Newbury Street — which Time Out recently dubbed one of the coolest streets in the world — is Boston’s most famous destination for dining and shopping. The street’s fancy boutiques, galleries, and 19th-century brownstones are charming enough to lure in anybody for an afternoon stroll, including local Bostonians, students, and tourists. Given the in-demand real estate, dining on Newbury Street can get very expensive for what is, in some cases, a mediocre meal. We turned to Anna Darrow, a Newbury Street resident, to guide us through the restaurants that are actually worth your money on the iconic street.Read More
Where to Eat on Newbury Street
The best restaurants along Boston’s most iconic street
Owned by restaurateur Kathy Sidell, Saltie Girl has quickly become a Back Bay staple, and now includes sister locations in Los Angeles and London. It is a must if you’re looking for a stellar, seafood-focused dining experience. Sit at the bar and enjoy a generous serving of moules frites and a bottle of white wine, or make a reservation in advance for a table and work your way through the menu, from shellfish towers to smoked fish to a whole branzino with green cilantro sauce and guajillo pepper red sauce that is inspired by acclaimed Mexico City restaurant Contramar. The lobster roll is also one of the best in the city.
Joe’s on Newbury
Let’s face it: Just because it’s touristy doesn’t mean it’s bad. You’re on Newbury Street after all, and Joe’s is a Newbury Street institution. Plus, a surprising amount of locals continue to haunt its halls. If you are in need of a cold drink, a burger, nachos, a big salad, or other American pub grub after several hours on foot exploring Back Bay, try Joe’s. If possible, walk in and grab a seat at the front bar or in the front dining area, where there are massive windows facing Newbury. (Side note: Joe’s on Newbury is not related to Stephanie’s on Newbury, which is across the street.)
La Voile (“The Sail”) is a wonderful, worthy stop for lunch or dinner. Founded by Frenchman Pierre Honegger, La Voile is inspired by La Voile au Vent (“The Sail in the Wind”) in Cannes, where sailors like Honegger, and reportedly Ernest Hemingway, used to frequent. La Voile will transport you to France with its decadent food — escargots, onion soup, steak frites, chocolate mousse — and bistro-style seating.
Aceituna Grill strikes a good balance of quality and quantity for an easy-on-the-wallet price that is often hard to find these days. Order at the counter for fast-casual service focused on pitas, rice bowls, and salads. The sides are a highlight — particularly the baba ganoush, tabbouleh, and moussaka. The sauces are also excellent. There is ample seating both indoors and outdoors (seasonally), and even a bar if you care for a drink with your meal.
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Union Park Pizza
Acclaimed pizzeria Union Park, founded by husband-and-wife team Joe and Maggie Sylva, was originally located in the South End before relocating to Newbury last year. The new location continues to serve excellent pizza, by the slice or whole pie. The Mags Supreme — pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, red onions, green peppers, olives, baby spinach — and the Buffalo chicken are especially great. The house-made ranch is a must-order for ranch connoisseurs. Select pies are available to be made gluten-free and/or dairy-free. Beer and wine selections are available at the counter.
Bangkok Bento Thai Kitchen and Sushi Bar
Bangkok Bento serves Thai and Japanese food and is great for a quick, casual bite. The extensive menu is a crowd-pleaser and the seasonal patio is particularly fun for people-watching. From stir-fries to curries to sushi, dine-in or take-out are both solid options here.
Krasi is a hard reservation to snag, but it lives up to the hype: excellent Greek food, wine, and hospitality, in a sleek yet warm and welcoming space. The kitchen is led by chef Valentine Howell — a 2023 James Beard award finalist — and the wine program by Evan Turner. Fresh-baked breads, dips (such as the “make-it-yourself” tzatziki), Greek cheeses, and dishes like the mushroom orzo, grilled octopus, and lamb osso buco are all exceptional and great for sharing with a friend.
Little Whale Oyster Bar
Little Whale Oyster Bar is the latest addition to the Newbury Street seafood scene. Chef and owner Michael Serpa of Serpa Hospitality (Select Oyster Bar, Atlántico) opened Little Whale last fall in the space that previously housed Grand Tour, a French bistro also owned by Serpa. The menu retains some Grand Tour hits, such as steak frites, mussels, and the caviar omelet, but is mostly focused on New England seafood classics: clam chowder, fried Ipswich clams, Maine lobster rolls, Gloucester swordfish, and an impressive raw bar.
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
Often hailed as the best ramen on Newbury (or rather, directly around the corner on Hereford), Santouka serves up delicious, filling bowls of ramen in a variety of flavors. While a line often forms outside, it is worth the wait for intimate indoor seating. Seasonal patio seating is also available. Takeout is an option for those who do not want to wait in line, and is especially delightful on a gloomy day.