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Ceviche and a beer at Celeste
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The 38 Essential Restaurants in Boston, Fall 2018

Boston’s greatest restaurants for any occasion

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Ceviche and a beer at Celeste
| Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Presenting Boston's updated Eater 38, your answer to any question that begins, "Can you recommend a restaurant?"

This elite group of 38 must-try restaurants is meant to cover the city of Boston and a little bit beyond while spanning multiple cuisines, costs, and neighborhoods, collectively satisfying every restaurant need. Every quarter, Eater Boston adds a few pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be open at least six months), or have stepped up their game. As such, we also must say goodbye — not necessarily forever — to a few restaurants each quarter to make room.

Please welcome this quarter’s new additions: Celeste in Somerville, Mida in Boston, and Pamy’s in Cambridge.

For information on this quarter's retirees (and other past 38 entries), consult the Eater 38 archive. And do check out the Eater Boston Heatmap to find the hottest restaurants in town right this very second, Eater’s New England 38 for more essential restaurants across the region, and Eater Boston’s map of iconic dishes around the Boston area.

Note: Only one restaurant per restaurant group is included.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Spoke Wine Bar

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89 Holland St
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 718-9463
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Spoke Wine Bar — which reopened under new ownership in early 2017 after closing in early 2016 — really manages to capture the magic of its original incarnation, serving up a small but intriguing selection of wine-friendly snacks and small plates in a convivial space that attracts countless neighborhood regulars and industry folks. Not all revivals of shuttered restaurants work out, but the new Spoke, owned by former Spoke bartender Mary Kurth, is a true tribute to the memory of its beloved founder Felisha “Flea” Foster, who sadly passed away in late 2017.

Pappardelle at Spoke Wine Bar
Spoke Wine Bar/Instagram

2. The Table at Season to Taste

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2447 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 871-9468
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This intimate French-ish Cambridge restaurant, built into the front of an existing catering company, is helmed by Top Chef alum Carl Dooley, Eater Boston's 2016 Chef of the Year. Grab a small snack at the wine bar or settle in for the restaurant's centerpiece, the four-course prix fixe, which highlights Dooley's impeccable technique and love of seasonal ingredients.

Coq au vin at the Table at Season to Taste
The Table at Season to Taste/Facebook

3. Yume Wo Katare

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1923 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 714-4008
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This tiny Porter Square ramen destination isn't just a restaurant — it's a place where the owner wants to make everyone's dreams come true, starting by encouraging diners to literally stand up and share those dreams out loud (after successfully finishing a giant bowl of ramen, of course). Aside from occasional seasonal specials, the simple menu only includes ramen, with a choice of adding extra noodles and/or extra pork to an already hearty portion.

In September 2017, Yume Wo Katare got a nearby sibling, Yume Ga Arukara, which similarly focuses on just one dish: udon with beef. And dreams.

Ramen at Yume Wo Katare
Yume Wo Katare/Facebook

4. Highland Kitchen

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150 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 625-1131
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A regular haunt of practically everyone who has ever lived in Somerville's Spring Hill or Union Square in the last few years, Highland Kitchen specializes in comfort food, a lively ambiance, and strong cocktails. Try the spicy goat stew and the house-made ginger beer (also spicy), or swing by on a Monday for fried chicken and Tiki drink specials. Sunday brunch is also popular; be sure to line up early. (Love Highland Kitchen? Check out the team's newer venture, Highland Fried, in the former East Coast Grill space — fried chicken and Tiki drinks every night.)

Grilled flat iron steak at Highland Kitchen
Highland Kitchen/Facebook

5. Sarma

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249 Pearl St
Somerville, MA 02145
(617) 764-4464
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Sarma, the little sibling to Oleana and Sofra, opened in late 2013 on the tip of Winter Hill in Somerville, just uphill from bustling Union Square. The previous restaurant in the space had a forbidding, nearly windowless facade, and the neighborhood's dining options were scarce, but walk by Sarma today and you'll find giant windows and a beautiful, colorful spot with a lively bar scene. Chef/co-owner Cassie Piuma — an alum of Oleana, the Butcher Shop, and Sel de la Terre — creates a gorgeous array of Turkish-inspired small plates. (She’s also been a finalist for a James Beard award in the Best Chef: Northeast category.)

