Boston is one of the foodie capitals of America, and we Bostonians love it. As someone who grew up in a suburb right outside of Boston, I know a lot of the ins and outs of the food you can find here. I also know some of the more underrated restaurants that people should be visiting.
Whether you want something sweet or savory, these restaurants have never failed me:
Cambridge: Bisuteki Tokyo
I’ve been going to this restaurant since before I can even remember. It is hibachi style, meaning you sit in a half-circle around a cooktop and they have a chef come and cook your food in front of you. All the food is so good, and they give you an insane amount of it, so you really get your money’s worth.
I usually eat there for dinner and eat my leftovers for lunch the next day, and the next. My go-to order is the hibachi shrimp and chicken combination. You also get a salad, miso soup, cooked vegetables, your choice of white or fried rice, and cooked beansprouts.
This is also a bit pricey, but I would say you get your money’s worth, so it doesn’t make much a difference. Fun fact, if you go on your birthday and bring your ID you get your meal completely free.
South Boston: Loco Tacqueria & Oyster Bar
This is a great restaurant in the heart of South Boston that serves both Mexican food and oysters. When I ate here, we received special seating and sat at the oyster bar (literally in front of the man who shucks the oysters). This place may seem like oysters is just a thing on the side, but they really know what they’re doing. They serve them perfectly paired with various sauces and make great recommendations for your different tastes.
The environment is exciting and joyful and mostly attracts a young crowd due to the beautiful bar in the middle of the restaurant. The prices are very reasonable. My favorite menu item was the pineapple guacamole. Although just an appetizer, this dish definitely stole the show.
I could go on about this restaurant for hours. This is a French restaurant in Newton, Massachusetts. Their menu changes often, but has great options for all sorts of dishes, whether it be steak, chicken, fish, or some other protein. They also have great appetizers.
I ordered a chicken dish that came with pearl onions and a delectable sauce. I was practically licking the plate. My mom and I also shared a side of french fries, which was definitely worth the calories. Although it is a bit on the pricey side, it gives a great representation of authentic French food right near Boston and is just delicious.
Cambridge: Iggy’s Bread
This is really only “lesser known” to anyone who doesn’t live in or around Cambridge; otherwise this is the place to go. Iggy’s makes their bread fresh every morning and sells all kinds of varieties. They also deliver their bread to stores, so you can buy it at places like Whole Foods.
My favorite is the classic French Baguette. You can also go during lunch hours and get a sandwich, or for breakfast for some wonderful pastries. Their croissants are delicious.
Lexington: Ixtapa Cantina Mexican Restaurant
This restaurant has several locations around Massachusetts. I always went to the location in Lexington, MA. This is your typical Mexican restaurant with great food, and lots of it. I usually order the Ixtapa burrito, which has rice, beans, your choice of meat, and several other sauces and fillings in a flour tortilla that is served on a plate and is probably over a foot long.
The restaurant itself has nice, roomy seating and is also a great place to bring kids. The prices are not bad at all, especially for how much food you are getting.
Belmont: Seta’s Mediterranean Cafe
I worked at this restaurant one summer making many of the pastries you can find on display, including éclairs, tarts, biscotti, and several Mediterranean cookies and pastries like paklava and finikia. It is a small café in Belmont, Massachusetts that serves Mediterranean dishes. You can find anything from falafel sandwiches to khorovats (Armenian for “grilled meat”) plates.
Seta uses all natural ingredients and sources many of her ingredients locally. The prices reflect the quality of the ingredients you are receiving, and therefore is not very cheap, but also not too expensive. Seta’s Cafe is a great place to come for lunch, dinner, or even brunch (weekend mornings only). My favorite menu item is the falafel sandwich; as far as dessert goes, I don’t think I could choose a favorite.
Cambridge: Summer Shack
This restaurant is right next to the Alewife train station, has a full parking lot (my favorite part), and lots of great food. Summer Shack specializes in seafood, and therefore can be a bit on the pricey side, but it is amazing nevertheless.
I always order a bowl of clam chowder with corn on the cob on the side, then cut the corn off the cob and put it in my soup. Now you get both clam and corn chowder in the same dish.