From authentic Italian pasta made from scratch to the freshest sashimi imported from the Japanese coast to a local farm-to-table spot using seasonal Massachusetts ingredients, these are the very best restaurants we tried this year in Boston. But don’t just take our word for it, add them to your bucket list and go out there and try them for yourself!
A favorite for Bostonians to the point that many say “they could eat here for the rest of their lives,”Ana Sortun’s farm-to-table Mediterranean restaurant draws on the flavors from her many years traveling the Middle East and surrounding areas. You’ll find classics like falafel but made with a twist like homemade pita and beet tahini or kunefeh with dinger syrup and mascarpone ice cream. You’ll never have a disappointing bite at this restaurant of perfection that even top Boston chefs are obsessed with.
134 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139
This sushi gem tucked away on the second floor of the Four Seasons One Dalton Boston is a must-visit for those seeking some of the best Japanese cuisine the city has to offer. Zuma is definitely sushi-centric so make sure to grab some maki or sashimi, but the entrees and desserts are equally mind-blowing.
1 Dalton St, Boston
About a 29-minute drive from Boston, you’ll never regret the trip out to 2023 James-Beard award nominee for “outstanding chef,” Rachel Miller’s eclectic restaurant “making very cool food” for cool people. The ingredients chosen by Miller and her team are enough to blow your mind, let alone the way they are arranged, presented and merged to create explosive flavors that will live rent free in your brain forever. Nightshade Noodle Bar is so good, it might just ruin all other food for you.
73 Exchange St, Lynn, MA
Another Japanese and sushi favorite in Back Bay from acclaimed chef, Ken Oringer, Uni creates a cuisine of its own with its innovative twist on Japanese classics. Find dishes such as Kurobuta Spare Rib with cranberry-pecan salsa macha, hatcho miso bbq or a Dungeness Crab Fried Rice with pineapple, garlic chives, and nuoc cham on this seasonally relvant menu.
370 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215
The new stop on Mass Ave. in Cambridge made The New York Times and Bon Appétit lists for “best restaurants in America.” Rightfully so, the groovy communal space invites guests to “gather here” while enjoying fresh “tinned” seafood topped with rare herbs and Calabrian chilis, Black Garlic Kabocha Squash, and a wildflower honey cake that looks more like art and tastes like happiness.
1741 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140
Myers+Chang, South End
From the minds of Joanne Change, owner and creator of beloved Flour Bakery, and her husband Christopher Myers, is a melding of classic Asian dishes with bold flavors. A bowl of the charred lemongrass mussels and lemony shrimp dumplings will quickly turn this Asian fusion spot into one of your favorite restaurants too.
1145 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
Arguably one of the hardest restaurants in Boston to get into, reservations at O Ya are off the hook with eager diners booking months in advanced to get a taste of this unique Japanese spot specialized in prixe fixe dining and some of Boston’s best omakase. The restaurant is set in a 100-year-old fire station in Boston’s historic Leather District and is one of the most splurge-worthy restaurants with a 20-course meal running $250.
9 East St, Boston, MA 02111
Part of Depasquale Ventures hospitality group, Mare is one of the best fine dining Italian restaurants in the North End. You might know one of the many sibling restaurants such as Quattro and Bricco. Mare has the same authentic Italian cooking with a seafood-centric menu. The lobster truffle pasta is airy, buttery, and rich and the fresh homemade pesto tastes good on just about everything.
223 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113
The restaurant where Governor Baker celebrated his time in office, Table is one of the best restaurants in the North End. Here you’ll find a focus on home-style meals that are the epitome of comfort. And you’ll want to stop by the Table Mercato to grab some goodies to take home.
445 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113
Daily Catch is one of the best Italian restaurants in Boston that won’t break the bank. Th Aglio Olio pasta made with a black squid ink fettuccini and a sauce composed of ground squid, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic is one of the most scrumptious pasta dishes in the city and the massive serving is under $30.
323 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113
Saltie Girl, Back Bay
If you’re on the hunt for the best seafood restaurants Boston, the city of seafood, has to offer, this is it. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. You can go wrong by not trying the Lobster and Waffles and Crab Toast while you’re there.
