Where to Eat

All Categories (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) are ranked starting with my favorite.  The dollar signs signify how expensive they are with one $ being the cheapest and four $$$$ being the most expensive.

Breakfast/Brunch

  1. Tatte $
    Tatte is a bakery with multiple Boston locations but the Beacon Hill location is closes to Back Bay.  I like to order the Muesli Cup or the Shakshuka with a Hazelnut Almond Milk Latte.  The Muesli includes Greek yogurt topped with pears, apples, blackberries, black sesame seeds, honey, and their famous muesli.  The Shakshuka  is eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, and onions.  It is sprinkled with feta cheese and served with bread for dipping (see photo below).  They also have a wide range of breakfast sandwiches and pastries which are all delicious.  In a recent article titled “50 things to eat in Boston before you Die”  Tatte’s Nut Box was rated #1!! So I highly recommend this place!!
  2. Masa $$
    Masa is an upscale Southwestern restaurant in the South End that offers one of the best brunch deals in Boston.  It is within walking distance from most of the conference hotels or a short cab/Uber ride.  For $9.95 you can get coffee, blue and yellow corn bread with 3 different spreads (chipotle cranberry, honey molasses butter, and habanero apricot) along with 2 courses!  For the first course you can choose from fresh fruit, plantain empanadas, or granola with milk.  For the second course I recommend the Huevos Rancheros or the Santa Fe Style Eggs Benedict.  See blog post for photos.
  3. The Thinking Cup $
    The Thinking Cup is another cafe/bakery which has many breakfast sandwiches and pastries.  They are located on Newbury St. right in Back Bay. They also have an amazing Hazelnut Almond Milk Latte.  My favorite things to order are the quiche with side salad and a few macaroons to go.   They have every flavor macaroon you could want and they wrap them up in very cute to go packages.  In the same 50 things article they rated coffee at Thinking Cup #32 out of 50 things to eat in Boston.
  4. The Beehive $$
    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.
  5. Trident Booksellers + Cafe $$
    Trident is a bookstore/cafe on Newbury St which is in Back Bay.  It is small and quaint but serves amazing breakfast.  I recommend the Breakfast Skillet which is scrambled eggs sautéed with apple-sausage & mushrooms, topped with Asiago, served with toast or the Lemon Ricotta French Toast.  
  6. Sonsie $$
    Sonsie is another restaurant on Newbury St in Back Bay.  It is nice because the whole front of the restaurant opens up when the weather is nice so you are basically sitting outside.  Sonsie is good for any meal of the day and I have always loved what I have ordered.  I like to sit near the front and order a glass of rose or latte and people watch.
  7. Flour $$
    Flour is a bakery that is located on Clarendon St in Back Bay.  Like Sonsie they are great for every meal of the day.  They are known for their Sticky Buns or many breakfast sandwiches.  I also really like to go here for lunch.
  8. Cafe Luna $$
    Cafe Luna is a restaurant in Cambridge that always has a line out the door for brunch.  They do take reservations or you can put your name in and wait to be seated.  I recommend the lemon ricotta pancakes or the lobster benedict.
  9. Aquitaine $$$
    Aquitaine is a French restaurant located in the South End.  They have a pre-fixed brunch option for $11.95 that they offer all day Saturday and 9am-11am Sunday.  This comes with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice, bottomless coffee, cinnamon rolls, and a choice of four different main courses:  Omelette Alsacienne, Parisian Crêpes, Omelette Basquaise, or Omelette a la Greque.
  10. Mike’s City Diner $
    Mike’s is a Diner in the South End which was featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives.  It is a traditional Diner.

 

Lunch

  1. Parish Cafe $$ 
    Parish Cafe is a gourmet sandwich restaurant in Back Bay where each sandwich is created by a local famous chef such as Barbara Lynch, who you have maybe seen on the Food Network.   My favorite sandwich is the Zuni Roll which is  smoked turkey breast, crisp bacon, chopped scallions, dill Havarti cheese, and cranberry chipotle sauce wrapped in a flour tortilla and served warm with a side of cranberry chipotle sauce and sour cream with scallions.  They also have outdoor seating which is a bonus!
  2. Bon Me Food Truck $
    Bon Me is a Vietnamese Food Truck that serves amazing rice bowls with either Brown or White Rice and your choice of filling (I recommend the spice rubbed chicken or the pulled pork) with pickled carrot and daikon, mesclun, cilantro, shallots, scallions, soy drizzle.  It is one of the best lunches I have had in Boston.  To figure out where the food trucks are parked around Boston download the Boston Street Food App on your phone.
  3. Sweet Greens $
    Sweet Greens is my favorite healthy lunch spot.  It is located on Boylston Street in Back Bay and serves all salads.  You can pick from one of their signature salads like the rad thai, earth bowl, or spicy sabzi,  which are my favorite, or you can make your own.  The ingredients are always fresh and the combinations of their signature salads are very unique.  They always have lines out the door but they usually go fast, you can also download the app and order ahead online.  I recommend taking your salad to go and walking to the Boston Common/Public Garden to sit for lunch.
  4. Piperi Mediteranean Grill $
    Piperi is my second favorite salad restaurant.  It is a Greek restaurant where you can build your own Greek salad, plate, or wrap.  The ingredients are very fresh and their falafel is amazing.  I recommend a salad with chicken and falafel with all of the toppings (marinated shredded carrots, white beans, hummus, olives, feta….).  This is not a sit down restaurant, I would recommend grabbing a salad and walking to the Boston Public Garden to sit for lunch.
  5. Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese $
    Roxy’s is another food truck but this one, as you can tell by their name serves all different kinds of grilled cheese.  The Mighty Rib Melt is my favorite but all of them are delicious and foodies love this place.   They also have one of the best rated burgers in Boston but I have yet to try it.   You can use the Boston Street Food App to track this food truck.
  6. Flour $$
    Flour is a bakery that is located on Clarendon St in Back Bay.  They have many delicious sandwiches, salads, and pastries.  Their menus change frequently but my favorite salad right now is the arugula and barley salad which has kimchi on it! (that salad will likely be gone by the time you visit Boston but everything is very creative and delicious). 
  7. The Courtyard Restaurant in Boston Public Library $$
    The Courtyard Restaurant in Boston Public Library overlooks the beautiful Italianate courtyard and serves New American cuisine.  Make sure to watch the clock because they are only open a few hours each weekday but they do take reservations.
    Lunch:  Monday- Friday, 11:30 am -2:30 pm
    Tea with finger sandwiches and small desserts:  Wednesday- Friday, 2:00 pm- 4:00 pm and Saturday’s 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
  8. Sam LaGrassa’s $
    Sam Lagrassa’s is a sandwich restaurant in downtown Boston that is famous for their corned beef and pastrami sandwiches.  Most people recommend getting the combo sandwich of corned beef mixed with pastrami.  They were featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives and this is a popular foodie destination.  They are only open M-F 11am-3:30pm.
  9. Tatte
    I know I have mentioned this place a lot but it is that good!  I love their grilled halloumi salad or their quiche.  I also always recommend a coffee or latte!

