Contrary to what Hollywood's been selling us for the last decade, Boston is not a bunch of Southie maniacs in Bruins jerseys pounding Jameson and robbing banks. The reality is that Beantown has some of the most soignée, cutting-edge fine dining on the East Coast and a huge variety of upscale eateries.
Whether you're looking for a corporate power dinner, tasting menus, boundary-pushing cocktails, or sexy seafood, Boston's got it, and it's got it in spades. Here are some of our best bets for the next time you want to indulge in the City on a Hill. It's just a small part of the MUNCHIES Guide to Boston, but it's a fun one.
Boston is wicked fancy, kid, and here are the go-to spots.
Menton: Part of standout Boston chef Barbara Lynch's restaurant group Gruppo, which also includes Drink and Sportello on the same Fort Point block, this French-Italian spot is the peak of fine dining in Boston, and has been regularly lauded as one of the best restaurants in the country. The tasting menus can get expensive (up to $295 with wine pairings), but dishes like the chicken fried rabbit with espellete, tarragon, and salsa verde at $20 are more affordable and damn good.
UNI: Once just a small sushi bar in the basement of the Eliot Hotel, UNI is now a boisterous, cutting-edge izakaya from chef-owners Ken Oringer and Tony Messina. Go for the small plates of grilled octopus and smoked uni alongside pork belly steamed buns.
Alden & Harlow: Alden and Harlow proves that you don't have to do high-end food in a stuffy environment. The hip, underground space with its long bar, open kitchen, and regular hip hop soundtrack serves small plates like Fried Vermont quail with creamed corn, black eyed pea vin, and spicy honey butter, or trumpet and duck tongue salad with roasted trumpet aioli, ricotta salata, and pickled fruit. Oh, and the cocktail program, with its own house amaro on tap, is one of the best in the city. If there's a celebrity in town visiting Harvard, this is where their people are telling them to go.
o ya: Have you ever even eaten sushi before? No, you have not, until you've experienced o ya. Sadly, to get the full experience—the 22-course grand omakase—you'll need to take out a second mortgage, but it's worth it. Regularly mentioned as one of the best sushi restaurants in America, this is where Boston's chefs dream about going out to dinner when they're off the clock.
Tasting Counter: The best dinner and a show in the city—Tasting Counter doesn't consider itself a restaurant, rather, a "multi-sensory dining experience." Tucked away inside the Aeronaut Brewing Company, the interior is like a 20-seat colosseum, where diners surround chefs in performative white coats and extra-tall chefs hats.
For our full list of recommendations of restaurants worth the big bucks, check out the MUNCHIES Guide to Boston.