Best Boston Restaurants Right Now

Boston, fine dining, restaurants

25 Best Boston Restaurants Right Now

Winters are tough in New England. But the shining light is often coming from the gleam of a cozy restaurant on any dark evening. Luckily, we have some amazing new restaurants to check out in Boston this year. So, we are kicking off with an updated list of our top picks for places to eat in the city for 2024. Whether you are looking to revisit one of the old classics or a new comer (have you been to the new Eastern Standard?), we have all the best spots to book in Boston. We are constantly trying the latest and greatest from our chefs around town to make sure we are recommending the hot spots worth checking out this month.

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1. Prima

Prima in Charlestown tops the new restaurant openings. Taking over the former Olives space in City Square Park and a stone’s throw away from TD Garden, this Italian restaurant stands out because it feels both fresh and like it’s been there for years, which in a way it has! If you ever went to Olives in its heyday, you will be excited to feel that same energy and vibrancy here at Prima. The menu features lots of delicious pastas, amazing steaks and sumptuous desserts. If you haven’t been yet, this is the spot we can’t stop recommending because it is so Boston is the best way.

2. Amar

Amar is the fine dining restaurant at the newly opened Raffles Boston. Overlooking the Back Bay, Chef George Mendes’ signature restaurant brings Portuguese cuisine to town in a luxe light. The tasting menu guides diners through the Portuguese countryside, while enjoying a night out in Boston. This is the type of fine dining that we need more of in the city. And with the recent closings from several other top restaurants, this is the place we see people flocking to when they need a special occasion dinner reservation.

3. Mamma Maria

There are so many wonderful spots to visit in the North End. But if you are looking for fine dining and the best patio, Mamma Maria tops them all. Enjoy the spacious North Square patio while summer is still here. But no matter what add Mamma Maria to your list.

4. Grill 23 & Bar

There is no time like fall to remember why we love steakhouses in this country. The cozy interiors, the belly warming dishes and the big glasses of red wine, there is a lot to love about steakhouses. In Boston, we are lucky to have some amazing steakhouses, many of which we all grew up going to as “special occasion” restaurants, but thanks to elevated bar menus and cocktail programs have since grown into places worthy of a weeknight meal. Grill 23 is one of those places that we all go back to again and again for good reason.

5. Bistro du Midi

The gorgeously appointed restaurant enjoys one of the city’s most enviable addresses, across the street from the Public Garden. Francophiles enjoy various authentic touches, especially when it comes to the well-stocked wine cellar that includes some amazing finds from Burgundy and Bordeaux. Given the thousands of residential units and hotel rooms within walking distance, the restaurant caters to every need, from a light snack to a seven-course tasting menu. The street-level bistro space offers its own menu of inviting, French-accented fare, while the upstairs dining room pulls out all the stops with a varied assortment of splurge-worthy dishes. But nothing beats a chilled glass of rosé on the patio on a balmy evening with a special someone.

6. o ya

Clear out your bank account and then clear your weekend, because o ya’s singular dining experience is one to be savored. Owners Tim and Nancy Cushman set a new bar for special-event dining with o ya’s opening in 2007; even today the restaurant regularly wins accolades as one of the best restaurants in all of New England. The sushi and omakase menu is a marvel of both flavor and presentation, with every morsel—from the foie gras nigiri to the bluefin tuna and smoked salmon sashimi—a delectable work of art.

7. Woods Hill Pier 4

Woods Hill Pier 4 brings farm-to-table dining to the Seaport, on the site where the iconic Anthony’s Pier 4 restaurant once sat. Kristin Canty and the team behind The Farm at Woods Hill create modern, seasonal dishes using ingredients that are organic, non-GMO, and come from local area purveyors. All meat comes from The Farm at Woods Hill and other local farms that raise animals ethically and feed from an organic grass-based diet.

8. Krasi

The team behind GreCo and Committee have also given us this Greek meze and wine bar. Named after the Greek word for wine, Krasi is located in the former Café Jaffa space, in the heart of the Back Bay. The menu of regional Greek meze is complimented by a Greek wine list of more than 180 all natural, organic and biodynamic selections. The menu at Krasi is a crowd pleaser, the vibrant dishes do not disappoint and everything down to the dessert is impeccably prepared.

