After many years of living in the shadow of Boston’s drinking and dining scene, Brookline, more than ever, is holding its own these days. The town hosts a diverse array of options across its various squares, corners, and main streets. The menus are wide-ranging and fun, with cozy and gorgeous decor to boot. This map highlights 14 of the best dining choices in Boston’s neighbor to the west.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink in Brookline
Spicy ramen in Coolidge Corner, sherry and tapas on Beacon Street, and an excellent cocktail scene throughout
A mainstay at the intersection of Brookline and Allston, Shan-A-Punjab delivers an excellent array of dishes from across India in a bungalow-style space. A full bar and cocktail menu are also available. A lot of the servings are plentiful, so you will likely be able to head home with leftovers.
Taberna de Haro
This restaurant, with a perfect-to-people-watch patio, promises a Spanish cuisine experience beyond tapas (even though there are plenty of those here, too!). And thanks to chef, owner, and sommelière Deborah Hansen, the restaurant’s curated list of all-Spanish wines is the second largest in the U.S.
This happening neighborhood bar has a retro, clubby vibe. There’s an emphasis on well-made cocktails at Dante, but (Italian) food is here too. You can create your own pizza, order a round of crispy, buttermilk-battered calamari, or dig into a plate of cheesy rigatoni baked in vodka sauce.
El Peñol 3
The third El Peñol in Massachusetts, this Colombian eatery remains family-run, 25 years in. From the crispy empanadas to the simmering sancocho, the menu here feels like you’re having dinner at the home of a friend’s family, in the best way.
Opened in 1997, Jewish deli Zaftigs is a mainstay of the food scene in Coolidge Corner. The space is reminiscent of a diner, only bigger, and the vibe is super friendly and lowkey.
Ganko Ittetsu Ramen
Classic ramen dishes and Japanese sodas (in bottles that can be quite the task to open if you’re not used to them!) are available here. Plan ahead: This is a crowd-favorite, and there’s almost always a waitlist to add your name.
Mecha Noodle Bar
Mecha may be in Coolidge Corner, but once you sit down, you’ll feel more like you’ve been transported to a Southeast Asian street food haven. Mecha specializes in pho, ramen, bao, and drinks that are an ode to the region. And for every bowl of ramen ordered, 50 cents will go towards a community cause. (A handy newsletter at Mecha provides further details).
You’ve probably had a drink or five at Blossom Bar, the renowned cocktail bar and Sichuan restaurant in Brookline Village. Run by the same team, Ivory Pearl is the resident seafood and raw bar hangout of nearby Washington Square. Come here for equally outstanding cocktails and super-charged seafood dishes like the bite-sized bluefin tuna katsu sandwiches, and the “legs and eggs” — fried and smoked chicken drumsticks served with dollops of caviar and paired with a hatch red chile sauce.
Bar Vlaha is the latest Greek restaurant from the hit team behind swanky spot Krasi and cocktail bar Hecate in Back Bay. At this spot, the focus is on the cuisine of the Vlachs, an ethnic group of nomadic shepherds in northern and central Greece. Alongside the hearty food options — stews, roasted meats, and savory pies fill out the menu here — expect to see delightful touches of Vlach culture throughout the dining room.
Bottega di Capri
A staple of Brookline Village, this Italian gem is both a deli and restaurant where you can choose from over a dozen sauces to complete your pasta bowl. There’s rustic detailing throughout its cozy space, and — when weather permits — a charming outside patio that matches the classic decor.
Brookline Village loves a tiny restaurant, and Orinoco is no exception — and the food and drinks are also top-notch. The menu focuses on Venezuelan cuisine with nods to the Caribbean and the Andes as well. You won’t go wrong with choices like the maracuchitos (cheese wrapped in sweet plantains) and pollo adobo. There’s also a chocolate cake made of 100 percent Venezuelan dark chocolate.
Wu Er by WOW Barbecue
A rare spot for Chinese barbecue in New England, Wow Barbecue’s Brookline Village spot is the spot to go and gather around skewers of grilled honey ribs, chicken wings, squid, and more. The spacious dining room is designed with Beijing-inspired architecture in mind. There’s also a big-screen TV in the back that plays sports but sometimes also cartoons.
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This bustling lunch stop is where locals gather for well-executed sandwiches made with all-natural meats and cheeses, and much of the produce comes from the neighborhood’s own Allandale Farm. Soups and salads are also on the menu.
A rollicking little bar and restaurant, Mahaniyom is home to some of the best Thai food in the city. Don’t miss the kang puu, a subtle crab curry, and the spicy salted pepper pork cheek served with sticky rice. Mahaniyom has racked up many accolades in the two years that it has been open: Eater Boston named it the best new restaurant of 2021, and the restaurant was awarded a five-star review in the Boston Globe in 2022.