In southeastern Massachusetts, the historic city of Fall River attracted waves of 19th century immigrants, many from Portugal and Azores, to come and work in its cotton mills. Today, the result is a vibrant melting pot of Iberian culture, which is reflected in the many Portuguese and Mediterranean venues sprinkled across town that offer exceptionally good regional fare. Here is our guide to some of the best.
Patti’s Polish-American eatery majors in seriously tasty pierogi – Polish dumplings – which can be ordered by the box load. There are many other regional dishes to try too; various flavors of Polish potato pancake, kielbasa sausage and stuffed cabbage galumbkis. Service is prompt and the staff is always on hand to explain the flavors of each dish or help with recommendations.
Patti’s Pierogis, 1019 S Main St, Fall River, MA, USA, +1 508 679-4001
This no-frills pie shop sets itself apart with a combination of low prices and satisfyingly filling eats. The handmade, warm-out-of-the-oven pies are loaded with meaty goodness all encased in firm and crispy pastry crust. The pork filling is the go-to here, but there are also chicken, buffalo and chorizo options, too. If that’s not enough, there are hearty desserts, cupcakes and brownies to satisfy sugar cravings. Staff are warm and vibrant, often offering a juicy anecdote to enjoy with your meal.
The waterfront location of surf-‘n-turf Lepage’s makes its fresh seafood offerings even more enticing. You’ll find its creative fishy dishes prepared in every way imaginable – baked, fried, steamed or sauteed – and it’s all excellent value for money. Try the baked scallops with white wine and breadcrumbs or the pistachio-crusted haddock topped with cranberry butter. Groups with non-fish eaters among them still have plenty of choice – from vegetarian pastas to succulent meat dishes.
Among Fall River’s handful of other eateries offering Portuguese cuisine, family-run Estoril stands out for its distinctive European elegance. A feast-worthy menu takes inspiration from tip-top Mediterranean cuisine – there are Spanish-style littlenecks, shrimp mozambique and the house specialty of chicken estoril, in which chicken breast is cooked with tomatoes and mushrooms in a creamy wine sauce.
Estoril, 1577 Pleasant St. Fall River, MA, USA, +1 508 677-1200