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Overhead view of a round bowl full of a bloom of deep-fried hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and a white, herb-filled, foamy sauce
Crispy hen of the woods at Chickadee
Brian Samuels

12 Must-Try Dishes for Mushroom Lovers in Boston

This mostly meatless collection of dishes will satisfy omnivores and flexitarians alike

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Crispy hen of the woods at Chickadee
| Brian Samuels

Whether vegetarian, flexitarian, or just cutting back on meat, a diner doesn’t have to miss out on flavor. Owing to their texture and umami-bomb nature, mushrooms provide an easy way to enjoy a hearty bite without meat.

Here are a dozen of the Boston area’s best mushroom-forward, meatless (or meat-optional) dishes, from fine-dining to fast-casual restaurants.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sarma

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249 Pearl St
Somerville, MA 02145
(617) 764-4464
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Somerville’s acclaimed Middle Eastern meze restaurant celebrates double the fungus in its mushroom manti. The dinner dish pairs a delicate porcini yogurt broth with maitake mushrooms, along with turnips and poached egg for a bit of runny yolk goodness.

2. Alcove

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50 Lovejoy Wharf
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 248-0050
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With a little luck, you’ll hit up Alcove when the Lovejoy Wharf seafood- and vegetable-focused restaurant offers its maitake mushroom dish. Since Alcove opened in late 2018, this vegan entree has frequently replaced typical meat-based dishes, with nary a complaint from carnivores. Chef Brian Paszko highlights the meaty texture of the maitake — also known as hen-of-the-woods mushrooms — by pairing them with polenta, baby turnips, and black garlic. 

3. Tony & Elaine's

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111 N Washington St
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 580-0321
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North End restaurant Tony & Elaine’s rolled out the red-and-white checkered tablecloths at the beginning of 2019, serving nostalgic riffs on Italian favorites, such as spaghetti and meatballs, chicken parm, and fontina arancini. One can’t go wrong with the mushroom risotto, which pairs creamy risotto with a hearty helping of mixed mushrooms with herbs and a drizzle of truffle oil.

4. Yvonne's

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2 Winter Pl
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 267-0047
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Toast to mushrooms at Yvonne’s in Downtown Crossing, where the “modern supper club” serves a charred maitake mushroom toast. The snack combines mushrooms with whipped miso, sesame, and yaki sauce to boost the umami. 

5. Cafe Landwer

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900 Beacon St
Boston, MA 02215
(857) 753-4035
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Israeli Mediterranean chain Cafe Landwer — which made its stateside debut in 2018 with locations in Cleveland Circle and Audubon Circle — considers its “shrooms” hummus mezza a signature dish. With the combo of mushrooms, caramelized onion, and olive oil, the mezza makes for a solid meat-free meal if paired with, perhaps, an order of haloumi sticks.

A white bowl with a decorative rose-patterned rim is full of hummus, topped with mushrooms and herbs.
Shrooms hummus mezza at Cafe Landwer
Andrew Katz

6. Chickadee

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21 Drydock Ave
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 531-5591
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The crispy hen of the woods dish at Chickadee in the Seaport District’s Innovation and Design building is almost like a deep-fried blooming onion gone gourmand: an addictive salty and caramelized texture trip. The dish pairs deep-fried hen-of-the-woods mushrooms with an aerated Greek potato-almond skordalia dip, nigella seed, and chives. Find it on the lunch and dinner menu of the Mediterranean-inspired spot that chef John daSilva and beverage director Ted Kilpatrick opened in 2018.

“I think my favorite thing about the dish is that it’s so textural,” daSilva says. “You get the nice crispy mushrooms and the creamy sauce. The deep-fryer further concentrates the umami, and there’s maximum caramelization because every part of the mushroom is getting that hot oil.”

