If you’re looking for somewhere to eat well in Boston, here are some of my favorite places:
In high school, my friends and I would race to the Porter Square location during our lunch breaks. Now Anna’s has 6 locations throughout Boston: Porter Square, Davis Square, Coolidge Corner, Harvard Ave. MIT, and MGH. I’m not claiming this is authentic Mexican food, but it’s the best quesadilla in town. Fact. Skip the burrito and get the crispy quesadilla. I recommend steak, al pastor, carnitas or lengua quesadillas with salsa, guacamole, lettuce, hot sauce and jalapeños. Get chips and guac too and wash it all down with a fresh squeezed key-limeade :)
Cones bigger than your face redefine summer nights. Love me some soft serve or a cup of Green Monster. Kiddie portions are bigger than your face. Be prepared for lacto-indulgence.
Coppa forever and always for the ‘za (margherita and blood sausage is my jam), and pasta (if there’s pesto, get it. If there’s squid ink, get it. Get it?)
No menu, no problem. Have GM and one of the most talented bartenders in the world, Ezra Star, make you anything…I prefer things with cognac and/or sherry.
Felipe’s offers similar “Mexican” fare as Anna’s, but I always prefer Felipe’s to Anna’s, especially if I’m in the Harvard area. For some reason, it just tastes better to me. Perhaps less greasy? You can’t go wrong with a steak or carnitas quesadilla here. With jalapeños and guac, of course :)
Oysters galore. Long bar and huge space in the heart of Kenmore Square. Must get the Island Creek oysters as well as Moonshoal, if they aren’t fresh out. Get the oyster slider, BUBBLES (exceptional wine list), and the infamous biscuit. Hands down the best biscuit ever made. Oh and lobster roe noodles? Yes, please.
Don’t miss this tiny shop in the hustle and bustle of Harvard Square. Arguably my favorite slice in town, Otto’s does pizza justice. Crisp crust, creative toppings (if that’s what you dig, they’re known to serve over 30 different kinds…but I’m a pepperoni girl through and through). Generous slices. Sprinkle with chili flakes. You’re set. This Portland, ME transplant also has locations in Coolidge Corner and Comm. Ave near BU.
With two locations in Dorchester and Chinatown, this franchise is as good as it gets when you’re craving a steaming hot bowl of pho on a wintry night. I get mine with all the fixings (#46 on the menu FYI): tripe, tendon, raw eye round, fatty flank, shank…Unless you have a Vietnamese grandma or a frequent flyer pass to Vietnam for the real deal, your best bet is to hit up Pho Hoa, specifically the Dorchester Ave. location. The broth is so good, so pure; hold the hoisin!
Awaken your inner coffee nerd with a cuppa or three from Render. Great espresso too, if you’re a bit Euro at heart like myself. Chris and Chuck are serious about their coffee, in case you can’t tell by the scales, timers and other java nerdery. They make some of the best pour-over in town. The atrium in the back on a rainy day is priceless. And they have free wifi :)
My dear friends Chef Michael Serpa and his wife Lina have opened an intimate oyster bar I want to eat at all the time. When chefs, friends, family, anyone comes to town, or if I’m in the area for lunch, I always crave Select. Raw bar, crudos, perfectly cooked and tender octopus, and an eclectic wine list? My kinda awesome.