Where to Dine Now

The 35 places that deliver the most bang for your dining dollar—no matter what you're spending.

Study the buzziest dining openings of the past 12 months and you’ll notice a theme: A new class of eatery is taking root in Boston, offering stylish spaces, first-class service, and polished food at refreshingly reasonable prices. It’s the culinary equivalent of an emerging middle class (and a sure sign of health in any economy).

Of course, some kitchens do the affordability thing better than others. That’s why, for this year’s Best Restaurants list, we’re steering you to the area’s top so-called midprice restaurants. These places may specialize in different kinds of cuisine, but they all excel at maximizing your dining dollar—and all deserve to be destinations in their own right.

Plus: Which high-end tasting menus are worth the splurge, where to find the most refined cheap eats, exactly how much food you can get for the price of an average Boston meal, and what it takes to make a buck off a $20 steak.

The 20 Best Midprice Restaurants

These exceptional spots—nearly half of which opened in this past year—provide all the requisite dining pleasures, with one notable advantage: entrées that stay under $25.

Four Worth-Every-Penny Feasts

When you want to splurge, tasting menus offer great value, with multiple courses of the chef’s finest work for less than you’d pay à la carte. A sampler of dishes from a few of the city’s elite.

The Shrinking Boston Entrée

And other tactics the owners of midprice restaurants use to beat the numbers game.

Five Great Made-from-Scratch Cheap Eats

It takes quality-minded joints like these to create delicious handmade food…and then sell it at a bargain.

The $31 Question

That’s the cost of the average Boston restaurant meal, according to the latest Zagat survey. But just what that buys you depends on where you’re pulling up a chair.