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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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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Deep Ellum

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477 Cambridge St
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 787-2337
Visit Website

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

2. Lone Star Taco Bar

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479 Cambridge St
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 782-8226
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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

3. Twin Donuts

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501 Cambridge St
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 254-9421

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

4. Myung Dong 1st Ave

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90 Harvard Ave
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 206-3229

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

5. Silhouette Lounge

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200 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 206-4565

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

6. Coreanos Allston

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172 Brighton Ave
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 208-8822
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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

7. S & I To Go

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168A Brighton Ave
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 254-8488
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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

8. Habanero Mexican Grill

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166 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 254-0299

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

9. Garlic 'n Lemons

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133 Harvard Ave
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 783-8100
Visit Website

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

10. Dumpling Kingdom

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137 Harvard Ave
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 562-8888
Visit Website

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

11. Shanghai Gate

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204 Harvard Ave
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 566-7344
Visit Website

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

12. The Glenville Stops

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87 Glenville Ave
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 903-3638
Visit Website

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

1. Deep Ellum

477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134
Charcuterie and more at Deep Ellum, a great beer bar
Charcuterie and more at Deep Ellum, a great beer bar
Deep Ellum/Facebook

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.

477 Cambridge St
Allston, MA 02134

2. Lone Star Taco Bar

479 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134
Tacos and more at Lone Star
Tacos and more at Lone Star
Lone Star Taco Bar/Facebook

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.

479 Cambridge St
Allston, MA 02134

3. Twin Donuts

501 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134
The chocolate butternut doughnut at Twin Donuts
The chocolate butternut doughnut at Twin Donuts
Julia M./Yelp

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.

501 Cambridge St
Allston, MA 02134

4. Myung Dong 1st Ave

90 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134
myung dong 1st ave
The soju watermelon at Myung Dong 1st Ave
Myung Dong 1st Ave/Facebook

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.

90 Harvard Ave
Allston, MA 02134

5. Silhouette Lounge

200 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134
silhouette lounge allston
The beer is cheap, and “dinner” is free
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

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.

200 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134

6. Coreanos Allston

172 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134
Three Korean fusion tacos sit in a paper container on a wooden counter
Tacos at Coreanos
Coreanos/Facebook

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.

172 Brighton Ave
Boston, MA 02134

7. S & I To Go

168A Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134
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

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.

168A Brighton Ave
Boston, MA 02134

8. Habanero Mexican Grill

166 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134
habanero mexican grill
The burrito at Habanero Mexican Grill
Alexa T./Yelp

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.

166 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134

9. Garlic 'n Lemons

133 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA 02134
Chicken shawarma plate at Garlic ‘n Lemons
Chicken shawarma plate at Garlic ‘n Lemons
Sebastian J./Yelp

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.

133 Harvard Ave
Boston, MA 02134

10. Dumpling Kingdom

137 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA 02134
A plate of oblong Taiwan-style pan-fried dumplings on a dark wooden table
Pan-fried dumplings at Dumpling Kingdom
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

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.

137 Harvard Ave
Boston, MA 02134

11. Shanghai Gate

204 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134
Paradise mountain chicken
Paradise mountain chicken
Chenkai L./Yelp

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.

204 Harvard Ave
Allston, MA 02134

12. The Glenville Stops

87 Glenville Ave, Boston, MA 02134
A white plate of six oysters on a dark wooden table
Oysters at the Glenville Stops
The Glenville Stops/Facebook

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.

87 Glenville Ave
Boston, MA 02134

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