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Slices of wagyu beef above a flame with a small dark bowl filled with dipping sauce
Fuego Wagyu at Ruka
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

40 Things You Should Eat Today

Recommended eating (and drinking) around Boston

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Fuego Wagyu at Ruka
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

Some mornings, the Eater Boston day kicks off with Morning Briefing, a round-up of mini news bites from the restaurant world in Boston and beyond. Often, Morning Briefing ends with a segment called “One Thing You Should Eat Today” (or occasionally “One Thing You Should Drink Today”) — a dish (or drink) that the Eater Boston team has enjoyed recently and thinks you would too.

Some of the dishes can be found at brand new restaurants while others are from old classics, and some are high-end while others are quick and cheap, but they’re all delicious.

This map serves as an archive of all of those recommendations from the 2017 installments of Morning Briefing; give them a try and share your thoughts in the comments below. (We want to see what dishes you’re enjoying as well. Tag your Instagram photos #eaterboston; we regram our favorites.) Stay tuned for the 2018 map.

Note: Map points are ordered from north to south, not ranked.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Woodman’s of Essex: Chubby’s Original Fried Clam Plate

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121 Main St
Essex, MA 01929
(978) 768-2559
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Enjoy a sunny day on the North Shore — and all the fried things. Today’s the day for a New England classic, fried clams at Woodman’s of Essex. Get the Chubby’s original plate, which includes clams — perfectly fried, remarkably non-greasy — plus fries and onion rings. You can restart your healthy eating goals tomorrow.

A paper plate of fried clams, fries, and onion rings sits in a cardboard tray on a red-and-white-checkered tablecloth
Chubby’s original fried clam plate at Woodman’s of Essex
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

2. Bianchi's Pizza: Pizza

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322 Revere Beach Blvd
Revere, MA 02151
(781) 284-9472

Some days are made for sneaking out of work for an extra-long lunch and strolling along the beach with a giant New York-style slice of pizza in hand. Make this happen at Bianchi’s, a classic Revere Beach spot, where the slices equal a quarter of a pie. (Slices are cheese only. Want toppings? Get a whole pizza.) Cash only.

A pepperoni pizza sits in an open cardboard pizza box on a stone surface, with a mostly empty beach visible in the background
Pepperoni pizza at Bianchi’s
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

3. Daddy Jones: Spicy Pork Pita Wrap

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525 Medford St
Somerville, MA
(617) 690-9095
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Soft pita, spicy pork, salty fries, creamy tzatziki: eat the spicy pork pita wrap at Daddy Jones in Somerville’s Magoun Square. Or sub in lamb, chicken, veggies, or loukaniko (pork sausage) instead of the spicy pork. If weather permits, eat on the patio, one of the best hidden oases in town. Room for dessert? Try the loukoumades.

Spicy pork pita wrap at Daddy Jones
Spicy pork pita wrap at Daddy Jones
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

4. River Bar: Fried Chicken & Champagne Thursdays

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661 Assembly Row
Somerville, MA
(617) 616-5561
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River Bar knows how to celebrate Thursday evenings. The end of the week is so close, and what you really need is a giant plate of fried chicken, a biscuit and butter, corn on the cob, and a glass of champagne. $30 for the food; champagne prices vary. Bring a friend or just dive in by yourself; you won’t leave hungry. Bonus: If you’re reading this during patio season, head outside. River Bar’s got a great one.

Fried chicken & champagne at River Bar
Fried chicken & champagne at River Bar
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

5. Gran Gusto: Paccheri With Short Rib Ragù

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90 Sherman St
Cambridge, MA
(617) 441-0400
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Is it the perfect night for a hearty bowl of pasta? Enter Gran Gusto, an excellent Italian restaurant hidden inside of an office building in an otherwise residential neighborhood sandwiched between Cambridge’s Porter Square and Fresh Pond. If you’ve heard of it, you know it quietly serves up some of the best pizza in town, but don’t skip the pasta. One thing you should eat today is the paccheri (wide, smooth tubes of pasta) with tender short rib ragù. If you eat a second thing, make it the restaurant’s signature chitarra alla “sciuè sciuè,” mixed up tableside in a giant cheese wheel. Throw in a diavola pizza, too, for good measure.

