The Best Restaurants in Boston (according to Lena Mirisola)

Hello everyone! Being a Boston resident for four years now has truly been a gift for my taste buds. I love trying new restaurants and going out to eat, and am way too addicted to take-out. I've created an abridged list of the BEST restaurants in Boston grouped my neighborhood from The North End, to Chinatown, to Newbury Street and beyond.

Chinatown

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My Thai Vegan Cafe

Probably my #1 favorite restaurant in all of Boston. Everything on the 8 page menu is vegan, and you will crave it until the next time you eat it. Don’t miss the fresh spring rolls, golden triangles, pad Thai, beef + chicken lo mein, and mango fried rice. Snag a lunch special weekdays from 12-3pm and you'll get discounted food that comes with soup and an appetizer. Service can occasionally be slow, but with a little patience and a smile, you'll understand why this place is a GEM. It also has vegan bubble tea + desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Gourmet Dumpling House

This tiny hole in the wall is usually packed and you can't call ahead, but you can grab some tea from Tea Do while you're waiting, because this is worth it (or stop by around 2-4pm on a weekday). These are the best soup dumplings (xio long bao) in Boston. Get the mini juicy pork dumplings - one person can eat one order of 7 dumplings w/ a side of white rice. The chicken wings are crispy and juicy. Be prepared to make friends, you might end up sitting with strangers!

Pho Pasteur

I come here once a week. Get fresh chicken spring rolls, com chien fried rice, and pho ga (chicken pho). Portions are enormous and prices are cheap. They flip tables every 20 minutes, so it's a perfect place for a quick bite that will leave your belly happy.

Tea Do

The best bubble tea in the world. Try Honeydew milk tea, lychee, coconut milk tea, Thai milk tea, or classic milk tea. They also have snacks, smoothies, and board games, so bring your friends. If there's a long line, don't worry - they pump out drinks in record time, so you'll never wait more than 2-3 minutes no matter how long the line is.

Want to know the best bubble tea spots in Boston? Click HERE!

 
 

Ice Age

Looking for Hong Kong style egg waffles? Come on up to Ice Age! Follow the scent of this brand new ice cream + waffle heaven to the second floor of Tea Do. You can choose from their menu or build your own, but be prepared for creamy ice cream, freshly cooked waffles, and toppings galore.

Symphony / Back Bay

Pho Basil

The #1 date Thai/Vietnamese night spot. It boasts a romantic ambiance AND great lunch specials. Don’t miss the pad thai, curry puffs, grilled lemongrass vermicelli, pho, and pad see ew.

Caffe Bene

Korean desserts + sweets - try the mango or strawberry bingsu (shaved ice) or their sweet breads! If you're there for breakfast, grab a waffle with bananas and strawberries and a mango mojito.

Pita

Kickass mediterranean food on the go. Get the chicken shawafel wrap (chicken and falafel mixed!)  on Syrian pita bread, try a chicken kebab combo plate and don’t forget the falafel balls! Top secret tip: always get a side of garlic sauce - you're welcome.

Ginger Exchange

Asian fusion and sushi at its best. Do yourself a favor and grab some Korean soy garlic chicken wings. They’re the size of Texas!!! Pair it with chicken teriyaki, pad Thai, or Mama’s Dumplings for a great night. They also have locations in Cambridge (Inman Square) and Brigham Circle (under the name Mission Sushi and Wok).

Brigham Circle

Penguin Pizza

"A step above" your average pizza joint - because you won't find duck confit pizza anywhere else. Don’t miss “The Bird” - barbecue chicken pizza with caramelized onions and perfect crust, and the crispy baked mac n cheese is heavenly. There are tons of beers on tap, and if you want something fruity and stronger, try the P-Town Punch Slap.

Grub

Amazing traditional and creative poutine, aka Canadian salad. Their sandwiches are fresh and crispy and the Chicken Pot Poutine is the best (and always made to order!)

Newbury Street / Back Bay

Trident Booksellers + Cafe

Amazing breakfast all day. Try the Monte Cristo or the waffle and do NOT skip the sweet potato fries with garlic aioli + curry sauce. Lots of vegetarian and vegan options! Sit upstairs by the windows to people watch on Newbury.

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Dig Inn

This farm to table counter service restaurant is all the rage in NYC. The food is healthy, local, and seasoned to perfection. I dream about KALE now... yes people, kale. Pick your base, veggies / fillings, and meat. The ambience is light and bright, with marble and wood tables with succulents everywhere. With another location at Downtown Crossing and the Prudential, you definitely need to make a stop here.

The North End

Panza

Old world Italian ambience meets fresh menu items. Intimate + affordable Italian. They have perfected butternut squash tortelloni, and the bruschetta is mucha bella!

Mike’s Pastry

Obviously, stop at Mike’s Pastry. My favorite are the pistachio and pignoli macaroons! Skirt to the left or right when you walk through the door. Don't let the tourists fool you and stay to the middle. If you see an open cashier, push your way o the front and know what you're ordering. Be! Aggressive! However, if the line is too daunting, stop over to Bova Bakery for pastries that can stand up to Mike's any day.

Ernesto's Pizza

Looking for the perfect slice? Grab a thin crust slice of any flavor and you'll be in heaven. You may be thinking $5 for a slice? I made the mistake of getting two slices my first time, before realizing the slices are 1/4 of an enormous pie.

Trattoria Il Panino

They serve rigatoni with slow cooked lamb, beef, veal, and pork ragu in a sautée pan - and it’s incredible. The gnocchi is oozing with cheese, always hot and fresh!

Fenway / Kenmore

 
 

Blaze Pizza

Create-your-own custom pizzas, crisped up in the brick oven for 180 seconds! The Caesar salad hits the spot, and the blood orange lemonade is something from above. They also have locations Downtown in the Theater District, Cambridge at Lechmere, and coming soon to BU.

South End

Coppa

Definitely make reservations at this tiny place - it’s worth it! Grab some homemade pasta and pizza, and don’t skip out on dessert. The zeppole (ricotta donuts with nutella and chopped hazelnuts), pistachio biscotti, and classic tiramisu is to die for.

TREMONT 647

Tremont 647 Taco Tuesdays are legendary. With BBQ pulled pork tacos, to Meyer lemon tofu tacos, to churros, call ahead and check the wait time before you trek there during the dinner rush. They have adorable outdoor patio seating as well. If you visit on another day, try the wings, fried chicken, beef dumplings, and the burger with *special sauce*.

Barcelona Wine Bar

Stop right there, and go to Barcelona. Make a reservation, as this spot is popping even on weekdays. The most authentic Spanish tapas will make your mouth water. Everything is fresh and cooked from scratch, and is professional chef-approved. Get a pitcher of the seasonal red sangria, and pair it with (brace yourself) - potato tortilla, croquettes, beef empanadas, patatas bravas, albondigas (spiced meatballs), bacon wrapped dates, chorizo w/ sweet and sour figs, and hot bread for days.

Fomu

The creamiest ice cream you'll ever eat - all homemade in small batches, sourced from local farms, and all VEGAN! This local place has ice cream sandwiches, frappes, and flavors like avocado, bourbon maple walnut, George Howell cold brew, lavender, and peanut butter mud pie - you've got to try it.


This is a condensed list to showcase the best of the best, so if you have questions on more places to grab a bite of any kind in Boston, shoot me an email or comment below! I'm happy to recommend more places :)

THANKS FOR READING!

Lena Mirisola

Boston, MA 01886, USA