Boston 101: Eating Out


These restaurants listed below are just a few of our favorite picks. Most have low-key, informal atmospheres. For more formal special occation recommendations, there are dozens of restaurant guides available in most bookstores.

ANNA’S TAQUERIA 822 Somerville Ave, Porter Square Mall, 617-661-8500. Like a
healthy, fresh version of Taco Bell. Lots of cilantro!
AU BON PAIN 1360 Mass Ave., Holyoke Center Atrium, 661-8738. The national coffee,
sandwich, and bakery shop has many locations in the greater Boston area, but the one
in Harvard Square, with its outdoor seating, is a famous landmark on campus.
BARKING CRAB 88 Sleeper St, South Boston, Pier (near the court house), 617-426-2722.
Great fresh seafood and lots of fun!
BERTUCCI’S BRICK OVEN PIZZERIA 21 Brattle St., Harvard Square, 864-4748. Wonderful
thin-crusted pizzas of endless variety. Locations all over Boston, including Quincy Market.
BOCA GRANDE 1728 MassAve., 617-354-7400. Mexican chain. Another cheap & fresh
Mexican take-out place.
BORDER CAFÉ 32 Church St., Harvard Square, 617-864-6100. Good, reasonably-priced
Mexican and Cajun food. Go early or you will be waiting in a long line.
CAMBRIDGE COMMON 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge, 617-547-1228. Right near the law
school. Pretty good bar food at very reasonable prices.
CHEDDAR’S PIZZERIA 201 Alewife Brook Pkwy, Cambridge, 617-661-3366. Philly-quality
cheesesteaks (best in Boston!) and eggplant parmesan sandwiches made by a mom
and son team. Call first though. Closes often for holidays and summer trips.
CHEESECAKE FACTORY Cambridgeside Galleria, 617-252-3810. Chestnut Hill Mall,
617-964-3001. It takes an hour to read the menu at this restaurant chain known for
its huge portions (lunch-sized portions are available for salads and pastas). Try to save
room for their great cheesecake that comes with everything from snickers, to brownies,
to hot fudge and whipped cream. Always a bit of a wait for dinner, which is why
they’re located in malls!
CHILI’S BAR & GRILL Copley. Part of the national chain.
CHRISTOPHER’S 1920 Mass Ave., Porter Square, 617-876-9180. Extensive vegetarian and
non-veggie menu. Good food at reasonable prices, but service quality varies with
time of day. Always a good choice for Sunday brunch (check out their fruit-filled
French toast or their Pesto Chicken sandwich).
DALI 415 Washington, Somerville, 617-661-3254. Extremely popular tapas restaurant.
Be prepared to WAIT (sometimes 2 hours or more)!
THE ELEPHANTWALK 900 Beacon St., Boston, 617-247-1500. 2067 Mass Ave, 617-492-
6900. One of the most respected restaurants in Boston. Half of the menu is French, the
other half Cambodian. A great special-occasion place, although relatively expensive.
GIORGIO’S LA FAMIGLIA 112 Salem St., North End, 617-367-6711. A favorite North
End choice of HLCA for its low prices and huge leftovers. After dinner, cruise over to
Mike’s Pastry to take in the ambiance of the North End with some cappuccino and a
cannoli. Or stop by Modern Pastry to pick up tastier and cheaper cannolis to go.
GREEK CORNER 2366 Mass Ave., Cambridge, 617-661-5655. Inexpensive and unbelievably
delicious, this local Greek restaurant remains relatively undiscovered. Take-out
only branch in Harvard Square.
GRENDEL’S DEN 89 Winthrop, Harvard Square, 617-491-1160. Seat yourself.
Everything on the menu is $3 from 5-7 p.m. Sunday-Friday. A local landmark, immortalized
in a U.S. Supreme Court case (Larry Tribe represented Grendel’s).
HANA SUSHI 2372 Mass Ave., Cambridge, 617-868-2121. Some of the best sushi around
with free delivery. A little pricey, though.
HERRELL’S 15 Dunster St., Harvard Square, 617-497-2179. Herrell’s has the best ice
cream in Boston, bar none. Pretty expensive for ice cream, though.
