10 Best Hidden Gem Restaurants in Massachusetts

Don’t pass these by. Massachusetts is home to a wealth of seriously underrated restaurants that you may not have heard about. Finally, let’s give them the recognition they deserve. Whether it’s the unique ambiance or a specialty dish that you just have to try, find out what’s so incredible about these hidden gem restaurants in Massachusetts. 

Amanouz Café, Northampton, MA

Small and modest, Amanouz Café has seriously delectable meals. Specializing in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, the menu is filled with options including Lamb Shish Kabab, Amanouz Pizza, Babaghanoush, Musaka and more. Be sure, no matter what you eat for your meal, to save room for some baklava for dessert.

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The Daily Catch, Boston & Brookline, MA

The Daily Catch started out as a place to sell fried squid. These days it’s known as the best place to enjoy calamari—as well as other seafood and Italian entrees. Owned and operated by the son of Italian immigrants, the philosophy has always been delicious food over ambience. Sicilian spiced swordfish and Monkfish Marsala are just two of the restaurant’s delicious options.

Casa Portugal, Cambridge, MA

Serving delicious Portuguese food, Casa Portugal was established in the 1970s by a Portuguese immigrant. While the face of the restaurant is quaint, the entrees are anything but. Choose from Mariscada a Costa do Sol (half a lobster, littleneck clams, shrimp, squid and mussels in red sauce), Bife a Casa (fried steak with linguica and onions in wine sauce), Camarao de Caril (shrimp sautéed in curry sauce) and more.

Carlo’s Cucina Italiana, Allston, MA

Who says you need to go to an ultra-fancy Italian restaurant to enjoy delicious, authentic Italian food? Absolutely no one! Be sure to visit Carlo’s Cucina Italiana. Family owned and operated for decades, the entrees are ample and mouthwatering. Choose from all your favorite Italian dishes or try something new like Linguine con Gamberoni. You’ll love the tender linguine tossed with jumbo shrimp in a flavorful scampi sauce.

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Drydock Café, Boston, MA

Drydock Café is a hidden gem in Boston with exceptionally good seafood. Massachusetts foodie TV show “Phantom Gourmet” gives it two thumbs up, it’s so good. Whether it’s fish, clams or scallops you crave, you’ll get your money’s worth out of a delicious meal at this little hole in the wall spot.

Pit Stop Barbecue, Mattapan, MA

Southern comfort food is in good supply at Pit Stop Barbecue. More than five generations of three families compiled their barbecue recipes and the result is what you’ll enjoy when you stop in. Choose from ribs, beef brisket, smoked pork and grilled chicken, and then round out your meal with collard greens, candies yams and more. Be sure to save room for a giant piece of sweet potato pie or a hearty serving of homemade banana pudding.

Semolina Kitchen & Bar, Medford, MA

Semolina Kitchen & Bar is a must experience. This restaurant is filled with delightful aromas from their wood fired pizzas, pastas and more. Dine on a spicy olive & banana pepper pizza or Greek bolognese. The entrees are anything but ordinary.

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Mesa Verde, Greenfield, MA

For some excellent Mexican food, stop by Mesa Verde in Greenfield. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself ordering a second margarita. They’re that good! Mesa Verde dubs itself a “Burrito bar.” New to the menu are a chorizo burrito and a fajita burrito. The churched will realize they’re sitting in pews while dining. The restaurant is located in what once was a house of worship.

Deb’s Pilgrim Salem Diner, Salem, MA

Locals say you’ll enjoy the best breakfast in town at Deb’s Pilgrim Salem Diner—known better these days as just “Deb’s.” The customer service is right up there with the food, too. On Saturdays, they open at 11 p.m. until 12 a.m. for those all-night breakfast people and those who like a bite after closing down the bars.

Santarpio’s Pizza, East Boston and Peabody, MA

Santarpio’s Pizza puts out one of the best pies in the Boston area. Dozens of options grace the menu, or you can simply make up your own. They also have a small barbecue menu that includes lamb, steak tips, chicken and sausage. They even have lamb sausage. The food is delicious and hearty and there’s beer on tap along with a few wines, too. When you eat here, you’ll get the feeling of being in the big city pizzerias in the 1960s and 1970s. 

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