The Best Restaurants in Boston
Collected by Bob Curley , AFAR Local Expert
Boston deserves far more attention for its food scene than the city usually gets. From reinvented lobster rolls and other fresh seafood to small plates put out by James Beard-award winning chefs, there's a near-dizzying selection of good eats to choose from. You'll want to add extra days to your trip as you start to wend your way through menu options featuring coastal Italian food, clam chowder and raw bars, dry-aged steaks, wood-grilled pizzas, upscale tinned fish (yes, really), and so much more.
1363 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA
Top Chef finalist Tiffani Faison showed off her versatility in opening Tiger Mama, her second restaurant, as an un-Americanized Asian-fusion concept—wildly different than Sweet Cheeks Q, her Boston barbecue joint. What’s similar is...
41 Union St, Boston, MA 02108, USA
Come for the history, stay for the chowder. Bostonians have been slurping down oysters at America’s oldest continuously operating restaurant since 1826, and while you won’t find Union Oyster House on any haute dining lists, it’s...
40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Nothing screams New American dining like having a “secret burger” on your menu, and chef Michael Scelfo took his private-patty concept with him after leaving Russell House Tavern to launch Alden & Harlow. Topped with a sheet of...
160 State St, Boston, MA 02109, USA
The Black Rose is reliable in every way: It’s a genuine Irish pub in a part of Boston where authentic can be hard to find among the tourist joints; the bar food is first-rate (you can’t go wrong with a pint of Guinness and the...
63 Salem St # 1, Boston, MA 02113, USA
A hot lobster roll from Neptune Oyster is summertime heaven on a butter-soaked brioche, and bivalve lovers queue up daily to sample the two dozen varieties of oysters chilling in the front window of this diminutive North End restaurant....
120 Kingston St, Boston, MA 02111, USA
One of Boston’s best restaurants is easy to find: It’s right on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. After spending a decade raising the bar on charcuterie at Providence’s late, lamented Farmstead, chef Matt Jennings packed up his cheese...
4018, 505 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
What kind of cuisine do Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette proffer at Little Donkey? All of them. The James Beard Award–winning chefs have described their Central Square eatery as an exercise in indulgence—a place where they can slip...
9 Park St, Boston, MA 02108, USA
After more than 15 years atop Boston’s fine-dining scene, Barbara Lynch’s No. 9 Park may be familiar, but never ordinary. Facing the Boston Common, this restaurant is split between a dress-to-impress bar where Beacon Hill pols gather...
281 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116, USA
Fish from tins, fish whose fins were in the sea just this morning—they’re all stars at Saltie Girl, a compact seafood bar and restaurant in the Back Bay from Kathy Sidell of MET restaurant fame. Whether you love your seafood raw,...
348 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210, USA
Sportello has a dining room resembling a high-gloss Newport Creamery and a menu of fresh-made pasta dishes: It's a diner-trattoria love child on Fort Point Channel in South Boston’s Seaport District. Two U-shaped counters lined with stools...
1145 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118, USA
The names above this South End diner’s door are those of Boston culinary power couple Joanne Chang and restaurateur Christopher Myers, but it’s executive chef Karen Akunowicz who harmonizes Myers+Chang's mash-up of Chinese, Taiwanese,...
7 Moulton St, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA
Michael Cooney and chef John Paine converted a Charlestown dry-cleaning operation into this casually hip pizza-and-brew restaurant in 2015, and heads are still spinning over the creatively curated list of 25-plus draft beers, wood-grilled pizzas,...
853 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
There's a reason chef Tony Maws has developed a cult following at Craigie on Main. For years, the cozy restaurant has been turning out beautiful food in a space that feels like it might be your friend's dining room. Its commitment to regional,...
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