Massachusetts is one of the country’s most historical states, meaning it has an extensive culinary history. Each region of the state has unique culinary traditions, from clam chowder to Boston baked beans and ice cream sandwiches.
To help you explore Bay State’s bountiful bounty, we’ve gathered a list of the best restaurants in Massachusetts.
How to Choose the Best Restaurants Massachusetts?
Massachusetts is a state rich in culinary diversity, known for its fresh seafood, local ingredients, and creative chefs. Whether you’re looking for a fancy night out or just want to grab some greasy pizza after a long day of work, Massachusetts has something for everyone.
But how do you know where to go? Here are some factors to look for when choosing the best restaurants Massachusetts:
Quality of Food
You want to eat some good and delicious food you can enjoy and appreciate. The finest restaurants in Bay State are known for their culinary excellence and unique menu items.
Quality of Service
An attentive service is a plus for all diners. You should be treated like a guest in all Massachusetts restaurants, whether dining at a fine-dining establishment or a more casual eatery.
If you are greeted warmly by the staff, they will ensure your dining experience is pleasant from beginning to end.
If you’re looking for a romantic dinner, make sure the restaurant is located near the city center or in a beautiful area. If you’re going out with family and friends, pick a place with plenty of things to do.
Dining Room Size
You also want to consider the size of the main dining room. If it’s too large, you may feel like you’re eating alone, even with friends.
If it’s too small, you might not have enough space to enjoy your meal. It’s essential to find a balance between the two extremes.
It’s important to consider how much money you want to spend on food before deciding. The best eateries offer great food without being too expensive. You can also find discounts if it is during lunchtime or on certain days of the week.
The atmosphere of a restaurant plays a vital role in making customers feel comfortable. You should choose restaurants with enough light coming through windows during daytime hours, but not too bright as this may affect mealtime conversations.
The first thing you’ll want to consider is the restaurant’s decor. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be clean and well-kept. If you go in and the place looks like a dump, chances are they’re not taking care of their food either.
16 Best Places to Eat in Massachusetts
Eating is probably at the top of your list of all the things to do in Massachusetts. With its rich history and culture, it’s not hard to see why so many people love this state and want to eat its food.
The following restaurants are some of the best places to eat in Massachusetts:
1. Alvah Stone in Montague
If you’re hunting for the best restaurants in Massachusetts, look no further than Alvah Stone. Nestled in one of Montague’s numerous historic buildings.
This farm-to-table restaurant has a truly rustic and unforgettable atmosphere. The historic book mill of the Sawmill River dates back to 1834, making for a magical setting.
- Address: 440 Greenfield Rd, Montague, MA 01351
- Cuisines: American, Bar, Healthy
- Ambiance: Intimate, Classy
2. Bird and Wolf in North Andover
If you’re looking for the finest restaurants, it’s tough to beat Bird and Wolf. This restaurant specializes in serving delicious small plates that are sure to leave you wanting more.
The menu is filled with delicious dishes, including steak frites, Berkshire pork chop, prime rib, and Wagyu sirloin. The space itself is very modern and sleek. It has a modern farmhouse feel that makes it feel like home at first glance.
The tables are made from reclaimed wood from old barns throughout New England’s region. They’re warm yet elegant and fit perfectly with the rustic tones throughout the restaurant.
- Address: 1268 Osgood St, North Andover, MA 01845
- Cuisines: American, Seafood, Contemporary, Cafe
- Ambiance: Classy
3. Mill on the Floss in New Ashford
The Mill on the Floss is a tiny, family-friendly restaurant serving French cuisine since 1938. This charming establishment is located in New Ashford. It offers diners delicious dishes prepared with seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers.
The menu includes classic French favorites like escargot with a great Italian dining experience. While the food is impressive, what makes this place special are its friendly staff and relaxing atmosphere.
- Address: 342 Route U.S. 7, New Ashford, MA 01237
- Cuisines: French, Cafe
- Ambiance: Classy, Romantic
4. Mamma Maria in North Square
Mamma Maria is a restaurant in Boston’s North End, a family-owned and operated Italian eatery that has been around since 1973. The atmosphere in Mamma Maria is warm and inviting, with a large bar area, several high-top tables, cozy booths, and an open kitchen.
The food at Mamma Maria is fresh, authentic Italian fare that will leave you stuffed and happy. Plus, Mamma Maria offers classic dishes like spaghetti carbonara or amatriciana and more modern creations like baked oysters.
