boston-best

Food & Drink

  • New Restaurant

    Little Donkey

    At their two previous collaborations, Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer had to stay in specific small-plates lanes: Italian at Coppa, Spanish at Toro...

    Little Donkey Photo Credit: Holly Rike
  • Upgrade

    Eataly

    While Boston has never been a city to fawn over imported star chefs (Jean-Georges, we hardly knew ye), Mario Batali has fared quite well...

    Eataly Photo Courtesy of Eataly Boston
  • Bagels

    Exodus Bagels

    Boston is upping its bagel game—and Exodus is leading the way...

    Exodus Bagels Photo Credit: Holly Rike
  • Banh Mi

    Pho Viet’s

    You can find outstanding purveyors of this brilliant Vietnamese street-food sandwich in Fields Corner and Savin Hill...

    • 88 Food Connection at the Hong Kong Supermarket, 1095 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
    • (617) 562-8828
  • Barbecue

    The Smoke Shop

    After opening the South End’s Tremont 647 nearly 20 years ago, chef/owner Andy Husbands began honing his slow-smoking skills in barbecue competitions across the country...

    The Smoke Shop Photo Credit: Holly Rike
  • Bartender

    Gwen Hagerty at Bar Mezzana

    At Colin and Heather Lynch’s acclaimed coastal Italian restaurant, justly lauded for fabulous seafood and pastas, Ryan Lotz oversees the South End’s best bar program...

    Gwen Hagerty at Bar Mezzana Photo Credit: Holly Rike
  • Brazilian

    Muqueca

    Cambridge Street east of Inman Square remains a hotbed of fine Portuguese and Brazilian fare, but this colorful storefront stands out with its bright, homey mashup...

    Muqueca Photo Credit: Peter Holmgren
  • Bread

    Bambara

    Newburyport native David Bazirgan spent 13 years as a chef at trendy San Fran restaurants before returning to the East Coast and breathing new life into the kitchen...

  • Brewery

    Aeronaut Brewing Company

    Some microbrewers, we must admit, veer toward the insufferably self-serious...

  • Brunch

    Taj Boston

    Among Boston’s many beautiful brunches served on sun-splashed patios, Sunday rooftop service at the Taj stands out with its 17th-story views of the Public Garden...

  • Burger

    Brassica Kitchen + Cafe

    Bright and bold young culinary talents Jeremy Kean and Philip Kruta first wowed crowds as Wink & Nod’s inaugural guest chefs...

  • Charcuterie

    Puritan & Company

    Will Gilson’s farm-to-table standby has built a loyal following by fusing modern technique with superb local ingredients in a tastefully rustic room...

  • Cheese Plate

    Troquet on South

    Recently relocated from its longtime perch on Boston Common to a roomier Leather District space, Troquet preserves its dedication to the enjoyment of great wines...

    Troquet on South Photo Credit: Brian Samuels
  • Chinese

    BLR by Shojo

    Once a dumpy but beloved Cantonese joint, the reinvented Best Little Restaurant now features scrubbed-up good looks evoking an illicit Chinatown gambling den...

  • Clam Chowder

    Neptune Oyster

    Still one of Boston’s finest New England seafood restaurants, this tiny, eternally crowded space taunts impatient locals intolerant of long waits to get seated...

  • Coffee Shop

    Dudley Café

    This social justice-minded java joint, housed inside the rehabbed Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building, fuels its Roxbury neighborhood’s recent renaissance...

    Dudley Café Photo Credit: Samuel Allison
  • Colombian

    El Kiosco

    A stone’s throw from the Orient Heights T stop is this versatile combination of dark, atmospheric bar and sunny, casual restaurant serving traditional Colombian dishes...

  • Comeback

    East Coast Grill

    This historic wood-grilled seafood and barbecue spot pioneered many dining concepts we now take for granted, like fresh-juice margaritas and obsessive love of fresh chili...

    East Coast Grill Photo Credit: Holly Rike
  • Concept

    Juliet

    We love eating at Juliet; unlike many restaurants, we’d love working there too...

    Juliet Photo Credit: Nicole Popma
  • Cookie

    Hi-Rise Bread Company

    Rene Becker, founder of this now-iconic Cambridge baking biz, used to be a food critic— which may explain the palpable pursuit of perfection that embodies Hi-Rise...

    Hi-Rise Bread Company Photo Credit: Nishat Khan
  • Date-Night Destination

    Bergamot

    Tight squeezes between tables and a surfeit of hard surfaces are making it tough to have a conversation in many otherwise worthy eateries...

  • Deli

    Mamaleh's

    Greater Boston is home to many Ashkenazi Jews, so why are our delicatessens so terrible?...

