20 Best Restaurants in Waltham, MA

This article was written by local contributor Samantha Saunders & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Waltham, MA

Ever since I moved to Waltham, Massachusetts, I've had the pleasure of exploring and experiencing the diverse culinary scene that this charming city has to offer.

From mouth-watering Italian dishes to delightful Thai flavors, each new place I try always leaves me wanting more.

Waltham has truly become a foodie's paradise, and I'm excited to share with you some of my personal favorites and hidden gems in town.

So, without further ado, let's dive into the best restaurants in Waltham, Massachusetts!

Masao's Kitchen

I have been a frequent visitor to Masao's Kitchen.

This little gem offers delicious vegan and macrobiotic dishes, with a focus on tempeh, tofu, and vegetable entrees.

The atmosphere is simple and laid-back, making it a perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner.

The buffet-style setup allows me to pick and choose my favorites and even discover new dishes.

I've noticed that the food runs out fast, so I've made it a habit to go in earlier, just to make sure I get a taste of everything.

What I appreciate the most about Masao's Kitchen is the dedication to clean, mindful eating.

As a vegan, it's important to me to find spots like this that serve warm, home-style, high-quality food.

Since the pandemic, the restaurant has only been open for lunch and takeout, but recently, they've brought back the buffet for eat-in or takeout during lunch hours.

Masao’s Kitchen · 581 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453, United States
★★★★★ · Vegan restaurant

Ak's Waltham

I recently decided to give Ak's Waltham a try, and I must say, it has quickly become one of my favorite pizza places in town.

As a vegetarian, I was thrilled to find out that they offer a delicious Beyond Meat Burger alongside their extensive menu of pies, slices, subs, and pasta dishes.

It's great to have a place where my entire family can enjoy a meal together without any fuss.

I ordered a pizza for my family and requested it to be cut into squares, which my kids absolutely loved.

In addition to the pizza, I couldn't resist trying their salads and chicken wings, which were equally amazing.

On a separate occasion, I happened to be in the area and stopped by for a quick bite.

I was not disappointed, as the customer service was excellent, and the food was just as delicious as I remembered.

I even ventured out to try their Chicken Parm pizza, which was a delightful surprise.

The crust was crispy and held the toppings together perfectly, creating a mouthwatering balance of flavors.

Aside from the great food and service, Ak's Waltham is conveniently located near Prospect Hill Park, making it an ideal spot to grab a meal after a walk or hike.

They even offer outdoor seating, which is perfect for enjoying the nice weather.

Ak’s Waltham · 559 South St, Waltham, MA 02453, United States
★★★★★ · Fast food restaurant

Taqueria El Amigo

I recently stumbled upon this incredible taco joint called Taqueria El Amigo, and I cannot stop raving about it!

This lively eatery serves up traditional Mexican specialties in a small, utilitarian space.

Don't let the size fool you - the flavor and quality of the food here are unmatched.

I've been a regular here for months now, and every time I visit, the service is always excellent.

They are more than willing to accommodate any dietary restrictions and preferences - they even worked out alternative options for my vegetarian friends.

The salsa is always fresh and tangy, and their guacamole is simply divine.

When it comes to their tacos, I cannot recommend the Chorizo taco enough - it is an absolute must-try!

All their tacos are served on soft corn tortillas with your choice of meat, avocado, and cilantro.

The flavors are so authentic and well-balanced it feels like I'm eating real home cooking.

And the best part?

The prices are extremely reasonable.

Just the other day, my friends and I were able to enjoy an amazing meal for only $27.

Taqueria El Amigo · 196 Willow St, Waltham, MA 02453, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Heidi's Restaurant

Just a few days ago, I decided to have breakfast with a friend at Heidi's Restaurant, a lovely diner in our town known for its wonderful breakfast dishes and classic offerings.

As we walked in, I noticed how busy the place was, yet it still maintained a relaxed atmosphere.

We took a seat and started browsing the menu, which looked mouthwatering.

I ended up choosing the omelet, which turned out to be incredibly fluffy and satisfying, while my friend went for the Belgian waffle with peanut butter and corned beef hash.

What I loved most about Heidi's Restaurant is that it felt like a warm community hub where everyone seemed to know one another.

Being a Waltham resident, it's always nice to experience that sense of camaraderie and familiarity in a cozy diner setting like this one.

