The Best Dinner Places Around Northeastern for When Your Parents Ship Up to Boston

Somewhere in between making your bed, doing your laundry, and emptying an entire can of Febreeze into your room, your tummy is going to remind you: since your parents are coming to visit you, you can go eat anywhere you want with them. The only question now is “Where?” It can’t be anything too ridiculous (sorry, Dick’s Last Resort). No, it needs the right mixture of Boston spirit, a cool ambiance, and a really tasty menu.

A special thank you to twitter contributors: @ARGYLE5, @steinkatie, @Abbas_S, @jessfeldish, @IshDiandra, @heyitspeej, @matttheham, @MattSoleyn and @YiayiaKassi.

(I also included Yelp reviews for the restaurants listed, which can be iffy on occasion. For comparison’s sake, BHOP has a rating of 2.5/5 stars, so take these as you will.)

Legal Sea Foods (two locations in and across from the Prudential Center)

I probably don’t need to list this one here (for the same reason why I don’t need to mention that grass is green and the sky is blue), but this list would be nothing without it. The go-to Northeastern “Parent Food” joint, Legal serves up all of the things Boston is known for with a classy ambiance without being pretentious. However, for more advanced options in the parental dining field, check out some of the other options on the list.

Yelp Scorecard:

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (226 Reviews)

Price Range: $$$

Max Brenner’s (Boylston St. by Copley)

While occasionally there are some mixed reviews, the fact of the matter is that Max Brenner’s is the place to go for chocolate lovers. It has a very creative menu, with some of the best chocolate-based drinks around, and they even have their own chocolate shop in the restaurant.

Yelp Scorecard:

Rating: 3/5 Stars (294 reviews)

Price Range: $$

Toro (South End)

For something other than your standard American fare, check out this modern, Barcelona-style tapas restaurant with its all-Spanish wine list in the South End. However, considering that they’ve recently received rave reviews, have a small seating area, and don’t take dinner reservations, you’re going to need to be strategic in your timing.

Yelp Scorecard:

Rating: 4/5 Stars (789 reviews)

Price Range: $$$

Anna’s Taqueria (Coolidge Corner)

If a simple Taqueria is more your fancy, however, Anna’s is considered to be the best in Boston. With great burritos and scenic Coolidge Corner, it makes for a lovely outing.

Yelp Scorecard:

Rating: 4/5 Stars (410)

Price Range: $

Winsor (Chinatown)

If you’re down in Chinatown, Winsor is a good call. Renowned for their Dim Sum (but they also have an expansive menu beyond that), Winsor makes an excellent lunch or dinner choice.

Yelp Scorecard:

Rating: 4/5 Stars (273 reviews)

Price Range: $

For the Big Family/Large Group:

Maggiano’s Little Italy – Located near Northeastern and right off of the Commons, this family-style Italian restaurant is  a pretty darn good value. They serve nice, large portions which works well for sharing with groups.

Cheesecake Factory – With a menu that reads like a culinary encyclopedia of every awesome food ever imagined, there will always be something for everyone. Located right across the reflection pool from Northeastern, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a nearby place with a cool ambiance and a fun atmosphere.

Bonus Areas:

Mission Hill

Penguin Pizza  – This place with their huge drink list and awesome pizzas pretty much outclasses every other pizza place near Northeastern (Yes, yes, New York Pizza and Il Mondo are great, but are generally not great places to bring Mom and Dad).

The Squealing Pig – A great place to get an artisanal Panini or burger, The Pig has a fun, alluring tavern vibe.

North End

Il Villagio – The classic tiny, Italian North end restaurant that makes up for its small size by serving awesome food.

Neptune Oyster – Full disclosure, I had never heard of this place before writing this post, but this is one of the highest ranked restaurants in Boston on yelp, with 4.5/5 Stars with 1139 reviews, which I consider to be a big deal. So if you want to double down on some oysters, it seems this is the place to be.


Joe’sStephanie’s Charlie’s – All solid American fare restaurants

Fire and Ice – For something a little more on the wild side, and tons of fun, check out the all you can eat hibachi-style restaurant that is Fire and Ice.

Harvard Square

Grendels – Awesome food and drinks!

Burdick’s Chocolate – Not dinner, but it is some darn good chocolate.

Border Café – If you have a fixing for Tex-Mex food near Harvard, this is the place to go.


Redbones – The ultimate ribs. I don’t feel mentioning any other place here necessary.

Boston is filled to the brim with awesome restaurants, so please let us know your favorites in the comments! Leave a suggestion, and you can stop by 104 Ell Hall for some sweet swag!


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