Sarma is also included on Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison's list of New England's 38 Essential Restaurants, where he calls it a "party of a restaurant celebrating the diverse, radiantly spiced flavors of the Middle East."

A dish at Sarma
Bill Addison/Eater

6. Giulia

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1682 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 441-2800
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Since opening at the end of 2012 between Porter and Harvard squares, Giulia has racked up a number of glowing reviews for its housemade pasta and warm staff. The pappardelle with wild boar is a popular choice that doesn’t budge from the otherwise changing menu, but you can't go wrong with anything. Chef and owner Michael Pagliarini previously worked as executive chef at Via Matta and has also worked under renowned Chicago chef Grant Achatz. In late 2016, Pagliarini opened a second Italian restaurant, Benedetto, in Harvard Square.

Pasta at Giulia
Giulia/Official Site

7. Tasting Counter

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14 Tyler St
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 299-6362
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Put this on your list for the next special occasion. Tasting Counter, open since summer 2015, offers an elaborate, multi-course adventure of high-technique plates — and as the name suggests, you're at a counter, watching everything prepared right in front of you. Like a show, it's a ticketed event; diners pay in advance online and don't have to think about money at all at the restaurant. Want a taste of Tasting Counter with less of a special-occasion price tag? Visit during its “wine bar” hours — currently 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday and 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday — for a more casual, a la carte experience. Find Tasting Counter inside of Aeronaut Brewing.

Gremolata dumplings at Tasting Counter
Tasting Counter/Facebook

8. Celeste

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21 Bow St
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 616-5319
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Celeste is a dreamy little spot in Somerville’s Union Square, serving flavorful Peruvian in a neighborhood that — to be fair — already has its fair share of Peruvian options. Try them all, but go to Celeste for bright ceviche, fragrant lomo saltado, and the feeling that you’re sipping pisco as the honored guest at someone’s joyfully crowded dinner party.

Lomo saltado at Celeste
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

9. Field & Vine

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9 Sanborn Ct
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 718-2333
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Field & Vine is appropriately named: It feels like an intimate woodland nook, where you may dine under a tangle of branches or by a greenery-filled window. The menu, always changing, features ingredients that are local, sustainable, and exquisite; the dishes showcase those ingredients with simplicity and finesse. If there happens to be a gnocchi dish on the menu when you visit, get it. Note: During the Union Square farmers market season, swing by Field & Vine on Saturday mornings to visit Plum Delicious, a baked goods pop-up featuring some of the best pastries in Boston, such as a miso kouign amann and a pretzeled croissant.

Food at Field & Vine
Field & Vine/Facebook

10. Juliet

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21 Union Square
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 718-0958
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Juliet opened early in 2016, and the restaurant's busy first year included plenty of awards, both locally and nationally, including Eater Boston's Restaurant of the Year for 2016. Accolades aside, Juliet is simply doing lots of things right — and with a lot of heart. Diners can find everything from a takeout breakfast taco and a cup of coffee all the way to a fancy multi-course dinner (and many things in between), all in one cozy space. There are lovely prix fixe breakfast and lunch options at the counter, not to mention a variety of a la carte snacks, meals, and baked goods. Juliet is trying to be a lot of things, and who's to say it can't succeed at being all of them? It's a neighborhood favorite, and other neighborhoods should be a little jealous.

French onion soup at Juliet
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

11. Brewer's Fork

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7 Moulton St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 337-5703
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Since opening in early 2015 in a section of Charlestown mostly devoid of restaurants, Brewer's Fork has brought a bustling, pizza-loving crowd to the quiet block. The specialty is wood-fired pizza, but there are also hearty brunch sandwiches, oysters, and one of the best beer lists you'll see anywhere. Snag a seat on the patio when weather permits.

Sausage pizza at Brewer’s Fork
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

12. Puritan & Company

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1166 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 615-6195
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An homage to New England, Puritan & Co. dresses up local classics beautifully — this isn’t your grandmother’s baked cod, unless she serves it with lobster stew, salt cod fritters, and wax beans. It’s the place to go for perfect scallops or roast chicken, but it’s also the place one might find a late-night bar pizza special or a gluttonous brunch pastry basket. Puritan fans who want to stay home can order from the restaurant’s delivery-only offshoot, Puritan Trading Company. The menu is mostly different, but the flavors and technique are equally excellent — and designed to travel well.

