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A white bowl filled with slices of pork, chopped onions, and various toppings
A nourishing bowl of ramen from Tsurumen
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Where to Eat Comfort Food in and Around Boston

From pizza to ramen to doughnuts, there’s something for every comfort food need

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A nourishing bowl of ramen from Tsurumen
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The pandemic has made it unsafe to gather with family and friends this holiday season, which means we probably aren’t as likely to indulge in our favorite comfort foods either. It’s not a perfect fix, but this map tries to make up for the comfort food part, at least. Here are 15 of the best things to eat in Greater Boston in the pursuit of holiday decadence.

This map was originally published on December 30, 2018; it is updated periodically, and the date of the most recent update appears above.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Paitan Ramen at Tsurumen

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There’s nothing better to eat when it’s cold and raw outside, and there’s nothing better to eat when the body craves meaty, salty, carbohydrate-loaded goodness. The paitan ramen at Tsurumen in Davis Square is a must; here are more great options.

Tsurumen is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery. (Best bet: Order a ramen kit, and cook it at home so the noodles don’t get soggy.)

A white bowl filled with slices of pork, chopped onions, and various toppings
Paitan ramen at Tsurumen
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Bagel with Cream Cheese at Bagelsaurus

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A bagel (especially poppyseed) with plain cream cheese is the play at popular Cambridge bagel shop Bagelsaurus (though the breakfast sandwiches — and especially the classic jumbo — are excellent too).

Bagelsaurus is open for takeout.

A close-up of a bagel with cream cheese, sliced in half
A salt bagel and cream cheese at Bagelsaurus
Katie Chudy/Eater

Cream of Wheat at the Neighborhood

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It’s hard to explain why Neighborhood’s Cream of Wheat is better than any other Cream of Wheat, but it just is. Get it, and also get a linguica and cheese omelet.

The Neighborhood is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

A white bowl of Cream of Wheat sits on a dark background, topped with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon
The infamous Cream of Wheat
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Maple Bacon Doughnut at Union Square Donuts

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It’s sweet. It’s savory. It will satisfy that carbohydrate craving. And it’s probably the best doughnut in the city. Note: In addition to the original location, Union Square Donuts can also be found in Brookline. (Its two additional shops — one inside the Boston Public Market in Haymarket, the other at Time Out Market Boston in Fenway — are temporarily closed.) Find more great local doughnuts here.

Union Square Donuts is open for takeout and delivery.

Overhead shot of a maple glazed doughnut with pieces of bacon on it. It’s sitting on a white paper bag on a rustic wooden table.
The city’s best doughnut
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Corned Beef Hash and Eggs at Deluxe Town Diner

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A diner should be judged on its corned beef hash and its poached eggs. Too many diners fail this basic test; Deluxe Town Diner finishes top of the class. If you’re feeling adventurous, get an order of chicken livers, which are fantastic.

Deluxe Town Diner is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Closeup shot inside a diner showing a neon sign that says “diner” on a rocket ship flying past Saturn
Deluxe Town Diner
Jacqueline Dole/Eater

Pepperoni Slice at Ernesto's Pizza

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Ernesto’s is one of the best slice joints in the city. Get a slice of pepperoni (note: one slice is actually two here, so order conservatively). There’s also a location in Somerville’s Assembly Row.

Ernesto’s is open for takeout and delivery.

A “slice” (two slices count as one here) of pepperoni and sausage pizza
Ernesto’s is the dictionary definition of a good slice joint
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Hand-Pulled Noodles at Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe

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There are many great hand-pulled noodle options in and around Boston, but Gene’s is the dopest of dope spots. Get the cumin lamb noodles, and get a pork rougamo — which is a sandwich made with Chinese-style flatbread — too. Fair warning: Gene’s is closed on Sundays.

Gene’s is open for takeout and delivery.

A black plastic bowl of thick hand-pulled noodles, heavily dusted with chile powder and topped with greens and a generous dollop of garlic. A wooden skewer of lamb pieces sits across the rim of the bowl, which is on a Chinese Zodiac placemat on a red tray
Hand-pulled noodles from Gene’s
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Kimchi Fried Rice at Coreanos Allston

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The whole menu at Coreanos is good (especially the short rib taco and the fried chicken), but the kimchi fried rice (get it with pork) will nourish your body and also make you feel like you’re eating something that’s vaguely healthy even if it’s on the indulgent side of the aisle.

Coreanos is open for indoor dining (with very limited seating, especially given the state’s COVID-19 guidelines), takeout and delivery.

Overhead view of a table full of Korean food, including bibimbap and kimbap
A spread at Coreanos
Coreanos/Official Site

Plato Montanero at Habanero Mexican Grill

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This Habanero behemoth comes with fried plantains, fried eggs, fried pork, avocado, rice, beans, and salad. This is one of the best restaurants in one of the city’s best neighborhoods for eating.

Habanero is open for indoor dining (again, with very limited seating given the state’s COVID-19 guidelines), takeout, and delivery.

Double Awesome at Mei Mei

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Mei Mei somehow managed to improve on the traditional breakfast sandwich. Its version has runny yolks, Vermont cheddar, and pesto made with local greens, and most importantly, it’s served wrapped up in a scallion pancake. Get it with ham.

