Boston is a city that doesn’t get the credit it deserves for amazing brunch spots and Instagram-worthy desserts. Overshadowed by its glamorous East Coast neighbor New York City, Boston is known as the college town where you “pahk da cah in Hahvahd Yahd” and engage in some serious sports rivalries. However, Boston can definitely hold its own—especially when it comes to food.
Influenced by the younger crowd, Boston has some of the trendiest restaurants on the East Coast. Whether you’re searching for your new favorite eggs benedict or just trying to chow down on a burrito after a night out, Boston’s food spots are sure to satisfy any craving you may encounter.
For a quick cup of coffee:
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A perennial college favorite, Pavement Coffeehouse not only makes for a great vanilla latte, but their bagel sandwiches are essential for a breakfast on the go. Try their Tequila Sunrise bagel for a twist on the typical bagel sandwich.
2. Thinking Cup
Thinking Cup is another cute coffee shop, with two downtown locations and another location in Back Bay. It’s known for some killer coffee that’ll make you feel a bit more hipster as you exit. Their coffee is not their only strength though—try their season specialty of hot, spiced apple cider.
Tatte is featured all over the Instagram feeds of every young Boston college woman, and rightly so. Mainly known as a quick eatery that’ll provide you a warm cup of coffee on the cold winter days, Tatte is also known for its photogenic avocado toast—however, the Traditional Shakshuka is a hidden gem.
For brunch dates with your girls:
Trident is the cutest brunch spot that serves two functions—both an excellent place to eat and browse books! Usually, the line at Trident is insanely long, and you can’t make a reservation on the weekends, so it’s beyond awesome to have something to do while you’re waiting for your table. Don’t fret the long wait—the Choose Your Own Eggventure! dish is more than worth it.
King Cakes to make Elvis proud 🕺 two “mini” chocolate chip 🍫+ banana 🍌 pancakes, with peanut butter in between. Topped with bacon 🥓 and whipped cream. Substitute turkey bacon or veggie bacon if desired! We won’t tell Elvis 😉 #thefriendlytoast #bacon #bananachocolatechip #pancakes #kingcakes #elvispresley #elvis #peanutbutter #getinmybelly
This hippy-dippy New England haunt is both aesthetically pleasing (There are Beatles references galore) and has some good eats. The Friendly Toast excels at both sweet and savory. Some favorite dishes? The French toast and the breakfast burrito.
This American-style restaurant is not only open for brunch—in fact, they are fantastic for dinner too—but they really shine during the morning hours. Again, the wait is long, but you can make a reservation so you’re not starving by the time you get a table! Try the life-changing Truffle Scrambled Eggs and treat yourself to the Cafeteria Cooler mocktail.
For your mid-day cravings:
1. Dig Inn
Dig Inn is the healthy eating spot of your dreams. Though it’s not only in Boston, Dig Inn’s warm and filling marketbowls are perfect for the eternal Boston winter. Though they have specific bowls made-to-order, try customizing your dish—it’s like a healthier Chipotle!
2. Life Alive
Another well-known healthy eatery, Life Alive focuses on providing organic and vegan cuisine. Though this doesn’t necessarily sound appealing to everyone, Life Alive has something for everyone. Some menu standouts include the Blonde Miso Ramen and the Ginger Crush juice.
Hear from Life Alive fan and college women Jen, Class of 2020, who says, "I love Life Alive because there are so many unique plant-based options. My favorite is the Rainbow Harvest Bowl!"
3. Yamato II
Yamato II is one of the secret best sushi places in town. Located in Copley, this restaurant offers an unbeatable weekday lunch deal: all-you-can-eat sushi for less than $20. The only caveat is you have to eat everything put in front of you—which is the opposite of a punishment. The specialty rolls (especially the Snow Mountain Maki) also only add a $1 to your overall bill, so get ready to chow down.