Paccheri garnished with a meaty short rib ragu and a sprig of rosemary sits on a white plate on a dark background
Paccheri with short rib ragù at Gran Gusto
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

6. Bagelsaurus: Bialy

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1796 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA
(857) 285-6103
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Sure, bagels are the focus at Bagelsaurus — but you can (and should) order a bialy there as well. The little Cambridge shop is open daily until 3 p.m. (or until everything’s sold out), and the bialys appear at 10 a.m. each morning. Fillings vary; the bialys were stuffed with onions and poppy seeds on a recent visit. Bonus: Buy a Bagelsaurus hoodie while you’re there. They’re irresistibly soft and cozy.

Bialy from Bagelsaurus
Bialy from Bagelsaurus
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

7. Manoa Poke Shop: Poke Bowls

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300 Beacon St
Somerville, MA
(617) 945-1042
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Classic Hawaiian-style poke bowls have been spreading rapidly around the mainland recently, yet another example of one region’s staple being turned into a trend — complete with fast-casual chains — somewhere else. The Boston area has seen a quick influx of poke shops, and all are worth a visit, but there’s something extra special about Manoa, a cheerful little shop minutes from Porter Square, decorated with a friendly mural and staffed by even friendlier employees. Try a poke bowl, any poke bowl — or customize your own by choosing from a variety of grain bases, raw seafood (or braised tofu), sides (such as papaya salad), and other add-ons (such as chili pineapple).

Poke bowls at Manoa Poke Shop
Poke bowls at Manoa Poke Shop
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

8. P & K Deli: Meatball Sub

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244 Beacon St
Somerville, MA 02143

If you’ve ever been on Somerville’s Beacon Street, you’ve probably passed P & K Deli plenty of times and paid no attention to it. Venture inside the tiny convenience store and head to the sub counter in the back. Others will tell you to order the Italian sub, with its deli meats sliced to order by the friendly owner. But it’s the hearty meatball sub — saucy but not soggy, thanks to the soft-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside roll — that feels right on those mildly chilly early spring or late fall days. Or any day.

A meatball sub and an Italian sub on white deli paper
Meatball sub and Italian sub at P & K Deli in Somerville
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

9. Ebi Sushi: Any Special, Especially Torched Salmon

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290 Somerville Ave
Somerville, MA
(617) 764-5556
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Although Boston shines in the high-end sushi department (O Ya, Uni, and more), there are also a number of can’t-miss options on the more casual side of sushi. Swing by Ebi Sushi, grab a seat at the sushi counter, and order anything from the specials menu, especially if torched salmon is available. Want to avoid thinking? Try the five- or ten-piece omakase nigiri, which generally highlights a number of those specials, including the aforementioned torched salmon.

A pyramid of sushi rolls topped with a crunchy coating sits on a large black plank, which also holds several pieces of nigiri
Omakase nigiri and volcano roll at Ebi Sushi
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

10. Broadsheet Coffee Roasters: Khachapuri (Georgian Egg Boat)

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100 Kirkland St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 945-2867
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Get a taste of Georgia — the country, not the state — with the khachapuri (“egg boat”) at Broadsheet Coffee. The bread is stuffed full of feta, mozzarella, and spinach, bulging out in the middle to accommodate an oozy egg. Pay special attention to the irresistible sauce on the side: zhug, a hot sauce with origins in Yemen.

Khachapuri (Georgian egg boat) at Broadsheet Coffee
Khachapuri (Georgian egg boat) at Broadsheet Coffee
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

11. Momi Nonmi: Loco Moco

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1128 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 945-7328
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Sizzling fajitas may be a ‘90s relic, but there’s still something so satisfying about a dish that hits the table sizzling. Head to Momi Nonmi in Cambridge’s Inman Square to try chef-owner Chris Chung’s take on a Hawaiian classic, loco moco: rice topped with a beef patty and sunny side up egg — and then sizzlingly topped with gravy tableside. It’s available on all of the restaurant’s menus: weekday lunch, weekend brunch, dinner, and late-night. Nothing better than late-night loco moco and a sake flight.

loco moco at momi nonmi
Loco moco at Momi Nonmi
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

