Best of Boston

2000 Best Late-Night Dining

Franklin Cafe

This utterly unpretentious, hip South End restaurant is doing its best to change the image of Boston as an early-to-eat town. Though it has only nine tables and a crowded bar, Franklin services perfectly homey, simply executed food that gives late-night dining a good name. Favorites on the New American menu include loin of tuna (a large piece of fish cooked medium-rare and served atop creamy mashed potatoes) and the grilled lahmajune (an Armenian-inspired pizza topped with ground lamb and cilantro). Portions are large, prices are low, and the crowd is cool—a winning combination that keeps hungry night owls happy and fed until 1:30 a.m. every night of the week.

278 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, 617-350-0010,