Before coming to Boston, I knew the food was going to be amazing. I even bookmarked a ton of places I wanted to try on Yelp before coming to Boston University. However, you know a place has good food if Food Network takes the time to mention it. Between Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay and the rest of Food Network’s stars, here are seven Boston restaurants that chefs at Food Network say you should have your next meal:
1. Neptune Oyster
This restaurant is no stranger to recognition and definitely worth the long wait. Neptune Oyster is one of the few seafood joints that can be found amidst the wall-to-wall Italian restaurants in the North End. However, make sure you come prepared to wait. This place is tiny and they don’t take reservations. After waiting an hour and a half, I was finally able
to experience one of Boston’s finest. Food Network recommends the Maine lobster roll (obviously) and the Neptune Johnnycake, which is essentially a pancake with trout and caviar. If you want a more formal (and pricier) meal and love seafood, this is definitely the place to dine.
2. Café Polonia
As soon as you walk in, you can spot a signed poster of Guy Fieri from “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Café Polonia serves authentic Polish food, and the inside mirrors a small, quaint European cottage. It’s a bit out of the way so I would recommend stopping by if you want a break from the city. If you’ve never had Polish food before, the staples are potato pancakes, soups and the pierogis.
3. Greek Corner Restaurant
Fieri also took a trip to Cambridge to stop by this Greek joint. Similar to Café Polonia, the Greek Corner Restaurant is 100 percent authentic. For meat-lovers out there, Fieri was obsessed with the layered meat gyro. The restaurant was started by two brothers who actually left Greece and started this restaurant, so you know it’s the real deal. Definitely take the trip across the river and check this one out.
4. Flour Bakery + Cafe
One of my favorite things is trying new cafés, especially when the inside is aesthetically pleasing for that Instagram pic. Flour is hands-down one of the best cafés I’ve ever been too, and it’s no surprise that Food Network feels the same way. This place has it all: coffee, tea, sandwiches, soups and, most importantly, dessert. The pastries, pies and cakes are all to die for. Giada De Laurentiis loves their Oreo cookies, and Bobby Flay recommends their sticky buns with pecans. This place is always packed, but if you manage to get lucky and find a table it makes for a great study spot.
Similar to Flour, Blunch is a café-style eatery. However, according to Fieri, the real stars are the eatery’s sandwiches. He recommends The Bird, which is a chicken-mozzarella sandwich, or The Provencal, for those vegetarians out there. You don’t need to drop a ton of cash to have Food Network-quality food, so if you can’t swing by Neptune Oyster or a formal sit-down restaurant, try out some of these gourmet (and affordable) sandwiches.
6. Rino’s Place
It’s impossible to talk about quality Boston food without mentioning this Italian joint. Known for their ridiculously large portions, Rino’s does Italian food justice. This was another stop on Fieri’s show. (Be sure to check out his reaction to its lobster ravioli.) Besides the lobster ravioli, Rino’s has a shrimp pasta dish with lemon liquor and a baked pasta dish with meatballs and ricotta. Deemed the best Italian food in town by The Boston Globe, it will surely be amazing.
7. Lone Star Taco Bar
One thing I noticed upon coming to Boston was the lack of authentic Mexican food. That’s why Lone Star is a blessing. The best part? It’s super affordable! There’s a lot of variety with the menu but the standouts are the Chicken Ranchero Tostada, its Grilled Street Corn and the Beef Barbacoa. They also serve brunch every day until 4 p.m. If you’re on a budget (and if you’re a college student, you probably are), be sure to stop by!