It’s no secret that the North Shore is home to some of the best restaurants in Massachusetts. With our proximity to some of the country’s biggest fishing ports, you can find some incredible seafood—but stop there, and you’ll be missing out. From Asian to Italian to American cuisines, and everything in between, you can find some incredibly unique and tasty offerings if you only know where to look. Start with this roundup, and try and eat your way through Boston’s North Shore.
Editor’s note: This lists reflects restaurants open as of January 2021. Many of our favorite North Shore eateries are hibernating for the winter.
A&B Burgers redefines guests’ expectations of a burger joint. Voted the Best Burger on the North Shore, A&B offers beef from organically raised cattle and they purchase local, organic produce whenever possible. The result is incredible food in a fun, relaxed atmosphere on Cabot Street in Beverly.
206 Cabot St., Beverly, 978-993-7394, anbburgers.com
Ellis Square Social
While Beverly’s Ellis Square Social was closed last spring, chef Jay Murray (formerly of Boston’s Grille 23) took some time to reimagine the restaurant’s concept into a relaxed BBQ joint with all the flavors and fixings of down-home Southern cuisine—and the hospitality to go with it. But this is not your typical grab-and-go BBQ eatery. The brisket is made from Snake River Farms American wagyu beef, which is brined for days and smoked for several hours. The brisket is served with house-made BBQ sauce and pickles. Perfect for takeout to feed the family on a Friday night—or any night of the week!
252 Cabot St, Beverly, ellissquaresocial.com
Elm Square Oyster Co.
With oysters in the name, you know this spot takes its bivalves seriously. A rotating array of more than three dozen, sourced almost exclusively from New England, is always incredibly fresh and served up with executive chef Michael Sherman’s inventive house-made sauces. Chef Sherman has also created a family-style take out menu with everything made in the kitchen from scratch. Think succulent roast chicken and tender pork loin with artful sides.
2 Elm Square, Andover, 978-470-2228, elmsquareoysterco.com
1606 Restaurant & Bar
With a commitment to providing guests with both a safe and inspired experience, 1606 Restaurant and Bar at Beauport Hotel in Gloucester welcomes new culinary leadership with the addition of executive chef John Welch. A New England native, Chef Welch brings to the team more than 20 years of experience having worked in kitchens across the United States. His passion for locally sourced, refined coastal cuisine is his expertise. With his new culinary leadership at 1606, Chef Welch brings an elevated, yet simple, approach to New England classics that will surprise and delight.
55 Commercial Street, Gloucester, 978-282-0008, 1606restaurant.com
Chef and co-owner Frank McClelland pioneered a new, more honest approach to food sourcing and cooking, and popularized a hyperlocal, minimally processed standard for chefs across the country. McClelland continues to forge trusted, lifelong relationships with local New England farmers that lead to the freshest seasonal ingredients, which he boldly prepares and elegantly presents in his new restaurant FRANK in Beverly. A must-visit for any foodie—or if you simply love great food. “
112 Rantoul St., Beverly, 978-998-4946, farmtofrank.com
Nine Elm American Bistro
“Intimate chic” is one expression that has been used to describe Nine Elm. With only nine (coincidental?) tables and six bar seats, the place is personal. With so few people being served at one time, the preparation of each dish receives the attention it deserves, and the results of such deliberation are palatable. At the helm of Nine Elm are chef Matt Sanidas and his wife, Jean. They’ve assembled an eclectic menu catering to meat lovers, lean protein seekers, and oft-forgotten vegetarians alike with plates like grilled filet mignon, artichoke crusted salmon, and butternut squash ravioli.
9 Elm Street, Danvers, 978-774-9436, 9elm.com
Mission on the Bay
Enjoy classic New England fare with dishes influenced by Brazilian and Asian cuisine in the restaurant’s dining room, where you’re guaranteed a breathtaking view of the Boston skyline. Sip on some craft cocktails as you enjoy the sunset and the panoramic views of the ocean.
