Best Restaurants & Food in Boston 2012

Chefs

2012 Best Bartender

This is the year of the cocktail bar, and the city’s top new spots are anchored by considerable talent. There’s Scott Marshall shaking and stirring at the Hawthorne, and Misty...

Winner

Chefs

2012 Best Chef, Up-and-Coming

Watertown has the most exciting cuisine in town? At a place called, for better or worse, Strip-T’s? Actually, it’s true. After leaving New York’s famed Momofuku Ssam Bar last spring,...

Winner

Advertisement

Advertisement

Cuisine Type

2012 Best Barbecue Restaurant

Smoked meat, we’ve long held, is the great equalizer—the one cuisine practically everyone (vegetarians aside) can agree on. For proof, head to chef Tiffani Faison’s tribute to Texas. You’ll find...

Winner

Cuisine Type

2012 Best Greek Restaurant

It’s all Greek to you—and everyone else—at this North Cambridge eatery. There are murals of the Mediterranean coastline and Greek keys on the tablecloths. Oh, and there’s food, too—treats like...

Winner

Cuisine Type

2012 Best Indian Restaurant

At this nondescript Dot. Ave. storefront, the samosas and crispy mixed-vegetable pakoras are deep-fried pockets of pillowy goodness. And while we love getting takeout (the creamy shrimp saag travels exceptionally...

Winner

Advertisement

Food

2012 Best Fries

A truly great fry is only as good as the stuff you dip it in. And while we love Heinz as much as the next guy, It’s hard to top...

Winner

Food

2012 Best Burrito

When it comes to building the perfect burrito, each component is critical to the outcome. This tiny hole-in-the-wall gets it. Cheese is melted directly onto the steaming-hot tortillas, the carnitas...

Winner

Food

2012 Best Ice Cream

The one downside to ordering at Toscanini’s is trying to choose from flavors like the obscenely rich B3 (brown butter, brownie, and brown sugar); tangy, creamy goat cheese-brownie; and exotic...

Winner

Advertisement

Food

2012 Best Chowder, Clam

That’s right—Ned Devine’s. We were won over by the buttery, not-too-thick texture, bits of fresh thyme, and sweet, chopped cockles and clams that make this Faneuil Hall spot’s chowder a...

Winner

Food

2012 Best Ice Cream

The one downside to ordering at Toscanini’s is trying to choose from flavors like the obscenely rich B3 (brown butter, brownie, and brown sugar); tangy, creamy goat cheese-brownie; and exotic...

Winner

Shops

2012 Best Kitchen Supplies

To make a decent soufflé or terrine, you must first find the proper gadgetry. Look no further than Sur La Table, which stocks tools, pots, and more by delicious brands...

Winner

Food

2012 Best Deli

Sadly, the deli is seriously endangered in this country. Thankfully here in Boston, or in Brookline anyway, at least one shining outpost exists, an homage to a time when eating...

Winner

Food

2012 Best Sandwich

This Brookline Village spot refers to itself as “Home of the skillfully crafted sandwich.” Every entry on the menu, from the meat to the condiments to the bread selection—is obsessively...

Winner

Advertisement

Food

2012 Best Deli

Sadly, the deli is seriously endangered in this country. Thankfully here in Boston, or in Brookline anyway, at least one shining outpost exists, an homage to a time when eating...

Winner

Food

2012 Best Bread Bakery

Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood just out of earshot of busy Comm. Ave., this Paris-by-way-of-Brookline bread haven satisfies locals with oven-fresh goods like pain au chocolat, garlic-black sesame breadsticks,...

Winner

Food

2012 Best Lobster Roll

Chef Jeremy Sewall has a family connection to the best crustaceans around: His cousin Mark is a Maine lobsterman. And the best vehicle for his wares just may be Island...

Winner

Food

2012 Best Wine List, Upscale

For the past two decades, Barbara Lynch has relied on sommelier Cat Silirie for all things wine—and for good reason. No. 9 Park is one of the city’s most rewarding...

Winner

Food

2012 Best Pizza

For a pizza joint, this Eastie institution has more than its fair share of character—thick Boston accents, a Sinatra-loaded jukebox, and rough (yet deep down, totally lovable) servers. And then...

Winner

Food

2012 Best Bakery for Sweets

In business for more than 70 years, this North End landmark continues to offer a delicious dose of Old World baking charm. With its velvety truffles, homey thumbprint cookies, and...

Winner

Food

2012 Best Burger, Veggie

On the desertlike stretch of Mass. Ave. that cuts through Porter Square, Christopher’s is a tiny oasis, its green umbrellas beckoning from the T station like palms in the sand....

Winner

Food

2012 Best Pizza

For a pizza joint, this Eastie institution has more than its fair share of character—thick Boston accents, a Sinatra-loaded jukebox, and rough (yet deep down, totally lovable) servers. And then...

Winner

Food

2012 Best Cannoli

The finest cannoli is in the North End, but it’s not where you might think. To satisfy our craving for the classic pastry, we slip into Caffé Paradiso’s dimly lit...

Winner

Food

2012 Best Hot Dog

Not all dogs are created equal. There are the flavorless grocery-store tubes (we’re looking at you, Oscar Mayer), and then there is the behemoth from food truck Boston Super Dog...

Winner

General Restaurants

2012 Best Wine List

This warm, elegant Somerville bistro was cleverly designed to suit both neighborhood residents and those who travel for a celebratory meal—a nice balance that can be attributed in part to...

Winner

Advertisement

General Restaurants

2012 Best Brunch

On a lazy weekend, there’s no better spot to linger with a mimosa than this South End brasserie. Sleek booths and communal tables, plus a rugged bar and sun-lit patio...

Winner

General Restaurants

2012 Best Diner

For greasy-good grub at 2, 3—even 4—in the morning, head to Andrew Square and order the “Deconstructed” at Victoria’s: two eggs with two pancakes or French toast, plus bacon, ham,...

Winner

General Restaurants

2012 Best Fancy Restaurant

Chef Frank McClelland’s celebrated dining room offers not one, but two extravagant tasting options. There’s the “Seasonal Degustation”—a six-course meal headlined by dishes like Hudson Valley foie gras (take that,...

Winner

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Shops

2012 Best Coffee Shop

One of the first places in Boston to offer pour-over and cold-brew coffees, Pavement goes well beyond crafting lattes and cappuccinos (although these are fantastic here, too). From the quality...

Winner

Shops

2012 Best Cheese Shop

Not everyone appreciates the olfactory assault that is Formaggio. In fact, we frequently have to check our companions at the curb before heading in to sample this place’s runny gobs...

Winner

Shops

2012 Best Butcher

A selection of fresh meat and a knowledgeable staff are all you really need to get your carnivore on. Unless, that is, you’ve been spoiled by Savenor’s Cambridge location, where...

Winner

Advertisement

Shops

2012 Best Fish Market

You can smell the ocean without leaving Brookline—just take a whiff of the salty freshness inside this bright, tiny shop. Mussels, clams, and all the fruits of the sea are...

Winner

Shops

2012 Best Fish Market

You can smell the ocean without leaving Brookline—just take a whiff of the salty freshness inside this bright, tiny shop. Mussels, clams, and all the fruits of the sea are...

Winner

Shops

2012 Best Wine Shop

We’ve had it with snotty wine sellers. You know what? Sometimes all we want is an oaky California chardonnay. Instead of judging our palates or wallets, the folks at Central...

Winner

Shops

2012 Best Produce

When farmers’ market season arrives, it’s off to Copley Square for us, where we stock up on greens and herbs from Sudbury’s Siena Farms. Come winter, though, we suffer from...

Winner