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pleasant cafe
A classic Roslindale haunt
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Boston’s Best Neighborhood Hangouts

Where to eat and drink and feel like a local

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A classic Roslindale haunt
| Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Greater Boston is awash with shiny and new (and often excellent) restaurants. What’s often forgotten in the calculus is the neighborhood joint that’s been doing its thing and nourishing its neighbors for years.

This map isn’t dedicated to classics (although some of these places are classics) or the shiny and new (although some of these places are on the newer side of things), but rather to restaurants and bars that are simply reliable, comfortable, and full of regulars. If you live down the street from one of these places, you already know and love it. If you’re a newcomer, you’ll be a regular soon.

Here are some of the Boston area’s best neighborhood hangouts.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Upperwest

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1 Cedar St
Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 714-5734
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This looks and feels like your grandad’s basement — in the best way possible. Upperwest, a lower-level lair in a Veterans Post building in North Cambridge, specializes in cheese, charcuterie, and wine. The play is a glass of something red and the pasta special of the day.

A bar with old-fashioned, wood-paneled walls, shelves of booze, and a chalkboard with a menu written on it. A glass of wine and a cheese and charcuterie board sit on the bar.
Upperwest
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

2. Highland Kitchen

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150 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 625-1131
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Highland Kitchen has one of the best jukeboxes in town, the best bluefish cakes in town, and a desirable cocktail list. The burger’s also a strong contender. It’s a quintessential neighborhood hang.

Ricotta and mozzarella fritters at Highland Kitchen
Ricotta and mozzarella fritters at Highland Kitchen
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

3. Cambridge Common

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1667 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 547-1228
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Cambridge Common is a townie joint, and that’s a good thing. The wings are a must, and there is live music in the Lizard Lounge below seven nights a week. Snag some tater tots and a beer.

Wings at Cambridge Common
The wings at Cambridge Common are exceptional
Cambridge Common/Facebook

4. Trina's Starlite Lounge

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3 Beacon St
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 576-0006
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Trina’s is renowned for its industry brunch on Mondays. It’s also renowned for an exceptional cocktail list and selection of comfort food, particularly the hot dogs.

Trina’s Starlite Lounge
A pretty cocktail at Trina’s
Pat Piasecki

5. Santarpio's Pizza

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111 Chelsea St
Boston, MA 02128
(617) 567-9871
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Santarpio’s is definitely touristy, but there’s still very much a neighborhood vibe to the decades-old pizzeria. Get the sausage pizza, and get the sausage plate too.

Cheese pizza on a metal tray on a wooden table
Pizza from the legendary Santarpio’s
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

6. KO Catering & Pies

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16, 256 Marginal St
East Boston, MA 02128
(617) 418-5234
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KO Pies sadly might not be here for much longer, which is why you need to go there immediately and eat an Australian meat pie.

An Australian meat pie sits in a paper container on a red tray on a red and white picnic table
A meat pie at KO Pies in East Boston
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

7. The Daily Catch

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323 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-8567
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The North End is flush with Italian food. The Daily Catch is the least touristy of the better spots. Get the calamari.

A silver pan is full of steamed mussels
Mussels from the Daily Catch
The Daily Catch/Facebook

8. Silvertone

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69 Bromfield St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 338-7887
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Silvertone has that mid-century vibe, and its wings or mac and cheese are what you’re after.

A vintage cigarette poster hangs on a red wall, across a corner from a blue neon sign that reads Silvertone.
Silvertone
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

9. Carlo’s Cucina Italiana

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131 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 254-9759
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The best Italian restaurant not in the North End. Enjoy Italian-American cuisine in this quaint Allston haunt, which used to be a pizza parlor.

Seafood pasta special at Carlo’s Cucina Italiana
Seafood pasta special at Carlo’s Cucina Italiana
Carlo’s Cucina Italiana/Facebook

10. No Name Restaurant

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15 1/2 Fish Pier St E
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 423-2705
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If it’s seafood you’re after and you’re in the Seaport, look no further than No Name, open for a century and unassuming in its space on the fish pier.

Seafood at No Name Restaurant
Seafood at No Name Restaurant
No Name Restaurant/Facebook

11. Delux Cafe

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100 Chandler St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 338-5258

The records on the wall at Delux Cafe date back to the past owner, and the Elvis lamp will make you feel like you’re hanging with music royalty. Get the half chicken or the burger, and drink as many ‘Gansetts as you can reasonably handle.