A spread of Puritan & Co. food
Puritan & Co./Facebook

13. Loyal Nine

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660 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 945-2576
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Serving up what it calls "East Coast Revival" cuisine in East Cambridge, inspired by the food of colonial New England, Loyal Nine was one of the most unique openings of 2015. Your plan of attack: Try all sorts of seafood, but try a meaty entree as well. Dessert is also a must (or at least try a baked good during a daytime visit to the restaurant's cafe). Don’t want to think? For $55 per person, trust the kitchen to make your decisions for your table with the “shared supper.”

Loyal Nine is also included in Eater's list of New England's 38 Essential Restaurants, where contributor Amy Traverso describes it as an "ambitious, thinky, New England-inspired restaurant without the ye olde kitsch."

A dish at Loyal Nine
Bill Addison/Eater

14. Cafe Sushi

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1105 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 492-0434
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Cafe Sushi has been serving up amazing and affordable sushi for more than 30 years, a favorite of industry folks and general sushi lovers alike. For a real treat, order the omakase, a chef's selection of seemingly endless courses that bounce joyfully between traditional preparations and funkier combinations.

Sashimi at Cafe Sushi
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

15. Waypoint

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1030 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 864-2300
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In a time when what remains of Harvard Square's uniqueness is being threatened more than ever, this little sibling to Alden & Harlow has quickly cemented its place as an important (and more importantly, fun) dining destination in the neighborhood. It boasts the biggest absinthe selection around, a vibe that careful toes the line between trendy and casual, and a menu jam-packed with creative seafood dishes and more. Want to go all-out with a full caviar service? You've got it. Smoked whitefish pizza? Sure thing. Big, shareable hunks of roasted meat? Yep.

Waypoint is also included in Eater's list of New England's 38 Essential Restaurants, where contributor Jolyon Helterman praises the "confident, vivid, highly original cooking that throws moderation to the wind in deploying fat, salt, and pure-pigment flavor: the good stuff."

Salmon crudo at Waypoint
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

16. Pammy's

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928 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 945-1761
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Chris and Pam Willis call their hospitable Cambridge restaurant Pammy’s a “new American trattoria,” but the Italian influences are strong, from the not-to-be-missed pasta dishes (made with flour milled in-house) to the aperitivi. The space is charming, as is the staff, and the lumache with a gochujang-spiked Bolognese sauce belongs in every pasta enthusiast’s regular rotation.

Pasta at Pammy’s
Pammy’s/Facebook

17. Café du Pays

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233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 314-7297
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Café du Pays, Eater Boston’s 2017 Restaurant of the Year, is a fantastic reinvention of the space that previously housed the same group’s acclaimed Hungry Mother. Where Hungry Mother looked to the South for inspiration, Café du Pays looks north to Canada to serve French-Canadian food with a touch of New England. (Yes, there’s poutine.) Despite Boston’s pseudo-proximity to Canada, this is the only French-Canadian restaurant in the area, and while the restaurant could probably get by on the uniqueness of the concept alone, it exceeds expectations with warm hospitality, a rich and meaty menu, and a delightful little bar.

Duck at Café du Pays
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

18. KO Pies at the Shipyard

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256 Marginal St
Boston, MA 02128
(617) 418-5234
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Australian meat pies and beer sound good enough on their own, right? Now add to the mix the fact that this casual spot is hidden away in a shipyard in East Boston, a shipyard that happens to be filled with cool art installations and glorious views of downtown. Be sure to spend some time on the patio, and try the Irish beef stew meat pie, one of Boston's most iconic dishes.

Meat pie at KO Pies
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

19. Craigie on Main

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853 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 497-5511
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Craigie is known for taking simple dishes like roasted chicken to the next level — and for serving dishes that are just plain extraordinary, like a confit and roasted milk-fed pig’s head with spicy pumpkin sambal and boudin noir-hoisin sauce. And of course, there's that iconic burger.

