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Fox & The Knife - Eat List
Photograph: Brian Samuels/Courtesy Fox & The Knife

The 42 best restaurants in Boston you need to try right now

There's no shortage of fantastic food in the Hub, but these Boston restaurants made our shortlist of the city's top eats

By Olivia Vanni and Eric Grossman
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May 2021: Boston is almost back, baby. With restrictions lifting and the weather quickly ascending into summertime temperatures, people are more than ready to dine out again. Restaurants throughout the city are eager to welcome patrons back inside their establishmentsalthough a share of eateries are understandably still placing an emphasis on outdoor dining. So now is the time to work on that base tan as you eat, whether it’s on a patio or rooftop, or in some of the ample sidewalk seating that remains throughout town. We recommend guzzling a margarita in Barra’s backyard, munching on meze under Moona’s tented oasis and keeping cool with ceviche from Celeste. In any case, fall in loveor rediscoverthe best restaurants in Boston this month.

When you think of the best things to do in Boston, eating like royalty might not be the first activity that comes to mind. But some of the city’s most outstanding restaurants are changing the common misconception that Boston isn’t a destination for gourmands. From the North End to the Back Bay and beyond, our culinary talent is fostering a dining scene to rival those of DC or Philly. The city may be small, but its many neighborhoods offer a mighty selection of dining options, including ones that don't necessarily break the bank.

Time Out’s local experts scour the city for the best eats and insider info. We appreciate fun, flavor, freshness and value at every price point. We update the EAT List regularly, including whenever there’s a truly spectacular new opening. It could be a mega-hyped destination restaurant or a humble neighborhood newcomer: If it’s on this list, we think it’s awesome and reckon you will too. (We take curation seriously—look at how Time Out Market Boston came out.) Eaten somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutEatList

We should also note that a number of the best chefs, restaurants and concepts in the city have been welcomed to participate in Time Out Market Boston. Because that is the highest honor we can award, and we now have a tighter relationship with them, establishments related to market vendors have all been included in the EAT List but not ranked alongside other great establishments in the city. You can find those amazing places below.

Here are the best restaurants in Boston—find out more about how we make the list, and start making your reservations.

29,000 sq ft of indoor and outdoor space for enjoying the best of the city

Time Out Market Boston
Photograph: Eva Sakellarides

Time Out Market Boston

Restaurants Fenway/Kenmore

Like some variety when you go out to eat? Time Out Market Boston has you covered. Boston's first contemporary culinary hub boasts a tantalizing variety of curated food offerings, a demo kitchen, two top-notch bars and lots more. There is plenty of seating—both inside and on a roomy patio with ample heaters—and some of the biggest culinary names in Boston are delivering a variety of delicious dishes and 'Gram-worthy bites. Housed in the 401 Park Drive building, an Art Deco masterpiece built in 1929 as a Sears, Roebuck and Company warehouse, the Market follows in the footsteps of the wildly popular Time Out Market Lisbon, which opened in 2014 and is now Portugal’s most-visited attraction.

Best restaurants in Boston

Sarma
Photograph: Courtesy Sarma

1. Sarma

Restaurants Mediterranean Somerville

As the casual sibling of Ana Sortun’s celebrated Oleana, Sarma is one of the areas best spots to find big, bold Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors crammed into small bites. All items from chef-owner Cassie Piumas prix-fixe culinary experiencefrom the sesame fried chicken to the merguez pinwheelsare served in a traditional family-style format. Vegetarians can rejoice, as the eatery offers an entire menu of meatless meze. The bar also deserves an applause for its aromatic cocktails featuring ingredients like cardamom, orange blossom and fenugreek. 

