Yelp has named its 100 best places to eat in the United States, including five in New England. Yelp made the choices by crunching review data and also by consulting its own community managers. Yelp promises a list that always refreshes with unique places that are passionate but their cooking, spanning a range from curbside to fancy. Here are Yelp’s choices in New England.
Carmelina’s at 307 Hanover Street, Boston, Massacusetts. Located in Boston’s North End — also its Little Italy — Carmelina’s serves traditional Sicilian food. Executive Chef Damien DiPaola has adapted old recipes from his own family’s best dishes into modern Italian cuisine that makes fruitful use of both pasta and seafood. The atmosphere of the restaurant is warm, with an open kitchen and family photos on the walls, During arm seasons, the atmosphere becomes even a bit more Mediterranean when retractable front walls are opened to allow for dining just an arm’s length from the sidewalk. Hours: Daily, noon to 10 p.m. Map.
JJ’s Caffe at 610 North Main Street, Brockton, Massachusetts. This breakfast and lunch establishment was opened in 2013 in the location of the former Dew Drop Inn by a father-son team, Chef JJ and Nelson Fernandes. Chef JJ, in fact, is a former executive chef at Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel. Everything in that intro tells you there is some great dining coming your way. The menu is classic, but with unique touches. An example is the chef’s deep fried corned beef hash bomb with cheddar cheese and homemade hot sauce, an innovation that got diners so riled up they demanded that this one-off dish be placed permanently on the menu. JJ’s Caffe has won People magazine’s award for the best breakfast in Massachusetts. Hours: Tuesday – Sunday. 7 a.m.-3 p.m. 508-510-4227. Map.
Pruller Restaurant at 514 Lincoln Street, Marlborough, Massachusetts. This is a Brazilian buffet, so brace yourself for a meat-heavy experience that other guests say they cannot get enough of. Prices are very reasonable: you can have your plate weighed after you go through the buffet, or you can choose the $15 all-you-can-eat option. The buffet includes a dozen or so meats from the grill, including bacon-wrapped chicken, picanha, garlic steak, linguica. So delicious. The surroundings are simple and the staff is friendly. This is the place for the caveman in your stomach. Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Map.
Hometown Café & Poke Bar at 185 Camp Street in the Mount Hope neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island. The two co-owners of Hometown Café & Poke Bar define poke as “deconstructed sushi in a bowl, but more bold and flavorful.” The bowls are made with fresh ingredients and house-made sauces, prepared daily. Hours are daily, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. The business started in 2017 in a mobile trailer, and then moved into a bright and sunny permanent space. A food truck will operates in the warm months; you can find it by following the Hometown Café website. 401- 868-1247. Map.
Otaru Sushi Bar at 21 Temple Street, New Haven, Connecticut. With a culinary history steeped in Japan and the New York City, Chef Sunny Cheng has created a restaurant based on Omakase, meaning “I’ll leave it up to you” in Japanese. This is a style of food preparation in which every dish is individual and unique – and made with only perfectly fresh ingredients. Sunny has over 20 years of experience as a sushi chef and has worked in several distinguished sushi restaurants. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 5-10 p.m. Map.