This Boston restauranteur misses the No Name, but is not a fan of Dunkin

Voice of Boston with Jen Royle

JQ Louise
Written by
JQ Louise
Former Editor of Time Out Boston
table boston

Voice of Boston is our series where we interview local tastemakers on their favorite neighborhoods, restaurants and hangouts around the city. If you missed our last one, catch up on our chat with chef George Mendes from Raffles Boston.

This week we are splitting our time between the North End and Time Out Market Boston. Former MLB reporter, Jen Royle made a splash in the Boston food scene when she opened her restaurant Table in the North End several years ago, and has continued to grow her brand by opening Table Mercato, Table Caffe North End and Table Caffe at Time Out Market Boston.

table boston north end
Photograph: Courtesy Table

What are your favorite neighborhoods in Boston? 

Ooh. That is such a loaded question because each neighborhood truly provides something different, which is one of the great things about our city. I do most of my personal shopping in Back Bay, most of my dinners and nights out in the Seaport and my businesses are in the North End. There are so many great restaurants in the South End too, I just have a hard time making it over there, which of course, is one mile away. I can’t even remember the last time I stepped foot in Southie. It’s just not my vibe. I think the last couple times I was there I got in a fight. (Shocker)

Where do you go for a late-night bite?

Honestly, I am probably DoorDash’s number one fan. If you saw my credit card bill at the end of the month, you would not believe your eyes. You would also not believe how much I enjoy being home. I have my absolute dream loft in the city so I’m happy to stay in, since I turn back into a pumpkin around 8pm.  

In general, what are some of your favorite restaurants and bars right now?

grill 23 boston steakhouses
Photograph: J.Q. Louise

I only sit at bars when I go to restaurants and these are my favorites: Kava South End, Grill 23 and Davio’s Seaport. My takeout list is too long, but Picco and Anna’s Taqueria will always have my heart. 

Name a “hidden gem” where you always take friends or family when they are visiting from out of town?

Great question! It used to be the “No-Name” in the Seaport, and I can’t really say that I have found an alternative since it closed! But if you don’t take your friends for a slice of Sicilian pizza at Umberto’s on Hanover Street, you have failed them. 

What do you think is the best thing about Boston right now? 

I would say the diversity. There truly is something for everybody at every age from food to nightlife. 

What do you think is the worst thing about Boston right now?

The traffic!! If you are not off the roads by 3pm, you can kiss your patience goodbye.  

What is your go-to Dunkin Donuts coffee order?

Umm… dare I say… I hate Dunkin Donuts. 



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