Worcester has gained the moniker “Heart of Massachusetts” due to its central position in the state. The city also has a number of interesting and unique sights, landmarks, and eateries.
You’d think that being New England’s second-largest city, Worcester would have a wealth of dining choices, and you’d be correct.
Yet, how do you reduce down the food selections in this city in the heart of Massachusetts? Certain towns make it difficult to include all of their outstanding eating alternatives, but I’ve compiled a list of the city’s top culinary offerings, which includes everything from tapas to Thai.
Therefore, foodies, take a vacation across the globe with your taste senses without ever leaving Massachusetts by trying these delectable restaurants!
Visiting other places in Massachusetts? See our other guides:
- 4 Must-Try Cape Cod Restaurants
- Best Cape Cod Tours & Activities
- 8 Must-Try Salem Restaurants
- The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants In Boston
- 8 Best Things To Do In Cape Cod
- 1 The Top 10 Worcester Restaurants
- 2 The 10 Best Worcester Restaurants in Summary
The Top 10 Worcester Restaurants
774-420-7107281, Main Street, Worcester
Deadhorse Hill, housed in the historic Bay State House hotel in the center of downtown Worcester, is a casual upmarket eating place and the authority on authentic New England cuisine.
This restaurant emphasizes homemade cooking and natural, fresh ingredients, and the menu changes on a regular basis.
In the raw bar, you’ll discover oysters from Massachusetts and Maine, as well as other high-quality seafood favorites. Or, you may choose the horse feast and let the chef determine what you will eat at the supper table.
My favorite dish of the night was the pork belly with kimchi rice. The duck and pork meals were also delicious. Everything was washed down with a Deadhorse spin on the Old Fashioned.
Tapas Bar Bocado
Winter St., +1 508-797-101182
When someone talks Spanish food, everyone’s attention immediately goes to tapas! Bocado offers simple, refined meals with rustic tables and peaceful corners, as well as over forty distinct tapas, foreign meats and cheeses, paella specialities, and a fully Spanish wine selection.
My evening began with a sangria, which was followed by an assortment of charcuteries and cheeses. With such a large assortment of tapas to choose from, I ultimately settled on their Pecho de res Cocido. One of the greatest tapas I’ve ever tasted was the beef brisket, which had been cooked for five hours before arriving at my table.
Bocado will envelop you in a pleasant setting with superb cuisine, and the kitchen is open until the early hours of the morning, allowing you to enjoy your evening slowly.
Miss Worcester Restaurant
508-753-5600300 Southbridge Street
Miss Worcester Diner has been a diner emblem for decades, located in a restored 1940s Worcester dining van. When it comes to breakfast and brunch, this classic spot is a local favorite.
Another cash-only establishment that serves omelets and French breakfast, as well as burgers and hot dogs, pasta dishes, quesadillas, handcrafted soups, and other items. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, according to the eatery, which is open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
People keep coming back for more of their unique take on French breakfast dishes, such as a scrumptious strawberry cheesecake French toast.
Miss Worcester Diner is perhaps the only establishment in town with an abundance of breakfast alternatives. They provide over twenty standard and custom omelets, as well as dozens of French toast and pancake selections for those who want to start their day on a sweet note. Thus, if you’re staying in Worcester for an extended amount of time, Miss Worcester Diner has you covered for a hearty breakfast.
Restaurant & Bar OConnors
W Boylston St +1 508-853-07891160 W Boylston St
OConnors is another excellent option; it is a quaint bar with many nooks and crannies and hefty dark timbers throughout. The restaurant has been in operation for over thirty years and will quickly captivate you with its individuality.
The inside walls are decorated with posters and artwork that contribute to the cozy Irish atmosphere. Apart from the amazing meal, the outstanding service I had on a busy Saturday night and midweek, when I came for the second time, was of the same caliber and friendliness.
In terms of cuisine, the menu had fantastic trademark salads, burgers, specials, entrees, vegetarian options, a gluten-free menu, and a children’s menu. Everything appeared so appetizing that it was difficult to choose what to miss.
If you intend to come here on the weekend, you should eat their Roast Prime Rib Au Jus. I’m at a loss for words to explain how flawlessly done this slice of paradise was.
Then, just to be sure I wasn’t missing anything, on my second visit, I had their Beef, Mushroom, and Guinness Pie. This stew is truly to die for, so come hungry. And it was all washed down with a Magners Irish Cider.
508-796-591592 Shrewsbury St.
Nuovo, a family-owned restaurant, was suggested to me by a local, who noted that it is one of the greatest Italian restaurants in Worcester.
Thus my search for the best Worcester eateries became a lot more intriguing. I like a basic and traditional Italian experience, particularly when it is made in a genuine restaurant with a menu that is straightforward and to the point.
Neither my companion nor I were disappointed with Nuovo. The menu includes hot and cold appetizers, soups and salads, seafood, and, of course, pasta. After the mussels with basil and tomato sauce, I tried a pasta version and a meat one. The meal was not hefty at all, but just enough to whet my appetite.
Tortellini with funghi was cooked to perfection, al dente, and sprinkled with truffle oil, garlic, and red wine sauce. Then for the main course, we split a medium tenderloin of beef with mushroom risotto.
The owner personally ensured that our experience was excellent and even provided us with a complimentary Tiramisu. Desserts, as we all know, do not go to the stomach, but rather to the heart. That was ideal!
