Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

We all have our favorite spots we consider neighborhood gems for dining out. You know, those smaller restaurants slightly off the beaten path, that are like a hidden secret (but not really)? Can you think of any Boston restaurants that are neighborhood gems? Open Table recently shared the results of data they collected from over 400,00 new diner reviews. Boston diners agree. These 11 vibey restaurants are neighborhood gems.

The results of Open Table’s findings were sorted by category, and in this category are those special places that may not be the flashy, often spoken of restaurants. They are the rare finds. These are the dining spots where you feel like you are almost getting away with something, because of the level of quality,service and affordabilty. I’m excited to pass along the results of Open Table’s research, so you can discover fun new places to try out this weekend, or any day!

Take a look at the top 10 Diners’ Choice Winners in Boston, according to Open Table. I’ve also added an honorable mention for value. These are the Boston restaurants that are neighborhood gems.

  • 1. Elm Street Tap Room

    256 Elm St. Somerville

    Nestled in the heart of Davis Square, Open Table describes this gem: “This bar and restaurant blends the best of the modern craft beer movement with a familiar, vibrant, social atmosphere.” Elm Street tap makes for a great date night with shareable snacks and small plate options. They use locally sourced ingredients and have plenty of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan choices.

  • 2. Local 149

    149 P St. South Boston

    Creative cocktails, a healthy selection of craft beers, delicious modern American creations, and one of the best brunches in Boston keep diners coming back to Local 149. By the way, their brunch has been voted one of Boston’s best 4 years in a row! It doesn’t hurt that the atmosphere is totally vibey.

  • 3. Mela Restaurant

    578 Tremont St. Boston

    You’ll find this gem in the South End. Mela boasts that it’s the neighborhood’s first Indian restaurant and a “rapidly becoming a culinary destination.” As one reviewer wrote: “Mela Restaurant is a neighborhood gem. Their food is consistently good and not too expensive.” That’s the draw, and that’s a winner.

  • 4. Molinari's

    789 Adams St. Dorchester

    I’ve heard about this place for years and finally made it here on St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, it’s Italian, but it’s in a very Irish neighborhood known as Adams Village in Dorchester. I have to tell you, it lived up to the hype. The pizza is cooked in a wood burning oven. Ida’s meatballs are a must. The food, the service and the prices left our party of 8 will smiles all the way around. The manager even brought out a plate of little cannoli’s, after she found out it was our first time there. Definitely a little gem.

  • 5. Otto-Brookline

    289 Harvard St. Brookline 

    They keep it simple at Otto. Pizza made wicked good. But they are also wildly creative. You can get pizza with mashed potatoes on top, or how about cranberries, or tortellini? One Open Table reviewer raved, “This is my favorite pizza on the planet, and I just got back to America after trying many different pizza spots in Italy. Try the Sausage & Vidalia pizza with ricotta and hot honey… you will not be disappointed.”

  • 6. Out of the Blue

    215 Elm St. Somerville 

    With a name like Out of the Blue, you know it has to be seafood-centric and you know it has to be fresh. Since 2000, this family-owned spot has specialized in seafood They “bring to your table the freshes seafood directly from the fish pier,and your food is cooked to order” according to Open Table. Grilled, baked or fried, diners are digging it. And there are plenty of non-seafood options. The dressings, sauces and desserts are all made right there in the kitchen.


  • 7. Piccolo Nido

    257 North St. Boston 

    This charming little North End eatery is the real deal. I have been once, and need to get back. It’s one of those places where people seem to know each other, at least in passing. And everyone knows Chef Pino because he comes out to say hello to diners, tells stories and occasionally dances. Pino serves up classic Italian favorites like spaghetti and gnocchi, but there are definitely some great choices with true Italian flavors in entrees with trout and veal.

  • 8. Stoked Pizza- Cambridge

    1611 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge 

    This casual Cambridge favorite takes great pride on their pizza crust; “We prefer a crust that is soft and light on the inside with a crisp outer shell that can stand up on its own. We want our ingredients and topping combinations to provide an explosion of flavor.” Diner reviewers love the atmosphere, drinks and vegan options, in addition to the exceptional pizza and other menu items.

  • 9. TreMonte Restaurant- North End

    76 Salem St. Boston

    Sering authentic northern Italian deliciousness in a cozy but stylish atmosphere, TreMonte Restaurant & Bar is a North End gem. One reviewer raved, “Our dinner was absolutely amazing and the space was so nice and cozy. We loved our waitress! Great night out!” A few reviewers mention what a great value it is.


  • 10. Waverly Kitchen and Bar

    231 Bunker Hill St. Boston

    This Charlestown neighborhood gem is open 7 days a week and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Apparently people can’t get enough! There’s a cozy dining space with a fireplace, an intimate bar and you can watch the chef’s while they prepare your meal.Waverly is famous for their banana bread, housemade corned beef hash, and clever cocktails!

  • 11. Vee Vee

    763 Centre St. Jamaica Plain 

    I had to give an honorable mention to this neighborhood gem, for all the local vibes, and for being named by Open Table reviewers as a Best Value Restaurant. This small, totally casual JP spot is a favorite for it’s “modest but inventive” menu. Also noted for it’s “well-curated wine and craft beer selection.” You’ll feel like a local, even if you live nowhere near JP. I hear the Fried Chicken Tuesdays are a must!


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