Heidi’s Restaurant · 723 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453, United States
★★★★★ · Diner

La Campania

I've always heard great things about La Campania, so when the opportunity arose, I decided to give it a try with some friends.

The moment we walked in, we were greeted with a warm and intimate ambiance that made us feel like we were transported to a rustic Italian village.

The beautiful glass window showcasing their impressive wine collection added an element of elegance to our dining experience.

We ended up ordering the Beef Carpaccio, Mushroom Soup, Campanelle Pasta, and Duck.

Each dish was a beautiful combination of rich flavors and fresh ingredients.

But the real standout was the dessert.

Simply divine!

La Campania · 504 Main St, Waltham, MA 02452, United States
★★★★★ · Neapolitan restaurant


Last week, my friends and I decided to try out Vinotta, a local Italian restaurant that has been receiving rave reviews lately.

For appetizers, we went with the minestrone soup and the octopus.

Both dishes were bursting with flavor and set the tone for the rest of the meal.

For our main courses, we tried the Salmon Risotto and the Veal Chop special.

The Salmon Risotto was a standout dish.

Plus, the service was friendly and attentive throughout the night.

Vinotta · 361 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Carl's Steak Subs

So, I was craving a good cheesesteak the other day and decided to try out this place I've heard about called Carl's Steak Subs.

I gotta say, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made lately.

First of all, the steak and cheese were absolutely delicious - definitely one of the best I've had in the Boston area.

The subs were generously sized, and I was completely full after finishing one.

I also decided to give their tenders and fries a try, and they didn't disappoint either.

The place itself is a family-run joint with a no-frills vibe, so it's perfect for a casual meal.

Carl’s Steak Subs · 55 Prospect St, Waltham, MA 02453, United States
★★★★★ · Sandwich shop

Peshawri Kebabs

I've been to Peshawri Kebabs a few times now, and I have to say, the experience has been a mixed bag.

The decor is really well done and quite cool, giving off a wonderful atmosphere.

The chicken kabobs and tandoori chicken are incredibly delicious and flavorful.

I also appreciate their variety of flavors, with options like the Mutton Nihari that truly stand out as exceptional.

The unique decor and occasional culinary delights make it a place I think is worth visiting again and again.

Peshawri Kebabs · 603 Main St, Waltham, MA 02452, United States
★★★★★ · Halal restaurant

The Federal

My friends and I decided to try out The Federal for our weekend dinner, and I must say, it turned out to be a fantastic choice.

From the moment we walked in, I could sense the warmth and welcoming vibes of the restaurant.

The food was exceptional, with amazing Italian options that left our taste buds wanting more.

For starters, we went with the charcuterie board, which gave us a delicious variety of flavors to kick off our meal.

As a main course, I opted for the skirt steak frites, which I must say was one of the best steaks I've ever had.

My friends raved about their pork chop and lobster special as well.

Even though the restaurant was a bit on the pricier side, the quality of the food and the service made it worth every penny.

Ending our meal with the Pistachio creme Brule, it was a night to remember.

The Federal · 74 Tower Rd, Waltham, MA 02451, United States
★★★★★ · Seafood restaurant

IL Capriccio

I recently dined at IL Capriccio to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday, and I must say, it was an unforgettable experience.

The upscale eatery, known for its Northern Italian cuisine and extensive wine list, did not disappoint.

The bartender created two unique cocktails for our event, and they were both incredibly delicious.

The food was also amazing – I highly recommend the mushroom soufflé!

The restaurant's layout was appealing, and the design was charming.

Parking was conveniently available behind the establishment, and everything was clean and well-maintained.

IL Capriccio · 704 Main St, Waltham, MA 02451, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Ponzu Izakaya Waltham

I must say, one of my favorite spots to dine at is Ponzu Izakaya on Moody Street.

Their sushi is always fresh, and their wide range of clever Asian small plates keeps me coming back for more.

Plus, they have a great selection of sake and wine.

I've been going there for years, and I've never been disappointed.

The atmosphere is casual and warm, making it a perfect place for a weeknight dinner or a get-together with friends.

One of their standout dishes that I highly recommend is the shrimp tempura wrapped in rice, topped with snow crab and crunchy tuna.

It's simply divine!

