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Photos (clockwise, from upper left): Giulia, Shojo, Marliave, Asta/Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Boston's Most Underrated Restaurants

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The people have spoken — that would be all of you who emailed, tweeted, commented, and otherwise shared your thoughts — and these are the most underrated restaurants in the Boston area, as requested by an open thread a few weeks ago. Comments have been included when provided. Note that points are organized in a roughly geographic way, north to south; the numbers don't indicate a particular ranking or popularity, just location.

Of course, some people define "underrated" differently than others, so there's probably a few on here that will make you scowl or shrug. Battle it out in the comment section below and share any others that are still flying under the radar.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Scutra

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92 Summer St
Arlington, MA 02474
(781) 316-1816
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"Never see it mentioned anywhere." [Photo: Facebook]

2. Tryst

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689 Massachusetts Ave
Arlington, MA 02720
(781) 641-2227
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[Photo: Facebook]

3. Punjab Indian Restaurant

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485 Massachusetts Ave
Arlington, MA 02474
(781) 643-0943
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"Some of the best Indian in Boston." [Photo: Official Site]

4. Manna House

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9 Medford St
Arlington, MA 02476
(781) 648-8878
[Photo: Yelp]

5. True Bistro

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1153 Broadway
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 627-9000
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[Photo: Facebook]

6. Spoke

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89 Holland St
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 718-9463
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[Photo: Facebook]

7. Highland Kitchen

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150 Highland Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 625-1131
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"A place that consistently delivers and is a ton of fun. I'm surprised their model hasn't been attempted in every neighborhood in this city." [Photo: Facebook]

8. Vicki Lee's

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105 Trapelo Rd
Belmont, MA 02478
(617) 489-5007
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[Photo: Official Site]

9. T.W. Food

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377 Walden St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 864-4745
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"TW Food is putting out elegant, interesting food at modest prices and yet their location keeps them off of many people's radars." [Photo: Facebook]

10. Giulia

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1682 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 441-2800
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[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

11. Nubar

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16 Garden St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 234-1365
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"Chef is formerly of Icarus - tasty, creative dishes with a much lower price point. Been open over two years and has yet to be reviewed by anyone to my knowledge - talk about overlooked..." [Photo: Official Site]

12. Bergamot

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118 Beacon St
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 576-7700
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"That restaurant can compete with Radius, Menton, and O Ya minus the uptightness." [Photo: 40-Something Life]

13. Russell House Tavern

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14 JFK St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 500-6055
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[Photo: Cal Bingham]

14. East Coast Grill & Raw Bar

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1271 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 491-6568
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[Photo: Official Site]

15. East By Northeast

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1128 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 876-0286
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"Inventive, consistently amazing food and drinks, and perfect ambience." [Photo: Cal Bingham]

16. Muqueca Restaurant

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1008 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 354-3296
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[Photo: Official Site]

17. Atwood's Tavern

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877 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 864-2792
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"Best patio in the city, great service, pet friendly and great food to boot." [Photo: Official Site]

18. Figs

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67 Main St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 242-2229
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[Photo: Official Site]

19. Ecco

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107 Porter St
East Boston, MA 02128
(617) 561-1112
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“The staff. The cocktails. The food. The hard-to-find but almost always available parking in their lot. And the location is next to Santarpio's if you just want to "pre-game" there. I haven't had anything other than a superb meal there each time.” [Photo: Ecco]

20. Oleana

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134 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 661-0505
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[Photo: Cal Bingham]

21. Garden at The Cellar

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991 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 475-0045
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"I think Garden at the Cellar flies under the radar pretty well." [Photo: Official Site]

22. Bondir

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279A Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 661-0009
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[Photo: Facebook]

23. Hungry Mother

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233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 499-0090
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[Photo: Yelp]

24. Mulan Taiwanese Restaurant

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228 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 441-8812
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"And another one that no one would even think to recommend...no real ambience, but great food!!" [Photo: Bunny and Pork Belly]

