12 Unique Restaurants in Massachusetts: Coolest Places to Eat the Bay State

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Massachusetts
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In this guide, we’re taking you on a tour of unique restaurants in MA, where each spot serves up something special. From seafood havens to hidden gems, we’ve got the inside scoop on where to find unforgettable meals. Get ready to explore the tastes that make Massachusetts dining truly one-of-a-kind.

Ready for a wild ride through some of the coolest restaurants in Massachusetts? We’re not talking about your everyday dinner spots. Nope, we’re going on a journey to places that are as fun to talk about as they are to eat at. Imagine munching on the juiciest burger inside a diner that feels like a step back in time, or sipping a shake while magic happens right before your eyes. Sounds cool, right?

Massachusetts is home to some truly one-of-a-kind restaurants. We’ve got places that have been around for ages, serving up history with every dish. Then there are the spots that seem to come straight out of a storybook, where the food is only part of the fun. Ever eaten in a place where the game is to throw darts and share laughs with friends?

From the freshest seafood shacks to magical evenings filled with illusions, we’re about to show you the best spots that make eating out in Massachusetts an unforgettable adventure. So, put on your explorer’s hat and let’s get ready to discover the tastiest treasures around!

Cool places to eat in MA pinterest image

Unique Restaurants in Massachusetts: 12 Incredible Massachusetts Eateries

Discovering Massachusetts’ unique restaurants is a taste bud adventure. From fresh seafood shacks to farm-to-table gems, each place has its own flavor. Let’s uncover what makes Massachusetts dining so special.

1. 1761 Old Mill Restaurant

Step into 1761 Old Mill Restaurant in Westminster, MA, and you’re in for a treat that goes beyond great food. Picture this: a historic mill surrounded by waterfalls, ducks in a pond, and covered bridges. It’s like a scene from a storybook, perfect for anyone looking to spice up their dining experience with a dash of adventure.

Inside, the vibe is cozy and welcoming. With fireplaces warming the rooms and views that make you feel connected to nature, it’s a place where every meal feels like a special occasion. The menu? A delightful mix of New England favorites. Start with their famous corn fritters and pecan rolls, then dive into hearty dishes like roast duck or a chicken vegetable pie that’s all about comfort.

And there’s more. After your meal, check out the gift shop for a little something to remember your visit. The 1761 Old Mill isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a piece of New England history that offers a feast for your senses and a story to take home.

1761 Old Mill Restaurant is one of the unique restaurants in Massachusetts.
Step into 1761 Old Mill Restaurant for a dining experience surrounded by history and picturesque scenery.

2. Flight Club Boston

Flight Club Boston brings a fresh spin to the classic game of darts. This spot isn’t your typical bar; it’s a place where technology meets tradition in an exciting way. With games that can host from 6 to 400 players, it’s perfect for any group size, making every visit a blast. The setting? A stunning bar that mixes the old-world charm of British pubs with cutting-edge design.

Looking for fun places to eat in Massachusetts? Flight Club is your go-to. Here, you can enjoy not just the thrill of Social Darts but also savor delicious food and sip on amazing botanical-based cocktails. It’s an experience designed for everyone – from friends hanging out to team building events. Plus, with over 80 million darts thrown by more than a million people across all locations, you know you’re joining a big, happy crowd of dart enthusiasts.

Remember, you’ll need to book ahead to secure your spot. So, whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to spice up your Tuesday, Flight Club offers a unique blend of competition, fun, and socializing.

Flight Club Boston offers modern darts in a stylish bar with British charm.
Flight Club Boston offers modern darts in a stylish bar with British charm.

3. KC’s Classic Burger Bar

Step into KC’s Classic Burger Bar in North Attleborough and you’re instantly whisked away to the 1950s. Picture this: checkerboard floors, shiny chrome stools, and a jukebox playing the hits of the era. It’s a place where the atmosphere is as vibrant as the flavors. Here, every burger is a throwback to a time when diners were the heart of American cuisine.

In a lineup of unique places to eat in Massachusetts, KC’s shines with its retro charm. Enjoy a burger that’s juicy, flavorful, and made to order, just like back in the day. But the trip down memory lane doesn’t stop with the food. Sip on a hand-spun milkshake, thick and creamy, served in a glass that feels just right in your hand.

KC’s is a celebration of the 1950s spirit, where the joy of sharing a meal comes with a side of nostalgia. It’s a place where every visit is about more than just eating; it’s about experiencing a slice of Americana. Whether you’re a fan of the classics or looking for something new, this diner has a seat for you at the counter.

Step into KC's Classic Burger Bar for a 1950s vibe and delicious burgers.
Step into KC’s Classic Burger Bar for a 1950s vibe and delicious burgers.

