20 Best Restaurants in Worcester, MA

This article was written by local contributor Kimberly Thomas & edited by the Travel Lens team.

20 Best Restaurants in Worcester, MA
Best Restaurants in Worcester, MA

Worcester has always been a culinary gem tucked away in the heart of Massachusetts.

I've had the pleasure of calling this city my home for several years, and during this time, I've explored countless eateries, cafes, and bars around town.

One of the things I adore most about Worcester is the diverse range of top-notch dining experiences it offers - from cozy neighborhood bistros to upscale dining, there's something for everyone's taste buds.

Whenever friends or family come to visit, I relish the opportunity to introduce them to the fantastic food scene in Worcester.

So, without further ado, here are the 20 best restaurants in Worcester, Massachusetts, that you absolutely must try.

Lucian Mediterranean

Falafel wrap at Lucian Mediterranean

The other day, I decided to treat myself to a delicious meal at Lucian Mediterranean.

The menu was filled with enticing options, all of which seemed to be authentic homemade Mediterranean dishes.

I ordered a couple of vegetarian dishes that were incredibly flavorful and made with fresh, organic ingredients.

It's no wonder that Lucian Mediterranean has such a fantastic reputation in the community.

The portions were generous, and the presentation was beautifully done, making it a treat for both the eyes and the palate.

While enjoying my meal, I couldn't help but notice the diverse crowd of customers - from families to couples on a date night.

It's clear that Lucian Mediterranean has a broad appeal, and it's the perfect spot for any occasion.

Boardroom Kitchen and Bar

Shawarma Tacos at Boardroom Kitchen and Bar

I recently decided to try out Boardroom Kitchen and Bar for a night out, and I was blown away by the experience!

This laid-back tavern in Worcester's Canal District specializes in Mediterranean-fusion cuisine, with unique dishes like wraps, flatbreads, and even shawarma sliders.

The atmosphere was cozy, and the friendly staff made me feel right at home.

I noticed that they also had TVs for watching games, making it an ideal spot to hang out with friends during sports events.

I decided to start with their organic hummus, which is prepared to order and comes in various flavors.

It was easily one of the best hummus I've ever had – fresh and packed with flavor.

For my main course, I opted for the chicken gyro, which was incredibly filling and delicious.

In addition to my meal, I noticed other tempting dishes on the menu, like shrimp tacos, falafel burgers, and calamari fries.

The Woo Bar & Grill

Nachos at The Woo Bar & Grill

I decided to finally try out The Woo Bar & Grill after hearing so many great things about it from my friends.

The weather was perfect for sitting outside on their patio, so my partner and I planned our visit for a Saturday early afternoon.

To our delight, there was plenty of parking available in their lot.

As soon as we were seated outside on their beautiful lawn, we felt the intimate and cozy atmosphere.

Their patio was full, but we didn't mind the lawn at all.

My partner was thrilled with their beer selection, especially when he saw they had his favorite - Jacks Abby.

The menu had a perfect blend of American and Brazilian pub food, so we had plenty of options to choose from.

We ordered the popular Buffalo chicken dip, which truly was worth the praise.

For our main course, I had the eggplant parmigiana, one of the best I've ever tasted, while my partner enjoyed the amazing chili and the steak tips.

We were both delighted with the portion sizes and had leftovers to enjoy the next day.

We couldn't resist trying their bread pudding for dessert, which was brought out in a generous serving with lots of whipped cream.

Restaurant Pizza Works

Large pizza served at Restaurant Pizza Works

One of my favorite local spots is Restaurant Pizza Works, a family-owned and operated Italian restaurant.

I love that they are women-owned and offer free parking, free WiFi, outdoor seating, and even private events, catering to all my needs.

The food at Pizza Works is, without a doubt, amazing.

I have tried many of their dishes, but one that I can't get enough of is their pizza - it's simply the best around.

I've also had the chance to try their honey mustard bacon cheese fries, which were surprisingly good with a nice kick from the honey mustard!

On another visit, I enjoyed a well-made chicken parm that truly hit the spot.

What sets this place apart from other pizza joints is not only the delicious food but also the incredible service.

El Nuevo Amanecer Restaurant

Visiting El Nuevo Amanecer Restaurant was a great experience!

