Ethnic Food Gems in Jamaica Plain
If you find yourself in Jamaica Plain looking for some good eats you can’t really find elsewhere, this melting pot of a neighborhood has several great options to choose from. From a variety of Latin and ethnic cuisine, it’s hard to find a place that doesn’t meet your cravings. Here are a few examples of the great offerings in this vibrant, diverse neighborhood:
El Oriental de Cuba - If you’re looking for authentic Cuban cuisine with popular favorites this place can’t be beaten. This is one of the best places for traditional dishes like fried pork and rice with beans or ropa vieja, shredded beef cooked slowly to perfection in a savory tomato-based sauce over a hot bed of steaming rice and beans, this hearty dish will not leave you disappointed! Their traditional mofongo (mashed fried green plantains with a mix of pork rinds and garlic) is so rich in flavors and textures, it will leave you so satisfied you’ll fall into a food coma before you know it! Their packed, meaty sandwiches are worth the trip as well, like their juicy steak and cheese dripping with flavor, or their succulent seasoned chicken breast, or if you’re a traditionalist, go for their original Cubano, traditionally made with roast pork and ham topped with swiss cheese, pickles, mayo and mustard between crisp bread grilled to perfection. Pair all these delectable dishes with a nice, refreshing blended tropical fruit drink from a variety of flavors like guava, papaya, guanabana, and mamey fruit! Dining here, you’ll be immediately transported to the tropics!
The Blue Nile - You can’t find too many Ethiopian places around Boston, but if you’re in JP, this is a definite must-try! Rated one of Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston 2015, this cozy little corner restaurant off Centre street is a popular favorite among locals and is a great date night dining spot for couples looking for a fun, casual dining experience. Try their
Alex’s Chimis - Expect to wait in long lines at Alex’s as locals can’t seem to get enough of this place! Meat lovers rejoice from this casual, no-frills, family-run joint known for their generous offerings of meat platters: Choose from golden brown rotisserie chicken, cuts of crisp chopped pork piled high, or other heaps of meat freshly made from traditional homemade recipes. Try all their equally amazing side dishes, from their flavorful yellow rice and beans, fried sweet (
Chilacates - This more recent addition to the JP food scene has made the neighborhood a serious contender for places with tacos worth trekking to. Their al pastor roasted pork tacos stuffed with tender juicy cuts of pork are packed and loaded with flavor with a refreshing balance of spices and sweetness from pineapple. Their chicken tinga is no ordinary chicken taco, with some noticeable heat from their spice chipotle sauce. If you’re not in the mood for tacos, they offer other favorites like enchiladas, quesadillas, and burritos that can easily satisfy cravings for Mexican food. If you’ve still got the room in your belly, they’ve got fun sides to add like
Beirut Cafe - This place is as legit as it gets when it comes to traditional, home-cooked Lebanese cooking made with lots of TLC. Along with your Mediterranean favorites like chicken/beef shawarma, kebobs, and falafel, they have other special items you don’t see too often on Middle Eastern menus like fried chicken liver roll-ups, beautifully sauteed chicken livers stuffed in pita bread with fresh vegetables, pickles and tahini sauce, or
Jeanne is the Website & Digital Content Curator for Slow Food Boston in supporting community around eating sustainably and advocating for local producers in Massachusetts. When she's not fantasizing about food, checking out new restaurants, or looking at food porn, she enjoys writing about it from time to time. Cooking and short getaways are also things she likes to occupy her time with.
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