The Best Restaurants in Kenmore Square

By Emily Millian
Credit: Chris McIntosh

Abutting the Fenway neighborhood and just a strong throw away from the ballpark, Kenmore Square has its own share of home runs and hidden gems. Between Boston University and Back Bay on the Green Line, the area is home to the iconic Citgo sign, tons of students, and some particularly unique restaurants. Take a spin around the globe in just a few blocks to visit the best Kenmore Square restaurants.

Blue Ribbon Sushi

a plate of sushi from Blue Ribbon Sushi one of the best Restaurants in Kenmore Square
Credit: Steve Hill

Blue Ribbon Sushi is tucked just below street-level on Comm. Ave., a worthy hideaway for a high-end sushi bar. New to the neighborhood from the New York-based Blue Ribbon Group, the namesake sushi spot has a substantial menu of Japanese fare, highlighting under-the-sea delicacies from Taiheiyo (Pacific Ocean) and Taiseiyo (Atlantic Ocean) such as Otoro, East Coast bluefin tuna belly; and West Coast Uni. 

India Quality

top view of Indian food from India Quality one of the Restaurants in Kenmore Square
Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

Around since the ’80s when punk rock dominated Kenmore Square, India Quality continues to be a tried and true spot in the neighborhood. The Comm. Ave. restaurant is a go-to for Indian specialties like Chicken Coconut Korma, Saag Paneer (homemade cheese with spinach and herbs), and assorted North Indian-style biryani (rice dishes)—and is great for anyone looking for gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly options, too. India Quality keeps things elevated with white tablecloths and necktie-clad waiters, but it’s also a reliable takeout spot. 


food from Pescador one of the best Restaurants in Kenmore Square
Credit: Steve Hill

One of the newest additions to Kenmore, Pescador is another Blue Ribbon joint, this time helmed by local chef Dan Bazzinotti (Terra, Bisq) and inspired by coastal cuisines from around the world. Housed in the former Island Creek Oyster Bar space, the new seafood spot makes a name for itself with dishes like roasted Oysters Asada with chili butter; totally craveable Corn Ribs with ancho, cotija, and lime; Lobster Tacos; and seafood Cocteles, or goblets full of savory sauce and a choice of pristine fruits de mer such as shrimp, New Bedford scallops, and Spanish octopus. Pescador also has an extensive mezcal and tequila bar with more than 70 options in-house.

Bab Al-Yemen

top view of Yemeni food from Bab Al-Yemen
Credit: Chris McIntosh

The first and only traditional Yemeni restaurant in Boston, Bab Al-Yemen offers a unique setting in Kenmore Square with two distinct dining areas. Get comfortable in the shoes-off front section with cozy floor pillows; or settle in at a table toward the back. Whichever dining area you choose, order up the Lamb Mandi, a signature dish of spiced lamb shank over smoked turmeric-basmati rice, inspired by owner Ahmed Mahood’s mother’s cooking. Pair alongside a Yemeni Cocktail, a cooling smoothie of mango, banana, dates, strawberry, milk, and Vimto raspberry syrup. 


exterior of Cornwall’s
Credit: Chris McIntosh

Cornwall’s may have moved locations a few times over the years as Kenmore Square has developed, but the welcoming bar is a neighborhood constant. The British-style pub is family-owned and operated, which totally contributes to the charming vibes. Bostonians may be more familiar with Irish pubs, but the specialty items at Cornwall’s—like Bangers & Mash, Cornwall’s Toastie, and Fish & Chips, among many other pub classics—have hit the spot for decades. This casual spot in Kenmore Square also boasts a stellar craft beer list on tap. Open daily for lunch, dinner, and late-night, Cornwall’s is an absolute institution. 

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