clock menu more-arrow no yes

The Supercharged Flavor Guide to Boston

View as Map
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.
FY15 Infiniti Q1 Q50 Lifestyle logo

Flavor, it goes without saying, is a priority of just about every restaurant or bar. And there are dishes (and drinks) that'll knock each of the five basic tastes — sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami — out of the park. We'll be mapping the biggest flavor hits of cities across the country, as part of Eater's partnership with MOFAD and Infiniti USA. Here now, Boston.

Read More

1. Craigie on Main

Copy Link
853 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 497-5511
Visit Website
This cozy Cambridge spot, a neighborhood favorite since opening in 2008, receives high praise for its classy and delicious food. Chef Tony Maws shows patrons what nose-to-tail cooking looks like with a menu that includes both pig's head and crispy fried pig's tails — the latter a perfect bar bite or appetizer. Eaten like chicken wings, the bone-in tails are tender, slightly spicy, and topped with delicate onion rings for a salty snack that exemplifies refined rustic.

2. Hojoko

Copy Link
1271 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215
Hojoko, a new restaurant in The Verb Hotel from the team behind Boston’s acclaimed O Ya, has quickly become a favorite for its innovative dishes and "rock & roll Japanese tavern" vibe. The Hojoko experience might best be embodied in its "brains on crack," surprisingly light fried calves brains that are crisp and flavorful. The addition of Hojoko XO butter — primarily fish sauce, with butter and other ingredients — and a dusting of bonito lends the dish depth and a satisfying saltiness.

3. Sarma

Copy Link
249 Pearl St
Somerville, MA 02145
(617) 764-4464
Visit Website
This Mediterranean haven in Somerville is slightly off the beaten path, but the tastes are worth the travel. Chef Cassie Piuma, with chef Ana Sortun as a partner, created a blue-hued space with a lively buzz and trays of food floating past. Wait until the dinner crowd calms down to try the fluffy sweet potato sticky bun, loaded with complex sweetness from salty but syrupy date butter and the zing of cranberry. It’s an addictive combination. 249 Pearl St.

4. Eastern Standard

Copy Link
528 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 532-9100
Visit Website
Boston mainstay Eastern Standard, in the heart of Kenmore Square, is known for its cocktails, convivial atmosphere, and excellent dishes — and for its butterscotch bread pudding, a favorite and menu mainstay. Rich, caramelized sugar appears in every component, from the praline ice cream accompaniment to the gooey salted caramel glaze, making this an undeniably sweet yet irresistible dessert.

5. Shepard

Copy Link
1 Shepard St
Cambridge, MA 02138
Venture just past Harvard Square and you'll be rewarded with cozy environs and eye-opening food and drink at Shepard — kind of an updated, 21st century Cheers. The French-influenced fare is both comforting and awe-inspiring, especially the curlicued pinwheel sausage with delicately pungent sauerkraut. The sour tang of the kraut cuts the richness of the sausage, making for the ideal combo of savory and sour.

6. Tiger Mama

Copy Link
1363 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215
Top Chef alum Tiffani Faison's second restaurant, Tiger Mama, offers Southeast Asian-inspired cuisine in a huge, warmly lit space. Face with the impressive list of offerings, soup may not be your first choice, but here it should be. Specifically, the Tom Kha Gai — a delectable, hits-all-the-right-buttons concoction that includes shrimp, clams, squid, mushrooms, and tomatoes, all simmered in the star of the show, a delightfully sour coconut broth.

7. Toro

Copy Link
1704 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 536-4300
Visit Website
Boston's South End may be packed with dining options, but Toro's Spanish-style tapas is in a league of its own. Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette opened the restaurant a decade ago, but the food remains as innovative as ever, putting out small plates like the uni bocadillo, a pressed uni sandwich slathered with miso butter and pickled mustard seeds. Between the uni and the miso, it’s packed with umami flavor, making it satisfying despite its small size.

8. Townsman

Copy Link
120 Kingston St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 993-0750
Visit Website
Brasserie-inspired Townsman, a recent and critically acclaimed addition to Boston's downtown dining scene, boasts a menu that embraces sustainability and seasonality. The broiled snail toast — a tasty layering of snails, foraged mushrooms, onion jam, and goat cheese on a house-made baguette — offers an unparalleled punch of umami, cut only by a lick-your-fingers-good glaze made with black Chinese vinegar and lemon juice.

9. Alden & Harlow

Copy Link
40 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 864-2100
Visit Website
Harvard Square favorite Alden & Harlow is lauded for its provocative cocktail offerings. Want to skip the sweet libations? Ask for a Hardy Boy, a smooth drink of rye whiskey mixed with bitter, herbal notes of Suze gentian liqueur, wormwood, peppermint simple syrup, and cacao liqueur. It's a refreshing departure from fruit-forward drinks — sometimes bitter is better.

