Chefs pay homage to Massachusetts cuisine in a traditional AND modern way

Rich Boston Cream Pie, crispy fried clams and steaming clam chowder are just some of the popular dishes created in the kitchens of Massachusetts. While the culinary landscape is constantly changing around the state, some chefs remain true to the state’s heritage. A few of Massachusetts’s institutions have been serving this cuisine since their first service decades and sometimes centuries ago, while the new kids on the block reinvent old favorites. Visiting Massachusetts means trying the local cuisine, in all its forms, whether that is the tried and true Parker House Roll or fried oyster lettuce wraps.

Old Favorites in MA

Old Mill ~ Westminster, MA

Two hundred fifty years ago, the Old Mill was originally a sawmill where logs were processed for the new homes of the neighborhood. In 1921, the sawmill was converted into a tearoom and operated during the summer months until the early 1940s when war restrictions forced the tearoom to close. After the war, Ralph and Ruth Foster bought the Old Mill and reopened it as a restaurant and the Foster family still owns it 67 years later. Try seafood favorites like New England clam chowder and the Captain’s fried haddock sandwich.

Durgin-Park ~ Boston, MA

Durgin-Park dates back to 1742 when Peter Faneuil, “the topmost merchant in town,” built a large market house near the waterfront housing a small dining room to catered to market men and crews of ships anchored in Boston Harbor. One hundred eighty years ago, Eldridge Park bought the restaurant with John Durgin and John Chandler.  The menu is packed with hearty cuisine like shepherd’s pie and poor man’s roast beef, as well as MA seafood favorites like littleneck clams and clambake.

Parker’s Restaurant ~ Boston, MA

Parker’s is one of the most iconic New England restaurants and the birthplace of Boston Cream Pie, Parker House Rolls and Boston Scrod. Once upon a time, Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson and other literary greats dined at Parker’s as members of the “Saturday Club.” The restaurant opened in the late 1800s and hired the first celebrity chef in the U.S., Chef Sanzian. Ho Chi Minh served as a baker in the bakeshop from 1912-1913 and Malcolm X was a busboy in the early 1940s. JFK also proposed to Jackie O at this restaurant rich in history.

The Tap Room Longfellow’s Wayside Inn ~ Sudbury, MA

Longfellow’s Wayside Inn is a nationally significant MA Historic Landmark and the oldest Inn still operating in the U.S. This two-room home was built in 1707 and became a successful tavern and inn. The Tap Room was originally refereed to as “the west kitchen” and was used as a service bar. Taste Nantucket crab cakes, lobster bisque, broiled Boston Scrod or the house lobster casserole.

Anthony’s Commaquid Inn ~ Yarmouth Port, MA

In 1964, Anthony’s Pier 4 opened on a Boston Harbor Pier and became the highest grossing restaurant in the U.S., attracting hosts of U.S. presidents, artists, religious leaders, athletes and entertainers. While Anthony’s Pier 4 in Boston recently closed its doors, Anthony’s Commaquid Inn still serves the same favorites like baked stuffed lobster and baked clams a la Anthony.

Bull Run Restaurant ~ Shirley, MA

Bull Run began as a tavern in 1740. The name came from an argument that took place inside the tavern during the Battle of Bull Run in the Civil War. Try the fish’n’ chips or the chowder and dine inside the restaurant that supposedly received a knock on the door from Mr. Paul Revere, himself.

Red Lion Inn ~ Stockbridge, MA

The Red Lion Inn has welcomed travelers to the Berkshires for over two centuries, developing a reputation for New England hospitality and food. Chef Brian J. Alberg has carried on that reputation by serving modernized versions of the traditional MA dishes. He began cooking at the Inn in 2004 and has used local MA and New England  ingredients like Berkshire Greens and native turkey.

Lobster Pool ~ Rockport, MA

Founded in 1954, The Lobster Pool is one of the great seafood stops of the North Shore of MA. Located on the shore in Folly Cove, it has arguably one of the best views in the area. Act as New Englanders do in the summer and grab a box of fried clams and a lobster roll, fresh off the boats.

The New, New England in MA:

BRINE ~ Newburyport, MA

BRINE is a hip, energetic Oyster, Crudo and Chop mercantile-styled bar. Choose from a daily smorgasboard of ceviche, crudo, fresh bivalves, tartare, sashimi and carpaccio. Carpet baggers, daily dock specials and po-boys also moonlight on the menu.

Straight Wharf ~ Nantucket, MA

This eatery strives to serve food that speaks to the culture of Nantucket island, re-interpreting summer classics as food to eat at the beach. Try the SWR clam bake, dayboat Chatham scallops or seared Nantucket fluke.

The Canteen ~ Provincetown, MA

Touted as a gathering place for a perfect summer day, The Canteen strives to create Cape Cod favorites from hot and cold lobster rolls to oyster rolls, with a focus on high quality ingredients like Iggy’s bread, Stumptown coffee beans and Belloqc teas. The feel is very casual Cape Cod with outdoor seating, long tables and benches and a menu written on a chalkboard.

Artistry on the Green ~ Lexington, MA

Located in the new luxury boutique, Inn at Hastings Park, Artistry on the Green showcases refined New England cuisine in a fine dining experience. Think Yankee pot roast with braised chuck, root vegetables and red wine jus or seared sea scallops with gnocchi parisienne, asparagus and native lobster stew. Produce comes from all MA farms like Wilson Farm in Lexington, Sienna Farm in Sudbury, Mainstone Farm in Wayland, etc. Bread is baked locally at Bread Obsession.

Puritan & Co. ~ Cambridge, MA

The restaurant may be relatively new, but the chef’s roots date all the way back to the Mayflower, of which he is a descendant. The restaurant takes its name from the Puritan Cake Company that was once housed in the building during the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Fried oyster lettuce wraps, deviled crab biscuits and smoked bluefish pate are just a few of the snacks that begin the regionally inspired meal.

Merrill & Co. ~ Boston, MA

Classic American diner meets MA comfort food. Southern fried chicken shares the menu with a raw bar served with cava mignonette. Deviled eggs and crispy cornbread accompany roasted cod, fried oysters and cast iron mussels. The interior is a contemporary diner of soda shop with a long bar and center table for slurping oysters, particularly on Mondays when they are $1 a piece.

Nudel ~ Lenox, MA

Nudel is a creative American pasta that takes inspiration from the bounty of local Berkshires farms. While the menu does not represent traditional MA foods, it does utilize traditional MA ingredients, which are local, organic, ethnical and natural. The woven roots young lettuces are served with chevre (from Rawson Brook Farms in Monterey, MA) vinaigrette, walnuts and apricots. The fried soft shelled crabs star on a plate of flying saucer squash, garlic scapes, basil leeks and crawfish crema.

About MOTT:

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) is the state agency dedicated to promoting Massachusetts as a leisure-travel destination. An integral part of the state’s economy, tourism generates close to $1 billion in state and local taxes and $16.9 billion in travel related expenditures, supporting 124,700 in-state jobs.


  For more information, contact: 

Annie Moloney, Director of Communications

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

617 – 973-8531

[email protected]



Molly Kravitz, Public Relations Manager

Connelly Partners

Mobile # 317-919-5252 ~ Office # 617-521-5431

[email protected]