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Posted by Lysa Miller, guest blogger of Ladybugz Interactive Agency

Central Massachusetts is booming with unique, locally owned and operated, inviting food establishments and unique creative local cuisine. We’ve hopped across the region to provide you with this great list of unique and well, amazing dishes, and restaurants to “hop” while visiting downtown areas for food, shopping and services. 

We’ve traveled from Ayer to Hudson and from Clinton to Groton just to find something for everyone’s unique tastes. You won’t find dishes like this just anywhere.  Get out a map and your step tracker (you’ll need a few steps to work off these calories). Take a food tour across this beautiful region, whether it is takeout or dining in. Along the way visit and support the local shops and businesses just steps around these hot restaurants. 

Hot Tots

Bleu cheese infused tots fried crispy and tossed in our house-made buffalo sauce served with a side of bleu cheese dressing.

Where: Rail Trail, Hudson

Although delicious wood fired flatbread pizza is the champion on our menu it’s just the beginning -we are a family friendly restaurant offering unique spins on new american comfort food classics like burgers, wings, tacos and mac and cheese to name  a few..  Some of our most popular items were developed by thinking about the food we crave and the places we’ve been. We believe food should be fun and approachable for everyone and never, ever too serious

The Rail Trail Flatbread Co.

33 Main Street Hudson

(978) 293-3552

Instagram: @railtrailflatbreadco

Salted Oreo Ice Cream 

Salted sweet cream base with salted chocolate coated oreo pieces.

Where: New City Microcreamery

Founded in 2015, New City Microcreamery is a metropolis of fine confections, smooth creams, and delectable treats that has been voted the Best Ice Cream in Massachusetts*. We’ve taken the ice cream of our wildest imaginations and brought it to life. We created something we believe in; our childhood dream of a utopian society where ice cream rules – and most importantly – it’s good. It’s really good.

We use a liquid nitrogen process to freeze the cream. After the scratch ice cream base has steeped in its flavor for 24 hours in our walk-in refrigerator, we pour it into our mixer. First, we slowly move the base and introduce the liquid nitrogen, which is more than negative 300 degrees and freeze the base. We then increase the speed on the mixer to aerate the frozen cream and give it its lighter texture and mouthfeel. Using the super-cold liquid nitrogen creates a smaller ice crystal which gives it the smooth New City texture we look for. Plus… its a heck of a show.

New City Microcreamery

28 Main Street Hudson 

403 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge

(978) 333-7144

Instagram @Newcitymicrocreamery

Destroy All S’mores: House made S’mores smash pie

House-Made S’mores Smash Pie.

Where: Less Than Greater Than, Hudson

A speakeasy cocktail bar where guests can watch their drinks and dishes being thoughtfully crafted from across the soapstone bar or cozy up in the dining room in this dimly-lit cocktail refuge.

The bar specializes in decadent food, craft cocktails and creamy, almost frozen whipped ice cream cocktails called “Spirits and Cream”, all made-to-order using liquid nitrogen right before your eyes. The room is filled with dim light reminiscent of golden hour, draped in luxe textures like velvet, soapstone, and whispers of gold. You come here to lean closer to your date. To whisper your favorite cocktail across the 40-foot bar. To indulge in creamy nostalgic treats that are infused with exotic spirits.

The experience begins while walking down Main Street in Hudson where you’ll notice a large window display designed using vintage elements and a nod to the 1930s. Shoes and a sewing machine suggest the existence of a cobbler shop, but if you look closely, you’ll realize the window is just a facade—there is no entry from the street to this “cobbler shop,” so visitors must hunt for the entrance through the ice cream parlor next door. Less Than Greater Than is also commonly referred to as “The Cobbler” because of its hidden entrance. Once the door is located you will be instructed to “switch on the light and wait for delight.” A place to go when you want to escape the modern day rush and slip into a dimly lit retreat that feels like you are stepping back in time all while thumping modern day music fills the room with energy

Less Than Greater Than

28 Main Street Hudson

(978) 333-7142

Instagram: @Lessthan_greaterthan

Braised Short Rib

Our signature braised short rib with pearl barley, roasted root vegetables, braised onion, and horseradish.

Where: The Gibbett Hill Grill, Groton

We are one of the only restaurants in New England that has a produce farm on site with a menu shaped around the seasonal harvests. In the summer, the majority of our produce is grown right on our farm. We grow over 40 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, squashes and zucchini, heirloom beets, radishes, greens, peppers, beans, potatoes, specialty onions, herbs, and many other crops, all of which can be seen on our menu throughout the year. We keep a root cellar and have winter greenhouses in order to expand our growing season. In addition, we also source from other local farms and food purveyors to feature the best of what the region has to offer. We bring the farm to your fork, literally.

