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. 

o ya

Located at 9 East Street, near the South Station train terminal, o ya is a critically acclaimed, swanky Japanese small plates and sushi joint, whose presentation blurs the lines between food and art.  Our experts say to try the kari kari crispy sesame chicken skin nigiri and the bluefin toro. Also, if you’re looking for world-class Omakase style dining (chef’s choice), o ya has made “Best Of” lists the world over in this department, offering a 17-course menu at $185 per person, or Grand Omakase for $285 per person. As you can imagine reservations are highly recommended, if not required, and you’d do best to dress to impress.

O Ya
Hot Spot
Downtown, Boston
$$$$, Sushi, Full Bar, Japanese, Sake Bar
11 Recommendations

Island Creek Oyster Bar

Yes, of course, Island Creek Oyster Bar has an impressive selection of local raw oyster varietals, but that’s just the beginning. The best of New England fishing is on display on their menu, like the Atlantic halibut with mustard spaetzle, tomatillos and squash purée or the cod sandwich with spicy tartar and Old Bay fries. Their fresh-baked buttermilk biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to their fish stews and steamed littleneck clams. Offering a full bar and wine list, the vibe at ICOB is casual enough to walk into in the middle of a Saturday outing, and lively enough to take clients or a date. ICOB is popular amongst locals and tourists alike, so if you’ve got your heart set on a visit, make sure to make reservations.

Flour Bakery & Cafe

Look, you can’t live on seafood alone (okay, actually, some of us can, see our first entry on this list.) Sometimes you need a dark caramel pecan sticky bun or a ham and cheese croissant to get the day rolling (we kinda hate ourselves for that pun, but not enough to take it out.) Since 2010, Flour Bakery has risen in popularity (see there we go again) and expanded to eight locations around Boston, proof (heh) that the owners know what they’re doing. No matter the location, Flour Bakery strives to maintain a neighborhood vibe, which is part of the secret to their success: it doesn’t feel like a chain, rather, a local institution.

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