12. Les Sablons: Lemon Posset

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2 Bennett Street
Cambridge, MA
(617) 268-6800
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Head to the new Island Creek Oyster Bar/Row 34 sibling Les Sablons in Harvard Square, and save room for dessert, because one of the things you should eat today is the lemon posset with olive oil gelato and pistachio. Never heard of posset? “It may sound like a small mammal, but posset is actually an old-time English dessert that most Americans have never encountered,” according to a March 2016 Cook’s Illustrated article. “Until fairly recently, even most English cooks would likely have associated the name with a tart, creamy drink dating back to the Middle Ages. But today’s posset, which has been taken up by English celebrity chefs and cookbook writers and is starting to appear on American restaurant menus, is something altogether different: a chilled dessert with the marvelously plush texture of a mousse or pudding that comes together almost by magic from nothing more than sugar, cream, and citrus juice.” Les Sablons’ version could indeed be described as “marvelously plush,” and the perfect bite includes equal parts of the subtle olive oil gelato and the bright lemon posset. The pistachio topping is a bonus.

Lemon posset at Les Sablons
Lemon posset at Les Sablons
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

13. Night Market: Sake Slushies

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75 Winthrop St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(857) 285-6948
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You know you want to gleefully drink boozy slushies today. Descend into Night Market, a basement space hidden steps away from the Harvard Square hustle and bustle, and find a dark, cozy space decorated with colorful murals and communal tables. Order the best-value tasting menu in town ($28 per person for a generous line-up of dishes that often includes dan dan noodles, shaky shaky beef, and more) and make your way through the selection of sake slushies. Flavors vary; on a recent visit, there were pineapple, grape, and sour cherry options. All are sweet, fun, and the perfect complement to the spicy Sichuan numbness that comes through in some of Night Market’s dishes.

Sake slushies at Night Market
Sake slushies at Night Market
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

14. Oleana: Baked Alaska

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134 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA
(617) 661-0505
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In a restaurant scene filled with flashy new openings, it’s easy to forget the places that have been around for a while, quietly serving up excellent food night after night. Tonight’s a good night to visit one of these older standbys, Oleana, and enjoy — for the first time or the 100th time — its most classic dessert, the baked Alaska. Not that Oleana really flies under the radar — it’s still a fairly difficult reservation to book — but if it’s been a while since your last visit, or if you’ve never been, why not try to swing by tonight? There’s a chance you can grab a bar seat and enjoy a glass of wine and the towering baked Alaska, full of coconut ice cream and standing in a pool of perfect passion fruit caramel.

A dramatic baked Alaska dessert full of toasted meringue sits on a brown plate, the background of the photo obscured in shadows.
Baked Alaska at Oleana
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

15. Waypoint: Chickpea Gemelli

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1030 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA
(617) 864-2300
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The problem with Waypoint — and it’s a good problem to have —is that it’s so difficult to pick the best ordering strategy, because there are so many different directions you could go. Raw bar, caviar, pizza, pasta, giant shareable roasts, and straight-up small and medium plates...where to focus? It’s all great. Hint: Bring a giant group; eat everything. Most, especially the pizza, works well as leftovers, too. One standout dish from a recent visit was from the pasta section: the chickpea gemelli, which felt just right for spring with braised lamb, green garlic, chickpeas, and pinenuts.

Chickpea gemelli at Waypoint
Chickpea gemelli at Waypoint
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

16. Pammy's: Arctic Char

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928 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA
(617) 945-1761
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There’s much to enjoy at the newly opened Pammy’s (928 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge) between Harvard and Central squares — and unlike so many openings these days, it’s the type of restaurant where one can enjoy a straight-up appetizer-entree-dessert combo without juggling a table full of small plates meant to be shared. Share anyway, though, because the entree-sized pasta dishes and mains are equally desirable. Don’t miss the Arctic char, perfectly cooked and served on a bed of farro and dehydrated strawberries. (And be sure to save room for dessert.)

