A Culinary Guide to Boston’s Best Restaurants

The city of Boston is famous for many things: enthusiastic sports fans, traffic jams, and a unique American accent. But for some reason, Boston cuisine does not make it onto this list. However, the selection on Boston menus should significantly contribute to the city’s image, and while I may be somewhat biased, I can assure you that the food in Boston is extremely delicious! I combed through the city for culinary highlights and compiled this list of the best restaurants so that you can enjoy New England cuisine.

How about Seafood?

During the warm summer months, Bostonians are drawn to the water. You can find residents kayaking on the Charles River, hoisting their sailboats in Boston Harbor, or fleeing to Cape Cod for the beach on weekends. The ever-present sea contributes to us having some of the freshest seafood in the country.

For your first course, treat yourself to raw oysters in the typical half shell at Island Creek Oyster Bar or enjoy the content of crab legs with a view of the ocean at The Barking Crab. Next up is New England’s clam chowder. This creamy soup (which is much better than Manhattan’s tomato-y clam chowder!) is on most menus in this region. To taste the real clam chowder, head to Quincy Market and order your portion in a hollowed-out loaf of bread at Boston Chowda Co. Food tastes even better when you can eat the dish it’s served in!

To round off your culinary tour, go to the North End neighborhood and get your name on a waiting list (be prepared for hours of waiting!) to snag a spot in the small Neptune Oyster restaurant. Don’t like waiting? I can promise you that the long wait is worth it when you take a bite of the famous, buttery lobster rolls.

Fancy Italian?

The North End is not just about lobster rolls. Italian immigrants first settled in this district when they arrived in Boston, bringing along the best Italian dishes. The smell of garlic wafts through the narrow streets, making the quarter even more attractive. Queue up to get a table at Giacomo’s to taste the best pasta dishes you will ever eat. Or stand in line at Pizzeria Regina to enjoy traditional bread and linger in cheese heaven. After dinner, head to the next queue (do you see the pattern?) at Mike’s Pastry to finish off the evening with something sweet and enjoy a typical Italian pastry, cannoli.

North End residents love their cuisine. And a good party. During the summer, there are many outdoor festivals dedicated to a religious holiday or person. St. Anthony’s Feast is one of the larger festivals, featuring processions, music, shooting booths, and of course, lots of food. Run from booth to booth to taste dishes like Arancini, Calzoni, sausages, and sweets.

Wash it All Down with a Delicious Ale

For those over 21 years old, there are many opportunities in the traditionally Irish quarter of South Boston to wind down the evening. Stop by Murphy’s Law or L Street Tavern, where scenes from the movie “Good Will Hunting” were shot. South Boston (or “Southie,” as it’s affectionately called) should also be visited on St. Patrick’s Day. On this day, people come from near and far to watch the parade.

Sam Adams is Boston’s most well-known and widespread beer, which can be ordered in all pubs. Another popular beer is Harpoon. The brewery in the Seaport district was recently expanded and now has a lively beer cellar, where visitors can sample beers and ciders while being served pretzels with hot mustard. The Harpoon Brewery also hosts popular events on St. Patrick’s Day and for Oktoberfest, where participants can enjoy beer and music, with both the attire and other entertainment tailored to the day.

Whether you’re looking for a casual date spot or an elegant ambiance to celebrate an anniversary or special romantic occasion, Boston restaurants offer many incredible options that will satisfy your taste buds.


1 Charles St. S, Boston, 617-421-1200

Whether you’re looking for a casual date spot or an elegant ambiance to celebrate an anniversary or special romantic occasion, Boston restaurants offer many incredible options that will satisfy your taste buds.

Take a moment to sit at an outdoor table and take a delicious break between sightseeing, or plan a romantic evening to try new flavors and relax with a glass of wine. One such location that comes to mind is Ostra.

Ostra is an elegant Mediterranean seafood restaurant with an open kitchen and stylish decor. Conveniently located in Boston’s Back Bay, it serves a creative Mediterranean seafood menu starting from 5:30 pm.

