9 Iconic Boston Dishes & The Best Places To Try Them

The seaside city is known for these signature dishes, but only the locals know the best spots to devour them.

Clam Chowder

clam chowder
Photo by Kevin Lanceplaine on Unsplash

This creamy bisque boasts a tasty combination of clams, potatoes, onions, and depending upon where you get it, sometimes other varieties of seafood too. Clam chowder is definitely a hit or miss, so it’s important to choose a spot known for having a good recipe. The best places in Boston to try clam chowder are Boston Chowda Co., Luke’s Lobster Back Bay, Atlantic Fish Co., and Walrus & Carpenter Oyster Bar.

Lobster Mac n’ Cheese

 lobster mac and cheese
Photo by Tina Witherspoon on Unsplash

There is no better combination than pasta, cheese, and lobster. The perfect comfort food for New Englanders, Lobster Mac n’ Cheese is a quintessential Bostonian food. Next time you come into the city and are yearning to try this yummy dish, check out Luke’s Lobster Back Bay, Boston Sail Loft, Yankee Lobster, and The Capital Grille. 

Lobster Roll

boston iconic dishes
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

The only dish that is actually worth shelling out the high market price each year, lobster rolls are best had in the summer paired with a delicious lemonade. Coming in both hot and cold varieties, the typical New England lobster roll is served chilled on a warm toasted bun. The best lobster rolls in bean town can be found at Lobstah on a Roll, James Hook, Luke’s Lobster Back Bay, Boston Chowda Co., and Neptune Oyster.

Roast Beef Sandwich

roast beef sandwich
Photo by Pen Waggener on Flickr

The perfect lunch food for any weather, the roast beef sandwich descends from Old English meals and was brought overseas by the founders of Boston. The best ones to try can be found at Cusser’s Roast Beef & Seafood, Earl of Sandwich, High Spot Deli, and Back Bay Sandwich.

Fenway Frank

boston iconic dishes
Photo by Ball Park Brand on Unsplash

An honorable mention, the only acceptable place to order a Fenway Frank is, of course, at Fenway Park. The juicy frank placed on top of a cloud-like white bread bun, topped simply with ketchup, mustard, and relish. Best enjoyed while viewing a Sox game.

Fish and Chips

boston iconic dishes
Photo by Andy Wang on Unsplash

Another traditionally English food brought from abroad, Boston’s seaport produces some of the freshest fish and chips that money can buy in the States. The best places to enjoyed the deep fried delicacy are Atlantic Fish Co., Salty Dog Seafood Grille & Bar, Boston Sail Loft, and Yankee Lobster.

Boston Cream Pie

boston iconic dishes
Photo by jpellgen on Flickr

There is no dessert that comes close to the heavenly experience of eating a Boston cream pie. An airy puff pastry, filled with a deliciously creamy filling and topped with a rich layer of chocolate, once you try it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. The most delicious, melt-in-your mouth pies in Boston can be found at Modern Pastry, Mike’s Pastry, Bova’s Bakery, and Flour Bakery & Cafe 


boston iconic dishes
Photo by Sangria Señorial on Unsplash

Boston’s North End (aka: Little Italy) has long perfected this scrumptious Italian pastry. With a flaky fried crust, sweet ricotta filling, and various tasty toppings; a cannoli is the perfect finish to a big pasta dinner. The best cannolis in Bean Town can be found at Mike’s Pastry, Bova’s Bakery, and Modern Pastry.


boston iconic dishes
Photo by Rirri on Unsplash 

Go anywhere else in the United States and order a milkshake, you’ll receive a yummy dessert consisting of ice cream and milk blended together. In New England, a milkshake will simply get you flavored milk. The next level combo of milk and ice cream is uniquely known as a “frappe” in the Boston area. The perfect summer treat, the best frappes in Boston can be found at J.P Licks, FoMu, Quincy’s Place, and Boston Burger Co.

Delaney Beaudoin

Content Creator & FB Manager

Having grown up in a non-traditional family of intersecting identities, Delaney takes pride in her blank-slate, open-minded perception of the world. Her interests in writing, politics, and travel converge perfectly to fuel her intense passion for journalism and the pursuit of truth in modern media. Delaney values her tendency towards impulsivity and loves the unprecedented circumstances that come with traveling.

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