It’s time to get your dining priorities in line. There are just some menus you absolutely must experience before the end and some mouthfuls that will live in your memory for years. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some of the Massachusetts restaurants that you totally have to check out before you die. Here’s to racking up delicious meals and epic Instragram food shots before your ability to chew becomes a thing of the past.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Redbones, Somerville
This place is a local hidden gem and is definitely one of the best places to get southern-style BBQ in the state. A Zagat and Opentable award darling, they cook up honest and mouthwatering meats with an authentic down-home touch. Try the Barbecue Belt, which comes with 1 Texas rib, 2 St. Louis ribs, 2 baby back ribs, sliced brisket & house smoked sausage. That's a lot of animal.
2. Student Prince Cafe and Fort Restaurant, Springfield
Serving sublime German food and beer since 1935. Stop in for a mouth-melting schnitzel in a wood-paneled dining room and check out the zillions of ornate steins at the bar.
3. Lobster Pot, Provincetown
This one's a classic. Get the freshest seafood (like delicious lobster, duh) and tasty Portuguese specialties in a world-famous setting.
4. Hungry Ghost Bread, Northampton
Incredible pizza made with local grains. Seriously, the pizza... So good. You can pick up a few of their freshly made loaves and pastries while you're there as well. Pizza is only available Wednesday through Sunday, and you have to be sure to get your order in early because they almost always sell out.
5. The Salty Pig, Boston
Forget plates: the best food comes on blocks of wood. The Salty Pig's menu is designed to let you create personalized charcuterie boards. Fresh, locally sourced seasonal ingredients are rotated according to season and used to make stone-grilled pizzas, hand-made pastas and traditional Italian entrees.
6. Gibbet Hill Grill, Groton
Gibbet Hill is a farm to fork restaurant. They are one of the only restaurants in New England with a produce farm on site and the majority of their summer menu is sourced straight from the farm. And the location is GORGEOUS. Rolling fields and rustic glamor will surround you as you savor some of the freshest food around. Try their shepherd's pie or the dry-aged bone-in sirloin.
7. The Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield
Come here to enjoy a 1700s-style feast prepared on the hearth of a great fieldstone fireplace over a crackling fire of wild cherry logs. While dinner cooks, enjoy a horse drawn wagon or sleigh ride across the Inn's 600-acre estate. Don't miss the clam chowder cooked in a giant cast iron cauldron or the incredible apple pie with fresh whipped cream.
8. White Hut, West Springfield (other locations in Longmeadow and Amherst)
Classic American fare. Their menu is unfussy and features some of the most delicious burgers you'll find for miles around. They've been serving good eats and comfort food at low prices since 1939. Stop by for a cheeseburger, fried onion rings, and one of their impeccable egg sandwiches.
9. Flour Bakery + Cafe, Back Bay
A word to the wise: don't look at their Instagram unless you want to break ALL your dieting New Year's resolutions. This place does everything you can imagine with simple flour. From scrumptious savory baked goods to meltingly delicious desserts, you won't leave hungry. And they do have a gluten free menu, so don't let anything stop you from checking them out.
10. The Federal, Agawam
You'll know something fancy is up when you walk into The Federal's stately Greek Revival building. This place isn't all show though: the food is artfully presented and the flavors are incredible. Try their “famous” risotto balls with fresh black truffle butter & snipped chives or their seared diver scallops with duck confit “hash,” sugar pumpkins, marbled potatoes, roasted red onion rings and melted truffle.
11. True Bistro, Somerville
If you think you could never make friends with vegetables, check this place out. Everything is completely vegan (and I do mean everything) and completely mouthwatering. They have brunch on the weekends and dinner every night except Monday and Tuesday. Try the saffron pasta ravioli with roasted squash, parsley pesto, sun-dried tomato cashew cheese, or the phyllo purse, with brandy braised tempeh, heirloom winter squash, green mole, sour cream. And don't leave without a bite of the chocolate bourbon pie.
12. Bistro Les Gras, Northampton
This place specializes in hyper-local cuisine with french accent. Everything from their condiments to their charcuterie is made in-house from the freshest local meats, seafood and produce. Try the whole roasted trout or the poutine.
13. Jimmy's Hideaway, Provincetown
Consistently rated one of the top restaurants on Cape Cod (#1 on TripAdvisor!), this is one of those places that just radiates warmth and friendliness. The food is top-notch and the service is impeccable.
14. Henrietta's Table, Harvard Square
This place takes the breakfast classics and whips them into delicious shape. Henrietta's table is tucked into the Charle's Hotel and oozes cozy charm. The portions are great (read: breakfast for dinner) and the offerings are creative but familiar. Personal favorite: shirred eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns and cheddar cheese served in a cast iron skillet.
There’s no time to delay! Head out and try these incredible restaurants while you can! What Massachusetts restaurant do you think should be on everyone’s bucket list? Share with your friends (maybe set up a dinner date!) and let us know in the comments.