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No. 9 Park
Photograph: Courtesy No. 9 Park/Barbara Lynch Gruppo No. 9 Park

The best fine dining restaurants in Boston

Where to go when you feel like dressing up to enjoy delicious food and exceptional service

By Gerrish Lopez, Time Out Boston Staff and Eric Grossman
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Boston has a plethora of worthy destinations—both high-end and casual—when you want a great meal. But when you want something extra special, Boston’s fine dining restaurants offer the kind of atmosphere, service and cuisine that take eating out to the next level. Bust out your fanciest duds and make a reservation to celebrate at one of Boston’s best fine dining restaurants. Other memorable dining experiences can be had at the best steakhouses in Boston, the most romantic restaurants in Boston, and even some of the best new restaurants in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Best fine dining restaurants in Boston

O Ya
Photograph: Gentl and Hyers

1. o ya

Restaurants Japanese Leather District

The dining experience at o ya is luxurious from start to finish. The grand omakase menu incorporates a breathtaking assortment of artfully composed plates prepared by James Beard Award-winning chef Tim Cushman. Sake sommelier Nancy Cushman pairs each dish with selections from a world-class sake list. o ya is one of the most expensive restaurants in town, but scores of critics agree it’s entirely worth it. 

Menton
Photograph: Courtesy Menton/Michael Warren

2. Menton

Restaurants American creative Seaport District

The priciest restaurant in Barbara Lynch’s collection, Menton impresses with its contemporary French- and Italian-inspired cuisine. Guests choose between à la carte options and a “chef’s whim” tasting menu. Dishes feature luxurious ingredients like sea urchin and black truffle, while French linens, Austrian crystal, and attentive service elevate the fine dining experience. The private chef’s table, which provides views of the impressive kitchen, is an excellent option for a special occasion.

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No. 9 Park
Photograph: Courtesy No. 9 Park/Susan Cushman

3. No. 9 Park

Restaurants French Beacon Hill

No. 9 Park remains the crown jewel of Barbara Lynch’s culinary empire, as well as one of the best fine dining establishments in Boston. Located across from Boston Common, this sophisticated restaurant offers expert service alongside its regionally-inspired Italian and French dishes. The welcoming lounge area offers one of the city’s most decorated wine lists, plus well-made cocktails and a more affordable menu. Dining tables by the windows, with views of the Common, are perfect for a special occasion.

Craigie on Main
Photograph: Courtesy Craigie on Main/Michael Piazza

4. Craigie on Main

Restaurants Contemporary American Central Sq

Local “snout-to-tail” pioneer Tony Maws remains at the top of his game at his flagship operation. The chef-proprietor uses the best local and organic ingredients for his culinary creations. Locals and culinary tourists fill the dining room, where only a four course prix-fixe menu is served. 

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Tasting Counter
Photograph: Courtesy Tasting Counter

5. Tasting Counter

Restaurants American creative Somerville

Chef Peter Ungár's culinary talents bring foodies out to a hidden corner of Somerville. Ungár worked in the kitchen of the late, lauded Aujourd'hui, as well as in Paris, and is unafraid to push the envelope across all courses of his tasting menus. Creative dishes are prepped in front of the 20-seat counter, thus the “dining as theater” aspect of the experience.

Harvest
Photograph: Courtesy Harvest/Dan Salafia

6. Harvest

Restaurants Contemporary American Harvard Sq

Harvest has celebrated regional ingredients through its elegant, seasonal menus since 1975. Diners can enjoy locally-sourced seafood, meats, and homemade pastas. The menu is sophisticated, and service is meticulous. In warmer weather, Harvest offers outdoor fine dining in a beautiful patio terrace.

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Yvonne's
Photograph: Courtesy Yvonne's

7. Yvonne’s

Restaurants Contemporary American Downtown

The 19th-century mahogany bar that once anchored the revered Locke-Ober is still present in this Downtown Crossing restaurant. It’s just as swanky as its former incarnation, and remains a destination spot for celebratory fine dining. A cocktail in the classy library bar sets the stage for a high end meal of small plates and larger “feast” platters like whole chicken Cordon Bleu or a two-pound Niman Ranch ribeye.

Bondir
Photograph: Andrew Ryan

8. Bondir

Restaurants American creative Inman Sq

The atmosphere at this Cambridge spot is rustic, with cushioned church pews for seats and farmhouse decor, but the food and service are anything but. The tasting menu changes seasonally, incorporating local produce and seafood. From a pre-dinner aperitif in front of the fire to the last bite of dessert, the quality and service make this fine dining experience top notch.

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Grill 23
Photograph: Steve Beudet

9. Grill 23 & Bar

Restaurants Steakhouse Back Bay

Famous city-wide as a steakhouse and fine dining option, Grill 23 has hosted countless business dinners and special occasion gatherings. High ceilings, marble columns, white tablecloths, and white jacket-clad waiters all contribute to the classy atmosphere. The wine program has won national awards, as have the perfectly-prepped steaks.

Mistral
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Mistral

10. Mistral

Restaurants French Bay Village

With stone floors, high ceilings, enormous windows, and an atmosphere suggestive of Provence, Mistral is both sophisticated and elegantly casual. It’s a sunny fine dining experience marked by an exquisite French-Mediterranean menu and fine wines. Service remains superb, making it a distinctive fine dining experience.

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Oishii, Restaurants and cafes, Boston
Photograph: Elan Fleisher

11. Oishii

Restaurants Japanese South End

For a study in sushi-as-fine-dining, head to this pricey South End sushi den, where celebratory couples and business groups come in for over-the-top meals. Rolls are made with lobster tempura, truffles, caviar and wagyu beef, to name but a few outré elements. Steak and potato types might want to stick to the entrée side of the menu, which includes teriyaki ribeye, seafood risotto and a Chilean seabass. Studious, respectful servers maintain a calm atmosphere.

Orfano
Photograph: JM Leach

12. Orfano

Restaurants Italian Fenway/Kenmore

From Tiffani Faison—who already brought Sweet Cheeks, Tiger Mama and Fool’s Errand to Fenway—comes Orfano, an Italian-American joint that combines a glamorous, old-school setting with a fresh, modern approach. Tableside martinis, craft cocktails and an elegant wine list set the vibe, while handmade pastas and indulgent steaks are sure to satisfy. Don’t miss quirky culinary twists like the Pig Parmesan (with tonkatsu serving as the base), or pizza lasagne (featuring a tasty “burnt cheese”).

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True Bistro, vegan
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Naemi B.

13. True Bistro

Restaurants Vegan Somerville

Who says vegans can’t enjoy fine dining? True Bistro offers a high-end, seasonal vegan dining experience, with a candlelit dining room that complements the innovative, artfully prepared dishes. The menu changes frequently, based on what’s fresh and in season. Fresh salads and small plates, such as seared cauliflower with crispy aloo and assorted chutneys, lead the way for larger plates like mushroom shepherd’s pie, housemade capellini, and tempeh skewers.

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