Boston’s culinary scene may get the hype, but Worcester restaurants are holding their own, and then some. Downtown Worcester is full of restaurants offering everything from authentic Middle Eastern cuisine to fresh New England seafood. If you haven’t investigated, it’s time you did. Here are five of the best restaurants in Worcester.
Downtown Worcester’s Most Eclectic Restaurant Menu
Flying Rhino Cafe and Watering Hole (278 Shrewsbury St., Worcester, MA)
Flying Rhino is a bit of an enigma, with a menu that draws from a dozen different cultures and their respective approaches to cuisine. But that just means more delicious options to choose from, right?
From New England lobster pie to Korean BBQ beef to Baja fish tacos, Flying Rhino has something for everyone — and that’s just the dinner menu. If you stop by for Sunday brunch, you owe it to yourself to try the lobster benedict ($25). Wash it down with a Pink Greyhound ($9), made with vodka, ruby red grapefruit juice and prosecco.
Don’t Miss Worcester’s Best Seafood Restaurant
The Sole Proprietor (118 Highland St., Worcester, MA)
Worcester may not be on the water like Boston or Gloucester, but you can still find some excellent seafood here. There’s no better place to get it than at The Sole Proprietor, which is consistently named the best seafood restaurant in central Massachusetts year after year by various area publications.
It’s easy to see why. The fresh fish options are plentiful, and they are available broiled, grilled, or blackened, Cajun-style. The Sole Proprietor also offers lobster, crab, shrimp, scallops and some great surf and turf combinations. We can’t commit to just one entree to recommend, but we can tell you that you’re missing out if you don’t have a bowl of chowder first.
P.S. — After dinner, grab dessert across the street at Bean Counter Bakery. You won’t regret it.
Best Restaurant for Good Beers and Good Food
Armsby Abbey (144 N. Main St., Worcester, MA)
This gastropub has been turning heads since it opened in 2008. Start by selecting a few options from the extensive list of obscure Northeast farmstead cheeses while you survey the dinner menu. There are typical gastropub items like chicken wings ($12) and mac and cheese ($12), but the Abbey steps it up with dishes like bone marrow ($16) and mushroom and waffles ($20), the latter served with cayenne-infused maple syrup. It sounds odd, but it works.
Try to hit Armsby Abbey for weekend brunch. The delicious brunch items are often paired with craft beers. Did we mention that the Abbey routinely offers one of the best tap lists in New England? That’s another reason it’s one of our favorite Worcester restaurants.
Italian and Seafood? Yes, Please.
Nuovo (92 Shrewsbury St., Worcester, MA)
Nuovo is an upscale Italian restaurant with an enormous selection of pasta dishes, many of which incorporate seafood beautifully.
Get dinner started with one of three antipasto options. After that, we recommend you try the lobster mac and cheese ($27), which is made with chunks of lobster tail, tortellini and gouda, parmesan and provolone cheeses, or the stuffed peppers ($16), which are served with a tomato reduction sauce.
An Authentic Middle Eastern Worcester Restaurant
Pomir Grill (119 Shrewsbury St., Worcester, MA)
Pomir Grill is an Afghan restaurant that prides itself on its authenticity. The married couple who own Pomir came to Worcester from Afghanistan, and they brought their families’ recipes with them.
For those with restricted diets, Pomir has quite a few vegetarian and vegan options, including Vegetarian Delight ($21): samples of five other dishes on the menu, all on one plate, with salad and bread. If meat is what you’re looking for, you won’t be disappointed either. You won’t find better kabobs in Worcester.
Pomir Grill is a BYOB restaurant, so if you want beer or wine with your food, you’re welcome to bring it in.
The Worcester restaurant scene has flourished in recent years, so be sure downtown Worcester is on your radar if you’re looking for a place to go for dinner, brunch or even just a drink.
At Parc Westborough, we’re fortunate enough to have Worcester and Boston within reach when we’re looking for a night out. After dinner, our residents come home to a beautiful apartment community with no shortage of amenities. If you’re looking for a luxurious, cozy place to live, you need to see what Parc Westborough has to offer. Schedule a tour today and come see our stunning property for yourself.