A major contributor to the American industrial revolution, Waltham, Massachusetts is part of the greater Boston region, and sits just 10 miles from the centre of Boston itself. The city was first settled in 1634 and has been home to a number of prominent American statesmen. A beautiful and cultural city, Waltham has a burgeoning food scene filled with promising restaurants. Read on for the 10 best places to eat in Waltham.
La Campania in Waltham, Massachusetts is a truly authentic Neapolitan experience, serving the very best in southern Italian fare. The wood fired oven, assembled by an artisanal builder brought over from Italy, is used to bake the pizzas, as well as prepare all manner of meat dishes. Pasta starters include short rib of beef tortellini; hand cut gnocchi with wild mushrooms and white truffles; and lobster risotto, prepared in a stock of prosecco and lobster, finished with mascarpone cheese. Main deals of lamb ribs, two-ways of duck – confit leg and seared breast – with sweet potato, and grilled veal chops are delicious main events.
While La Campania showcases the best in the food of Napoli, Il Capriccio goes to the other end of Italy, serving delicious northern Italian comfort food. Operating for well over a decade, Il Capriccio has received rave reviews from huge news outlets, including the Boston Globe and the New York Times. The restaurant was first run by Milanese native Enzo Danesi, the kitchen is now in the capable hands of head chef Richie Barron. The menu features delicious dishes of veal tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto, pan seared scallops with beet and parsley pesto and there are also a number of fantastic pasta dishes.
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A small family run chain, the original Chateau restaurant first opened in Waltham more than 80 years ago in 1933. Throughout that time, the restaurant has passed from generation to generation of the Nocera family. Resembling a typical Italian-American diner, the inside of the restaurant is decked with cosy booths, perfect for dining with family and friends. Appetisers and starters consist almost entirely of indulgent finger food (think toasted ravioli, deep-fried calamari and Buffalo wings), while entrees of chicken or veal parmigiana make for filling and delicious main meal. Desserts include blueberry pie, chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse and more.
Recently redesigned and given a brand-spanking new look, Tempo on Moody Street specialises in two things: food and cocktails. Featuring an elegant bar area, private tables and great acoustics (for regular live music), the food at Tempo is prepared by the talented chef and owner Nathan Sigel and his incredibly dedicated team. Dishes include peppercorn seared yellowfin tuna, pan seared freshwater salmon, and house made kurobuta pork bolognaise. Cocktails make use of a world’s worth of different spirits, featuring Japanese Sake, botanical gins from all over the globe and, of course, classic American bourbon. Take in a few while listening to some great live acts.
With its quirky decoration – some walls are whitewashed, others are a luminous green – In A Pickle is a truly modern venue. The restaurant got its name when owner Tim Burke was broke and down on his luck after nine months of searching for the perfect restaurant location. In A Pickle is the go to location in Waltham for breakfasts and sandwiches. The menu features a multitude of omelet, French toast and big breakfast options. The caramel crunch French toast comes with a sweet crunchy topping and vanilla infused whipped cream, while the steak tips come basted in a delicious BBQ sauce and eggs cooked to order.
The Gaff takes its name from Dubliner slang, found in Ireland, for ‘home’. First opened in 2009, The Gaff – a cosy venue in central Waltham – offers a well curated selection of beer, cocktails and food. Dishes are almost exclusively sandwich based, save for a small number of starters, which include deep-fried, breaded pickles, a hummus plate, and other finger food. Sandwich options include the Irish BLT, which is seasoned with a mustard aioli on multi grain bread, and the Gaff Dog, an immense burger served between a brioche roll with candied bacon, grilled pineapple and caramelised onions. As well as cocktails, The Gaff showcases an extraordinary selection of draught and bottled beers.
City Streets, a home grown element of the Waltham food scene, is fun. Bottled beers, a relaxed bar and great food are seemingly the watchwords of this chilled-out little venue which is perfect for catching up with friends, eating with family, and even date nights. Starters are informal, with deep fried risotto balls, baked potato skins, and chicken wings are all available to kick off proceedings before moving on to bigger things. Main dishes are simple and unfussy, so expect all-American classics such as ribs, steak tips and specialty fajitas. Once ordered, just sit back and relax in this stylish restaurant.
Gustazo is a Cuban inspired restaurant and café, bringing a flare of the Hispanic to New England. Suitably relaxed and informal, Gustazo specialises in serving great food in a homely atmosphere. Dishes are entirely authentic, and large plates include all manner of roasted meats and fish, served alongside traditional sides such as rice, black beans and maduros, also known as plantain. Gustazo also has a trick up its sleeve for those guests with a sweet tooth. Indulgent churros, deep fried strips of dough, rolled in sugar and cinnamon, come served with either Spanish style dipping sauce, or a thick and delicious hot chocolate.
Masao’s Kitchen is special because it is an exclusively vegan restaurant. Not only is there no meat or fish on offer, diners will also find there are no options for eggs or dairy, making this venue a great choice for those who have dietary requirements. As well as being vegan, the menu is also free from refined sugars and other nasties, making this one of the healthiest restaurants around. Dishes change daily, and focus on beans and pulses, served alongside mounds of freshly steamed greens and vegetables. There are a number of sweet options too, including apple strudel, blueberry cake and vanilla pudding.
Naked Fish promises guests a glimpse into an innate philosophy concerning the maintenance of both food preparation and the environment; all seafood used on site is gathered in the most ecologically sustainable way possible. In an age when over-fishing is concern, this means that guests can relax safe in the knowledge that they are dining responsibly. Meals kick off with a choice of starters that range from Brazilian style squid to lobster nachos. Main dishes of Catalan fish stew, sesame crusted mahi mahi tuna and coconut haddock are all meals that diners are unlikely to forget in a hurry.