I've put together a list of the best restaurants in Lawrence, Massachusetts, so whether you're a resident or just passing through, I hope you'll join me on this gastronomical journey to discover the hidden gems that make this lovely city's dining scene truly special.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular eateries but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city's diverse culinary landscape for yourself
Tripoli Pizza & Bakery
I can confidently say that Tripoli Pizza & Bakery in Lawrence is a must-visit for anyone in town.
You can check their website here.
The moment you walk in, you're greeted by the mouth-watering aroma of freshly baked bread that takes you back to simpler times.
I fondly recall going there as a kid, and every visit still brings back those cherished memories.
What really sets this place apart is their bread.
I'm not one to eat plain bread without any spread or accompaniments, but at Tripoli, the bread is so soft, fluffy, and delicious that I can't help but devour it as is.
Of course, they offer other items too - their cookies, strawberry shortcake, and elephant ears are particularly amazing.
I can only imagine how hectic things get during the holiday season.
Nonetheless, you can count on them to make anything you ask for happen.
A personal favorite of mine is their cannoli.
They fill it and add toppings only when you place the order, ensuring that you get the freshest and most delectable treat possible.
My partner also loves their cannoli, and our dog Reesie adores their doggie version.
There's a quaint little cafe in my town called El Taller that I've been visiting quite often lately.
The menu comprises a variety of coffee, breakfast, sandwiches, and Mexican fare, along with shelves filled with books to browse through.
I remember my first visit to this combined location after being a longtime customer of Cafe Azteca.
It felt more like a bus stop or a meeting spot with people constantly coming in and out.
Over time, I've grown to appreciate the presentation and taste of their food.
I particularly love their chicken quesadilla.
Terramar Mexican Grill
Ever since Terramar Mexican Grill opened in our neighborhood, it has quickly become one of my go-to spots whenever I crave authentic Mexican cuisine.
The rustic ambience and the impressive wall art make every visit feel like a special treat.
You can check out their menu at Terramar Mexican Grill.
The service has always been friendly and attentive, which is something I truly appreciate.
Their Taco Tuesdays are a must-try and their extensive drink menu offers a great selection of cocktails to satisfy any thirst.
I particularly enjoy the freshness of their ingredients, with the guacamole and house salsa serving as perfect examples.
The birria tacos and ceviche also stand out as favorites.
Terramar Mexican Grill's recognition by Hilton Honors Dining and Marriot's "Eat Around Town" program is well deserved, and I'm proud to have such a fantastic establishment in our community.
Tavern on Merrimack
One of my favorite places to grab a bite and unwind after a long day is Tavern on Merrimack.
Their food is always delicious - I remember one time I ordered a sandwich and though the portion was small, the flavors were incredible.
They create a welcoming atmosphere, making it a great spot for a night out with friends.
The prices are fair as well, so you can enjoy a nice meal and drinks without breaking the bank.
I absolutely love going to Japu Restaurant for its unique Peruvian influenced dishes and friendly atmosphere.
They always have special dishes for the day that are just too good to resist!
Japu has become one of my favorite spots to hang out with friends or even have a casual date night with my partner.
Their mint lemonade is a must-try, and I cannot recommend their ceviche enough.
The food is consistently great, and the service is always top-notch.
I find myself suggesting this restaurant to everyone I know, as it truly offers a delightful dining experience.
Spicket River Brewery
I recently decided to spend an evening at Spicket River Brewery to unwind and catch up with some friends.
As I walked in, I was immediately taken by the cozy atmosphere and the cool art displayed around the place.
I could tell that they really put an effort into supporting and representing the local community.
They even host events featuring local artists, which I think is a fantastic way to bring people together.
I ordered a flight of five beers to sample, including IDK IPA, CALAMASTA, BODEGA, and a Cruel Summer.
Each one had a unique taste, and I enjoyed them all.
To top off the experience, there was a Los 3 Garcia Mexican Food Truck parked outside, where I got to indulge in some of the best tacos and burritos I've ever had.
I decided to try out the Sunnyside Diner after hearing some great reviews about the place.
The 1950s drive-in decor and classic American fare like omelets and sandwiches sounded like a perfect spot for brunch.
When I called to check on the wait, they told me there were tables available, so I headed over.
The food itself was fantastic, especially the eggs I ordered.
