Boston has more than its fair share of gourmet dining, with the city’s best restaurants featured on television shows such as Top Chef and The Next Iron Chef.
A foodie, whether new to Boston or a seasoned resident, will find enough to discover here: For one thing, the city is blessed with an incredible seafood-filled dining scene, but there’s so much more, from spicy hand-pulled Xi’an-style noodles to a casual storefront to heaping bowls of ramen in a restaurant that wants to make its customers’ dreams come true to the flavor-packed Mediterranean on a romantic patio to funky wines in intimate bars.
Boston is a foodie’s paradise, with an abundance of superb restaurants. And while I’m aware the food scene is ever-changing in the cradle of liberty and fourteen restaurants in Boston barely scratches the surface, I hope you’ll love my favorites.
Whether you’re a frequent visitor to the city or simply seeking to eat some of the best food in town, there’s plenty to do while you’re not dining. Here are my top recommendations for how to spend your time in Boston.
The 14 Best Restaurants in Boston
1 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02116, United States // +16174124600
One of the most exquisite restaurants in Boston is Sorellina. Because of the tranquil setting, you will be comfortably settled into the dining room after being greeted with a warm welcome and excellent service.
Vintage décor and original artwork are just a few of the touches that make this a one-of-a-kind spot to dine.
Our evening began with Crudo, Polpo, and Caesar Salad. The pounded thin Veal Milanese we had was well seasoned and wonderfully delicate.
The pappardelle Bolognese was tasty and cooked al dente. Branzini was served in the form of two fillets. Again, incredibly excellent, well-seasoned, and properly cooked. Finally, the meatball entrée was quickly consumed, and it was delicious!
So, look no further if you’re looking for a wonderful restaurant with excellent service and good food. It was fantastic!
1704 Washington St., Boston, MA 02118, United States // +16175364300
Toro, one of the city’s most popular restaurants, is run by chefs and proprietors Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. It hits the sweet spot between bar and restaurant with many high-top tables and plenty of fantastic drinks.
Toro, which has been open for almost a decade, delivers modern and traditional Spanish tapas ranging from basic grilled corn to intricate meals marrying seafood and charcuterie with rich, robust tastes that keep audiences lining up. Definitely get a variety of small appetizers, but also try the paella.
One of the most delicious tapas I’ve ever had in Boston. Aside from the wonderful grilled corn and grilled octopus, the seafood paella was the highlight of the evening.
The rice was precisely cooked, and the taste profile was incredibly rich, showcasing the freshness of the fish while not being overly briny.
Overall, I was pleased with both the food and the service! I strongly suggest this location for tapas in Boston!
383 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210, United States // +16175535900
This vibrant eatery, which bills itself as a “workingman’s oyster bar,” exemplifies Boston’s current New England culinary culture.
Row 34 is one of the significant players in the Fort Point restaurant boom, attracting large numbers to a formerly quiet area of town.
This is one of the trickiest bookings to make, with a creative beer list, ultra-fresh seafood, and some of the tastiest lobster rolls in town.
We split the lobster roll with butter, and I quickly regretted it! I was craving the entire lobster roll. The tomato salad with buffalo mozzarella, grilled cheese, and a chicken sandwich were also on the menu.
Our sides for the group included homemade chips, fries, and slaw. All of the foods were mouth-watering.
The bartender assisted in making the meal and drink recommendations, which I appreciated. I highly recommend paying this restaurant a visit if you are looking for seafood in Boston!
1 Charles St. S, Boston, MA 02116, United States // +16174211200
Ostra is a contemporary Mediterranean seafood restaurant located at One Charles Street South in Boston’s Back Bay. Chef/Owner Jamie Mammano and Executive Chef Mitchell Randall focus on specialty seafood found throughout the Mediterranean and places within the United States, inspired by local and European varieties.