2. Barra

Restaurants Mexican Somerville

Paola Ibarra and Yhadira Guzmán bring the brightness of their beloved Mexico City to Somerville’s Union Square with Barra. This eatery may be small on space, but it’s big on acid and is sure to leave patrons’ taste buds tingling -- whether it’s with its guacamole piled onto freshly fried chicharrón, its cactus salad or its aguachile. Alongside a selection of top-notch tacos and seasonal tamales, diners can sip on flights of the finest mezcal, refreshing pints of michelada and margaritas rimmed with chapulines for a truly Mexican touch.

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O Ya
Photograph: Gentl and Hyers

3. o ya

Restaurants Japanese Leather District

Clear out your bank account and clear your weekend, because o ya’s singular dining experience is one to be savored. Owners Tim and Nancy Cushman set a new bar for special-event dining with o ya’s opening in 2007, but even today, the restaurant regularly wins accolades as one of the best restaurants in all of New England. The sushi and omakase menu is a marvel of both flavor and presentation, with every morsel—from the foie gras nigiri to the bluefin tuna and smoked salmon sashimi—proving to be a delectable work of art. 

Uni Sashimi Bar
Photograph: Courtesy Uni Sashimi Bar/Eric Roth

4. Uni

Restaurants Japanese Back Bay

Chef-owner Ken Oringer and new executive chef David Bazirgan wow Back Bay diners with an assortment of global street food-inspired small plates, as well as innovative makimono, nigiri and sashimi. The best seats in the house are at the sushi bar, where you can watch the magic happen. Among the most in-demand bites you'll find at this eclectic izakaya: its "Uni Spoon" topped with osetra caviar, quail egg yolk and yuzu, and the spicy tuna and foie gras tataki.

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5. 50Kitchen

Restaurants Soul and southern American Dorchester

This restaurant is basically chef Anthony Caldwell's love letter to food and his neighborhood. The Dorchester native, who started his culinary journey in his 40s, brought 50Kitchen and its fusion of Southern and Asian cuisines to Fields Corner as a way of giving back to the neighborhood that raised him. Among the "beautiful food for beautiful people" that can be found at this Dot spot: shrimp and grits, St. Louis ribs, Jambalaya egg rolls, kimchi and collard Greens, and a Chinese Five Spice pulled pork sandwich called the 50K.

MIDA
Photograph: Courtesy Jose Luis Martinez

6. MIDA

Restaurants Roxbury

MIDA takes its cues from Italian cuisine, with chef-owner Douglass Williams prioritizing three things: ingredients, wine and hospitality. Dishes are ideal for sharingfrom the North Shore fritto misto and Waygu beef bresaola, to the handmade ricotta gnocchi cacio e pepe and smoked short rib lasagna. The wine list tends to favor Northern Italian and French bottles, with an emphasis on lesser known producers. And, of course, this South End joint expertly executes classic Italian cocktails, like the Negroni. 

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Saltie Girl
Photograph: Courtesy Saltie Girl

7. Saltie Girl

Restaurants Seafood Back Bay

This Back Bay raw bar and seafood emporium is known for pushing the limits of customary fish preparations—and having a whole lot of fun while doing it. From its fried lobster and waffles to its rock crab carbonara, this place is well the worth the wait for a seat in its brownstone space or on its patio. Other noteworthy menu attractions: its selection of New York-style smoked fish used to top a bagelette and cream cheese, as well as an incredible assortment of tinned seafood, including imported sustainable caviar and Icelandic cod liver. 

Toro, Restaurants, Boston
Photograph: © Hilary O'Rourke

8. Toro

Restaurants Spanish South End

Ken Oringer’s wildly successful take on a tapas bar is one of the South End’s most atmospheric spots. With its exposed brick and wooden beams, central communal table and chalkboard-listed drink specials, Toro captures the rustic spirit of an upscale, chef-driven taperia. The kitchen churns out an assortment of Barcelona-inspired hot and cold small plates, and the beverage program features well-made classic cocktails and an eclectic, curated wine list.

