Boston Area Restaurant Reviews

Boston has never been famous as a food town. After all, it is the home of the "bean and the cod", but the quality of restaurants and food available in the supermarkets has risen dramatically over the past ten or fifteen years.

There are three main problems faced by Boston area diners:

  • Boston is at the end of food supply chain in the US, at least in comparison with other cities of its size. This usually means that it is hard to buy things like foie gras and avocadoes, but now and then, there are shortages of such items as lemons, scallions, limes or even salt. For more exotic items, like fois gras, availability is subject to the vagaries of the market. Our usual supplier just warned us that there was a chance that our most recent order might be diverted by the delivery driver since they were often bribed by various restaurants. This is not unlike the situation in Sofia, Bulgaria, that is, before the fall of the Soviet Empire.
  • coverBoston's Puritan history which denied the pleasures of the flesh. If it was enjoyable, it was sinful. Even today, Boston is a city where the pleasures of dining, dressing, dancing, and even sex are considered morally suspect. We suggest The Late George Apley by John Marquand (also the author of the Mr. Moto mysteries) for some rather sad insight into the pleasures of the Boston elite. We suggest the Boston Globe for a more recent, but surprisingly unchanged, outlook.
  • Boston worships the cult of the amateur, so that professionalism is frowned upon. Anyone really good at anything is resented and often moves to New York. This shows up at the table with sommeliers who can only describe a wine as "popular", waiters arguing with the customer about the order of the appetizer and the entree, restauranteurs who cannot deal with the complexities of offering dinner reservations, and all too frequent supply and ordering problems. Even ordering a "doggy bag" can be problematic, as bags are often in short supply.

Despite these challenges, it is possible to get a good meal in the Boston area, though it helps to have a Plan B and sometimes even a Plan C. Exceptions to the dismal rules exist, including:

Restaurant Reviews

Here are some of our opinions and experiences at Boston area restaurants offered in no particular order.

Boston Restaurants

These restaurants are located in the city of Boston:

Cambridge Restaurants

Cambridge is the funky, academic, and increasingly upmarket city across the Charles River from Boston. It is the home of MIT and Harvard and a lot of great bookstores, but it can be a tricky place to get a meal.

Boston Environs

There are also restaurants in the Boston suburbs:

Out of the Past

Here are a few restaurants that are now but memories.

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