Mamaleh’s Delicatessen may be a relative newcomer on the scene, but their Matzah Ball Soup is made the old-world way. The substantial matzo balls, which have a spongy, springy, dumpling-like quality, are prepared with schmaltz, a type of rendered chicken fat that’s been used for centuries in Ashkenazi Jewish cooking (Mamaleh’s makes theirs in-house from chicken feet and backs). The chicken broth itself is rich, savory, and deeply flavorful, thanks to a 12-hour simmer. Even the vegetables are treated with care: The carrots and celery are only added at the end of the cooking process to ensure they stay crisp and crunchy. Hot Matzah Ball Soup is available via takeout or delivery by the cup, bowl, or quart; quarts of frozen soup can also be ordered for home reheating.
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What’s more comforting than a hot bowl of matzo ball soup in winter? We’ll wait for your answer. But in the meantime, here’s a rundown of our favorite locales to find the beloved Jewish dish via takeout or delivery—from the ultra-traditional to one that’s breaking all the rules.
Subverting a dish as classic and beloved as matzo ball soup is a risky proposition, but one that Bianca’s Tim and Nancy Cushman were willing to take. Fortunately, the bet paid off: The California-inspired restaurant in Chestnut Hill serves a “Masa” Ball Soup that includes a “matzah” ball made from heirloom corn in a spicy green pozole broth with pickled onions, lime, and plenty of tender rotisserie chicken chunks. The faux matzo ball itself is uncannily similar in appearance and texture to its namesake but has an earthy, hominy-like flavor that’s decidedly different and delicious. Bianca is now open for in-person dining, but you can also get the soup via delivery or takeout.
The Brookline hole-in-the-wall may be best known for its hefty corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, but it hasn’t overlooked that other Jewish deli staple: matzo ball soup, which it sells frozen by the quart. The enormous, fist-sized matzo balls are tender and spongy, and are easily broken into smaller chunks that will float amid a light broth and tender-yet-snappy vegetables. Michael’s Deli is currently offering takeout only but also offers home delivery in Brookline, Needham, Newton, or Wellesley (you can also check whether Uber Eats or DoorDash delivers Michael’s to your area). If you’re visiting in person, note that Michael’s only accepts cash or Venmo.
Matzo ball soup is a two-part takeout item at the Newton and Boston Public Market outposts of Inna’s Kitchen. To prepare it at home, you’ll need to buy a pint of their frozen Chicken Soup (available with chicken and vegetables or just broth), plus a pack of Gluten-Free Matzo Balls that are prepared with potato flour and sold in fours. That separation ensures that the oversized, slightly spicy matzo balls are just as firm as they should be when you add them to the light but flavorful broth.
Barry's Village Deli
This 50-year-old Waban institution bills itself as an “authentic New York City-style deli,” complete with Chicken Matzo Ball Soup. This iteration at Barry’s Village Deli is available fresh or frozen, and while the hearty chicken chunks and tender vegetables are enjoyable, it’s the generously sized, moist, and fluffy matzo balls that hit the spot. Barry’s freezer selection also includes matzo ball soup without chicken, matzo balls in clear broth, or simply a half-dozen frozen matzo balls. Simply order online for pickup.