Best of Boston

2005 Best South End Restaurant, Neighborhood

Franklin Café

It’s trendy, it’s tasty, it’s open till 1:30 a.m. What’s not to like? Well, there is the wait to be seated—which can be up to 90 minutes. But the bustling bar, with its blood orange martinis, is one of the big draws. And the food is worth hanging around for: The seasonal menu showcases such contemporary American cuisine as slow-roasted spiced chicken and turkey meatloaf—all for under $20.

278 Shawmut Ave., Boston, 617-350-0010,