The food was a true highlight of my visit.

I had the pupusas, which were delicious and authentic, and I could tell they were made with fresh and healthy ingredients.

In addition, I tried the empanadas, which were moist, flavorful, and very reasonably priced.

It truly felt like a little piece of Central America right in the middle of Worcester.

Another standout aspect of my visit was the fast service.

Despite the restaurant being busy, my food was prepared quickly, and the staff was attentive and responsive.


Chuleta Kan-Kan with Mofongo at Nuestra

Nuestra is a local treasure known for its authentic Puerto Rican food.

I started my meal with cheese pizza empanadillas, which were fried to perfection and left me craving more.

For my main course, I opted for fried pork with white rice, red beans, and sweet plantains.

The flavors were so rich and well-balanced that I felt as if I had been transported back to my grandmother's kitchen.

I even had the opportunity to meet the talented cooks responsible for the amazing dishes and express my gratitude for their hard work and dedication.

For dessert, I indulged in a creamy flan, followed by some quesitos and pastelillos de guayaba, which were equally delicious.

Shawarma Palace

Shawarma plate at Shawarma Palace

During one of my lunch breaks, I randomly discovered Shawarma Palace on theshawarmapalace.com and decided to give it a try.

The moment I entered the restaurant, I felt welcomed by the great staff and was pleasantly surprised by the amazing Mediterranean food they offered.

The place is quite small but has spacious seating and a cozy ambiance.

I was thrilled to find vegan and gluten-free options on their menu.

On my first visit, I ordered the Shwalafel, a plate with chicken and two falafels, and I absolutely loved it.

The food was fresh, delicious, and served in generous portions.

In fact, the quality of their food and service is way better than other fast-casual places I've been to in the area.

Mare E Monti

Delicious desserts served at Mare E Monti

As someone who often craves delicious Italian food, I've found my go-to spot in Mare E Monti.

This cozy, brick-walled eatery serves old-world Italian cooking along with a selection of wine and beer.

The atmosphere is perfect for a romantic date night or a casual gathering with friends.

During my visit there, I enjoyed their popular Scallop over Risotto dish, which was easily one of the best Italian meals I've had in a long time.

My partner, on the other hand, couldn't resist their homemade pasta with rosa sauce, which was equally delightful.

We also shared their famous meatball, and it was worth every penny!

The calamari is a must-try appetizer, and the tableside pasta is simply exquisite.

Meze Estiatorio

Mediterranean sea bass served at Meze Estiatorio

Last weekend, I decided to treat myself to a night out at Meze Estiatorio, an authentic Greek restaurant in the heart of the city.

The Mediterranean-style whitewashed setting immediately transported me to the beautiful shores of Greece, and the atmosphere was perfect.

The menu boasted a wide range of traditional Greek dishes, as well as a selection of exclusive Greek wines and spirits.

After much deliberation, I decided to start with the Tzatziki, which turned out to be the best I've ever had - thick, creamy, and bursting with flavor!

For my main course, I opted for the lamb shank, which was simply incredible.

The portion was huge, and the meat was moist and tender, just as I had hoped.

As a fan of Avgolemono soup, I couldn't resist ordering a bowl, and although I prefer the orzo al dente and more lemony, it was still very good.

To wind up my night, I decided to indulge in some baklava for dessert.

Served warm with plenty of honey syrup, it was the perfect way to end my meal.

A Taste of Monrovia

A Taste of Monrovia is a Liberian restaurant that serves up some delicious and authentic dishes.

I was excited to try something new, and this place did not disappoint.

I decided to order a variety of dishes to get a true taste of the food, including palm butter, cassava leaf, and jollof rice.

Each dish was packed with flavor, and the seasoning was spot on.

Though I found the cassava leaf to be a little earthy for my taste, it was still enjoyable.

My favorite, however, was the jollof rice with a side of pepper sauce – it was incredibly tasty and satisfying.

Dalat Restaurant

Mi Kho served at Dalat Restaurant

Dalat Restaurant is a cozy eatery with a homely ambiance that specializes in authentic Vietnamese cuisine.

I couldn't wait to try their popular dishes for a delightful lunch with my family.

