How to Eat Your Way Through Boston: 15 Famous Foods You Must Try

Did you know that cannoli are one of the most popular Boston foods? A real Bostonian builds its identity on its top contender for the greatest cannoli in town, and they know that the best cannoli in town are sold by two long-standing rivals. You’ll probably never meet a local who hasn’t eaten a famous hot dog under the shade of their Red Sox cap at Fenway Park.  

Boston, with its gorgeous coastline location, is a hotspot for fresh seafood and the robust cuisine that goes with it.   

Boston's greatest foods often include locally sourced seafood treats like lobster, oysters, and clams. Boston, known as “Beantown," is about much more than just great maritime cuisine. Meat feasts, Italian-inspired desserts, and classic American comfort food dishes are all commonplace in the Massachusetts capital.   

Whether you're craving high-piled sandwiches, seafood rolls, or a sweet treat, Boston offers something for you. While you're here, make sure to try the city's most famous dishes. 

There's no better place to eat a Boston Creme Pie than where it was born. Their classic version consists of a light sponge cake filled with crème and covered with chocolate. It's wonderful and creamy, and it'll make you want to return to this historical site.  

In reality, it is argued that if it began in the kitchen of Parker's Restaurant in the 1900s, which is now the Omni Parker House Hotel. The Boston cream pie is a spongy yellow cake with chocolate icing on top and a sweet, creamy custard inside.  

Visit the Omni Parker House for a big, fresh slice of Boston cream pie. It's a celebration of local history and, of course, Boston's best cuisine.   

Parker's Restaurant, 60 School St., Boston, MA 02108. 

2. Fried Clam Platter at Woodman's of Essex

Chowder isn't the only place to set a lot of freshly caught clams. Fried clams are another famous Boston delicacy, especially during the summer. Locals and tourists, on the other hand, happily squeeze their lemons over golden, crispy fried clam plates all year at Woodman's of Essex.  

Woodman's, which started in 1914, is another historical restaurant that serves Boston-style food steeped in family tradition. Woodman's fried clam platter (the “Chubby's Original") is particularly wonderful since it's served with the sides you wish all fried clams did: golden French fries and onion rings.  

Woodman's of Essex ,119 Main St., Route 133, Essex, MA 01929 

3. Boston Baked Beans at Beantown Pub

You can't visit Beantown without trying baked beans somewhere in town. Boston baked beans originated during colonial times and have left an everlasting influence on Bostonian culture. We're not saying baked beans are Boston's most gourmet, to-die-for cuisines, but they are one of those cozy, traditional Boston foods that is never bad.

They're also widely available across the city. Where better to get baked beans than at the Beantown Pub? Expect a generous serving of sweet baked beans with a rustic side of brown bread. You can freeze baked beans, so don't worry about having too many leftovers.

Beantown Pub at 100 Tremont

4. Cannoli at Mike's Pastry

Cannoli is one of the foods in Boston that is a source of dispute. Where you get the best cannoli in town is just as essential as the type you get. The Italian hollow pastry pipes are filled with delicious ricotta cheese and coated with fruit, almonds, or chocolate. If you travel to the North End, you may go to Mike's Pastry, a family-run bakery that has been there since 1946. They prepare cannoli and place them in white boxes tied with a thread. You can also head down the street to Modern Pastry, where three generations of bakers do what they do best: make cannoli and hand-fill the pipes with the delicious, sweet ricotta cheese. Or you could just try both cannoli and pick which one is your favorite.  

Mike's Pastry: 300 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113 

5. Lobster roll at James Hook & Co.

Lobster rolls are another must-have delicacy in one of the top gastronomic towns in the United States. In all honesty, you can probably get a mind-blowing lobster roll on nearly any street in Boston. It's simply one of Boston's signature, well-made dishes.  

So, if you're going to buy a lobster roll, why not get it from the original Boston lobster house? Since 1925, James Hook & Co. has been the go-to seaside shack for a wide variety of dishes including fresh Maine lobster. Order your lobster roll hot with butter or cold with mayonnaise. Either way, you're in for a massive sandwich packed high with luscious lobster meat.   

As previously said, Boston has many restaurants that serve a good lobster roll. We'll also award an honorable mention to Neptune Oyster for their delectable lobster rolls.  

440 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02210, James Hook & Co. 

6. Clambake at Neptune Oyster

Lots more clams! However, we are adding lobster this time. Clambake is a tradition in New England places like Boston and ordering it at Neptune Oyster can cause your eyes to pop out of your head. The N.O.B. Clambake at Neptune Oyster is a colorful jumble of fresh Maine lobster, clams, sweet corn, and chorizo for a savory kick. 

Neptune Oyster, 63 Salem Street, Boston, MA 02113 

7. Roast Beef Sandwich at Kelly’s Roast Beef

Lobster rolls aren't the only sandwich to make the list of finest Boston dishes. Roast beef sandwiches are popular throughout the state, but particularly on Boston's North Shore. A classic roast beef sandwich is a Boston staple, but no one does it better than Kelly's Roast Beef. Thin slices of roast beef and horseradish are the two most common classic roast beef sandwich ingredients. Otherwise, each restaurant puts its own spin on the sandwich. 

Kelly's Roast Beef has multiple locations. 