141 Humphrey Street, Swampscott, 781-691-9277, missiononthebay.com
Brown Sugar by the Sea
One of the North Shore’s best Thai restaurants, Newburyport’s Brown Sugar by the Sea has quickly earned a wide fan base. Offering sit-down favorites like Massaman curry and pad thai, as well as less-often-available, on-the-go wraps and rolls, the place is a veritable godsend for Thai cravers. In addition to impressive dishes, the tech-savvy will be pleased with their mobile device-based method of ordering.
75 Water Street, Newburyport, 978-499-8424, brownsugarbythesea.com
Feng Shui brings the influences of eastern China to the North Shore, with deep flavors and slow cooking. Check out the Hometown Highlights menu for Braised Pork Belly, Shanghai Tofu with Crabmeat, and the famous Steamed Juicy Pork Bao dumpling filled with ground pork. Or enjoy familiar favorites, from General Gau’s Chicken to pork fried rice. Sushi lovers shouldn’t miss classic rolls and beautiful innovations like the Tuna Wasabi Dumpling—thinly sliced tuna wrapped around crab and avocado.
2200 District Avenue, Burlington, 781-365-0918, gofengshui.com
Located in the stylish North Andover multi-use development at West Mill on High Street, Jade brings a genuinely original dining experience to the area. On entering, you are welcomed by a venerable multi-hued jade sculpture. At Jade you’ll discover intricate dishes whose complexity delightfully contrasts the restaurant’s monosyllabic moniker. The menu is extensive without becoming overwhelming, and uniquely crafted after extensive testing and tweaking by the chefs and owners. It echoes the multicultural world of Kuala Lumpur, where Kenny Foo grew up, a crossroads where cuisines collide and mingle.
24 High St., North Andover 978-655-7220, jadenorthandover.com
With exceptional sushi offerings, traditional Chinese dishes, and sensational cocktails to go, Karma delivers delicious Asian cuisine on a take-out basis during the pandemic. The perfect go-to spot to feed a hungry family on a Friday night.
209 North Main St., Andover, 978-809-3075, karmaandover.com
Wang’s Table in Haverhill serv,es both Japanese and Chinese entrées. Select from an assortment of sushi rolls from the sushi bar or indulge in an entrée of meat, vegetables, or seafood in curry, garlic, spicy Hunan, or black bean sauce. Egg foo young and moo shi are also tasty specialties on the menu.
46 Washington Street, Haverhill, 978-372-0089, wangstable.com
15 Walnut Tavern & Kitchen
One of the many fun things to order at 15 Walnut is the antipasto, which is a medley of colors, textures, and flavors presented on a fine, handcrafted cutting board. Local Gloucester haddock is another reason to pop in and grab a menu, as are the umpteen crazy cocktails that are constantly being churned out from the bar. Truth is, this funky little bistro is full of memorable goodies (the Molten Chocolate Cake springs to mind). The reviews are in, and they have a whole lot of stars attached to them.
15 Walnut Road, South Hamilton, 978-468-2434, 15walnut.com
5 Corners Kitchen
Whether for brunch or dinner, this Marblehead gem is all about city-style sophistication and fabulous eats. Consistently rave reviews point to dishes like their tuna tartare, sausage and lentils, and steak frites as worthy of five stars.
2 School Street, Marblehead, 781-631-5550, 5cornerskitchen.com
G Bar & Kitchen
Owner and chef Gregg Brackman takes a minimalistic approach to his cuisine, offering simple, elegant dishes made with only the freshest ingredients. The result of his passion is a menu of mouth-watering plates with perfect flavor balance. Foodies will love the day boat and the homemade ravioli, each with a different preparation by Brackman depending on what day you stop in.
256 Humphrey Street, Swampscott, 781-596-2228, grestaurant.com
From the proprietors of Serenitee Restaurant Group, Opus is Salem’s hottest hot spot. An eclectic menu including small plates designed for sharing and many organic and vegetarian options, a speakeasy-like Underground lounge, live music, and daring cocktails make it popular with locals and well worth the drive for out-of-towners.
