Variety Spices Up Downtown Boston's Deliciously Diverse Dining Scene

Literally the heart of the city, Downtown Boston is central to everything. From here you can walk in any direction and easily make your way to most Boston neighborhoods. But don't leave to eat, because this area, teeming with redevelopment, is constantly adding to their list of great restaurants. Skirting Beacon Hill and the Theater District, you'll be hard pressed not to find someplace you'll want to dine. An excellent mix of upscale eateries like No. 9 Park, Bristol Lounge and Ruth's Chris and a solid selection of more casual (and affordable) spots like Silvertone, jm Curley and Petit Robert Central anchor this bustling area. Drawing diners from various walks of life, including students attending neighboring colleges (Suffolk and Emerson call Downtown their home), tourists strolling the sites, workers who commute to the city daily, and residents who call these streets their home, the eateries are as diverse as the population they serve. 

Make it a point to sample a few because the Downtown restaurants on this list are spots locals return to time and again for another bite of their favorite meal. For some that's the mac n' cheese at Silvertone while others indulge in Sunday brunch at Bristol Lounge and some will only eat orchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe at Teatro


Sip Wine Bar and Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Taylor Pearson 451 Marketing

SIP Wine Bar and Kitchen offers diners a different take on both menu items and bar selections. On their menu you'll find a mix of Asian inspired items and American offerings that may not seem like a typical menu marriage, but at SIP the sushi shines and the burgers bring return guests back to fill their craving. One of the more unique features of SIP is the wine. Offered 4 ways, a sip so you may try different varietals, a half glass, a full glass, or by the bottle you can sample what you want before committing for the table. The idea of tasting does not end with the wine, as SIP offers several options for ordering food as well.

Recommended for Downtown Boston's Best Restaurants because: Bringing the fashionable and fabulous to the Downtown neighborhood, SIP is ideal for dining with friends.

Local Expert tip: Sample SIP's sushi. The fun combinations of common favorites are as fresh as they are fabulous!

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Ruth's Chris is a national chain famous for their steaks that come to you sizzling form their oven and topped with a dollop of butter that makes each bite extra special. Ruth's Chris offers diners a classic steak house experience in an beautifully decorated location with some of the best side dishes around. Try their flavorful Cowboy Ribeye or the Porterhouse for two while sharing a couple of side like the sweet potato casserole or broccoli au gratin. At Ruth's Chris, lunch is served Monday-Friday and dinner is served nightly. Stop in while exploring and enjoy your meal without abandon because nothing here is diet friendly so simply savor each and every bite.

Recommended for Downtown Boston's Best Restaurants because: A sizzling steakhouse within a beautiful Boston building, Ruth's Chris has a setting that matches the high end food they serve.

Local Expert tip: Within walking distance of many of Boston's top attractions, Ruth's Chris make a great place for dinner after a little sightseeing.

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Blu offers downtown folks a contemporary place for a great meal, and its airy setting in the Sports Club affords great city views through the huge windows that flank their walls. The menu boasts standards with a creative flair. Serving lunch and dinner, as well as offering access to a delectable array of quality quick options at their cafe, Blu makes it easy to enjoy a good meal whether you are on the go or ready to relax. The menu moves with the seasons but one thing stays the same- the quality of the dishes prepared at Blu. Lunch items include an array of appetizers salads sandwiches and lighter entrees while dinner replaces the sandwich selection with healthy American style entrees, prepared with fresh ingredients.

Recommended for Downtown Boston's Best Restaurants because: With a perch high above Boston inside the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Blu feels elegant without any stuffiness.

Local Expert tip: Featured on both the lunch and dinner menus, Blu's polenta fries with truffle fondutta & chives will knock your socks off.

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Mooo is famous for its giant selection and Kobe beef as well as their collection of appealing appetizers like steamed PEI mussels and beef sirloin carpaccio for patrons to enjoy before digging into a tantalizing filet mignon, rib eye or NY sirloin. The modern setting is popular with those seeking something elegant, upscale and lacking in pretense. Inside luxurious hotel XV Beacon, you'll find a cross-section of locals digging into a business dinner, those out for a date and hotel guests who have wisely chosen a meal at this Boston steak house over traveling anywhere else. Pair your meal with a nice glass of wine and you'll have a complete meal.