Our cuisine’s mild preparation emphasizes each dish’s natural and fresh flavors. The dining room at Ostra exudes style and sophistication in a welcoming and pleasant setting. Ostra also has a great bar and lounge area with live piano entertainment.
We both had ricotta gnocchi with corn and chanterelles for the first dish. It was incredible. The pasta was as light as air. The corn was quite fresh.
The second course was the grilled fish with corn, wheatberry, zucchini, and tomato salad. I give them bonus points for putting all of the sauces in covered side containers and for including a lovely lemon with a cover to keep the seeds out of your dish. It was a perfect piece of fish. I won’t touch it if it smells fishy.
We had the chocolate torte, a lava cake, for dessert. They presented it with a cute small jar of creme Anglaise on the side. Due to takeout, there will be no ice cream. Bonus points if the cake is warm and the sauce is chilly! It was ideal and not overly sweet.
Their attention to detail and organization impressed us much. Overall, it was a fantastic experience. If you enjoy seafood, Ostra is a must-try for Mediterranean food in Boston.
315 Shawmut Ave., Boston, MA 02118, United States // +16173561100
Over the last few years, Boston’s Greek cuisine scene has grown significantly, with new additions such as Kava Neo-Taverna, which opened in 2016.
With specialties like loukaniko, keftedes, and oktapodi, the restaurant has carved out a position in the South End. Savvy guests will leave room for the honey-drizzled Greek yogurt dessert at this date-night establishment.
As a Greek cuisine fan, I can assure you that the menu has all of the delicious flavors of Greece. Our server was outstanding. It’s wonderful to have a server who genuinely engages and listens once in a while. He was quite knowledgeable about the cuisine and appeared to be very sincere.
Everything was delicious. We ordered Kolokithakia, Tzatziki, Gigande Beans, Moussaka, and a Pork Chop, which we washed down with a few glasses of red wine and a Fix beer (which is hard to come by in Boston).
The only thing that could have improved it was a view of the Mediterranean. Excellent location; well worth a visit!
279 Dartmouth St., Boston, MA 02116, United States // +16172670691
There are several fantastic oyster bars in Boston, but Saltie Girl may be the only one where you can order Japanese, Italian, Spanish, or typical New England shellfish all at once.
It’s tiny and usually busy, so getting in here is difficult, but on the positive side, it almost always feels like a cocktail party.
The short but diversified menu makes it an excellent choice when you can’t decide what to eat. But once you’ve been there, there’s a good possibility your answer to the what do you want to eat inquiry will nearly always be “Saltie Girl.”
The food and services were outstanding. We ate the wonderful branzino, the day boat crudo, the torched salmon belly with avocados, the dwac urchin Uni that comes out of the dropper bottle, and the yellowtail crudo.
Everything appeared to be photo-worthy. Words cannot express how fresh and excellent everything was. I strongly suggest it and can’t wait to go back to this great Boston oyster bar!
370A Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215, United States // +16175367200
Uni is a bright, modern izakaya located in The Eliot Hotel on Commonwealth Avenue. Chef-Partners Ken Oringer and Tony Messina are in charge.
The menu features small plates influenced by global street food, inventive makimono, nigiri, and sashimi, as well as craft drinks and a diverse sake program.
The smoked uni amuse bouche, combined with a quail egg yolk and topped with caviar, is a visceral thrill.
The tempura-fried squash blossoms are packed with ricotta and mozzarella and served with romesco and sriracha hints. There’s nothing heavy or onerous about this ooey, gooey comfort food. There is something enchanting about it.
With hominy, roasted corn, corn pudding, fine slices of jalapeno, bass, and confit sweet potatoes, the wild striped bass ceviche is an explosion of vivid tastes and textures. It assaults the tongue like an acid bomb, but any sour overtones are quickly chased away by the delightfully sweet corn pudding.
I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a more upscale sushi experience in Boston.
278 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, United States // +18579911080
Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette recently added an Italian-inspired restaurant to their stellar local lineup (Coppa, Toro, Little Donkey), and we couldn’t be happier.