87 Washington Street, Salem, 978-744-9600, salemopus.com
Executive chef Suzi Maitland, along with partners and mixologists Beau Sturm and Josh Childs opened Paddle Inn in Newburyport in 2016 and haven’t looked back since. The menu brings a taste of the exotic to town, featuring beach cuisine from around the world. Offerings may include anything from a Cambodian dish of coconut beef skewers with charred scallion and Thai chili sauce to Brazilian half roast chicken with piri piri and orange pepper jam, along with heavy influences from chef Maitland’s family home off Florida’s Gulf Coast. They also have killer cocktails to-go this winter.
27 State St., Newburyport, 978-572-1242, paddleinnsurf.com
Short & Main
Serving wood-fired pizza from an oven of their own making, fresh pasta dishes, killer meatballs and amazing spritzes, punches, and cocktails to-go, Short & Main is a must on any trip to Gloucester.
36 Main Street, Gloucester, 978-281-0044, shortandmain.com
Angelo’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
Featuring traditional Northern Italian dishes, Angelo’s Ristorante & Pizzeria works with three generations of family recipes, using local ingredients including herbs and spices, to create its seasonally inspired menu. House-made pastas, sauces, and mozzarella are to be enjoyed in a relaxing atmosphere that includes a wine bar and lounge. Of special note is their custom-built wine cellar, where they are able to host private parties of up to 20 guests.
239 Main Street, Stoneham, 781-279-9035, angeloristorante.com
Lucia Ristorante & Bar
Lucia Ristorante & Bar showcases cuisine inspired dishes from more than 20 regions in Italy. Artisan pizza, modern twists on traditional favorites, a choice wine selection, and a lively atmosphere (made all the more so by Abruzzi-themed décor) earn favor with regulars and newcomers alike. Particularly high marks are given to the ditalini pasta with white beans and prosciutto, as well as the pasta fagioli.
13 Vernon Street, Winchester, 781-729-0515, luciawinchester.com
For delectable lunch and dinner items that include specialty sandwiches, pastries, and fine Italian coffees and teas, visit LaRosa’s where customer appreciation stands on par with haute cuisine. With at-the-ready prepared meals, LaRosa’s offers on fresh, in-season options. Beer enthusiasts will appreciate being able to walk in to grab a deli-style sandwich and an on-tap brew. Catering services and online ordering are also “on the menu,” as are gluten-free dishes.
7 Bernard Street, Andover, 978-475-1777, larosasofandover.com
Tonno, Italian for “tuna,” brings a level of sophistication to the dining scene within a framework of Italian favorites. The restaurants are located in Gloucester and Wakefield and helmed by chef and owner Anthony Caturano. He and his team bring together favorite Old World culinary styles, with nightly specials that reflect the catches of the day from the local waters.
175 North Ave, Wakefield, 781-486-3606; 2 Main St., Gloucester, 978-879-4795, tonnorestaurant.com
In lieu of a trip to Italy, an evening spent dining at Tuscan Kitchen might stem the tide of Old World culinary cravings. For more than 25 years, Joe Faro has been perfecting artisan Italian dishes. His many visits to the country’s diverse regions have helped turn his restaurant into an authentic tribute to the motherland. Dishes from Toscana, Umbria, Veneto, Piemonte, and Sicilia are prepared with careful, knowledgeable hands.
24 New England Executive Park, Burlington, 781-229-0300, tuscanbrands.com
A newcomer to the Newburyport dining scene, Vera is reminiscent of European trattoria, serving authentic yet sophisticated Italian cuisine. Vera’s interior is sunny and inviting, dominated by a large bar and a stylish communal table, not to mention a state-of-the-art pizza oven imported from Italy. Fresh pasta dishes, such as Genovese, Vongole, and Bolognese are prepared to perfection.
35 Market Sq., Newburyport, 978-358-7741, veraristorante.com
C.K. Pearl’s fresh and trendy décor, quaint Essex setting, river view, and outstanding oysters are among its many accolades. Family-owned and operated, C.K. Pearl prides itself on top-notch service, high-quality ingredients, and kitchen expertise in the form of renowned chef Patrick Shea. For an innovative, eclectic twist on traditional New England fare, head to this little gem on Essex River.
