You can’t spend time in New England without going to town on some fresh seafood, but next time you’re in Boston, save some room for Tawainese-inspired soul food, classic Italian pastries, and revised American cuisine. Here are the eight spots to eat in Beantown.
Saunter into this subterranean Harvard Square restaurant for creative New American fare. Alden & Harlow combines rustic-chic digs with a large, thoughtfully sourced menu of flavor-forward shared plates. Show up early to try one of the best burgers in town. The “Secret Burger,” is made with 33% brisket, short rib, and beef. The inventive cocktail menu is equally impressive.
Head to this cozy, unassuming neighborhood restaurant “up the hill” in the heart of Somerville for reasonably-priced Southern-inspired comfort food. Highland Kitchen also so happens to be one of Boston’s best cocktail bars. Order a Highland Original cocktail, like the Mark 'n Stormy, made with Maker’s Mark and Mark’s spicy scotch bonnet infused ginger beer. Then order the Buffalo Fried Brussels Sprouts, followed by the Blackened Catfish Po’ Boy sandwich or one of the daily specials.
What started as a humble food truck is now one of Boston’s most beloved brick and mortars thanks to their creative Chinese-American cuisine. Although the menu changes seasonally, the lemongrass pork dumplings, sweet corn fritters, and scallion pancake sandwiches remain a constant. Try one of the crispy, scallion pancakes stuffed with fillings like pulled pork or sweet potatoes next time you’re near Fenway.
This longtime North End bakery is iconic for its Italian and American sweets, including cakes, pies, biscotti, cookies, candies, and pastries. Don’t leave your gun at this award-winning, family-owned shop, but do take the cannoli (or three).
Make reservations, because there’s probably going to be a line at this for this South End gem, helmed by James Beard Award-winning Chef Karen Akunowicz. Myers + Chang serves up Tawainese inspired soul food and Southeast Asian street food. Go with a friend so you can try the spicy Cold Taiwanese Dan Dan Noodles and the “Dim Sum-y” Tea-Smoked Pork Spare Ribs.
The North End is traditionally Italian, but Neptune Oyster is all New England. In addition to a fantastic assortment of oysters and clams, this tiny high-end oyster bar serves up Atlantic seaboard staples like the salty/sweet Neptune Johnnycake and buttery Main Lobster Roll, using fresh, local seafood. briny fare. The wine list offers many options to pair with briny fare from the raw bar.
This acclaimed authentic Japanese restaurant will tempt you with their inventive sushi and savory and sweet small plates, but you are at this elegant Boston outpost to splurge on the omakase. And we do mean splurge! Paired with drinks, the chef’s tasting menu will run you around $300 per person. Worth it!
You won’t be salty after a meal at Saltie Girl. This charming, nautically-themed raw bar serves the best fresh New England seafood. Head to the original location in Back Bay
Head to the Back Bay location for Fried Lobster & Waffles served with sweet corn butter and spicy maple syrup, or get the Saltie Girl Burger. The juicy stack of goodness is made with a three-beef blend and topped with battered and fried lobster, a thick slab of crispy house-cured pork belly, gruyere, avocado, and “angry sauce,” which is what they call mayonnaise mixed with Sriracha (yum!). Saltie Girl also has a new Time Out Market outpost that has a smaller, but just as tasty menu, including the Signature Tinned Fish Platter.