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Boston's Best Restaurants That Bring Guests Back through Their Doors



The best restaurants in Boston have one thing in common: staying power. They are not just what's hot right now, but what's proven its worth. 

Boston is filled with its share of great places to get good fish. Row 34, set in happening Fort Point, brings guests through their doors in droves to indulge in freshly harvested and expertly shucked oysters, appetizers and main dishes that are both simple and exquisite.

With a large population of Italian Americans, you can't go wrong with a meal in Boston's North End, but you can get one even better on Boston's Greenway where NEBO has made its home. This family run spot serves meatballs like they were meant to be made and welcomes guests with true Italian hospitality.

Across the Charles River, in neighboring Cambridge, you'll find Oleana where the Middle Eastern fare is served in a warm, almost cozy environment both indoors by the fire or out on the elegant patio. Bostonians love Oleana so much that more than 10 years after they opened you still need to make reservations weeks in advance to get seated at a reasonable hour.

The 10best are spots you'll find the same names on the reservation list time and again because these are the places where locals become regulars.


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Bondir
Photo courtesy of Bondir via Image Unlimited


Bondir serves modern American cuisine in an elegant setting that makes you feel special even before you take a bite of their amazing menu. Only 28 seats and a cozy room complete with a fireplace makes Bondir the place you long to be on cool evenings while its bright interior gives it an airy feel on warm ones.. A true commitment to farm to table cuisine, sourcing the best pastoral and marine bounty from all of New England combined with an expertly selected list of American and European wines and beers. You'll find their daily created menu stocked with vegetables picked that day, fish just caught from the ocean, as well as pasture-raised meats. Bondir takes farm to table to a new level. This popular Cambridge eatery went as far as opening a second outpost in Concord, MA where they can be closer to the farms that source their kitchen.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Bondir's farm to table approach is a step above the rest; its elegant setting creates a true fine dining experience.

Jessica's expert tip: Offering two sizes of menu items, choose the smaller size and share; about six will feed two.

Read more about Bondir →


Tico
Photo courtesy of Tico


Tico welcomes diners into its warm atmosphere where you'll find people relaxing at the bar sipping one of their specialty (tequila based) cocktails, sipping beer, eating and chatting while the tables are filled with lively groups enjoying the food and the company. Serving fun food that can be shared tapas style or eaten on your own, Tico is a place meant for having a good time. Tico's cuisine is a blend of American, Spanish, Mexican and South American. Serving lunch, dinner and brunch, including a family brunch concert one Saturday each month where kids are encouraged to leave their seats and hit the dance floor, Tico offers a little something for everyone.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Tico offers a little something for everyone, makes killer food, mixes excellent cocktails and offers guests a lot of fun.

Jessica's expert tip: Order tapas style for the best taste of Tico: ceviche, manchego cheese, fried oysters, and lobster tacos are menu must try items.

Read more about Tico →


Myers + Chang


An Asian diner that serves some of the best Taiwanese soul food and Southeast Asian street food you can find stateside. Favoring lighter sauces, and creating new twists on classics as well as developing new dishes with regional flavors sets Myers and Change apart from the competition. The team is passionate about creating food diners will desire to eat over and over again. Enjoy a light salad filled with flavor, or bites like chicken wings and tea smoked pork ribs or potsticker type, fried dumplings,sandwich style options in rolls, wraps or even a taco, and protein focused meals that welcome their delectable sides or vegetables as accompaniment. And don't forget the dim sum-delicious and served on weekend afternoons.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Myers + Chang has a following of locals who return for their creative Asian cuisine.

Jessica's expert tip: Myers + Chang invites you to taste bites from its various menu offerings to complete a full meal.

Read more about Myers + Chang →


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JM Curley
Photo courtesy of Jessica Polizzotti


When a restaurant lists their rules and those rules include, "the customer is NOT always right, and don't be a douchbag", you know you're in a true Boston spot. jm Curley's is that kind of place, where you won't find anything fancy, but you'll get good food, and drinks in a cool setting. jm Curley's is an ode to popular and controversial former Mayor of Boston, James Michael Curley who always got the job done and was loved by his constituents. At this Boston spot, you'll find a whimsical selection of grub that, like Mayor Curley, gets the job done. On the menu you'll find fun choices like pickled deviled eggs, curley's cracka jack, beer and cheese soup, and fried chicken dinner. These dishes may not be good for your waistline, but they certainly warm your spirit.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: When a deep fried craving strikes make your way to JM Curley where their fried chicken and deviled eggs will will leave you satisfied.

Jessica's expert tip: Go with friends who will share! jm Curely's menu is filled with "must try" bites like curley's cracka jack, the foie gras glazed jelly donut, beet doritos & a fried chicken dinner that will leave you planning a return trip.

