Affordable Boston Restaurants Worth Taking the T For
Written by Anthony Msallem
Admit it, the food around campus is good but it doesn’t do justice to all that Boston has to offer. With just a quick trip on the T or bus, you can find hidden gems that Boston and its neighboring towns have amongst them. To help with some alternative options in the city, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite places to eat at. I know of too many people who regret not exploring Boston earlier, during their time at Northeastern. These places are a little farther than what you might expect, but they are all accessible via Boston’s local public transit, won’t break the bank, and are absolutely delicious.
The first restaurant on the list is JUICYGREENS; With a 30-minute ride on the 39 bus or Orange Line, you can reach this quaint shop in Jamaica Plains. Whether you’re craving coffee or a smoothie, this café has you covered. All of their entrees cost about $10 and the entire menu is vegetarian, along with vegan options available as alternatives for cheese and sourdough if desired. They also have a variety of plant-based milk options for those of you who are cutting out dairy from your diet. As for the food, their kitchen has a diverse range of options including various acai bowls, salads, toasts, and my personal favorite: arepas. These savory cornmeal patties will never disappoint. They are sliced in half and stuffed with avocado spread, cheese, and vegetable fillings. The shop itself is small, but they have additional outdoor seating and people typically come in and out fast enough where you won’t be waiting for long.
A little closer on the same 39 bus route stands Tres Gatos, a Spanish restaurant which is conjoined with a vinyl record and book shop. The atmosphere in the restaurant is warm and bubbly, with friendly bartenders and wait staff. Starting in the restaurant, their starters and tapas are perfect for sharing. Whether you’re out with a friend for a quick bite or a party where everyone is craving something different, you’ll easily be able to clean your plates. Their menu is seasonal, so if you have a favorite you should be sure to get back soon enough before it’s gone! My personal favorites are the Gambas a la Brasa, grilled prawns cooked in garlic, and Veggie Bocadillo, a warm vegetable sandwich. Just make sure you save space for their Paella as well, both of their options will leave you feeling stuffed. This is the most expensive eatery on the list, but the price is justified by the high quality ingredients and classy atmosphere. To top it all off, if there’s a wait when you get there or if you have time after dinner I highly recommend stopping by their shop. The attendant is knowledgeable about their collection of albums and books and can offer great recommendations if you’re looking for something new. They have new and used options as well with a reasonable price for whatever you’re looking for.
This next pair of restaurants is a little farther to get to, but if you live by Fenway Park or on Mission Hill, they’re just a single bus ride away. The first of these is Lone Star, a taco bar with locations in Allston and Cambridge. If you ever get tired of the Mexican food on campus, I can’t stress enough how good the food is here. There isn’t an item on the menu that you can go wrong with, but I will always recommend the Baja Fried Fish taco and Grilled Street Corn. Most of their tacos are priced at $4, and at night the taco joint typically gets a lot more crowded as their cocktails become the star of the show. Both locations are moderately sized and can fit large parties, so I wouldn’t shy away from coming in with a big group. Finally, with their outdoor communal seating, you can easily get to know other students or residents from the area if you desire.
My last recommendation is Coreanos, located in Allston and reachable by the 66 bus. Their food is filled with soul and every bite is packed with flavor. Their Korean Fried Chicken is seasoned with just the right amount of spice and will always leave you wanting more. Some of their options have the pleasant surprise of being served as a taco or quesadilla, making it easy to scarf down. If you’re looking for something more typical, they also have grilled entrees served with rice and soup. I’m also a huge fan of their Ginger Lime Iced Tea which has a refreshing punch without being too sweet. Their entire menu will give you a bang for your buck with large servings and combination options. They don’t have a lot of seating, but people will be rotating fast enough so you will typically be able to grab a chair before your food is ready.
If you end up going to any of these restaurants I hope you enjoy all of what they have to offer! I also strongly encourage you to walk around the areas as well, there are a lot of local businesses with unique goods and services, along with beautiful streets and parks nearby.