Farewell, Boston! | Our Top 10 Favorite Restaurants in Boston

November 30, 2014-IMG_4639

i still remembered when my mom and i stepped off the plane 14 years ago and the 1st thing i said was ‘啊?!波士顿就这样?(what? this is boston?)’ in a very disappointed tone. although it was my first time being abroad, this was def not what i imagined boston or america to be.

for the past 14 years ive lived here, they werent my happiest days. maybe thats why i like traveling so much; it’s an escape for me. i never really liked living here, but i am lazy and did not want to leave my mom in boston by herself so the idea of moving to somewhere else never came to my mind until earlier this year.

the long winter is just extremely painful for us. its too cold to go anywhere, so i just chill all day in my Tempur-Pedic bed in our 80 degree apartment. pork belly and i were looking for a condo to buy in march and the market was just super competitive and housing search is just so stressful. we sat down and asked ourselves if we really wanted to settle down in boston and live here for the rest of our life. the answer was no, so i thought no point of going through buying/selling a condo and moving to somewhere else a few years later. if we were to move, might as well move when we are still young.

we stopped home searching and decided to start looking for jobs in cali. SoCal seems a good place for us. the food is great, weather is nice, closer to hawaii and asia, and ive been a kobe bryant fan ever since middle school. thanks to pork belly’s diligent job searching, he found a job in LA area in no time, and boom we are moving to LA next week.

i dont think ive ever come up a list of our favorite boston restaurants, so i thought this would be a good chance to do so.

these 10 restaurants on my list and are by no means the best restaurants in boston. These are just restaurant we keep coming back to when we are not trying out new restaurants.

not in any particular order:

1. Shabu Zen
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ive been coming to shabu zen for yearsssss, probably as long as ive lived in boston. nothing beats soul soothing shabu shabu on a hungry cold winter night. you can always count on shabu zen for very satisfying and comforting meal. with so many new shabu shabu or hot pot places opening in boston, they are just not the same with the good ol shabu zen.

2. Neptune Oyster

neptune oyster is def the best seafood spot in boston. the buttermilk johnnycake is just simply mind-blowing. you can never imagine how good a pancake can be unless you try it at neptune oyster. the oysters are simply the freshest oyster you can find in boston. the only bad part about neptune oyster is the painful long waits and no reservation system. i dont come here nearly as often as i would like to because of the waits.

3. Garlic ‘n Lemons
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three words: spicy chicken kebab! just get it. very flavorful and juicy. with a bed of rice, potatoes, hummus and garlic sauce, daymn im in heaven. make sure you get the spicy one, not the regular. the spicy one is not spicy at all, but it jus has so much more flavors and is a lot juicier.

4. New Golden Gate Restaurant
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unless you eat it raw, but no one can cook seafood better than chinese restaurants. the chinese way of cooking seafood def preserves the most original umami flavors of the seafood. whenever i really crave seafood, id come to new golden gate in chinatown. some of my favorite dishes are: crab and fish stomach soup, scallops and large clams over vermicelli on shell, dungeness crab with sticky rice cooked in bamboo leaves, twin lobster with ginger scallion sauce.

5. Bondir
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a cozy restaurant in cambridge with a fireplace. so much attention to details. farm to table. menu changes daily depending on what they can get fresh for the day. very humble chef. just a lovely place.

6. Ribelle
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not only the food is very creative, but it actually tastes good. im a huge fan of Tim Maslow; he’s def one of the most talented chefs in boston. ive never had a bad meal at either ribelle or strip t’s

7. toro

THE best tapas place in boston, the rest are not even comparable. everything tastes amazing. again, i dont come here nearly as often as i would like to because of the long waits and no reservation system.

8. Taqueria Jalisco
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THE best mexican joint in boston, the rest can’t compare. the people are just super friendly, tacos are authentic and tasty. daymn i want some now. i also love the camarones a la diabla, the sause is just so good.

9. Ogawa
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we been coming to ogawa for coffee every weekend ever since it opened. the coffee isnt unusually amazing, but we are obsessed with Haruna Murayama’s latte art. we jus love hanging out in this coffee shop in the morning.

10. Sweet Green
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never thought i would be writing about a salad place because i hated salad and never ate salad before sweet green. i thought i’d put sweet green in my top 10 because i almost come here everyday for lunch. ppl that work at sweet green all know my name since i am there everyday.
the lunch options around my work is HORRIBLE, so i was kinda forced to try sweet green. sweet green has so many unique choices of ingredients and dressings that you cant find at your average salad bar. some of my favorites are wild rice, spicy quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, citrus shrimp, avocado, housemade hummus, roasted corn + peppers, lime cilantro jalapeño vinaigrette dressing, miso sesame ginger vinaigrette, and cucumber tahini yogurt. although the salad i create usually ended up 800-1000 calories, at least its somewhat healthy and very tasty.

lastly, i would like to thank all my boston readers for following my blog and interacting with me. i started this blog with no expectations or no vision, but my food blog has grown so much and i made a lot new friends through this blog in the past three years. i am just simply thankful for the experience and the overwhelming positive feedbacks ive received. i will still be coming back to boston to visit family and friends in the future.

although i really never enjoyed my time here in boston, it’s still a bittersweet feeling when it’s time to leave.

til next time.

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7 thoughts on “Farewell, Boston! | Our Top 10 Favorite Restaurants in Boston

  1. Aww, good luck! I’ve always loved your blog as a starting point for figuring out what new places to try in Boston, and will still follow for the amazing photos and because I know I’ll be traveling and I’m sure to come across someplace you discuss here. I understand exactly what you mean about the housing here. I’ll actually be in the same position as you are next year, and I’m not very sure I’ll be staying in Boston either. But, I wish both of you well!!! Can’t wait to see the amazing places you discover in Cali!

  2. Have fun in LA! I hope you enjoy it and let us know about all the good eats there. This is a great list of places I wouldn’t think to try, so thanks for sharing before you leave!

  3. Good luck moving, I’m glad to hear you’re getting out of a place you aren’t crazy about. Things are going to be good, and you’ll have many more food adventures 🙂

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