Not sure where to eat north of Boston? Start with this roundup of forty of our favorite North Shore eateries, organized by different cuisines.
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 to eat your way through Boston’s North Shore.
Ellis Square Social
This popular spot in downtown Beverly bills itself as a “wicked classy gastropub”—and the menu packed with contemporary takes on classic comfort food flavors amply backs up this claim. From wild mushroom flatbread with comte cheese, balsamic reduction, and chives to the braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and red curry root vegetables, every dish offers up flavor with finesse.
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 takeout menu with everything made in the kitchen from scratch. Think succulent roast chicken and tender pork loin with artful sides.
1606 Restaurant & Bar
With a commitment to providing guests an inspired experience, 1606 Restaurant and Bar at Beauport Hotel in Gloucester is headed up by Executive Chef Jon Mckechnie, whose Gloucester upbringing shines through in the menu’s focus on sustainable, high-quality ingredients—especially in the seafood dishes like baked haddock casserole featuring local fish and the lobster and foraged mushroom gnocchi. Add in a dining room with breathtaking harbor views and plentiful deck seating, and you have the recipe for a great meal.
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 St. Danvers, MA | 978-774-8436 | 9elm.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, MA | 978-665-7220 | jadenorthandover.com
Karma serves up an inventive fusion of Japanese flavors and French sauces and techniques, creating memorable and indulgent meals. The luxurious menu features plenty of truffles and caviar, with some simpler traditional dishes mixed in to keep everyone at your table delighted. Balance out your meal with a selection from the sensationally creative cocktail list.
Wang’s Table in Haverhill serves 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 St. Haverhill, MA | 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.
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 hamachi tartare, roasted chicken, and steak frites as worthy of five stars.
G Bar and 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.
The Paddle Inn
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.
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. The menu is loaded with ingredients from local farms, fitting for owners who got their start training under Alice Waters, an icon of farm-to-table cooking.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 bevy of craft cocktails, and special themed dinners. All told, Sea Level has the makings for a terrific tableside good time.
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.
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, handmade pastas, and proprietary wine and beer offerings Steve DiFillippo and his team present fine dining at its best.
Mooo’s menu takes diners on a steak-driven tour of the world, from Japanese wagyu sirloin to prime porterhouse from California. A robust slate of appetizers, seafood dishes, and veggie-focused sides round out the offerings deliciously. The atmosphere is sleek and modern, but the welcome and service are full of old-fashioned warmth and hospitality.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ithaki Modern Mediterranean
Ithaki offers modern Mediterranean cooking easily accessible form just about anywhere thanks to a new location on Route 1 in Peabody. 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.
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.
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. There is no set menu: Miller, recently short-listed for a James Beard Award, concocts and ever-shifting array of dishes according to diners’ tastes, basing her creations what is seasonal and fresh. Making regular appearances, though, are 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.
Soall Viet Kitchen
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. Two Beverly locations—one downtown and one in the Cummings Center—let the bold, complex flavors reach even more diners.