Best Restaurants in South End

June 16, 2015
by Zagat Staff

The best spots to dine out in the South End. 

Spanish · South End · $$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.2

“Amazing” tapas “bring Barcelona to Boston” at this South End Spaniard from chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer that’s arguably “one of the best” for small plates in the city; the rustic-chic space can get “overwhelmingly crowded” (especially at dinner, when the no-reservations policy makes seating “a challenge” ), but it’s “worth the wait” to “see and be seen” in such a “fun atmosphere.”
B&G Oysters
Seafood · South End · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

“You can’t go wrong” at restaurateur Barbara Lynch’s “haven for seafood lovers” , a “fabulous” South End option where “fun, on-the-ball” staffers serve up “pristine” oysters, the “freshest, crispiest” fish and “refreshing twists” on other “classics” ; it’s “not inexpensive” , but it’s still “sought after” , so expect a “scene” with “good buzz” in “casual” , “tight-fitting” digs; P.S. the outdoor patio is an “added bonus” in summer.
Italian · South End · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

From “must-have, made-in-house” pastas to “fabulous” signature charcuterie, everything on the “creative” “tapas-style” menu at chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer’s corner Italian is “delicious” – and “doesn’t break the bank” ; run by a “professional” staff, the “super-cozy” dining room gets “crowded” , so those in the know “get there early” for “date night” or to snag a seat on a sidewalk patio that's “ideal for people-watching.”
Picco Restaurant
Californian · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.5

"Beautiful people" toy with "beautiful food" at this Larkspur "haunt" , an "upscale" brick-and-redwood affair where "very professional" servers deliver "out-of-this-world" Cal-Italian cuisine ( "risotto made from scratch" "is always a treat" ); it’s a "quintessentially Marin" experience complete with "pricey" tabs, "noisy" acoustics and tables that are "too close to each other" , yet to its loyal clientele, it may as well be "the Chez Panisse of the North Bay."
Boston Chops
Steakhouse · South End · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.4

Dubbed a “perfect modern steakhouse” by its fans, this “sexy” South End standout has “definitely raised the bar” with its “phenomenal” cuts and offerings of less oft-seen options like beef tongue, all courtesy of chef Chris Coombs (dbar, Deuxave); the “dark” , high-ceilinged space and “superb” staff maintain a “hip vibe” that’s considered “much less stuffy” than its high-end counterparts.