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el oriental de cuba JP
The place to go for Cuban sandwiches
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Where to Eat and Drink in Jamaica Plain

Cuban sandwiches for lunch, haggis for dinner

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The place to go for Cuban sandwiches
| Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Driving in Boston is a miserable endeavor; driving on the Jamaicaway is driving in Boston distilled. Four lanes, lots of zigs and many zags, no divider, and vehicles driven by a populace known as much for its, er, aggressive driving as it is for its inability to pronounce the letter R.

But sometimes a drive along the Jamaicaway is necessary in order to get to Jamaica Plain to eat all of its many tempting treats. A fried pig’s ear from Alex’s Chimis will render that close call behind the wheel a distant memory. (The MBTA’s Green and Orange lines can get you to JP from other parts of Boston as well.)

Jamaica Plain is full of excellent food, but in case you only have time for a brief exploration of the neighborhood, here are a dozen top picks to get you started.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Frogmore

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365 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(857) 203-9462
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The Frogmore serves cuisine inspired by the Carolina Lowcountry, and it has a great — and always rotating — draft beer program, though drinkers in search of something on the cheaper side can choose between $3 Genny and High Life. Get the fried green tomatoes, but let them cool off for a minute or two before taking a bite.

Fried chicken at the Frogmore
Fried chicken at the Frogmore
The Frogmore/Instagram

2. Alex's Chimis

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358 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 522-5201
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Rotisserie chicken, orejita (fried pig’s ears), chicharron (fried pork belly), and fried plantains. Head to this beloved Dominican joint, and help it celebrate its 20th anniversary by eating all of the above things.

A plate of charred rotisserie chicken with rice, fried plantains, and lime wedges
Rotisserie chicken at Alex’s Chimis
Alex’s Chimis/Facebook

3. Blue Nile Restaurant

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389 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 522-6453
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There will be injera, and you should use it to scoop up deliriously tasty bites of misir wet, which consists of red lentils cooked in a spicy sauce with ginger, garlic, and cardamom. Also worth trying at this Ethiopian hot spot: anything with lamb.

A spread of food at Blue Nile
A spread of food at Blue Nile
Blue Nile/Facebook

4. Brendan Behan Pub

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378 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 522-5386
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It’s an essential Irish pub and an essential part of the JP bar landscape. Go drink a pint or seven at the Behan.

Brendan Behan
One of the best Irish pubs in the city
Brendan Behan Pub/Facebook

5. The Haven

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2 Perkins St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 524-2836
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The Haven is Boston’s Scottish headquarters. Go for the haggis, and stay for the Belhaven Best. And as you might imagine, the Haven has a very decent scotch selection. Start with something floral and slightly salty from the Highlands, and finish with something sweet and malty from Speyside.

A portion of haggis sits on a bed of mashed rutabaga, garnished with Drambuie butter
Haggis at the Haven
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

6. El Oriental De Cuba

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416 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 524-6464
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The pork sandwich at Oriental de Cuba is the best one in the city. The exterior is crispy, and it’s filled with savory pork, gooey Swiss, and mustard.

A Cuban sandwich on a counter in a restaurant kitchen, served in a plastic black basket and covered with lots of mustard
The Cuban sandwich at El Oriental de Cuba in Jamaica Plain
El Oriental de Cuba/Facebook

7. Tres Gatos

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2056, 470 Centre St
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 477-4851
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Books, records, live music, tapas, and paella? Tres Gatos is definitely the right place for anyone interested in living deliciously. Tres Gatos’ sibling spots in the neighborhood — taqueria Casa Verde and space-themed diner Little Dipper — are also worth a visit.

Half roasted chicken at Tres Gatos
Half roasted chicken at Tres Gatos
Tres Gatos/Facebook

8. Chilacates

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224 Amory St
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 553-6007
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The Amory Street location is the original, but Chilacates is also serving great street food on JP’s Centre Street, with locations in Mission HillChestnut Hill, the South End, and Roslindale coming soon. Do get the lengua burrito, which is one of the finest in the city.

Three tacos in an aluminum takeout container on a picnic table
Tacos at Chilacates
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

9. Ten Tables

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597 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 524-8810
Visit Website

A neighborhood staple since it literally had only 10 tables back in 2002, Ten Tables grew into an adjacent space almost a decade ago but remains a cozy and inviting place for a special occasion or any night. Try the four-course tasting menu — there’s a vegetarian version available, too — to get a taste of Ten Tables’ seasonal, local ethos.

A large white bowl with a flat rim is filled with small rolls of pasta topped with peas and other greens
Pasta at Ten Tables
Ten Tables/Official Site

10. JP Seafood Cafe

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730 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 983-5177
Visit Website

JP Seafood Cafe has been holding it down on Centre Street since the mid 1990s. The menu is lousy with excellent Japanese and Korean food, so it’s difficult to say where to start. Good bets, though, are the katsu don (fried pork cutlet served with rice, sautéed onions, and sweet-savory Japanese-style eggs), an assortment of sushi and maki, an order of kimchi, an order of mandoo kuk (Korean-style beef dumpling soup), some pork gyoza, and the spicy basil pad thai. Also get the fisherman’s platter because, you know, seafood. And bring, like, 10 friends.

JP seafood
Ramen, Sapporo, and a pretty blue bar
JP Seafood Cafe/Facebook

11. Vee Vee

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763 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 522-0145
Visit Website

Vee Vee is in its 10th year of serving seasonal, local fare to the folks of Jamaica Plain. Diners will find dishes like seared scallops served with cold beet hash, and drinkers will find a beer list stocked with mostly local-ish offerings (and some offerings from beer-producing giants like Belgium and Germany).