Overhead view of a round bowl full of a bloom of deep-fried hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and a white, herb-filled, foamy sauce
Crispy hen of the woods at Chickadee
Brian Samuels

7. Tiger Mama

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1363 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 425-6262
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Chef Tiffani Faison brings the heat with her mala mushrooms at Tiger Mama, where she’s crafted creative Southeast Asian-inspired dishes in Fenway since 2015. The mushroom dish features king oyster, shiitake, and cremini mushrooms — along with other seasonal mushrooms — mixed with a classic Chinese mala spice, which is both numbing and hot.

“The mala mushrooms are a meaty, umami-laden alternative to a wok-fired meat dish,” says Faison, also the owner of nearby restaurants Fool’s Errand, Orfano, and Sweet Cheeks. “We make a chile oil in-house with a ton of spices, chiles, garlic, and Sichuan peppercorn. We use it in the dish while we’re hard-roasting the mushrooms in the wok and finish with vinegar.” Find it on the dinner menu or at brunch, where it’s served with a fried duck egg and white rice to soak up the heat of the sauce. 

A small wooden bowl of glossy mushrooms, garnished with a skinny red chile pepper. The bowl sits on a light wooden surface.
Mala mushrooms at Tiger Mama
JM Leach

8. Six West

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6 W Broadway
Boston, MA 02127
(857) 496-0245
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When Six West opened at the Cambria Hotel in late 2019, shortly after the South Boston hotel itself opened, visitors and locals quickly discovered the hidden boon that is the restaurant’s “magical mushrooms” dish. Executive chef David Daniels pairs fried mushrooms with truffle powder and Portuguese linguiça sausage, which the kitchen is happy to omit for a vegetarian-friendly bite. Find the dish at Cambria’s ground-floor restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.

A dark plate holds a pile of fried mushrooms
“Magical mushrooms” at Six West
Andrew Katz

9. Moonshine 152

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152 Dorchester Ave
Boston, MA 02127
(617) 752-4191
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The mushroom tofu veggie burger has been a favorite recipe of chef Asia Mei back before she even opened Moonshine 152 in South Boston in 2015. She conceived the dish while she worked as Whole Foods’ executive chef. Finding only dull, frozen veggie burgers in the market, she set out to create a protein-packed and flavorful option that combined tofu, mushrooms, and spices to call to mind a juicy patty without trying to mimic the exact flavor of meat.

“I really think the umami-rich, deep, unctuous flavor pairs perfectly with anything that you could find on a regular beef burger,” she says of the burger, which is served on a potato bun with house aioli, sharp Vermont white cheddar, lettuce, onion, tomato, and shoestring fries. A mainstay of both the dinner and weekend brunch menus, it’s a customer favorite and is vegan if you omit the cheese and aioli. “It really embodies everything I want to be/do as a chef, which is provide approachable, craveable comfort food items, but on a higher level of execution,” Mei says. 

Closeup of a cheese-covered burger with fries on the side
Mushroom tofu veggie burger at Moonshine 152
Moonshine 152 [Official Photo]

10. Victoria's Diner

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1024 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 442-5965
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This family-run legendary diner first opened its doors in 1949 on Massachusetts Avenue, at the crossroads of Dorchester, Roxbury, South Boston, and the South End. Though customers will find the usual comfort food favorites on the restaurant’s colossal menu, like stacked burgers smothered with cheese, check out the sandwich section for lighter vegetarian bites, such as a portobello avocado panini with basil aioli, served on focaccia.

11. Totto Ramen

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20A District Ave
Boston, MA 02125
(617) 326-6396
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A newcomer to Dorchester’s South Bay, Totto Ramen opened in late December 2019, joining its Allston and Somerville siblings — all part of a small New York-based chain. While other restaurants might sneak meat into their broth as a flavor booster, Totto’s vegetable ramen boasts a soup base of seaweed and shiitake mushroom. Add mild-flavored kikurage mushrooms to the seasonal vegetable offering for a textural interplay with the noodles.

12. Somtum Modern Thai Cuisine

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1894 Centre St
West Roxbury, MA 02132
(617) 477-3348
Visit Website

Sometimes soup is a meal in itself. Try the coconut soup at Somtum Modern Thai Cuisine, with mushrooms that float in a flavor-rich coconut broth that’s cut with bright lemongrass and lime, for a flavor-filled warmer. The restaurant opened in West Roxbury in 2017 and focuses on Thai classics for lunch and dinner, like this vegetarian spin on the iconic tom kha soup (which is often served with chicken and shrimp).

