The close connection Field & Vine has forged with local farms and butchers is reflected in the monthly changing menu. It’s a restaurant for omnivores with the sensibility of a vegetarian restaurant, with shining meat-free dishes like Grilled Spiced Carrots coffee cream and kumquat, and a Smoked Feta Handpie with caramelized onions and maitake mushroom aioli. Chef Andrew Brady creates some of our favorite raw seafood dishes every season, and treats meat with utmost care on the fire-fueled grill commanding the open kitchen. This sweet, vine-draped dining room is one of our favorite places for any occasion.
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This Somerville neighborhood has seen a flurry of new restaurants, bars, and up-and-coming eateries in recent years, as the city awaited the Green Line Extension. Now the Union Square T stop is here and it's even easier to get to this dining destination. With a cool food hall, award-winning bars and restaurants, and Boston's original gourmet doughnuts, Union Square continues to keep it quirky—and delicious.
Littleburg Vegetable Kitchen
You don’t actually need to go to Union Square to enjoy Littleburg Vegetable Kitchen: The vegan standout takes orders weekly for home delivery throughout the Boston area. We highly recommend checking that out, and/or visiting the takeout window in Somerville where Littleburg dishes up ready-to-eat versions of its crave-worthy, plant-based Mediterranean food, multiple nights per week and for Saturday brunch. The fare features house-baked breads and almond-based sauces, seitan or oyster mushroom gyros, Spanakopita made with seasonal vegetables, and delicious desserts. We love taking our to-go containers into next-door Backbar, which also serves some speakeasy snacks made by Littleburg.
Union Square Donuts were the harbingers of Boston’s fancy doughnut renaissance when they hit the scene in 2012. They are headquartered in Union Square (natch), and today have multiple locations, including Brookline and inside the Boston Public Market. The flagship location provides the oversize, miraculously fluffy doughnuts at their freshest. Tuck into a “classic” like Boston Cream or Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch, or please your inner child with a fun creation like Dirt and Worms. Any donut not paired with coffee is a missed opportunity—fortunately, USD brews its own house blend.
An anonymous-looking hallway down an alley in Union Square leads to the hidden cocktail oasis that is Backbar. The freewheeling creativity of the speakeasy’s menu offers something new to even the most diehard cocktail nerds, because it changes all the time and is based on themes like the Solar System and Disney’s Encanto. A relaxed atmosphere heavy on nerdy kitsch signals that it never takes itself too seriously, but rest assured: This is one of Boston’s best cocktail bars. Total bonus: Next-door neighbors Field & Vine and Littleburg are behind the bar snacks, like Ranch Popcorn and Hummus and Pita.
Over the years, Juliet has been a lot of things to people. It’s an a la carte cafe with all-day dining options, which hosts oft-changing dinner experiences at night based on themed, multi-course menus. The cuisine skews refined and continental while also being contemporary and sustainable. On weekends, you’ll find brunch, but every morning brings coffee and pastries. Currently, however, it’s just open for dinner Friday through Sunday while the restaurant moves next door. After several years in Union Square, forward-thinking hospitalitarians behind Juliet are expanding into a larger location with a dine-in bar and an open kitchen. Stay tuned for updates on menus and hours.
The Boston area is in the midst of a food hall boom, with large and luxurious spots like Time Out Market and High Street Place bringing high-end, fast-casual service to the city. But Bow Market in Somerville is a different kind of food hall, showcasing hyperlocal businesses looking to grow. As such, it’s a uniquely authentic and delicious place to spend a day in the dog-friendly courtyard. We love the roast beef and bar pizzas from Hot Box, the empanadas from Buenas, macarons from Maca, chocolates by Gaté Comme des Filles, and the refreshingly casual Rebel Rebel Wine Bar. Some of the business hours differ, so make note if you’re set on something being open during your reservation time.
Union Square already had a couple Peruvian restaurants when Celeste came along (hello, Machu Picchu!), but this hot spot proved to be a game changer—in fact, it earned a James Beard nomination for Best New Restaurant in 2018. The generously sized bowls of bright ceviche are perfectly complemented by frothy Pisco Sours, and hearty mains like Seco de Cordero (a cilantro stew with lamb) and Sudado de Pescado (Peruvian-Chinese-style steamed fish) are a welcome respite from sharing plates-fatigue. Since debuting this lively little dining room, the owners have expanded with La Royal in Cambridge.
With a prime location right next to the new Green Line station in Union Square, Ebi Sushi recently renovated with a stylish new sushi bar, cool wall murals, and other upgrades. But this affordable neighborhood spot remains an unpretentious local favorite for high-quality sushi and good food. Don’t miss the Miso Salmon Roll, a crispy California-style roll with torched salmon, sweet miso paste, scallion, and black truffle mayo. The large menu serves everything from beautiful sashimi to non-sushi Japanese fare done well, such as shrimp tempura, curry plates, and mochi ice cream. Takeout is available, too.
The Neighborhood Restaurants & Bakery
This Portuguese family-owned restaurant is a vestige of a more quaint Somerville, before the Green Line and high-rise condos. The Neighborhood retains its charm with seemingly bottomless brunch dishes like fluffy pancakes, fruit, eggs, and home fries served with a selection of house-baked breads. And the destination-worthy dish of Cream of Wheat will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about porridge. In warmer months, service moves to a patio shaded in flourishing grape vines—and come fall, homemade grape jelly can accompany the toast plate.
Updated by Jacqueline Cain