JOHN HARVARD 33 Dunster St., Harvard Square, 617-868-3585. One of HLS’s favorite
restaurants, though perhaps more for its big bar and fun atmosphere. Great variety of
food and appetizers. They brew their own beer.
JOHNNY’S LUNHEONETTE 1105 Mass Ave., Harvard Square, 617-495-0055. Wonderful
50’s-style diner with extensive menu including milkshakes and breakfast available all day.
KAYA 1924 Mass Ave., Porter Square, 617-497-5656. Quality sushi (and other Japanese
and Korean food) in a city where it’s hard to find. Relatively expensive.
L.A. BURDICK 52D Brattle St, Harvard Square, 617-491-4340. Chocolate heaven. A
small café with cakes and candies. Make sure to get their flawless hot chocolate or buy
the mix to bring home.
LEGAL SEA FOODS Several locations in Boston. Some people love it, some people don’t,
but everyone agrees their chowder is outstanding! Nearest location is 5 Cambridge
Center, Kendall Square, 617-864-3400
MR. BARTLEY’S BURGER COTTAGE 1246 Mass Ave, Harvard Square, 617-354-6559.
Dozens of burgers to choose from and famous frappes (milkshakes).
NEW ASIA 1105 Mass Ave., Harvard Square, 617-491-1167. Amazingly inexpensive allyou-
can-eat Chinese buffet available 7 days a week. Not much in the way of décor, but
with the high quality of food and low price, you won’t care! Regular menu and delivery.
THE NO-NAME RESTAURANT 15 1⁄2 Fish Pier, South Boston, 617-338-7539. Cheap food
and lots of it. One of Boston’s greatest seafood restaurants.
PICANTE MEXICAN GRILL 217 Elm St., Davis Square, 617-628-6394. Tiny, inexpensive,
and very fresh. Lots of unusual combinations of burritos. Perfect for take out. They
have a “salsa bar” with at least 5 different kinds of salsa daily. Good Mexican is hard to
find in Boston – Picante is a real winner.
PIZZERIA UNO 22 JFK St., Harvard Square, 617-497-1530. Chicago-style pizza. Several
other locations in the Cambridge and Boston area.
PORTER EXCHANGE 1815 Mass Ave., Porter Square. Tucked away in an art-deco building
are tons of hole-in-the-wall Japanese noodle and sushi restaurant-stands. Also has
an Asian market and an ice cream stand.
REDBONES 55 Chester St., Davis Square 617-628-2200. Southern comfort/BBQ heaven!
Must-go for meat lovers with great fish and side dishes, too (like buffalo shrimp, candied
yams, incredible fries, and mac n’ cheese). 4 choices of BBQ sauces!
ROSEBUD DINER 381 Summer St., Davis Square, 617-666-6015. Cramped quarters, but
decent choice for diner-style breakfast. Get there early or be prepared for long lines on
the weekend.
S&S 1334 Cambridge St., Inman Square, 617-354-0620. Family-friendly deli with reasonable
prices and all-day breakfasts. Make sure you try the croissant french toast.
SUNSET GRILL 130 Brighton Ave, Allston, 617-254-1331. Bar, burgers, french fries,
burgers, nachos, burgers. Did we mention burgers? Really good veggie burgers, too!
Inexpensive and delicious, but prepare to wait on weekend nights. (Bonus: there’s a
Herrell’s across the street. See above).
TRATTORIA IL PANINO 1001 Mass Ave., Cambridge, 617-547-5818. Cheap Italian food,
huge portions, relaxed setting with take-out available.
UNION OYSTER HOUSE 41 Union St., downtown Boston (on the Freedom Trail near
Faneuil Hall), 617-227-2750. Boston’s oldest restaurant, established in 1826. Good
seafood and meat (expensive, but worth it).
VINNY TESTAS 20 Waltham St., Lexington, 781-860-5200. Great Italian food, immense
portions, decent prices. Be prepared to take home multiple doggie bags! Multiple locations
but this one is our favorite. Bonus: EMACK & BOLIO’S, a popular ice cream parlor,
is right next door.
WEST SIDE LOUNGE 1680 Mass Ave, btwn Harvard & Porter, 617-441-5566. Recently
included in Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston.