12 Best Restaurants in Boston

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Those who choose to make Boston their home are rewarded with a city that never sleeps, where new restaurants and trendy events are constantly popping up. It’s the perfect moment to try a new eatery or return to a favorite. Visit restaurants serving seafood delicacies, salad-based main courses, exquisite desserts, and other mouthwatering meals influenced by cuisines worldwide.

One of Boston’s many excellent restaurants can accommodate any type of celebration, group outing, or family dinner. Do something out of the ordinary. We’ve selected 12 of Boston’s finest restaurants for you.

1. Coquette

The Omni Boston Hotel’s Coquette opened in the late summer of 2021 and is a floral paradise replete with pastel paintings and angelic mischief. Artwork such as a reproduction of François Lemoyne’s Apotheosis of Hercules on the ceiling above the bar and Renaissance-style portraits with pop-art embellishments were designed by COJE’s in-house team, including co-founder and owner Chris Jamison, architect Jef Leon, and designer Mandy Waryasz. 

There are primarily small dishes and nibbles on the menu at Coquette, with some flatbreads, larger meals, and raw bar options thrown in for good measure. To add “devil spice,” which is, as Berry puts it, “essentially an umami bomb on a clam,” to the clam gratiné makes for a delicious snack. Ingredients include Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and Colman’s mustard powder. One of COJE’s Locke-Ober lunch events at Yvonne’s inspired the flavor profile of the devil spice blended with the Gruyere. The meat-filled Algerian borek pastry is an inspiration for the filling of Chinese spring rolls. Coquette’s chicken is brined and roasted, with the breast and legs cooked at different temperatures to maintain their moisture, before being combined with a spicy vegetable mix, the Moroccan spice blend ras el hanout, harissa, and Gruyere, and wrapped in Feuilles de brick pastry like a spring roll before being deep-fried. Coquette’s samurai sauce is a Belgian condiment similar to that used on french fries, and it pairs perfectly with the spring rolls. Coquette’s version, although still incorporating the classic ingredients of mayonnaise, ketchup, and harissa, relies more heavily on crème Fraiche, which pairs wonderfully with the Gruyere.

2. Contessa

Contessa, designed by Ken Fulk, is the newest restaurant from Major Food Group, the hospitality industry juggernaut founded by Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick. This rooftop restaurant serves traditional fare with a modern twist, an enchanting reimagining of excellent European trattorias and Italian country estates. The rooftop restaurant is styled after a conservatory, complete with a glass roof and retractable panels for open-air dining, creating the sensation of being in a garden high in the sky while enjoying a meal.

Contessa is an Italian restaurant that offers food all day long. The menu features traditional dishes from all around Italy, with an emphasis on the cuisine of northern Italy. There are also antipasti like beef carpaccio, octopus agrodolce, and pizzas with toppings like mushrooms and spicy mussels. (While other MFG establishments provide Italian or Italian-American fare, MFG’s first pizza shop is a first for the chain.) Gelato, cakes, and Boston cream pie bomboloni make up the dessert selection. The drinks also have an Italian slant, with many variations on traditional cocktails, such as the Negroni and the spritz featuring aperitivi, grappa, or amari. The wine list includes not just Italian wines from the center and north but also beverages from France, the United States, and Canada.

3. Buttermilk & Bourbon

Buttermilk & Bourbon, inspired by the South’s signature warmth, features an inventive American menu with Southern elements in a lively, comfortable setting. The owner, Santos, uses Buttermilk & Bourbon to take his guests to the Bayou, where they may share his affection for New Orleans and the South.

An exclusive to Bourbon Street frozen drink called the Hand Grenade will be dispensed from a machine in the main bar area. The fresh melon purée is a bonus at Buttermilk & Bourbon. There will be a raw bar serving Hurricanes on tap and a few different kinds of oysters, shrimp, and other seafood every day. The menu will primarily consist of tapas-style dishes designed for communal eating. The opening menu features dishes like braised short rib boudin with shaved mushroom salad, boiled peanut hummus and crackers with house-made andouille sausage, aged gouda macaroni and cheese with pork scraps, topped with crushed Red Hot Cheetos, and deviled egg toast with crab fat butter, Benton’s country ham, and spicy pepper salad. Although Buttermilk & Bourbon does not offer a comprehensive dessert menu, they offer beignets and a variety of rotating varieties of homemade soft serve.

4. Lolita

Lolita, located in Copley Square, is the ideal spot for a pre-club drink, a casual get-together with friends, a romantic evening out, or any other occasion that calls for a celebratory atmosphere. A grapefruit ice palate cleanser chilled with dry ice kicks off each dinner, and those over the age of 21 can enjoy a big dash of tequila added by their server. Three kinds of salsa and a bowl of corn chips come with the check, and the cotton candy is topped with Pop Rocks.