Craigie is also included in Eater's list of New England's 38 Essential Restaurants, where Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison describes it as "the American bistro in its noblest form." Craigie owner Tony Maws also opened up a more casual restaurant a few years ago, the Kirkland Tap & Trotter, which is located on the edge of Somerville and Cambridge.

The Craigie burger
Bill Addison/Eater

20. Neptune Oyster

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63 Salem St # 1
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 742-3474
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One of the few non-Italian restaurants in the North End, this seafood spot consistently generates long lines at all hours, but the wait’s worth it for one of the best high-end lobster rolls in town. Might as well get some oysters while you’re there, too, and some fried clams. And clam chowder. And — surprise! — even the burger (topped with fried clams, of course) is great.

Oysters and Jonah crab claws at Neptune Oyster
Bill Addison/Eater

21. Haley.Henry

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45 Province St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 208-6000
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This teeny-tiny industry haunt in Downtown Crossing doesn't have much kitchen space, but it more than makes up for that with its selection of fancy tinned seafoods from Spain, Portugal, and the United States; its spectacular wine list; its ship-like ambiance; and its sense of humor. This is the place to go for those who want to eat Portuguese tinned smoked eels, perfectly paired with a funky, hard-to-find wine. Also on the compact menu: "biggie small plates," such as prime rib sliders; "bone thugs & charcuterie," such as lamb tartare; and more. Plus, Alton Brown approves. Check out Haley.Henry’s Fenway sequel, Nathálie, as well.

Delicata squash at Haley.Henry
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

22. Deep Ellum

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477 Cambridge St
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 787-2337
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Now over a decade old, Deep Ellum has become deeply ingrained in Allston’s dining scene — as a serious destination for both beer and cocktails, as a comforting hangout that serves up a good meal, and as the location of one of the best hidden patios in town. Deep Ellum is a reliably excellent neighborhood spot, and over the years it has added an equally enjoyable sibling, Lone Star Taco Bar, next door and in East Cambridge. Snag one of those coveted Deep Ellum patio seats, eat some moules frites or a kimchi dog, and order a glass of an interesting beer.

Spread of food at Deep Ellum
Deep Ellum/Facebook

23. Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe

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86 Bedford St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 482-1888
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It started in Chelmsford, expanded to Boston, closed in Chelmsford, expanded to Woburn, and expanded to Westford. Gene's offers Xi'an-style Chinese cuisine, a little bit difficult to find elsewhere in Boston, and while the restaurant's name refers to the flatbread sandwiches stuffed with beef or pork, the real highlight of the menu is the chewy, garlicky hand-pulled noodles. "Slippery, slurpy, stinky," says Alton Brown.

Hand-pulled noodles at Gene’s Chinese Flatbread Cafe
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

24. O Ya

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9 East St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 654-9900
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Sushi lovers who have not yet embarked on O Ya's iconic grand omakase have not yet lived. And it's not just the seafood — the wagyu beef is so tender that it may bring a tear to your eye. Hidden in the Leather District, this tiny spot has accumulated numerous awards, including a James Beard for chef and co-owner Tim Cushman. In the last few years, the O Ya family has exploded to include a more casual Boston restaurant called Hojoko as well as an O Ya and a couple other restaurants at a hotel in New York. Plus, something new is in the works in Chestnut Hill.

Boston's O Ya is also included in Eater's list of New England's 38 Essential Restaurants, where contributor Jolyon Helterman writes that "dishes arrive as precise and evocative as edible Seurats."

Seared petit strip loin at O Ya
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

25. Saltie Girl

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281 Dartmouth St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 267-0691
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Saltie Girl may be small, but it boasts a large selection of seafood dishes that touch on so many different genres. Your table might have everything from a raw bar tower to lobster bisque to uni Benedict toast to torched salmon belly crudo to fried lobster and waffles...and there are plenty of imported tins of seafood as well. This young Back Bay restaurant is a seafood lover's paradise. (By the way, you can add lobster and/or caviar by the ounce to anything on the menu.)

Fried lobster and waffles at Saltie Girl
Saltie Girl/Facebook

26. Shōjō

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9 Tyler St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 423-7888
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The loud, energy-packed Shōjō brings a new spin to Asian fusion, upping the ante with dishes like the "Son of Shojonator" burger (complete with kimchi velveeta), suckling pig bao, and a killer cocktail list. Plus, the Shōjō team recently revamped the Best Little Restaurant, a Chinese restaurant located close by and now known as BLR by Shōjō, and opened a noodle shop called Ruckus, one of the best new fast-casual spots of 2017.

