Boston's Hidden Restaurants
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Cheap Eats: Boston Restaurants for
College Students (And Others)

Because Boston is home to so many college students, there are countless restaurants that cater to the college crowd by offering good food, cheap. Of course, some of these restaurants are better than others, so we at Boston's Hidden Restaurants have compiled a list of some of the better spots for cheap eats. Below you will find descriptions of both popular and hidden Boston restaurants that are both inexpensive and good. (Note: This Boston cheap eats page is part of our restaurant features section.)


POPULAR RESTAURANTS FOR
COLLEGE STUDENTS
American Restaurants
John Harvard's Brew House
Sunset Grill and Tap
T's Pub [CLOSED]
Barbecue
Redbones BBQ
Hamburgers
Audubon Circle
Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage
Charlie's Kitchen
Italian Restaurants
Carlo's Cucina
Mexican Restaurants
Anna's Taqueria
Border Cafe
Middle Eastern Restaurants
Shawarma King
Pizza
Presto Pizzeria
T. Anthony's
Vietnamese Restaurants
Le's
HIDDEN RESTAURANTS FOR
COLLEGE STUDENTS
American Restaurants
Paramount
Chinese Restaurants
Qingdao Garden
Shanghai Gate
Hamburgers
Red Hat
Indian Restaurants
India Quality
Passage to India
Middle Eastern Restaurants
Aceituna Cafe
Cafe Jaffa
Reef Cafe [CLOSED]
Pizza
Nick's House of Pizza
Primo's
Woody's Grill and Tap
Sandwiches
Cafe Amsterdam
Thai Restaurants
Dok Bua

POPULAR RESTAURANTS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

American Restaurants

John Harvard's Brew House
33 Dunster Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 868-3585

Great beers, tasty pub grub, and above average dinners make this bustling Harvard Square restaurant a great choice for students and graduates alike. Note: John Harvard's also has a branch in Framingham.
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Sunset Grill and Tap
130 Brighton Avenue, Allston, MA 02134
(617) 254-1331

The Sunset Grill has a huge beer selection, making it a popular spot among the BC, BU, and Northeastern crowds. And if you're looking for a bite to eat, the food is very good here, too.
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T's Pub [CLOSED]
973 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
(617) 254-0807

Ahhh, T's Pub. There aren't many better places to go to watch a Patriots or Red Sox game while enjoying some decent pub food and a beer or two. This is a big place among the Northeastern and BU crowds.
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Barbecue

Redbones BBQ
55 Chester Street, Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 628-2200

Students at Tufts University come to Redbones in droves to enjoy the ribs, brisket, and overall funky atmosphere (especially the downstairs room, which is uniquely decorated to say the least).
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Hamburgers

Audubon Circle
838 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02215
(617) 421-1910

Audubon Circle attracts both a working crowd and a college crowd (mostly BU, BC, and Northeastern students). The burgers here are some of the best in the Boston area.
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Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage
1246 Mass. Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 354-6559

Every college and university should have a burger joint like Mr. Bartley's nearby. Those who go to Harvard are very fortunate to have one of the best burger joints in New England at their doorstep.
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Charlie's Kitchen
10 Eliot Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 492-9646

Charlie's is a throwback to the days when Harvard Square had more of an edge to it. The restaurant is noisy and crowded, but that's half the fun; Charlie's is the perfect place for a greasy, delicious burger and a few cheap beers.
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Italian Restaurants

Carlo's Cucina
131 Brighton Avenue, Allston, MA 02134
(617) 254-9759

Carlo's Cucina serves Italian food that rivals some of the best spots in the North End. And while it is not as inexpensive as some of the other restaurants on this page, BU students flock to this restaurant for the incredible Italian food.
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Mexican Restaurants

Anna's Taqueria
(various locations)
Anna's Taqueria is a chain of quick, cheap Mexican joints that are beloved by college students all over Boston for their excellent food that is possibly less expensive than food from the supermarket.
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Border Cafe
32 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 864-6100

Loud, bustling, and a bit crazy at times, The Border Cafe is a Harvard Square landmark that has been serving excellent Mexican food (and amazing Margaritas) for a long time.
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Middle Eastern Restaurants

Shawarma King
1383 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 731-6035

Brookline's Shawarma King sure is a popular place for college students from BU and BC. The Middle Eastern food here is cheap, tasty, and mostly healthy. And the shawarma chicken at this tiny Coolidge Corner restaurant is especially delicious.
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Pizza

Presto Pizzeria
1936 Beacon Street, Brighton, MA 02135
(617) 232-4545

This is where BC students go for great pizza; Presto Pizzeria's thin-crust pies are nearly legendary in this busy neighborhood.
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T. Anthony's
1016 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
(617) 734-7708

Students from Northeastern and BU frequent this pizza joint between Kenmore Square and Allston. T. Anthony's has been making top-quality traditional pizza for more than 20 years now.
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Vietnamese Restaurants

Le's
(various locations)
Le's (formerly Pho Pasteur) is a favorite among college students and older crowds alike, as the Vietnamese cuisine here is both outstanding and cheap. And unlike many college dining spots, Le's tends to have a rather peaceful and laid-back atmosphere.
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HIDDEN RESTAURANTS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

American Restaurants

Paramount
44 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114
(617) 720-1152

The Paramount is a friendly little cafe/bistro in the flats of Beacon Hill that has great breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, all of which are relatively inexpensive. Emerson and Suffolk students can often be found here.
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Chinese Restaurants

Shanghai Gate
204 Harvard Avenue, Allston, MA 02134
(617) 566-7344

Shanghai Gate is, in some ways, the ideal restaurant for college students; it is cheap, the food is mostly healthy and fresh, and it has a slightly funky vibe to it. And the food is authentic at Shanghai Gate, as you will find few Americanized Chinese dishes on the menu.
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Qingdao Garden
2382 Mass. Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 492-7540

Qingdao Garden may not look like much, but this North Cambridge Chinese restaurant has some of the most incredible dumplings you will find anywhere in the Boston area. And they are very cheap, which makes them a favorite among the Tufts and Harvard students who are nearby.
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Hamburgers

Red Hat
9 Bowdoin Street, Boston, MA 02114
(617) 523-2175

The Red Hat is a Suffolk University institution of sorts, although not many others know about this casual pub. Burgers and beers are the name of the game at this old-time watering hole.
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Indian Restaurants

India Quality
484 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
(617) 267-4499

Just across the Mass. Pike from Fenway Park in Kenmore Square, India Quality serves some of the best Indian food in Boston. The friendly service adds to the experience at this tiny restaurant.
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Passage to India
1900 Mass. Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 497-6113

Now this is a really hidden restaurant, and one that college students often overlook. But Passage to India is right in the heart of Porter Square, near both Tufts and Harvard, and it has some of the best Indian food in all of Cambridge.
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Middle Eastern Restaurants

Aceituna Cafe
605 West Kendall Street, Cambridge, MA 02142
(617) 252-0702

The Aceituna Cafe is a diamond in the rough, as it is wedged between all the biotech buildings near MIT and Kendall Square. This cafeteria-style restaurant serves very good Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food, much of which is well under $10.
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Cafe Jaffa
48 Gloucester Street, Boston, MA 02110
(617) 536-0230

It is strange that Cafe Jaffa is relatively unknown, as this friendly little Middle Eastern restaurant on a side street in the Back Bay serves food here is both outstanding and cheap.
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Reef Cafe [CLOSED]
170 Brighton Avenue, Allston, MA 02134
(617) 202-6366

In some ways, the Reef Cafe is the perfect college dining spot; it is a shoebox-sized restaurant with incredibly cheap Middle Eastern food and quick service. And it is in the heart of Allston, a big college hangout.
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Pizza

Nick's House of Pizza
372 Boston Avenue, Medford, MA 02155
(781) 396-6630

Nick's Pizza, located across the street from Tufts University, may not look like much but the pizza here is absolutely delicious. The subs are excellent, too, but it is really difficult to get past the pies at Nick's.
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Primo's
28 Myrtle Street, Boston, MA 02114
(617) 742-5458

Primo's is buried in the middle of a Beacon Hill neighborhood, far from nearly everything...except Suffolk University. The Suffolk crowd comes to Primo's on a daily basis to enjoy their excellent thin-crust pizza.
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Woody's Grill and Tap
58 Hemenway Street, Boston, MA 02115
(617) 375-9663

Woody's serves classic bar pizza, which is just the right type of meal before a Red Sox game. This restaurant is truly hidden, but it can get a bit crowded before games.
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Sandwiches

Cafe Amsterdam
517 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02118
(617) 437-6400

Cafe Amsterdam may be the size of a shoebox, but this South End sandwich and pastry shop should not be overlooked. The sandwiches here are fresh and delicious, and the croissants are fabulous.
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Thai Restaurants

Dok Bua
411 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 277-7087

Dok Bua perhaps is the best Thai restaurant in the Boston area. AND, it is very cheap, making it a top dining spot for BU and BC students, as well as residents of this pleasant Brookline neighborhood.
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