Dorchester, MA. Tips?

I’m going to be in Dorchester on Saturday & haven’t really eaten in this neighborhood that much.

I do know a few of the usual spots suggested here + elsewhere over the years: Bahn Mi Ba Le, Anh Huong, Pho So 1, Pho 2000, JP Roti. (yes, i know JP Roti will take forever).

Would love any recent intel on these or other tips on anything else in this area. Bakeries or Vietnamese places especially. Any help?

Which end of Dorchester are you going to be in?

pho le
pho hoa
hien vuong
sai gon one restaurant
pho so 1 (order off the “new” specials menu)
nhu lan restaurant (order off the specials menu)
king do bakery
coco leaf
sweet sip

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Pho So 1 was closed last time I drove by, two weeks ago.

If you are going farther south, Yellow Door for tacos is good. Next door is Lower Mills tavern which is also good. Ashmont Grill is always good.

Greenhills Irish bakery is terrific.

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can always count on you. thanks.

tomorrow I’ll probably be in the area of Bahn Mi Ba Le etc, but I will gladly take any tips from all over Dorchester because for a couple months I’ll probably be staying in Fort Hill on weekends.

There will be other threads with requests for points South soon. (woo hoo I’m a half hour from Quincy! it may also be bar pizza thread time…).

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this is great. appreciate the other tips, too.

Put a couple of these recs into operation today, so I thought I’d do a quick summary for posterity–though I’m still looking for tips as I’ll be going back soon. (I also just read about the Euromart Polish deli that I’ll go to next time, and there’s a Sicilian style sandwich shop that sounds good). After stopping at the winter farmer’s market (which is small, but ok), we headed to Greenhill’s Irish bakery to pick up some bread. The place was packed! Got some good looking batch bread and a scone, and I’m thinking that items here like the chicken pot pie and corned beef hash might well be worth a shot. (this might be a place that makes their own corned beef for the hash!). Also poked our head in across the street at Adams Fish Market, which seemed pretty nice and might be good for a fried fish fix.

Headed to King Do from there to pick up bahn mi for dinner. Haven’t eaten these yet, but I loved the spot–bahn mi and shakes and lots of other takeaway Vietnamese foodstuffs. Things on the buffet looked good (there was a crab thing that looked fantastic) and I guess they make other entrees and such that you can order and eat at the tables. The place was super clean and the people were really friendly and I would def. come back here to explore more.

The plan was to go to Pho So 1, but as mentioned elsewhere Google maps put a kibosh on that by saying that it’s closed forever. Sigh. Decided to head to Pho 2000 instead, which was mostly fine though I wasn’t really blown away by the pho there. It was fine and a good sized portion for 8 bucks, but not super exciting. Broth was OK but it didn’t have a lot of depth to it. Fresh rolls were good but the bahn xeo was a little greasy and lacked salt. It did come with pickled radish and a big pile of greens–iceberg lettuce, lots of asian basil and even some giấp cá (aka fish mint) which was cool. Might be there’s better stuff on the menu, the beef seven ways looked good.

Last stop was Coco Leaf (since it’s a couple minutes walk from Pho 2000) and it’s really nice! Has a beautiful interior with great looking desserts and lots of choices of chè. Got a matcha donut that was excellent, probably made with some rice flour and with a great low level of sweetness. I would absolutely be interested in trying out some more of the stuff on the menu here, and it seems like a really comfortable place to hang out.

So that’s the first report. Likely there will be more, so if there’s other spots then let me know.


My geography is pretty crap so maybe this isn’t where you are looking but your mention of Euromart reminded me that Cafe Polonia (Andrews Square) is really, really good and I am overdue for a return visit.


can now report that the scone from Greenhill’s was really good!

and the King Do special banh mi was excellent for dinner. Lots of meat and vegetable, great ration of filling to nice, crusty baguette. Need to compare with Ba Le.

side note: the jalapeno seems to have taken over as the standard hot pepper in bahn mis around here. When I started eating these in the Boston area maybe twenty plus years or so ago, there were places that used bird chilis, which I think are vastly preferable. Not a fan of that changeover.

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haha, in this case you’re in the area. Cafe Polonia is just a bit further up Dorchester Ave. I haven’t been there in years but always liked it. I hope they still put dishes of lard on the table to smear on bread.


went back here again on Saturday afternoon. Given Easter weekend, they were all sold out of batch bread and Irish soda bread, so I got a loaf of the white bread–which was quite good. I think maybe they cook their bread a little hot, as it seems like a lot of things here are just short of burnt. I consider this a feature, not a bug but I could see how mileage might vary on this point.

The rock sugar scones at Greenhills are fantastic, as far as I’m concerned. Almost not a dessert, very little sweetness and a great, soft texture. I got a spinach-feta croissant as well, and while it wasn’t great on the croissant scale it made for a solid reheated breakfast sandwich the next day.

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last up here, I also went to Banh Mi Ba Le for sandwiches on Saturday. The staff still crank the sandwiches out as fast as reputed, the in house bread is tasty and the pork bahn mi overall lives up to its general hype. I think maybe the sandwiches at King Do are a little bit better, but this shop is also a good area option–really good shrimp fresh rolls here too.

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Thanks for this thread!

I’m heading down to the Ashmont area of Dorchester tonight for a 6pm meeting. I can’t think of a worse area to have to get to at 6pm (the commute will take me into Boston on 90 and then down 93 at the worst commute time but can’t change that) so I’m thinking of heading down early, puttering around and having something to eat before the meeting. I’m totally unfamiliar with this area.

From the thread, I’m thinking of Lower Mills Tavern (since it is open all day so I can get there whenever), with Ashmont Grill as a second (it doesn’t open until 5pm). Any other foodie ideas in that area to help kill some time? (Can’t drink before this meeting so bars are out) I’m thinking I’ll head over to Greenhills to just see what they have too.


I’ve heard good things about Steel & Rye, which opens at 4:30, and Tavolo, which opens at 5. Haven’t been to either, though.

Tavolo is quite nice and has good food. (The only “problem” we had with visiting the restaurant was that the area seems to be a bit sketchy with some very odd people around - and we tend to be normally not to worried about such things in general)

How “odd” were they to fail the honkman odd-test?

On two occassion seeing people with what looks like knifes in their hands walking on the street tends to fall under “failing the honkman odd-test” - which is kind of disappointing for us as we liked Tavolo quite a lot but at the same don’t feel save to park there in some sidestreets and walk to the restaurant, especially with our daughter.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I ended up at lower mills tavern - nice bartender, good service, great burger.

As I was walking from my parking spot to the restaurant I had this sudden feeling I’d been there before … and I had - to Bred, a local burger place a few doors up the street. I’d add that to a list if you’re in the area too.

The neighborhoods around there are transitional, so I can see how you could have had some odd experiences. I haven’t had them myself but can see the possibility.


We enjoy Tavolo and Ashmont Grill, and never had any problems in the neighborhood walking or parking. Keep in mind there’s a T station right there where there certainly is an interesting mix of people. People carry knives and guns everywhere, we just don’t always see them. Food at both places is always great.