10. Parsnip

Copy Link
91 Winthrop St
Cambridge, MA 02138
Nestled in the heart of Harvard Square, Parsnip is a quietly upscale restaurant with a midcentury vibe and beautiful food. Take a break from sharing small plates and come here for an entree of your own: cardamom poached monkfish wrapped in buttery filo. It’s paired with Swiss chard and orange, which bring an unexpected bitter note that balances everything out.
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

1. Craigie on Main

853 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02139
This cozy Cambridge spot, a neighborhood favorite since opening in 2008, receives high praise for its classy and delicious food. Chef Tony Maws shows patrons what nose-to-tail cooking looks like with a menu that includes both pig's head and crispy fried pig's tails — the latter a perfect bar bite or appetizer. Eaten like chicken wings, the bone-in tails are tender, slightly spicy, and topped with delicate onion rings for a salty snack that exemplifies refined rustic.
853 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139

2. Hojoko

1271 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215
Hojoko, a new restaurant in The Verb Hotel from the team behind Boston’s acclaimed O Ya, has quickly become a favorite for its innovative dishes and "rock & roll Japanese tavern" vibe. The Hojoko experience might best be embodied in its "brains on crack," surprisingly light fried calves brains that are crisp and flavorful. The addition of Hojoko XO butter — primarily fish sauce, with butter and other ingredients — and a dusting of bonito lends the dish depth and a satisfying saltiness.
1271 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215

3. Sarma

249 Pearl St, Somerville, MA 02145
This Mediterranean haven in Somerville is slightly off the beaten path, but the tastes are worth the travel. Chef Cassie Piuma, with chef Ana Sortun as a partner, created a blue-hued space with a lively buzz and trays of food floating past. Wait until the dinner crowd calms down to try the fluffy sweet potato sticky bun, loaded with complex sweetness from salty but syrupy date butter and the zing of cranberry. It’s an addictive combination. 249 Pearl St.
249 Pearl St
Somerville, MA 02145

4. Eastern Standard

528 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215
Boston mainstay Eastern Standard, in the heart of Kenmore Square, is known for its cocktails, convivial atmosphere, and excellent dishes — and for its butterscotch bread pudding, a favorite and menu mainstay. Rich, caramelized sugar appears in every component, from the praline ice cream accompaniment to the gooey salted caramel glaze, making this an undeniably sweet yet irresistible dessert.
528 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215

5. Shepard

1 Shepard St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Venture just past Harvard Square and you'll be rewarded with cozy environs and eye-opening food and drink at Shepard — kind of an updated, 21st century Cheers. The French-influenced fare is both comforting and awe-inspiring, especially the curlicued pinwheel sausage with delicately pungent sauerkraut. The sour tang of the kraut cuts the richness of the sausage, making for the ideal combo of savory and sour.
1 Shepard St
Cambridge, MA 02138

6. Tiger Mama

1363 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215
Top Chef alum Tiffani Faison's second restaurant, Tiger Mama, offers Southeast Asian-inspired cuisine in a huge, warmly lit space. Face with the impressive list of offerings, soup may not be your first choice, but here it should be. Specifically, the Tom Kha Gai — a delectable, hits-all-the-right-buttons concoction that includes shrimp, clams, squid, mushrooms, and tomatoes, all simmered in the star of the show, a delightfully sour coconut broth.
1363 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215

7. Toro

1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
Boston's South End may be packed with dining options, but Toro's Spanish-style tapas is in a league of its own. Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette opened the restaurant a decade ago, but the food remains as innovative as ever, putting out small plates like the uni bocadillo, a pressed uni sandwich slathered with miso butter and pickled mustard seeds. Between the uni and the miso, it’s packed with umami flavor, making it satisfying despite its small size.
1704 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118

8. Townsman

120 Kingston St, Boston, MA 02111
Brasserie-inspired Townsman, a recent and critically acclaimed addition to Boston's downtown dining scene, boasts a menu that embraces sustainability and seasonality. The broiled snail toast — a tasty layering of snails, foraged mushrooms, onion jam, and goat cheese on a house-made baguette — offers an unparalleled punch of umami, cut only by a lick-your-fingers-good glaze made with black Chinese vinegar and lemon juice.
120 Kingston St
Boston, MA 02111

9. Alden & Harlow

40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Harvard Square favorite Alden & Harlow is lauded for its provocative cocktail offerings. Want to skip the sweet libations? Ask for a Hardy Boy, a smooth drink of rye whiskey mixed with bitter, herbal notes of Suze gentian liqueur, wormwood, peppermint simple syrup, and cacao liqueur. It's a refreshing departure from fruit-forward drinks — sometimes bitter is better.
40 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138

10. Parsnip

91 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Nestled in the heart of Harvard Square, Parsnip is a quietly upscale restaurant with a midcentury vibe and beautiful food. Take a break from sharing small plates and come here for an entree of your own: cardamom poached monkfish wrapped in buttery filo. It’s paired with Swiss chard and orange, which bring an unexpected bitter note that balances everything out.
91 Winthrop St
Cambridge, MA 02138

Related Maps