112 Main Street, Essex, 978-890-7378, ckpearlessex.com
The fresh catch of the day and sizzling steaks are on offer at this sleek seafood restaurant in Burlington. Open for dine-in as well as take-out, order from Eddie V’s extensive menu with dishes prepared perfectly by seasoned chefs or order a Marketplace Box of North Atlantic salmon, filet mignon, or Chilean sea bass along with the restaurants signature Black Tie Seasoning and become your own grill master at home.
50 South Ave., Burlington, 781-221-7151, eddiev.com
Finz Seafood & Grill
Oysters on the half shell and a chilled glass of white on Salem’s waterfront? Sublime. Surrounded by harbor views and full of fine tastes, Finz is one of the North Shore’s most acclaimed dining establishments. Its floor-to-ceiling glass wall, copper-topped bar, and custom-built raw bar make its interior something singular. The regionally harvested oysters and seafood classics earn its reputation for excellence.
76 Wharf St., Pickering Wharf, Salem, 978-744-8485, hipfinz.com
Island Creek Oyster Bar
They had their oyster farm in Duxbury way before they even thought of opening a restaurant—and it started the continuing craze for carefully grown and harvested bivalves. Knowledgeable staff are invited to come down anytime to work the farm, and they study up on every variety, with a thick binder and occasional pop quizzes. Look to them to guide you, whether you are an aficionado hoping to try something unique or a newbie looking to slurp your first.
300 District Ave., Burlington, 781-761-6500, islandcreekoysterbar.com
Sea Level Oyster Bar
Salem is known for its elevated cuisine scene. Sitting just feet above the harbor, Sea Level Oyster Bar fits right in. The raw bar is refreshing, the tacos are top-notch, the burgers will bowl you over, and the atmosphere is aces. Oh, and there is regular live music, a bevvy of craft cocktails, and special themed dinners. All told, Sea Level has the makings for a terrific tableside good time.
94 Wharf St., Salem, 978-741-0555, sealeveloysterbar.com
Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall
At Salem’s historic Lyceum Hall, Turner’s is living up to its reputation and delivering fresh catches, to-die-for oysters, and superior service. With a history that includes several generations in the fishing industry, Turner’s Seafood serves up authentic New England from-the-sea fare.
43 Church St., Salem, 978-745-7665, turners-seafood.com
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse
Davio’s Lynnfield location is doing something pretty cutting edge these days. By incorporating fresh produce and herbs from the adjacent Whole Foods’ rooftop garden, they are bringing to the menu impossibly fresh ingredients. Modeled after the Boston location, MarketStreet boasts a fireplace and alfresco seating. Known for their Northern Italian Brandt Beef steaks and handmade pastas, Steve DiFillippo and his team present fine dining at its best.
427 Walnut St., Lynnfield, 781-944-4810, davios.com/lynnfield
L’Andana Grill is nothing if not upscale. Evoking the spirit of a true trattoria, chef Jamie Mammano features wood-grilled cuisine and homemade pastas like those found in the foothills of Tuscany. Elegant décor includes end-grain wood floors, weathered barn board, and Italian mosaics. Warmer months find guests enjoying alfresco dining on the plant rich patio.
86 Cambridge St., Burlington, 781-270-0100, landanagrill.com
This new steakhouse is straight out of the gilded age run through a sleek modern filter. The menu is just as glamorous as the surroundings at the second restaurant in the LaRosa family. Think plump, fresh oysters in the fried oyster appetizer, Gnocchi Al Tartufo, and, of course, steaks. Only prime grade beef from the best cuts makes it to the table here, cooked in a broiler that reaches a blazing 1,400 degrees F, then rested for 10 minutes before a final sear.
27 Main St., Andover, 978-475-4082, lafinarestaurant.com
Pellana Steakhouse is tough to beat when it comes to prime grade steaks and chops and high quality seafood. Offering a choice of over 400 domestic and imported wines, it’s no wonder they were granted the Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator. Opulent and refined, Pellana is a place for those with discriminating tastes.
