At Boston College, we’re drawn to the places that boast convenience for the collegiate lifestyle. Dorm room drawers are filled with the same four to six takeout menus, a day downtown means little more than strolling Newbury St., and we are too often satisfied with what Cleveland Circle has to offer. Enter The Heights Boston Food Guide. Through personal experiences, suggestions from fellow students, and even a tip or two from BC outsiders, we’ve compiled your newest list of go-to spots to spice (or sweeten) up your routine. And we’ve checked these restaurants’ reps with critics and reviewers in the city—so you don’t just have to take our word for it (although you should). Grab a slice at Santarpio’s, a salad at Root, a scoop at Toscanini’s—or, really, whatever looks good at any of these places, because it’s all good. Whatever you do, just break out of your food rut.
Santarpio’s | 111 Chelsea St., Boston
Ernesto’s | 69 Salem St., Boston
Picco | 513 Tremont St., Boston
Root | 487 Cambridge St., Allston
Punjab Palace | 109 Brighton Ave., Allston
Veggie Galaxy | 450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
Brown Sugar | 1033 Comm. Ave., Boston
Thai North | 433 Faneuil St., Brighton
Xinh Xinh | 7 Beach St., Boston
The Friendly Toast | 1 Kendall Square b3101, Cambridge
Zaftig’s | 335 Harvard St., Brookline
@Union | 174 Harvard Ave., Allston
Finale | 1 Columbus Ave., Boston
Athan’s European Bakery | 1621 Beacon St., Boston OR 407 Washington St., Brighton
Toscanini’s Ice Cream | 899 Main St., Cambridge
Tasty Burger | 1301 Boylston St., Boston
JM Curley | 21 Temple Place, Boston
Flat Patties | 33 Brattle St., Cambridge
Best of Fenway
Sweet Cheeks Q | 1381 Boylston St.
Southerners looking for comfort food that tastes like mama made it—this one’s for you. Commonly referred to just as “Sweet Cheeks,” this spot is known for whipping up the best Texas-style BBQ in the city. The menu is divided into categories of “meat” and “not meat,” which goes to show where the kitchen’s priorities lie.
Tip: Whatever you do, do not skip the biscuits.
Mei Mei | 506 Park Dr.
One of Boston’s best food trucks has recently opened its own brick and mortar. Self-defined as “creative Chinese-American food,” Mei Mei is known for its innovative twist on classic dishes such as scallion pancake sandwiches, bacon fried rice, and sweet corn fritters. If you’re downtown during lunch time, check their website for the food truck’s location—it’s still out and about seven days a week.
Tip: Try “The Double Awesome.” The name speaks for itself.
Yard House | 126 Brookline Ave.
Looking for a spot to watch a Sox game? With 180 different beers to choose from and better-than-average bar food, Yard House has become a tried and true local favorite. Draft beers come in four sizes: shorty, pint, goblet, and half-yard (yep, you read that right), the largest of which you can snag for as little as $14. Though this is a popular bar, the under-21 crowd is still welcome—huge plus.
Tip: They don’t take reservations. Go early on game days.
Best of Allston/Brighton
Deep Ellum | 477 Cambridge St.
For those of you just starting to explore Allston, check out Deep Ellum. As a bar and restaurant, patrons get the best of both: cocktails like “The Man with No Name” and “Texas Money,” paired with Gorgonzola Truffle Fries and Bratwurst platters—sans the all-too-common hipster stereotype.
Tip: If it’s nice out, ask for patio seating. The space is less crowded and more amiable.
Carlo’s Cucina Italiana | 131 Brighton Ave.
North End quality Italian without the hour-long trek. Carlo’s offers traditional Italian fare with bigger portions at smaller prices than its downtown counterparts. If the menu overwhelms you, try one of the House Specialties. All the entrees—like Pollo alla Irene and Rigatoni alla Rachele—are named for different members of the owner’s family.
Tip: Wine is sold only by the bottle, not by the glass. Perfect to share on a date night.
Jim’s Deli and Restaurant | 371 Washington St.
Known as one of the secret gems of Brighton, Jim’s is much more of a diner than a deli—with the huge portions, fair prices, and friendly service that you’d expect from a local joint about six decades ago. The extensive menu covers breakfast, hot and cold sandwiches, and dinner specials—all hearty fare with no fuss.
Tip: Jim’s Deli delivers to BC every weeknight until 9 p.m.
Featured Image by Jordan Pentaleri / Heights Graphic