Expert recommendations for the best places to eat in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)



A pushcart success story: Chilean sandwiches so popular owner Juan Hertado outgrows his pushcart and opens popular counter service in Filene’s building; moves into a new location on Provence Street after Filene’s closes. Counter service, outdoor tables with umbrellas. 26 Province Street (additional location opening soon at 101 Arch Street); tel. +1 617 367 1167.

Pizzeria Regina

Legendary North End pizza maker since 1926; often crowded with locals so be prepared to wait; the crispy thin-crust Neapolitan pizza is well worth it. 11 1/2 Thayer Street; tel. +1 617 227 0765.

Noodle St

“Has a mix-and-match approach to Asian; you get to pick your ingredients and spices. They offer more complex flavors and combinations than the usual Asian fare.”—Sarah Shemkus, contributor, Not For Tourists Boston. Soups are particularly good in this Kenmore Square student staple. 627 Commonwealth Avenue; tel. +1 617 536 3100.


Silvertone Bar & Grill

“Some of the best and most affordable comfort food...mac ‘n’ cheese, steak tips, big salads; friendly service; casual, bustling atmosphere near Downtown Crossing.”—Jill Epstein, publisher, Where to Eat and Drink Magazine. Retro décor and affordable wine list brings in a younger professional crowd. 69 Bromfield Street; tel. +1 617 338 7887.

Petit Robert Bistro

“Shoots for an authentic French-bistro-feel; modest prices with a casual ambience; always something inventive with duck going on.”—Sarah Shemkus. Four locations around the city. Finish with chocolate layer cake frosted with ganache topped with an edible Eiffel Tower made from chocolate. 468 Commonwealth and 480 Columbus Avenue; tel. +1 617 375 0699.

Massimino’s Cucina Italiana

“Straight out of the set of an Italian movie; the food is basic Italian fare (fettuccine alfredo, shrimp scampi, veal parmigiana) but always well done.”—Sarah Shemkus. Family-friendly, casual fun dining; near TD Banknorth Garden where the Bruins and Celtics play. 207 Endicott Street; tel. +1 617 523 5959.

Barking Crab

“The only clam shack in Boston right on the Harbor. Feast on good old New England seafood in the rough as well as many more inspired seafood and non-seafood options.”—Jill Epstein. Open year-round. Live music Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays during the summer. (Tuesdays in the winter.) 88 Sleeper Street; tel. +1 617 426 CRAB (2722).

Peach Farm

“Don’t order off the English menu; instead, look around and have what the others are having; or try the black bean oysters or salt and pepper eel.”—Ruth Tobias, former editor, Zagat Boston. Cantonese restaurant in the heart of Chinatown; specializes in seafood and Hong Kong delicacies. 4 Tyler Street; tel. +1 617 482 1116.

The Elephant Walk

“Cambodian and French cuisine; the mee siem au poulet is Cambodian noodley wonderfulness.”—Joy Mazzola, contributing editor, Not For Tourists Boston. Open and airy inside with high ceilings, ceiling fans, and exposed brick. 900 Beacon Street; (locations in Cambridge and Waltham as well); tel. +1 617 247 1500.

The Halfway Café

“One of the last places that does true hand-cut fries; the value is outrageous on their ‘7 for 7’ menu (seven meals, each priced at $7).”—Dave Andelman, chief executive officer, The Phantom Gourmet. The café’s slogan used to be “good food cheap,” and they still live up to that billing. 174 Washington Street; tel. +1 781 326 3336.


B & G Oysters

Large bar with about 20 chairs dominates tiny restaurant, décor is blue and grey tiles with polished stainless steel; inventive use of the limited space. Sit at the bar and let the staff guide you through daily selection of at least 12 varieties of oysters or relax on the delightful patio during warm weather. 550 Tremont Street; tel. +1 617 423 0550.


“I grew up in an Italian family—this is as close as I’ve gotten to grandma’s cooking.”—Joy Mazzola. Try the chicken l’osteria at this North End Italian classic eatery. 104 Salem Street; tel. +1 617 723 7847.


“The proprietor is a delight and a character; a narrow wedge of a place in the North End but very modern. Try one of the Peruvian/Italian fusion dishes like the yucca gnocchi.”—Ruth Tobias. Exposed brick dining room and clay dishes straight from the oven to the table create a homey, relaxed feel. 210 Hanover Street; tel. +1 617 720 0052.


“The best marriage of a bar and a restaurant on the planet; whether you go the steak au poivre or the thin-crust pizza route, you can’t go wrong.”—Dave Andelman. At the funkier end of Newbury Street; attracts the beautiful crowd and their followers. Open 6 a.m. through 1 a.m. 327 Newbury Street; tel. +1 617 351 2500.

Neptune Oyster

“A place that people who know food and drink in Boston have in their top two or three.”—Ruth Tobias. Seafood specialists; dozens of different oysters; creative, multi-cultural menu includes sea urchin and skate dishes. 63 Salem Street; tel. +1 617 742 3474.


Hamersley’s Bistro

Fine French country dining in a lovely South End setting; perfect for combining with a show at the Boston Center for the Arts; seasonal menus highlight dishes like cold cucumber soup and “Cavendish” quail with grilled polenta. 553 Tremont Street; tel. +1 617 423 2700.

Clio Restaurant at the Eliot Hotel

“An extraordinary experience in contemporary French-American with an Asian flair; Ken Oringer is an experimenter, and his tasting menus are out of this world.”—Ruth Tobias. Chic dining in the boutique Eliot Hotel; each dish is visually stunning. 370A Commonwealth Avenue; tel. +1 617 536 7200.


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