    Mamaleh's Photo Credit: Holly Rike
  • Dessert

    Oak + Rowan

    Every patron at this Fort Point eatery from the restaurateur behind Newburyport favorites Ceia and Brine leaves marveling at the work of pastry chef Brian Mercury...

    Oak + Rowan Photo Credit: Holly Rike
  • Dim Sum

    Winsor Dim Sum Cafe

    The bustle and flow of Boston’s dim sum palaces with trolleys can be fun, as long as you don’t get seated too far from the kitchen...

  • Diner

    Mike's City Diner

    This South End institution cooks everything from scratch, and boy, does it show: the drip coffee perfect, the home fries really fine, corned beef and turkey hashes...

  • Dinner with Music

    B3

    File under: triple threat. This Southern-inflected newcomer, its name shorthand for “Back Bay Beats,” scores on every front...

  • Distillery

    GrandTen Distilling

    New England is suddenly a hub for distilling, with producers sprouting up in our suburbs and industrial neighborhoods...

    GrandTen Distilling Photo Credit: Tim Oxton
  • French

    L'Espalier

    Next year L’Espalier turns 40, an eternity for an unapologetically high-end French restaurant in a trending-casual industry...

  • Greek

    Kava Neo-Taverna

    At the center of Boston’s current fine-dining Greek revival is this chic, charming, hectic little South End spot with a brilliant sidewalk patio...

    Kava Neo-Taverna Photo Credit: Sarah Silbiger
  • Hidden Gem

    Maná Escondido Cafe

    South Enders frequently carp about the neighborhood’s lack of quality cheap eats...

  • Hot Dog

    The Automatic

    Esteemed bartending pooh-bah Dave Cagle’s new Kendall Square bar is a throwback in all the right ways, working nostalgic midcentury tropes...

  • Ice Cream

    Gracie’s

    Gracie’s owner Aaron Cohen named his Somerville shop—a fairly early entry in the artisanal ice cream trend—after his young daughter...

    Gracie’s Photo Credit: Tony Luong
  • Indian

    Ritu Ki Rasoi

    Located at the butt end of a brick warehouse fronted by Burlington Auto Parts, this South Indian vegetarian restaurant delivers an array of beautiful, fragrant, complexly...

  • Italian

    La Morra

    Husband-and-wife team Josh and Jennifer Ziskin hum along with uncommon consistency at their romantic restaurant plopped just outside Brookline Village...

    La Morra Photo Credit: Luke Wunsch-Edwards
  • Japanese

    UNI

    Ken Oringer’s reinvention of his longstanding, formal and expensive flagship Clio and sashimi bar UNI into a single restaurant...

    UNI Photo Credit: Nicole Popma
  • Large-Format Dish

    Yvonne’s

    The nightclubby Yvonne’s is versatile. Stellar bartending makes for some classy hooching...

  • Late Night

    Peach Farm

    The old adage about dining where chefs hang after-hours is affirmed at this storied Chinatown spot, an ever-reliable purveyor of Hong Kong and Cantonese classics...

    Peach Farm Photo Credit: Diego Navarro
  • Lobster Roll

    Belle Isle Seafood

    Looking for shore-shack ambiance but can’t hit the Maine coast? This fish market/restaurant in Boston’s backyard, just over the bridge from Eastie in Winthrop...

  • Meatballs

    SRV

    Follow the pretty crowds to this swinging South End slinger of Venetian fare...

    SRV Photo Credit: Morgan Ione Yeager
  • Middle Eastern

    Sarma

    Chef/co-owner Cassie Piuma continues to beguile at this casually warm, inviting spot at the edge of Winter Hill...

    Sarma Photo Credit: Diego Navarro
  • Pasta

    Giulia

    Channeling the soul of a small-town Italian trattoria, Michael and Pamela Pagliarini furnish their guests with heartfelt service and rustic fare...

  • Pastry

    Sofra

    Date-filled ma’amoul, Syrian shortbread with raspberry jam, Turkish kunefe in chamomile syrup: You’ll find these in few places but Sofra...

    Sofra Photo Credit: Kristin Teig
  • Patio Dining

    Publico Street Bistro & Garden

    From the sidewalk, you’d never know this buzzy new Southie spot hides an urban oasis...

    Publico Street Bistro & Garden Photo Credit: Brian Samuels
  • Peruvian

    Ruka

    The Yvonne’s team has struck again with another glamorously beautiful Downtown Crossing room that slings terrific drinks...

    Ruka Photo Credit: Holly Rike
  • Pho

    Ánh Hông

    There’s a lot to love at this Fields Corner standby, like great roll-your-own fresh rolls...

  • Pizza

    Area Four Boston

    The northeast corner of the South End keeps sprouting gleaming new towers, like the Troy apartment building that hosts this casual, hip-looking sibling to Cambridge’s...

