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June 26, 2024

Boston's food scene offers something for every taste

From historic eateries to trendy hotspots, there are endless dining possibilities in New England’s capital of culture

Travel Food

Content sponsored by MeetBoston-Native-061724-Food

Limited - Meet Boston - Fine dining at Mooncusser Provided Courtesy/Meet Boston

Fine dining at Mooncusser

The dining possibilities in Boston are like the cultural capital of New England's neighborhoods — seemingly endless!

The colonial hub offers a myriad of culinary delights that will satisfy any palate. The city boasts unrivaled seafood such as lobster rolls, New England clam chowder, and broiled Boston scrod. Meat lovers can enjoy Yankee pot roast while vegetarians have choices like baked beans with Boston brown bread, a variety of delectable pizzas, or a freshly baked cannoli. No matter your preference, there's something fresh and delicious for everyone in Boston.

Foodies Unite

The numbers best tell the story for foodies in Boston. With 57 diverse international cuisines and 12 Boston-area restaurants and chefs named James Beard Award semifinalists in 2023, the city's culinary scene is top-notch.

For those who love scenic dining, there are 36 waterfront restaurants with majestic views of the sea as well as hundreds of patios, roof decks, and hidden gems spread across all 23 Boston neighborhoods.

Iconic food figures like the late Anthony Bourdain and Guy Fieri have spotlighted many of Boston's delicacies. However, the city’s Asian cuisine scene is quietly top-tier. Little Saigon, located in the charming Dorchester neighborhood, offers some of America's best Vietnamese dishes and highlights Vietnamese American culture. In the North End's Little Italy, the waterfront restaurants nestled on colonial cobbled streets make it a must-visit destination. From the unique suckling pig at Mamma Maria to the Sulmona sausage at Carmelina's, the variety of culinary brilliance should hit foodies like a clarion call.

Each of Boston's colorful neighborhoods has standout restaurants. Located just one block from Faneuil Hall in Downtown Boston, Union Oyster House stands as America’s oldest restaurant. Mooncusser, located in Boston’s Back Bay, is renowned for seafood, featuring favorites like halaszle, a paprika-spiked Hungarian fisherman soup with catfish. Brookline's Bar Vlaha is the go-to for Greek cuisine, with dishes like grilled lamb chops and beef cheeks with prunes. Lenox Sophia is South Boston’s fine dining mecca, offering a prix fixe menu featuring Rohan Duck and Chickpea Panisse.

Limited - Meet Boston - Union Oyster HouseProvided Courtesy/Meet Boston

Union Oyster House

Jamaica Plain's inventive Brassica Kitchen + Cafe serves "French Shrimp Toast," a unique dish with shrimp-paste-and-maple-syrup-slathered bread. The Seaport's Grace By Nia combines a supper club atmosphere with soul food, offering fried-green-tomato salad and oxtail with grits, all while enjoying jazz and soul acts. It's a taste of Mexico City at Somerville's Barra Union Square. The fare is made from scratch. The go to is the slow-cooked cochinita pibil, a marinated pork selection on hand pressed tortillas.

There are plenty of terrific bistros in Boston for those searching for the beef, but Rare Steakhouse is on another level. There's Japanese Wagyu for high end diners. The domestic Wagyu also meets muster. Sides such as lobster Mac 'n' cheese, creamed spinach, and roasted mushrooms, perfectly complement a memorable dinner.

Yunnan Kitchen is an acclaimed South End restaurant that delights guests with spicy dishes like stir-fried beef with long horn peppers and boiled pork in chili oil. The restaurant was also a 2023 James Bead Award nominee.

For the uninitiated, the James Beard Award is the equivalent of a culinary Oscar. Foodies flock to bistros up for the Beard Award.

Boston has a number of culinary artists who have been recognized by Beard. One of the 2024 nominees for “Best New Restaurant” is Dorchester's Comfort Kitchen, a black-owned, immigrant-owned, and women-owned establishment that impresses with unique dishes, such as jerk roasted duck leg.

Suya Joint's Cecelia Lizotte is among the city’s chefs nominated for the Beard thanks to her sublime spicy beef skewers. Chickadee's John daSilva is up for the award courtesy of mouthwatering dishes such as slow-roasted porchetta. Patricia Estorino of Gustazo Cuban Kitchen & Bar is nominated for its tempting fare such as the Puerco Asado, slow roasted pork, caramelized onions, Congri rice, Maduros, and watercress.

Limited - Meet BostonTimeOutMarketProvided Courtesy/Meet Boston

Time Out Market Boston

For those traveling in a group with different preferences, Time Out Market brings the best of Boston under one roof. The indoor market offers fresh fish and seafood, barbecue and burgers, vegetarian options, and more!

Dessert, anyone?

Boston's booming baking scene offers limitless dessert options. Mike's Pastry in the North End, a beloved institution since 1946, features an array of cannolis and ricotta pie.

Somerville's Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar is known for its pies, with flavors changing daily. Needham's Sweet Basil and Medford's Collette's Bakery also offer delightful treats.

East Cambridge's Toscanini's, once dubbed “The World’s Best Ice Cream!” by The New York Times, offers unique flavors like burnt caramel. Blackbird Doughnuts in the South End always has a line — and for good reason. Where else can you pick up the summer special, a creamsicle with orange cream glaze?

Bottoms Up!

With an eclectic drinking scene, which includes bars, lounges, speakeasies and breweries, there's plenty of libation options to choose from in Boston.

The beer and wine gardens are in full swing. Downtown's Distraction Brewing Company and Roslindale's Democracy Brewing have an alliance which offers a fantastic beer garden with local brews and stunning city views.

The Samuel Adams Boston Taproom Rooftop, located in downtown Boston, features 20 draft lines and almost a dozen exclusive brews. The Anchor at Charlestown Navy Yard is Boston's only multi-story public gathering space, offering local and international beer, wine, sangria, champagne, and various non-alcoholic options.

Limited - Meet Boston - Trillium beerProvided Courtesy/Meet Boston

Craft beers at Trillium

The Seaport's Lord Hobo boasts a massive space with 52 outdoor tables and seating for more than 380 to enjoy its rotating beer options and craft cocktails. Trillium, Boston's first pop-up beer garden on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, features draft beer and hard seltzers with mouth-watering food from local trucks.

Perched above the Seaport you’ll find Deck 12, a year-round rooftop bar offering downtown and waterfront views. Enjoy the papaya punch or a frozen margarita while taking in the sunset.

Discover Boston for yourself

Boston's culinary landscape is as vibrant and diverse as the city itself. From its historic neighborhoods to its innovative dining hotspots, there's an endless array of flavors waiting to be explored. So, book your Boston getaway today and come discover the delights that make this city a foodie's paradise!