The hardest part about leaving home was leaving behind all of my favorite things. Unsurprisingly enough, all of those things happened to be edible. Thanks to 12-hour time differences and day-long plane rides, finding food in Boston that properly satisfied my homesick cravings became a personal challenge of mine, and apparently many fellow international kids had similar ideas.
So here’s a roundup of the most authentic Asian restaurants in Boston that have received the slurp of approval from fellow international students.
Essentially the Chinese tapas, dim sum is a staple Cantonese favourite and Bubor Cha Cha does not disappoint. Their timely and fuss-free service also makes for a great hangover brunch spot.
Go for: Dim sum
Whilst xiao long bao is a dish sometimes served at dim sum, it’s an art of its own. It requires a balance of broth, meat, and dough to achieve the perfect (literal) burst of flavor. Dumpling Palace makes the best xiao long bao I have tried in Boston, and their servings are generous.
Go for: Xiao long bao (mini juicy buns)
Rod Dee has three outlets in Boston (Fenway, Porter Square, & Summit Ave) and is a great option for inexpensive Thai. They tend to get very busy around meal times and are cash only so make sure to be prepared.
Go for: Pad thai, Thai iced tea
Pad Thai has an extensive menu on the wall and are flexible with customization. Their portions are monstrous, so you could save yourself some money with leftovers.
Go for: Any of their pad thai dishes or curries
Gyu-kaku boasts an impressive selection of meats, seafood, and vegetables for you to grill right at your table. The hands-on approach is perfect for those who play with their food.
Go for: Japanese BBQ
While there are a plethora of inexpensive Japanese restaurants in Boston, finding something comparable to the real deal doesn’t come cheap. Oishii offers a comprehensive sushi menu, but at a price. However, it’s probably still cheaper than a ticket to Japan.
Go for: Sushi and sashimi
O Ya is described as serving “inventive sushi” with inclusions of foie gras and “warm chive blossom omelette” to their menu. Good for if the invention of the California Roll isn’t cutting it anymore.
Go for: Contemporary Japanese food
Whilst Penang is advertised as a Malaysian restaurant, the restaurant’s menu also touts Singaporean favourites. Their cuisine is unique with influence from Chinese, Malay, and Indian flavors so there’s bound to be something for everyone. All that’s missing is the hawker centre atmosphere.
Go for: Roti canai, chicken rice, sambal kang kong (spicy chinese spinach), char kway teow (wok fried rice noodles)
There is more to Vietnamese cuisine than pho and banh mi, and New Dong Khanh is a great place to explore other Vietnamese culinary offerings.
Go for: Banh xeo (savoury stuffed pancakes), bun bo (spicy beef noodle soup)
Soulongtang is a Korean comfort food, and the namesake restaurant provides a small section for floor seating to make you feel more at home.
Go for: Soulongtang (ox bone broth noodle soup)