Local Favorites in Boston

by syleefood
Here are some of my favorite places in the Boston area, where I go frequently and where I bring friends from out of town.


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Chinese Food

Great Taste Bakery & Restaurant

This where I go to get traditional Chinese diner food -- wonton soup with beef brisket, dim sum a la carte, beef noodles, etc.

Ho Yuen Bakery Inc

Traditional cantonese bakery...great for cha siu baos, fried sesame mochi balls, fried dumplings...

Dumpling Cafe

My favorite place for shao long bao (soup dumplings) in town. Pair it with egg fried rice and an order of Chinese stir fried watercress and you have a balanced meal.

Hong Kong Eatery

THE place to get cantonese bbq -- roast pork, cha siu, roast duck, etc.

New Moon Villa Restaurant

This is where my family goes for dinner quite often because my dad knows the chef. He sometimes brings the fish and they'll cook it. They also run a lobster special banquet for tour groups that come in.

Sun Kong

Probably the best dim sum in the Boston area. The cha siu so (bbq pork puff pastry) is why I make the trek to the burbs.

Winsor Dim Sum Café

The dim sum here is great. But it's a small place so you'll have to share tables or wait a while.

Ming's Seafood Restaurant INC

this is where you go for good chinese cantonese food after boda borg.

Japan in Boston

Futago Udon

Love the variety of flavors here.


One of the few Izakayas in Boston. Sushi is great, but you really want to try some of the more late night oriented items on the menu and enjoy with beer.

Japonaise Bakery & Cafe

Totoro pan...if you don't know what this is, you need to go and get some.

Maruichi Japanese Food&Deli

Best Japanese grocery store in the area...get your staples to make your own sushi, noodles, rice, etc. or grab prepared foods and takeout from the food stalls inside. Also a huge, fantastic variety of Japanese snacks.

Ganko Ittetsu Ramen

My go-to place for ramen. It's a tiny place so if you want to avoid waiting don't go during peak eating hours. But the waiting isn't too bad -- you can stroll around the neighborhood and they turn tables very efficiently so that minimizes the amount of waiting.

Ice Cream

No matter the weather, ice cream in Boston is a must!


Several locations in town. Vegan, yes, vegan ice cream is so good!

J.P. Licks

Oreo ice cream is a go-to. Coffee ice cream will keep you awake!

Toscanini's Ice Cream

My favorite ice cream in town, but it isn't close to much...though walking distance from Museum of Science. Try the green tea ice cream!

Casual restaurants


Sourdough base gives these bagels a nice chew on the inside with crust on the outside. I prefer these over New York bagels!


Sandwiches with ingredients that are properly proportioned and optimized for best flavor and texture. Must have the Roast Beef 1000, Pork Fennel (Saturdays only) and Cluckin' Chicken sandwich (on the first Sunday of the month only and after standing in line for 30 minutes.)

Eventide Fenway

Oysters are so delicious!! Other dishes are also pretty good. If you don't want to spend a pretty penny, eat here as an appetizer before you go off elsewhere to have a bigger meal.

Flour Bakery & Cafe

My go-to spot for bakery items. Favorite is the hazelnut chocolate chip cookie but the chocolate pie is right behind it. Lunch sandwiches and salads are tasty and "feel" healthy. They're known for the sticky bun, but it's a little too sweet for me. Locations all over town.

Slightly fancy to fancy restaurants

Most restaurants here (aside from some snootier steak restaurants) are pretty casual -- dress up or dress down, it doesn't matter. Just enjoy good food!

Barcelona Wine Bar

Regional chain that serves up delicious Spanish tapas with consistency and a smile! I love everything including the chickpea cassoulet, kale salad, the grilled meats, and paella.

Cafe Sushi

Best sushi in town (though technically it's in Cambridge between Harvard Square and Central Square.) Family owned. James Beard nominated. Omakase is amazing, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they aren't offering dine-in options right now. They do rotate the menu now so take out is kept interesting!


Food (Mediterranean inspired) is amazing and prices are reasonable. If you go for brunch, griddled banana bread is a must! Accessible via MBTA and decent amount of free parking available during non-work hours.

Craigie On Main

Great for a fancy dinner...


Innovative Italian inspired menu based on fresh seasonal items. Great place for a date with SOs, friends, or yourself!

Neptune Oyster

Small place so be prepared to wait. Hot lobster roll is a must!


Mediterranean inspired and oh so delicious.

Row 34

Great seafood and oysters.


It might be fun to walk around the Italian North End, but if you want really good pasta, go to Sportello. Famous local chef, Barbara Lynch, does not disappoint...ever. My 8 yr old nephew recommends the bolognese.


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Cute, peaceful courtyard. Small museum with some fabulous works or art.

Museum of Fine Arts

Check out the Japanese Zen garden

Old State House


Boda Borg

Not your typical tourist attraction, but so fun! It's like a bunch of escape the rooms in one place. fun for kids and adults.

Fenway Park

Even if baseball is not your thing, fenway park is a cool place to visit for the history and the experience. Public tours are available year round.

Gillette Stadium

Tours are available here. A little over an hour from Boston either by car or MBTA commuter rail.

H Mart

James P. Kelleher Rose Garden

Beautiful Rose garden in the heart of the city. See the blooms here and then picnic nearby (you can grab and go from TimeOut Market.)

New England Aquarium

Go see Myrtle the Turtle!