The New York Times recently announced its list of the 25 Best Restaurants in Boston (and Boston is used loosely as many of these restaurants are in Brookline, Cambridge and beyond)!  These three in Dorchester were included!

“Fast food” isn’t necessarily pejorative. At Bánh Mì Ba Lẹ, the sheer quantity of Vietnamese groceries, pastries, dessert drinks, noodle salads and hot prepared foods is an overwhelming sight. (With many, just pop the plastic lid and start consuming — it’s that fast.) But there’s a reason the bánh mì is its namesake sandwich. The speed with which they are made belies their refinement. What makes Ba Lẹ’s version especially memorable are the house-baked rolls, with a shatteringly crisp crust and a soft, open interior. When you bite into a freshly made bánh mì here, be prepared for a shrapnel of crumbs exploding in every direction, giving way to tender pork cold cuts, smooth livery pâté and crunchy matchsticks of pickled daikon and carrots. Even better than the flagship đặc biệt sandwich is the barbecue beef bánh mì, its grilled meat bearing the sweetest char you’ll encounter. KEVIN PANG

1052 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester; 617-265-7171;

Is this dish Indian? Jamaican? Senegalese? At Comfort Kitchen, those questions are the whole point. Here, the owners Biplaw Rai, who is from Nepal, and Kwasi Kwaa, from Ghana, want to illustrate just how connected food traditions are, through ingredients that have traveled across continents, either through forced migration or trade routes. Duck is dusted with jerk seasoning, served alongside Jamaican rice and peas and served with pikliz, a pickled vegetable condiment from Haiti. Okra is seared in brown butter, topped with fried plantain crumbs and served with yogurt seasoned with garam masala from Mr. Rai’s mother. Despite all this zigzagging through countries and flavors, each dish still manages to feel coherent and captivating — like a story unfolding in several parts. PRIYA KRISHNA

611 Columbia Road, Dorchester; 617-329-6910;

All Italian-born chefs will claim culinary superiority for their home regions; Stefano Quaresima seems impassioned to make the case for Lazio. Named for the street where he grew up, Via Cannuccia might be the closest Boston gets to a true Roman trattoria. The lengths to which Mr. Quaresima goes to showcase his corner of Italy are impressive: His team prepares cream buns and bombolini doughnuts for brunch, rolls out pasta and pizza doughs, and finds time to roast porchetta and bake sourdough. Lesser chefs might just use quartered chicken for pollo alla Romana. Mr. Quaresima’s version, though, involves a chicken ballotine, deboned and sausage-stuffed, then cooked sous vide for 18 hours. His treatment of cacio e pepe, the quintessential Roman pasta, teases out supreme creaminess and nuttiness from just four ingredients. KEVIN PANG

1739 Dorchester Avenue, Boston; 617-506-1877;

One Comment

  1. JAMES I. ONEILL, JR. April 25, 2024 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    My, my… times have changed as have the cultures in Dot. Will definately have to try three next time I visit Boston (Dot)

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