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

12. Brassica Kitchen + Cafe

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3710 Washington St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 477-4519
Visit Website

Not a secret: Brassica’s fried chicken is among the best in Boston. Maybe more of a secret: Brassica also makes an outstanding breakfast sandwich. Try the Low Country, which comes with a fried egg, house-made sausage, fried cheddar, and fig jelly, served on brioche. The place is a cafe by day and a casual but impressive tasting menu destination by night.

Duck dumplings at Brassica
Duck dumplings at Brassica
Brassica/Facebook

1. The Frogmore

365 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Fried chicken at the Frogmore
Fried chicken at the Frogmore
The Frogmore/Instagram

The Frogmore serves cuisine inspired by the Carolina Lowcountry, and it has a great — and always rotating — draft beer program, though drinkers in search of something on the cheaper side can choose between $3 Genny and High Life. Get the fried green tomatoes, but let them cool off for a minute or two before taking a bite.

365 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

2. Alex's Chimis

358 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
A plate of charred rotisserie chicken with rice, fried plantains, and lime wedges
Rotisserie chicken at Alex’s Chimis
Alex’s Chimis/Facebook

Rotisserie chicken, orejita (fried pig’s ears), chicharron (fried pork belly), and fried plantains. Head to this beloved Dominican joint, and help it celebrate its 20th anniversary by eating all of the above things.

358 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

3. Blue Nile Restaurant

389 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
A spread of food at Blue Nile
A spread of food at Blue Nile
Blue Nile/Facebook

There will be injera, and you should use it to scoop up deliriously tasty bites of misir wet, which consists of red lentils cooked in a spicy sauce with ginger, garlic, and cardamom. Also worth trying at this Ethiopian hot spot: anything with lamb.

389 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

4. Brendan Behan Pub

378 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Brendan Behan
One of the best Irish pubs in the city
Brendan Behan Pub/Facebook

It’s an essential Irish pub and an essential part of the JP bar landscape. Go drink a pint or seven at the Behan.

378 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

5. The Haven

2 Perkins St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
A portion of haggis sits on a bed of mashed rutabaga, garnished with Drambuie butter
Haggis at the Haven
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The Haven is Boston’s Scottish headquarters. Go for the haggis, and stay for the Belhaven Best. And as you might imagine, the Haven has a very decent scotch selection. Start with something floral and slightly salty from the Highlands, and finish with something sweet and malty from Speyside.

2 Perkins St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

6. El Oriental De Cuba

416 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
A Cuban sandwich on a counter in a restaurant kitchen, served in a plastic black basket and covered with lots of mustard
The Cuban sandwich at El Oriental de Cuba in Jamaica Plain
El Oriental de Cuba/Facebook

The pork sandwich at Oriental de Cuba is the best one in the city. The exterior is crispy, and it’s filled with savory pork, gooey Swiss, and mustard.

416 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

7. Tres Gatos

2056, 470 Centre St, Boston, MA 02130
Half roasted chicken at Tres Gatos
Half roasted chicken at Tres Gatos
Tres Gatos/Facebook

Books, records, live music, tapas, and paella? Tres Gatos is definitely the right place for anyone interested in living deliciously. Tres Gatos’ sibling spots in the neighborhood — taqueria Casa Verde and space-themed diner Little Dipper — are also worth a visit.

2056, 470 Centre St
Boston, MA 02130

8. Chilacates

224 Amory St, Boston, MA 02130
Three tacos in an aluminum takeout container on a picnic table
Tacos at Chilacates
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The Amory Street location is the original, but Chilacates is also serving great street food on JP’s Centre Street, with locations in Mission HillChestnut Hill, the South End, and Roslindale coming soon. Do get the lengua burrito, which is one of the finest in the city.

224 Amory St
Boston, MA 02130

9. Ten Tables

597 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
A large white bowl with a flat rim is filled with small rolls of pasta topped with peas and other greens
Pasta at Ten Tables
Ten Tables/Official Site

A neighborhood staple since it literally had only 10 tables back in 2002, Ten Tables grew into an adjacent space almost a decade ago but remains a cozy and inviting place for a special occasion or any night. Try the four-course tasting menu — there’s a vegetarian version available, too — to get a taste of Ten Tables’ seasonal, local ethos.

597 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

10. JP Seafood Cafe

730 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
JP seafood
Ramen, Sapporo, and a pretty blue bar
JP Seafood Cafe/Facebook

JP Seafood Cafe has been holding it down on Centre Street since the mid 1990s. The menu is lousy with excellent Japanese and Korean food, so it’s difficult to say where to start. Good bets, though, are the katsu don (fried pork cutlet served with rice, sautéed onions, and sweet-savory Japanese-style eggs), an assortment of sushi and maki, an order of kimchi, an order of mandoo kuk (Korean-style beef dumpling soup), some pork gyoza, and the spicy basil pad thai. Also get the fisherman’s platter because, you know, seafood. And bring, like, 10 friends.

730 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

11. Vee Vee

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

Vee Vee is in its 10th year of serving seasonal, local fare to the folks of Jamaica Plain. Diners will find dishes like seared scallops served with cold beet hash, and drinkers will find a beer list stocked with mostly local-ish offerings (and some offerings from beer-producing giants like Belgium and Germany).

763 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

12. Brassica Kitchen + Cafe

3710 Washington St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Duck dumplings at Brassica
Duck dumplings at Brassica
Brassica/Facebook

Not a secret: Brassica’s fried chicken is among the best in Boston. Maybe more of a secret: Brassica also makes an outstanding breakfast sandwich. Try the Low Country, which comes with a fried egg, house-made sausage, fried cheddar, and fig jelly, served on brioche. The place is a cafe by day and a casual but impressive tasting menu destination by night.

3710 Washington St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

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