Where to find Boston’s best pasta, lobster rolls, brunch, cocktails, and more

Boston magazine's annual list gives a wide overview of the area's finest cuisine.

Ricotta gnudi from SRV, recently named the city's best Italian restaurant. Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe

Boston is known for a lot of things. Beantown is home to top notch hospitals, elite sports franchises and, more and more each year, some of the country’s best food. These dining experiences were highlighted this week in Boston magazine’s annual Best of Boston list, a roundup of the city’s finest places to dine, shop, or catch a show. This is the publication’s 49th annual guide. 

The dining section is chock-full of dishes from a wide variety of cultures, locations and price points. 

SRV on Columbus Avenue was named the city’s best Italian restaurant. Hailed for its Venetian-style small plates, the outpost from Chef Michael Lombardi offers dishes like duck-liver mousse with passion fruit and house-extruded pastas in rabbit sauce. 


Speaking of pasta, Bar Volpe on West Broadway was named the best pasta joint in town. The editorial staff of Boston magazine particularly liked the jet-black casarecce al nero topped with lobster.

As the restaurant industry rebounds from the early days of the pandemic, new eateries are popping up throughout the area. The best of the newcomers, according to Boston magazine, is La Royal on Concord Avenue in Cambridge. Led by the husband-and-wife team of JuanMa Calderón and Maria Rondeau, this spot specializes in Peruvian fare like ceviche and whole branzino grilled in plantain leaves. 

Cuisines from around the world were spotlighted. Oleana in Cambridge was named best Middle Eastern restaurant for its tahini, hummus, and Armenian topik. Tawakal Halal Café, near Logan Airport, had the best East African flavors. West African cuisine was represented by Obosá in Roslindale. Angela’s Café in East Boston is the area’s best Mexican restaurant, with list makers especially loving the mole poblano de Angela. 

Classic New England bites populated the list as well. The Boston Sail Loft on Atlantic Avenue won praise for its clam chowder, served in a piping hot mug. Eventide Fenway was recognized for its unique lobster roll featuring fresh meat “sweetened with brown butter and salted with chives in a squishy, bao-like roll.”


Boston magazine didn’t limit the list to lunch and dinner. Mike & Patty’s got the nod for best breakfast. Head to one of their five locations for a taste of loaded breakfast sandwiches stuffed with ingredients like Iberico bacon and 24-month-aged Vermont cheddar. If slowing down for a leisurely brunch is preferred, the publication recommends Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen on Columbus Avenue for its all-you-can-eat buffet of southern brunch favorites. 

What’s good food without an equally exceptional drink? Nathálie on Brookline Avenue took home the prize of best wine bar for its “small-batch, natural, and woman-produced wines.” Brewer’s Fork in Charlestown got a shoutout as the best beer bar, allowing patrons to try rare samples from many notable breweries. Hecate, hidden away in a “candlelit, cave-like space” near Newbury Street, was listed as the best cocktail bar. Named for the Greek goddess of sorcery, Hecate offers folklore-inspired libations ordered from a leather-bound book. 

To round it all out, something sweet is in order. Crescent Ridge Dairy has the best ice cream around. If residents can’t make it to the “pastoral” dairy bar in Sharon, they can snag a scoop at the Crescent Ridge outpost inside Boston Public Market.


Check out Boston magazine’s complete Best of Boston list.


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