Eat your way through Jamaica Plain at these 10 neighborhood restaurants

From Cuban food to one of the city's best bagel shops, JP has a restaurant for every culinary craving.

Little Dipper in Jamaica Plain
The ceiling is filled with rockets at Little Dipper in Jamaica Plain. –Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Think of Jamaica Plain, and you might envision young families pushing strollers around Jamaica Pond, lively barber shops lined up one after another on Washington Street, and the terrifying endeavor that is driving along the winding Jamaicaway. But it’s also a hodgepodge of global cuisine, a tight-knit neighborhood where you can find a stellar Cuban sandwich just as easily as a Scottish egg or Spanish tapas. The next time you’re in JP, pay a visit to one of these 10 locally revered restaurants.

Blue Nile
You’re going to use your hands at Blue Nile, an Ethiopian restaurant in the Hyde Square region of Jamaica Plain. Rip off a piece of injera, a spongy, pancake-like bread containing small piles of stewed meat, lentils, and vegetables placed on top, all for dipping and scooping. The waitstaff is more than happy to help those who might be unfamiliar with traditional Ethiopian food, but take the first tip from us: Order a glass of tej, or Ethiopian sweet honey wine, to sip alongside your meal. (389 Centre St.)

The carne asada burrito at Chilacates. —Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe

The Mexican street food chain recently added three new outposts to its lineup, but it all started in Jamaica Plain, where it has two locations serving customizable tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more. Owner and JP native Socrates Abreu took inspiration from recipes developed by his sister-in-law and business partner Kaurys Ramirez, and locals have come to rely on those items as affordable fast-casual staples. Brunch draws a crowd for the chilaquiles and breakfast burrito, a fat hangover helper with rice, beans, eggs, cheese, and salsa.
(224 Amory St.; 658 Centre St.)

City Feed & Supply
JP locals consider City Feed a jack-of-all-trades store. Need a card for a friend’s birthday? They have it. Need a tub of organic tahini? Got it. Craving one of the best breakfast sandwiches in the city? City Feed has that covered, too. The grocery store/cafe/deli opens bright and early to serve sandwiches like the B1, made with organic eggs, extra sharp cheddar cheese, and pork sausage on an English muffin. The B2, a vegetarian version, is just as delicious. (672 Centre St., 66A Boylston St.)

El Oriental de Cuba
Boston’s best Cuban sandwich can be found at El Oriental de Cuba, a JP institution that has been supplying the neighborhood with flavor bombs of Cuban cuisine since 1994. The specialty Cuban is a sandwich stuffed with roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, and El Oriental’s secret marinade, plus all the classic fixings; eat the entire thing and it might leave you in a haze for the rest of the afternoon. Plates piled high with fried plantains, rice, beans, and your choice of meat or seafood can be found on most of the scattered tables in the often-packed space, and Cuban music serves as the soundtrack for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner here. (416 Centre St.)


Exodus Bagels
Thank the bagel gods for Exodus. Occupying the corner of Washington Street and Glen Road, Exodus Bagels is one of the best bagel shops in Boston, drawing lines on the weekend for its signature sandwiches (try The Bubby, made with chicken liver paté and horseradish beets) and fantastic bagels. If you’re there early enough, be sure to score an Everywhere bagel — like an Everything, but with seeds scattered around the entire ring. (3346 Washington St.)

Little Dipper
This tiny, astronomy-themed nook has become Jamaica Plain’s most sought-after brunch spot (meaning you might need to grab a coffee at City Feed across the street while you wait for a table to open up). Your first step: Order the doughnut of the day for the table. The huevos rancheros are a messy, delightful follow-up, as are the decadent pancake stacks (two in Saturn’s stack, three in Jupiter’s). Be sure to look up: Handmade model rockets hang from the ceiling above, a cute distraction between sips of your Bloody Mary. (669 Centre St.)

Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain
The fish sausage at Ten Tables. —Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Ten Tables
Arguably the neighborhood’s most upscale restaurant, Ten Tables was founded in 2002 as a tiny, dimly lit, farm-to-table restaurant, which expanded in 2009 to include a bar. Sustainable, local farming is treasured here, and plays out in dishes like local mussels with spicy tomato sauce, lamb lollipops with house ricotta gnocchi, and a vegetarian board with pickles that are made in-house. An affordable four-course tasting menu is available for both omnivores ($49) and vegetarians ($39) each night, but for those wanting a true deal, swing by on Pasta Thursdays when a plate of pasta and a glass of house wine is only $15. 
(597 Centre St.)


The Frogmore
It might be a long way from the Carolina coast, but The Frogmore is a welcome getaway to the South and low country cooking. Inside the casual eatery, plates of fried chicken, succotash, collard greens, and smoked chicken gumbo fill tables during the dinner hour. On weekends, brunch is a gravy-soaked affair with biscuits, shrimp and grits, and a hefty country breakfast plate. Along with a great cocktail list, the bar also offers a late-night menu until 2 a.m., with pimento grilled cheese, cornbread, and chicken tenders. (365 Centre St.)

The Haven
For a proper pint and a plate of haggis, JP residents flock to The Haven, a Scottish pub where dark ales flow and there is more than enough sausage on the menu. The Scotch egg — a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage — is a must, and is correctly placed on the late-night menu when hearty, greasy food is most needed. But even if you’re not eating here, the whiskey list is worth a visit on its own. Dozens of whiskies from various Scottish regions are available, including notable distilleries like Highland Park, Lagphroaig, and Glen Scotia. (2 Perkins St.)

Tres Gatos in Jamaica Plain
A drink is poured at the Tres Gatos bar. —Globe Staff Photo/Jim Davis

Tres Gatos
Tres Gatos is the epitome of a neighborhood restaurant, one where you can spend hours eating, drinking, and, if you’re so inclined, hanging out while listening to music or perusing the books in the book and record store in back. On the menu, Spanish small plates are meant for sharing, tapas-style: patatas bravas with hazelnut romesco, or pan-roasted mussels with yellow curry. Don’t skip out on the drinks here, though; the Palomita — mezcal, cocchi rosa, grapefruit, lime, honey — makes for smooth sipping. (470 Centre St.)