2014 Boston Survey Results: Top Spots by Location

By Scott Kearnan  |  September 17, 2013

By now, you've probably noticed that Boston's top-ranked restaurants in the 2014 Zagat Survey are found all over town: from the Back Bay (Top Decor spot Sorellina) to the North End (Top Food winner Neptune Oyster). But we divvied up the rated spots by a number of different districts, neighborhoods and Boston-adjacent cities, and pulled out a few that rule the roost in their respective neighborhoods. Read on for the winners in your area, or just find out which neighborhood you need to explore next.

  • Somerville: Bergamot

    The cozy spot not only takes the crown as the top spot in Somerville, but in all of American cuisine in Boston. What earns it such accolades? We'd say sophisticated food in an unpretentious setting, and an ever-delish but always-rotating blackboard menu with a three-course special. Even the reliable favorites need to find a way to surprise, after all.

  • Dorchester: Irie Jamaican Style Restaurant

    Even in a freezing New England winter, the familiar staff brings out rays of Caribbean sunshine. Add some affordable Jamaican eats, and Irie (which refers, basically, to the state of feeling great) is the foodie favorite for the neighborhood of Dorchester. Swing by to load up on oxtail, jerk chicken, and mac 'n' cheese, oh my! (No, really. Oh. My.)

  • Jamaica Plain: Ten Tables

    The cozy quarters of this New American restaurant adds to the ambience, but it has always been the farm-to-table approach to its menu (which started long before the philosophy became a PR move) that has always helped Ten Tables stand head and shoulder above bigger spots. We can't help but have a special sentimental attachment to the JP original, which rates as the best restaurant in that neighborhood. But cheers to its newer locations in Harvard Square (which also gets the top dog spot in that area) and Provincetown. 

  • Seaport: Menton

    It's good to be king. (Or queen.) Chef-restaurateur Barbara Lynch isn't just one of Boston's national buzz-garnering names, she reigns over a handful of the city's indisputably best establishments. Among them is her prix fixe-only spot in the Seaport, Menton. The restaurant's food scores were in the top 10 citywide, and it led the list for "best service." Another top it can claim: Top Chef winner Kristen Kish, its new chef de cuisine.

  • Theater District: Troquet

    You have to love the unassuming type of restaurants that focus on creating fabulous food and refined atmosphere without a lot of chest-thumping fanfare. And this French restaurant certainly deserves credit for that. The bistro leads the Theater District restaurants for a reason: its modern yet romantic menu is to die for. But even the most modest Francophile should feel inclined to sing the praises of its wine list, one of the best and most extensive in the city.

  • Downtown Crossing/Financial District: Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

    The upscale steakhouse tops the picks in the city's Downtown biz district. Apparently corporate money movers like their wine and big slabs of steak. Who knew! While it's easy to tut-tut a chain, surveyors find it hard to deny that what Ruth's Chris does, it does better than anybody else in the neighborhood. And besides, the environs (it's located in Boston's old state house) make the place feel unique to the city.

  • Newton/Needham/Wellesley: Lumiere

    Those with truly great taste know that often, some of the best finds are found outside the city: in upscale Boston suburbs like this. And among those spots that lure even city folk for a quick jaunt, Lumiere is the top pick. Chef Michael Leviton, who also commands the kitchen at Kendall Square's casual Area Four, serves up seasonal new French cuisine in an elegant setting. He earns points for creativity in his food, and innovation in his dining room; Lumiere has long ridden the bandwagon of "green," environmentally friendly restaurant efforts.