4. Fitzwilly’s

Fitzwilly’s Restaurant and Bar, a Northampton staple since 1974, offers a dive into casual dining with a twist. Imagine a place where the decor combines brick, tin ceilings, and brewing copper to create a cozy, inviting atmosphere. This spot has grown over the years but keeps its charm with spaces that feel intimate and welcoming.

The menu? A delightful mix of comfort foods and innovative dishes. Start with the Magic Scallops, wrapped in jalapeno bacon for a spicy kick, or choose from a variety of appetizers like Thai Lettuce Wraps and Bavarian Soft Pretzels. Burgers are a big deal here, with options like the Spicy Bleu and Bacon Burger satisfying those burger cravings perfectly. And for something a bit different, the Smokehouse selection offers dishes like Tuscaloosa Pulled Pork Plate, all served with a side of homey vibes.

Whether you’re in for a hearty lunch or a cozy dinner, Fitzwilly’s stands out among unique restaurants in Massachusetts for dinner. It’s a place where every dish comes with a side of history and heart.

Fitzwilly's Restaurant and Bar: Northampton's cozy dining spot since 1974.
Fitzwilly’s Restaurant and Bar: Northampton’s cozy dining spot since 1974.

5. Union Oyster House

Imagine a place where history and tasty seafood meet. That’s Union Oyster House for you! This spot is the oldest restaurant in Boston, dating back to 1826. Picture yourself in a building from the 1740s, munching on fresh oysters or savoring a steamy lobster dinner. It’s like a trip back in time, but with amazing food.

Here, you can sit where famous folks like Daniel Webster and President JFK once ate. The menu is all about seafood that’ll make your taste buds dance. From juicy lobsters to creamy chowders and everything in between, it’s a seafood lover’s dream. And yes, they’ve got those classic New England dishes too, like Boston Baked Beans and Indian Pudding.

Union Oyster House is a place where every meal is a piece of history. Whether you’re dropping by for a quick oyster fix or settling in for a full-on feast, you’re in for some of the best food in Massachusetts. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to eat their way through Boston’s past and present.

Union Oyster House is one of the unique restaurants in Massachusetts.
Union Oyster House offers historic ambiance and delicious seafood, with a building dating back to the 1740s.

6. Clam Box

The Clam Box in Ipswich, Massachusetts, is more than a restaurant; it’s an icon. Famous for its unique building shaped like a clam box, it’s been a seafood lover’s paradise since 1935. Here, the fried clams are legendary, drawing crowds for their golden, crispy perfection. The secret? A meticulous frying process and daily fresh, local clams that ensure each bite is a delightful crunch of flavor.

But the Clam Box’s menu doesn’t stop at clams. It offers a wide range of seafood treasures, from scallops and shrimp to oysters and calamari, all prepared with the same care and precision. The commitment to freshness is unparalleled, with cooking oil changed twice daily to guarantee the best taste.

Beyond seafood, the Clam Box serves up delicious hamburgers, hot dogs, and a lobster roll that’s a contender for the best in New England. Whether you choose to dine in the cozy, nautical-themed indoor space or under the outdoor tent, the Clam Box offers an unforgettable dining experience. It stands out as one of the best places to eat in MA, where tradition and taste go hand in hand.

The Clam Box: Ipswich's iconic seafood spot since 1935, famous for its legendary fried clams.
The Clam Box: Ipswich’s iconic seafood spot since 1935, famous for its legendary fried clams.

7. American Flatbread

If you’re looking for your average pizza place, don’t go to American Flatbread in Somerville. It’s a spot where great food meets fun, offering vintage candlepin bowling alongside delicious, all-natural pizzas baked in a wood-fired clay oven. With 20 craft beers and ciders on draught and a cocktail menu to impress, it’s the perfect place to unwind, celebrate, or just enjoy a casual night out.

This unique venue, housed in a building with a rich history dating back to 1939, has become a beloved part of the community. It’s a place where you can enjoy the game on a 30-seat bar or book the dining space and bowling lanes for any event size, making it one of the most fun restaurants in MA (Massachusetts). Whether it’s for a birthday, a corporate event, or just a night out with friends, American Flatbread offers an experience that’s as memorable as it is delicious.

American Flatbread: Fun meets great food in Somerville with vintage bowling and wood-fired pizzas.
American Flatbread: Fun meets great food in Somerville with vintage bowling and wood-fired pizzas.

8. Fire + Ice

Fire + Ice in Boston is all about having a blast while you eat. Picture this: you walk in, grab a bowl, and start piling it with all sorts of fresh veggies, meats, noodles, and seafood. Then, you pick your sauces to jazz things up. Next up, you head over to this massive grill where chefs cook your mix right in front of you. It’s like being at a food show where you’re both the star and the audience!

