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Eat These 25 Classic Boston Dishes Before You Leave the City

In honor of Classics Week, here are 25 of the most classic dishes the city has to offer.

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In honor of Classics Week, here are 25 of the most classic dishes the city has to offer. These are the dishes that are widely known throughout the city, from popular local chefs' signature dishes to the dishes that have been written about time and time again. Locals and tourists alike seek them out. If ever removed from the menu, they would cause mass pandemonium. Here are 25 of Boston's most iconic dishes.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. All Star Sandwich Bar

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1245 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 868-3065
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Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown: A classic on their menu, and for good reason, the sandwich features meatloaf that is sliced thick and topped with jack cheese, sweet caramelized red onion jam, and spicy, bright yellow inner beauty hot sauce. The whole thing is pressed between sourdough bread. [Photo: Facebook]

2. Blue Ginger

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583 Washington St
Wellesley, MA 02482
(781) 283-5790
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Garlic-Black Pepper Lobster with Lemongrass Fried Rice: Ming's signature dish and a classic at Blue Ginger. [Photo: Facebook]

3. Coppa

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253 Shawmut Ave
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 391-0902
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Sample of Five Salumi: For when one can't decide which of Coppa's charcuterie to try, one can get five, all on one board with traditional accoutrements, naturally. [Photo: Facebook]

4. Craigie on Main

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853 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 497-5511
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Burger: This coveted burger has quite the cult following, and for good reason — all of the components blend harmoniously together to create a burger that is arguably one of the best in the city. The beef is a blend consisting of some funky items like bone marrow and suet, served on a house made milk-style bun and topped with cheddar cheese, mace ketchup, lettuce, and onion. [Photo: Katie Chudy]

5. Davio's

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75 Arlington St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 357-4810
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The Spring Rolls at Davio's: They started with the Philly cheesesteak spring roll and have branched out from there with creative takes on the classic spring roll. Now these specialty spring rolls can even be found online and in most grocery store freezer sections. [Photo: Facebook]

6. Eastern Standard

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528 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 532-9100
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Bone Marrow: Served dramatically in a bone that is split lengthwise, Eastern Standard's bone marrow comes with a small spoon so that diners can scoop out the salsa verde and thyme marmalade-coated marrow and slather it onto bread. It's been a staple at the restaurant for years. [Photo: Yelp]

7. Erbaluce

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69 Church St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 426-6969
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Wild Rack of Boar: The boar at Erbaluce is one of their most popular. It comes with a wild concord grape and lavender mosto. [Photo: Yelp]

8. Fenway Park

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4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 267-1700
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Fenway Frank: What would a summer in Boston be without taking in at least one Red Sox game and ordering a Fenway Frank? It's as classic to Boston as baseball is to America. [Photo: Yelp]

9. Flour Bakery + Cafe

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131 Clarendon St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 267-4300
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Sticky Bun: Ooey and gooey in all of the right ways, the sticky bun at Flour is cinnamon-y and crunchy, courtesy of some toasted pecans, making this a classic for the popular bakery. [Photo: Facebook]

10. Grill 23 & Bar

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161 Berkeley St.
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 542-2255
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New England Clam Chowder: It doesn't get any more classic than a bowl of clam chowder. At Grill 23, they make theirs with smoked pork, and then, to add to the luxuriousness, lobster and lobster butter finish things off. [Photo: Yelp]

11. Island Creek Oyster Bar

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500 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 532-5300
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Oyster Slider: Island Creek Oysters have become the oyster option of choice in these parts (and beyond), and this adorable little slider spotlights those beautiful oysters by deep-frying them, adding a coating of lime aioli, and resting it on a mini brioche bun. [Photo: Yelp]

12. Jo Jo TaiPei

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103 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 254-8889
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Pork Buns: Those who have tried these always order them again and again. The fatty, plump marinated pork belly is offset beautifully by an herbed peanut sugar mixture that is acidic, nutty, and bright. Then, it's all sandwiched in between soft, steamed buns. Served as a pair. [Photo: Facebook]

13. Liberty Bell

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882 Main St
Melrose, MA 02176
Roast Beef Sandwich: Ordered as a "three way" with mayo, American cheese, and James River Barbecue Sauce, this is a stack of thinly shaved roast beef piled high atop a pillowy onion roll. [Photo: Yelp]

14. Lynwood Cafe

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320 Center St
Randolph, MA 02368
(781) 963-9894
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Bar Pie: A South Shore classic, the bar pie, is essentially a pizza that is a couple of sizes up from a personal-sized pizza, and its toppings stretch all the way to the end, resulting in an almost crustless pizza. It can be found predominantly at local watering holes south of the city, and the Lynwood Cafe is one of the best. It doesn't offer much by way of atmosphere, but the pizza makes up for that. [Photo: Facebook]