1. Sarma

249 Pearl St, Somerville, MA 02145

Somerville’s acclaimed Middle Eastern meze restaurant celebrates double the fungus in its mushroom manti. The dinner dish pairs a delicate porcini yogurt broth with maitake mushrooms, along with turnips and poached egg for a bit of runny yolk goodness.

249 Pearl St
Somerville, MA 02145

2. Alcove

50 Lovejoy Wharf, Boston, MA 02114

With a little luck, you’ll hit up Alcove when the Lovejoy Wharf seafood- and vegetable-focused restaurant offers its maitake mushroom dish. Since Alcove opened in late 2018, this vegan entree has frequently replaced typical meat-based dishes, with nary a complaint from carnivores. Chef Brian Paszko highlights the meaty texture of the maitake — also known as hen-of-the-woods mushrooms — by pairing them with polenta, baby turnips, and black garlic. 

50 Lovejoy Wharf
Boston, MA 02114

3. Tony & Elaine's

111 N Washington St, Boston, MA 02114

North End restaurant Tony & Elaine’s rolled out the red-and-white checkered tablecloths at the beginning of 2019, serving nostalgic riffs on Italian favorites, such as spaghetti and meatballs, chicken parm, and fontina arancini. One can’t go wrong with the mushroom risotto, which pairs creamy risotto with a hearty helping of mixed mushrooms with herbs and a drizzle of truffle oil.

111 N Washington St
Boston, MA 02114

4. Yvonne's

2 Winter Pl, Boston, MA 02108

Toast to mushrooms at Yvonne’s in Downtown Crossing, where the “modern supper club” serves a charred maitake mushroom toast. The snack combines mushrooms with whipped miso, sesame, and yaki sauce to boost the umami. 

2 Winter Pl
Boston, MA 02108

5. Cafe Landwer

900 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02215
A white bowl with a decorative rose-patterned rim is full of hummus, topped with mushrooms and herbs.
Shrooms hummus mezza at Cafe Landwer
Andrew Katz

Israeli Mediterranean chain Cafe Landwer — which made its stateside debut in 2018 with locations in Cleveland Circle and Audubon Circle — considers its “shrooms” hummus mezza a signature dish. With the combo of mushrooms, caramelized onion, and olive oil, the mezza makes for a solid meat-free meal if paired with, perhaps, an order of haloumi sticks.

900 Beacon St
Boston, MA 02215

6. Chickadee

21 Drydock Ave, Boston, MA 02210
Overhead view of a round bowl full of a bloom of deep-fried hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and a white, herb-filled, foamy sauce
Crispy hen of the woods at Chickadee
Brian Samuels

The crispy hen of the woods dish at Chickadee in the Seaport District’s Innovation and Design building is almost like a deep-fried blooming onion gone gourmand: an addictive salty and caramelized texture trip. The dish pairs deep-fried hen-of-the-woods mushrooms with an aerated Greek potato-almond skordalia dip, nigella seed, and chives. Find it on the lunch and dinner menu of the Mediterranean-inspired spot that chef John daSilva and beverage director Ted Kilpatrick opened in 2018.

“I think my favorite thing about the dish is that it’s so textural,” daSilva says. “You get the nice crispy mushrooms and the creamy sauce. The deep-fryer further concentrates the umami, and there’s maximum caramelization because every part of the mushroom is getting that hot oil.”

21 Drydock Ave
Boston, MA 02210

7. Tiger Mama

1363 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215
A small wooden bowl of glossy mushrooms, garnished with a skinny red chile pepper. The bowl sits on a light wooden surface.
Mala mushrooms at Tiger Mama
JM Leach

Chef Tiffani Faison brings the heat with her mala mushrooms at Tiger Mama, where she’s crafted creative Southeast Asian-inspired dishes in Fenway since 2015. The mushroom dish features king oyster, shiitake, and cremini mushrooms — along with other seasonal mushrooms — mixed with a classic Chinese mala spice, which is both numbing and hot.

