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Boston Restaurant Diary: Our Favorite Places to Eat in Boston

Today we’re talking all about places to eat in Boston! 

How I have MISSED date nights downtown and meandering through Boston in general! One of the most frequent questions I get is around restaurant recommendations in Boston, specifically the north end. Here are the places we’ve eaten and liked, along with a list of restaurants we’re excited to try based on friend’s recommendations.

I’ve starred the ones we’ve eaten at with kids but most of these we’ve gone to without little ones in tow. 

Best North End Restaurants / Italian: 

Bricco: We went here with friends for a double date during business school.  Two of us ordered some kind of truffle pasta and it was one of THE BEST pasta dishes I’ve ever had.

Eataly (not the north end – but a contender for the best Italian in Boston): Located inside the prudential, this combination of restaurants and market place is a must for any Italian-loving foodie. The truffle pasta (small meat stuffed pasta in black truffle butter) from the pizza/pasta restaurant on the main floor is my favorite dish. The pizza is also great and Ben and I loved our experience at their upstairs restaurant, Terra, but we kept coming back to Pizza and Pasta. Just make sure you have a reservation if you’re eating here on the weekend and get your parking validated before you leave. We love getting gelato after dinner or picking up a handful of chocolates. Their fresh pasta counter is great for bringing home ingredients for a delicious dinner in and their food market is worth a visit. 

Giacamos: Order the pesto chicken pasta or the butternut squash ravioli. This tiny place is cash only, doesn’t take reservations, and almost always has a line. We go right when it opens at 5 and arrive 15-20 minutes before hand so avoid the wait and are in and out in under 40 minutes. The food for the price is unbeatable. It is comparable to Eataly at half the cost. We park in the Parcel 3 lot above the Boston Public Market and grab a donut or ice cream cone on our way out to validate parking so it is just $1 an hour for up to three hours.

Carmelinas: Order the little eggplant appetizer no matter what (trust me, even if you don’t like eggplant, it is divine).

Mama Maria: This place is great but if you’re doing North End for the first time start with one of the other ones on the list. We went here for an anniversary (ordered Rabbit Pasta and Summer Ravioli…and cheese plate with warm tomatoes). 

Best Harvard Square Restaurants: 

Russel House Tavern: Salmon and frites

Shake Shack: We ate here frequently in Harvard Square – often grabbing burgers and salads from Sweetgreen with friends and sitting out on the grass before grabbing gelato on the way home. *

Sweetgreen: I know this isn’t local to Boston but I miss this fresh salad spot. I almost always order a Harvest bowl without apples, adding in tomatoes and corn, and topping with their creamy caesar dressing. *

Flour Bakery: This little cafe is great for breakfast or lunch with a good mix of healthy/interesting options and classic buttery baked goods. The breakfast sandwich (get it with bacon) is out of this world and one of my favorite things to eat in Boston.  *

Legal Seafood: The famous clam chowder is almost always on the presidential inauguration menu so it’s worth ordering but my favorite is one of their nut crusted salmons. *

Felipes: Causal, tasty tacos. We had Felipes cater events and they were great. *

Alden and Harlow: I think it is sliiightly overrated but it a fun small plates restaurant with a unique and tasty menu. We took my sister and her boyfriend here after they helped us move into our first tiny Boston apartment (a third floor walk-up – so they really earned that dinner) and it was a really fun night. 

Henrietta’s Table: I’ve eaten here for dinner and brunch and the brunch is what really shines. We ate here for a recruiting dinner and then hosted a mom’s morning out brunch. It was great for accommodating our group of 7-10 women. 

Saloniki Greek: Casual yummy gyros that take you right back to the alleys of Oia. We’ve only had this for takeout after Ben did an internship in Athens and, after eating the real thing, these are still delicious. 

Red House Restaurant: Great for date night, nice outdoor seating. We wandered over to this place from campus on a double date, looking for a restaurant in Harvard Square and the ambiance plus the food were fantastic (as was the company ;). 

Best Central Square Restaurants: 

Oath Pizza: Fast casual, no occasion necessary. We ate here once or twice a month once we discovered it our second year in Boston. My favorite is the David or anything with balsamic drizzle and you must try the dessert pizza at some point! Ben loves the Spicy Mother Clucker. Our love for Oath runs deep but we have found that it is much better eaten warm at the restaurant than trying to bring it somewhere. It reheats well in a pan in your kitchen but isn’t the same if you try and bring it to a park to eat 20 minutes after you’ve picked it up. *

Flour Bakery (see Harvard Square)

Best Back Bay Restaurants:

Buttermilk and Bourbon: I went here first on a double date and came back for my birthday dinner with girlfriends because it is so yummy. You HAVE to try the biscuits during your meal and end the night with the doughnuts. The friend chicken sliders are also really really good. 

Citrus and Salt: This is such a fun spot for a girls night with very yummy tacos and fun decor. 

Lolita: Another fun Mexican spot with unique decor. We ordered really good guac and lots of tacos. 

Top of the Hub (in the Pru): This is on the list mainly for the view. The food is very good, but nothing special. You go here to enjoy quality food overlooking the gorgeous city of Boston. We went for Valentine’s lunch one year and it helps you appreciate your beautiful city! 

Boston Suburb Restaurants: 

Cook: This was right by our house in Newton and we went back again and again just for the battered shrimp tacos.  *

Alta Strada: A very yummy Italian restaurant by chef Michael Schlow. The dishes are interesting, well plated, and delicious. 

Aquitaine: Yummy french food. This made for a nice recruiting dinner and date nights. 

Dessert:

Lizzie’s Ice Cream in Harvard Square *

Kimball Farms Ice Cream (especially after an afternoon swimming at Walden Pond) 

To try:

Bistro Du Midi: Ben ate here for recruiting events and he says it’s his favorite place in Boston. This would be perfect for a date night or a nice group dinner. 

Coppa

Sarma

Panza: I haven’t tried this North End restaurant but it seems like people either love Giacamos or Panza for their #1 local pick. 

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • Wagamama: Not local to Boston but a favorite of mine 

 

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