 

Dinner

  1. Island Creek Oyster Bar $$$ (My favorite restaurant!!)
    Island Creek Oyster Bar is my favorite restaurant in Boston.  It is located in Kenmore Square near Fenway Park.  They have an amazing farm-fresh raw bar but also some of the best seafood around.  Their menu changes daily and I have never had a seafood dish I did not like.  This fish is always perfectly cooked so I usually choose my dish based on what the fish is paired with.  To get in here you need to make a reservation early (over a month before your trip) or arrive and put your name in and expect to wait about an hour.  If you put your name in they will take your cell number and you can go next door to Hawthorne for a cocktail.  I recommend the Roscoe Pound which is a mix of bourbon, honey, and ginger.  It is delicious and not too strong.  Every person that I have taken to Island Creek and Hawthorne has loved their food and also loved the Roscoe Pound!
  2. Oleana $$$
    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.
  3. Asta $$$$
    Asta is an upscale New American fixed-price tasting-menu restaurant.  You can choose from 3, 5, or 8 courses with or without wine pairing.  This place is very very expensive and you do not get to choose what you order since the menu changes daily and it is a fixed tasting menu, but you can choose how many courses you want and each of the choices has different menus.  I recommend sitting at the hightop table right by the sommelier and kitchen.  You can watch your whole meal be prepared which is fun and the sommelier will spend extra time explaining why they paired each wine with each course.  Our bill for 2 people doing the 5 course menu with wine pairing was around 300$ but it was very worth it for a special night out.   
  4. Sweet Cheeks $$
    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.
  5. Shojo $$
    Shojo is a trendy Asian fusion restaurant in china town.  They have delicious cocktails and many small plates to share.   Some of my favorite dishes are the Kimchi fried rice, Chicken and Waffles, Suckling pig Bao, or the Ramen.
  6. Panza $$
    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.
  7. The Beehive $$
    The Beehive is a great restaurant for brunch or dinner.  It is located in the South End and serves New American Cuisine.  They have live Jazz music for brunch on Saturdays and Sunday and also for dinner every night.  The music is always good and the atmosphere is very fun.  They do have an outdoor patio but there is no live music outside.  I recommend sitting by the stage to enjoy the music.
  8. Neptune Oyster $$$
    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.
  9. The Haven $$
    The Haven is a Scottish Restaurant in Jamaica Plain that has THE BEST BURGER in Boston!  I also recommend the Scottish Egg and the Fried Mars Bar.  This restaurant is different from anything you have tried but everything is amazing and it is worth the short 15 minute drive/cab outside the city.
  10. Franklin Cafe $$
    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.
  11. The Salty Pig $$
    The Salty Pig is a fun Charcuterie, pizza and wine bar right in Back Bay.  You can mix and match to make your own charcuterie board or have them choose for you.  I recommend coming here for apps and drinks and then maybe going across the street to Douzo for sushi.
  12. Barcelona $$$
    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.
  13. Liquid Art House $$$
    Liquid Art House is a combination of Art Gallery and Restaurant.  If you are interested in art this is the perfect dinner spot for you.  Once you sit down they give you a handout of all the current artwork with artist.  They have many fancy cocktails to choose from and offer global cuisine.
  14. Cuchi Cuchi $$$
    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.
  15. Toro $$$
    Toro is similar to Barcelona in that it is a Spanish tapas and wine bar but is more intimate.  They do not take reservations so either go early or expect to wait.  I think Toro is better than Barcelona if I had to choose but I really like both. Barcelona is easier to get into and  Toro may be a little more expensive though they both state they are three dollar signs.
  16. Douzo $$$
    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.
  17. Taranta $$$
    Taranta is located in the north end and offers creative Peruvian-Southern Italian fusion creations.  I recommend the antipasto appetizer and the pork chop for dinner.  It is the largest pork chop I have ever seen but amazing!  If you are dining out in the north end don’t forget to stop at Mike’s Pastries to get cannolis!
  18. Lolita $$
    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!