(Article posted on )
The Greater Boston area and Eastern Massachusetts in general has a number of foods that are mostly specific to the region, and one such food item is a big fave among meat lovers. And while variants of steak tips can be found in other parts of the country, the term itself isn't seen all that often once you get outside of New England. Some of the best steak tips can be found just north of Boston, but unlike bar pizza, which is almost exclusively a South Shore thing, good steak tips can also be found in other parts of the region as well. Below you'll find a sampling of some of of the better ones around.
1) Newbridge Cafe, Chelsea
For those who know their steak tips, this choice is an obvious one, but the Newbridge remains unknown to many who live in the city--or west or south of Boston, for that matter. But this neighborhood joint is the real deal, with a secret marinade being used for the firm but non-gristly meat served here, and the marinade is so well-loved that everyone seems to have "the recipe" for it even though no one really does. More good eats can also be found at the Newbridge, including great takes on meatballs, steak fries, antipasto, and pork and turkey tips.
2) Tommy Floramo's, Chelsea
Much like the ongoing argument as to whether Santarpio's in East Boston or Regina's in the North End is better for pizza, people always love to talk about whether Floramo's or the Newbridge is better for steak tips. In the end, it really depends on the type of tips you like better since both are so great. Floramo's are more fall-apart tender than that of the Newbridge, which makes sense because the slogan for their ribs is "where the meat falls off the bone." Can't decide? You could always hit both since they are so close in distance to each other, then make a decision after a taste test.
3) Conrad's, Norwood
To some who live north of Boston, it may appear that outstanding steak tips can't be found on the other side of town, but this is simply not true, and Conrad's is certainly proof of this. A place that feels just a bit more like a true restaurant than the above two spots, this Norwood Center eatery features steak tips that are tender yet have just enough char on the outside to give that great smoky flavor to the meat. And like the Newbridge, the turkey tips at Conrad's are nearly as good--if not as good--as that of the steak tips.
4) Silvertone, Boston
So no, you don't have to leave Boston proper--or go to a neighborhood joint--to find good steak tips; some top spots for tips can be found in various places within the city itself, including this industry haunt in Downtown Crossing. A basement dining and drinking spot that's a bit hidden away, Silvertone is known in part for its macaroni and cheese and excellent cocktails, but its tips are fantastic as well, having the same kind of char and high-quality meat that such places as Floramo's and Newbridge are known for, albeit in a slightly offbeat and hip location.
5) Casey's, Somerville
The city of Somerville used to be home to a number of dive bars and neighborhood watering holes, many of which served up some truly terrific steak tips. Most of those are now gone, however, with this East Somerville spot being one of the last remaining holdouts. Casey's is pure old-school, with lots of characters in the place, Keno being played by many, and hard rock often piping through the speakers, and like some old-school bars in the region, it does a few things really well when it comes to food--in this case, truly mesmerizing steak tips and equally great pizza.
6) Cronin's Publick House, Quincy
When the term "steak tips" is in your URL, chances are that means you take them seriously, and so it goes with this borderline dive bar near the old Quincy Shipyard. Cronin's indeed used to be more of a true dive but it has gone through some upgrades of late, including the addition of a handful of new menu options, but its old food items can still be had including some of the best steak tips south of Boston. If you like your tips with a heavy char on the outside, yet reasonably tender on the inside, this may be your place.
7) Lazy Dog Sport Bar, Lynn
Another local fave whose steak tips are legendary, at least in the immediate neighborhood, this old-fashioned eating and drinking establishment may look a bit dicey from the outside, but it's a pretty friendly place where you'll likely end up talking to strangers, especially if you hang out at the bar. This is another spot where the grills are super hot so the steak tips get a serious char without sacrificing tenderness on the inside, and a bonus here is that you can get some interesting combo plates, including a truly Boston version with steak tips and baked beans.
8) Telegraph Hill, South Boston
Residing on the "other" side of Southie where development isn't as extreme as the Seaport District (which is indeed part of Southie) or along Broadway, this unassuming little restaurant and bar is in an area near Andrew Square that doesn't have a lot of dining options. Most of what this hidden spot serves is decent American fare and bar food, with one real highlight being the steak tips where they claim to use The Quiet Man's recipe. That long-closed dive by the Broadway T station had some of the best tips in the region, and these definitely seem to match up to them, which is a very good thing indeed.
Related Blog Entries: slideshows
Note: Comments have been closed for this blog entry.