Recommended for Downtown Boston's Best Restaurants because: Mooo... is one hot steakhouse in the downtown area. Here, locals and travelers come together to enjoy the delicious steaks offered- no longer mooing.

Local Expert tip: Try a side flight to experience several of Mooo's offerings.

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This Beacon Hill dining room quickly became a favorite with the State House crowd. Chef Barbara Lynch continually updates and tweaks the menu, which emphasizes fresh ingredients and places particular focus on regional Italian and French cuisines. Representative selections include black pearl salmon, pork belly confit with curried pumpkin puree, and prune-stuffed gnocchi. Lynch is especially famous for her homemade pastas. In contrast to the main dining room, reservations are not needed to dine in the cafe-bar. No. 9 Park is an expensive meal worth having, whether you indulge in the multi- course tasting menu or order a la carte, you'll be sure to enjoy each bite of the upscale delicacies on your plate.

Recommended for Downtown Boston's Best Restaurants because: Upscale elegance awaits at No. 9 Park where you can indulge in a taste of inventive cuisine that will leave you craving a return trip.

Local Expert tip: Enjoy the chef's tasting menu for the best of the best at No. 9 Park. Well worth the cost; enhance your experience with the wine pairing- well worth the increase of your price tag.

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Inside the Four Seasons Hotel you'll find this gem of a spot; Bristol Lounge is an upscale hangout in the downtown area where you can dine in the pristine dining room overlooking the Public Garden or enjoy a more casual bite in their bar area. Dive into their raw bar specialties or from their delightful selection of entrees and enjoy not only your food but also the scenery while getting some of the best service around. Serving breakfast, Sunday Brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert and weekend afternoon tea, Bristol Lounge has many "followers" who insist it it the spot for what they like best.

Recommended for Downtown Boston's Best Restaurants because: Offering everything from high tea to a full meal, Bristol Lounge is popular among locals who flock in for a fix of their favorites.

Local Expert tip: On Wednesday nights burgers and burgundy come together within the walls on Bristol Lounge to create an unexpected union that you'll replicate at home.

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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 Downtown Boston's Best Restaurants because: Taking "junk food" to the next level, jm Curley's creative cooks make even the most mundane items, like donuts, a gourmet treat.

Local 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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The small scale setting has seen many famous faces for a reason- they serve good food in a spot that gets attention, but not too much. Enjoy a romantic evening with someone special sipping one of their craft cocktails or a nice glass of wine while noshing on their contemporary Italian specialties. Indulge in the daily specials scribbled on the chalkboard or order from the menu selections including pizzas that you can share as an appetizer or enjoy as your main course and top it off with their homemade gelato. A mere block from Boston's theater district, Teatro is ideal for a pre or post theater meal.

Recommended for Downtown Boston's Best Restaurants because: Whether looking for romance or a night out with friends, Teatro sets the mood while serving sensational Italian food.

Local Expert tip: Teatro's menu boasts a few pasta favorites like the Orecchiette and traditional Bolognese, while their pizzas, especially the Sausage pizza are crowd pleasers.

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On Bromfield Street, a small, almost hidden entryway leads you down the stairs and into the dark den that is Silvertone's. Serving comfort food at low prices is what Silvertone's has done well for more than a decade. A meal of buffalo wings served with actual blue cheese (not dressing) and their aboslutly amazing mac n' cheese, served with lightly dressed mixed greens on the side is under $20. If the cool setting makes you feel you need a fabulous drink, indulge as it may be the most expensive thing your order. No reservations are taken for tables at this popular local hangout, so belly up to the bar because you could be in for a bit of a wait.

Recommended for Downtown Boston's Best Restaurants because: Serving gimmick free comfort food at comforting prices, Silvertone's fills you up in a laid back setting that radiates a cool vibe.

Local Expert tip: Go for dinner, stay for the bar scene.

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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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