1. Alden & Harlow
Harvard Square

Brought to you by chef Michael Scelfo’s vision for simple, elegant dishes, Alden & Harlow—located under the Brattle Hall building in Harvard Square—is an award-winning restaurant that offers a unique spin on American classics. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on the secret burger, you’ve made it. With limited secret burgers available per night, the thick, freshly ground patty featuring secret sauce is sure to leave you coming back or cherishing every last bite of your leftovers.

2. Alive & Kicking Lobsters

One glance at Alive & Kicking Lobsters, and you’ll quickly realize why this is a frequent stomping ground for locals and regulars alike. The no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase look of the location gives off an old-timey vibe you can easily find in Southie. But this little lobster haven has top-notch takes on all the traditional offerings from clam chowder to a specialty lobster sandwich.

3. All Star Sandwich Bar
Inman Square

On the corner of Prospect and Cambridge Street in Inman Square, you’ll find a brightly-colored storefront with the saying “a good sandwich is like an old friend” scrolled across the window. That’s home to none other than All Star Sandwich Bar, which is just as cozy inside as it looks outside. With handcrafted sandwiches designed by chefs (and brothers) Kosta and Johnny Diamantopoulos, you can’t go wrong with your selection. Choose from burgers and classic sandwiches to more creative options like the Pastraminator and Island Jerk Chicken Melt.

4. Area Four
Kendall Square

Wood-fired pizza joint Area Four, which is also conveniently connected to A4 Cafe, offers handmade pies from scratch, with a crispiness and flavorful char perfect for those that like their pizzas fresh out of a brick oven. Choose from Margherita, Prosciutto Americano, Hawaiian, and Mushroom & Fontina pizza pies, and for sides, add a basket of knots or baked mac ‘n cheese for guaranteed satisfaction.

5. Bagelsaurus
Porter Square

A favorite among Porter Square residents, and especially among those that need some substance after an eventful night out, Bagelsaurus is the usual go-to. As the bagel shop to end all bagel shops in the city, there’s usually a line out the door. But don’t fret, it goes fast. And if you’re lucky enough to grab one of four tables inside, you’re golden. A pro tip for first-timers: Make sure you order the famous mustard butter.

6. Cafe Luna
Central Square

Known for their award-winning breakfast, Cafe Luna sky rockets to the top of our brunch list. With a crab cake and avocado omelet, Oreo Cookie Monster pancakes, and “double-thick” Belgian waffles, Cafe Luna serves modern but casual dishes that will always satisfy.

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