Where to Eat, Right Now: The List

Here, in list form, our compendium of where you should be eating right this very moment: a carefully vetted mix of the forward-leaning restaurants that have emerged on the scene during the past couple of years and the stalwarts reinventing themselves in fresh ways (eligibility deadline: end of September). For more highlights and details about our selection process, check out the complete 2013 dining guide.

Boston Magazine |


The craft cocktails are excellent here, as is the upscale tavern fare, featuring thoughtful extras like the apricot mustard served with grilled sausage, and the crispy chickpeas alongside fried octopus.

$$$ | Great for: VegetariansCocktails, Date | 567 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-491-5599, enormous.tv/central


The Somerville from Clio.


Ken Oringer’s modern-French flagship remains as relevant as Uni, its sashimi-centric younger sibling. For an enticing mix of both, snag a seat at Clio’s bar.

$$–$$$$ | Great for: CocktailsWine, DateBar Dining | 370 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-536-7200, cliorestaurant.com, unisashimibar.com.


With beef-heart pastrami, bone-marrow pizza, and lamb pasta taking star turns on the menu, there’s something for every kind of carnivore at this enoteca by Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette.

$$ | Great for: VegetariansCocktailsWine | 253 Shawmut Ave., Boston, 617-391-0902, coppaboston.com.


Tony Maws’s flagship fine-dining spot offers six- and eight-course tasting menus of his inventive locavore fare, but you’ll find less-precious options as well, such as whole roast chicken, or pig’s head, for two.

$$$$ | Great for: CocktailsWine, Date | 853 Main St., Cambridge, 617-497-5511, craigieonmain.com.


Traditional Chinese fare (dumplings, noodles, stuffed mantou) is reimagined around local ingredients, to excellent results.

$$ | Great for: Vegetarians, Date | 1128 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-876-0286, exnecambridge.com.


The Upgraded Meatball from Erbaluce.


This rustic Bay Village hideaway serves delicate northern Italian fare with an emphasis on fresh vegetables and herbs—plus a stellar bar menu of gently priced meatballs, composed salads, and house-made cordials.

$$$ | Great for: VegetariansCocktailsWine, DateBar Dining | 69 Church St., Boston, 617-426-6969, erbaluce-boston.com.


New England–inspired fare gets the whimsical gastropub treatment, yielding doctored-up poutine, cured-seafood boards, and deluxe wedge salads. A creative cocktail menu, meanwhile, ensures the drinks are fun, too.

$$–$$$ | Great for: Cocktails | 1395 Washington St., Boston, 617-425-0200, thegallowsboston.com.


The house-made pastas at this cozy Italian spot are the main draw, but Michael Pagliarini’s other simple, elegant preparations—semolina cakes topped with lardo, tender scallops with corn risotto—shine just as bright.

$$$ | Great for: Date | 1682 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-441-2800, giuliarestaurant.com.


Six years later, there’s still a 45-minute weeknight wait for the spicy goat stew and buffalo-fried Brussels sprouts at this buzzy oasis in a relative Somerville food desert.

$$ | Great for: VegetariansCocktails | 150 Highland Ave., Somerville, 617-625-1131, highlandkitchen.com.


Barry Maiden melds serious French chops with the southern standards he grew up with, resulting in appealing hybrids like Burgundy snails with black-garlic butter and buttermilk biscuits.

$$$ | Great for: CocktailsWine, Date | 233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave., Cambridge, 617-499-0090, hungrymothercambridge.com.

  • diggit

    “50 overpriced restaurants that advertise with us or we wish would.”

  • andythebouncer

    Lots of these places could be *easily* displaced by Catalyst.

    • June Haggar


  • Rick Berryman

    You missed Red Lentil in Watertown!!! Extraordinary food at very reasonable prices!

  • Kaitlin

    I wish there was a map to go along with this list…

  • David

    Agree, pretty daft Catalyst not in this list.