9 Rear Sylvan St., Peabody, 978-531-4800, pellanarestaurant.com
Conveniently located at Trade Center 128 in Woburn, Strega Italiano is on the list as one of North Shore’s upscale dining destinations. The expansive space, sleek décor, dark wood accents, eye-catching lighting, and soaring ceilings—all of which combine for a dramatic ambiance. This Italian steak house boasts a menu of à la carte steaks and chops alongside traditional Italian fare.
100 Sylvan Rd., Woburn, 781-933-3333, stregaitaliano.com
Teresa’s Prime Steakhouse is North Shore’s Finest Steakhouse. Prime offers a wide selection of house cut Prime Beef, Italian specialties, and the freshest seafood dishes around. All this paired with breathtaking ambiance and a 5-star staff make Teresa’s Prime a must visit.
20 Elm St. (Rte. 62), North Reading, 978-276-0044, teresaseatery.com/prime
It’s hard to beat the combination of prime beef, craft cocktails, and sleek décor at this Burlington steakhouse. The eclectic décor makes the large room seem intimate—and if privacy is what you need, sleek glass and steel walls seal off rooms for high-level negotiations. The thoughtful menu covers all the steakhouse classics, but also draws culinary influences from around the world, offering inventive salads, small plates, and a large selection of gluten-free items.
15 Third Ave., Burlington, 781-221-2100, the-bancroft.com
Enjoy an authentic Spanish dining experience right in Melrose with a variety of tapas plates including jamon Iberico, empanadas, grilled octopus, and more. Pair your meal with a selection of Spanish wines and craft beers, and finish with decadent desserts like churros, orange flan, and dulce de leche-topped bread pudding. This sophisticated and shareable cuisine is sure to be a favorite for dinners and Sunday brunch.
529 Franklin St., Melrose, 781-590-4916, tahpas529.com
Ithaki Modern Mediterranean
Ithaki offers modern Mediterranean cooking in the heart of Ipswich. Well-appointed dining rooms, fresh florals, soft Dijon colored walls, and comfortable banquettes make Ipswich’s Ithaki the pinnacle of charm. Mediterranean master chef and owner Petros Markopoulos crafts ambrosial dishes. Using organic flour and eggs for his pasta and importing olives, feta cheese, and olive oil from Crete are just a few of the ways Markopoulos highlights his homeland’s bounty. Perfectly prepared seafood dishes, house-made spreads, spiced falafel, delicious spanakopita, and pistachio baklava—are a few of must-try Ithaki delights.
25 Hammatt St., Ipswich, 978-356-0099, ithakicuisine.com
The light, fresh, and subtly spiced Mediterranean fare at this popular spot is perfectly suited for outdoor dining—so it’s a good thing this summer brought an expanded patio. Danielle and Carlo Berdahn have been operating this spot for more than a decade, giving back to the community through support of local producers and local nonprofits while keeping customers well fed. The salads are bright and inventive, entrees are slow-simmered to bring out the warm spices, and the vibe is cozy. And it’s celebrity-chef approved—Barbara Lynch was spotted at Yella on the Water, the restaurant’s seasonal Gloucester sibling.
16 Post Office Ave., Andover, 978-749-0011; 25 Western Ave., Gloucester, 978-491-5334; yellagrille.com
Nightshade Noodle Bar
The space is almost as seductive as the food at Rachel Miller’s Lynn restaurant, which entices diners with a heady blend of scent, texture, and flavor. The menu changes frequently based on what is seasonal and fresh, but you’ll most assuredly find dishes like homemade egg noodles tossed with caramelized garlic sauce, peanuts, and Thai basil, then topped with shredded beef or mushrooms; the curried beef in betel leaves, the luscious bone marrow fried rice, and a selection of “Viet-Cajun.” Everything is all inflected with Miller’s signature mix of Vietnamese flavors.
73 Exchange St., Lynn, 781-780-9470, nightshadenoodlebar.com
Owners Sa Nguyen and Mia Lunt use local and organic ingredients when possible to craft their authentic food. Many recipes were handed down from the pair’s mothers, including the classic pho, which simmers overnight.
10 Bessom St., Unit 9, Marblehead, 781-990-1233, soallbistro.com