You know where to get Korean food in Allston (and Korean fried chicken, in particular), you know where to get meat wrapped in dough blankets in Allston, and you know where to drink in Allston, too. But what if you have limited time and just want to skip right to the best of the best, regardless of genre? Here are a dozen top picks in one of Boston’s greatest neighborhoods for delicious, inexpensive food.Read More
Where to Eat in Allston
The best of the best in one of the city’s most diverse food neighborhoods
Deep Ellum is one of the best beer bars in the city — and its cocktail list ain’t too shabby, either. Get something German — there’s always some delicious German beer or another on the draft list — and get whatever house-made charcuterie is on the menu. (And if the late-night menus are on the bar, get the fried chicken sandwich.) In the summer, try to get a seat on the excellent patio out back.
Lone Star Taco Bar
Lone Star is attached to Deep Ellum; they’re sister restaurants — and in fact share the same kitchen. A diner can eat two tacos, drink two beers, and get out of there for about $22. Try the barbacoa and the carnitas, and make sure to top them with the house-made habanero-mango hot sauce.
Skip the coffee at Twin Donuts, but enjoy the very-good-to-excellent doughnuts. Get there early, and get the chocolate butternut. Outside of Dunkin’ Donuts stores in southern Maine, chocolate butternuts are something of a rare bird, so take advantage here. But Twin Donuts only makes half a dozen of them each day, and they go quickly.
Myung Dong 1st Ave
Go to Myung Dong 1st Ave for the kimchi fried rice; stay for the K-Pop videos. Get the soju watermelon, too, which is exactly what it sounds like it is: a hollowed-out watermelon filled with soju. Fill up on banchan and rice — otherwise the soju might sneak up on you.
Allston is full of bars, but none of them match the Silhouette. Upon entering, Irene will ask if you want any dinner (popcorn). You do. You also want cheap pitchers of PBR (while you can get them), and you want to play some early ’90s rap on the jukebox. Shoot some pool, too. But watch out for the local sharks — they take themselves a little too seriously.
Kalbi short rib tacos. Impossibly crispy Korean fried chicken. Kimchi fries. Kimchi fried rice. What’s not to love about this place? It’s one of the best restaurants in one of the best restaurant neighborhoods in the entire city.
S & I To Go
Primarily a takeout joint (hence the name), this little spot has been serving up some of the best — and spiciest — Thai in the city for years. Go straight for the section of the menu labeled “Thai authentic specialties,” and obey the chile pepper indicators. A five-chile dish will hurt. On the much milder side, try an order of the kai look kaey, aka “son-in-law eggs,” boiled and fried eggs topped with a sweet tamarind sauce, fried shallots, and cilantro.
Habanero Mexican Grill
Best burrito in town, period. Habanero’s cooks place the burrito on the flat top for a couple minutes until the exterior of the flour tortilla has browned, a process that adds an unexpected depth to an otherwise humble dish. The tortas and papusas are also worth ordering, as are the huevos rancheros if you find yourself on Brighton Avenue around breakfast time.
Garlic 'n Lemons
The order at Garlic ‘n Lemons is the spicy chicken shawarma plate with half rice, half potatoes, half hummus, half garlic sauce, Greek salad, pita, and magic sauce, which is some sort of absurdly tasty spicy mayonnaise situation.
Dumpling Kingdom is the sister restaurant of both Dumpling Cafe in Chinatown and Dumpling Palace near Fenway. It’s open until 2 a.m. every night, so no dumpling craving will go unquenched. Get the Taiwan-style pan-fried dumplings.
Shanghai Gate’s paradise mountain chicken should be on the bucket list of every Allston diner. Crispy fried chicken bits mingle with a mix of spices and red peppers, and it’s all served on a bed of white rice. Add a little soy sauce, a little black vinegar, and voilà.
The Glenville Stops
This has to be one of the most underrated — and little-known — spots in the city, which is criminal considering the things it’s doing. For starters, it has happy hour Duxbury oysters every day from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Add deep beer and wine lists, and the Glenville Stops begins to distinguish itself as a serious — but never pretentious — space for serious eaters and drinkers. Look for a 1000-square-foot expansion in spring 2019, featuring 52 more seats and an Art Deco style.