279 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116
Brassica Kitchen, Jamaica Plain
Referred to as “the JP neighborhood joint,” Brassica brings a new kind of food scene to the city. The fermentation forward restaurant works with locally sourced and seasonal ingredients to explore the unknown while exciting your tastebuds with unmet flavors.
3710 Washington St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Elephant Walk, South End
Two cuisines at Elephant Walk match in perfect harmony and bring one of the most unique dining experiences to Boston. Run, don’t walk to order a plate if the Khar Saiko Kroeung- boneless beef short ribs braised in tamarind, ginger, chili pods and soy; with garlic fresh Shanghai noodles and pickled cucumber.
1415 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
Little Donkey, Central Square
Another Ken Oringer and Jamie Bisonette standout, Little Donkey offers the same wow factor of Uni with more of a casual setting and heartier options. You’ll still get the incredible Asian flavors but paired with comfort classics like a crunchy foie gras burger filled with jalapeño potato chips or a matzo ramen bowl.
505 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Helmand, Kendall Square
Transport yourself to the Middle East with a trip to this aromatic Afghan restaurant on First Street in Cambridge. If you love kabob and oven-baked fresh breads, add Helmand to your bucket list. The Manti- an Afghan dumpling filled with minced meat and nuts, topped with a minted yogurt is out of this world!
143 1st St, Cambridge, MA 02142
La Royal, Cambridge Observatory Hill
Ranking as one of the “best restaurants in America” by Esquire should be an indicator that La Royal is a noteworthy dining destination in Boston. The food pulls deep from Peruvian flavors that are perfectly executed from the pillowy causas (a layered potato casserole) to the evenly crisp fried yucca.
221 Concord Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
Fresh, South Boston
Comfort health food
Sometimes you crave a decadent meal filled with superfood benefits, that’s exactly what you’ll find at this new South Boston gem, Fresh. One of the best new restaurants in Boston, Fresh draws on seaside eats from its Nantucket birthplace. Find a yummy Ruby’s Reuben and Brussel Sprout Ceasar on the menu for a delicious lunch or dinner.
232 Old Colony Ave, Boston, Ma 02127
Matsu Nori Handroll Bar, Brookline
The new handroll spot, adjacent to one of our favorite bubble tea stops, Shinmio Tea, brings a unique dining experience to the sushi space in Boston. Matsu specializes in handrolls, essentially mini sushi burritos to make for a fun and fresh dinner!
900 Beacon St Unit A Boston, MA 02215
Batifol, Kendall Square
The new French spot in Cambridge from the team of Petit Robert Bistro is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. It’s a place you can always rely on for a delicious French meal no matter when the craving strikes. The Steak Frites and Moules are perfectly executed. Soon the restaurant will welcome a French bakery in Kendall Square and French market in Somerville!
291 3rd St, Cambridge, MA 02142
Puritan Oyster Bar, Inman Square
This newly opened spot quickly became on the best restaurants in Boston for scrumptious seafood. The oysters of course are simply divine, but the entrees and apps are just as special. Try the caviar cone, a waffle cone filled with egg salad and topped with black caviar. The plates here are small but shareable. It’s a great stop if you want to try everything on the menu.
1166 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Pammy’s, Central Square
Farm-to-table, New American
From tripe mafaldine to grilled maitake with cauliflower porridge, Pammy’s turns ordinary seasonal ingredients into extraordinary dishes. You’d never imagine just how good broccoli could taste until you sample how the team at Pammy’s turns it into something magical. The menu is 3-course prix fixe “choose your own adventure.” Pick from an assortment of in-season options with an app, entree, and dessert!
928 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Trifecta, Back Bay
From the juicy ribeye steak grilled to perfection to truffle fries dusted with real bits of truffle and an innovative Octopus “carpaccio,” Trifecta was a frequent winner for Boston Uncovered this year! Each meal left us speechless and in awe. Not to mention, the beautifully ornate setting with the best service!
1 Dalton St, Boston
The night starts with exploding bubbles and ends with a fabulous deconstructed tres leches. With a kitchen spearheaded by 2-time Food Network Chopped Champion, Tatiana Rosana, you know you’re in for a good meal. We loved the watermelon “ceviche” divine Chimichurri Steak Frites at Para Maria.
70 Sleeper Street Boston, Massachusetts 02210