    Area Four Boston Photo Credit: Holly Rike
  • Place to Chill Out

    Tea Bar by Evy Tea

    Avoid coffee shop laptop squatters by sipping pretty in the adorable herb garden outside Evy Chen’s whimsical Jamaica Plain tea bar...

    Tea Bar by Evy Tea Photo Credit: Holly Rike
  • Place to Go When Money is No Object

    O Ya

    Tim and Nancy Cushman’s temple to Japanese gastronomy earned them national fame with exquisitely sourced and artfully constructed sushi, sashimi and cooked dishes...

    O Ya Photo Credit: Brian Samuels
  • Pop-Up

    East Boston Oysters

    East Boston’s food scene remains unsung, so props to this outfit for better-exposing the neighborhood to its cult-like following...

    East Boston Oysters Photo Credit: Aaron Nevin
  • Power Lunch

    Davio’s

    Over three decades, restaurateur Steve DiFillippo has built a strong brand for his small chain of high-end Italian steakhouses—and for himself...

    Davio’s Photo Credit: Briana Moore
  • Pre-/Post-Theater Dining

    Teatro

    Before or after you settle into your seat at the Opera House, the Paramount, the Wilbur or the Wang, claim one at chef/owner Jamie Mammano’s Italian showplace...

  • Private Dining

    Mistral

    In its 20th anniversary year, this first flag planted in Columbus Hospitality Group’s empire still impresses...

    Mistral Photo Credit: Kristin Teig
  • Prix Fixe

    The Table at Season to Taste

    Open reservations are rare at chef Carl Dooley’s intimate North Cambridge eatery, which quickly fills its 20 seats with Top Chef fans...

    The Table at Season to Taste Photo Credit: Ren Yagolnitzer
  • Puerto Rican

    La Fábrica Central

    It was a busy year for Hector and Nivia Piña, who expanded their empire of festive, glamorous outposts of Caribbean food (Merengue, Vejigantes) to include Doña Habana...

  • Raw Bar

    Select Oyster Bar

    After helming Neptune Oyster for years, Michael Serpa went his own way with this intimate Back Bay solo venture...

    Select Oyster Bar Photo Credit: Holly Rike
  • Rising Star

    Pagu

    At her new restaurant in Central Square, Tracy Chang wears her influences on her sleeve...

    Pagu Photo Credit: Ken Richardson
  • Roast Chicken

    La Brasa

    “Brasa” is Spanish for embers, so you’d expect this place could roast chicken...

  • Sandwiches

    Moody's Delicatessen & Provisions

    Josh Smith is setting the world on fire with New England Charcuterie’s array of globe-trotting salumi, charcuterie and fresh sausages, which now appear in hundreds of res...

    Moody's Delicatessen & Provisions Photo Credit: Benjamin D. Johnson
  • Seafood

    Island Creek Oyster Bar

    Hospitality maven Garrett Harker, seafood chef extraordinaire Jeremy Sewall and innovative oystermen Skip Bennett and Shore Gregory are the dream team...

    Island Creek Oyster Bar Photo Credit: Michael Harlan Turkell
  • Steakhouse

    Grill 23 & Bar

    After more than 30 years, this Back Ba y steakhouse is still the top chop shop in town, in no small part thanks to careful sourcing...

  • Sushi

    Cafe Sushi

    Any chump with a few hundred bucks to blow can get an extraordinary meal at Boston’s luxury-tier Japanese restaurants...

  • Tacos

    Chilacates

    When Socrates Abreu opened the first Chilacates in a cramped JP storefront, it was a useful corrective to Boston’s onslaught of fancy faux-Mex places...

    Chilacates Photo Credit: Yenny Diaz
  • Thai

    Cha Yen Thai Cookery

    Chef/owner Manita Bunnagitkarn has always wowed us with her super-traditional Thai flavors, which she occasionally dresses up with Western fine-dining flair...

  • Tortas

    Tenoch Mexican

    Mexico’s great multilayered sandwich is on the rise in Boston, starring on menus where it was scarce a few years ago...

  • Vegetarian/Vegan

    Cuong's Vegan

    Outside of hipster-skewing Allston and reliably crunchy Cambridge, the Boston area’s vegan dining options go from “lean” to “starved.”...

    Cuong's Vegan Photo Credit: Puruz Services
  • Venezuelan

    Orinoco

    From its original South End beachhead to locations in Brookline Village and Harvard Square, Andres Branger’s South American charmer continues to beguile...

    Orinoco Photo Credit: Anthony Tieuli
  • West African

    Suya Joint All African Cuisine

    Cecelia Lizotte built an American dream one hearty bowl of fufu stew at a time...

  • Worth the Trek

    Firenze Trattoria

    Finding a skillful, soulful rendition of the cuisine of Tuscany in Greater Boston is surprisingly difficult: Its simplicity turns out to be hard as heck to reproduce here...