Arctic char at Pammy’s
Arctic char at Pammy’s
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

17. Café Du Pays: Half Duck

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233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave
Cambridge, MA
(617) 314-7297
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Café Du Pays has arrived, a cozy rebirth of the former Hungry Mother space, courtesy of the Hungry Mother/State Park/Mamaleh’s team. As promised, it brings French-Canadian fare to Cambridge — a cuisine difficult to find in the Boston area, aside from many attempts at or twists on poutine. (Yes, Café Du Pays has poutine, and yes, the menu calls it “Yes, we have poutine.” Yes, you should eat it.) Poutine aside, the must-try dish on a solid debut menu is the half duck, which comes complete with smoked leg and tomato salad. At $40, it’s priced as the shareable centerpiece of the meal; fill in with some smaller shared plates, especially one that comes with freshly baked bread (the ham and Dijon or the cultured butter and radishes, for example), and it’ll be a suitable feast.

Half duck with smoked leg at Cafe Du Pays
Half duck with smoked leg at Café Du Pays
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

18. The Automatic: Freaky Fries

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50 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA
(617) 714-5226
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Cambridge has seen a few openings lately that are just pure fun, whether it’s the Roxy’s Central/A4cade collaboration (Arcade games! Cocktails in unique glassware! Grilled cheese!) or a place like The Automatic, full of funky comfort food, throwback drinks, and the combined legacies of the OG East Coast Grill and the dearly departed B-Side Lounge. Because it’s important to have fun — and to eat great food — head to The Automatic today and snag an order of freaky fries: salty, crispy perfection embellished with bone marrow, parmesan, and “meat debris” (think Steak-umm, but in a good way.) Need more? Add on nori chicken skewers and a frozen mudslide because you deserve this.

Freaky fries at The Automatic
Freaky fries at The Automatic
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

19. Home Taste: Spicy Hot Oil Seared Hand-Pulled Noodles

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58 Mount Auburn St
Watertown, MA
(617) 923-0227
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Noodles. Hand-pulled, filling noodles. Maybe you’ve been to Gene’s, maybe you’ve been to MDM Noodles, but today, you should head to Watertown Square to Home Taste, which opened in late 2015 and has been quietly serving up excellent noodles, Chinese burgers, dumplings, and more since then. Order number two, the spicy hot oil seared hand-pulled noodles. (At lunch time, the dish is available as a special combo with a beef roll or spring roll, boneless spareribs or chicken fingers, and soup.)

Spicy hot oil seared hand-pulled noodles at Home Taste
Spicy hot oil seared hand-pulled noodles at Home Taste
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

20. Sumiao Hunan Kitchen

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270 Third St
Cambridge, MA 02142
(617) 945-0907
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Heat things up with the lava fish at Sumiao Hunan Kitchen in Cambridge’s Kendall Square — and don’t forget to order it “authentic spicy” for a bit of extra fire. (Don’t be scared; it’s still quite manageable.) The dish features swai filet and duo jiao (chopped salted chilies). Try it with baijiu, a Chinese grain-based spirit, served at Sumiao by the bottle, by the glass, and in cocktails.

Lava fish at Sumiao Hunan Kitchen
Lava fish at Sumiao Hunan Kitchen
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

21. North Square Oyster: Hot Lobster Roll With Brown Butter

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5 N Square
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 829-4975
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Hard to choose just one dish to recommend at the excellent North Square Oyster, which opened in May 2017 in the North End. Since we’ve already sung the praises of the restaurant’s French onion soup and clam chowder in our soup map, let’s zero in on the lobster roll. Get it hot with brown butter. (It’s also available cold with mayo, celery, and chives, but we’ll fight anyone who thinks that a cold mayo lobster roll is superior to a hot buttered one.) On a recent visit, the lobster roll was served with vinegar chips, but a later menu lists french fries as the side. Either way, this newbie is a worthy contender among Boston’s best lobster rolls, overflowing with giant chunks of lobster meat, served in a bun sturdy enough to hold everything together but soft enough to let the lobster keep the spotlight to itself.