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Tanám
Photograph: Courtesy Tanám

9. Tanám

Restaurants Filipino Somerville

This tiny space in Somerville's Bow Market offers a dynamic Filipino menu, providing Greater Boston with delicacies not often found anywhere else in the area. It takes reservationsno walk-inson Friday and Saturday nights for its traditional kamayan-style dinners, where dishes (like spicy coconut milk mussels and soft-boiled tea eggs) are all spread atop rice, served on banana leaves and eaten with hands. Later this year, the spot is expected to bring back its "narrative cuisine" offerings that allow POC to share their stories and spark dialogue.

Pagu
Photograph: Matt Li

10. Pagu

Restaurants Japanese Central Sq

In Central Square, chef Tracy Chang's sleek, two-story loft space is a family affair. Manned by relative servers, the restaurant's name is even a treat: It's Japanese for “pug” and pays homage to Chang’s own canine companion, Phoebe. Adorable personal touches aside, it’s Pagu's food that’s the ultimate revelation here. The Asian tapas-style menu is filled with fun food and serious flavors: squid ink oyster bao and Taiwanese sausage pizza, as well as nostalgic throwbacks like Chang’s childhood fried rice and her legendary Guchi's Midnight Ramen.

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Oleana, Restaurants and cafes, Boston
Photograph: Elan Fleisher

11. Oleana

Restaurants Inman Sq

Hidden away near Inman Square, Oleana provides an edible journey via Chef Ana Sortuns passion for, and mastery of, the hauntingly aromatic cuisines of Turkey and the greater Middle East. Diners flock to the cozy bar, attractive dining rooms and enormously popular garden patio to sample from Sortuns lengthy menu. Most of the small plates are memorable, while many of the desserts are downright extraordinary.

Pammy's
Photograph: Natasha Moustache

12. Pammy’s

Restaurants Italian Harvard Sq

Situated between Central and Harvard Squares, this hip trattoria has a slightly retro feel thanks to the amber glow of its globe lights and double-sided fireplace. The globally minded menu heavily relies on Asian ingredients, often applying them to Italian preparations and creating fantastically flavored fusion food. Nosh on handmade pastas, like its renowned lumache with bolognese and gojuchang, and strike up a conversation with your dining neighbors at the vintage communal table. Sexy cocktails, including its draft aperitivi, are not to be missed.

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Cafe Sushi
Photograph: Courtesy Cafe Sushi

13. Cafe Sushi

Restaurants Japanese Harvard Sq

Cafe Sushi attracts a varied mix of patronsincluding lots of local chefs and restaurant industry vetsto its nondescript home in a retail complex just outside of Harvard Square. Customers are lured into this spot by the opportunity to devour affordable plates of perfectly prepared maki and nigiri. All of the sushi standards are here, in addition to weekday and weekend platter deals that will let you gobble down nigiri and maki at prices not typically found on either side of the river. 

Fox & the Knife
Photograph: Courtesy Fox & the Knife/Brian Samuels

14. Fox & the Knife

Restaurants Italian South Boston

Chef Karen Akunowicz, inspired by her time living and working in Modena, is the powerhouse behind Fox & the Knife. This modern enoteca is as much on a mission to foster a sense of community in South Boston as it is to create innovative, Italian-influenced food. All of the eatery's pasta is rolled fresh onsite, just like Akunowicz learned in Emilia-Romanga. We strongly suggest you get the celebrated pepe e cacio, a reinterpretation of the Roman classic cacio e pepe that the Foxes sprinkle with pink peppercorns and goat butter.

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15. Ruka

Restaurants Peruvian Downtown

Peruvian meets Asian? Absolutely. This Downtown Crossing restobar offers an eye-opening dining experience, combining these two separate culinary traditions through their ingredients and their preparations. Diners can taste total harmony between both cultures through thoughtful dishes like Ruka's hamachi ceviche, yucca wasabi puffs and St. Louis ribs rubbed with aji chili and slathered with pat chun sticky sauce. When in doubt, order the bar menu's Nonaka cocktail (a blend of tequila, yuzu, lemon, suze and basil) and you'll be a full convert. 