Vegetarian Restaurant in Belmont
508-798-8898157 Belmont Street
While I am not a vegetarian, I do sometimes want non-specific vegetarian meals. This took me to Belmont Restaurant, where I discovered Jamaican and Caribbean cuisine with a touch of Indian. The restaurant does not seem to be particularly nice from the outside, but that is seldom an indicative of the quality of the meal, so I kept my expectations up.
Belmont Vegetarian Restaurant has a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan alternatives, such as vegetable burgers, collard greens, curry sauce, veggie stew, macaroni and cheese, and everyone is extremely pleasant.
Hidden away in a slightly shady area, the business is instead a take-out option, the closest thing a restaurant has to a substantial home-cooked dinner. I brought my massive sampling dinner home and happily munched on all the veggie treats.
I could go to Belmont every day for the rest of my life just for the MacnCheese. They definitely know how to make this modest restaurant stand out with all of its big and robust ingredients.
50 Water St., +1 508-379-340050 Water St.
This new American restaurant in the historic Canal District serves modest, shareable appetizers and hearty meals influenced by global cuisines, with lots of vegetarian and vegan options.
Its outdoor patio seems to have been designed for spacecraft, with snug small neon igloos that are ideal for fall and winter. Remember that if you want to eat in the igloos, you must make a reservation and pay a non-refundable $50 rental charge per hour for supper. During lunch, they operate on a first come, first serve approach, so you can simply stroll in without a reservation.
The menu is thoughtfully and cleverly created, and all of the small appetizers I had were delicious. The tandoori-style fowl with harissa oil and a pear and almond chutney was my favorite. Congratulations to the chef for incorporating the sweetness of the chutney into this meal without dominating it.
The whole staff was friendly and gave an excellent experience. In an era when every restaurant increases their costs, Lock50 provides wonderful meals at a very cheap price in a secure setting with friendly faces eager to assist.
This is a must-visit Worcester restaurant for every occasion, whether it’s a family lunch, a romantic supper, or a quiet catch-up with friends.
Caf Flying Rhino
On a hot summer day, the elegant and one-of-a-kind Flying Rhino Caf & Watering Hole is the place to gather friends for special events and rejoice with a cool drink.
The bar has a terrific ambience and a great assortment of spirits and cocktails, as well as a twelve changing craft beer selection for all beer fans. If you give Flying Rhino a try, it will quickly become your favorite Worcester restaurant.
From Buffalo chicken wontons to Baja fish tacos, the menu offers excellent, unusual, and imaginative selections. I’d chosen Flying Rhino for breakfast, and their Florentine Benedictine was precisely what I’d intended to start my day with. The poached eggs with feta, Portuguese sweet muffin, and traditional hollandaise with tots were all delicious.
You will fall in love with all Flying Rhino has to offer, as I did, since it is small and intimate, has fair rates and big quantities, and has a dynamic and colorful ambience. The café is open Wednesday through Sunday and offers take-out or, even better, a Sunday brunch with a variety of cuisine options.
Thai Basil and Spice Cuisine
774-317-9986299 Shrewsbury Street
Absolutely, one can eat Thai at a Worcester restaurant and be satisfied. Perhaps they might return again if they are inquisitive whether everything was as good the first time.
Bator Lachman, the owner of Basil n Spice, is a Thai native who began cooking in her own country. Now, she combines ancient techniques with new twists to provide her visitors a remarkable and polished experience. Salads and soups are available, as well as curry meals, seafood, Basil n Spice trademarks, and the unmistakable Traditional Thai Wok.
The Bangkok duck and Spicy Bamboo Wok are two dishes that I am certain everyone will like. One of their many specialty dishes, Bangkok duck, is enhanced to perfection, with crisp duck paired with a sauce of roasted chile and ginger. Culinary nirvana, even for the most discriminating palates.
I couldn’t get enough of this excellent dining experience and decided to invite my friends out for supper after being so impressed by my initial visit. Basil n Spice once again shown why it is regarded as one of the greatest Worcester eateries. This time, I had a hotter version of Wok. I picked beef with bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and bamboo stripe from a number of protein selections.
I guess I’ll keep looking for reasons to return to Worcester, if only for a great Thai meal at Basil n Spice.
508-762-979743 West Boylston St
My greatest gastronomic surprise among Worcester eateries is saved till last. From American to Italian to Thai, this is your chance to sample real East African food in the heart of the city.
The Worcester hidden treasure is modest and quiet, locally owned, and offers a brief menu with four kinds of sandwiches and salads, an East African evening special, and three main entrees. Smoothies, juices, and Kenyan Chai teas are offered as well.
What should I attempt here? Everything, if you ask me, and that will keep you coming back. And it will always be worthwhile. I served some beef samosas and an East African dish with Somali anjero bread, hot lentils, and goat. I almost chewed off my fingers; everything was fantastic.
The atmosphere is nothing special, but the cuisine and the proprietors’ kindness will immediately win you over.
The 10 Best Worcester Restaurants in Summary
I returned to Worcester with a full heart (and full belly). Checking out incredible venues not just for eating but also for a whole dining experience has me astounded by Worcester restaurants and all they have to offer.
Each restaurant on our list enriches the city’s dining scene with distinctive ideas, welcoming ambiances, meals developed with care and daring, and individuals who will go above and beyond to make your stay unforgettable.
Whether you’re a native, simply traveling through Worcester, or a newcomer to the area, you can use this little black book to get a head start on exploring the top eating choices and restaurants in Worcester.