9. Uni

What was once a tucked-away sashimi bar has blossomed into a 100-seat izayaka, where you can now pair your nigiri with Japanese milk bread, ember roasted duck breast, King crab yakitori and wagyu beef dumplings. But the sushi is still a must, including the lobster BLT roll, the A5 wagyu sirloin nigiri and the still-incredible sashimi offerings upon which Uni built its reputation. The sake program includes unfiltered and nama (unpasteurized) varietals, and the late-night weekend ramen menu is still blissfully in place, elevated in style by the occasional celebrity chef appearance.

10. Hecate

Hecate is the coolest new bar that has opened in Boston proper in the past few years. Owned and operated by the same team behind Krasi, this underground speakeasy feels as if it belongs in New York City, rather than Boston in the best way. As you enter, your eyes slowly adjust to the darkness and the bartenders, who are referred to as your “spirit guides,” whip up the stylish drinks in the background as you wonder who else has managed to snag a table at the coolest spot in town.

11. Quattro

Quattro, located in Boston’s North End, effortlessly merges traditional Italian flavors with a buzzing ambiance. Under the expert guidance of a third-generation pizza maker from Naples, the kitchen at Quattro boasts an unparalleled expertise in crafting pizzas that will have you coming back again and again. From the moment you step inside, the warm and inviting atmosphere sets the stage for a night out to remember. Each bite of the crispy, yet delightfully chewy crust, topped with the freshest ingredients and classic combinations, transports you to the streets of Naples in the heart of Boston.

12. Ilona

From the team behind the popular Greek restaurant Kava Neo-Taverna comes another South End spot, this time focusing on the Eastern Mediterranean. (Think influences from Lebanon, Israel, Georgia, and Turkey along with Greece.) As with Kava’s menu, there are standards like halloumi, octopus, and several eggplant options. But Ilona also features heavier dishes such as imeruli khachapuri (Georgian cheese-stuffed bread), shish barak (phyllo stuffed with lamb and onions), and a cigeri hummus with chicken livers. Ilona is brightly decorated, drawing lively crowds.

13. 1928 Beacon Hill

1928 Beacon Hill is a new hidden gem on Beacon Hill run by Kristin Jenkins. Located half a block up from Charles St. on Mt. Vernon, this spot feels as if it has always been there, which is the key to the making of a new classic. The prohibition era cocktails served in a speakeasy-style space is just the place you will want to cozy up in every Friday night.

14. Rowes Wharf Sea Grille

Summer in Boston is fleeting, and the place to spend it is at Rowes Wharf Sea Grille at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Perfect for everything from a power breakfast to lunch with lunch friend to a delicious date night dinner, this is the spot to watch the boats go by while enjoying some amazing food. Savor summer on the stylish terrace and perhaps swing by for some live music as part of the Summer in the City programming all season long.

15. Hunter’s Kitchen + Bar

The South has come to Southie, thanks to the neighborhood’s latest eatery, Hunter’s. As the newest venture from Broadway Restaurant Group’s family of South Boston spots, Hunter’s Kitchen + Bar joins its siblings Lincoln, Loco, Capo and Fat Baby. The wood-paneled space stays true to its name; there’s hunting lodge decor galore, including toile wallpaper, buffalo plaid curtains, majestic portraits of bird dogs and a ton of forest green touches. (We can see it serving as a cozy little oasis where resident yuppies can curl up once those cold New England temperatures inevitably come our way). Amongst the Southern-inspired dishes coming out of the kitchen: Crispy pieces of fried chicken served atop cheddar waffles and drizzled with a generous drip of habanero lavender honey; succulent brisket and biscuit sliders smothered in bourbon barbecue sauce; shrimp and smoky grits finished with chili de arbol butter; as well as a rotating seasonal pie (i.e. a peanut butter banana pie). Pair all of that down-home fare with a craft cocktail from its whisky-heavy list of libations and you’ll be ready to camo up and chase that buck fever feeling.

16. Faccia a Faccia

Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette recently added an Italian-inspired restaurant to their fantastic local line-up (Coppa, Toro, Little Donkey), and we’re so glad they did. The seafood-inspired menu utilizes fresh ingredients, including in-season produce from the Copley Square Farmers Market. The spacious Back Bay restaurant serves coastal delights including a half dozen crudos, grilled Scituate lobster, and an excellent selection of spritzes. Faccia Brutta is the hottest opening in Boston proper this summer.