Mamajuana Restaurant & Lounge
I recently had the pleasure of dining at Mamajuana Restaurant & Lounge and I must say, it exceeded my expectations!
Before even stepping inside, I appreciated the convenience of their free parking lot, a rare find in the downtown area.
The restaurant itself was beautifully decorated, with lovely outdoor seating and stylish furniture.
The food was simply amazing.
My friends and I decided to share our dishes, so we could all experience the variety of flavors on offer.
The real star of the night was the Mamajuana Seafood Mofongo.
Every bite was an explosion of perfectly balanced flavors, making it an incredibly enjoyable dining experience.
I can't wait to go back just for that dish!
One of my favorite spots to grab some delicious Mexican food in the area has to be Cafe Azteca.
This brick-walled, casual restaurant is not only known for its tasty dishes but also the beautiful Latin artwork that adorns the walls.
I recently visited the place with a couple of friends, and we were not disappointed.
We started with the complimentary chips and salsa, which was quite fresh, albeit a bit cold.
We then ordered the yoga bowl with steak and chipotle chicken, which turned out to be fantastic!
What I personally love about this place is the friendly service and the fact that they offer specials every weekend.
Apart from the food, the ambiance at Cafe Azteka is quite cozy and inviting, especially with the Latin artwork on display.
I've had the pleasure of dining on both levels of the establishment, and each has its own unique charm.
Jackie's Chicken & Beer
One of my go-to places when I'm craving delicious fried chicken and pork has got to be Jackie's Chicken & Beer.
Their rice and beans, fried plantains, and other delicious dishes never disappoint.
What's even more unique about this place is the small convenience store located right in the front of the store.
You can pick up extra treats like candy and soda while you're there.
Recently, I decided to try something new and went for the chicharones, and oh my goodness, those were heavenly!
The skin was crispy, and the meat was moist and juicy.
I've been to Pollo Cibao a couple of times.
The food is delicious, with plenty of options on the menu, making it difficult to decide what to order every time I visit.
The fried fish is enjoyable.
I also appreciate the good quality authentic food offered at a fair price.
Additionally, the parking situation is ideal.
Union Supermarket #1 Restaurant
I can confidently say that Union Supermarket #1 Restaurant is one of the go-to places in Lawrence for a delicious and filling Dominican breakfast.
Trust me, this little gem offers a flavorful eating experience that will keep you coming back for more.
Despite some fluctuations in pricing, the food at Union Supermarket #1 Restaurant remains consistently delicious and affordable.
With just 20 bucks, you can easily feed a small family and leave with satisfied tummies.
Their Dominican cuisine is not only mouth-watering, but the service is also fast and efficient.
Tu Cocina Restaurant & Bakery
Whenever I'm in need of a quick and tasty lunch, I often find myself at Tu Cocina Restaurant & Bakery.
The first time I went there, I noticed it was situated right next to my favorite noodle shop.
On my first visit, I ordered yellow rice, pork, and ribs, which came with a salad for about $10.
The portion size was pretty generous, and I found the pork rib to be tender, moist, and full of flavor.
The yellow rice is so tasty that I could eat it by itself, but I also enjoy the slightly dry pork.
I've been back several times since then, and the food has never disappointed me.
Other Restaurants Nearby
This cheery joint has a vintage vibe and specializes in breakfast fare, including some health-conscious options.
It's a real staple in the Andover community and always has a lively atmosphere.
It can get quite busy, especially on weekends, and the waiting area can be a bit cramped.
However, once you get seated, the service is great and the extensive menu offers a variety of delicious options.
I personally love their homemade corned beef hash and the spicy pork hash with hash brown potatoes – they're both fantastic and cooked to perfection.
LaRosa's Italian Cafe & Bar
I've been visiting this charming cafe for over 10 years now, ever since my office moved to downtown Andover.
Their handcrafted sandwiches, pasta dishes, and Italian coffee are simply irresistible!
One thing that always brings me back to LaRosa's is their amazing chicken parmesan sandwiches.
I can't resist their cheesecakes either, especially the cookie dough cheesecake – it's hands down the best cheesecake I've ever tasted!
Whenever I have friends or family in town, I make sure to take them here so they can indulge in the wide variety of delicious options available, including salads and different assortments of pastries.
Not only is the food amazing, but the service is exceptional.
LaRosa's is also perfect for anyone with dietary restrictions, as they offer something for everyone.
