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Boston Restaurant Blog >> 2010 archives >> August, 2010 >> blog entry

Boston Restaurant Blog -- August, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Five Very Hidden Boston-Area Restaurants

photo of Louis' Crossing, Quincy, MA As we've mentioned on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site more than a few times, some dining spots are simply more "hidden" than others. Perhaps they are buried in the back of a convenience store, or located in what looks like a house, or perhaps at the end of a road that doesn't really go anywhere. We have featured a few such spots on the site, including five mentioned below:

1) Scup's in the Harbour, East Boston
All right, how many restaurants do you know of that require you to go through a guard post in order to get to it? Well, there is one such spot in East Boston called Scup's that is located in the middle of the Boston Harbor Shipyard. To get to it, you have to drive up a residential street along the water until you come to the aforementioned guard booth, mention to the guard (if he or she is there) that you are going to Scup's, then pull into a parking spot by the restaurant shortly ahead. It is well worth the rather odd journey, as Scup's features high-quality cheap eats either inside their old brick building or at one of their picnic tables that have views of the water.

2) J & J Restaurant, Somerville
Somerville is home to an Italian restaurant called Vinny's at Night that happens to be located in the back of a convenience store. There is another eatery in the city called J & J Restaurant that has a similar setup, though it is much less known and features Portuguese food. J & J Restaurant is located on the eastern edge of Union Square in a nondescript spot that has a convenience store/sub shop setup in the front. But look to the right and you'll see a little entrance that leads to a small dining room where you can enjoy traditional Portuguese fare (as well as beer and wine) at very reasonable prices.

3) Louis' Crossing, Quincy
All right, raise your hands--how many of you know where Hough's Neck is? Indeed, not many people know about this neighborhood that sits on a peninsula east of Quincy Center, as it is mostly residential and the main road that leads to it peters out from a busy multi-lane boulevard to a narrow, twisting lane that simply ends by the sea. And where it ends sits what looks like a house or perhaps a private club of some kind. It is neither, however, as it is the home to Louis' Crossing, a laid-back neighborhood restaurant and bar that serves American classics and seafood. And while there is no outdoor seating at the restaurant, it is only one block away from some of the most scenic ocean views you will find in the Boston area.

4) Grappa Restaurant, Watertown
the western suburb of Watertown happens to have a number of good restaurants, many of which are located in the center of town or along or near Mt. Auburn Street in East Watertown. But there is one rather cozy and romantic Italian restaurant that is in what seems like an improbable location, along a dusty, bumpy industrial side street near the Watertown Mall. But location aside, Grappa Restaurant is a lovely eatery that features delicious soups, scratch-made pasta dishes, and mouthwatering desserts. And they even have a small outdoor dining area for those who don't mind a view of a little industry.

5) Villa Mexico, Boston
We've all heard of gas station coffee (and yes, it's usually pretty bad), but what about gas station food? And no, we're not talking about pre-packed ham and cheese sandwiches with a side of corn chips. There is a little Mexican place called Villa Mexico on the northern edge of Beacon Hill that is indeed located in the back of a gas station, and it has some of the best food of its kind in the entire city (including some amazing housemade salsa). Granted, it feels strange walking into a gas station and seeing people making burritos and tamales, but it somehow works, and there are even a couple of tables by the window for dining in, though we recommend walking the few blocks west to the Charles River for a little picnic lunch or dinner.

Several other restaurants we have featured on the site could be classified as "extra" hidden, but these five give a taste of the types of hidden gems out there. We will surely be finding some more dining spots that are way under the radar, so keep checking back to see what we have discovered!

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