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Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House - Boston
Photo courtesy of Del Frisco's Via Mindy Valone/CM Communtications


Located in Liberty Wharf, arguably the hottest place to dine in the city, especially during warmer months, Del Frisco's offers outdoor waterfront dining on their stunning glass walled patio (to keep it comfortable even if the wind blows). But location alone does not sell Del Frisco's, their steaks are charred on the outside while staying melt in your mouth perfect on the inside, and the service is second to none. Their seafood selection is off the charts, and the wine list wows even the toughest crowds. A meal here will have you encountering more than one waiter whose sole purpose is to make your meal memorable. And memorable it will be because each bite at Del Frisco's leaves you longing for one more.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Del Frisco's brightens up the traditional steakhouse and turns out more than just steaks prepared to perfection, as all menu items are top notch.

Jessica's expert tip: Known for their steak be sure you don't overlook the seafood. Excellent menu items include the crab-cake, tuna tartare and Shanghai style calamari.

Read more about Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House - Boston →




For great seafood in Boston, head to Neptune Oyster. Home of an award winning lobster roll, served cold with mayo or hot with butter, Neptune does it right. Chunks of sweet meat cooked to perfection are served on a roll that is almost as good as what it holds. Beyond the lobster roll, Neptune offers a small menu of seasonal delights from the sea. Staples include Ipswich fried clams that explode in your mouth upon entry, and Steamed Wellfleet Littlenecks in the most magnificent wine sauce. The raw bar is impressive, serving east and west coast oysters, a variety of clams and other heavenly treats from the sea.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Neptune Oyster serves amazing seafood including a knock out lobster roll. Its small space creates an intimate experience even surrounded by strangers.

Jessica's expert tip: Reservations are not accepted and seating is limited. Arrive early or plan a long wait-elsewhere as their is no bar for lingering.

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A favorite among the Inman Square crowd, this Mediterranean restaurant boasts an innovative menu and pleasant wait staff. Chef Ana Sortun has become a legend in the Boston area, known for sourcing many of her vegetables from her husband's farm in Sudbury, MA, ensuring her dishes are made form the freshest ingredients. Reservations are hard to come by, leaving diners, especially those seeking a spot on her romantic patio waiting weeks for availability. opening at 5:30pm each evening, Oleana often has lines prior to opening their doors, as patrons hope to score one of the non-reserved tables on the spot. Well worth the wait, Sortun has created the spot for Eastern Mediterranean fine dining. Enjoy her meze, but save room for the main course because the flavor profile is sure to play games with your palate.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Raves for Oleana started soon after opening its doors in 2001, and have continued for more than a decade.

Jessica's expert tip: Meze are a must; order quite a few and request assistance to pair with your wine.

Read more about Oleana →


Nebo Restaurant and Bar
Photo courtesy of Nebo


For gravy like grandma made head over to Boston's Greenway where NEBO has made its home. This Italian eatery serves homestyle Italian favorites inspired by their mother's recipes and plates them with pride. A modern industrial space has a cozy feel enhanced by its open kitchen and views of the Greenway outside its doors. A small patio allows for outside seating, while the bar inside allows walk ins, without reservations, the chance to dine in style even on the busies of nights. Dive into a plate of their gluten free pasta with a Neapolitan style bolognese that is packed with flavor and quite similar to the real thing, while their gluten free pizza will have you returning for more.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Serving simply prepared Italian cuisine at affordable prices, with an air of sophistication, in a hip setting a meal at Nebo is one you'll remember.

Jessica's expert tip: Nebo is best enjoyed dining family style so you can taste more of their spectacular menu.

Read more about Nebo Restaurant and Bar →


Row 34
Photo courtesy of http://row34.com


Fashionably simple, Row 34 in Fort Point Channel, within the Seaport District, has quickly made a splash in the restaurant scene. Serving fresh seafood, Row 34 churns out plates of local bites to be eaten with enjoyment. Row 34 has a focus on pairing their menu items, including raw bar favorites with beer. Start with a dozen of their crisp, clean, expertly shucked, local oysters alongside a pint of a craft draft or bottle of beer for a coupling you won't soon forget. The main course selection consists of the freshest fish they can find and cooks it up in every way imaginable: pan seared, roasted, grilled, baked, battered and fried. All served with carefully chosen accompaniments that will have you returning for more.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Fresh fish combined with a cool vibe and a wine and beer list that pairs with the food makes Row 34 a must get reservation.

Jessica's expert tip: A raw bar order is a must and needs to be paired with their specialty beers.

Read more about Row 34 →


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Meet Jessica Polizzotti

Born and raised in Boston, Jessica knows her city like the back of her hand.  Always looking to uncover something new, Jessica keeps up on the latest and greatest Boston offerings. 

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