It's slowwwww in here. How about some Boston area lunch tips for me for December?

I’ve been kind of MIA here the last couple of weeks, due to impending life changes–I’m finally moving back to Boston full time. (I haven’t even gotten to putting up my thoughts on Sei Bar Wakefield & Man-o-salwa Kabob & Grill because I’ve been packing up my upstate NY crap!).

So here’s the thing: my job up here ends today, and the new gig I have doesn’t start until Jan 2. So I’m taking a month off…my main plan is just to kick around town, do some museum/library/film stuff and eat lots of lunches out. Will probably go to Chinatown a couple times, I want to go to Allston at least once and since I still have wheels I might take a road trip to somewhere nearby that I haven’t been (like Methuen/Lawrence or some such). I’ll also be living near Union Sq in Somerville.

The one place I’d most like to try is the Sapporo style ramen place in Brookline (Ganko Ittetsu) and I’ll probably scope out Ruckus Noodles on one of my downtown trips. Might try to add some content to the roast beef sandwich thread. But otherwise I’m just casting around for ideas.

Mostly I’ll probably aim for cheap eats/midrange pricewise since I’m not bringing in cash this month, but I’m not destitute at all and might entertain a Xmas present to myself once or twice at something more upscale. So I’m up for most any kind of suggestions. So where would you go if you had some free time to explore the local scene? I’ll happily report back on anything I manage to get to like I did on the Waltham recs. Thanks for any help!


Ganko Ittesu is definitely worth a visit. If you are on a noodle kick, Yume Wo Katare is now open for lunch which was not always the case. They also opened an udon place in the Porter exchange (Yume Ga Arukara) that is only open for lunch.


cool, thanks. I’ll def. check that out–I did try Yume Ga Arukara a couple weeks back. They said they were going to open for dinner soon, serving hot udon.



Thanks, I didn’t know that they now do lunch. Now, I have to get there ASAP.


Union Square. Welcome to the neighborhood!

A lot of the new, and more expensive spots around here, are not open for lunch, but there are a few options worth considering. I don’t eat lunch out very often, however, but others can fill you in on some of the other options. [I have reported many of these places on the Usual Suspects list.]

Tavern at the End of the World. Still the only, and best, smoked fish chowder around. Large bowl of soup with a hefty piece of toasted bread. The Toastie Sandwiches are also good, though I rarely order them.

Capone’s now offers sandwiches each day but I prefer to grab one of his Argentinian empanadas for lunch. He also has a bake at home pizza option these days which I haven’t tried.

[Whoops. Grand scallion just woke. Will continue later.]


Quite a few of my AirBNB guests have enjoyed Ebi Sushi for lunch. I haven’t been in a while though, so again, not a personal known quantity.

Siam Ginger is a decent lunch option. I like to order the Tempura vegetables [no green peppers] and a chicken satay. I take two chicken satays home since the vegetables are so plentiful. Every once in a while, I order the Massaman curry with chicken [no green peppers] since I love that they use sweet potatoes and I need the potassium.

I find the sandwiches etc at Bloc 11 to be too expensive.

I rarely eat lunch at the Neighborhood due to the price point [just a little high for me] but if lunch is going to be my primary meal of the day, I love their cod cakes. For $12. you get a bowl of homemade soup, a bread basket, the cod cakes and a side or maybe two. A huge amount of food, but often far more than I want to eat in the middle of the day. And the bonus? Breakfast until they close at 4pm.

Juliet is still a puzzlement to me. They seem to be a coffee/food shop during the day and fine dining at night. I haven’t ventured in, again, since I don’t eat lunch out that often.

In East Somerville, Rincon Mexicano and Vinny’s are old standbys. I know that Leone’s is “known” for their meatball subs, but I find the sauce too sweet and the quality of their cheese to sub-standard so haven’t returned. Taco Loco used to be on our regular rotation but we have stopped visiting ever since Rincon Mexicano opened.

Can’t wait to hear what you think of your new neighborhood’s food offerings.


I know there’s a thread here with a bunch of Cambodian restaurant recs from you that I’ll dig up. Do you have any particular places you like there beyond that?

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You could couple your ramen/udon lunches with a visit to the excellent Harvard Museum of Natural History. The glass flowers alone are worth a visit.

It’s a bit of a drive from Union square but if you are interested in Asian noodles, IQ Kitchen (formerly China City I think?) in Newton is an interesting whole-in-the-wall when you are nearby. The decor has been vastly improved from when they first opened (now they actually have two chairs that match!) Their rice noodle soups in the style of Guizhou, which means thick round rice noodle with spicy punchy (adjustable based on preference) broth and lots of pickled vegetables, and various braised/fried protein (our favorite being the chicken and pork).

South of the Clouds in Brighton center also does Chinese rice noodles albeit the Yunnan variation. I’m not overly impressed with it, but it’ll do in a pitch when I’m craving some hot soup action.

MDM Noodles is a solid Northern (wheat) noodle place that’s been discussed plenty here and on the other forum.


Yes, I love that place. I used to work in that building!

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oh, this one’s intriguing. never heard of this place. thanks!


thanks for the detailed notes! will keep this all under advisement when I’m near home base. (I really like Rincon Mexicano too).

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I second Ebi Sushi and would add Machu Chicken (Peruvian) and Buk Kyung (Korean) to your Union Square lunch options.

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I enjoy Ebi as well. It’s not somewhere I seek out, but if in the area and in need of a quick fix it doesn’t disappoint.

Even the coffee/food shop during the day is at fine dining prices. The food is good, but we left hungry and felt gouged after our last lunch there.

I went to Juliet once and also felt puzzled. After reading all the great reviews, I was a bit let down by the limited offerings and haven’t felt drawn to return. Maybe it is different during dinner.

What menu items do you suggest? When I moved to Union Square, it was the ‘other’ Korean restaurant that was revered and when it closed down, my Korean food adventures came to an end. Is Buk Kyung a better choice than Kimchi Kitchen? or are they just different, and if so, how? Something about that storefront just doesn’t say “come in and have a good meal” to me, but I can easily get past that if the food is good.

I went for dinner and kind of felt the same. I’d go back if I lived in the area because everything seemed thoughtful and refined, and the ingredients were lovely, but none of the end results were memorable enough to make it feel like a destination.

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Thank so for mentioning IQ. I had never been or heard of it. We went for lunch and very much enjoyed it. We had the spicy beef soup and the spicy beef stir fry. Both great. We will be back to try more.

It is SMALL. We wanted to eat there but had to get to go because the 5 window counter seats were taken. But watching what they had ordered come out made us want to keep adding to our order.

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So glad you liked it! When I first found out about them, they had no tables inside and two hilariously old chairs outside (in January!)…so things have improved quite a bit but takeout is still our preferred method.

DH also likes the crepe/wraps on their menu quite a bit; it’s a large multigrain and egg-battered crepe with a piece of crunchy fried dough, some spicy/bean sauce, lettuce, and veg/meat of your choice all wrapped up. I came from the birth place of the crepe (Tianjin) and am picky about it to a fault. This isn’t authentic by a long shot (gotta go to Flushing for that!) but it’s quite satisfying for a lunch on the go.