This lively restaurant and tequila bar, Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar, has the discreet atmosphere of a speakeasy and serves inventive takes on Mexican fare. The bright and vibrant decor of Lolita’s Fort Point restaurant honors the beautiful and eerie motifs of the Day of the Dead celebration, celebrated throughout Mexico and Old Spain.

Lolita’s menu has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for small plates, entrees, or feasts for groups of two or more. Cauliflower tacos, my favorite, are only one of many vegetarian alternatives, while pig carnitas tacos, carne asada, seared scallops, and more are sure to please any carnivore. Corn tortillas are offered upon request for gluten-free diners. The diablo margarita, spiced up with serrano pepper, is not to be missed. The free coat check is one of Lolita’s best features. In all seriousness, you have no more reasons to procrastinate because of the cold and the complimentary coat check. Do not forget to visit the new Lolita restaurant in Fort Point!

5. Mariel

After a strenuous hike in Norman B. Leventhal Park, Mariel is there to welcome you with delicious cuisine and a comfortable place to rest your weary feet. It’s well-known that the Cuban food at Mariel is excellent. Diners may get their fill of expertly prepared gnocchi, pies, and empanadas here. If you’re hungry, stop by for some delicious ice cream, cheese puffs, and doughnuts. Popular beverages at this establishment include excellent martinis, strawberry daiquiris, and pia Coladas. Coffee, fruit juice, or lemonade is refreshing after a long day at work.

Except for certain Fred Flinstone-sized meat meals and some ultra-thin-crust “Cuban street pizzas,” almost everything here is served on small plates. Even so, the appetizers and side dishes are where you should focus your attention. Make it a drinking spot, order a bunch of different fried balls until you’re complete (such as the excellent yuca cheese puffs or the slightly less great chickpea fritters), and imagine yourself at a pre-revolutionary Havana nightclub with Fredo and Johnny Ola. The drinking part is true even during lunch when a varied menu is available. You’ll be the only one here at noon if you don’t order anything made with egg whites and topped with a Cuban flag. Some dishes are flops, while others succeed. Don’t order the fish Crudo; the flavour of the fish is lost in a sea of mushy avocados.

6.  Oak Long Bar + Kitchen

In the trendy neighborhood of Back Bay, OAK Long Bar + Kitchen serves as a modern American brasserie. A farm-to-table meal highlighting regional ingredients and purveyors complements the gorgeous coppertop bar, where you may sip on specialized, hand-crafted drinks. OAK Long Bar + Kitchen, one of the city’s most renowned eating establishments, was just rated the #1 Hotel Bar by Boston Magazine. OAK is the ideal spot to host your next celebration because of its superb artisan cocktails, classic American wines, and seasonal menu that features regional fare.

Explore the cuisine at this bar after a trip to the John Hancock Tower. Corned beef hash, bacon, and corned beef, all cooked to perfection, are available here. All three dishes (blueberry pancakes, crème brûlée, and bread pudding) are delicious. There are many happy customers at Oak Long Bar + Kitchen because of the excellent chardonnay, craft beer, and scotch. A cup of perfect tea, espresso, or juice is a welcome treat. Customers rave about the helpfulness and friendliness of the people here, and with good reason. Many visitors said they were able to save money by staying here. This location has a beautiful fireplace and a relaxing vibe.

7. SRV

The Harriet Tubman House is near SRV. Check out the Italian food selection. The spaghetti, meatballs, and calamari are all perfectly cooked and available for delivery. You can get delicious gelato, tiramisu, and biscotti at this bar. The house negroni and coffee martini are all excellent. SRV is known for its fantastic chocolate frappe, tea, and espresso.

Executive chef Michael Lombardi’s SRV is a stepping stone between casual and upscale eating. The meal is elegant and sophisticated, but it’s served in a cozy and friendly setting. A table in the back courtyard is preferable if the weather is nice. This is the best places to eat in the South End during the summer if you can get a reservation.

Small plates of food, known as Cicchetti, are a must while you discuss what to have for the main course. Delicious and delectable appetizers are the fried olives, calamari crostini with nduja, and salted fish baccala. From there, dishes like the must-order meatballs and more refined Venetian dishes like the lumache pasta with shrimp, snails, and mussels in a vermouth reduction can be found on the menu.

8. Grand Tour

Grand Tour, centrally located on Newbury Street, is Boston’s answer to the power lunch. Chef Michael Serpa, fresh off his successes at Neptune Oyster and Select Oyster Bar, launched this homage to all things French. With its exposed brick walls, a row of vibrant bar seats, and the bustling outside eating scene in warmer months, this restaurant has quickly become a favorite among Newbury Street’s frequently stale and overhyped dining options.

