It has been an amazing year in Boston for dining out. Restaurants are flourishing and people have been dining out this year more than ever. There have been some amazing new restaurants to open in the city and some token favorites that have continued to shine. We have asked you, the ones who dine out most often, which restaurants are your favorites. We’ve gotten a wide variety of responses and have put them into this list of restaurants you must try before the new year begins.

First, when asked about our favorite restaurants, the main characteristics of what makes a good restaurant is the taste of the food, the variety of the menu, the value, the atmosphere and even things like parking can help boost a restaurant’s popularity. In the case of this particular post, we are only asking for Boston area restaurants so any from western, central, southern Massachusetts won’t be considered. We’re also taking into account the type of cuisine served at each restaurant so we can get several types of restaurants represented. We asked you, and these are the restaurants that were mentioned more than once for all different types of reasons.

We have picked the top 8 from our survey, including a couple of our own. These restaurants continue to get stunning reviews from critics and have very high ratings on Yelp and Open Table along with other food rating websites. If we have missed any, please feel free to let us know. We are always looking for new restaurants to try.

  • Fratelli's in Everett

    Fratelli’s is the brainchild of North End restauranteurs Nick Varano and Frank Depasquale. It is located inside the Encore Casino and showcases made-to-order pasta dishes, delicious brick oven pizza and traditional Italian specialties such as lobster fra diavolo, veal Milanese, zucchini flowers, zuppa di pesce, risotto and gnocchi alla Sorrentina. Here’s a secret for you, ask for two items NOT on the menu: the stuffed lobster and the cacio e pepe. TO DIE FOR.

  • Vejigantes in Boston

    Located at 57 W Dedham Street in Boston, “Vejigantes is a testament to the struggle of the Puerto Rican community in the City of Boston.” According to their website “Vejigantes brings the best of the traditional food of the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, carefully prepared and presented by craftsmen to fill a void in the community of Villa Victoria bastion of the fight of our community.” 

  • Grill 23 & Bar in Boston

    Grill 23 was mentioned a few times during our survey. Since 1983, Grill 23 has been the independent steakhouse of Boston. They source only premium natural meat and it is always seasoned and cooked to perfection. They offer a variety of private dining suites, allowing you to host as few as 10 guests for a smaller occasion to 140 guests for a large event.  

  • Rino's Place in Boston

    Located at 258 Saratoga Street in Boston, Rino’s Place was mentioned a few times in our survey. They offer dine in and take out. They have also been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.   Rino’s has been in business for 24 years originally opened by Chef Anthony’s parents Rino and Anna DiCenso, They in turn handed over the business to their Son Chef Anthony DiCenso. A delicious taste of Italian right in East Boston with menu items ranging from $9 to $18 dollars.

  • Taqueria El Amigo in Waltham

    Located at 196 Willow Street in Waltham, Taqueria El Amigo has been voted as one of the top 100 restaurants in AMERICA two years in a row, according to Yelp. They do have small tables available, but the majority of their customers are ordering food to go. They are expanding soon so stay tuned for that. Mexican food at its finest is located right in Waltham.

  • Grace By Nia in Boston (Seaport)

    Grace by Nia is a breath of fresh air for the city. Located at 60 Seaport Blvd, this restaurant with its soul infused menu, also boasts live entertainment nightly. Grace by Nia is the brainchild of Nia Grace, a Roxbury native who already owns two Boston area eateries Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen The Underground Cafe.

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  • Gustazo Cuban Kitchen & Bar in Cambridge

    The word gustazo means great pleasure. Located at 2067 Mass Ave in Cambridge, Gustazo brings authentic Cuban flavor to Boston’s thriving restaurant scene. “When visiting this lively neighborhood restaurant, savoring our authentic Cuban fare and listening to our carefully selected compilation of Cuban music, we aim that you our guest, will have a Gustazo!” 

    Home - Cambridge

    About The word Gustazo means great pleasure and "darse or dar un Gustazo" means to treat oneself or someone else to something special. Located two blocks from Porter Square, Gustazo aims to bring authentic Cuban flavors to the vibrant Boston restaurant scene.

  • Abe & Louie's in Boston

    Abe & Louie’s is the epitome of classic American steakhouses offering unparalleled flavor combinations and undeniably superior service. They boast an award winning wine list along with more than 200 globally sourced palates. Abe & Louie’s continues to win numerous prestigious awards for its excellence.

     

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