The Required: Boston

The Required: Boston

A definitive guide to Boston's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

January 2, 2020
The Required: Boston

The Required: Boston

A definitive guide to Boston's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

January 2, 2020

Boston. Beantown. The City on a hill. One of the oldest cities in the U.S. Home to some excellent food, and now part of our Required club. 

The Required is our expert version of a "best list," comprised of the stand-out restaurants that have garnered the all-time most recommendations from our expert community. That's 5,000+ all-star chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, and more — no black box of food editor committees or user surveys, just plain, crave-able cred.

Read on to plan your next trip — or just to be sure you've checked all the boxes on your home turf. 

Neptune Oyster

With a raw bar that offers a wealth of regional Massachusetts oysters like Wellfleet and Bee River, a couple of West Coast cuties like Kumomoto and Hog Island, as well as delectable Whole Crab Claws Neptune Oyster is a Boston must-try. With its thick white marble bar and wooden bistro chairs, the vibe is clean, simple, and elegant, just like their menu. As one can’t live on oysters alone (I mean we can, but we suspect we’re part Sea Otter on our mother’s side), after you knock back a couple dozen raw, shucked tableside, take a look at Neptune’s other offerings. Our experts say to order a Maine Lobster Roll, hot with butter or cold with mayo, and that the Johnnycakes with Honey Butter, Boston Smoked Bluefish, and Sturgeon Caviar are elevated comfort food perfection. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a local ale or crisp glass of white wine.

Neptune Oyster
Hot Spot
North End, Boston
$$$$, Full Bar, Seafood
19 Recommendations

Toro Restaurant

Located in the South End, Toro is a Spanish-inspired love child from two of Boston's most celebrated chefs, Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. Here you can find classic Spanish mains like seafood paella. Toro also riffs playfully on the tapas genre with dishes like the uni bocadillo with miso butter and pickled mustard. The maiz asado — grilled corn, lime, espellete, and aioli (okay, so basically: elotes) is "without a doubt the most delicious and least healthy preparation of corn I have ever shoved into my mouth," according to expert Josh Buehler. When ordering the pimientos del padron, remember that half the fun is in playing a sort of culinary Russian roulette, waiting to see who gets the rogue spicy pepper in the batch. With a mezcal- and tequila-forward cocktail menu, as well as a by the glass wine and sherry list featuring smash hit Spanish imports, an afternoon or evening spent in good company at Toro is time well spent indeed.

Toro Restaurant
Hot Spot
South Of Washington, Boston
$$$, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Wine Bar, Full Bar, Tapas, Spanish
17 Recommendations

Coppa

Another labor of love between Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa is renown for their unique charcuterie program and wood-fired Neapolitan style pizza. Our experts say that Coppa’s duck prosciutto and beef heart pastrami are worth a visit alone. The Italian grinder with salami, prosciutto, and mortadella is a great way to experience the “entourage effect” that happens when you expertly layer meats of varying degrees of savor and spice with pickled cherry peppers and provolone. If you’re going for pizza, the salsiccia with pork sausage, ricotta, and fennel pollen comes highly recommended. They also have rotating offerings of veggies, salads, and seafood, doing the best of what the season has to offer proud. If you’re a lover of Amari-centric cocktails like many of our experts are, or can appreciate the way a great glass of Italian red can elevate both the meal and the wine, then Coppa’s on your team. Our Experts say Coppa is a perfect hang spot, great for a casual yet memorable date, or for catching a snack and a glass or two of something damned fine between engagements.

Coppa
Hot Spot
Shawmut, Boston
$$, Outdoor Seating, Pizza, Italian
15 Recommendations
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