Brown butter lobster roll at North Square Oyster
Brown butter lobster roll at North Square Oyster
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

22. Our Fathers: Fried Brussels Sprouts With Aleppo Vinaigrette

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197 N Harvard St
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 303-0101
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You’ve outgrown your childhood hatred of Brussels sprouts by now, haven’t you? If not, these might help: fried Brussels sprouts with Aleppo vinaigrette at Our Fathers, now open in Lower Allston. They’re currently among the best sprouts in town — in a town where sprouts are just about everywhere. It’s all about that vinaigrette. The new restaurant is obsessed with gin, so pair the dish with one of many gin cocktails.

Brussels sprouts with Aleppo vinaigrette at Our Fathers
Brussels sprouts with Aleppo vinaigrette at Our Fathers
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

23. Craigie on Main: The Burger

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853 Main St
Cambridge, MA
(617) 497-5511
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Keep it classic with the Craigie on Main “secret” burger, whether you’re a first-timer or an old fan. Head to the bar right at 5:30 p.m. to snag one of the 18 available each night. While you wait for it to arrive, read about its anatomy or about chef-owner Tony Maws’ feelings toward having an ultra-popular burger on his menu. (Michael Scelfo of Alden & Harlow, Michael Schlow of the now-defunct Radius, Tim Wiechmann of Bronwyn, Will Gilson of Puritan & Co., and Patrick Gilmartin of River Bar chime in as well.)

The burger at Craigie on Main
The burger at Craigie on Main
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

24. Abide at Middlesex Lounge: Matcha Drinks

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315 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 868-6739
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A long-term pop-up called Abide has quietly taken up residence inside Middlesex Lounge in Cambridge, with plans to stick around at least partway through 2018. Friendly baristas are whisking up a variety of hot and cold matcha drinks and more — colorful, pleasing drinks that will make you smile. Try the Monarch, for example: a nutty blend of matcha, black sesame, and milk. Another matcha selection, the Godfather, layers in strawberry matcha and milk for a picture-perfect (and delicious) Italian flag of a drink. (There are also plenty of non-matcha beverages on the menu that’ll delight tea and coffee lovers alike, and there’s even a kid-friendly “fruit latte” with seasonal fruits and milk.) Plus, Abide’s branding and menu design is adorable. Hours can vary, so check social media before heading over, but it tends to be open from 11 a.m. to 6 or 7 p.m. most days.

The Godfather at Abide
The Godfather at Abide
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

25. Branch Line: Sugar Snap Pea Salad

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321 Arsenal St
Watertown, MA

Perhaps it seems odd to get excited about a salad, but Branch Line’s sugar snap pea salad (marcona almond, mint, ricotta) has been on the menu since day one because it’s that good. The mountain of light, crisp peas is the perfect accompaniment to Branch Line’s specialty, rotisserie chicken. Don’t forget to order a side of rotisserie drippings and roasted garlic for dipping the bread that comes with the meal.

Sugar snap pea salad at Branch Line
Sugar snap pea salad at Branch Line
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

26. Pagu: Pork Belly Bao

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310 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA
(617) 945-9290
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Bao. Go to Pagu and try some of the tastiest pork belly bao around — braised pork belly is garnished with pickled cucumbers, fried shallots, and peanuts, nestled in a fluffy bun. The fried oyster bao — served in a jet-black squid ink bun — is also worth a try, topped with norioli, shiso, and purple cabbage. Both are available a la carte at dinner and tend to make appearances on a lunch set and dinner tasting menu as well.

Four bao are on a long, narrow tray. The two in the forefront are black and made of squid ink. Bright pink pickled onions are visible inside.
Bao at Pagu (fried oyster in front, pork belly in the back)
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

27. Cultivar: Chocolate Passion Fruit Custard

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1 Court St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 979-8203
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Mary Dumont’s new downtown restaurant, Cultivar, is full of beautifully plated dishes with lots of floral accents. There are plenty of highlights on the dinner menu, from crudo to pasta and beyond, but be sure to save room for dessert: Robert Gonzalez, formerly of Bistro du Midi, is serving up irresistible sweets. Try the chocolate passion fruit custard, which somehow toes the line between rich and light. It’s the perfect answer to the conundrum of whether to go in the chocolate direction or the fruit direction for dessert.

