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Restaurants in Boston

Boston is a working port. Fresh seafood is a speciality at most restaurants, including the enormous variety of international eateries. Legal Sea Foods, with branches Downtown and elsewhere, satisfies lobster cravings. Faneuil Hall landmark Durgin-Park serves New England favourites. The South End is home to an especially lively dining scene. Most Boston restaurants are open daily. Many upscale places serve dinner only. Tipping is customary: 15% for average service, 20% for above average.

Top-end

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  1. 1. Legal Sea Foods - Top-end: (More than US$45 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Legal Sea Foods, Boston. Courtesy of Legal Sea Foods

    Legal Sea Foods is famous for serving the freshest fish and shellfish, expertly prepared. It deserves to be more famous for its excellent service, desserts and wine list. The whole menu is superb; lobster is always a fine choice. This is the Waterfront location; the Boston-based chain has other branches around the Boston area.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Thu 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 11am-10pm

    Address

    255, State Street, Boston 02109

    Telephone

    +1 617 742 5300

    Transport

    Blue line to Aquarium subway

    Website

    Legal Sea Foods

  2. 2. Locke-Ober - Top-end: (More than US$45 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Located in an alley off a busy downtown street, Locke-Ober is a perfect place for business meals. The menu includes such favourites as lobster stew and filet mignon, with some less traditional main courses and many innovative side dishes. The wood-panelled dining rooms are as old-fashioned as the service. Overly casual dress is not permitted.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm & 5pm-10pm; Sat 5pm-11pm

    Address

    3, Winter Place, Boston 02108

    Telephone

    +1 617 542 1340

    Transport

    Red Line or Orange Line to Downtown Crossing subway

    Website

    Locke-Ober

  3. 3. Oleana - Top-end: (More than US$45 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Oleana, Boston. Courtesy of Oleana

    At Oleana, Mediterranean spices enliven seasonal ingredients. The sophisticated, inventive cuisine is equally appealing to vegetarians and meat-eaters, and desserts are delicious. The lively earth-toned dining rooms make this Cambridge standby an excellent place for dinner with friends. Reservations are recommended for inside tables but not accepted for the lovely patio, open only in summer.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Sun-Thu 5:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5:30pm-11pm

    Address

    134, Hampshire Street, Cambridge 02139

    Telephone

    +1 617 661 0505

    Transport

    Red Line to Central Square subway

    Website

    Oleana

  4. 4. Ye Olde Union Oyster House - Top-end: (More than US$45 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Ye Olde Union Oyster House, Boston. Courtesy of Ye Olde Union Oyster House

    The oldest restaurant in the country, Ye Olde Union Oyster House is on the Freedom Trail, in a creaky building across the street from Faneuil Hall. It specialises in traditional seafood dishes, such as fresh raw oysters and oyster stew, and is a great place to go for lobster with all the trimmings.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Sun-Thu 11am-9:30pm; Fri-Sat 11am-10pm

    Address

    41, Union Street, Boston 02108

    Telephone

    +1 617 227 2750

    Transport

    Orange Line or Green Line to Haymarket subway

    Website

    Ye Olde Union Oyster House

  5. 5. Hamersley's Bistro - Top-end: (More than US$45 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    A perfect blend of French technique and New England ingredients, Hamersley's Bistro is both a special-occasion destination and a South End neighbourhood favourite. Classic bistro dishes include roast chicken and cassoulet. The wine list is one of the best in town, and desserts are excellent. The open kitchen livens up the elegant dining room.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 5.30pm-9.30pm; Sat 5:30pm-10pm; Sun 11am-2pm & 5:30-9:30pm

    Address

    553, Tremont Street, Boston 02116

    Telephone

    +1 617 423 2700

    Transport

    Orange Line to Back Bay subway

    Website

    Hamersley's Bistro

Mid-range

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  1. 6. Durgin-Park - Mid-range: (US$22-US$45 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Durgin Park-People at Table

    Founded in 1827, Durgin-Park serves generous portions of traditional local favourites. Locals as well as out-of-towners share the long communal tables and suffer the intentionally and famously sassy service. Specialties include juicy prime rib, fresh seafood, roasted turkey, cornbread and strawberry shortcake. The large, busy dining rooms overlook the Faneuil Hall Marketplace crowds.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Sat 11:30am-10pm; Sun 11:30am-9pm

    Address

    340, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, North Market Building, Boston 02109

    Telephone

    +1 617 227 2038

    Transport

    Green Line or Blue Line to Government Center subway

    Website

    Durgin-Park

  2. 7. Tapéo - Mid-range: (US$22-US$45 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Located in a festive Back Bay town house, Tapéo serves delicious tapas. Most dishes are simple and full of flavour, and all are the right size to share, making this a good choice for a couple or a group. The dining rooms are softly lit, with colourful plates and art hanging on the earth-toned walls.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 5:30pm-11pm; Sat 12pm-11pm; Sun 12pm-10pm

    Address

    266, Newbury Street, Boston 02116

    Telephone

    +1 617 267 4799

    Transport

    Green Line B C or D to Hynes Convention Center subway

    Website

    Tapeo

  3. 8. Artú - Mid-range: (US$22-US$45 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Artú is a North End standby for traditional pasta dishes and delicious roasted meats and vegetables. Centrally located in Boston's best-known Italian neighbourhood, it's popular with sightseers walking the Freedom Trail as well as local residents. At lunch, go for sandwiches, pizza and pasta. When the restaurant closes, there's a limited menu in the bar.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 11.30am-11pm (bar open till 1am)

