Restaurants

It’s Finally Here: Our Annual List of the Top 50 Restaurants in Boston

You might be surprised by some of this year's picks.


Top middle photo by Morgan Ione Yeager, bottom right photo by Drew Katz, all others by Nina Gallant

This is it. You’re holding it in your hand, or skimming it on your screen: Our now-annual, ranked roundup of the Top 50 Restaurants in Boston. (Please note: We are not responsible for smartphone damage due to drool.)

We’ve taste-tested all over town to determine the best of the best in our increasingly competitive dining scene—and we know that no matter what you’re looking for, this comprehensive guide will offer a ton of tantalizing ideas for your next night dining out.

So, how does a list like this come together? Whenever I describe the process of tallying our top spots, I feel like a broken record. “It’s a daunting challenge!” “I wish we could include 100!” “My jeans were a lot looser before, yuk-yuk!” All true. Especially the jeans part.

But here’s something that’s often left unsaid: There are many ways to rank restaurants—especially when you’re comparing so many different cuisines and other characteristics. The first step is deciding what factors are most important to consider.

To determine that, we look to the restaurants themselves. Rather than impose expectations, we ask ourselves: What experience does this restaurant intend to deliver, and does the result match the intent? What story is the chef trying to tell? What promise does the menu make, and how well is it kept? And how are we supposed to feel when we leave? (Besides, “full.”)

Everyone has a different idea of what makes a restaurant one of the best—so it only makes sense to measure each spot by its own yardstick. That’s why this list includes everything from esoteric tasting menus to wood-fired pizzas, from French to Filipino to American farm-to-table cuisines..

We think you’ll find some surprises. You might be surprised by what didn’t make the cut, too. And of course, we know everyone will bring their own set of favorites to the table. But most of all, consider this a celebration of everything that Boston’s better-than-ever dining scene is doing oh-so-right. Dive in—and then, dig in.

Your Guide to Boston’s Top 50 Restaurants of 2019