For a night out on the town:
Known for their #FreakFrappes and their gourmet burgers (reviewed by none other than Guy Fieri himself!), this is definitely the place for when you’re feeling a bit extra. You might not be able to finish everything by yourself, so bring a big group of people or your SO to split a milkshake with!
A trendy AF Mexican restaurant, Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar has two options—tapas or ordering your own meal. You won’t be disappointed with the copious amounts of chips and guac and the Crispy Zucchini Fritter Tacos. Also, they give you a free cotton candy tower at the end! Hit up Lolita for a night of luxury.
3. Antico Forno
Perfect for a date night or for when friends come to visit, Antico Forno is one of the reasons why Boston’s North End is known for its incredible Italian food. Make sure you’re hungry when you go—their mouth-watering pasta bowls, such as the Rigatoni Salsiccia, are never-ending.
For your sweet tooth:
Blackbird is often regarded as having some of the best doughnuts in the Boston area—and honestly, it’s true. Not only are their doughnuts great (ahem, the triple chocolate is to die for), but their iced coffee is refreshing as well. Their secret weapon? Their doughnut cakes. Your birthday will never be the same.
Let’s put the historical rivalry between Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry to rest—Modern reigns supreme, but only by a little. Though you should try both, Mike’s Pastry is a tourist trap—Modern is a bit more authentic, and their cannolis are just a little creamier and crispier. Customize your cannoli with different fillings for an extra special dessert.
Though it has solid gelato, Amorino is mostly known for providing the most Instagrammable ice cream you will ever eat. Get a Cono filled with a few different gelato combos (don’t limit yourself to one flavor!) and Amorino will make the prettiest gelato flower for you. Your feed just got a little trendier.
For your late-night haunts:
A late night snack (aka dinner number 2) calls for late night BURRITOS 🌯 How do you fill your burritos up?? Comment below👇🏼 This totally hit the spot last night, but my burrito had a huge rip 😢 still managed to have minimal spillage like a pro 👍🏼 I absolutely love burritos any time of day. I love all the different flavors and that every bite taste a little different than the last. 📍: Amelia’s Taqueria 🏙: Allston, Massachusetts
Some of the best memories of any Boston college student are silently eating Amelia’s Taqueria burritos with their best friends after an eventful night out. Bostonians are loyal to Amelia’s Taqueria—and it’s open until 2 am, one of the latest establishments open in town. You have to get a burrito when you visit, and don’t cheap out on the chips and guac.
Gourmet Dumpling House hits the exact spot when you’re exhausted after a day in downtown—their pork dumplings are the comfort food you’ve been waiting for. However, Boston is the city that sleeps, so Gourmet Dumpling House closes at 11:30. Plan your visit wisely.
I always wanna try Indian food before. Thanks to my roomies I finally get to have some tonight! I know some people don’t really enjoy Indian food, but I think this is a great first experience for me. How do you feel about Indian food?👩🏻🍳👨🏻🍳 - 👌What I Have: Tofu Masala (my fav dish since I don’t really like meat), Chicken Jalfrezi (honestly we don’t even know whats that mean...but it’s good!), Shrimp Curry (a bit sweet, maybe not recommended), and Naan 🔹Name: India Quality Restaurant 📍Kenmore, Boston, MA ❣️Tips: you can choose the spicy level but I think mild/medium doesn’t taste spicy at all. The portion is kind of small. I would recommend coming in at lunch time if possible, since the price will be much better! - #foodiebrit_indian #indianfood #chickenjalfrezi #tofumasala #shrimpcurry #boston #instafood #foodie
Though India Quality has a location near Newbury Street, their food is best eaten take-out style with your best friends. You will definitely be feeling satisfied after a meal from here—try the Saag Tikki, Garlic Naan, Chicken Mughlai, and of course, the classic Chicken Tikka Masala.
Your stomach is probably growling after reading this list. Here’s to hoping this list gives you some ideas for your next Sunday brunch or your next visit to Beantown!