Alden & Harlow, Restaurants, Bars, Boston
Photograph: Kristin Teig

16. Alden & Harlow

Restaurants Contemporary American Harvard Sq

Duck into this subterranean Harvard Square hideaway and discover a bustling, multi-room dining and drinking destination that balances a rustic laid-back vibe with an industrial edge. Chef-owner Michael Scelfo’s creative cuisine reflects a similar juxtaposition—chef-driven home-cooking with an edge. Most dishes are under $20, encouraging patrons to sample an assortment of vivid, offbeat flavor combinations.

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17. Moona

Restaurants

This Cambridge kitchen doesn’t mess around when it comes to mezze. Nestled in Inman Square, Moona offers a cozy, tiled bar, indoor dining area and tented patio perfect for sampling its menu filled with Eastern Mediterranean small plates. Guests can graze on a variety of light, little dishes, like the pomegranate fattoush salad and feta fritters. Folks looking for a bigger bite can get their fill from dishes like the chicken tagine, whole grilled fish or Mashawee mixed grill. In any case, be sure to bring a friend or two, so you can share a whole spread of these amazing morsels.

18. Celeste

Restaurants Peruvian Somerville

What started as Juanma Calderón and Maria Rondeau's home-based pop-up has now become the city's top-rated Peruvian restaurant. Located a short stroll from Union Square, Celeste attracts Somerville and Cambridge residents, who get a front-row seat to all of the open kitchen action as they eat. Diners fill the small space to nosh on Peruvian standards—ceviche, causa, lomo saltado—done in style. When you go, don't miss out on the bar program, which focuses on pisco-based cocktails.

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Giulia
Photograph: Courtesy Giulia

19. Giulia

Restaurants Italian Porter Sq

Chef-owner Michael Pagliarini and his staff pamper their guests with friendly, professional service and killer pastas, which are prepared daily on a custom-made table that accommodates large groups at night. Brick walls and candlelight keep the vibe romantic and rustic. The all-Italian wine list pairs well with the menu, some of which is inspired by the chef’s travels throughout Italy. Be sure to save room for dessert—particularly the pistachio gelato with sour cherries and anise pizelle—because this eatery does dolci right. 

Bondir
Photograph: Andrew Ryan

20. Bondir

Restaurants American creative Inman Sq

Locals flock to this enchanting farmhouse dining room for its daily tasting menus packed with seasonal, local ingredients. Chef-owner Jason Bonda veteran of several New England kitchensapplies his talents to just-picked vegetables and fish so fresh that it was caught the same day it's served. Guests generally sip aperitifs in front of the fire before heading to their tables, where old church pews serve as seats.

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21. SRV

Restaurants Italian South End

Boston’s first Venetian-style osteria and wine bar, SRV (“Serene Republic of Venice”) balances its focus between modern interpretations of cicchetti and spectacular pastas. Creative small plates feature fresh ingredients, with flavors that pop thanks to microgreens and garnishes grown nearby. Meanwhile, its rich pasta dishes—not to mention its risi e bisi—keep regulars coming back for more. An exclusively Italian wine list complements the menu, and guests looking for something stronger can opt for a number of classic Italian aperitivi. 

Menton
Photograph: Courtesy Barbara Lynch Collection

22. Menton

Restaurants American creative Seaport District

Menton may be Barbara Lynch’s most expensive fine dining establishment, but with good reason. Its elevated, French and Italian Riviera fare can be enjoyed either à la carte or via a tasting menu customized on the "chef’s whim", with dishes spotlighting decadent ingredients like foie gras and periwinkles. Plush details—from French linens to Austrian crystal—and attentive service will make you feel utterly pampered. Also impressive is the chef’s table, a private space with a glass wall providing intimate views into the kitchen.