This place is buzzing, especially on weekends. It’s loud, it’s fun, and it’s packed with people all excited to see what their culinary experiments will turn out like. The deal here is you pay one price and eat as much as you want. So, if you’re super hungry or just want to try a bunch of different combos, you’re in luck.

And hey, if you’re vegan, vegetarian, or have food allergies, they’ve got you covered. Just let them know, and they’ll whip something up in the back, just for you. Fire + Ice is one of those unique Massachusetts restaurants where you get to have fun with your food and leave with a full belly and a big smile.

Fire + Ice: Interactive dining in Boston, where you're both the star and the audience.
Fire + Ice: Interactive dining in Boston, where you’re both the star and the audience.

9. Gibbet Hill Grill

Standing out for its farm-to-table approach is Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton. It’s special because it has its own farm right on site. The chefs plan their menus based on what’s growing, so the dishes are always fresh and change with the seasons. This spot is all about serving food that comes straight from the land, set on a vast 500-acre farm. Dining here also means enjoying stunning views of Gibbet Hill.

The menu is full of delicious options, from grilled cheese with locally sourced cheese to crispy Brussels sprouts and miso-cured pork belly. There’s a great selection of steaks and seafood too, all prepared with ingredients from the farm or close by. They even change their cooking oil twice daily to ensure everything tastes fresh.

Visiting Gibbet Hill Grill offers more than just a meal; it’s an experience. It ranks among the top places in Massachusetts to eat where the connection to the food’s source is visible. Whether you’re there for a special occasion or a regular meal, it’s a place that makes each visit memorable.

Gibbet Hill Grill is one of the unique restaurants in Massachusetts.
Gibbet Hill Grill offers farm-to-table dining with its own on-site farm.

10. The Barnacle

Perched right on the water’s edge in Marblehead, The Barnacle offers more than just a meal. It provides a fun and unique dining experience in the North Shore. With views of the harbor that are hard to beat, diners can enjoy the sights of boats bobbing on the water as they savor their food.

This spot is known for its fresh seafood, a staple for any oceanfront eatery. From succulent lobster rolls to hearty clam chowder, the menu reflects the local catch and New England culinary traditions. The Barnacle prides itself on serving dishes that are both delicious and picturesque, making it one of the coolest restaurants in Massachusetts for both locals and visitors seeking a memorable dining experience.

Beyond the food, The Barnacle’s atmosphere is casual and inviting, making it a perfect spot for family lunches, romantic dinners, or a relaxing meal with friends. It’s a place where the scenic views of Marblehead Harbor enhance every bite, creating lasting memories of Massachusetts’ stunning coastal beauty.

The Barnacle offers a unique dining experience on the North Shore, with waterfront views of boats bobbing in the harbor.
The Barnacle offers a unique dining experience on the North Shore, with waterfront views of boats bobbing in the harbor.

11. Four Handed Illusions

In the heart of Beacon Hill, a secret awaits that’s sure to dazzle and amaze. Four-Handed Illusions offers an intimate magic show cocktail party at the historic Hampshire House. Before the magic begins, guests enjoy cocktails in the library, setting the stage for a night of wonder.

Joel Acevedo and Steve Kradolfer, the magicians, bring their A-game, performing both solo and duo acts that leave the audience in awe. Their skill is undeniable, turning skeptics into believers with every trick. What sets this event apart is the warmth and humor Joel and Steve bring, making everyone feel part of something special. It’s a cozy, laughter-filled evening where magic feels real, and the audience plays a key role in the enchantment.

This unique blend of magic, camaraderie, and sophistication makes Four-Handed Illusions one of the coolest restaurants in Massachusetts. It’s more than just dinner and a show; it’s an unforgettable experience that charms and delights, perfect for those looking to spice up their evening plans with something truly magical.

Four-Handed Illusions: Intimate magic show cocktail party in Beacon Hill's historic Hampshire House.
Four-Handed Illusions: Intimate magic show cocktail party in Beacon Hill’s historic Hampshire House.

12. Saltie Girl

Saltie Girl in Boston is a cozy spot that’s big on charm and even bigger on seafood. Nestled in a narrow space on Newbury Street, it’s a place where Mediterranean meets Boston in a delicious blend. With its vibrant Spanish tiles and a menu boasting over 60 types of tinned seafood, it’s a feast for both the eyes and the palate. The place is small, making every meal feel exclusive and intimate.

This restaurant is a hit with locals and visitors alike, thanks to its unique offerings and stylish setting. From Spanish and Portuguese tuna to Icelandic cod liver, each tin comes with artisanal bread and house-churned sea salt butter, making every bite a delight. Don’t miss out on the raw bar and the seafood towers, which are as lavish as they come. For a truly indulgent treat, try the fried lobster and waffle with spicy maple syrup.