Mei Mei is open for takeout and delivery.

scallion pancake “sandwich” stuffed with greens and oozy eggs on a white plate with a blue floral border
The Double Awesome at Mei Mei
Mei Mei/Facebook

A Big Tasty and Tots at Tasty Burger

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Tasty Burger is the best fast-food burger joint this side of the Mississippi (and maybe anywhere). Get a Big Tasty and an order of tots, and wash it down with a beer or two (you can order cans — craft or lousy domestic — directly from the restaurant).

Tasty Burger is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Hands hold onto a cheeseburger from Tasty Burger, held aloft above more burgers and onion rings
A burger and more from Tasty Burger
Tasty Burger/Official Site

Chengdu Dry Hot Chicken Wings at Blossom Bar at Sichuan Garden

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The Chengdu dry hot chicken wings are perhaps the best chicken wings in Greater Boston, no lie. They are crispy and spicy and decadent; they are life-affirming and life-restoring. (Here are more Boston-area wings to try.)

Blossom Bar is open for indoor dining and takeout.

Meaty fried chicken wings sit on a white plate, topped with chile flakes and strips of onions, peppers, and scallions
Chengdu dry hot chicken wings at Blossom Bar
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Proper Sausage-Egg-N-Cheese at Cutty's

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It’s among the best breakfast sandwiches in the city. Cutty’s also has a damn fine cup of coffee.

Cutty’s is open for takeout.

A sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich sits in a paper container on a red tray on a wooden table
Proper sausage-egg-n-cheese at Cutty’s
Katie Chudy/Eater

Salmon Cakes at Milkweed

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This Mission Hill joint offers a glut of comfort food. Try the salmon cakes with cheesy grits and scrambled eggs.

Milkweed is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Salmon cakes sit atop grits and scrambled eggs on a white plate
Salmon cakes at Milkweed
Milkweed/Facebook

Cuban Sandwich at El Oriental De Cuba

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Jamaica Plain is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to great Caribbean food. The Cuban sandwich at El Oriental De Cuba is a good place to start. Savory pork, tangy mustard, gooey cheese, and griddled bread equals the best-case scenario for your comfort food needs.

El Oriental De Cuba is open for takeout.

A Cuban sandwich on a counter in a restaurant kitchen, served in a plastic black basket and covered with lots of mustard
The Cuban sandwich at El Oriental de Cuba in Jamaica Plain
El Oriental de Cuba/Facebook

Paitan Ramen at Tsurumen

A white bowl filled with slices of pork, chopped onions, and various toppings
Paitan ramen at Tsurumen
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

There’s nothing better to eat when it’s cold and raw outside, and there’s nothing better to eat when the body craves meaty, salty, carbohydrate-loaded goodness. The paitan ramen at Tsurumen in Davis Square is a must; here are more great options.

Tsurumen is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery. (Best bet: Order a ramen kit, and cook it at home so the noodles don’t get soggy.)

A white bowl filled with slices of pork, chopped onions, and various toppings
Paitan ramen at Tsurumen
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Bagel with Cream Cheese at Bagelsaurus

A close-up of a bagel with cream cheese, sliced in half
A salt bagel and cream cheese at Bagelsaurus
Katie Chudy/Eater

A bagel (especially poppyseed) with plain cream cheese is the play at popular Cambridge bagel shop Bagelsaurus (though the breakfast sandwiches — and especially the classic jumbo — are excellent too).

Bagelsaurus is open for takeout.

A close-up of a bagel with cream cheese, sliced in half
A salt bagel and cream cheese at Bagelsaurus
Katie Chudy/Eater

Cream of Wheat at the Neighborhood

A white bowl of Cream of Wheat sits on a dark background, topped with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon
The infamous Cream of Wheat
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

It’s hard to explain why Neighborhood’s Cream of Wheat is better than any other Cream of Wheat, but it just is. Get it, and also get a linguica and cheese omelet.

The Neighborhood is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

A white bowl of Cream of Wheat sits on a dark background, topped with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon
The infamous Cream of Wheat
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Maple Bacon Doughnut at Union Square Donuts

Overhead shot of a maple glazed doughnut with pieces of bacon on it. It’s sitting on a white paper bag on a rustic wooden table.
The city’s best doughnut
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

It’s sweet. It’s savory. It will satisfy that carbohydrate craving. And it’s probably the best doughnut in the city. Note: In addition to the original location, Union Square Donuts can also be found in Brookline. (Its two additional shops — one inside the Boston Public Market in Haymarket, the other at Time Out Market Boston in Fenway — are temporarily closed.) Find more great local doughnuts here.

Union Square Donuts is open for takeout and delivery.

Overhead shot of a maple glazed doughnut with pieces of bacon on it. It’s sitting on a white paper bag on a rustic wooden table.
The city’s best doughnut
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Corned Beef Hash and Eggs at Deluxe Town Diner

Closeup shot inside a diner showing a neon sign that says “diner” on a rocket ship flying past Saturn
Deluxe Town Diner
Jacqueline Dole/Eater

A diner should be judged on its corned beef hash and its poached eggs. Too many diners fail this basic test; Deluxe Town Diner finishes top of the class. If you’re feeling adventurous, get an order of chicken livers, which are fantastic.