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Harvest
Photograph: Courtesy Harvest/Dan Salafia

23. Harvest

Restaurants Contemporary American Harvard Sq

Since 1975, this refined Harvard Square stalwart has led the farm-to-table charge, celebrating regional ingredients with elegant, seasonal menus. The kitchen takes pride in creating a sophisticated New England dining experience; it thoughtfully transforms its homemade pastas and locally sourced seafood and meats into imaginative dishes that please the masses. It's a hit amongst professionals coming in for a powerlunch, as well as couples looking for a romantic night out. Come summer, a seat on the garden terrace is one of the most coveted spots in Cambridge.

Row 34
Photograph: Morgan Ione

24. Row 34

Restaurants Seafood Seaport District

Courtesy of Jeremy Sewall, Row 34 has become Fort Points go-to spot for wickedly fresh seafood. On weekdays, business types come in to close deals over platters of oysters and orders of lobster rolls that are offered hot and cold—the latter of which is based on Sewall’s grandmother Ethel’s recipe. Folks waiting for a table need not fret because that means they have more time to delve into the extensive, seafood-friendly wine and beer lists at the bar.

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

25. No. 9 Park

Restaurants French Beacon Hill

Despite the strong competition from its newer siblings, No. 9 Park remains the crown jewel of Barbara Lynchs culinary empire. Regally perched across from the Boston Common and in the shadow of the State House, this sophisticated restaurant offers expert service and an inviting assortment of regionally-inspired Italian and French dishes. The welcoming bar area is a favorite among industry types looking to unwind with a well-made cocktail or selection from one of the citys most decorated wine lists.

Neptune Oyster, Restaurants and cafes, Boston
Photograph: Elan Fleisher

26. Neptune Oyster

Restaurants Seafood North End

Ever since it opened in 2004, Neptune Oyster has been one of Boston's most in-demand options for fresh local seafood, as demonstrated by its ever-present line out the door. Accented with pressed tin, subway tiles and etched glass, the tiny space exudes an unmistakably retro charm. Expert shuckers handle a variety of fresh bivalves with finesse, as the kitchen cranks out a steady stream of its lauded lobster rolls.

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Grill 23
Photograph: Steve Beudet

27. Grill 23 & Bar

Restaurants Steakhouse Back Bay

Perhaps the city’s most famous steakhouse, Grill 23 has hosted countless business dinners and special occasions. High ceilings, marble columns, white tablecloths and white-jacket-clad waiters all contribute to the big-ticket atmosphereas do the lawyers and brokers gathering over fine wines and slabs of dry-aged prime beef that probably cost their weight in gold. The wine program has won national awards, as have the perfectly-prepped steak.

28. Chickadee

Restaurants Mediterranean Seaport District

The seasonal menu at this Seaport hotspot—named after our state bird—is Mediterranean-influenced, but features ingredients from local farms, markets and producers. Its starters, such as the smoked sea trout dip with salt and vinegar rye chips, typically combine the best of both regions, while the lunch menu focuses on meze and spectacular pitas. (Check out the slow roasted porchetta wrap with broccoli rabe and giardiniera). Dinner offers more to explore, including pasta dish highlights like the lobster campanelle fra diavolo and squid ink fusilli.

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Tasting Counter
Photograph: Courtesy Tasting Counter

29. Tasting Counter

Restaurants American creative Somerville

Chef Peter Ungár’s Somerville establishment provides one of the most progressive dining experiences in the area. A veteran of several French kitchens, Ungár is unafraid to push the envelope across his multi-course tasting menus. Creative dishes are prepped in front of the 20-seat counter, providing a multi-sensory, dining-as-theater experience. Almost setting a theatrical tone from the start, this restaurant only has ticketed, pre-purchased reservations.

Bar Mezzana
Photograph: Brian Samuels

30. Bar Mezzana

Restaurants Italian South End

Chef Colin Lynch offers straightforward coastal Italian fare at this Ink Block hotspot. The ever-changing crudo menu offers a lighter counterpoint to the slew of house-made pastas available. Other crowd favorites include the foccaccia with Amalfi-inspired accompaniments, black truffle burrata and chicken under a brick. As you might expect, Bar Mezzana boasts a strong wine and cocktail list—but another surprise is the well-curated beer selection, perfect for a quick after-work stopover.