8. Frappes in Toscanini's

After reading about these salty and savory dishes, you're likely wanting something sweet. The frappe is one of Boston's most well-known dishes. A frappe is a milkshake topped with ice cream. It is one of Boston's favorite summertime treats. 

There are several places to get a frappe in Boston, and the Boston Burger Company has an extensive menu of “freak frappes," which are frappes with outlandish flavors and toppings, such as a strawberry shortcake-topped frappe. Toscanini's, on the other hand, is a tried-and-true tradition. The frappes here are incredibly thick, creamy, and excellent. 

159 First St., Cambridge, MA 02142: Toscanini's Ice Cream 

9. Clam Chowder at Union Oyster House

Clam chowdah… as the locals call it, has existed in Boston for generations, thanks to all the settlers, whether Nova Scotian, British, or French. During the 18th century, these settlers introduced the popular thick soup to New England. Although there are other variations on this dish, Boston has nailed the New England version, which consists of a white chowder made with shellfish, clams, milk or cream, potatoes, and thickened oyster crackers.   

As a result, picking one chowder as the best is tough, although Union Oyster House's rendition consistently ranks among everyone's top choices. It has been around since the 1850s, so these cooks certainly know what they are doing. Union Oyster House serves traditional clam chowder, with lumps of succulent, fresh clam swimming in a creamy, salty broth.   

Union Oyster House at 41 Union St., Boston, MA 02108 

10. Fenway Frank at Fenway Park

To become a Boston resident, you must do two things: attend a game at Fenway Park and eat a Fenway Frank while there. A Fenway Frank is one of Boston's signature meals. And no, it isn't just any old hot dog.  

The Fenway Frank is boiled and grilled before being sandwiched between a fluffy open-top roll and smeared with yellow mustard to create the ideal juicy, flavor-packed hotdog. They serve as both post-game celebrations for a successful Red Sox triumph and post-game comfort foods after a tragic defeat.   

Boston, MA 02215: Fenway Park, 4 Jersey Street 

11. Fish and chips at Yankee Lobster

A greasy, overflowing plate of fish and chips is a traditional sea-faring Boston dish. Fish and chips is a dish in which white fish (typically cod) is deep-fried in a thick batter and served with fried potato wedges. While fish and chips are available around the city, they are especially popular at Yankee Lobster.  

Yankee Lobster has simply been a beloved establishment for so long that it is obvious they know how to serve seafood. For decades, customers have come to this location for perfectly crisp yet juicy fried fish and salty golden chips.  

Yankee Lobster: Boston, MA 02210: 300 Northern Ave 

12. Giambotta Pizza at Regina Pizzeria

Boston and New York may be baseball rivals, but no one is debating over who has the best pizza. Even if pizza isn't the most famous Boston food, there are plenty of great places to eat it, particularly in Little Italy.  

Despite being a chain restaurant, Regina Pizzeria's North End branch is rich in history, tradition, and delicious brick-oven pizza. Although there are numerous toppings and slices to choose from, locals recommend getting the Giambotta, which is loaded with meats and vegetables such as peppers, onions, mushrooms, pepperoni, sausage and salami.  

Regina Pizzeria has multiple locations. 

13. Stuffed Gnocchi at No. 9 Park

Gnocchi is dreamy on its own. Who doesn't enjoy doughy, pillowy pasta drenched in a creamy sauce? However, at No. 9 Park, there is a gnocchi dish that makes regular potato gnocchi appear like uncooked spaghetti sticks. That is, the prune-stuffed gnocchi, which has been No. 9 Park's crown gem for decades, is more than just pasta; it is an experience.  

This popular meal features prune-stuffed gnocchi served in an elegant sauce flavored with foie gras, almonds, and vin santo. No. 9 Park has some of the best dining in Boston.  

Boston, MA 02108, 9 Park St. 

14. Irish beef stew pie at Sea Biscuit

New England is well-known for its long, bitter winters, and Boston is no exception. This is why many popular Boston and New England cuisines are hearty, warm, and comforting. Irish beef stew pie is no exception. It's similar to a pot pie, with a buttery, flaky crust and filling of soft beef, beef broth, carrots, onions, celery, and fragrant herbs. 

This dish was a favorite at KO Pies, but since they closed, their new restaurant, Sea Biscuit, has continued to serve these hearty stews.  

Sea Biscuit, 256 Marginal St., Bldg. 16, Boston, MA 02128  

15. The oysters at Union Oyster House

Along with lobster rolls, Bostonians have a strong affinity for oysters in the seafood sector. If you're new to the oyster club, make sure the oysters are plump, weighty, and have plenty of liquid covering the meat. The oysters should also have a salty and mild fragrance.   

As with lobster and clams, there are lots of local restaurants that serve this delectable shellfish. However, Union Oyster House, one of Boston's oldest restaurants, has been serving joyful customers freshly shucked oysters for nearly 200 years, and they're exactly how they should be: plump and full of that salty, delicious oyster juice.  

Are you hungry now that you've read about these delectable Boston dishes? You may have wondered, “What is Boston known for?" When you visit Boston, you will realize that the city is known for much more than just baked beans. The city is brimming with fantastic restaurants and cuisines, but these 20 meals are among the best Boston delicacies you can discover. Don't forget to try some of these Boston-style dishes in your own kitchen! 

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