Chocolate and passion fruit custard at Cultivar
Chocolate and passion fruit custard at Cultivar
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

28. Ruka: Fuego Wagyu

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505 Washington St
Boston, MA
(617) 266-0102
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Wagyu. On. Fire. This one’s a splurge at $32 for just five pieces of flaming meat, but if you feel like dropping some cash, the Fuego Wagyu is one of the most impressive bites at Ruka (505 Washington St., Downtown Crossing, Boston), in terms of both taste and presentation — bulgogi beef futomaki (“fat rolled sushi”) with A5 Miyazaki Wagyu beef, scallion, and peppers. And fire.

Slices of wagyu beef above a flame with a small dark bowl filled with dipping sauce
Fuego Wagyu at Ruka
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

29. Outlook Kitchen and Bar: Nutella French Toast

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70 Sleeper Street
Boston, MA
(617) 530-1559
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Hotel restaurants tend to get a bad rap, but Boston’s got plenty that are worth visiting even if you’re not a tourist staying in the hotel. Plus, they generally serve substantial breakfasts daily. Such is the case at Outlook Kitchen and Bar at the Envoy Hotel, where you could spend your weekday morning eating a big pile of Nutella French toast, topped with caramelized chai rum bananas. Need more sugar? Throw in a sticky bun with bacon jam.

Nutella French toast at Outlook Kitchen and Bar
Nutella French toast at Outlook Kitchen and Bar
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

30. Ruckus Boston: Black Garlic Mazemen

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5 Tyler St
Boston, MA

Now open next door to Shōjō (and from the same team, plus Tiger Mama and Toro alum Mike Stark), Ruckus (5 Tyler St., Chinatown) is serving up a short menu of flavor-packed noodle and rice bowls Thursday through Sunday each week. The “Miso Lit!!!” is an excellent rendition of a spicy miso ramen (ground pork, grilled corn, shaved nori, bean sprouts, chili oil), but since a number of local ramen shops serve up a decent spicy miso ramen, try something a little bit different: the umami-packed black garlic mazemen (a brothless style of ramen) with pulled togarashi lamb, a marinated soft egg, chili threads, grilled nori, and sesame. Order at the host stand right by the entrance, grab a number, sit down anywhere, and await noodles.

A bowl of ramen with saffron, a soft egg, seaweed, and chopped vegetables
Black garlic mazemen at Ruckus
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

31. Gre.Co: Yaya’s Loukoumades

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225 Newbury St
Boston, MA
(617) 572-3300
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Today, choose dessert. Choose light, airy Greek-style doughnut holes — loukoumades — dripping with sweet toppings. Head to Gre.co for Yaya’s loukoumades, topped with hazelnut praline (think Nutella), Oreo cookies, and powdered sugar.

Closeup shot of two side-by-side paper containers of fried dough balls. One is topped in a chocolate glaze with crushed Oreos.
Loukoumades at Gre.co
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

32. Oak + Rowan: Clam and Pork Chowder

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321 A St
Boston, MA
(857) 284-7742
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A soup for all seasons: Oak & Rowan’s outstanding clam chowder, with pork belly and fingerling potato chips, is truly suitable for any weather. It’s a surprisingly delicate chowder, light enough for a hot summer day, but the pork belly helps fortify it to warm up a chilly fall day or even a blizzard. Don’t miss this one. Available for both lunch and dinner.

Oak and Rowan chowder
Chowder at Oak + Rowan
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

33. Saloniki: Spicy Lamb Meatball Plate

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4 Kilmarnock St
Boston, MA
(617) 266-0001
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Fast-casual Mediterranean is on the rise in Boston, and that’s a good thing. Now with two locations, Saloniki (FenwayCentral Square) is a vital part of the scene. From the team behind Trade, Saloniki serves up pitas, salads, and plates topped with items such as braised honey-garlic pork shoulder, zucchini-feta fritters, loukaniko (pork sausage), and more. Get the spicy lamb meatball plate (aka “George”) with spicy whipped feta or tzatziki. And absolutely do not forget the secret sauce, a preserved lemon-based ray of sunshine.

