Roxbury is home to a wealth of great food, from one of the city’s most popular Nigerian restaurants to a rare Cape Verdean cafe. Whether in the mood for a quick stop at a sub shop, a belly-warming breakfast of crispy salmon cakes and buttery grits, or live music and some of Boston’s top-ranked chicken wings for dinner, Roxbury’s got it all. Here are 12 must-try restaurants in the neighborhood.Read More
12 Top-Notch Restaurants in Roxbury
Suya chicken wings, salmon cakes, sub sandwiches, and a whole lot more
Slade’s Bar & Grill
On the edge of Roxbury and the South End lies the 90-year-old neighborhood icon Slade’s Bar & Grill, otherwise known as “the soul of Boston.” Come for the crispy fried wings tossed in the restaurant’s secret seasoning mix, stay for the warm atmosphere and frequent live music nights. Check Instagram for the latest entertainment schedule.
Ashur Restaurant is a halal-friendly mainstay located just around the corner from the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury. Both Somalian and North African fare share space on the menu here; good bets include the grilled chicken kebabs and just about anything with lamb. Wash it all down with a cup of Somali chai spiced with cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon.
Dudley Cafe is the platonic ideal of a sunny little cafe: comfy chairs, warm service, and enough space to linger for hours. The menu includes a jammy breakfast sandwich served all day, hot and cold lunch sandwiches, and rice bowls heaping with colorful veggies and tangy sauces. The owners are the same folks behind Shanti, a mini-chain of Indian restaurants in Boston.
Chef Cheryl Straughter’s Southern-influenced restaurant Soleil is the place to go for salmon cakes smeared with creamy remoulade, smashed hash browns with just the right amount of burnt, crispy bits, and thick, buttery grits. It’s a great breakfast spot, but plan accordingly: It’s only open from Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fasika Cafe is a popular Ethiopian spot run by the same family behind Fasika Restaurant in Somerville. Get the timatim fitfit tossed with onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, vinegar, and shredded bits of injera, and a sampling of restaurant’s spicy, flavorful stews via the combination platter for one person ($16.50) or two ($35).
Located in a bright yellow building on Dudley Street, Jamaican restaurant P&R is a fine spot for warm beef patties, smoky jerk chicken, and ackee and saltfish for breakfast. Don’t leave without tacking on a scoop of the restaurant’s famed grapenut ice cream to your order. (Actually, it’s hard to go wrong with any of P&R’s 25 ice cream flavors.)
Ugi’s Subs is a tiny, barebones spot without much seating, but the hefty sub in a brown paper takeout bag is the prize here. The classic Italian, stuffed with multiple meats and cheeses and slathered with a zesty hot pepper relish, will not disappoint, and the hot steak and pepper is another crowd favorite.
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Decades-old El Mondonguito is a well-worn dive bar that is also known for serving top-notch Puerto Rican fare, including crispy alcapurrias, or fritters stuffed with ground beef and green plantains, and mondongo, a hearty tripe stew.
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Suya Joint is a non-negotiable stop for some of the city’s best West African food. Every bite of the thick egusi stew, made with ground melon seeds, cooked spinach, and bits of fish and chicken, is rich and flavorful. The combos are a smart way to dive in, too: Try the platter with saucy suya wings, fried plaintains with blackened, charred edges, and a generous portion of seasoned jollof rice.
Maxine's On Saint James
Maxine’s On St James is a local destination for Cajun and Creole cooking. Order the jambalaya tossed with chicken, sausage, and shrimp, étouffée (similar to a jambalaya but more of a chicken-sausage-shrimp stew served over rice, rather than mixed together), and a glorious number of baked fish dishes served with grits on the side.
Nos Casa Cafe
Nos Casa Cafe is a rare Boston spot rooted in Cape Verde, highlighting food from the country comprised of a group of islands located off the coast of West Africa. There’s an abundant amount of seafood — mackerel, cod, salmon, red snapper, and more — plus traditional dishes like cachupa, a slow-cooked stew made with corn, beans, collard greens, and pork.
Merengue is an outstanding Dominican restaurant that has been holding it down in Roxbury for nearly 30 years. Go for a festive date night, have a wedding celebration there, or sit down to a solo weeknight feast of tostones with pork belly cooked in a Creole sauce, mofongo, and chicharrones. It’s a classic.