10 New Classic Comfort Foods in Boston

Beantown gives a new spin to traditional plates
November 23, 2015
by Scott Kearnan

Temperatures are dropping in Boston, triggering our need for warm, indulgent dishes. Our comfort-food cravings grow stronger with every frigid day. And while this city's full of classics — things like mac ‘n’ cheese and chicken pot pie — we've scoured the landscape for restaurants giving a new spin to comfort foods. Here's the best hearty, rib-sticking foods in Boston. 

Scrambled Egg Donut at Ames Street Deli

There's no doubt that Union Square Donuts and Blackbird Doughnuts have both done tremendous jobs rolling out constant streams of donut flavors, forever raising the bar on what sweets-seekers expect from this tasty treat. This morning snack from Ames Street Deli, however, combines two morning comforts: donuts and scrambled eggs. The sugar-dusted cake is filled with gooey egg — the perfect breakfast indulgence.  

73 Ames St., Cambridge; 617-374-0701

Beef Short-Rib Wellington at Bastille Kitchen

This hearty English classic usually wraps filet steak in a puff pastry shell, but Fort Point's favorite French bistro uses short rib instead. The result is a lighter, luscious, foie-gras-topped delicacy with an interesting, upscale touch.  

49 Melcher St.; 617-556-8000

Cheeseburger at Hojoko

Hamburgers are the classic American comfort food, and Boston has some fantastic patty permutations. (Check out the reader-surveyed look at the Top 10 in town here.) Our pick for the best new burger is — surprise! — found at this just-opened, Fenway-adjacent Japanese izakaya. The younger, funkier sibling of super-swank O Ya, Hojoko's chuck and Wagyu short-rib patty is topped with American cheese, dashi pickles and a spectacular "special sauce."

1271 Boylston St.; 617-670-0507

Lobster Popover at Loyal Nine

The popover is a carb-loaded Yankee classic, but Cambridge's inventive American restaurant amps pairs it with the flavors of eggs Benedict. Their lobster-stuffed popover is topped with a poached egg and smoked pork-fat hollandaise. Indulgent awesomeness.

660 Cambridge St., Cambridge; 617-945-2576

Budin de Pan at Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar

French toast at a Mexican restaurant? Sort of. The South Boston hot spot offers brunch in the form of a French toast–inspired budin de pan, or bread pudding. White bread is baked (with cinnamon, vanilla custard, farmer's cheese and fruit preserves) until bubbly, then adds dulce de leche on top. 

412 W. Broadway, South Boston; 617-917-5626

Chicken Parmesan at Met Back Bay

Behold the greatest comfort-food combo of our time: pizza-shaped chicken parm. Chicken is topped with 12-hour simmered tomato sauce and a three-cheese blend, then pounded into a 10-inch disc that's served on a wooden paddle. Designed to share (and served with Caesar salad), this dish is delivered with a pizza cutter so we can slice our way through this hearty, piping pie. 

279 Dartmouth St.; 617-267-0451

Ramen at Shojo

Steaming-hot soup is the ultimate cold-weather comfort. And chef Mark O'Leary's ramen at Shojo is a classic in and of itself. From straightforward styles (pictured) to creative versions that dot the menu, we can't get enough of this place. Right now, we suggest the "pumpkin spice-y mazemen" of ramen with red pumpkin curry and pepitas.

9 Tyler St.; 617-423-7888

Quartermasters Plate at The Tap Trailhouse

The Faneuil Hall gastropub has found ​raison d'être in updating Yankee comfort foods. Exhibit A: the fall menu takes an elevated approach to cod cheeks, serving them with staples of fries, coleslaw and rémoulade. 

19 Union St.; 617-367-0033

Cinnamon Bun Grilled Cheese at Townsman

Here's another two-fer on the comfort-food front. Chef Matt Jennings just added this indulgent grilled cheese sandwich to the brunch menu, stuffing cinnamon-swirled brioche with thick slices of aged cheddar and house-smoked apples. It's griddled until gooey, then drizzled with icing. 

120 Kingston St.; 617-993-0750

Turkey Poutine at Zebra's Bistro and Wine Bar

The Canadian comfort-food classic gets an American Thanksgiving-inspired face lift. At Zebra's, frites are topped with turkey thigh confit, sage gravy and cheddar cheese curd. 

21 North St., Medfield; 508-359-4100

comfort food