Delux Narragansett
A ‘Gansett at Delux
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

12. Anchovies

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433 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 266-5088
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Another great Italian joint that’s not in the North End. The garlic bread is simple and perfect, as are the mussels.

Anchovies
Anchovies
Anchovies/Facebook

13. Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen

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604 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 536-1100
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At Darryl’s, find live music, a beautiful bar (like, really beautiful), incredible art on the walls, and the best soul food in the city.

darryl’s corner bar fried chicken
Fried chicken and waffles at Darryl’s
Darryl’s/Facebook

14. Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant

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425 W Broadway
South Boston, MA 02127
(617) 765-8636
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There’s always something new and incredible happening with the Lincoln Tavern’s Friday brunch test kitchen. See: birthday cake sticky buns or lasagna pizza, for example. And at nighttime, it’s a happening spot.

Lincoln burger
A burger at Lincoln Tavern
Lincoln Tavern [Official Photo]

15. Blossom Bar at Sichuan Garden

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295 Washington St
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 734-1870
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Blossom Bar is new, but not really. For decades before it became a hip cocktail spot, it was Sichaun Garden. A lot of that menu remains. Namely, the house special eggplant, the hot dry chicken, and the dan dan noodles. And now there are amazing cocktails, too.

blossom bar
Dan dan noodles at Blossom Bar
Blossom Bar/Facebook

16. Suya Joint

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185 Dudley St
Roxbury, MA 02119
(617) 708-0245
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Suya Joint is one of several good spots for West African food in Dudley. Try the egusi, which is a stew with African melon seeds, spinach, fish, and chicken.

suya joint boston
A spread from Suya joint
Suya Joint/Facebook

17. Vee Vee

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763 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 522-0145
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Another quintessential neighborhood hang, Vee Vee specializes in seasonal American cuisine and has an excellent beer list.

Squid ink pappardelle at Vee Vee
Squid ink pappardelle at Vee Vee
Vee Vee/Instagram

18. Ali's Roti

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1188 Blue Hill Avenue
Mattapan, MA 02126
(617) 298-9850

There are some solid roti shops in Boston, and Ali’s is one of the best. Try the curry chicken roti.

ali’s roti
Roti from Ali’s
Fabrizio C./Yelp

19. Pleasant Cafe

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4515 Washington St
Roslindale, MA 02131
(617) 323-2111
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Get the broiled scallops at Pleasant Cafe, and get a pepper and onion pizza too. The space is mostly unchanged since opening in the 1930s.

pleasant cafe pizza
The pizza at Pleasant Cafe is a treat
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

1. Upperwest

1 Cedar St, Cambridge, MA 02140
A bar with old-fashioned, wood-paneled walls, shelves of booze, and a chalkboard with a menu written on it. A glass of wine and a cheese and charcuterie board sit on the bar.
Upperwest
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

This looks and feels like your grandad’s basement — in the best way possible. Upperwest, a lower-level lair in a Veterans Post building in North Cambridge, specializes in cheese, charcuterie, and wine. The play is a glass of something red and the pasta special of the day.

1 Cedar St
Cambridge, MA 02140

2. Highland Kitchen

150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143
Ricotta and mozzarella fritters at Highland Kitchen
Ricotta and mozzarella fritters at Highland Kitchen
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Highland Kitchen has one of the best jukeboxes in town, the best bluefish cakes in town, and a desirable cocktail list. The burger’s also a strong contender. It’s a quintessential neighborhood hang.

150 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02143

3. Cambridge Common

1667 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
Wings at Cambridge Common
The wings at Cambridge Common are exceptional
Cambridge Common/Facebook

Cambridge Common is a townie joint, and that’s a good thing. The wings are a must, and there is live music in the Lizard Lounge below seven nights a week. Snag some tater tots and a beer.

1667 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

4. Trina's Starlite Lounge

3 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143
Trina’s Starlite Lounge
A pretty cocktail at Trina’s
Pat Piasecki

Trina’s is renowned for its industry brunch on Mondays. It’s also renowned for an exceptional cocktail list and selection of comfort food, particularly the hot dogs.

3 Beacon St
Somerville, MA 02143

5. Santarpio's Pizza

111 Chelsea St, Boston, MA 02128
Cheese pizza on a metal tray on a wooden table
Pizza from the legendary Santarpio’s
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Santarpio’s is definitely touristy, but there’s still very much a neighborhood vibe to the decades-old pizzeria. Get the sausage pizza, and get the sausage plate too.

