Boston’s hip Allston-Brighton neighborhood is home to an eclectic mix of college students, families and young professionals. It boasts a diverse dining scene that matches its varied residents – from craft beer bars and gourmet grilled cheese to upscale taverns and long standing steakhouses. Read our guide to 10 of the best neighborhood restaurants in Allston-Brighton.
Bar, Cocktails, American, Wine, Beer, Pub Grub, $$$
The brainchild of co-owners Aaron Sanders and Max Toste, Deep Ellum is a small but lively bar and restaurant inspired by the duo’s shared love of craft beer and classic cocktails, accompanied by hearty American food. The popular joint gets its name from the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, Texas known as a cultural and nightlife hotspot since the early 1900s, a melting pot for some of the most important names in jazz and blues from the last century. Deep Ellum’s standout dish is the house made wurst plate with fennel and sage sausage, parsnip puree, Brussels sprouts and apple mustard, which can be accompanied by any of 60 different types of beer.
The Lone Star Taco Bar is inspired by the Mexican cuisine, open air markets and taquerías of owners Aaron Sanders and Max Toste’s native Texas and Southern California. Lone Star Taco Bar’s interior is distinctly modern day cantina, with lots of natural wood, a hip and friendly ambience and a saloon-style bar. The drinks list is brimming with plenty of authentic Mexican-themed drinks like cheladas, cerveza, mezcal and tequila. Its many taco offerings include the brunch menu’s breakfast taco with scrambled eggs, longhorn cheese and avocado cream, available washed down with a cheeky breakfast margarita, while its main menu features the house made chorizo taco with pickled radish, queso fresco and mint.
Describing itself as ‘a little bit of downtown uptown’, Devlin’s is a classy yet friendly restaurant. Located in the heart of Allston-Brighton, it serves up traditional American cuisine with a creative, contemporary twist alongside thirst-quenching wine, cocktails and beer. Guests can choose from delicious appetizers like Rhode Island-style calamari with spicy cherry peppers, lemon-garlic aioli and marinara sauce and mouth watering mains like seared salmon with sweet potatoes and Brussel sprouts. Finish the meal with a dessert such as Bailey’s cheesecake with strawberry coulis and whipped cream. The restaurant’ beautiful patio makes a lovely location for an enjoyable, relaxing meal on warmer evenings.
Though it dubs itself as ‘Allston’s neighborhood tavern’, the classy upscale Glenville Stops is about as far as you could get from a dive bar. It features a beautifully designed bar and dining space full of rich wood furnishings and Tiffany-style lamps. The bar is a popular destination for quality beer and fantastic wines accompanied by executive chef Juan Pedrosa’s menu of neighborhood-inspired comfort food with Latin American, Asian and Mediterranean flavors. Try the Bar Harbor mussels in a lemongrass-coconut broth with pickled ginger and herb sourdough or the grilled bavette steak with salsa verde, spiced potatoes and greens.
Comfort food and craft beer are on the menu at Lulu’s Allston – a perfect combination for casual, fun dining if there ever was one. A new addition to the Allston-Brighton neighborhood, Lulu’s opened its doors in a spacious, industrial-chic space full of comfy booths, exposed brick and a huge bar creating a friendly, welcoming atmosphere in which to enjoy its gastro pub comfort food. Executive chef Sarah Wade cooks up delicious dishes like the huge Bad Ass burger, a natural beef patty topped with stout braised short ribs, a runny egg and beer cheese soup with a side of chili cheese fries. The extensive beer list includes varieties from Massachusetts, California and Pennsylvania.
Simple, natural, fresh and tasty is the motto of Root, a cozy and casual vegetarian and vegan restaurant specializing in unpretentious, locally sourced fare. Guests can get a nutritious start to their day with dishes like the house scramble plate – herby local tofu, sautéed kale, portabella mushrooms and sweet onion with a side of sweet potato home fries. While its main menu features options such as the signature black bean and quinoa burger with Boston lettuce, tomato, crispy onion and garlic aioli. While you’re there, try one of Root’s super healthy, nutrient filled juices like the citrus medley made with orange, lemon and lime.
Restaurant, American, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Fast Food, Street Food, $$$
Given Boston’s love of food trucks, it would be a shame not to include at least one and Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese is a shining example. The popular truck is a favorite with lovers of cheese, known for its epicurean twist on the classic grilled cheese sandwich and for their appearance on the Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race. Options include the Green Muenster sandwich with Muenster cheese, guacamole and bacon with sides such as the ever-popular poutine and truffle fries.
Renowned for its succulent steaks and classic American cuisine, Stockyard has been a fixture on Allston-Brighton’s dining scene since it was first opened in 1972 by the Manning family. Now owned by local restaurateur Michael Conlon, the venue features a spacious dining room bedecked in rich dark wood paneling, comfy burgundy leather booths and gorgeous chandeliers. Stockyard exudes classic American steakhouse charm, while menu highlights include dishes like New York sirloin strip steak and baked George’s Bank haddock with crab meat, basmati rice and lobster cream complemented by an extensive wine list.
Boasting the biggest selection of beers on the east coast of America, with 112 on tap varieties and a further 380 microbrewery products and exotic imports, Sunset Grill & Tap is definitely a must try dining destination for beer fanatics. The award winning beer bar offers a menu of tasty pub grub-style fare that perfectly matches its extensive beer collection. Take, for example, its popular steam beer burger – half a pound of freshly ground sirloin beef cooked on the restaurant’s steam grill to ensure maximum flavor and juiciness – and the bourbon BBQ steak served with onion rings and sun-dried cranberry coleslaw. A number of sandwiches, salads and fajitas are also available.
Bar, Restaurant, Spanish, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, $$$
Scrumptious Spanish fare and tempting tapas is the name of the game at Tasca. This cozy, romantic spot specializes in authentic Spanish cuisine served up alongside an impressive range of craft beers, red and white wines and sangria. The winner of various awards including Boston Magazine’s Best Affordable Romantic Restaurant, Tasca’s menu features various small tapas plates. Try the patatas bravas and chicken and chorizo skewers with spicy chili sauce. Entrées include the delicious paella de mariscos – shrimp, scallops, mussels and calamari with saffron rice in a lobster broth. Regular flamenco nights and meals serenaded by skilled Spanish guitarists add to Tasca’s authentic ambience.