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Boston magazine releases Best of Boston 2021 list


Find out who else made the publication’s annual Best of Boston list.

The lobster roll at Row 34. Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Boston magazine on Tuesday released its annual Best of Boston list, a who’s-who of more than 200 places and people that make Boston great. And in a city that loves to eat, there were plenty of heralded restaurants on the list. Within the dining section, 57 restaurants, bars, chefs, farms, and food shops were given special praise, though the list notably left out Best Restaurant and Best New Restaurant, as it did in 2020.

Memorable dishes and charming neighborhood spots made up a sizable portion of the dining section. The city’s best lobster roll went to chef Jeremy Sewall’s version at Row 34, where you’ll find “heaping portions of sweet and tender meat, caught by Sewall’s cousin, a Maine lobsterman.” The best ice cream? That went to local chain J.P. Licks, while Shōjō in Chinatown took home top honors for best poutine, Night Shift Brewing‘s Detroit-style pizza received a nod for best pizza, and La Saison Bakery, a Cambridge newcomer, was recognized for best croissants.

Boston honored individual chefs, too. Douglass Williams, chef and owner at MIDA in the South End, was named Best Chef, General Excellence; he recently opened a second MIDA location in Newton. Best Up-and-Coming Chef went to another South End star: Hana Quon, pastry chef at Café Madeleine.

A handful of categories clearly reflected the pandemic’s influence on the past year-plus. Betty Petrova and her chocolate business, Petrova Chocolates, received an award for Best Side Hustle Turned Artisan Food Biz; the pastry chef started her side gig after her regular place of work, Uni, temporarily closed during the pandemic. Best At-Home Meal Kits went to Somerville’s Tasting Counter, and Best Restaurant Turned Grocer was given to PAGU in Cambridge.

And to drink? Offsuit, a dimly lit bar in the Leather District, was named Best Cocktails, the South End’s Urban Grape was recognized as Best Wine Shop, and Brato Brewhouse + Kitchen in Brighton snagged the title of Best Brewery.

Check out Boston magazine’s complete Best of Boston list.