Fresh ingredients, including in-season produce from the Copley Square Farmers Market, are used in the seafood-inspired menu.
The spacious Back Bay restaurant serves coastal fare, such as a half dozen crudos, grilled Scituate lobster, and an exceptional assortment of spritzes. Faccia Brutta is the hottest new restaurant in Boston this summer.
The food was delicious. We ordered a lot because the entire menu looked delicious, and it was difficult to choose just a few items.
To begin, we absolutely enjoyed our cocktails with razor clams, delicate and savory octopus, and fried artichokes. The squid ink trottole was to die for, and it was followed by the finest pasta dish we had ever had.
The paccheri and hanger steak were also excellent; the steak was nicely seasoned and grilled.
Finally, the bomballoni and Sicilian sandwich were out of this world for dessert. This was one of the most delicious dinners we’d had in a long time. This restaurant is a must-try! Believe me!
21 Drydock Ave., Boston, MA 02210, United States // +16175315591
The seasonal menu at this Seaport hotspot, named after the state bird of Massachusetts, is Mediterranean-inspired yet uses ingredients from local farms, markets, and producers.
Starters like kohlrabi tzatziki bring the best of both worlds together. Lunch concentrates on pitas; try the fried hake with pickled peppers and zhoug.
Dinner has more to offer; pasta dishes are a specialty, with dishes such as littleneck clams with green harissa or gnocchi with smoked chestnut. Fresh ingredients, such as snap peas, roasted red peppers, and jasmine, are used in innovative cocktails.
Everything we tried was outstanding; flavors that are surprising and creatively combined. I believe the Wild Mushroom Pita is the best sandwich I’ve ever had.
It was stuffed with pickled trumpet mushrooms, melted mozzarella, and crispy shallots. Our server was both informative and polite. If you’re in Boston, a meal at Chickadee is a must!
2 Winter Pl., Boston, MA 02108, United States // +16172670047
Yvonne’s has preserved what is important, the 19th-century mahogany bar and the same clubby atmosphere. But the new dinner club, named after Locke Ober’s former members-only club downstairs, has a distinctively modern ambiance.
Many of the menu items are presented on small plates, tapa-style, and each of our eight dishes was more than satisfactory.
The lamb ribs, in particular, were topped with a fantastic mole barbecue sauce, the greatest barbecue sauce I’ve ever eaten. Because it was homemade, I proposed to our waitress that the restaurant bottle and sell it professionally.
And the coconut cake with vanilla lime sorbet was the perfect ending to a fantastic meal. The restaurant is perfect for a romantic dinner, and the service was fast. Hot dishes were hot and freshly prepared, while cold dishes were adequately chilly. Don’t pass it up!
304 Stuart St., Boston, MA 02116, United States // +16179175193
Mooncusser may have started as a fish home, but it has evolved into much more. This restaurant has undergone a culinary makeover under the guidance of Chef Carl Dooley, with a new emphasis on serving four-course tasting menus.
The prix fixe menu, which includes optional wine pairings, varies monthly, allowing diners to experience new plates and viewpoints with each visit.
The cuisine focuses on seafood, including pasta and a pork dish. We had all eaten fish. The wine list is short but adequate, and the wine prices are reasonable.
Squid salad, two ceviches, and chowder were our initial courses. The ceviche, which appears to alter nightly, was a combination of scallops, fish, and skate served on top of a corn tortilla with a somewhat hot peach sauce. It was superb.
The soup contained numerous tiny necks in shells and fish; it may also have contained maize. It was said to be quite tasty. The squid salad was praised by one of the diners who tried it.
The main courses were grilled scallops, swordfish, the nightly special of gnocchi and smoked Nantucket scallops, and stuffed sole.
I chose the sole. It was delicious and melted in my mouth. It comprised frisee, a root vegetable puree, and barely cooked carrots. The scallop dishes were also amazing. The swordfish was said to be delicate and flavorful.
