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Get the chocolate butternut at Twin Donuts
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Where to Eat in Allston

The best of the best in one of the city’s most diverse food neighborhoods

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Get the chocolate butternut at Twin Donuts
| Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

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.

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Deep Ellum

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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.

Charcuterie and more at Deep Ellum, a great beer bar
Charcuterie and more at Deep Ellum, a great beer bar
Deep Ellum/Facebook

Lone Star Taco Bar

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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.

Tacos and more at Lone Star
Tacos and more at Lone Star
Lone Star Taco Bar/Facebook

Twin Donuts

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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.

The chocolate butternut doughnut at Twin Donuts
The chocolate butternut doughnut at Twin Donuts
Julia M./Yelp

Myung Dong 1st Ave

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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.

myung dong 1st ave
The soju watermelon at Myung Dong 1st Ave
Myung Dong 1st Ave/Facebook

Silhouette Lounge

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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.

silhouette lounge allston
The beer is cheap, and “dinner” is free
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Coreanos Allston

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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.

Three Korean fusion tacos sit in a paper container on a wooden counter
Tacos at Coreanos
Coreanos/Facebook

S & I To Go

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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.

Hard-boiled eggs, sliced in half and fried, sit in an aluminum takeout container, topped with fried shallots, a thin brown sauce, and herbs
Kai look kaey at S & I To Go
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Habanero Mexican Grill

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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.

habanero mexican grill
The burrito at Habanero Mexican Grill
Alexa T./Yelp

Garlic 'n Lemons

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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.

Chicken shawarma plate at Garlic ‘n Lemons
Chicken shawarma plate at Garlic ‘n Lemons
Sebastian J./Yelp

Dumpling Kingdom

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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.

A plate of oblong Taiwan-style pan-fried dumplings on a dark wooden table
Pan-fried dumplings at Dumpling Kingdom
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Shanghai Gate

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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.

Paradise mountain chicken
Paradise mountain chicken
Chenkai L./Yelp

The Glenville Stops

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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.

A white plate of six oysters on a dark wooden table
Oysters at the Glenville Stops
The Glenville Stops/Facebook

Deep Ellum

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.

Charcuterie and more at Deep Ellum, a great beer bar
Charcuterie and more at Deep Ellum, a great beer bar
Deep Ellum/Facebook

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.

Tacos and more at Lone Star
Tacos and more at Lone Star
Lone Star Taco Bar/Facebook

Twin Donuts

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.

The chocolate butternut doughnut at Twin Donuts
The chocolate butternut doughnut at Twin Donuts
Julia M./Yelp

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.

myung dong 1st ave
The soju watermelon at Myung Dong 1st Ave
Myung Dong 1st Ave/Facebook

Silhouette Lounge

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.

silhouette lounge allston
The beer is cheap, and “dinner” is free
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Coreanos Allston

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.

Three Korean fusion tacos sit in a paper container on a wooden counter
Tacos at Coreanos
Coreanos/Facebook

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.

Hard-boiled eggs, sliced in half and fried, sit in an aluminum takeout container, topped with fried shallots, a thin brown sauce, and herbs
Kai look kaey at S & I To Go
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

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.

habanero mexican grill
The burrito at Habanero Mexican Grill
Alexa T./Yelp

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.

Chicken shawarma plate at Garlic ‘n Lemons
Chicken shawarma plate at Garlic ‘n Lemons
Sebastian J./Yelp

Dumpling Kingdom

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.

A plate of oblong Taiwan-style pan-fried dumplings on a dark wooden table
Pan-fried dumplings at Dumpling Kingdom
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Shanghai Gate

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.

Paradise mountain chicken
Paradise mountain chicken
Chenkai L./Yelp

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.

A white plate of six oysters on a dark wooden table
Oysters at the Glenville Stops
The Glenville Stops/Facebook

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