Food To Try In Boston, Massachusetts, USA

food to try in boston
| 5 min read

The East Coast City is one of the oldest cities in the United States which played a key role in the American Revolution. Besides its many tourist attractions, Boston is a haven for food lovers especially those into seafood. Its local specialties notably the oysters on the half-shell or the freshly steamed lobsters can’t beat anything! You can find an endless range of seafood options while visiting this city, but you cannot ignore its fish-centered Seaport District. The Bostonian local delicacies do not stop here, there is more than just the seafood. The city has also diverse cuisine options from the Italian fare like the Giambotta pizza or Ossobucco of the North End to the Asian dishes of its Chinatown, not to mention its Greek influenced specialty the Lamb Gyro. For visitors who are heading to Boston and don’t know where to start, here are the 10 mouth-watering dishes that you need to try in Boston, Massachusetts.

Tip from tour guide



Plenty of good restaurants and pubs are available in Boston if you need recommendations for where to go for the best must-try foods in the city. In terms of restaurants, Legal Sea Foods, Davio's, Atlantic Fish and Co., Mamma Maria, Giacomo's, O Ya, and Grill 23, are a few that I can think of. For pubs, I recommend The Dubliner, Emmets Irish Pub, J.J. Foley's Cafe, L Street Tavern, Bell in Hand Tavern, and Green Dragon Tavern.

1. Boston cream pie

Boston cream pie with chocolate drizzle
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Francisco Seoane ... used under CC BY 2.0

Reputed as being the official dessert of Massachusetts, the yummy and creamy Boston Cream Pie was originally created in 1856 by a chef at Parker’s Restaurant at the Omni Parker House. It is still available and can even be shipped anywhere across the country. This French butter sponge cake is filled with cream, brushed with rum and topped with chocolate fondant. If you’re a vegan then you can find a vegan chocolate cream pie at the Veggie Galaxy.

Omni Parker House

Address: Omni Parker House, 60 School St, Boston, MA, USA

Website: Parker’s Restaurant

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2. Rumanian pastrami

Another Boston delight is the Rumanian Pastrami, which was first introduced by the Romanian Jewish immigrants to the USA in the second half of the 19th century. It got its popularity through food carts and pastrami sandwich shops which made it more accessible to the locals. Traditionally, the pastrami was made from the beef navel, but today it is made with beef brisket. However, other products such as pork, mutton, turkey, or goose are sometimes used instead of the beef. The secret behind having a flavorful pastrami is that it is smoked and then steamed, which makes it more tender and juicy. One of the best places to try the Rumanian Pastrami is at Neillios Gourmet Kitchen, which offers the finest pastrami in all of the Boston areas.

Neillios Gourmet Kitchen

Address: 53 Bedford St, Lexington, MA 02420, USA

Website: Neillios Gourmet Kitchen

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3. Brown butter lobster roll

Hawksmoor, Covent Garden, London
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ewan Munro used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Brown Butter Lobster Roll is usually referred to as the pride of the New England, its succulent chunks of sweet, tender seasoned meat rolled inside a sandwich has made it one of the Bostonian top delicacies. There are several variations of the lobster rolls, usually seasoned and dressed in either the traditional style which it with melted butter or the ‘Maine-style’ with mayonnaise. In the Boston region, chefs prefer to add some additional ingredients like celery, lemon juice, lettuce, cracked black pepper to enhance its taste and to give it a unique touch. The lobster roll is usually accompanied by fries or potato chips. One of the excellent places to try these delicious goodies is at the Neptune Oyster Bar which is in the North End.

Neptune Oyster Bar

Address: 63 Salem St # 1, Boston, MA 02113, USA

Website: Neptune Oyster Bar

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4. The Giambotta Pizza

Source: Photo by Flickr user rebuildingsince92 used under CC BY 2.0

The Giambotta Pizza is one of the much sought-after local dishes in Boston. The dish which originates in Southern Italy is a summer vegetable stew made of mixed vegetables like the zucchini, Italian eggplant, bell peppers, potato, onion, tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil. But in Boston, it is referred to the Giambotta pizza which includes all the traditional toppings like the salami, pepperoni sausage, mushrooms, onions, anchovies, and pepper. The place to taste this delicious pizza is at the classic brick oven Regina Pizzeria situated in the North End.