I strongly suggest this experience; however, make sure you reserve upstairs because the food and chef are different downstairs.
371 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02115, United States // +16175175915
The elegant, chandelier-lit dining room gives a special occasion vibe, yet there’s no sense of stuffiness thanks to the welcoming vibe at this Back Bay cafe, which has a regal perch at the crossroads of Mass and Commonwealth Avenues.
Seasonality is the inspiration for the restaurant’s American Nouveau Cuisine, emphasizing working with the greatest farms and purveyors to source the freshest local ingredients and accentuate their grandeur. This translates to a sophisticated yet relaxing affair with champagne and caviar, spiced duck breast, and a long-simmering French onion soup.
The cuisine is deeply rooted in contemporary French cuisine’s nouvelle techniques, combined with the grandeur of American products in a refined but casual setting.
My duck confit meal was outstanding, as was my friend’s chilled corn and prawn soup. We also enjoyed our main courses: my friend had duck with lentils, and I had scallops with a delightful and unexpected combination of cucumber and watermelon. Both of our main courses were delicious.
From the inventive and inventive cuisine to the service to the kind and inviting employees, everything at Deuxave screams friendliness and caring. Deuxave comes highly recommended by me.
The Boston location of the world-spanning Japanese izakaya, located inside the Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, features creative takes on sushi, robata skewers, and tempura.
I was extremely nicely treated, and the decorations were very nice. Overall, the dinner was highly tasty while remaining balanced. The scallop nigiri was exactly what I needed to get through the night. The cocktails were likewise sophisticated and well-planned.
I’d want to appreciate the service for a fantastic evening. By far my favorite sushi restaurant in Boston. It was pricey but well worth it. It comes highly recommended by me.
156 Blue Hill Avenue, Boston, MA 02125, United States // +16174455403
This restaurant on Blue Hill Avenue has served Dominican cuisine for the past quarter-century.
The restaurant itself is lovely, with authentic Dominican flair. The staff is friendly, and the service is excellent. The food was delicious. Simply fantastic.
Merengue’s superb cocktail menu includes a selection of margaritas and mojitos and many frozen daiquiris (get the passionfruit).
The grilled chicken with chimichurri sauce and the stuffed shrimp tostones, as well as the fried pork chops and grilled sirloin with peppers and onions, are must-orders. Oh, and the mofongo is some of the best in town. A definite must-try for Caribbean and South American food in Boston!
- Is eating out in Boston expensive?
Eastern Massachusetts (which includes the Boston Metropolitan Area) has a 24% higher food cost than the rest of the country. This makes it one of the most costly locations to eat in the country. The average Boston resident should allocate $349 per month for food.
- Is Boston a foodie destination?
Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the top food cities in America. Boston is no longer referred to as “bean town” by foodies. While many restaurants still provide indescribably superb clam chowder, the imaginative, multicultural bistro cuisine is being celebrated these days.
- When is the best time to visit Boston?
June to October is the greatest season to visit Boston. The mild autumn weather makes walking around enjoyable. Even while summer brings hordes of tourists and high hotel costs, the sidewalk cafes, baseball games, and outdoor concerts make it worthwhile to visit.
Final Thoughts About The 14 Best Restaurants In Boston
There are so many fantastic restaurants in Boston that it might be difficult to decide where to go.
But, there’s something on this list for every style of diner, whether you want something informal and economic or a sophisticated dining experience.
There are also many wonderful bars, casual cafes, and excellent pizza alternatives. Whatever your taste, whether it’s seafood, Italian cuisine, or good old-fashioned comfort food, the Boston area has plenty of options. Enjoy!
Visiting other destinations in Massachusetts? Check out our other guides:
- The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants In Boston
- 4 Must-Try Cape Cod Restaurants
- Best Cape Cod Tours & Activities
- 10 Must-Try Worcester Restaurants
- 8 Best Things To Do In Cape Cod
Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever