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Beef cheek and apple pierogi Townsman
Beef cheek and apple pierogi Townsman
Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Get Your Offal on With These 15 Boston-Area Dishes

What exactly IS offal? Purists may say it's organs only (such as liver or kidney), but the definition has expanded to include other animal parts like heart, tail, feet, head, brains, and tongue. In short, it's the bits and pieces that sound inedible but are actually delicious. So stop balking and go eat some intestines.

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Beef cheek and apple pierogi Townsman
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal

What exactly is offal? Purists may say it's organs only (such as liver or kidney), but the definition has expanded to include other animal parts like heart, tail, feet, head, brains, and tongue. In short, it's the bits and pieces that sound inedible but are actually delicious. So stop balking and go eat some intestines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Coppa

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253 Shawmut Ave
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 391-0902
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Ossa di Maiale – Pig's Bones and Tails with Mustard Glaze ($12): It sounds like a daunting dish, but pig's bones and tails are as easy to eat as potato chips. These, however, are infinitely better owing to their depth of flavor – mostly savory, and slightly charred with a hint of sweetness. [Photo: Cal Bingham for Eater]

2. Craigie on Main

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853 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 497-5511
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Confit and Roasted Milk-Fed Pig's Head For Two ($67): Nothing says romance like heading to this cozy spot and hearing the words, "Wanna share the pig's head?" Prepared Peking-style, the dish will make you swoon over the crispy skin and tender meat. [Photo: Cal Bingham for Eater]

3. El Oriental De Cuba

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416 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 390-7024
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Beef Tripe Soup ($9.99): Only offered on Saturdays, this delicious bowl of tripe is filling without being heavy. The multiple cuts of tripe – in various textures – only add to the appeal, packing a ton of flavor into a surprisingly light soup. [Photo: Official Site]

4. Toro

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1704 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 536-4300
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Mollejas – Crispy Veal Sweetbreads ($13): Toro embellishes this "tapas caliente" with an interesting combination of smoked coco bean puree, watermelon radishes, and preserved lemon vinaigrette. Add on the Corazon – grilled Archer Angus beef heart with romesco ($7) – to up the ante. [Photo: Cal Bingham for Eater]

5. Estragon Tapas Bar

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700 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 266-0443
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Higaditos de Pollo – Sauteed Chicken Livers ($8); Lengua – Seared Beef Tongue ($7): Estragon offers a pair of "pintxos" that will please any offal-lover. The chicken livers are adorned with golden raisins, brandy, and creme fraiche, while the tongue is accompanied by mojo verde and served on toast. [Photo: Facebook]

6. The Butcher Shop

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552 Tremont St
Boston, MA
(617) 423-4800
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Duck Liver Mousse ($8): This little plate risks stealing the show – no easy feat when it comes to dining at Barbara Lynch's South End standby. The texture & flavor come together beautifully, making this one memorable mousse. [Photo: Cal Bingham for Eater]

7. Taberna de Haro

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999 Beacon St.
Boston, MA
(617) 277-8272
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Orejas a la Plancha – Griddled Pigs' Ears ($7.75): You seldom see ear on a menu, but this crispy tapas dish will have you wondering why it's not more popular. Not that adventurous? For something more traditional, try the mollejas salteadas — sauteed veal sweetbreads with garlic and brandy ($13). [Photo: Facebook]

8. Loyal Nine

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660 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 945-2576
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Sunchoke & Turkey Neck Pondemnast ($16): The newly opened Loyal Nine shows diners that when it comes to turkey, we're often missing out on the best part – the neck. Rounded out with a stew of grains and an egg yolk, this is one wholly satisfying meal. [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater]

9. Fairsted Kitchen

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1704 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 396-8752
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Braised Oxtail ($65): Sometimes you want to share your offal experience with others, in which case Fairsted Kitchen offers an oxtail dish designed to feed three to four people. With hints of rutabaga, coffee, date, and sesame, it'll give you plenty of food notes to compare with your companions. [Photo: Facebook]

10. The Salty Pig

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130 Dartmouth St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 536-6200
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The Salty Pig Pizza ($15): For those looking to ease into offal, try it atop pizza. This pie comes with "today's Salty Pig Parts," mustard, and pale ale caramel. Complete your meal with the the roasted bone marrow starter ($9), which includes accompaniments of radish, pepper cress, ramps and Meyer lemon. [Photo: Facebook]

11. West Bridge

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1 Kendall Square
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 945-0221
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Lamb Neck with Relish ($45): Gather your fellow adventurous eaters and order the lamb neck for the table. With fregola sarda, cherry, and merguez also on the plate, you'll have an offal-y good time exploring these flavors en masse. [Photo: Official Site]

12. Giulia

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1682 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 441-2800
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Duck Heart Spiedini ($5): Start your meal with a little heart. This "sfizzi" is a nice way to sample offal without committing to a whole meal, showcasing interesting flavors of pickled pearl onion, apple and rhubarb agrodolce. [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater]

13. Townsman

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120 Kingston St
Boston, MA 02111
Beef Cheek and Apple Pierogi ($10): The recently opened Townsman shows its versatility, including a novel take on pierogi. This dish offers a nice balance of spicy and sweet, with cultured cream, maple, and togarashi. [Photo: Katie Chudy for Eater]

14. Central Bistro

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34 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 737-1777
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Petit Calf's Liver ($18): Sometimes you can't go wrong with a classic. Sauteed liver with bacon and caramelized onion is a French bistro staple for good reason. [Photo: Facebook]

15. Alden & Harlow

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40 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 864-2100
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Charred Chicken Hearts ($8): Though "charred hearts" sounds like a bad '80s ballad, lime & cilantro salt adds a refreshing zest to this snack. It also comes with skin cracklins, packed with a distinct-yet-mellow flavor and pleasant crunch. [Photo: Meg Jones Wall for Eater]

1. Coppa

253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118
Ossa di Maiale – Pig's Bones and Tails with Mustard Glaze ($12): It sounds like a daunting dish, but pig's bones and tails are as easy to eat as potato chips. These, however, are infinitely better owing to their depth of flavor – mostly savory, and slightly charred with a hint of sweetness. [Photo: Cal Bingham for Eater]
253 Shawmut Ave
Boston, MA 02118

2. Craigie on Main

853 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Confit and Roasted Milk-Fed Pig's Head For Two ($67): Nothing says romance like heading to this cozy spot and hearing the words, "Wanna share the pig's head?" Prepared Peking-style, the dish will make you swoon over the crispy skin and tender meat. [Photo: Cal Bingham for Eater]
853 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139

3. El Oriental De Cuba

416 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Beef Tripe Soup ($9.99): Only offered on Saturdays, this delicious bowl of tripe is filling without being heavy. The multiple cuts of tripe – in various textures – only add to the appeal, packing a ton of flavor into a surprisingly light soup. [Photo: Official Site]
416 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

4. Toro

1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
Mollejas – Crispy Veal Sweetbreads ($13): Toro embellishes this "tapas caliente" with an interesting combination of smoked coco bean puree, watermelon radishes, and preserved lemon vinaigrette. Add on the Corazon – grilled Archer Angus beef heart with romesco ($7) – to up the ante. [Photo: Cal Bingham for Eater]
1704 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118

5. Estragon Tapas Bar

700 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118
Higaditos de Pollo – Sauteed Chicken Livers ($8); Lengua – Seared Beef Tongue ($7): Estragon offers a pair of "pintxos" that will please any offal-lover. The chicken livers are adorned with golden raisins, brandy, and creme fraiche, while the tongue is accompanied by mojo verde and served on toast. [Photo: Facebook]
700 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02118

6. The Butcher Shop

552 Tremont St, Boston, MA
Duck Liver Mousse ($8): This little plate risks stealing the show – no easy feat when it comes to dining at Barbara Lynch's South End standby. The texture & flavor come together beautifully, making this one memorable mousse. [Photo: Cal Bingham for Eater]
552 Tremont St
Boston, MA

7. Taberna de Haro

999 Beacon St., Boston, MA
Orejas a la Plancha – Griddled Pigs' Ears ($7.75): You seldom see ear on a menu, but this crispy tapas dish will have you wondering why it's not more popular. Not that adventurous? For something more traditional, try the mollejas salteadas — sauteed veal sweetbreads with garlic and brandy ($13). [Photo: Facebook]
999 Beacon St.
Boston, MA

8. Loyal Nine

660 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141
Sunchoke & Turkey Neck Pondemnast ($16): The newly opened Loyal Nine shows diners that when it comes to turkey, we're often missing out on the best part – the neck. Rounded out with a stew of grains and an egg yolk, this is one wholly satisfying meal. [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater]
660 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

9. Fairsted Kitchen

1704 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02445
Braised Oxtail ($65): Sometimes you want to share your offal experience with others, in which case Fairsted Kitchen offers an oxtail dish designed to feed three to four people. With hints of rutabaga, coffee, date, and sesame, it'll give you plenty of food notes to compare with your companions. [Photo: Facebook]
1704 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02445

10. The Salty Pig

130 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116
The Salty Pig Pizza ($15): For those looking to ease into offal, try it atop pizza. This pie comes with "today's Salty Pig Parts," mustard, and pale ale caramel. Complete your meal with the the roasted bone marrow starter ($9), which includes accompaniments of radish, pepper cress, ramps and Meyer lemon. [Photo: Facebook]
130 Dartmouth St
Boston, MA 02116

11. West Bridge

1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139
Lamb Neck with Relish ($45): Gather your fellow adventurous eaters and order the lamb neck for the table. With fregola sarda, cherry, and merguez also on the plate, you'll have an offal-y good time exploring these flavors en masse. [Photo: Official Site]
1 Kendall Square
Cambridge, MA 02139

12. Giulia

1682 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
Duck Heart Spiedini ($5): Start your meal with a little heart. This "sfizzi" is a nice way to sample offal without committing to a whole meal, showcasing interesting flavors of pickled pearl onion, apple and rhubarb agrodolce. [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater]
1682 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

13. Townsman

120 Kingston St, Boston, MA 02111
Beef Cheek and Apple Pierogi ($10): The recently opened Townsman shows its versatility, including a novel take on pierogi. This dish offers a nice balance of spicy and sweet, with cultured cream, maple, and togarashi. [Photo: Katie Chudy for Eater]
120 Kingston St
Boston, MA 02111

14. Central Bistro

34 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02110
Petit Calf's Liver ($18): Sometimes you can't go wrong with a classic. Sauteed liver with bacon and caramelized onion is a French bistro staple for good reason. [Photo: Facebook]
34 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02110

15. Alden & Harlow

40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Charred Chicken Hearts ($8): Though "charred hearts" sounds like a bad '80s ballad, lime & cilantro salt adds a refreshing zest to this snack. It also comes with skin cracklins, packed with a distinct-yet-mellow flavor and pleasant crunch. [Photo: Meg Jones Wall for Eater]
40 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138

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