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31. Yume Wo Katare

Restaurants Japanese Porter Sq

Hungry locals and in-the-know tourists form a line for this unique ramen experience. Huge bowls of Jiro-style ramen feature thick, house-made noodles, and your only choice is whether you want two pieces of pork or five. If you manage to finish your bowl— broth included—you’ll be congratulated with a “We have a perfect!”. The restaurant’s name means “talk about your dreams”, and you may even be asked to share your goals out loud with everyone at your communal table before digging in...

Myers & Chang
Photograph: Gary Wong

32. Myers + Chang

Restaurants Pan-Asian South End

This hip South End gemnamed after its owners (and culinary bigwigs) Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers—is a must-go for Asian fusion cuisine. Menu highlights include tea-smoked spare ribs, Thai pork lettuce wraps, wild boar dan dan noodles and Indonesian fried rice. The vibrant but intimate spot is a smart choice for a romantic rendezvous—especially when you order off the inexpensive date night menu. And if you're someone well past your courting days and want to bring the kiddos, there's an extensive child's menu as well.

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Yvonne's
Photograph: Courtesy Yvonne's

33. Yvonne’s

Restaurants Contemporary American Downtown

This Downtown Crossing restaurant maintans the same 19th-century mahogany bar and supper club ambiance that made the previous inhabitant, Locke-Ober, one of the city’s most revered eateries. Regarding the cuisine, Chef Juan Pedrosa looks forwards, not backwards, with an assortment of international snacks, social plates and large-scale “feast” platters, such as a two-pound Niman Ranch ribeye. Well-made cocktails, including several large-format options, are best enjoyed in the handsome library bar.

Woods Hill Pier 4
Photograph: Courtesy Woods Hill Pier 4

34. Woods Hill Pier 4

Restaurants American creative Seaport District

Woods Hill Pier 4 brings farm-to-table dining to the Seaport, right where the iconic Anthony’s Pier 4 once stood. Kristin Canty, chef Charlie Foster and the team behind The Farm at Woods Hill create modern, seasonal dishes using ingredients that are organic, non-GMO and sourced from local purveyors. All of the meat served at this waterfront spot comes directly from their own agricultural operation or nearby farms that share their high ethical standards. So you can eat that plate of pork belly and fried oysters while sitting on their breathtaking patio with minimal guilt. 

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Porto
Photograph: Courtesy Porto

35. Porto

Restaurants Mediterranean Back Bay

Local chef icon Jody Adams oversees this seafood-centric, Mediterranean menu focused on simplicity to let its stellar ingredients sing. Tuna tartare with seaweed yogurt and serrano gives way to cauliflower agrodolce, while entrées include halibut a la plancha, whole roasted branzino and house-made chiatarra pasta with littleneck clams, squid ink and calabrian chili. Meat-eaters will be equally pleased by the grilled skirt steak with black garlic butter, as well as the lamb chops with creamy polenta and fava beans.

36. Santarpio's

Restaurants Pizza East Boston

Dating back to 1903, East Boston's most legendary spot continues to serve one of the best pizzas in town. The old-school, thin crust pies come in only one size, with an assortment of traditional toppings like its beloved homemade sausage. Once a bakery, the low-key space offers a glimpse into old school Eastie. Generations of regulars stop by the place to grab cheap domestic beers and, in lieu of pizza, an order of steak tips, which are grilled on skewers right by the entrance. Prices are kept low at this cash-only operation and, fortunately, there's an ATM onsite.

