Finding food around Waltham

Waltham's Moody Street
Moody Street in Waltham, Mass.

In the past month, Janice and I have started exploring our new neighborhood in Waltham, Massachusetts, and I’ve gone out to lunch a few times with co-workers.

I still miss the inclusive menus, unpretentious cooking, and all-hours convenience of the diners and delis in metropolitan New York. We occasionally ate breakfast or brunch at Fresco Café in Needham, and there is a Friendly’s near our new apartment. I’ve been to Wilson’s Diner, and I look forward to eventually checking out In a Pickle and Arcadia in downtown Waltham.

Carl’s Subs, also in Waltham, makes a very good cheesesteak — if not at the level of Talarico’s Sandwich Shop in Pennsylvania — as does Charley’s Grilled Subs in the Burlington Mall. I’m also looking for a hamburger to rival Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage in Harvard Square, Wild Willy’s in Needham, or Four Burgers in Central Square, Cambridge, all of which I’ve eaten at recently.

On a related note, since there is no Chipotle nearby, I’ll be checking out the various Latin American eateries on Waltham’s Moody Street for tasty, filling, and cheap burritos. Ixtapa Mexican Cantina in Lexington, Mass., is similar to Acapulco’s in quality, and I saw that there is a Border Café near the Burlington Mall. I found that the drinks at Margarita’s were better than the food.

For pub grub, Watch City Brewing Co. is pretty good, although I think I like the British Beer Co. a bit more. I’ve had drinks a few times after work at Boxx 109 in the fancy Hotel Indigo. We have yet to eat and drink at Grassfield’s, City Streets, John Brewer’s Tavern, or Skellig. For Southern food, Bison County joins Firefly’s, Blue Ribbon Barbeque, and Midtown Smokehouse and Grill. For steak, we recently found Texas Roadhouse in Walpole, Mass.

Speaking of steak, we’ve celebrated many birthdays at Fuji in Needham, and I’ll have to look for another sushi/hibachi place. I tried to go to Takara Sushi in Newton with some co-workers last week, but we ended up at Bread & Chocolate instead. Speaking of cafés, in addition to the ubiquitous Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbuck’s, I’ll have to try Panera and Café on the Common.

I’ll also have to find a decent Chinese restaurant, hopefully one that delivers. There is no shortage of promising Indian restaurants in the area, including Waltham India Market, which has a small food court in its basement. I’ve enjoyed “fusion” Asian cuisine at Tom Can Cook, Elephant Walk, and Ponzu (I ate at the last of these yesterday with Beruk A.).

I also hope to find a good local pizza joint similar to Stone Hearth Pizza, in addition to reliable chains Papa Gino’s, Bertucci’s, Uno Chicago Grill, and The Upper Crust (which had labor problems). An economical Italian family restaurant is also on my “to find” list.

For groceries, we miss having a Trader Joe’s in walking distance, as we did in Needham, Mass. Still, the Shaw’s is close, and I’ve ogled the fresh produce at the Wagon Wheel Nursery & Farmstand and Wilson Farm in Lexington. Finding locally produced bleu cheese isn’t always easy, but it’s important to me.

Speaking of dairy, I look forward to stopping by Lizzy’s Ice Cream as the weather gets warmer. Every town in New England has an ice cream parlor. I prefer gelato, sherbet, or frozen yogurt, however, because of my lactose intolerance. Janice and I will also have to find a decent bakery. So much to eat, so little time!

8 thoughts on “Finding food around Waltham

  1. Two Italian restaurants to add: For the mid-range I would recommend checking out Ristorante Marcellino, which is adjacent to Waltham’s movie theater.

    Also good (but somewhat pricier) is Tuscan Grille, where I’d recommend first checking out the place with a bowl of soup or appetizer(s) and a drink at the bar.

    There is a small south Indian place going in on Moody Street. I’ve got high hopes that it will serve dosas, idlis, uttapam et al, and that it’ll be tasty, authentic and inexpensive.


  2. Thanks for the recommendations, Brian! I had found the fancier Italian restaurants, such as La Campania, Biagio, Ristorante Marcellino, and Il Capriccio, but I can’t afford to eat at those very often. I am looking forward to Dosa Factory on Moody Street, and per Beruk’s recommendation, India Market also looks like it has good street food.


  3. By the way, I know near where the old gaming store (Danger Planet?) there is a Ameninan/Russian market, they sell goat and make their own yogurt. Also on main street there are a couple of decent diners & of course your typical chain restaurants as well as Cafe on the common (has mixed reviews on Yelp Also, don’t forget there is a Trader Joe’s between Newton & Auburndale on the same street as Blue Ribbon BBQ. Downtown Waltham really has a diverse set of eateries & retail shops.


  4. Thanks, Beruk. I’ve been to the shop you mentioned near where Danger Planet used to be. I agree that Waltham has a nicely diverse range of restaurants, which I’m just beginning to explore! I’ll have to try Café on the Common, and I think the Trader Joe’s near the Alewife “T” terminal is closer to my new place than the one by Blue Ribbon BBQ.


  5. I thought the paragraph on pub grub might get your attention — we’ll have to do a crawl sometime! Unlike Needham, there are also liquor stores in our area….


  6. This Ruyi place looks scarey. Never go to a Japanese/Chinese place. I mean there arent many Italian/German places, right


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