15. Modern Pastry Shop

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263 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-3783
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Cannoli: It's hard to leave the North End without a box of cannoli. There are many popular choices throughout the city, particularly in the North End, and this spot is a favorite with a loyal following. [Photo: Facebook]

16. Monica's Mercato

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130 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 742-4101
Italian Sub: While there's no official menu, just a counter full of gorgeous-looking meats, cheeses, and vegetables and fresh-baked and crackly bread, the Italian sub at Monica's is where it's at. Piled with delicately sliced meats and cheeses and dressed with balsamic, olive oil, and a pickled pepper spread. [Photo: Yelp]

17. Neptune Oyster

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63 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 742-3474
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Lobster Roll: Available either hot and buttered or cold and with mayo, the lobster roll at Neptune is a classic and one that people wait in pretty lengthy lines for. For the carb avoiders, the lobster roll is also available sans bun. [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

18. No. 9 Park

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9 Park St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 742-9991
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Prune Gnocchi: A classic at No. 9 Park (a classic restaurant itself). Soft and pillowy gnocchi are filled with prunes and garnished with foie gras before some crunch by way of slivered almonds finishes it off. [Photo: Facebook]

19. Oleana

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134 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 661-0505
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Baked Alaska: It starts with a coconut macaroon, and the coconut ice cream is layered in and encased in meringue before it gets torched and develops a golden exterior. It sits in a pool of passion fruit caramel. This classic dessert has been on the menu for almost 15 years. [Photo: Yelp]

20. Omni Parker House

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60 School St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 227-8600
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Boston Cream Pie: It's hard to have a list like this that doesn't include the original Boston cream pie. While there are numerous other versions throughout the city now, this one is the original. [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

21. Regina Pizzeria

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11 Thacher St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 227-0765
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Pizza at the original Regina's: On almost any given day, a line of tourists and locals alike can be seen snaked around Thacher street, waiting for a slice of this pie. Served with a variety of topping options. [Photo: Facebook]

22. Rialto

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1 Bennett St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 661-5050
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Slow Roasted Long Island Duck: Chef Jody Adams' signature dish, the slow-roasted Long Island duck, comes with braised escarole, fingerling potatoes, and Sicilian green olives. It has been on her menu since the start of the restaurant. [Photo: Facebook]

23. Santarpio's Pizza

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111 Chelsea St
Boston, MA 02128
(617) 567-9871
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Barbecue: While the pizza is an obvious draw, those in the know, or those who have been to this East Boston restaurant and have seen the wall of meats being barbecued, know that the meat dishes are the way to go. Served with a giant hunk of bread and some spicy peppers. [Photo: Yelp]

24. Toro

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1704 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 536-4300
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Maíz Asado con Alioli y Queso Cotija: The corn at Toro, which is coated in lime, aioli, espelette pepper, and cheese, is so popular, people are known to reserve a serving in advance, just in case they should run out. [Photo: Facebook]

25. Toscanini's

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899 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 491-5877
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Burnt Caramel Ice Cream: Dubbed "the very best ice cream in the world," this shop opened its doors in 1981, and its most popular flavor, burnt caramel, has become a classic. [Photo: Yelp]

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1. All Star Sandwich Bar

1245 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown: A classic on their menu, and for good reason, the sandwich features meatloaf that is sliced thick and topped with jack cheese, sweet caramelized red onion jam, and spicy, bright yellow inner beauty hot sauce. The whole thing is pressed between sourdough bread. [Photo: Facebook]
1245 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139

2. Blue Ginger

583 Washington St, Wellesley, MA 02482
Garlic-Black Pepper Lobster with Lemongrass Fried Rice: Ming's signature dish and a classic at Blue Ginger. [Photo: Facebook]
583 Washington St
Wellesley, MA 02482

3. Coppa

253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118
Sample of Five Salumi: For when one can't decide which of Coppa's charcuterie to try, one can get five, all on one board with traditional accoutrements, naturally. [Photo: Facebook]
253 Shawmut Ave
Boston, MA 02118

4. Craigie on Main

853 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Burger: This coveted burger has quite the cult following, and for good reason — all of the components blend harmoniously together to create a burger that is arguably one of the best in the city. The beef is a blend consisting of some funky items like bone marrow and suet, served on a house made milk-style bun and topped with cheddar cheese, mace ketchup, lettuce, and onion. [Photo: Katie Chudy]
853 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139

5. Davio's

75 Arlington St, Boston, MA 02116
The Spring Rolls at Davio's: They started with the Philly cheesesteak spring roll and have branched out from there with creative takes on the classic spring roll. Now these specialty spring rolls can even be found online and in most grocery store freezer sections. [Photo: Facebook]
75 Arlington St
Boston, MA 02116