Deluxe Town Diner is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Closeup shot inside a diner showing a neon sign that says “diner” on a rocket ship flying past Saturn
Deluxe Town Diner
Jacqueline Dole/Eater

Pepperoni Slice at Ernesto's Pizza

A “slice” (two slices count as one here) of pepperoni and sausage pizza
Ernesto’s is the dictionary definition of a good slice joint
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Ernesto’s is one of the best slice joints in the city. Get a slice of pepperoni (note: one slice is actually two here, so order conservatively). There’s also a location in Somerville’s Assembly Row.

Ernesto’s is open for takeout and delivery.

A “slice” (two slices count as one here) of pepperoni and sausage pizza
Ernesto’s is the dictionary definition of a good slice joint
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Hand-Pulled Noodles at Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe

A black plastic bowl of thick hand-pulled noodles, heavily dusted with chile powder and topped with greens and a generous dollop of garlic. A wooden skewer of lamb pieces sits across the rim of the bowl, which is on a Chinese Zodiac placemat on a red tray
Hand-pulled noodles from Gene’s
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

There are many great hand-pulled noodle options in and around Boston, but Gene’s is the dopest of dope spots. Get the cumin lamb noodles, and get a pork rougamo — which is a sandwich made with Chinese-style flatbread — too. Fair warning: Gene’s is closed on Sundays.

Gene’s is open for takeout and delivery.

A black plastic bowl of thick hand-pulled noodles, heavily dusted with chile powder and topped with greens and a generous dollop of garlic. A wooden skewer of lamb pieces sits across the rim of the bowl, which is on a Chinese Zodiac placemat on a red tray
Hand-pulled noodles from Gene’s
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Kimchi Fried Rice at Coreanos Allston

Overhead view of a table full of Korean food, including bibimbap and kimbap
A spread at Coreanos
Coreanos/Official Site

The whole menu at Coreanos is good (especially the short rib taco and the fried chicken), but the kimchi fried rice (get it with pork) will nourish your body and also make you feel like you’re eating something that’s vaguely healthy even if it’s on the indulgent side of the aisle.

Coreanos is open for indoor dining (with very limited seating, especially given the state’s COVID-19 guidelines), takeout and delivery.

Overhead view of a table full of Korean food, including bibimbap and kimbap
A spread at Coreanos
Coreanos/Official Site

Plato Montanero at Habanero Mexican Grill

This Habanero behemoth comes with fried plantains, fried eggs, fried pork, avocado, rice, beans, and salad. This is one of the best restaurants in one of the city’s best neighborhoods for eating.

Habanero is open for indoor dining (again, with very limited seating given the state’s COVID-19 guidelines), takeout, and delivery.

Double Awesome at Mei Mei

scallion pancake “sandwich” stuffed with greens and oozy eggs on a white plate with a blue floral border
The Double Awesome at Mei Mei
Mei Mei/Facebook

Mei Mei somehow managed to improve on the traditional breakfast sandwich. Its version has runny yolks, Vermont cheddar, and pesto made with local greens, and most importantly, it’s served wrapped up in a scallion pancake. Get it with ham.

Mei Mei is open for takeout and delivery.

scallion pancake “sandwich” stuffed with greens and oozy eggs on a white plate with a blue floral border
The Double Awesome at Mei Mei
Mei Mei/Facebook

A Big Tasty and Tots at Tasty Burger

Hands hold onto a cheeseburger from Tasty Burger, held aloft above more burgers and onion rings
A burger and more from Tasty Burger
Tasty Burger/Official Site

Tasty Burger is the best fast-food burger joint this side of the Mississippi (and maybe anywhere). Get a Big Tasty and an order of tots, and wash it down with a beer or two (you can order cans — craft or lousy domestic — directly from the restaurant).

Tasty Burger is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Hands hold onto a cheeseburger from Tasty Burger, held aloft above more burgers and onion rings
A burger and more from Tasty Burger
Tasty Burger/Official Site

Chengdu Dry Hot Chicken Wings at Blossom Bar at Sichuan Garden

Meaty fried chicken wings sit on a white plate, topped with chile flakes and strips of onions, peppers, and scallions
Chengdu dry hot chicken wings at Blossom Bar
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The Chengdu dry hot chicken wings are perhaps the best chicken wings in Greater Boston, no lie. They are crispy and spicy and decadent; they are life-affirming and life-restoring. (Here are more Boston-area wings to try.)

Blossom Bar is open for indoor dining and takeout.

Meaty fried chicken wings sit on a white plate, topped with chile flakes and strips of onions, peppers, and scallions
Chengdu dry hot chicken wings at Blossom Bar
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Proper Sausage-Egg-N-Cheese at Cutty's

A sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich sits in a paper container on a red tray on a wooden table
Proper sausage-egg-n-cheese at Cutty’s
Katie Chudy/Eater

It’s among the best breakfast sandwiches in the city. Cutty’s also has a damn fine cup of coffee.

Cutty’s is open for takeout.