We started our meal with Cha Gio, Vietnamese egg rolls that were incredibly fresh, crispy, and packed with a savory filling.

The nuoc mam dipping sauce was a perfect complement to the egg rolls.

Then, I ordered the beef rice noodle soup, which was generously portioned and featured tender beef in a slightly sweet broth.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fast service, as our orders arrived in no time.

My wife opted for the vegetable tofu stir fry with a side of rice, which was bursting with flavor and just the right amount of spice.

We also tried their sweet and sour beef with cucumbers and tomatoes, which was an absolute hit at our table.

Baba Sushi

Hot pot served at Baba Sushi

Visiting Baba Sushi after hearing rave reviews from a friend did not disappoint.

The eclectic music playing in the background set the mood for a memorable dining experience.

The menu offered a wide variety of sushi and sashimi creations that were not only delicious but also visually appealing.

The freshness and innovative flavors of the sushi were unmatched by any other sushi places I've been to in the area.

To complement my meal, I ordered a specialty martini from their impressive selection, and it was the perfect choice.

While I was waiting for my food, I couldn't help but notice the energy in the room.

The hip bar and cozy ambiance made it an ideal spot for a night out with friends or a romantic date.

Also, Baba Sushi boasts multiple awards, including Worcester's Best Chef People's Choice and Worcester Magazine's Best Sushi Restaurant, which just adds to the credibility of this fine establishment.

Eggroll Lady & Fish Shack

Vietnamese Bahn Xeo Crepe at Eggroll Lady & Fish Shack

On one of my recent outings, I decided to finally try the much-talked-about Eggroll Lady & Fish Shack.

This small, homey seafood place is known for serving delicious deep-fried clams, fish, shrimp, and more.

Arriving at the shack, I encountered limited parking but managed to find a spot on the side of the street.

Stepping inside, I found a tiny, cozy space with a few tables for eating in, though I decided to go for take-out.

The menu and specials lined the walls, giving me plenty of options to choose from.

After much deliberation, I went for the clam strips and scallops, along with their signature egg rolls.

The portions turned out to be huge, and the seafood was fried beautifully.

The egg rolls, on the other hand, were airy, crispy, and not oily at all, reminding me of my grandma's spring rolls.

The tartar sauce was a delightful addition to the meal, and I could clearly taste the freshness of the ingredients and the cleanliness of the oil they used for frying.

Even though I wasn't a huge fan of their fish sauce, I heard it's quite popular and might give it another try on my next visit.

One Eleven Chop House

Delicious steak served at One Eleven Chop House

My partner and I decided to treat ourselves to a special dinner at One Eleven Chop House, and we were not disappointed.

We started our meal with the Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer, which was not only generously portioned but also packed a delightful kick without being too spicy.

For our main courses, I ordered the Cab Sirloin Steak, cooked to a perfect medium/medium-rare, while my partner opted for the Stuffed Shrimp.

Both dishes were absolutely delicious and left us feeling satisfied without being overly stuffed.

To accompany our meal, we each enjoyed a glass of wine from their super-sized wine list.

My partner's Merlot was initially served a bit too warm, but after letting it sit for a short while, it reached the perfect temperature.

Addie Lee's Soul Food

Ribs with Mac and Cheese at Addie Lee's Soul Food

The moment I stepped into Addie Lee's Soul Food, I knew that I was in for a treat.

I decided to order the BBQ fried chicken, mac and cheese, and collard greens - a classic Southern trio.

The fried chicken was perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with a delicious BBQ flavor.

The mac and cheese were creamy and flavorful, while the collard greens had just the right amount of tang to balance out the richness of the other dishes.

One thing I quickly learned is that it's best to order ahead of time, as the food is prepared fresh and can take a bit longer than expected.

But, let me tell you, it's worth the wait!

The food was so good that I'm already planning my next visit to try out their famous OxTails and yams.

Nuovo Restaurant

Dining at Nuovo Restaurant was an unforgettable experience.

The upscale, family-friendly atmosphere made it the perfect spot for a farewell dinner with my work friends.

We all appreciated the Italian-style surf 'n' turf, with a touch of Mediterranean flare.

The drink menu caught my attention with its variety of options – I settled on the coconut margarita, and it was divine.