25. Green Street

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280 Green St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 876-1655
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"Keeps on chugging. Please no one tell them that their drink prices (ask for The Big Menu) are 7 years old, and were still comparatively inexpensive then." —Drew Starr [Photo: Foursquare]

26. Dosa Factory

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571 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 868-3672
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"Quick service Indian street food in the back of an Indian market. The dosa are are-you-kidding-me good." —Drew Starr [Photo: Foursquare]

27. Rendezvous

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502 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 576-1900
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"People seem to focus more on Kendall and Harvard, but Rendezvous is consistently great and prices are reasonable." [Photo: Foursquare]

28. Salts Restaurant

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798 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 876-8444
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"Salts is the quintessential "under the radar" candidate. I agree [...] that it can be very serious, similar to Hammersley's. I call it a "bring your own fun" kinda place. There's no bar, and if you're on a date, it can be very quiet. I went with a group of four people, and we had a ball. Some of the best plating of dishes I have ever seen. On my way to the restroom, I passed by the kitchen and saw chef/owner Gabriel Bremer bent over a plate with tweezers. Wanted to say hello but was afraid to interrupt. Serious spot. Seriously great food." [Photo: Official Site]

29. EVOO

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350 3rd St
Cambridge, MA 02142
(617) 661-3866
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"Pretty baller homemade charcuterie - especially for the price!" [Photo: Official Site]

30. Miracle of Science Bar & Grill

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321 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 868-2866
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[Photo: Facebook]

31. Taranta

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210 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 720-0052
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"Unique cuisine to the area." [Photo: Official Site]

32. Mare Oyster Bar

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135 Richmond St
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 723-6273
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"One of the best raw bars in the city and beautiful SoBe feel without the Delano poser crowds." [Photo: Facebook]

33. CLINK

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215 Charles St
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 224-4004
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"Consistently top notch - familiar foods taken just a slight turn this way or that - expertly prepared." [Photo: Official Site]

34. Harvard Gardens

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316 Cambridge St
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 523-2727
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[Photo: Facebook]

35. Grotto

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37 Bowdoin St
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 227-3434
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[Photo: Foursquare]

36. Beacon Hill Bistro

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25 Charles St
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 723-1133
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"One of my favorite restaurants in town is Beacon Hill Bistro. It always amazes me that this surprises people when I tell them, but time and again I change people's ideas of what this restaurant is when I take them in for dinner. I really believe that the chef at Beacon Hill Bistro, Josh Lewin, is one of Boston's up and coming best young chefs." —Michele Martin [Photo: Official Site]

37. Marliave

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10 Bosworth St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 422-0004
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“Cool atmosphere; only above-average dining in the tourist-dominated area; fresh breath of air from the extensive chain restaurant footprint.” [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

38. jm Curley

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21 Temple Pl
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 338-5333
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"JM Curley's burger is best in Boston." [Photo: Cal Bingham]

39. Sam's at Louis

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60 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 295-0191
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"This place is solid through and through. I'm always surprised it isn't noticed more. We have great meals there; drinks are nice and servers are always hip and comfortable to work with." [Photo: Official Site]

40. Carlo's Cucina Italiana

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131 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 254-9759
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"Likely to get better food than almost anywhere in the North End, or at any Italian place in Boston for that matter. Family owned and operated, friendly service." [Photo: Facebook]

41. Inaka

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72 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA
(617) 562-1668
[Photo: Facebook]

42. Teatro

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177 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 778-6841
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"Consistently impressed at food quality/price point." [Photo: Facebook]

43. Sip Wine Bar & Kitchen

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558-580 Washington St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 956-0888
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"It has definitely disappeared from conversation, but some of their food is really great, and I love the wine variety and options." [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

44. Troquet

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140 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 695-9463
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"I think Troquet turns out consistently delicious and thoughtful food with a great wine service, but doesn't get nearly the accolades a lot of similar places in Boston and Camberville get." —Kalun Lee [Photo: Official Site]