- Address: 3 N Square, Boston, MA 02113
- Cuisines: French, Cafe
- Ambiance: Elegant, Classy, Romantic
5. Ingredients from Local Farms at Hope and Olive in Greenfield
When it comes to serving the most delicious food, you can’t beat Hope and Olive in Greenfield. The restaurant is committed to using local ingredients and partnering with local farms for the freshest meats, vegetables, and fruits.
They use these ingredients to create seasonal dishes that are both hearty and healthy. Next time you’re looking for a delicious meal in Massachusetts, stop by Olive Hope. You’ll love their late-night snacks too, and we’re not talking about popcorn or peanuts here.
- Address: 44 Hope St, Greenfield, MA 01301
- Cuisines: Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
- Ambiance: Casual
6. Sorrelina in Boston
Sorrelina, headed by Chef Jamie Mammano, is a perfect place to dine if you’re darting for an upscale restaurant that offers French fare with a local twist.
The menu includes lobster risotto, fried chicken, slow-roasted beef short ribs, and traditional pizzas and pasta dishes. There’s also an excellent selection of dairy-free ice cream for dessert.
- Address: 1 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116
- Cuisines: Italian Dishes, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
- Ambiance: Romantic, Sophisticated
7. Lobster Rolls at Skipper Chowder House in South Yarmouth
The Skipper Chowder House is known for its local seafood and serves up some of the finest lobster rolls in Massachusetts. For an authentic taste of Cape Cod, try the fried clams platter or clams casino appetizers, followed by a bowl of chowder and a lobster roll on white bread.
However, this isn’t an expensive restaurant with fine dining service. In fact, you’re likely to see families enjoying themselves at any hour you come in. If you’re looking for an authentic dining experience that’s still casual enough, this restaurant is sure to leave you smiling.
- Address: 152 S Shore Dr, Yarmouth, MA 02664
- Cuisines: American, Bar, Seafood, Soups
- Ambiance: Casual, Classy
8. Sarma in Somerville
Chef-owner Cassie Piuma is at the helm of this Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurant and offers vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. The best part? Everything is made in-house, so you know you’re getting high-quality food whenever you dine there.
Their unique menu includes dishes like the warm hummus platter and the seared cauliflower with tahini. You’ll also find aromatic drinks on the menu, like Turkish coffee with rose water or mint syrup.
- Address: 249 Pearl St, Somerville, MA 02145
- Cuisines: Mediterranean, Turkish, Middle Eastern
- Ambiance: Classic, Casual, Middle Eastern Options
9. The Blue Ox in Lynn
Although it’s a bit of a hike from the city, The Blue Ox belongs to the best eateries on the North Shore. Their Sin Burger is fantastic, and they’ve won several awards for their food.
The atmosphere is upscale but casual, making it an ideal place to bring a date or family member. The menu at The Blue Ox is divided into three sections: appetizers, burgers and sandwiches, salads, and soups.
The appetizer section includes fried pickles, onion rings, and tempura vegetables. You can also order a traditional Caesar salad, chicken pot pie, French onion soup, or New England clam chowder if you’re not in the mood for something fried or saucy.
- Address: 191 Oxford St, Lynn, MA 01901
- Cuisines: American, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
- Ambiance: Casual
10. Azorean Restaurant and Bar in Gloucester
Owned by Deo Braga, who is a native of the Azores, this tiny restaurant offers all of the flavors of his homeland.
Everything, from the bread to seafood to the sauces, is prepared using traditional Portuguese recipes and techniques. Even if you’re generally not into fish dishes, you’ll want to try it here with their Portuguese codfish stew.
- Address: 133 Washington St, Gloucester, MA 01930
- Cuisines: Local Food, Mediterranean, Seafood, European, Portuguese
- Ambiance: Classy
11. Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton
Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton, Massachusetts, is the perfect place for anyone who loves to dine in nature. The restaurant is located on 300 acres of land that are part of the Gibbet Hill Farm compound and utilizes a farm-to-table ethos.
There’s also a lively wine bar where you can enjoy drinks from local vineyards as you wait for your table or order something from their extensive cocktail list.
If you’re looking for traditional New England flavor with an upscale twist, this is your spot. Chef Tom Fosnot uses fresh ingredients right off the farm that he prepares using simple techniques.
