Boston Restaurants with Great Art
Boston is a city full of history and rich in culture especially when it comes to art. You can find it in museums, on the streets, and in so many more places. Every year the Boch Center hosts ArtWeek, 10 days to celebrate art and artists in Boston with fun activities to participate in. This year ArtWeek spans from April 26th through May 5th. There are all sorts of cool events going on from painting with goats and chickens, an Instagram photo contest, live mural painting, origami, and so much more! It’s an exciting time of year where your creative self can shine whether you’re an artist or someone who appreciates art.
Fun Fact: our Allston Arts & Eats Tour was actually born from ArtWeek a few years ago, taking you around the artsy Allston neighborhood to view the many murals the neighborhood boasts and to taste bites from local restaurants.
Keeping with the theme of ArtWeek, we’ve collected a list of restaurants in Boston, all of which are featured on our tours, that have some awesome art in and around their spaces. Their food is equally as impressive so you can come for the art and stay for the food!
As if Shojo’s vibe wasn’t cool enough, their food is also unbelievably inventive and delicious. They really are the whole package, serving modern Asian cuisine with items like Bulgogi Beef Baos, Marinated Crab Toast, and Shadowless Fries. Shojo is a genre of Japanese comics and animated films and in terms of the restaurant they say that Shojo is, “A Japanese sea spirit with red face and hair that has a fondness for alcohol, especially Sake.” You can find her on the huge, colorful mural depicted on the back wall, which is partially responsible for creating the extremely trendy atmosphere inside. Whatever you desire – dinner, snacks, drinks – you’ll leave satisfied. You can also visit them with us on our Chinatown’s Culture & Cuisine Tour.
Amongst the tiny, weaving streets in Boston’s Chinatown, right around the corner from Taiwan Cafe, you’ll find this towering mural on the side of a building next to an alleyway. It’s a replica of the original piece, Autumn mountains with travellers in the style of Fan Kuan, which is displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts. After checking out the mural head across the street for some lunch or dinner at Taiwan Cafe, one of the stops on our Chinatown’s Culture & Cuisine Tour. Highly recommending the soup dumplings is an understatement. YOU MUST GET THEM. Steaming pockets of fatty, porky, soup ready to bust out and onto your spoon. There’s a technique to eating them, which we show you on our tour. They are absolute heaven!
Bootleg Special, one of the stops on our Sweet & Savory South End Tour, has something for all the senses from their eye-catching French Quarter-style art to their incredibly flavorful and aromatic food, like the garlic noodles, which we are obsessed with. How can so much flavor be packed into one bowl of noodles?! We’ll just have to keep eating them over and over and over again to find out. Not mad about that at all. While all of the decor is artsy and hip in its own way, we especially love the rug that they’ve painted onto the floor to create a homey, yet cool vibe. This is the perfect example of the come for the art, stay for the food rationale.
This intimate space is packed with culture and history from the framed photos on the walls of the owner, Andre’s, family and friends to the food they serve. Orinoco is a Venezuelan restaurant known for their fresh arepas and their amazing finger foods such as the Datiles (bacon wrapped dates) and the Maracuchitos (sweet plantains stuffed with cheese). We visit their South End location on our Sweet & Savory South End Tour and it’s a treat every time. There’s such a warm, family-centric feeling inside Orinoco, you’ll never want your meal to be over.
The streets of Allston are full of art, Murals of all kinds can be found anywhere you turn in the neighborhood. The eateries are just as much a part of the art scene there. Staying with the street art vibe, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, one of the stops on our Allston Arts & Eats Tour, has a graffiti-esque portrait of Roxy on their front window. The catch? Nobody actually knows who Roxy is. We don’t know if she’s real or made up, or if this is some sort of caricature or rendition of the real Roxy, if there even is one. It’s a mystery! Nonetheless she’s the face of the restaurant and food truck where they serve unfairly delicious and oozy grilled cheese sandwiches. Adding to the decor, they have a big clipboard wall calendar with the food truck schedule posted as a part of the art on the wall.
Kimchipapi is all about the chill vibes, creating a welcoming space for everyone to kick back and enjoy some poke bowls or one of the other tasty Korean snacks on their menu. Their flavors are fresh and innovative and their space is young and laid back. You can find various murals on their walls to feast your eyes on from Kimchipapi himself to a steaming bowl of noodles. They are a perfect fit for the Allston neighborhood and will be the newest addition to our Allston Arts & Eats Tour, and we’re so excited to have them!Tags: artsy eateries, ArtWeek Boston, Boston art, Boston restaurants with great art
Return to Boston Food and Fun Blog