Being a fan of anything coconut-flavored, I found the sweetness of the drink just perfect.

We shared several appetizers, including arancini, coconut shrimp, and fig mascarpone.

The arancini balls were particularly delightful – crispy on the outside and lusciously creamy on the inside.

For my main course, I opted for the carbonara, which was wonderfully fresh and flavorful.

Throughout the evening, my work friends and I couldn't help but be impressed by Nuovo's delicious offerings and the exceptional service we received.

Joey's Bar & Grill

Fried calamari served at Joey's Bar & Grill

A recent visit to Joey's Bar & Grill was a delightful experience.

Although the exterior was unassuming, the moment I stepped inside, I was welcomed by a cozy ambiance, perfect for dining and catching up with friends.

They have a broad menu that offers fresh seafood, Italian dishes, steaks, burgers, and homemade desserts.

The large portions and generous beverages made the visit even more enjoyable.

Upon sitting at the bar, a friendly bartender recommended their pumpkin martini, which turned out to be absolutely delicious.

I also decided to try their clam chowder and French onion soup, both of which were quite tasty.

For the main course, I opted for the chicken Frangelico and was not disappointed.

The food was well-prepared and flavorful, easily earning a 7/10 rating.

One aspect that stood out during my visit to Joey's was their attention to detail and accommodating service.

O'Connor's Restaurant & Bar

Scrumptious meal served at O'Connor's Restaurant & Bar

I decided to catch up with some friends at O'Connor's Restaurant & Bar.

The place has such a unique atmosphere with its Irish memorabilia-lined walls that I couldn't resist going back.

The vintage artwork and quirky items give the place an authentic Irish pub vibe.

We started our evening with some drinks, and I must say, their draught beer selection is fantastic.

I tried some of their European and New England favorites, which were seasoned with new ideas, and it was delightful.

For our main course, we ordered the beef pot pie and Mrs. Brown's chicken pot pie, which were both incredibly tasty.

Picaderas Restaurant

Chicken Arepa at Picaderas Restaurant

Being a fervent food lover, I've found myself gravitating towards the heart of Worcester, Massachusetts, time and again, with the primary attraction being the authentic Dominican delicacies of Picaderas Restaurant.

This hidden treasure has a magnetic allure that, once tasted, keeps me coming back to satiate my Caribbean cravings.

As I step through their door, I'm instantly enveloped in a friendly, vibrant atmosphere.

It's akin to walking into a jovial Dominican home, with eager staff ever-ready to guide me through the menu's rich culinary tapestry.

Every dish I've tasted is a medley of bold flavors, masterfully prepared to perfection.

The Mofongo, with its mashed plantains, garlic, and chicharrón, adorned with juicy shrimp in a lip-smacking sauce, is simply irresistible.

On days when I yearn for something light yet flavorful, the Avocado Salad never fails to hit the mark, offering a burst of freshness with its medley of avocado, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.

My palate's journey wouldn't be complete without mentioning the Fried Fish, crispy on the outside and tender within, flawlessly accompanied by their renowned Tostones.

And the dessert? Oh, the Flan and Tres Leches cake are sweet symphonies in their own right.

Livia's Dish

Waffle breakfast at Livia's Dish

As a regular visitor to Livia's Dish, I highly recommend this Italian-American cuisine restaurant for its pasta, panini, and relaxed family-owned ambiance.

One of my favorite things about Livia's Dish is their house-made bread and farmers' cheese.

Although the bread might not suit everyone's taste, I personally love it.

Their menu has various dishes that cater to different preferences - from breakfast sandwiches to their popular mushroom panini (Livia's panini) and the delightful salmon Benedict.

Their hollandaise sauce may be a bit bland for some, but you can always ask for extra seasoning or sauce to suit your taste.

Not only is their food great, but their drinks selection is impressive too.

I've tried their champagne mimosas with different juices, and they were all delicious.

Final Thoughts

Worcester has an incredible variety of restaurants to satisfy any food lover's cravings.

From the authentic Mediterranean dishes at Lucian Mediterranean to the comforting Irish fare at O'Connor's Restaurant & Bar, Worcester is a culinary treasure waiting to be explored.

So, take a break from your usual haunts and discover a new favorite among these gems.

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