Spicy lamb meatball plate at Saloniki
Spicy lamb meatball plate at Saloniki
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

34. Picco: Ice Cream

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513 Tremont St
Boston, MA
(617) 927-0066
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Is there ever a day that is not a perfect day for ice cream? True New Englanders love it year-round, even in the middle of the heaviest blizzard, but it’s especially perfect on that first sunny day after a gray, rainy spell. If today is a day like that, head to Picco to celebrate the sun. Pictured, a scoop of dark chocolate and a scoop of mint chip. If you’d like, go crazy and make it a sundae with hot chocolate and whipped cream — and even a dark chocolate brownie. You should probably precede it with pizza, too, because Picco does two things — pizza and ice cream — and does them both very well.

Ice cream at Picco
Ice cream at Picco
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

35. Area Four Boston: Cinnamon Bun With Caramel Bacon Frosting (Brunch Only)

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264 E Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02118
(857) 317-4805
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Head to Area Four’s South End location, sidle up to the bar, and order yourself a brunch-friendly cocktail and the giant cinnamon bun, topped with a caramel bacon frosting. Most cinnamon buns look good, but far too many don’t live up to their appearance and yield a mouthful of dry dough when you take a bite. Not so at Area Four, which serves a bun that’s light, soft, sweet, and even smoky (thanks, bacon). Follow it up with the Hong Kong waffle if you need even more sugar. Area Four serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Cinnamon bun at Area Four Boston
Cinnamon bun at Area Four Boston
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

36. Stoked Pizza: Stoked Rock Shake

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1632 Beacon St
Brookline, MA
(617) 982-3473
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Do you eat a frappe, or do you drink it? Does your answer depend on just how much ice cream is involved? Either way, one thing that you should consume today is the boozy Stoked Rock Shake (technically a frappe; it’s got ice cream) at Stoked Pizza — it’s like a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, but good. And boozy. House-made mint syrup, Ice Glen vodka, crème de cacao, and crème de menthe. A vegan option is available, made with dairy-free Fomu ice cream.

Stoked Rock milkshake Stoked Pizza
Stoked Rock Shake at Stoked Pizza
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

37. Toro: Paella Valenciana

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1704 Washington St
Boston, MA
(617) 536-4300
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Sure, there are tons of excellent small plates to try at Toro: the corn, of course, but also the gambas al ajillo, the empanada de cabra, and more. But make sure to factor in stomach space for one of the larger showstoppers, the paella valenciana: Calasparra rice that’s tender on the top and perfectly crispy on the bottom, topped with a mountain of mussels, clams, shrimp, chicken, and sausage. While this is one of the largest dishes on the menu, it does come in two sizes, and the smaller one is quite manageable alongside a parade of small plates.

Mussels, shrimp, and clams sit atop a skillet of rice and vegetables
Paella Valenciana at Toro
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

38. Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant: Pepperoni Pizza

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425 W Broadway
Boston, MA
(617) 765-8636
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You deserve a pizza today, particularly one covered with enormous, mildly spicy pepperonis. Head to Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant in South Boston for the four-slice pepperoni pizza with fontina and marina — four giant, floppy, ultra-thin slices. It’s the perfect antidote to a gray day or the perfect celebration on a sunny one.

pizza covered with very large pepperonis
Pepperoni pizza at Lincoln Tavern
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

39. Bess's Cafe: Crispy Scallion Pancake Wrap With Beef

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224 Cypress St
Brookline, MA
(617) 879-0993
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Behold the crispy scallion pancake wrap with beef, cilantro, and plum sauce at Bess’s Cafe, a new addition to Brookline as of early 2017. This dish is a no-brainer for lovers of scallion pancakes — and things wrapped in scallion pancakes. (If this describes you, you should also try Mei Mei’s classic Double Awesome if you have not yet done so.) At Bess’s, the flaky, doughy pancake is stuffed full of a generous portion of beef in just the right amount of sweet plum sauce (as in, there’s plenty of it to add flavor, but it won’t drip all over you). There’s also a wrap with crispy chicken instead of beef; try it and let us know how it is. Depending on your hunger level, one of these wraps may be enough on its own for a light lunch, but the menu has lots of small items to mix and match, including various types of buns; cold dishes, such as cucumber salad and edamame; and desserts, smoothies, and shakes. Bonus: The adorable Rifrullo Cafe is right down the street and worth a visit for a snack or full meal and some wifi. Try the mint matcha latte.