The Gibbet Hill Grill

61 Lowell Road, Groton

(978) 448-2900

Instagram:  @gibbethillgrill


Hungarian Goulash

Slow Cooked Beef with Sweet Hungarian Paprika, Onions, Garlic, Tomatoes, TLB Beef Broth, Carrots, Potatoes and a hint of Caraway.  Served with Sour Cream.  

Where: Lazy Bubble, Pepperell

The Beef is from Clover-Luck Farm, Potatoes from Robin Woods Farm & Carrots and Tomatoes from Kimball Fruit Farm all in Pepperell.   Sour Cream is Cabot, which we have many Cabot Farms around us.  If there is anything else you need, please let us know. 

This charming in-town restaurant has been open for 1 year on November 16th. The Lazy Bubble is a scratch-made restaurant, utilizing local ingredients as much as we can.  The restaurant offers an International Comfort Food Menu that changes frequently, however, they always have a Hungarian Dish on the menu, as the owner and Chef Chris is Hungarian.

The Lazy Bubble

112 Main Street, Pepperell

(978) 925-9777

Instagram: @thelazybubble

The Ranchero Burger

This burger lover’s delight features fresh grilled beef, topped with ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, jalapeno peppers and cheddar cheese and a giant onion ring. 

Where: Bailey’s Bar & Grille, Townsend

Bailey’s Bar and Grille

18 Main Street, Townsend

(978) 812-0200

Instagram: @baileysbarandgrille

Evviva AntiPasti

This Salumi Board consists of a Selection of Italian Cured Meats including Peppered Salami, Genoa Salami, Capicola, Prosciutto, Parmigiano Reggiano, House Made Mozzarella, Roasted Peppers & Artichokes, Marinated Olives and Grilled Flatbread.

Where: Evviva, Marlborough, Westford, Maynard

Evviva Trattoria features modern Italian food served in a comfortable and casual atmosphere.  We are Italian Inspired, Locally Made.  Our chefs have taken beloved Italian and American classics and added their culinary flair. We are extremely passionate about utilizing only the freshest and highest quality of ingredients while providing the best service to our guests.  We take special pride in offering over 90% of our menu Gluten Free and also are open for Brunch Saturday and Sunday’s. 

Evviva Trattoria

Marlborough : 142 Apex Dr. (774) 843-2599

Westford:  7 Cornerstone Square. (978) 692-9050

Maynard:  5 Digital Way. (978) 298-5855



Mariano’s Meat-a-balls are certainly a crowd favorite. Recipe is right from the Mariano Families ancestors from Calabria Italy. 

Where: Mariano’s Ristorante, Pepperell

Whether it’s a business lunch, a date night, or a family outing, Mariano’s intimate setting is conducive for a refreshingly nice sit-down. The vast menu includes delicious appetizers, authentic dishes, artisan pizzas, and daily specials. The restaurant  offers a carefully selected wine list and specialty cocktails that will surely add flavor to your already exceptional dining experience. 

Mariano’s Ristorante

105 Main Street, Pepperell, MA

(978) 433-6633

Instagram: @marianosristorante

Tender Fried Calamari

Try this delectable pile fresh calamari deep, dipped in our secret recipe italian batter and  fried to perfection. Served on Marinara sauce and sprinkled with hot peppers and feta cheese. If you are cheating on your diet, you won’t be sorry. 

Where: Clintons Bar and Grille, Clinton

Clintons Bar and Grille is located in downtown Clinton and features a variety of Italian and American style fare. The restaurant is quaint and offers bar seating, restaurant seating (open and booths) and seasonal outdoor seating. Clintons is also known for its exemplary wine list and craft cocktails. Open for both lunch and dinner and takeout. Online ordering is also available.  

Clintons Bar and Grille

27 High Street, Clinton

(978) 598-7002


Sir Lobster Tail Taco (Langosta)

Fresh soft homemade taco shells topped with fresh lobster tail tossed in salted butter, with chili-lime shredded cabbage, cheese crumbs, diced onions, avocado chipotle and sprinkled with cilantro. 

Where: Bar 25, Ayer

You won’t find this anywhere else around here, that is for sure. This delectable taco dish is one you won’t forget either (and will leave you coming back for more. 

Bar 25 is located in the downtown district of Ayer walking distance to shops and other establishments. The cocktails and food are always crafted with fresh ingredients, made to order. The food menu is designed by the in-house chef to compliment our cocktail and spirit options perfectly. At Bar 25 the goal is to provide an enjoyable atmosphere for a fun night out with old friends and new. Open evenings for reservations and takeout. Online ordering is available also. 

Bar 25

25 Main Street, Ayer

(978) 391-4680

Instagram: @bar25ayer