Best of Boston

2011 Best Union Square Restaurant, Casual

The Independent

This pub’s recent menu overhaul has reinvigorated locals. While they trickled in for burgers before, they now crowd the doorway for grilled pork chops with Gorgonzola polenta, handcut pappardelle served with fava beans and pancetta, and ham-and-cheese-stuffed croquettes that put the very notion of Hot Pockets to shame. With the biggest beer list on the block and weekly DJ events that draw hordes, the Independent has become a better version of itself.

75 Union Sq., Somerville, 617-440-6022,