Shojonator at Shōjō
Shōjō/Official Site

27. Sportello

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348 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 737-1234
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Of all the Barbara Lynch restaurants, Sportello is perhaps the most approachable in terms of prices and vibe while still showing off that Lynch magic. Minimalist diner meets trattoria with a small open kitchen, counter seating, and a menu of pleasing pastas and more. And oh, that spicy tomato soup.

Sportello also appears on Eater’s list of New England’s 38 Essential Restaurants, where contributor Jolyon Helterman describes Sportello as an "undersung gem" that "rocks a vibrant energy equal parts A-game and fresh."

A spread of dishes at Sportello
Pat Piasecki/Sportello

28. Row 34

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383 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 553-5900
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This lively "workingman's oyster bar" — the perfect embodiment of Boston's current New England dining scene — has a bit more of a casual ambiance than its big sibling over in Kenmore Square, Island Creek Oyster Bar. Row 34 is one of several key players in the Fort Point restaurant boom, drawing massive crowds to a once-quiet section of town. With a creative beer list and ultra-fresh seafood, Row 34 is becoming one of the trickiest reservations to snag. It has a second location in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The Boston location is also included in Eater's list of New England's 38 Essential Restaurants, where contributor Jolyon Helterman writes that both lobster rolls (creamy mayo and hot butter) "reach apotheosis."

Lobster roll at Row 34
Row 34/Facebook

29. The Salty Pig

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130 Dartmouth St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 536-6200
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Before catching a train at Back Bay station, fill up on “salty pig parts” at a neighborhood favorite. Known for its irresistible combo of charcuterie (aka the aforementioned “salty pig parts”), pizza, and pasta, this casual older sibling to South End gem SRV is a busy destination, especially during lunch, for nearby workers and shoppers. Come patio season, the outdoor seating area is perpetually full of happy pizza lovers.

Salty Pig pizza
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

30. Bar Mezzana

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360 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 530-1770
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Bar Mezzana, a 2016 Restaurant of the Year nominee, is packed full of alums from the Barbara Lynch Gruppo, and it shows in the high level of hospitality and flawless execution of a menu that features excellent crudo, pasta, and more from chef and co-owner Colin Lynch (no relation to Barbara). Don't miss the lobster paccheri. And don't just swing by for a swanky dinner date: The bustling bar scene is fun, too, and brunch is a worthy contender. The team also has a Tiki-themed sibling in the works across the street, slated to open later in 2018.

Yellowtail crudo at Bar Mezzana
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

31. Tiger Mama

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1363 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 425-6262
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Down the street from its older sibling, Sweet Cheeks, Tiger Mama is making a name for itself with funky decor (hello, disco ball elephant), exciting cocktails, and flavor-packed dishes inspired by cuisine around Southeast Asia. From spicy papaya salad to a banquet-style smoked and fried duck dish, from crispy pork ribs to noodle and rice dishes, there's something for everyone. Chef and owner Tiffani Faison also recently opened a third spot on the same street: Fool’s Errand, an “adult snack bar.”

Bun cha Hanoi at Tiger Mama
Tiger Mama [Official Photo]

32. Kava Neo-Taverna

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2112, 315 Shawmut Ave
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 356-1100
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Boston’s seen some major growth in its Greek food scene over the last few years, and one of the new arrivals, Kava Neo-Taverna, has really made a niche for itself in the South End. Hungry diners will happily wait several hours to get into the small, no-reservations restaurant for a taste of loukaniko, keftedes, and oktapodi. Save room for the honey-drizzled Greek yogurt dessert.

Greek yogurt at Kava Neo-Taverna
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

33. The Gallows

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1395 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 425-0200
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This South End gastropub became a boisterous neighborhood mainstay on day one, virtually (it opened back in 2010.) It is “loud and welcoming,” as its website proclaims, so don’t expect to have any quiet conversations. You’ll be too busy gorging on burgers, poutine, and the classic “stoner’s delight” dessert anyway. (That’s peanut butter mousse, chocolate ganache, banana, and bruleed Fluff, and yes, you should try it, stoned or otherwise.) Since opening, the Gallows has spawned a couple well-received siblings — Banyan Bar + Refuge (a “pan-Asian gastropub” in the former Hamersley’s space) and three locations of a doughnut shop called Blackbird Doughnuts (with a fourth in the works).

