Best Food & Dining in Greater Boston | 2013 Editors' Choice Awards
Beantown offers plenty of restaurant options for hungry residents and visitors. Read our picks for the best food & dining in Greater Boston.
CLEAR FLOUR BREAD, Brookline
Crisp baguettes, hearty whole-wheat sandwich loaves, flaky croissants, and “baked doughnuts” (currant-studded brioches brushed with butter and rolled in sugar) here are so extraordinary that people from Boston to Newton start queuing up 20 minutes before the doors open. The good news? They’re worth the wait. 178 Thorndike St. 617-739-0060; clearflourbread.com
BEST GREEK YOGURT
SOPHIA’S GREEK PANTRY, Belmont
Several big-name chefs use Sophia Georgoulopoulos’s incredibly dense yogurt, made from a blend of sheep’s and goat’s milk. Both low-fat and fat-free versions are stick-to-the-spoon thick, with complex flavors. For instant gratification, snack on her soft-serve frozen yogurt. Yogurt: $2.99 per pound. 265 Belmont St. 617-489-1371.
The treats lining Sofra’s white-marble counter are inspired by the flavors of the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East: Persian spiced doughnuts, Egyptian bread pudding, an ethereal morning bun with orange-water glace … Then there’s the shakshuka, Sofra’s own take on huevos rancheros. 1 Belmont St. 617-661-3161; sofrabakery.com
THE GALLOWS, Boston
The burger craze hit Boston several years ago, leaving a trail of tasty, souped-up patties in its wake. But we’re partial to the simple pleasure of the “Our Way” burger at this South End gastropub: a beefy slab topped with grilled onions, iceburg lettuce, pickles, and good old American cheese. (“It just melts better than cheddar,” our server noted solemnly.) Burgers: from $10. 1395 Washington St. 617-425-0200; thegallowsboston.com
ISLAND CREEK OYSTER BAR, Boston
Skip Bennett is the guy who turned Duxbury’s Island Creek oysters into celebrity bivalves; executive chef Jeremy Sewall comes from a family of lobstermen. Together, they’ve created a restaurant that consistently sources the freshest seafood and serves it in ways both soul-satisfying (Skip’s mom’s seafood casserole) and revelatory (Cape Cod bluefish with celery root and Honeycrisp apples). Entrées: from $22. 500 Commonwealth Ave. 617-532-5300; islandcreekoysterbar.com
AREA FOUR, Cambridge
Area Four is chef Michael Leviton’s ode to wood-fired cooking, and the pies here, with their long-fermented crusts and “A4″ mozzarella, bubble up to chewy-crisp perfection in his ovens. Don’t miss the Carbonara, with caramelized onions, Provolone, scallions, bacon, and eggs. Pizzas: from $11. 500 Technology Square. 617-758-4444; areafour.com
Think you know sandwiches? Charles Kelsey studied at the Culinary Institute of America and worked as an editor at America’s Test Kitchen before setting his sights on meat, cheese, and bread. On his watch, every element, from the tender roll to the crispy shallots to the fork-tender house-roasted beef is the jewel that makes the crown. Lunch entrées: from $5. 284 Washington St. 617-505-1844; cuttyfoods.com
For Italian food with the modernist spirit of Milan, head to this little spot near the Theatre District for seared mushrooms with taleggio cheese, wild arugula, and lovage–or chef Charles Draghi’s signature rack of wild boar with lavender-scented Concord-grape sauce. Entrées: from $22. 69 Church St. 617-426-6969; erbaluce-boston.com
GRILL 23, Boston
Despite an onslaught of newcomers to the steakhouse scene, Grill 23 still stands head and shoulders (not to mention sirloins) above the rest. From the polished service to the abundant sides to the dry-aged prime cuts, it’s just what a steak house should be. Entrées: from $25. 161 Berkeley St. 617-542-2255; grill23.com
BEST NEW ENGLAND CUISINE
PURITAN & COMPANY, Cambridge
Sure, you can find New England fare at Durgin Park and the Union Oyster House, but Puritan re-imagines regional classics for the 21st century. Chef Will Gilson pairs johnnycakes with a frisee-and-foie-gras salad and turns Moxie into a glaze for lamb belly. Entrées: from $18. 1166 Cambridge St. 617-615-6195; puritancambridge.com
Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.