“The mala mushrooms are a meaty, umami-laden alternative to a wok-fired meat dish,” says Faison, also the owner of nearby restaurants Fool’s Errand, Orfano, and Sweet Cheeks. “We make a chile oil in-house with a ton of spices, chiles, garlic, and Sichuan peppercorn. We use it in the dish while we’re hard-roasting the mushrooms in the wok and finish with vinegar.” Find it on the dinner menu or at brunch, where it’s served with a fried duck egg and white rice to soak up the heat of the sauce. 

1363 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215

8. Six West

6 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127
A dark plate holds a pile of fried mushrooms
“Magical mushrooms” at Six West
Andrew Katz

When Six West opened at the Cambria Hotel in late 2019, shortly after the South Boston hotel itself opened, visitors and locals quickly discovered the hidden boon that is the restaurant’s “magical mushrooms” dish. Executive chef David Daniels pairs fried mushrooms with truffle powder and Portuguese linguiça sausage, which the kitchen is happy to omit for a vegetarian-friendly bite. Find the dish at Cambria’s ground-floor restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.

6 W Broadway
Boston, MA 02127

9. Moonshine 152

152 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02127
Closeup of a cheese-covered burger with fries on the side
Mushroom tofu veggie burger at Moonshine 152
Moonshine 152 [Official Photo]

The mushroom tofu veggie burger has been a favorite recipe of chef Asia Mei back before she even opened Moonshine 152 in South Boston in 2015. She conceived the dish while she worked as Whole Foods’ executive chef. Finding only dull, frozen veggie burgers in the market, she set out to create a protein-packed and flavorful option that combined tofu, mushrooms, and spices to call to mind a juicy patty without trying to mimic the exact flavor of meat.

“I really think the umami-rich, deep, unctuous flavor pairs perfectly with anything that you could find on a regular beef burger,” she says of the burger, which is served on a potato bun with house aioli, sharp Vermont white cheddar, lettuce, onion, tomato, and shoestring fries. A mainstay of both the dinner and weekend brunch menus, it’s a customer favorite and is vegan if you omit the cheese and aioli. “It really embodies everything I want to be/do as a chef, which is provide approachable, craveable comfort food items, but on a higher level of execution,” Mei says. 

152 Dorchester Ave
Boston, MA 02127

10. Victoria's Diner

1024 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02118

This family-run legendary diner first opened its doors in 1949 on Massachusetts Avenue, at the crossroads of Dorchester, Roxbury, South Boston, and the South End. Though customers will find the usual comfort food favorites on the restaurant’s colossal menu, like stacked burgers smothered with cheese, check out the sandwich section for lighter vegetarian bites, such as a portobello avocado panini with basil aioli, served on focaccia.

1024 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, MA 02118

11. Totto Ramen

20A District Ave, Boston, MA 02125

A newcomer to Dorchester’s South Bay, Totto Ramen opened in late December 2019, joining its Allston and Somerville siblings — all part of a small New York-based chain. While other restaurants might sneak meat into their broth as a flavor booster, Totto’s vegetable ramen boasts a soup base of seaweed and shiitake mushroom. Add mild-flavored kikurage mushrooms to the seasonal vegetable offering for a textural interplay with the noodles.

20A District Ave
Boston, MA 02125

12. Somtum Modern Thai Cuisine

1894 Centre St, West Roxbury, MA 02132

Sometimes soup is a meal in itself. Try the coconut soup at Somtum Modern Thai Cuisine, with mushrooms that float in a flavor-rich coconut broth that’s cut with bright lemongrass and lime, for a flavor-filled warmer. The restaurant opened in West Roxbury in 2017 and focuses on Thai classics for lunch and dinner, like this vegetarian spin on the iconic tom kha soup (which is often served with chicken and shrimp).

1894 Centre St
West Roxbury, MA 02132

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