- Address: 61 Lowell Rd, Groton, MA 01450
- Cuisines: American, Steakhouse
- Ambiance: Rustic
12. Nightshade Noodle Bar in Boston
Nightshade Noodle Bar, located in one of the best Boston suburbs, serves Vietnamese-influenced dishes. It specializes in hand-pulled noodle dishes: think pho and banh mi sandwiches.
The restaurant also serves foie gras, lobster with vanilla beans, and seafood delicacies too good to pass up. If you’re visiting Boston or want to get out of the city for a while, Nightshade Noodle Bar is definitely worth checking out.
- Address: 73 Exchange St, Lynn, MA 01901
- Cuisines: Asian, French, Vietnamese
- Ambiance: Romantic, Classy
13. The Inn on Shipyard Park in Mattapoisett
If you’re looking for a classic New England seafood meal, look no further than The Inn on Shipyard Park. This historic inn was built in 1799 and has been operating as a restaurant since 2002.
It’s located in the historic village of Mattapoisett, known for its fishing industry and beautiful beaches. In addition to serving up delicious seafood dishes, the staff is amicable and helpful.
- Address: 13 Water St, Mattapoisett, MA 02739
- Cuisines: American, Bar, Seafood, Pub
- Ambiance: Casual
14. Orta Trattoria and Lounge in Kingston
In a state known for its Italian restaurants, Orta Trattoria and Lounge stands out from the crowd. The chef-owner Brett Williams was inspired by his travels to Northern Italy, and he serves modern interpretations of regional dishes.
Their menu includes braised short ribs mixed with Parmesan cream and beef carpaccio with lemon aioli. Their aromatic rigatoni has warm notes from herb-crusted salmon and rosemary, on top of citrus spaghetti squash topped with a slice of applewood smoked bacon and poached egg.
- Address: 114 Main St, Kingston, MA 02364
- Cuisines: Contemporary Italian Fare
- Ambiance: Casual, Elegant
15. Cedar Street Grille in Sturbridge
Located in downtown Sturbridge, the Cedar Street Grille is a classic American fare restaurant with a twist. The interior is warm and inviting, with wooden flooring, cozy booths, and tables.
The menu offers dishes that are both familiar and inventive. This includes pork belly sliders, mussels in a mustard sauce, and fried goat’s cheese.
In addition to these unique options are plenty of macaroni and cheese dishes. So if you’re looking for something new to try on your next visit to Massachusetts or New England in general, this is the place.
- Address: 12 Cedar St, Sturbridge, MA 01566
- Cuisines: American, Bar, International
- Ambiance: Casual, Comfortable, American Bistro
16. Belfry Inn and Bistro in Sandwich
If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Massachusetts that are primarily vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free, look no further than Belfry Inn and Bistro in Sandwich.
The former Catholic church that houses the restaurant is beautiful, with high ceilings and stained glass windows. Chef Nicci Tripp uses all fresh ingredients to create unique dishes like crispy potato-crusted cod with roasted tomato fondue and vegetable fricassee.
In addition, you can also try roasted heirloom tomato tartlets with goat cheese, red onion marmalade, watercress salad, and balsamic drizzle. There’s even an entire section of their menu dedicated to sandwiches.
- Address: 6 Jarves St, Sandwich, MA 02563
- Cuisines: Contemporary American Cuisine
- Ambiance: Casual, Classic
Massachusetts has a wealth of great restaurants. From the charming town of Rockport to the bustling city of Boston, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for delicious seafood or high-quality cuisine from around the world and everything in between, you won’t be disappointed.
If you are looking for a home in Massachusetts and want an expert who knows their way around Bay State real estate, we can help! Our agents at HOMES by ARDOR have years of experience assisting clients to find homes throughout Massachusetts and will ensure your next move is as stress-free as possible.
Kris Reid is the CEO of Ardor SEO, a company that helps real estate professionals get more leads and customers to predictably grow their business.
Over the years, Kris acquired extensive knowledge of SEO and its practical applications in various industries, with the main focus on real estate.
In 2021 Ardor launched the Icons of Real Estate Podcast to share proven strategies from the top producing icon agents with the real estate community.
After obtaining the real estate license in 2022, Kris joined eXp Realty and launched Homes by Ardor, the platform that was built to be the fastest way to buy or sell a house. Homes by Ardor also provides leads for its partner companies and realtors.
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