Best of Boston 2023 Is Here, and It’s Full of Food

Here’s a look at the restaurant winners—and some other food- and drink-related businesses—for this year’s awards.

A lobster and scallion entree is plated on a dish with a blue border with a bird pattern on it. Sauteed greens and white rice are on the side, on separate plates.

Peach Farm’s lobster with ginger and scallions. / Photo by Brian Samuels

One rainy May afternoon, I found myself wandering through Boston on what became an accidental chowder crawl. I merely intended to double-check the winner the Boston team had in mind for this year’s Best of Boston chowder category—but then remembered another one nearby I felt needed to be tried, and another. I definitely don’t recommend eating three bowls of chowder in a single afternoon. But that’s the way we approach our Best of Boston research: with endless enthusiasm, a bit of disregard for our wellbeing, and the intention of bringing you a deeply researched guide to the best of the best in food, drink, shopping, service, and more.

Our Best of Boston 2023 issue is out now; you can find it at Whole Foods, Stop & Shop, and Barnes & Noble, among other shops. It features over 70 restaurant winners in the main dining category, plus some restaurant-adjacent winners in other sections. (The Best Date Night With Your Doggo category, for example, ran in Best of Boston’s Shopping section, but over here on the restaurant side of Boston, we also adore the winner, Park-9 Dog Bar. It’s a bar, after all—and for humans, too!)

A bowl of chowder is shown on a marble background, topped with bacon, a drizzle of green oil, and finely chopped chives. Oyster crackers and a dinner roll are on the side.

The Banks Fish House’s New England clam chowder with Berkshire pork belly and chive oil. / Photo by Joe St. Pierre, styling by Joy Howard

It’s a big team effort pulling this annual package together: Boston staffers and contributors are called on to research a broad range of categories in and out of their usual areas of expertise. We tirelessly, anonymously taste and test and taste some more, swapping intel among our departments, cluing each other in to neighborhood favorites and unsung heroes. We highlight new spots and old spots; we stick close to the city for a lot of categories, but let the suburbs shine in others. And the categories can change each year, so if we’re missing your favorite neighborhood or dish or cuisine this year, hang tight: It might (re)appear next year.

All this to say that we’re very excited about our 2023 selections and hope you’ll find a few new meals to enjoy, or old favorites to revisit, as you peruse the list. You’ll find the full listing of those 70+ main dining winners here, but we’ve compiled an index below to include all the food-related winners from this year’s Best of Boston.

Jump to:

Environment, Occasion, or Type of Meal

Looking for soul food with a side of soul music, elaborate tasting menus, or the freshest raw bar? Find those in this category, and more.

A hand shakes powdered sugar onto a stack of eight fluffy pancakes, stuffed with Fruity Pebbles and drizzled with a pink cream.

Lincoln Tavern’s Fruity Pebbles pancakes with cereal milk anglais. / Photo by Joe St. Pierre, styling by Joy Howard

Destinations for Drinks

Bars, breweries, and more.

A hand holds a pale orange-pink cocktail in elegant glassware at a dark bar.

A cocktail at Farmacia. / Photo by Chris Vela

Favorite Dishes

A few classics and some fun newer dishes—here’s where to find the crispiest chicken, the juiciest burger, and the most heavenly…cream of wheat?

A very crispy fried chicken sandwich, topped with pickles and ranch.

Bisq’s fried chicken sandwich. / Photo by Joe St. Pierre, styling by Joy Howard

Sweet Treats

Save room for dessert.

Three elaborate croissants with different toppings sit on white plates on a white marble surface.

The kinds of croissants one might find on a weekend at Lakon Paris Patisserie. / Photo by Joe St. Pierre, styling by Joy Howard

Best of the New

Highlighting the best spots that opened within the past year(ish).

A golden tray sits on a teal tiled floor, holding Middle Eastern pastries, with a couple of lattes to the side.

Drinks and snacks at Madhouse Café. / Photo by Brian Samuels

Neighborhood Favorites

The type of spot where you want to cozy up a couple nights a week if you live nearby. (We include a rotating selection of neighborhoods each year, so if you don’t see yours, stay tuned for 2024.)

Overhead view of five hearty dishes of meats, rice, and salad at a Middle Eastern restaurant, laid out across a tablecloth with silver stars on it.

A spread of dishes at Ashur Restuarant. / Photo by Brian Samuels

Industry People

Find these folks and eat their food/drink their drinks.

A bearded man in glasses and a baseball cap stands in a professional kitchen, wearing a denim apron and looking at the camera.

Kendall DaCosta. / Photo by Pat Piasecki

World Cuisines

Take a trip around the globe without leaving the city.

A big black bowl is full of sliced bowl and red broth garnished with plenty of chili pepper flakes and chopped scallions.

Yunnan Kitchen’s boiled pork in chili oil. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Beyond Boston

Road-trip-worthy destinations farther from the city.

Nightshade Noodle Bar. / Photo by Alyssa Blumstein


Some of our favorite food-or-drink-ish winners from the non-restaurant sections of Best of Boston, from a quirky art gallery at a brewery to a distillery that doubles as a gorgeous wedding or event venue.

Polkadog pet treats.


Edibles are food, right?

Bud’s Goods & Provisions.