Some of the best meals you’ll ever savor in Boston can be enjoyed in restaurants with unassuming exteriors. You might not notice these eateries or just be tempted to pass them by, but that would be a huge mistake. These 10 restaurants don’t look impressive but the food is sure to win you over.
1. Corner Tavern (Back Bay)
Substitute hole-in-the-wall for hole-in-the-ground and you can see why many pass right by this basement restaurant without realizing it even exists! Corner Tavern is a neighborhood restaurant serving comfort food done right, from the meatloaf burger to meatballs. At lunch, the restaurant usually runs a $5 sandwich deal - an insanely good bargain for Boston. It is located at 421 Marlborough Street in Boston.
2. Strip T’s (Watertown)
Despite its unremarkable exterior, Strip T’s has won awards for its burgers, and customers rave about the salads and chicken. Try the buttermilk fried chicken or the moxie wings. This joint offers large portions, a welcoming staff, and creative dishes. It is located at 93 School Street in Watertown.
3. Clay Pot Café (Chinatown)
This cash-only restaurant serves up clay pot rice dishes that come with everything from beef to Chinese sausage to frog. There isn’t much atmosphere to speak of, even once you’re inside, but if you’re after authentic, affordable food that’ll warm you on a cold day then Clay Pot Café is well worth a visit. It is located at 74 Kneeland Street in Boston.
4. Casa Blanca Bakery (Revere)
The building housing this restaurant has a nondescript exterior, but inside you’ll find an incredible budget-friendly Moroccan bakery that’s great for breakfast or dessert. Most people order to go, although there are a handful of tables. On the savory end, try the chicken bastille (pictured) or opt for crepes and pastries. Casa Blanca Bakery is located at 60 Shirley Avenue in Revere.
5. Avana Sushi (Chinatown)
Hidden in a type of food court, it’s worth tracking down this little eatery for its lunch combo deal, speedy service, and wide selection of quality sushi. Avana Sushi is located at 42 Beach Street in Boston.
6. Rincon Limeno (East Boston)
Rincon Limeno specializes in Peruvian cuisine. There’s something for everyone on this vast menu, which is heavy on seafood. The lomo saltado (marinated chicken or steak tips) here is also delicious. The restaurant is located at 409 Chelsea Street in Boston.
7. Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe (South End)
Charlie’s has been around since 1927. In 2005, this humble looking restaurant won a James Beard Award! Start your day off right with a hearty breakfast of hash, French toast, or omelets. This delightfully retro restaurant is located at 429 Columbus Avenue in Boston.
8. James Hook & Co. (Waterfront)
The Hook family has been supplying restaurants since 1925, however this business isn’t just a wholesaler; there’s a dine-in menu as well. You’d be hard pressed to find fresher lobster rolls or clam chowder. The restaurant is located at 15 Northern Avenue in Boston.
9. Toraya (Arlington)
The secret is out about the quality of the food at this tiny eatery. Despite the nondescript exterior, you’ll often find a line of customers waiting to chow down on sashimi and agedashi tofu. Toraya is located at 890 Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington.
10. The Fat Cat (Quincy)
You won’t regret the inevitable wait here once you dig into a serving of rich and comforting lobster mac and cheese. Other menu standouts include the wings and pulled pork nachos. The Fat Cat is located at 24 Chestnut Street in Quincy.
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