On my last visit, I had their Mediterranean Garbanzo salad with a caprese sandwich – the portions were generous, and the ingredients were as fresh as ever.
The restaurant itself is very clean and has a high-end aesthetic, making it a great place to enjoy a meal.
I particularly love sitting out on their back patio during the warmer months, sipping on one of their strong and delicious drinks, like the LaRosa Lemonade.
Feeling a bit adventurous, I decided to explore the nearby area and stumbled upon Yella, a hidden gem of a Mediterranean restaurant just down the alley.
I'm so grateful I found this place, and I guarantee you won't be disappointed either!
I decided to try their Short ribs with grilled asparagus and mushroom risotto, and let me tell you, it was absolutely fantastic!
Their menu may be small, but the quality of their dishes definitely exceeded my expectations.
Another dish I recommend is the lamb with homemade pasta, which was so delicious that even the leftovers tasted amazing the next day.
Having been there a few times now, I can confidently say that Yella is consistently great with its food, drinks, and service.
Gati Thai Bistro
I've been to Gati Thai Bistro in Andover a few times, and I have to say that it's a delightful little spot.
The colorful kitchen and warm ambiance instantly make you feel at home.
Located just off the main street, you can easily find it on Google Maps.
My personal favorite dish there is the vegetarian Pad Thai, which is always prepared with fresh ingredients and has a nice balance of flavors.
On my last visit, I also ordered some spring rolls and a delicious soup, all of which were enjoyable.
The menu offers a wide variety of choices, including curry, noodles, fried rice, and gluten-free options.
Grassfields Food & Spirits
Grassfields Food & Spirits has become one of my go-to spots for dinner with my family or friends.
Their cozy dining room and casual bar area make it perfect for any occasion, be it a special celebration or a simple weeknight meal.
My partner and I often find ourselves indulging in their generous portions of steak and seafood.
I can't get enough of their baked lobster pie, while my partner seems to enjoy trying out different items on the menu, such as the lamb chops.
Our kids are always happy with the options available to them too - the chicken parmigiana never disappoints and even our picky eater loves their grilled cheese and chicken tenders.
They always make us feel welcome and well-taken care of, ensuring that our dining experience is nothing short of excellent.
And let's not forget the desserts - they're definitely worth saving room for!
Last week, I decided to try out Karma Andover with my spouse, since we had heard many positive reviews about the place.
As we entered the restaurant, we were instantly impressed by its casual yet sophisticated ambiance.
The menu was diverse, offering modern sushi, Korean, Chinese, and Thai dishes.
We decided to order a mix of sushi and other dishes to get a taste of their variety.
The oysters were incredibly fresh and delicious, and the sushi was of excellent quality with amazing presentation.
We also tried their calamari, which was the best I've ever had, hands down.
Andiamo Restaurant Bar + Cafe
I've had the pleasure of dining at Andiamo Restaurant Bar + Cafe on several occasions.
I remember one time, after a tiring day of travel, my friends and I decided to have dinner here.
We arrived just an hour before closing, but were quickly seated and served ice water, which was very refreshing.
I was delighted to find gluten-free pasta on their menu.
The chocolate mousse that followed was simply phenomenal!
The restaurant has a nice open layout with a great atmosphere.
There are several TVs at the central bar, making it an ideal spot for catching up with friends or watching a game.
On another visit, my partner and I tried the short rib arancini appetizer and were quite impressed.
We also enjoyed the chicken parmesan and chicken saltimbocca with fresh rigatoni.
The portions were generous, and the prices were reasonable, making it a great spot for a satisfying meal.
During a separate lunch visit, I was happy to discover that the ficchi pizza was still on the menu, as it's my favorite dish from their Newburyport location.
La Fina Restaurant
One of my favorite places to dine in town is definitely La Fina Restaurant.
I personally love their grilled salmon, lobster mac & cheese, and creamed spinach - such a delightful combination!
Aside from the delicious food and exceptional service, the ambiance at La Fina is truly elegant and inviting.
The restaurant also offers complimentary valet parking, which is a convenient perk.
From the mouthwatering Tripoli Pizza to the comforting dishes at Shawsheen Luncheonette, there's a place for everyone to enjoy in this town.
The rich cultural influence of the city is reflected in the food, providing a unique dining experience for both residents and visitors alike.