17. The Street Bar

Located on the lobby level of what most Bostonians call the “old Ritz”, which was also once the Taj Boston, The Street Bar at The Newbury is perched on the corner of Newbury Street and Arlington Street. This is a cozy bar that feels straight out of London in the best way. This is the type of place where you instantly feel like an insider when you sit down for a drink.

18. Rare Steakhouse – Encore Boston Harbor

Here’s a rare opportunity to dine on real, certified Kobe. This waterfront restaurant within the Encore Boston Harbor boasts the only authentic beef program of Japanese Wagyu that can be found throughout New England, along with domestic beef from Snake River Farms in Idaho, locally farmed produce and dairy, and freshly caught seafood. Insider side dish tip: Get the loaded baked potato, a glorious two-pounder topped with sour cream, cheese and smoky bacon. On Sunday, double up with the famed Surf & Turf for Two—a 20-oz, dry-aged domestic Wagyu New York strip paired with a broiled, 2 ½-pound Maine lobster.

19. Yvonne’s

Yvonne’s has saved what matters: the 19th-century mahogany bar and the same clubby ambiance. But the new supper club—named for what used to be Locke Ober’s members-only club downstairs—otherwise sports a decidedly au courant vibe. Large-scale (i.e. scorpion bowl-sized) cocktails like the Moscow Mule are lovingly crafted and best enjoyed in the separate Library Bar, a tome-tiered respite that invites you to imbibe like a Brahmin. While there are lots of newcomers to the “speakeasy” theme, Yvonne’s is still the best all rounder, and the best part is that is it is actually located Downtown.

20. Shojo

Shojo has been a favorite since they opened. The duck fat hand-cut fries, kimchi fried rice, and Shojonator burger, which is served on a house-steamed bun and topped with smoked bacon and kimcheese (Velveeta and kimchi) are all things that you wouldn’t normally expect to find in Chinatown–but somehow they all make sense at Shojo.

21. Geppetto

Have a craving for Italian classics with a modern twist? Look no further than Geppetto in East Cambridge. Tucked within the Cambridge Crossing complex, this restaurant serves up serious Italian flavors in novel formats, thanks to celebrated chef-owner Will Gilson. Make the most of your visit by starting off with one of the eatery’s incredible crudos, like the chili-drizzled tuna topped with fresh slices of pear and lardo (a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth Italian salumi that makes each bite absolutely luxurious), before digging into some dishes of house-made pastas. Guests looking to go big can indulge in the larger scale shareable feasts, like the swordfish kebabs, which are lightly smoked for added depth and topped with multi-herbed pesto. The beverages here are just as impressive as the plates; Choose from a deliberately curated wine list that includes lesser-known Italian varietals, or opt for one of the cocktails on tap, including a negroni and the now ubiquitous espresso martini.

22. Grotto

Sink below street level in Beacon Hill for a cozy Italian meal surrounded by exposed brick, shelves of wine, and locally sourced artwork. The menu is classic Italian with a creative twist. The table for a date is the one tucked in the corner surrounded by candles and bottles of wine, you will feel like you are the only two people in the whole restaurant.

23. Estella

Just over a year old, Estella in downtown crossing, has been making a name for themselves. This is a fun, casual neighborhood spot that we all need in our lives. On those nights where you want to grab a drink with a friend where you may or may not order food, this is the spot. Come for 30 minutes or stay all night; you are in for a good time.

24. Zuma

Located inside the Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, the Boston outpost of the globe-spanning Japanese izakaya serves sophisticated plays on sushi, robata skewers, and tempura. Enjoy pristine nigiri and top-shelf sake in classy environs. Boston needs more places like Zuma where dressing to impress is not looked down upon, but rather encouraged.

25. Josephine

Chef Michael Scelfo, known for Alden & Harlow, The Longfellow Bar, and Waypoint, opened his newest restaurant, Josephine, in Somerville’s Cambria Hotel this Spring. A newcomer to this list, Josephine is worth a visit because the menu pays homage to Scelfo’s Sicilian grandmother, Josephine, who served as his earliest inspiration in the kitchen. Combining classic dishes with contemporary interpretations, the chef has crafted the menu to include things like Jo’s Classic Deep Dish Pizza with butter crust, mozzarella, and Linny Ray’s Sauce and the innovative Rosemary’s Baby pizza featuring roasted chicken, potato, fontina, and caramelized onion. The bar program is a delightful array of Negronis, martinis, Italian and American wines and beers, offering an approachable, summer drinks menu.

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