Ponzu Izakaya Waltham · 286 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02451, United States
★★★★★ · Sushi restaurant

Other Restaurants Nearby 7 subs below 11 subs up

Pátzcuaro Taqueria & Bar (Newton)

I've always been on the lookout for authentic Mexican food in the area, and I finally found my go-to spot at Pátzcuaro Taqueria & Bar.

The moment I walked in, I was greeted by a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

My friends and I were quickly seated, and we couldn't wait to dive into the menu.

We started with chips and guacamole, which was so fresh and flavorful - definitely a must-try.

Then, I ordered the shrimp tacos, and I must say, they were amazing!

The flavors were just perfect, and the shrimp were cooked to perfection.

But what really stood out to me was the exceptional service.

I was also impressed by their cocktail selection.

It's not often that you find such a perfect combination of great food, ambiance, and service.

Pátzcuaro Taqueria & Bar · 398-400 Watertown St, Newton, MA 02458, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Hearty Teriyaki Newton (Newton)

My go-to spot for a quick and delicious meal in Newton, Massachusetts, has to be Hearty Teriyaki Newton.

Their bowls are absolutely amazing, and the fact that they offer two sizes really caters to everyone's appetite.

Personally, I find the big bowls worth the extra few dollars because you get all those tasty extra toppings.

What I find really convenient is that you can order online and just pick up your food at the takeout window.

This is especially great for busy days when I don't have time to cook or dine in.

The bubble tea they offer is simply the cherry on top for me, and I can't resist getting one with each order.

They've quickly become my favorite lunch spot as well, especially on days when I order through DoorDash.

The delivery is always speedy, taking around 30-35 minutes to get to me, and the quality of the food never disappoints.

The amount they pack into their takeout bowls is just perfect, leaving me satisfied and full.

My current favorite from their menu is the chicken teriyaki bowl, paired with an iced passion fruit green tea.

The chicken is always cooked to perfection, and the flavors are simply mouth-watering.

The tea adds a refreshing touch to the meal, and I can't wait to try more of their offerings in the future.

Hearty Teriyaki Newton · 67 Crafts St, Newton, MA 02458, United States
★★★★★ · Japanese restaurant

Manow Thai Kitchen (Newton)

I've been a resident of Newton for a while now and have always been a fan of Thai cuisine.

So when I heard about Manow Thai Kitchen, I knew I had to give it a try.

I must say, I was not disappointed!

I decided to start with their amazing papaya salad, which was a true delight.

The blend of flavors and textures was spot-on.

For my main course, I tried the Crispy Chicken Pad Thai.

The noodles were bursting with flavor, but the chicken was a bit tough and bland.

However, the mango sticky rice made up for it, being one of the most delicious desserts I've ever had.

Manow Thai Kitchen · 1138 Beacon St, Newton, MA 02461, United States
★★★★★ · Thai restaurant

Blue Salt Restaurant (Newton)

One of my favorite places to dine in the area has to be Blue Salt Restaurant.

I remember my first time there, I was immediately drawn in by the sophisticated yet simple atmosphere.

It's the kind of place where people dress up, which only adds to its charm.

The food at Blue Salt Restaurant is always top-notch.

The ingredients are impeccably fresh, and the dishes are prepared to perfection.

I particularly loved the salmon appetizer and the bucatini, which both had a unique twist to them and were simply out of this world.

What really sets Blue Salt apart, though, is the exceptional customer service.

On one of my visits, they even surprised us with Russian karaoke later in the evening, which was incredibly entertaining.

Besides being a great spot for special occasions, Blue Salt Restaurant is also the perfect place to hang out with friends.

The welcoming, family feel of the establishment has made it a go-to dining option for me, and I can't wait for my next visit.

Blue Salt Restaurant · 1255 Washington St, Newton, MA 02465, United States
★★★★★ · Fusion restaurant

Roksana's (Watertown)

I've had the pleasure of trying out many restaurants around, but Roksana's Persian Food has always had a special place in my heart.

Whenever I'm craving delicious Persian dishes, I immediately think of Roksana's and their mouthwatering kebabs.

The atmosphere is so welcoming, and, as a local, I can attest to the exceptional service that has never disappointed me.

It's not just a take-out eatery; they also have a supermarket inside, and they even offer catering services that are perfect for special occasions.

If only they had a seating area to enjoy the food warm, everything would be perfect.

But even as a take-out place, everything they serve is always delicious.