111 Chelsea St
Boston, MA 02128

6. KO Catering & Pies

16, 256 Marginal St, East Boston, MA 02128
An Australian meat pie sits in a paper container on a red tray on a red and white picnic table
A meat pie at KO Pies in East Boston
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

KO Pies sadly might not be here for much longer, which is why you need to go there immediately and eat an Australian meat pie.

16, 256 Marginal St
East Boston, MA 02128

7. The Daily Catch

323 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113
A silver pan is full of steamed mussels
Mussels from the Daily Catch
The Daily Catch/Facebook

The North End is flush with Italian food. The Daily Catch is the least touristy of the better spots. Get the calamari.

323 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113

8. Silvertone

69 Bromfield St, Boston, MA 02108
A vintage cigarette poster hangs on a red wall, across a corner from a blue neon sign that reads Silvertone.
Silvertone
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Silvertone has that mid-century vibe, and its wings or mac and cheese are what you’re after.

69 Bromfield St
Boston, MA 02108

9. Carlo’s Cucina Italiana

131 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134
Seafood pasta special at Carlo’s Cucina Italiana
Seafood pasta special at Carlo’s Cucina Italiana
Carlo’s Cucina Italiana/Facebook

The best Italian restaurant not in the North End. Enjoy Italian-American cuisine in this quaint Allston haunt, which used to be a pizza parlor.

131 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134

10. No Name Restaurant

15 1/2 Fish Pier St E, Boston, MA 02210
Seafood at No Name Restaurant
Seafood at No Name Restaurant
No Name Restaurant/Facebook

If it’s seafood you’re after and you’re in the Seaport, look no further than No Name, open for a century and unassuming in its space on the fish pier.

15 1/2 Fish Pier St E
Boston, MA 02210

11. Delux Cafe

100 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116
Delux Narragansett
A ‘Gansett at Delux
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

The records on the wall at Delux Cafe date back to the past owner, and the Elvis lamp will make you feel like you’re hanging with music royalty. Get the half chicken or the burger, and drink as many ‘Gansetts as you can reasonably handle.

100 Chandler St
Boston, MA 02116

12. Anchovies

433 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02116
Anchovies
Anchovies
Anchovies/Facebook

Another great Italian joint that’s not in the North End. The garlic bread is simple and perfect, as are the mussels.

433 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02116

13. Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen

604 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118
darryl’s corner bar fried chicken
Fried chicken and waffles at Darryl’s
Darryl’s/Facebook

At Darryl’s, find live music, a beautiful bar (like, really beautiful), incredible art on the walls, and the best soul food in the city.

604 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02118

14. Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant

425 W Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127
Lincoln burger
A burger at Lincoln Tavern
Lincoln Tavern [Official Photo]

There’s always something new and incredible happening with the Lincoln Tavern’s Friday brunch test kitchen. See: birthday cake sticky buns or lasagna pizza, for example. And at nighttime, it’s a happening spot.

425 W Broadway
South Boston, MA 02127

15. Blossom Bar at Sichuan Garden

295 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02445
blossom bar
Dan dan noodles at Blossom Bar
Blossom Bar/Facebook

Blossom Bar is new, but not really. For decades before it became a hip cocktail spot, it was Sichaun Garden. A lot of that menu remains. Namely, the house special eggplant, the hot dry chicken, and the dan dan noodles. And now there are amazing cocktails, too.

295 Washington St
Brookline, MA 02445

Related Maps

16. Suya Joint

185 Dudley St, Roxbury, MA 02119
suya joint boston
A spread from Suya joint
Suya Joint/Facebook

Suya Joint is one of several good spots for West African food in Dudley. Try the egusi, which is a stew with African melon seeds, spinach, fish, and chicken.

185 Dudley St
Roxbury, MA 02119

17. Vee Vee

763 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Squid ink pappardelle at Vee Vee
Squid ink pappardelle at Vee Vee
Vee Vee/Instagram

Another quintessential neighborhood hang, Vee Vee specializes in seasonal American cuisine and has an excellent beer list.

763 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

18. Ali's Roti

1188 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan, MA 02126
ali’s roti
Roti from Ali’s
Fabrizio C./Yelp

There are some solid roti shops in Boston, and Ali’s is one of the best. Try the curry chicken roti.

1188 Blue Hill Avenue
Mattapan, MA 02126

19. Pleasant Cafe

4515 Washington St, Roslindale, MA 02131
pleasant cafe pizza
The pizza at Pleasant Cafe is a treat
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Get the broiled scallops at Pleasant Cafe, and get a pepper and onion pizza too. The space is mostly unchanged since opening in the 1930s.

4515 Washington St
Roslindale, MA 02131

Related Maps