From Eater Boston

Seven miles west of Boston is Newton, a vibrant, family-friendly city made up of nearly 90,000 residents across 13 villages. From Boston, you can be in Newton in as little as 15 minutes by car or with a slightly longer T ride. Over the last 10 years, Newton’s dining scene has exploded with food that’s as excellent as you can find anywhere. These 11 dining establishments, scattered across several of Newton’s villages, highlight the best of this city’s current dining scene. Whether you live in Boston or in and around Newton, they’re all worth a visit.

Pátzcuaro

From the first bite of crispy salty homemade chips to the last sip of a perfectly made classic margarita, the food and drinks at this family-run Nonantum taqueria hit the spot. Chef and owner Avelina Saavedra grew up in Michoacán, Mexico, where she learned to cook at her father’s taqueria. Pátzcuaro’s menu predominantly includes food that reflects Saavedra’s hometown like tacos, flautas, tostadas, and tortas.

Buff’s Pub

Don’t overlook this unassuming, casual Boston sports bar. Since 1976 Buff’s Pub has served award-winning sauce-drenched chicken wings, available in varying heat levels from mild barbecue to sweet-and-spicy honey hot to mouth-scorching “xtra-hot” buffalo. Bring your family and sit at an outdoor picnic table or grab a cold beer and watch a game at the bar. Just be sure to come early because this place is consistently packed.

Che! Empanada

Family-run Che! Empanada serves more than a dozen types of flavorful baked Argentine empanadas. Beef clásico and spicy chicken are customer favorites, though Che! offers several vegetarian options as well. A few of these well-stuffed pockets make a perfect lunch, dinner, or midday snack. Enjoy them warmed up with a side of housemade regular or spicy chimichurri. Check out their sibling location in Worcester.

Grandma’s Kitchen

Shiuchin Chang, the grandma behind the eponymous restaurant, and her family run this popular Newtonville Taiwanese spot. The menu has plenty of small bites like tender, light and crispy popcorn chicken and larger offerings like braised beef noodle soup. Grandma’s also has a large beverage menu with milk teas available with boba or mini tapioca pearls. With only four tables, seats fill up quickly, but you can call to place an order for takeout.

da LaPosta

Da LaPosta’s dining room is bustling, noisy, and inviting. Wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza is the star of the show here. No surprise, since chef and owner Mario LaPosta spent years learning to make pizza in Rome and Campania. The rest of the menu is delicious, too, like the eggplant parmigiana and spaghetti alla carbonara. We suggest ordering a bit too much to ensure leftovers the next day.

Jinny’s Pizzeria

Jinny’s Pizzeria comes from the team that created other beloved Newton Centre spots Sycamore (also on this list) and Little Big Diner. The 12-inch wood-fired pizzas are Neapolitan in style, though the ingredients are local and largely seasonal, like spring pizza made with English peas, ramps, basil, smoked mozzarella, and pecorino. Enjoy the soft, chewy crust with moderate charring. Alongside your pizza, be sure to try the farro salad and other small bites. Limited indoor and outdoor seating is available, though they travel well for takeout, too.

Sycamore

Chef and owner David Punch’s first restaurant, Sycamore, has been a favorite of Newton residents and beyond for over a decade. Its Mediterranean-inspired, locally sourced plates are comforting and deliver big flavors. Sycamore’s grower wine (wine that is typically grown, produced, and sold by the same maker), craft beer, and specialty cocktail and mocktail menus are just as impressive as the food. Its sister restaurants Little Big Diner, offering ramen, rice bowls, and street food, and Jinny’s (also on this list) are great dining options too.

Salt Patisserie

At Salt, Brazilian-born, French-trained chef-owner Thiago Silva offers a range of classic laminated pastries, hand-painted Valrhona chocolate bonbons, and delicate fruit tarts. Silva also pulls from his Brazilian roots with snacks like pan de quijo, or small Brazilian cheese rolls. Don’t miss the decadent Rocher eclair, homemade focaccia, and thick, ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies. Salt has limited indoor banquette seating and additional outdoor tables.

Thistle & Leek

Chefs and owners Kate and Trevor Smith have extensive fine-dining backgrounds in kitchens like Le Bernardin and Gramercy Tavern, respectively, so it’s no surprise their seasonal, locally sourced small plates are well-executed. The wood-covered walls and casual atmosphere feel more like a neighborhood pub than a fine dining establishment. Hospitality at Thistle & Leek is expressed in warm greetings and servers that go above and beyond to make diners feel welcome.

XOXO Sushi Bar

This high-end American Japanese sushi bar landed on Route 9 in Chestnut Hill just this March. Chef Kegan Stritchko, formerly of Uni and Fat Baby Sushi, serves a modern Edomae-style sushi menu highlighting fresh, high-quality seafood from local suppliers. Order a la carte sushi, hand rolls, or robatayaki, traditional Japanese charcoal-grilled meat and vegetables. Enjoy this restaurant’s high ceilings, gorgeous woodwork, and bold wallpaper when dining in since XOXO doesn’t offer takeout.

Buttonwood

The best part about Buttonwood is that it’s a cozy, neighborhood joint, but the food and service are wonderful enough that dining here still feels special. Chef and owner Aaron DePaolo’s menu covers elevated rustic American dishes like chicken under a brick with sunchoke pureé, braised greens, mushrooms, and marsala and side dishes like a cast iron cornbread with honey tabasco butter. The full menu is available at the big wooden bar, which is first come, first served seating. Dining room seating is available as well.