Friendly staff and a bustling atmosphere make Saltie Girl stand out among the best restaurants in Massachusetts. It’s a place where you can dive into the richness of the sea while soaking up the charm of Boston’s historic streets, making it one of the top places to live and visit in Massachusetts.

Saltie Girl is one of the unique restaurants in Massachusetts.
Saltie Girl in Boston offers Mediterranean-inspired seafood dishes, with over 60 types of tinned seafood available.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Unique Places to Eat in Massachusetts (MA)

Got questions? Our Massachusetts restaurant guide is here to help with all the answers you need.

What is Massachusetts’ most iconic food?

Massachusetts is famous for its clam chowder. This creamy soup is a staple in Massachusetts’ best restaurants and seafood shacks alike. It’s made with clams, potatoes, onions, and sometimes bacon or salt pork. The thick, hearty texture and rich flavors make it a must-try for anyone visiting the state. Whether you’re in Boston or along the coast, you’ll find clam chowder served with pride, often accompanied by oyster crackers.

What food is unique to Boston?

Boston baked beans are unique to the city. This dish uses slow-cooked navy beans in a sauce made from molasses, salt pork, and spices. It’s a part of Boston’s history, earning the city the nickname “Beantown.” Boston baked beans are a common side dish in fine dining in Massachusetts and casual eateries. They reflect the city’s colonial past and are a delicious testament to Boston’s culinary heritage. Another unique local food is Boston Cream Pie, one of my personal favorites!

How many restaurants are there in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts is home to thousands of restaurants. From cheap eats in MA to high-end dining experiences, the state offers a wide variety of choices. While the exact number changes with new openings and closings, Massachusetts boasts a rich culinary scene. Cities like Boston, Cambridge, and Worcester are packed with dining options that cater to every taste and budget, showcasing the diversity of Massachusetts’ food landscape.

Where can I find the best seafood in Massachusetts?

The best seafood in Massachusetts is found along the coast, especially in towns like Gloucester, New Bedford, and Cape Cod. These areas have a long fishing history, providing fresh catches daily. Restaurants here serve everything from lobster rolls and fried clams to sophisticated seafood platters. For the freshest experience, visit local harbors where you can enjoy seafood just hours after it’s caught.

A delectable arrangement of succulent shrimp served on a platter.
A delectable arrangement of succulent shrimp served on a platter.

What are some hidden gem restaurants in MA?

Hidden gem restaurants in Massachusetts are tucked away in small towns, city neighborhoods, and rural areas. These spots might not be widely known but offer incredible meals. Look for family-owned eateries in places like the Berkshires, hidden bistros in Boston’s North End, or seaside cafes in Rockport. These restaurants often use local ingredients, providing a unique taste of Massachusetts’ diverse culinary scene.

What’s the best way to explore Massachusetts’ food scene?

The best way to explore Massachusetts’ food scene is by trying a bit of everything. Start with iconic dishes like clam chowder and Boston baked beans. Then, venture into cheap eats in Massachusetts for a taste of local favorites without breaking the bank. Don’t forget to check out fine dining options for a more upscale experience. Food festivals and farmers’ markets are also great for tasting a variety of local foods in one place.

How do I find fine dining in Massachusetts?

Fine dining in Massachusetts can be found in major cities and quaint towns, each with its own New England charm. Boston, with its historic charm, offers a range of upscale dining experiences. For a unique setting, seek out restaurants in converted buildings with a story, like mills or warehouses. These places often feature local seafood, farm-to-table menus, and international cuisine, all served in elegant settings.

Where can I eat on a budget in Massachusetts?

For cheap eats in MA, explore food trucks, diners, and local markets. Cities like Boston have food truck festivals where you can sample different cuisines at low prices. College towns like Amherst and Cambridge offer affordable dining options catering to students. Don’t overlook ethnic restaurants in diverse neighborhoods for delicious meals that won’t empty your wallet.

Final Thoughts On Unique Massachusetts Restaurants

Wrapping up our journey through the flavors of the Bay State, we hope our Massachusetts restaurant guide has sparked your curiosity and appetite. From the cozy corners of hidden gems to the grand tables of fine dining, Massachusetts offers a plate for every taste, making it one of the top places to live and visit in New England.

Whether you’re craving the classic seafood that’s made Boston famous or looking to dive into the diverse culinary scene that spans this historic state, there’s always a seat waiting for you while staying in Massachusetts. Remember, the best way to experience Massachusetts is one bite at a time.

The top restaurants in Massachusetts for all types of travelers
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