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37. Field & Vine

Restaurants Contemporary American Somerville

Hidden away in a Union Square back alley, Field & Vine—which started as a pop-up—is an on-trend restaurant specializing in eclectic small plates made with seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients. Husband and wife Andrew Brady and Sara Markey make their menus purposefully heavy on the veggies, delighting plant-happy diners. The casual, nature-themed space—filled with branches and greenery—attracts a suitably diverse crowd, many of whom dart into neighboring Backbar for an after-dinner cocktail.

Orfano
Photograph: JM Leach

38. 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 and forward-looking 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 the subtle culinary twists demonstrated in dishes like its lasagna, which is punched up with house-made pepperoni and extra-crispy edges.

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Pizzeria Regina, Restaurants and cafes, Boston
Photograph: Elan Fleisher

39. Pizzeria Regina

Restaurants Pizza North End

Who doesn’t enjoy a pizza pie and a pitcher? The classic North End pizzeria—which could double as a movie set with its well-worn booths and framed celebrity headshots—is the oldest in town, still churning out brick-oven beauties in a lively atmosphere. (Don’t plan on deep dinner conversation here, unless you’re cool with screaming it). Just be prepared for a legitimate wait, thanks to the steady stream of out-of-towners.

Deuxave
Photograph: Courtesy Deuxave/Andy Ryan

40. Deuxave

Restaurants American creative Back Bay

The glamorous, chandelier-lit dining room creates a special occasion-feel, but there isn’t a hint of stuffiness at this friendly, Back Bay cornerstone. Deuxave's contemporary French fare is complemented by a voluminous wine list that features more than 20 options by the glass. Chef and co-owner Chris Coombs’ talent for hospitality and sumptuous dishes translates to a sophisticated yet relaxed enviroment, where champagne and caviar, spiced duck breast and native lobster with spätzle are the norm.

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Scampo
Photograph: Courtesy Scampo

41. Scampo

Restaurants Italian West End

On the first floor of Boston’s Liberty Hotel resides Scampo, your not-so-typical Italian restaurant. Local legend Lydia Shire defies culinary boundaries and serves dishes that incorporate Italian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors. Whether it’s a plate of naan and prosciutto, or the rack of lamb with feta and fava bean gnocchi, Scampo has something to satisfy. Just keep in mind that no order is complete without Lydia's famous lobster pizza.

Mare Oyster Crudo and Seafood Bar
Photograph: Courtesy Mare

42. Mare Oyster Bar

Restaurants Seafood North End

Part of North End restaurateur Frank DePasquales local empire, Mares calling card is its superb selection of crudo. These fish-forward dishes are best enjoyed on the restaurant's sleek patio with fire pits and a retractable roof, which makes year-round alfresco dining possible. For folks who aren't in the market for seafood, there are plenty of land-locked options to orderbut seeing as this eatery's name literally translates to "ocean," you'd be missing the whole point.

Local chefs, restaurants and concepts we love so much that we welcomed them into Time Out Market

anoush'ella
Photograph: Courtesy anoush'ella

anoush’ella

Restaurants Mediterranean South End

A colorful mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes are served throughout the day, catering to South End residents in search of a quick, healthy meal. Warm, thin flatbreads are used to scoop up flavorful dips and spreads made from local, organic ingredients. A customizable menu ensures customers can combine whichever flavors they like. Salads and grain bowls delight the medical professionals who pop in for a healthy meal.

Alta Strada
Photograph: Courtesy Alta Strada

Alta Strada

Restaurants Italian

Alta Strada offers an approachable, accessible option that’s popular with area families and couples. Some choose to nibble on small plates at the antipasti-wine bar, others prefer the casual, open dining room. Chef Michael Schlow’s menu includes influences from various Italian regions—Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, and the Amalfi coast. Antipasti, fresh pastas, crispy thin-crust pizzas, and a well-chosen wine list round out the experience. For Schlow's inspired takes on pasta and pizza, head to Time Out Market to check out Michael Schlow's and Monti, respectively.

