Boston’s 20 Most Iconic Dishes

Eater Boston (local restaurant blog) recently announced Boston’s 20 Most Iconic Dishes. What I love about this list is that you won’t find typical Boston foods (i.e. baked beans, clam chowder). Instead, Eater carefully selected dishes that are both delicious and unique to Boston’s current food scene. I have already crossed off seven items from the list, and plan to try the remaining dishes within the next year. Here are my reviews of what I’ve tried so far.

#9 Neptune Oyster‘s Maine Lobster Roll

There are two options: served hot with butter, or cold with mayo. I’ve only tackled the hot version and the recognition on Eater is definitely well-deserved. The roll is packed with butter poached meat from a WHOLE lobster. The accompanying fries are well-seasoned and addicting. Whenever I crave a lobster roll, this is my go-to place. Be prepared for the long wait, as they don’t take reservations.

 

#14 Maiz Asada at Toro

Toro is a trendy tapas restaurant in South End, Boston and one of their most popular tapas dishes is the Maiz Asada or Mexican grilled corn. The combination of pungent cheese, citrus lime, aioli and charred flavor is phenomenal. The photo doesn’t do it justice.

 

#15 Roast Chicken at Hamersley’s

Normally, I don’t order roast chicken at restaurants for fear of dry meat. However, roast chicken is Hamersley’s specialty, so why not give it a try? I’m glad I did because it turned out to be extremely moist, crispy on the outside, not greasy, and flavorful.

 

#17 Foie Gras Baklava at Staff Meal Food Truck

Disclaimer: I am not a huge fan of foie gras. On the flip side, I do like baklava. Unfortunately, the foie gras baklava was not what I expected. I like my desserts sweet and the foie gras added a very savory component to the mix. The dessert was flaky and nutty, which was nice. Overall, it was not my type. Foie gras fans would probably enjoy it more.

#18 Cassolette of Sea Urchin at Clio

For my birthday this past summer, I celebrated with the 7 course tasting at Clio, a French restaurant in Back Bay, Boston. One of the courses was the famous cassolette. It was definitely the most memorable dish for me; the creamy parsnip-based soup was a blend of succulent seafood and bold flavors, complete with a foamy surface.  I learned that this soup was one of Chef Ken Oringer’s winning dishes vs. Chef Cat Cora in the Iron Chef competition!

 

#19 Oyster Slider at Island Creek Oyster Bar

ICOB is one of my favorite restaurants in Boston. I love oysters – raw or cooked, and can consume dozens in one sitting! ICOB serves some of the freshest farmed oysters in the area. Although they taste amazing raw, they are also pretty delicious when fried, sandwiched between mini brioche buns, pickled vegetables, and lime chili aioli.

 


#20 Bucket o’ Biscuits at Sweet Cheeks Q

Warning: these biscuits are giant and highly addicting. They’re served warm, with a side of honey butter. The biscuits are toasty on the outside; soft and buttery on the inside. They put McDonald’s and KFC’s biscuits to shame. They’re also the main reason I’ll return to this lively BBQ spot in Fenway.

 

I was surprised that some of my favorite dishes (exclusively found in Boston) did not make the list, including:

  • Flour Bakery‘s sticky bun (although Chef Joanne Chang’s chicken wings made the list)
  • Eastern Standard‘s butterscotch bread pudding with praline ice cream (to die for!)
  • Saus‘s Belgian pomme frites, sauces, and/or poutine
  • Japonaise Bakery‘s ichigo cream (puff pastry with strawberries and custard)

 

Have you tried any of the dishes mentioned on Eater Boston’s list? If so, share with us your review and recommendations!

About Jamie

Hi! My name is Jamie and I am a Boston native, amateur baker, food nerd, macaron addict, globetrotter, and fitness enthusiast. Currently, I manage grants at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. I'll be blogging every Friday about my baking endeavors, food interests and travel, restaurant reviews, and reports on the latest food trends.

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