’s Pastries to get cannolis!
- Lolita $$
Lolita is a trendy lounge with Mexican food and the best margaritas in Boston. I recommend trying multiple different tacos and ordering one of their spicy margaritas. This is also a very lively place to go get a drink on a Friday or Saturday night. Do not arrive past 10pm or you will not get in!