Although French cuisine in Boston is frequently confused with fine dining, Grand Tour offers a sophisticated but unpretentious alternative. Mussels cooked with leeks and fennel, streak fries made with beef from renowned Cambridge butcher Savenor’s, and fall-off-the-bone leg of lamb are some of the traditional French dishes on the menu. A great caviar omelet, veal sweetbreads with mustard aioli, and shaved peaches are just two examples of the menu’s more out-of-the-ordinary offerings. Make sure to have the off-menu lamb burger if you stop for lunch. Happy hours are banned in one city, but savvy shoppers can still find bargains: French cuisine in Boston may be mistakenly associated with high dining; nonetheless, Grand Tour’s polished yet modest style is more Bostonian than white tablecloths and 40-page beverage lists. 

9. Pagu

Tracy Chang, a culinary talent who cut her teeth at O Ya and became well-known at the head of the underground ramen pop-up shop Guchi’s Midnight Ramen, is at the helm of the Central Square restaurant Pagu. Family servers keep watch over the chic, two-story loft. The name is delicious, as it is the Japanese word for “pug” and is an ode to Chang’s dog, Phoebe. The cuisine is the real eye-opener: ikura avocado toast, hog belly bao, sea scallop sashimi, and homey classics like Chang’s hometown fried rice. Choose between the prix fixe and à la carte menus. Famous Chang’s ramen is created with alkaline noodles made in-house, pork belly, umami oil, nori, and an egg cooked for six minutes.

Wooden and accented in dark blue, the eating area is where IT entrepreneurs and MIT students gather for business lunches. But the bright stainless steel open kitchen in the middle is where the action happens, and the counter seats around it are the nicest in the house.

10. Sorellina

Guests at Sorellina can choose between Italian and Mediterranean dishes. Enjoy some deliciously prepared seafood, pasta, and sauce. It specializes in delicious chocolate desserts, including chocolate lava cakes, chocolate doughnuts, and chocolate cakes, which sets it apart from the competition. Enjoy a refreshing coffee, lemonade, or chocolate frappe.

This is a convenient location that is accessible via any mode of transportation. The friendly service at this bar is a significant selling point. It’s essential to the owners of these eateries that their customers have a fantastic dining experience. The reasonable costs of Sorellina will pleasantly surprise you. Visitors can unwind in the warm embrace of the place’s lovely furnishings and friendly ambiance.

Famous people can often be seen dining at this hip Italian restaurant frequented by the city’s elite. Although it was expensive, the cuisine was excellent. The menu’s elaborate appetizers in a Mediterranean style, specialty pasta, and excellent meat and seafood meals leave quite an impression.

11. Toro

Toro, a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar off Washington Street in Boston, Massachusetts, is open for dinner seven days a week. Tapas are tiny servings of Spanish cuisine served traditionally. Accompanying the food in every way are the fresh juices and inventive cocktails offered. It has been a local favorite since 2005 and has been called “Boston’s best-hidden secret.”

Simply put, this is the best place in the neighborhood of South End. This is a bar where you can get authentic Spanish food. Excellently prepared potatoes, elote, and patatas bravas are available to Toro diners. Favorable impressions can be made by tasty churros, French toast, and yoghurt. Spanish wine, draught beer, or sherry make excellent starters. Don’t miss the chance to sample some high-quality coffee, juice, or tonic.

Come here if you need a venue for a get-together of any kind. Customers seem to agree that the helpful staff and excellent service here are worth the cost of admission. The democratic pricing structure would be much appreciated. The pub has an enjoyable atmosphere and impressive furnishings.

12. Yvonne’s

Yvonne’s in Downtown Crossing seems to have made every single wrong decision that could be made on paper.  There is a wide variety of contemporary culinary inspirations in the dishes prepared by executive chef Juan Pedrosa and culinary director Tom Berry. New Korean mini plates in the style of David Chang are available. Argentinean parrilla is available. Some Filipino, Sardinian, British pub, and Turkish items are on the menu, and to the left are several Instagram-friendly bar snacks with questionable origins. There aren’t many options for restaurants in Boston, and when there are, they’re mainly on the first and second floors of the Pru.

The same clubby atmosphere and the original mahogany bar from the 19th century at Yvonne’s still exist. The downstairs space where the new supper club was formerly Locke Ober’s exclusive members-only club, but the decor and atmosphere are thoroughly modern. Innovative small meals range from baked oysters and popcorn Brulee to crispy potato cubes and chicken quinoa meatballs. The Library Bar is a separate retreat with tome-tiered seating where you can drink like a Brahmin while serving large-scale (i.e., scorpion bowl-sized) cocktails like the Moscow Mule. Despite the proliferation of “speakeasy”-themed establishments, Downtown is home to the best of the bunch: Yvonne’s.

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