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Boston Dining 101: A Guide for Students and Visitors

Everything you need to know about feeding yourself while attending school in Boston or visiting the city, from classic cheap eats to essential splurges

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Welcome, students and visitors! Whether it's your first semester in town or your last, or you're just here for a quick trip, the Boston area is full of restaurants to explore, new and old. Eater is here to guide you to the right spot for every situation, whether you need a reliable late-night slice of pizza, a swanky place to impress a date, the perfect restaurant for your parents' next visit, or a single blockbuster meal while you're in town.Originally published September 3, 2015. Date of the most recent update appears above.

Table Of Contents (all h2's added automatically)

The Essentials

Sarma Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

Sarma, a Somerville restaurant, is on the current Eater 38./Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

First things first, let's talk basics — these are Eater's signature maps and guides, updated regularly to highlight the best of the best and the newest of the new.

Specific Foods

A burger sits on a blue plate, piled high with shredded lettuce, sauce, and a crispy disc of cheese Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The "secret" burger at Alden & Harlow in Cambridge./Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

What are you craving? Let these maps show you the way.


24 Hot Dogs to Eat Around Boston

Burgers: Essential, over-the-top, non-traditional, veggie, breakfast, sliders, new (See also: a quiz that will tell you which burger to eat right now.)

Foie Gras Frenzy

Get Your Offal on With These 15 Boston-Area Dishes

A Handy Map of Boston-Area Barbecue Joints (and find more barbecue maps and stories right here)

27 Essential Fried Chicken Options Around Boston


Eight Essential Boston Sushi Restaurants

The Ultimate $1 Oyster Guide (and, more specifically, Eat Dollar Oysters on These Patios)

The Coolest New Crudo Options in Boston


A Baker's Dozen Boston-Area Doughnuts That Expand Waistlines, Not Debt

The Coolest New Boston Ice Cream Shops

Meat Sweets: Foie Gras and Bacon for Dessert

The Ubiquitous Boston Cream Pie

Hot Beverages

25 Essential Boston Coffee Shops

You Should Drink Hot Chocolate Today

Nightlife & Adult Beverages


Where to Dine Gluten-Free in Boston

10 Marvelous Meatball Dishes

14 Soups to Eat When It Snows in Boston

16 Killer Tacos in Boston

Bring on the Bao: Eight Places to Get Your Fix

Eat These 25 Classic Boston Dishes Before You Leave the City

The Most Reliable Cheap Pizza Slices in Boston

Treat Yourself to One of These Big, Fat Breakfasts

You Need These Seven Soup Dumplings (XLB) in Your Life

Where to Watch College Football and NFL in Boston

Cheap Eats

Super 88

Super 88 in Allston./Jackie Cain for Eater

Looking to eat well without without spending too much? Consult the Eater Boston Cheap Eats Week archive, or jump right to these maps and guides:


A colorful Japanese-inspired mural leads to the door of a restaurant with wooden signage reading “Hojoko.” There’s some greenery around the exterior. Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Hojoko, a restaurant in Boston's Fenway neighborhood./Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

Interested in news close to home? All of Eater Boston's stories and maps are categorized by neighborhood, so you can easily focus on specific parts of Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and beyond. Here's the full neighborhood directory, or try skipping right to one of these student-friendly areas:

Follow the News

Eater Boston is updated multiple times every weekday with breaking news stories (restaurant openings, closings, etc.), features, and more. Here are a few ways to stay in the loop:

  • Keep an eye on the Eater Boston homepage. New stories will always show up near the top and flow down toward the bottom of the page as they get older, while important recent stories will stay pinned right at the top. Also, check out our big sister,, for national and international food news.
  • Subscribe to our newsletter, which goes out every weekday evening and includes links to the day's top stories.
  • Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates on new stories and more throughout the day.
  • Interested in upcoming restaurant openings? Here's our summer 2016 openings primer, updated regularly throughout the season.

Get in Touch

Have questions not answered here? Want to send in a tip or a complaint or just say hello? Here are some ways to get in touch with the Eater Boston staff:

  • Email us at
  • Send us a tip, which can be anonymous if you choose, at our tipline.
  • Interact with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (On Instagram, tag your best Boston food shots #eaterboston — we regram some of our favorites.)
  • Post publicly in the Eater Boston forum. You can respond to existing threads or start your own. Feel free to ask questions, share rants and raves about the Boston dining scene, show us your food photos, and more. We'll promote interesting threads to our homepage and social media channels.

Main image: Shutterstock/

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