The restaurant features a stylish black-and-white interior and live piano music that permeates from the lounge. Chef/owner Jamie Mammano and chef Mitchell Randall have combined their talents to present dishes that marry local seafood with opulent celebration.

These include smoked salmon crudo, seafood paella, and salt-crusted seabass. Don’t forget to end your meal with a Snow Egg dessert – a delectable combination of meringue, mousse, raspberry, and basil.

If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion in a beautiful setting, Ostra is undeniably one of the best romantic restaurants in Boston.


69 Church St, Boston, 617-426-6969

Embark on a culinary journey to the gentle hills of Northern Italy in this beautiful restaurant in Bay Village. At Erbaluce, renowned chef Charles Draghi creates an inspired menu of Italian dishes, the delicious flavors of Tuscany evident in every bite. And as a bonus, the menu changes every evening, keeping the experience fresh and exciting.

In addition to its flavorful food, Erbaluce also offers an elegant ambiance and a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Guests have access to an extensive Italian wine list, perfect for pre-theater dining.

Audubon Boston

838 Beacon St, Boston, 617-421-1910

Located just a short walk from historic Fenway Park in Boston, Audubon is a welcoming bar and restaurant. It offers a modern, comfortable space with a beautiful terrace for outdoor dining. Audubon serves a mix of classic and eclectic dishes, from minced meat burgers and fries to charcoal grills, Asian snacks, garden-fresh salads, and homemade soups.

The Audubon bar is a great place to unwind, offering five flat-screen TVs and a selection of seasonal cocktails, beers, and wines that you can enjoy by the glass or bottle.

Atlantic Fish

761 Boylston St, Boston, 617-267-4000

Atlantic Fish in Back Bay is an absolute must for seafood lovers. The restaurant serves innovative dishes with freshly caught fish and excellent shellfish. The signature raw bar serves jumbo lump crab, Katama Bay oysters, and other favorites. The wine list is outstanding and offers both local and international options. For those who want to continue the culinary journey, Atlantic Fish is a fantastic choice.

Rialto Restaurant and Bar

1 Bennett St, Cambridge, 617-661-5050

Situated in Harvard Square, the Rialto Restaurant and Bar offers an inspired menu with a creative interpretation of traditional Italian cuisine. Here, James Beard Award Winning Chef Jody Adams takes his guests on a culinary journey that explores the rich heritage of Italy’s different regions.

Every two months, a new regional menu is introduced, with dishes representing the varied Italian landscape and paired with some of the best wines Italy has to offer. The outstanding food is complemented by an elegant, relaxed ambiance, featuring candle-lit tables, cozy booths, and a lively bar that serves as the centerpiece of the restaurant.

West Bridge

1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-945-0221

West Bridge restaurant, located in the former Boston Woven Hose Factory at Kendall Square, is an exquisite blend of French sophistication and New England comfort. Owners Alex Gelburd-Kilmer and Chef Matthew Gaudet combine their experience to offer guests a menu of small dishes served in a bright, loft-like dining room in Cambridge.

In this carefree atmosphere, you’ll enjoy French-inspired dishes such as black bass with asparagus, chickpeas, and lovage, accompanied by a selection of cocktails, wine, and beer. This perfect balance of comfort and sophistication is part of what makes West Bridge a must-visit location.


1665 Beacon St, Brookline, 617-232-2322

Ribelle, owned by Chef Tim Maslow, serves an Italian-inspired menu with creative dishes and a fascinating drink menu. Open for dinner from Wednesday to Sunday and brunch on the weekends, Ribelle is located in a lively warehouse with communal tables.

The menu offers dishes such as Chatham clams with nettle, cacciatorini, and fennel, and rabbit with carrots, triticale berries, and za’atar. For dessert, don’t miss out on the olive oil ice cream in a chocolate shell or the tiramisu with brownie, espresso, and parsnip.

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