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Bisq
Photograph: Sarah Bentivegna

BISq

Restaurants American creative Inman Sq

Recognized in the past by Wine Enthusiast as one of America’s best wine restaurants, BISq boasts a unique, French-focused wine program at its home near Cambridge’s Inman Square. You’ll find small production wines from grower-producers, as well as natural wines, champagnes, and other interesting selections of sherry and madeira by the glass. Chef Alex Sáenz and his culinary team churns out an inviting assortment of small plates, and are behind the BISq eatery—which specializes in creative sandwiches and juicy fried chicken—at Time Out Market.

Cusser’s Roast Beef & Seafood
Photograph: Brian Samuels

Cusser’s Roast Beef & Seafood

Restaurants Sandwich shops Back Bay

Cusser’s is Mooncusser Fish House’s tiny takeout operation, a slightly upscale version of a classic North Shore seafood hut. Roast beef sandwiches and lobster rolls emerge from the street-level takeout window. Other treats on offer may include beer-battered fish and chips, burgers, fish tacos and more. To experience their greatest hits in a buzzy culinary-focused environment, stop by the Cussers at Time Out Market Boston.

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Mooncusser Fish House
Photograph: Brian Samuels

Mooncusser Fish House

Restaurants Seafood Back Bay

This multi-story, seafood-focused enterprise is focused on the second floor restaurant, where a variety of locally-sourced seafood is served with aplomb. (For the full experience, try the five-course “tasting of local fishes” menu.) Patrons looking for something lighter can visit the Moon Bar, and for those in a hurry, there's Cusser's, a street-level takeaway spot specializing in seafood and roast beef. Or, to experience their greatest hits in a buzzy culinary-focused environment, stop by the Cussers at Time Out Market Boston.

Revolution Health Kitchen
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Verena C.

Revolution Health Kitchen

Restaurants Vegetarian Boston

Revolution Health Kitchen is one of Boston’s most popular options for healthy types looking to follow a whole food, plant-based diet. Friendly staffers help customers navigate the lengthy menu of nutritious, plant-based foods and beverages. Local moms and office workers pop in for made-to-order juices, smoothies, bowls, and toasts, along with healthful grab-and-go treats. Customers fully committed to following Revolution's diet approach can follow cleanse programs, meal plans, and customized packages. 

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Tico
Photograph: Courtesy Tico

Tico

Restaurants Latin American Back Bay

From the local culinary stalwart Michael Schlow, Tico sits in the heart of the Back Bay, right around the corner from Trinity Church. The festive atmosphere pairs nicely with colorful cocktails and a lengthy tequila list. American at its core, the menu is influenced by Schlow’s travels to and love for Spain, Mexico and South America. In certain circles, Schlow is best known for his Italian fare, so head over to Time Out Market to check out Michael Schlow's and Monti for top-notch pastas and pizzas.

Union Square Donuts
Photograph: Courtesy Union Square Donuts

Union Square Donuts

Restaurants Bakeries Somerville

Just follow the crowds and the aroma of fried dough. The uber-popular bakery has made waves from day one, turning out inimitable flavors like maple bacon, berry pistachio and sea salt bourbon caramel. Having grown into a larger space, Union Square Donuts has evolved to serve even more quick-to-sell-out options, including donut holes and vegan versions.

Explore Time Out Market Boston

Best restaurants in Boston by cuisine

Oak + Rowan
Photograph: Courtesy Oak + Rowan

The best brunch spots in Boston

Restaurants Cafés

Whether you’re fighting a hangover or fueling up before shopping or taking in a few museums or galleries, these are the best places for brunch in Boston

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Schlow burger at Tico
Photograph: Courtesy Tico

The best burgers in Boston

Restaurants

Many of the best Boston restaurants have a signature version on the menu, but cheap-eats legends are also staking their claim for "the best"

Clover
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Sue C.

The best vegan restaurants in Boston

Restaurants Vegan

Boston has a great selection of restaurants for vegetarians, and many of the best Boston restaurants offer vegetarian options or are happy to modify their dishes for the meat-free

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