    Address

    6, Prince Street, Boston 02113

    Telephone

    +1 617 742 4336

    Transport

    Green Line or Orange Line to Haymarket subway

    Website

    Artu

  4. 9. Jasper White's Summer Shack - Mid-range: (US$22-US$45 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Jasper White's Summer Shack, Boston. Courtesy of Jasper White's Summer Shack

    A New England "clam shack" is a snack bar near the ocean. Jasper White's Summer Shack, playfully decorated with nautical accessories like fishnets, is in the heart of the urban Back Bay. The super-fresh seafood is so good that diners don't need an ocean view. From simple fish sandwiches to gourmet lobster dishes, everything is fantastic.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Nov-Mar daily 5pm-10pm (until 11pm Fri-Sat); Apr-Oct daily 11:30am-10pm (till 11pm Sat)

    Address

    50, Dalton Street, Boston 02115

    Telephone

    +1 617 867 9955

    Transport

    Green Line B C or D to Hynes Convention Center subway

    Website

    Jasper White

  5. 10. Helmand - Mid-range: (US$22-US$45 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    The Helmand serves vegetarian-friendly Afghan cuisine in a romantic dining room brightened by a brick oven. Baked baby pumpkin, with or without meat sauce, is a terrific starter. Main courses include stews served with delicious saffron rice. The East Cambridge location is a bit inconvenient, but the prices are reasonable considering the quality.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Sun-Thu 5-10pm; Fri-Sat 5-11pm

    Address

    143, First Street, Cambridge 02141

    Telephone

    +1 617 492 4646

    Transport

    Green Line to Lechmere subway

    Website

    Helmand

Budget

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  1. 11. Redbones - Budget

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    Geographically, this raucous restaurant is in Somerville, but in spirit it's on a Southern back road. Barbecued ribs, smoked beef brisket, fried Louisiana catfish, and grilled chicken come with traditional side dishes such as coleslaw and beans. The chummy staff can help you choose sweet, hot, mild, or vinegar sauce. The best non-barbecue dish is succulent buffalo shrimp, swimming in hot sauce. Portions are large, so pace yourself. 

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    Cost

    Main courses $9-$21; sandwiches $6-$11; children's menu $5

    Opening hours

    Mon-Sat 11:30-12:30am; Sun noon-12:30pm (brunch until 3pm); late-night menu daily until 12:30am

    Address

    55 Chester St, Somerville, USA

    Telephone

    617/628-2200

    Website

    Redbones

  2. 12. S&S Restaurant - Budget: (Less than US$22 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    S&S Restaurant, Boston. Photo by John Ilyko (Photography by John, Boston, MA), courtesy of S&S Restaurant. © John Ilyko

    The queue forms by noon on weekends for the best brunch in the Boston area. Cheery diners fill the spacious dining rooms. Pancakes, waffles, omelettes, corned beef hash and eggs made to order are some of the delicious options. A family business, S&S Restaurant has attracted patrons to Cambridge's Inman Square since 1919.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Wed 7am-10pm; Thu-Fri 7am-11pm; Sat 8am-11pm; Sun 8am-10pm

    Address

    1334, Cambridge Street, Cambridge 02139

    Telephone

    +1 617 354 0777

    Transport

    Bus 69, 83 and 91 to Cambridge Street and Hampshire Street

    Website

    S&S Restaurant

  3. 13. Pizzeria Regina - Budget: (Less than US$22 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Pizzeria Regina, Boston. Courtesy of Boston Restaurant Associates

    Pizzeria Regina is the quintessential American pizza place. The neon sign on the restaurant, founded in 1926, is a North End landmark. Red-and-white-checked cloths cover the tables, and friendly staff serve delicious pizzas hot from the brick oven. They're available plain or with a choice of two dozen toppings. Hungry diners often queue outside.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Thu 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat 11am-11.30pm; Sun 12pm-10.30pm

    Address

    11 1/2, Thacher Street, Boston 02113

    Telephone

    +1 617 227 0765

    Transport

    Green Line or Orange Line to Haymarket subway

    Website

    Pizzeria Regina

  4. 14. China Pearl - Budget: (Less than US$22 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    The busiest times at China Pearl, on a Chinatown side street, are at midday on weekends. Groups of friends and happy families come for the American version of dim sum. Waitresses push little carts through the crowded dining rooms. They serve dumplings, buns and other small dishes of tasty snacks perfect for diners to share.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 8:30am-9.30pm

    Address

    9, Tyler Street, Boston 02111

    Telephone

    +1 617 426 4338

    Transport

    Orange Line to Chinatown subway

  5. 15. Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage - Budget: (Less than US$22 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage, Boston. Photo by Bruno. Courtesy of Mr. Bartley's

    Mr Bartley's Burger Cottage is a long-time favourite with students, shoppers and visitors to Harvard Square in Cambridge. It serves huge, delicious burgers, made from beef that's ground fresh daily and topped with almost any ingredient imaginable. Posters, photos, and road signs cover the walls of the lively dining room. The onion rings are superb.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Sat 11am-9pm

    Address

    1246, Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge 02138

    Telephone

    +1 617 354 6559

    Transport

    Red Line to Harvard subway

    Website

    Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage

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