One of the most unfortunate parts of growing up is not having your parents there to plan the most ballin’ birthday party, decked out with a jumpy and a tray of designer cupcakes. Once we leave the nest, we’re faced with the daunting task of picking a single restaurant that will fulfill all expectations of a perfect, once-a-year birthday dinner.

Not sure about you, but I’ve had my fair share of anxiety over this annual dilemma. Now in order to save my fellow Bostonian students (because everyone with a birthday has this struggle) I’ve compiled this list of restaurants to match your celebratory needs. Whether that means fine-dining, crazy cocktails or simply a space for you and 40 of your best friends, these restaurants fit the bill.

Your Significant Other

These are those Boston bucket-list restaurants that are realistically never in your budget… except for that one day of the year someone offers to treat you.

Mamma Maria

Ranked as having one of the best Italian food in the North End, this restaurant exceeds all expectations of a fine-dining experience. While Mamma Maria may not have your traditional Alfredo and marinara, their fresh and refined Italian dishes are sure to make you feel like royalty on your special day.  



This elegant French restaurant is well worth the dent it’ll put in your (or your loved one’s) wallet. With several pre-fixe menus to choose from, L’Espalier uses local ingredients to design a sophisticated and elegant tasting experience. If you’re feeling really ambitious, reserve the Chef’s Table where you’ll be up and personal in the kitchen.

Your Bestie

We understand. Not everyone’s a foodie. These restaurants make it a little bit easier by providing a variety of entrees that’s sure to please even the pickiest palates.

Thelonious Monkfish


This Asian fusion restaurant has one of the largest varieties of unique rolls and dishes ranging from cranberry crab rangoons to clover honey pork rad na. Not only is the food amazing, but they take reservations for large parties and often has a live jazz band setting the perfect birthday atmosphere.

Your Early Bird Parents

Who says birthday celebrations have to be in the evening?


This French brasserie is a treat with its cozy, yet modern interior and delicious dishes. Gaslight manages to enhance classic breakfast items while also providing unique options such as red wine poached eggs and truffled scrambled egg tartine.


#caketable #brunch #micdrop

A photo posted by Bianca Garcia (@confessionsofachocoholic) on Sep 26, 2015 at 8:21am PDT

This once-a-month brunch just recently began in September 2015. If you’re not sold on the menu of cinnamon bun grilled cheese or the Jamaican Jerk bagels, there’s an all-you-can eat cake table. How perfect for a birthday celebration? Or really for any other day of the year.

Your BFFs For Your 21st

The big two one is no ordinary birthday. For your twenty-first birthday, everyone wants to find the perfect place to flash their ID and get an absurdly extravagant drink with their meal… Just because they can.

Sunset Cantina

Classes started a week ago, have you been to sunset yet? ? @pmelnick A photo posted by SpoonU at BostonU (@spoon_boston) on Sep 9, 2015 at 9:32am PDT

At midnight, you can bring in your new year with a margarita and tequila shots! It’s also convenient for your under-21 friends who can munch on an XXL plate of nachos while they cheer you on.

Red Lantern

Red Lantern is a the product of an upscale Asian fusion restaurant and lounge. With open spaces, large tables and a menu full of sushi and scorpion bowls, it’s the perfect venue to host a celebration of legality.