I've tried most of their dishes, and I must say that their zereshk polo ba morgh, Olivier salad, kashk bademjoon, beef kotlet, adas polo ba keshmesh and morgh, and kabab koobideh are simply out of this world.

Their prices are extremely reasonable for the portions you get, and the Taftoon bread they serve is unmatchable.

I’ve even had friends visiting from out of town who would drive all the way to Roksana's just to try their food, and they have never been disappointed.

Roksana’s Persian Food · 133 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472, United States
★★★★★ · Persian restaurant

Ritcey East (Watertown)

I must say, one of my favorite spots to grab a bite and hang out with friends is Ritcey East.

The vibe is always warm and welcoming, and I appreciate their focus on providing a great variety of vegetarian and vegan options.

I remember the first time I walked in, I was immediately drawn to the artwork on the walls, especially the painting of Frank Ocean.

It's unique touches like this that make the place feel truly special.

As for the food, I can't rave enough about their Brussels Sprouts Caesar – it's an innovative twist on the classic dish that you absolutely must try!

One thing I always look forward to when visiting Ritcey East is their delicious cocktails.

My go-to is "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things", but honestly, you can't go wrong with any of their drinks.

And if you're a fan of fried pickles like me, then you're in for a treat – their portion size is generous, and the taste is on point.

Ritcey East · 208 Waverley Ave, Watertown, MA 02472, United States
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Gigi's Pizza Co. (Watertown)

Every Friday night, my family and I have made it a tradition to order from Gigi's Pizza Co., and let me tell you, it's the highlight of our week.

My daughter adores their pizza, especially the "premium" pepperonis that curl into delectable little cups.

My partner swears by their grilled chicken Caesar salad.

As for me, I love trying something new each week, like the incredible concoctions called "The Bird" and a Thanksgiving-inspired pizza with turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce.

There's even a "Big Mac" pizza, complete with a burger, onion, pickle, homemade Thousand Island dressing, and lettuce garnish.

You can tell how much love and care they put into their food, and it's evident in every delicious bite.

Not only does Gigi's have amazing food, but their service is always top-notch.

No matter how packed the place gets, our orders are always delivered quickly and perfectly.

Gigi’s Pizza Co. · 129 Waltham St, Watertown, MA 02472, United States
★★★★★ · Pizza takeaway

Jana Grill (Watertown)

One of my absolute favorite spots to dine is Jana Grill.

This charming little restaurant offers a delectable Mediterranean menu with a focus on fresh-baked breads and charcoal-grilled meats.

One of my go-to dishes is their cheese egg boat – it's simply divine!

I've taken my friends and family to Jana Grill on many occasions, and it never disappoints.

The meat platter for four is another favorite of mine, as it's always flavorful and provides plenty of food for everyone.

My kids can't get enough of the rice pilaf, lentil soup, and Russian soup with meat dumplings.

My partner and I, on the other hand, are big fans of grilled chicken and homemade sauces.

What sets Jana Grill apart from other restaurants in the area is not just the quality and taste of the food but also the warm and homey atmosphere.

The prices are quite reasonable, and I always feel like I'm getting great value for my money.

Jana Grill · 2 Watertown St, Watertown, MA 02472, United States
★★★★★ · Mediterranean restaurant

Bocca Bella Cafe & Bistro (Auburndale)

Just the other night, I stumbled upon this charming little restaurant called Bocca Bella Cafe & Bistro.

I decided to start with the calamari appetizer, which was perfectly crispy and delicious.

For my main course, I went with the veal piccata – it was cooked to perfection, with a sauce that was just the right amount of tangy and not too salty.

The pasta accompanying it was cooked al dente, and I loved how they added plenty of mushrooms and artichokes to the dish.

My dining companions had nothing but praise for their dishes as well.

The lobster carbonara was reportedly amazing, and the steak tips were devoured with gusto.

I did try the burrata salad, which was quite satisfying.

Bocca Bella Cafe & Bistro · 442 Lexington St, Auburndale, MA 02466, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Final Thoughts

My food journey through Waltham has been nothing short of spectacular.

I've had the pleasure of feasting on mouth-watering dishes from a variety of cuisines, each restaurant providing a unique and unforgettable experience.

From the flavorful Persian food at Roksana's to the comforting Italian dishes at La Campania, there's something in Waltham for every palate.

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