Lunchtime fried chicken sandwich at the Gallows
The Gallows/Facebook

34. Mida

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782 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 936-3490
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At cozy neighborhood spot Mida, chef and owner Douglass Williams draws inspiration from Italy, serving some of the best pasta in town — not to mention to-die-for arancini and focaccia. Try the “della casa” option — a $40/person tasting of some favorites from the evening’s menu — or go on a Monday for the $35 all-you-can-eat pasta, salad, and bread special. When you’re at Mida...you’re family.

A spread of food at Mida
Mida/Facebook

35. Toro

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1704 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 536-4300
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Chefs and owners Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette team up for one of the city's hardest-to-get-into restaurants. Toro serves modern and traditional tapas ranging from simple grilled corn to elaborate dishes pairing seafood and charcuterie with rich, bold flavors that keep the crowds lining up. And now they're lining up in New York City, Bangkok, and Dubai as well — Oringer and Bissonnette have expanded the restaurant to three other locations. In summer 2016, they also opened a restaurant called Little Donkey in Cambridge, and they’re also behind South End mainstay Coppa.

Paella at Toro
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

36. Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant

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425 W Broadway
South Boston, MA 02127
(617) 765-8636
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The ultimate Southie hangout, the always-bustling Lincoln Tavern has been around since 2012, serving up Eater Boston readers' favorite pizza, not to mention over-the-top brunch specials, a full bar, and lots more. Since opening Lincoln, the team has virtually taken control of the whole block with the subsequent openings of sibling spots Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar and Capo, plus Fat Baby around the corner. South Boston is changing, and its future is full of Fruity Pebbles pancakes.

Hot chocolate pancakes at Lincoln Tavern’s Friday “brunch test kitchen”
Lincoln Tavern/Facebook

37. The Haven

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2 Perkins St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 524-2836
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Swing by Boston's "Scottish headquarters" for great beer, a cheerful ambiance, and the hospitality of owner Jason Waddleton. The Haven offers up a solid menu of Scottish foods and beers, as well as a packed events calendar. Also, it's probably the only place you can eat haggis in the Boston area.

Haggis at The Haven
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

38. Brassica Kitchen + Cafe

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3710 Washington St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 477-4519
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An early example of Boston’s growing trend of successful pop-ups putting down roots, Brassica comes from the Whisk pop-up team. This casual JP gem — which is a cafe by day — turns up the intensity at dinner, serving creative French-American tasting menus (and a la carte options) that highlight local ingredients in playful ways. Don’t miss the fried chicken, one of the best in town, and don’t be surprised to find a healthy dose of fermented and funky ingredients on the menu.

A dessert at Brassica Kitchen
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

1. Spoke Wine Bar

89 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144
Pappardelle at Spoke Wine Bar
Spoke Wine Bar/Instagram

Spoke Wine Bar — which reopened under new ownership in early 2017 after closing in early 2016 — really manages to capture the magic of its original incarnation, serving up a small but intriguing selection of wine-friendly snacks and small plates in a convivial space that attracts countless neighborhood regulars and industry folks. Not all revivals of shuttered restaurants work out, but the new Spoke, owned by former Spoke bartender Mary Kurth, is a true tribute to the memory of its beloved founder Felisha “Flea” Foster, who sadly passed away in late 2017.

89 Holland St
Somerville, MA 02144

2. The Table at Season to Taste

2447 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140
Coq au vin at the Table at Season to Taste
The Table at Season to Taste/Facebook

This intimate French-ish Cambridge restaurant, built into the front of an existing catering company, is helmed by Top Chef alum Carl Dooley, Eater Boston's 2016 Chef of the Year. Grab a small snack at the wine bar or settle in for the restaurant's centerpiece, the four-course prix fixe, which highlights Dooley's impeccable technique and love of seasonal ingredients.

2447 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

3. Yume Wo Katare

1923 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140