MC Slim JB, restaurant critic for The Improper Bostonian: "I say it every year: Allston. The most diverse concentration of affordable restaurants serving amazing traditional cuisines from all over the globe. I’m hopeful it can sustain more grownup, Western-tradition restaurants like the fine new Glenville Stops, too easily overlooked in its location on an obscure side street."
BosGuy, blogger: "The most written about neighborhood in 2014 was certainly the Seaport, but for consistency, quality and overall diversity of options it has to be either Back Bay or South End (no contest)."
Luke O'Neil, freelance writer: "The best neighborhood for drinks anyway has definitely switched from Central to Union Square. You can concoct an amazing drink and eating crawl from Casa B, to Bronwyn, Backbar, The Independent and Brass Union."
Marian White, staff writer at BostInno: "While areas like Downtown Crossing and Assembly Row gained some great restaurant newcomers, the South End is still (in my mind) on fire. Wink & Nod, Merrill & Co. and even a new Barcelona Wine Bar are all reason enough to keep me coming back."
Marc H., founder of Boston's Hidden Restaurants and Boston Restaurant Talk: "Good question. Fort Point has finally arrived, Inman Square in Cambridge is always great, and the downtown section of Malden is really becoming quite interesting, but it's tough to argue against East Boston and Allston — flip a coin on those two and whatever happens, I'll be happy with the results."
Damien Smith, community manager for Yelp Boston: "Now that the cream has risen in the food truck barrel, I'd give top honors to Wherever The Wheels Stop. I'm constantly left slack-jawed at what kinds of creative flavors can be created inside a retrofitted motor vehicle."
Scott Kearnan, editor of Zagat Boston: "Maybe 'best' isn’t the right word, but Allston continues to get more interesting. It’s always been a ‘hood to find some strong, under-the-radar spots for various international cuisines, but this year saw a spate of openings — including Lulu’s, Roxy’s, Totto Ramen, and Glenville Stops. They join still-newish restaurants like the veggie-heavy Root and 'young veterans' like Deep Ellum, Lone Star, and Refuge Café. Diners, street food, globe-hopping menus, solid and fun mid-priced eateries… Aside from the absence of 'finer' fare, it feels like one of Boston’s more varied, diverse dining scenes packed into a particularly small footprint. (Side note: I feel like we’re also starting to approach Peak Kendall Square Area. Cool.)"
Rachel Leah Blumenthal, editor of Eater Boston: "Luke (see above) took the words out of my mouth. Perhaps I'm biased as a Union Square resident, but the sheer amount of amazing food and drink here is unbelievable. At a recent bachelorette party, some friends and I went from Bantam to Backbar to Bronwyn to Casa B and had a marvelous time. Three of those are even right on the same corner. And the Union Square bubble of greatness extends outwards in other directions as well, with Winter Hill and East Somerville getting built up with great new places like Sarma and La Brasa, not to mention East Cambridge getting better and better too (Puritan & Co., East by Northeast, etc., with BISq and Lone Star Taco Bar and Loyal Nine all in the works.)"