Boston may be known for its history and sports teams, but it's also become quite the food destination in recent years. No matter what neighborhood you're in or what type of food you're into, rest assured knowing your next meal in this city will be a delicious one.
Read on for many of the top restaurants in Boston, from fine dining steakhouses to Spanish tapas, Mexican cuisine, and New England seafood. There's something for everyone in Boston!
Italian marketplace Eataly Boston, located in the Prudential Center, is a food destination in itself, but within that are a few restaurants worth checking out. One of those is Terra, which is located on the third floor, centered around a wood burning Italian grill, where diners will watch Chef Dan Bazzinotti prepare their meals. The dishes are perfect for sharing, especially the homemade pasta and charcuterie plates. Pair them with herb-infused cocktails, plenty of wine options and rotating barrel-aged beers from the Barrel Room. Other Eataly restaurants include Il Pesce, La Piazza, and La Pizza & La Pasta. Before you leave Eataly, stop by the cannoli stand for a sweet treat.
If you're looking for a delicious steakhouse, especially on a special occasion, Grill 23 is your spot. It's here you'll enjoy premium steak and seafood, ranging from a classic Filet Mignon or Lobster Tail to a more unique American Kobe Cap Steak. All of the sides, including Grill 23 Tots, Taleggio Creamed Spinach and Mac N’ Cheese, are the perfect complement to the entrees, and you can’t beat the service. Make sure you top the meal off with a martini and dessert. The espresso martini can't be beat!
Newer to Boston is Portland, Maine staple Eventide Fenway. This James Beard Award winning restaurant is quintessential New England, offering oysters, crudos, ceviches and extra-large Brown Butter Lobster Rolls. If you’re in town for a Boston Red Sox game and want a quality meal before or after, this is a great option, especially since they have dollar oysters on game days. If you've been to the Portland location before, you'll understand why this is a restaurant to check out when you are visiting Boston!
When you hear about Boston’s North End neighborhood, it’s likely someone is also talking about the iconic Regina Pizzeria. Open since 1926 and called “Boston’s Original Pizzeria,” this no-frills pizza spot has some of the best pizza in the city. They use fresh, local ingredients and the sauce is light, yet spicy-sweet. Choose from 25 specialty pizzas, such as the Pomodoro Formaggio, Capricciosa or the Giambotta, or pick your own ingredients. If you find yourself outside of the city, you can also try Regina’s at several other locations, including Medford’s Station Landing and Fenway. Each have their own personality but the same delicious pizza.
South Boston quickly became a foodie destination over the past several years with the help of a few awesome restaurants and bars, Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar being one of them. Get your meal started with the raw bar, ceviches and guac, and then take your pick from tacos that range from Blackened Swordfish and Buffalo Chicken, to Grilled Avocado and Baja Fish. For drinks, there are plenty of tequila options and beers on tap, but do yourself a favor and try out one of their margaritas – the El Jefe and Coco are popular picks. You’ll also want to check out nearby South Boston restaurants Lincoln Tavern, Capo and Fat Baby, all part of the same management group and equally as good.
On a quiet side street in the South End is Coppa, a quaint Italian enoteca from the same team behind Spanish tapas restaurant Toro. Coppa is also all about small plates, but Italian style. Start with their selection of salumi and cheeses that make the perfect charcuterie board. The meatballs are also a can’t-miss plate. And then make your way to their fresh pasta dishes, such as the Tagliatelle con Sugo or Ravioli Verde, and flavorful pizzas. To go with your meal, choose from an extensive list of Italian wines – ask your server which will complement your food best. Make a reservation early if you plan to dine here as it fills up quickly. When the weather is nice, try to grab one of the outdoor seats for a true South End vibe.
Also in the South End is Barcelona Wine Bar, a Spanish tapas restaurant with an ever-changing menu that’s all about combining seasonal ingredients with clean flavors. Here you can build a charcuterie board with your favorite Spanish meats and cheeses. Popular tapas range from the crowd-pleaser Patatas Bravas to Bacon-Wrapped Dates and Spiced Beef Empanadas. They also have an award-winning selection of wines from Spain and South America and both the bar and restaurant are lively spots to grab small plates and drinks. If you’re there for brunch, try the Bloody Mary bar. If you find yourself in Brookline instead of the South End, there’s another Barcelona you can check out there.
Teatro is a classic Italian restaurant with a modern twist, located in Boston’s Theater District. Open for dinner, Teatro is all about casual elegance with both the restaurant’s atmosphere and food. Plan to get there before your reservation to grab a drink at the bar, then continue onto dinner to fully enjoy the experience. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but popular items include the Chicken Parmigiana, Ravioli, Ragu Bolognese, Funghi Pizza.
If you’re looking for a bar that serves gourmet sandwiches, the Parish Café on Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay is where you’ll want to go. Each of their sandwiches are created by local chefs who put their own spin on classics. For example, the Eggplant Milanesa comes from Chef Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa, Toro & Little Donkey and the The Bondir Brisket was created by Chef Jason Bond of Bondir. For a Parish Café classic, go for The Parish Chicken, made with baked buttermilk chicken with Applewood smoked bacon, sharp cheddar, house pickles and chipotle aioli on a deluxe roll, served with potato salad or coleslaw.
Legal Sea Food's is another Boston staple, and you can now enjoy this New England seafood at several locations throughout the Boston area. Legal Harborside just so happens to be in the perfect location on the waterfront of Boston's Seaport, where you get picturesque views of the ocean. This 20,000-square-foot location has three floors with three different concepts. On the first floor, you'll find a more casual atmosphere with seafood favorites, an oyster bar, and market. As you move up to the second floor, you'll reach the dining room area with an entirely different menu. And then on the third floor is the promenade roof deck, which is open year-round, serving drinks and small plates, including lobster rolls. When the weather is nice, the third floor gets crowded, so plan accordingly—it's worth it for the view!
Popular French restaurant Mistral can be found in the South End, which is known for its uncomplicated French Mediterranean cuisine, made with seasonal ingredients. Menu items include Pan Roasted Halibut, Pan Roasted Prime Sirloin "Au Poive" and Roast Rack of Colorado Lamb. Mistral is run by the same group as Teatro, and they also have several other acclaimed restaurants, including L'Andana in Burlington and Ostra in the Back Bay.
This Japanese-Spanish tapas restaurant located in Cambridge makes healthy synonymous with exciting, bold flavors, and creativity. Pagu's menu has a section dedicated to vegetables prepared a variety of different ways—charred, raw, or A La Plantxa. Other popular options include the Chicken Katsu with brown rice or the Campfire Cedar Cod. You'll want to check out their latest addition to the menu: Butternut Squash Salad with roasted squash purée, verjus, and pistachio.
The Envoy Hotel has become known for its Lookout Rooftop bar thanks to its views of the city, but this property is also home to the Outlook Kitchen & Bar, located on the first floor. This restaurant has an open-kitchen layout with dining room seating, along with a seasonal patio. Outlook, which is led by Food Network’s Chopped Champion Executive Chef Tatiana Rosana, offers regionally inspired, locally sourced cuisine featuring a broad range of flavors and seasonal ingredients. Try the Georges Bank Scallops, Warm Weather Pappardelle Pasta or Cognac Mac and Cheese. You can also enjoy handmade craft cocktails and micro brews, small batch bourbons, and plenty of wine options.