6. Eastern Standard

528 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215
Bone Marrow: Served dramatically in a bone that is split lengthwise, Eastern Standard's bone marrow comes with a small spoon so that diners can scoop out the salsa verde and thyme marmalade-coated marrow and slather it onto bread. It's been a staple at the restaurant for years. [Photo: Yelp]
528 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215

7. Erbaluce

69 Church St, Boston, MA 02116
Wild Rack of Boar: The boar at Erbaluce is one of their most popular. It comes with a wild concord grape and lavender mosto. [Photo: Yelp]
69 Church St
Boston, MA 02116

8. Fenway Park

4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215
Fenway Frank: What would a summer in Boston be without taking in at least one Red Sox game and ordering a Fenway Frank? It's as classic to Boston as baseball is to America. [Photo: Yelp]
4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215

9. Flour Bakery + Cafe

131 Clarendon St, Boston, MA 02116
Sticky Bun: Ooey and gooey in all of the right ways, the sticky bun at Flour is cinnamon-y and crunchy, courtesy of some toasted pecans, making this a classic for the popular bakery. [Photo: Facebook]
131 Clarendon St
Boston, MA 02116

10. Grill 23 & Bar

161 Berkeley St., Boston, MA 02116
New England Clam Chowder: It doesn't get any more classic than a bowl of clam chowder. At Grill 23, they make theirs with smoked pork, and then, to add to the luxuriousness, lobster and lobster butter finish things off. [Photo: Yelp]
161 Berkeley St.
Boston, MA 02116

11. Island Creek Oyster Bar

500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Oyster Slider: Island Creek Oysters have become the oyster option of choice in these parts (and beyond), and this adorable little slider spotlights those beautiful oysters by deep-frying them, adding a coating of lime aioli, and resting it on a mini brioche bun. [Photo: Yelp]
500 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02115

12. Jo Jo TaiPei

103 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134
Pork Buns: Those who have tried these always order them again and again. The fatty, plump marinated pork belly is offset beautifully by an herbed peanut sugar mixture that is acidic, nutty, and bright. Then, it's all sandwiched in between soft, steamed buns. Served as a pair. [Photo: Facebook]
103 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134

13. Liberty Bell

882 Main St, Melrose, MA 02176
Roast Beef Sandwich: Ordered as a "three way" with mayo, American cheese, and James River Barbecue Sauce, this is a stack of thinly shaved roast beef piled high atop a pillowy onion roll. [Photo: Yelp]
882 Main St
Melrose, MA 02176

14. Lynwood Cafe

320 Center St, Randolph, MA 02368
Bar Pie: A South Shore classic, the bar pie, is essentially a pizza that is a couple of sizes up from a personal-sized pizza, and its toppings stretch all the way to the end, resulting in an almost crustless pizza. It can be found predominantly at local watering holes south of the city, and the Lynwood Cafe is one of the best. It doesn't offer much by way of atmosphere, but the pizza makes up for that. [Photo: Facebook]
320 Center St
Randolph, MA 02368

15. Modern Pastry Shop

263 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113
Cannoli: It's hard to leave the North End without a box of cannoli. There are many popular choices throughout the city, particularly in the North End, and this spot is a favorite with a loyal following. [Photo: Facebook]
263 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113

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16. Monica's Mercato

130 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113
Italian Sub: While there's no official menu, just a counter full of gorgeous-looking meats, cheeses, and vegetables and fresh-baked and crackly bread, the Italian sub at Monica's is where it's at. Piled with delicately sliced meats and cheeses and dressed with balsamic, olive oil, and a pickled pepper spread. [Photo: Yelp]
130 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113

17. Neptune Oyster

63 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113
Lobster Roll: Available either hot and buttered or cold and with mayo, the lobster roll at Neptune is a classic and one that people wait in pretty lengthy lines for. For the carb avoiders, the lobster roll is also available sans bun. [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]
63 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113

18. No. 9 Park

9 Park St, Boston, MA 02108
Prune Gnocchi: A classic at No. 9 Park (a classic restaurant itself). Soft and pillowy gnocchi are filled with prunes and garnished with foie gras before some crunch by way of slivered almonds finishes it off. [Photo: Facebook]
9 Park St
Boston, MA 02108

19. Oleana

134 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Baked Alaska: It starts with a coconut macaroon, and the coconut ice cream is layered in and encased in meringue before it gets torched and develops a golden exterior. It sits in a pool of passion fruit caramel. This classic dessert has been on the menu for almost 15 years. [Photo: Yelp]
134 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA 02139

20. Omni Parker House

60 School St, Boston, MA 02108
Boston Cream Pie: It's hard to have a list like this that doesn't include the original Boston cream pie. While there are numerous other versions throughout the city now, this one is the original. [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]
60 School St
Boston, MA 02108