Regina Pizzeria

Address: 11 ½ Thacher St, Boston, MA 02113, USA

Website: Regina Pizzeria

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Boston Tour Guide

Naim Benmayor

Naim Benmayor

As a Boston tour guide, I have the added experience of being a world traveler. For many years, I frequently visited Europe, Asia, and Latin America on business. During this time, I also organized tours of the USA, Europe and Asia for my business clients. I now bring this passion, excitement and expertise to the Boston area.By exploring the globe, I was exposed to various cultures, and this uniq... Read more

5. Maple bacon donut

Maple Bacon Donut!!! Thanks Legal Aid Society!!
Source: Photo by Flickr user Franklin Graves used under CC BY 2.0

If you’re a big fan of donuts then you will surely have a variety of choices to find some delicious donuts in Boston. The Maple Bacon donut is used as a breakfast or dessert food and has become quite popular in this region. Its distinct addition of bacon and maple syrup has made it a real delight in Boston. Find your Maple Bacon Donut at the Union Square Donuts which is an award-winning donut company. Their donuts are made fresh and by hand. The Maple Bacon served at Union Square is made of real Vermont maple syrup and topped with thick-cut smokey bacon.

Union Square Donuts

Address: 100 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02108

Website: Union Square Donuts

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6. Secret Burger

The Secret Burger is a ‘concept’ created by Chef Michael Scelfo who sells a limited number of yummy burgers prepared each night at his restaurant Alden & Harlow. The burgers consist of a generous amount of quality beef which has a slight texture of steak tartar. They are topped with tomato, cheddar sauce, pickled onions, and seed bun. The burger is accompanied by homemade ultra-thin potato chips. Normally the burgers are often sold out early in the dinner hours.

Alden & Harlow

Address: 40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Website: Alden & Harlow

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7. Fried Kumamoto oyster

The Kumamoto Oyster is one of the five species of oysters originated in the Yatsushiro Bay in Japan which was shipped to the US in 1945. They are deep-cupped with small tiny meats and have a mild brininess, with a sweet flavor and a honeydew finish. In Boston, it is no doubt appreciated by many, especially the fried ones. Head to the O Ya restaurant where you will find Chef Tim Cushman. He will carefully put a golden brown oyster on sushi rice wrapped in seaweed, served in nigiri-style with yuzu kosho aioli and squid ink bubbles. This makes for a crunchy, salty, and acidic texture, all in one bite.

O Ya Restaurant

Address: 9 East St Boston, MA 02111

Website: O Ya Restaurant

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8. Ossobuco

Ossobuco - stu spivack
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user stu_spivack used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Yearning for some Italian specialties in Boston? Then head to Aria Trattoria situated in the historic North End, featuring traditional and contemporary Italian cuisine. You can find the Ossobuco, a Lombard specialty on its menu in the ‘secondi’ section. You will get the chance to relish on a large dish with plenty of succulent pork, a chunky tomato-carrot-celery sauce, and two large triangles of herb-loaded, buttery, oven-crisped polenta.

Aria Trattoria

Address: 253 Hanover St., 2nd Flr. Boston, MA 02113

Website: Aria Trattoria

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9. Lamb Gyro

Get a taste of the Greek street food right in Boston! The Lamb Gyro is a lamb dish cooked on a vertical rotisserie spiced with thyme, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, and rosemary. There are several gyro stops that have eat-in and take-out options. But one of the best place to try this dish is at the Gyro City. The restaurant specializes in Mediterranean fare including other delicious Greek specialties. It is recommended to eat the gyros with tzatziki sauce to give your taste bud a real treat.

Gyro City

Address: 88 Peterborough St. Boston, MA 02215

Website: Gyro City

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10. Fried clams

Fried clams Woodman's of Essex, Massachusetts
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user dbking used under CC BY 2.0

The absolute must-try Fried Clams is an iconic dish to New England including Boston. You cannot come to Boston and not try the fried, crunchy and tantalizing clams. Among all the Ipswich soft-shell clams also known as the steamers, these are considered as the best. Its name is derived from a town named North Shore in Ipswich, located 48 km (30 miles) North of Boston. Parts of North Shore have a great salt marsh, which is a preferred habitat of the soft-shell clams.

The Clam Box, Ipswich

Address: 246 High St, Ipswich, MA 01938, USA

Website: The Clam Box, Ipswich

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Boston - a food lover’s paradise

Cream Pie
Source: Unsplash

If you’re traveling to Boston and wish to try the local specialties then consider our list of top 10 food items to try in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Heyleena is a passionate travel writer who enjoys writing travel articles for people who seek to explore new places in a more conscious way. From travel guides to recommended vacation rentals, get...Read more

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