The 50 Best Restaurants

Roast duck from Troquet

Ten Tables Cambridge

With food that capitalizes on the season’s bounty, chef David Punch reels in a cross section of Cambridge; you’re as likely to see tattooed students as graying scholars clinking glasses in the intimate, dimly lit dining room. Arrive a few minutes early to share a snack or two (cheese boards, house-made pickles), or to tip back a Berkshire Brewing Company ale at the tiny bar. >> Order This:  The tender pork chop. >> Great For: Date night, vegetarian dining.

5 Craigie Cir., Cambridge, 617-576-5444, tentables.net/cambridge.

Ten Tables J.P.

There’s a reason owner Krista Kranyak was able to open two more Ten Tables locations after this one: It’s the kind of smashingly successful indie restaurant that everyone wants in the neighborhood. Offerings like the house-made ricotta cavatelli with wild mushrooms keep the locals coming back, and the newish bar area has made the place an even more inviting hangout. >> Order This:  Chorizo-stuffed chicken with pickled jalapeño; the bar menu. >> Great For: Date night, vegetarian dining, creative cocktails.

597 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-8810, tentables.net/jp.

Toro

You know the drill: Show up about 40 minutes before you actually want to eat, because unless it’s 5:30 on a Monday, you’re going to wait. Luckily, that’s just enough time to order and drink one of Toro’s excellent cocktails. By the time you polish off a spicy Perro Picante, your name will be up, and your appetite for blistery padrón peppers and the now-famous cotija-and-aioli-slathered corn will be whetted. >> Order This:  Bone marrow with oxtail marmalade; pimientos de padrón. >> Great For: Vegetarian dining, creative cocktails.

1704 Washington St., Boston, 617-536-4300, toro-restaurant.com.

Troquet

There are restaurants that cater to food lovers who like wine, and then there are restaurants designed for people who have a deep love for small-batch burgundies, grand-cru bordeaux, and esoteric rosés and want something lovely to eat with them. Troquet is most certainly the latter. The cellar isn’t the city’s biggest, but thanks to smart buying by the staff, it offers tremendous values on hard-to-find bottles — and even the food seems designed to fit the wine program, not the other way around. The ingenious menu guides diners to wines that pair well with each app, entrée, and dessert, so even if you aren’t one of those wine nerds, it won’t be hard to fake it. >> Order This:  Roast duck; assiette of Vermont lamb; whatever seasonal soufflé is offered. >> Great For: Date night, business engagement, group gathering, standout wine list.

140 Boylston St., Boston, 617-695-9463, troquetboston.com.

Uni

Despite being part of the popular Ken Oringer restaurant club, this tiny sashimi bar in the Eliot Hotel still feels like a secret. With only 21 seats, it’s where sushi chef Chris Gould takes fresh, exotic fare from the sea and turns it into edible art. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, either — on Tuesdays, get four courses plus sake bombs for a reasonable $35. >> Order This:  Uni spoon; the omakase. >> Great For: Date night.

370 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-536-7200, unisashimibar.com.

  • Rebecca

    Find it hard to believe you did not include La Campania in your top 50. It consistently is ranked in the top 10 in the Boston area by Zagat and others. The quality of the food and the exceptional wine list are hard to beat.

  • Jennifer

    You forgot to mention STELLA in the south end, this is an amazing restaurant one of the best in the city ( top 5). It is open until 1:30am with an amazing menu and one of the best brunchs on sundays!!

  • Michael

    Where’s Journeyman?

  • Barbara

    Andy Husbands of 647 Tremont and Sister Sorel is an amazing chef. This is a place not to be missed.

  • Jerry

    You missed 75 Chestnut St.
    Not only GREAT food, but very very reasonable. You should not have to be the most expensive to be on the list.

  • Mannie

    I went there for my birthday and I specifically ordered this dish that included jumbo shrimp. They gave these tiny little shrimp in replacement for the jumbo shrimp. The rice was way under cooked. The waitress was rude. I e-mailed the head chef and complained about the food and service. No reply. She sucks too. Snobby people would probably think this place was good. I would rather go to Chinatown and eat, cheap or expansive. You always get great food.

  • Leoni

    Nice list!

    I just heard of this great site that’s launching soon called TableZest. They let you browse and discover the best restaurants in Boston and also offer personalized restaurant recommendations. It’s great because looks like you can make reservations directly from their site, even for the same day at popular spots.

    Curious to see which restaurants from this list make it on their site!

    They’re at http://www.tablezest.com if you want to check it out.

  • Alex

    I’ve been to Sonsie many times and absolutely love it. Think it should be on this list!