Worcester Dining: Underrated

Image source TownMapsUSA.com

As a member of mm/c’s restaurant, hospitality and travel team, I am the lucky consumer of some of Boston’s most incredible fare – whole hog feasts, the best pies in town, steaks like you’ve never had ’em and the nation’s best burritos are both consumed and discussed in a day’s work (lucky gal, I know). Needless to say, I’m fully on board with the fact that Boston’s dining scene is amazing. But lately, I’ve been testing the foodie waters of another Bay State city – Worcester.

While I am reluctant to see any sort of geographical beauty in my boyfriend’s less-than-picturesque city, I’ve stubbornly come to terms with the fact that the Central Mass cityscape is home to some well-established eateries worth trying. While the dining scene is incomparable to Boston in scope, a few Worcester gems are more than deserving of some lick-smacking praise.

Heading through the state’s mid-section? Check out my picks for the can’t miss spots along the cement-laden way:

Via

It’s hard for me to think about anything but Via‘s White Wine Sangria. Muddled raspberries turn the white wine, liquor and juice mixture a vibrant magenta, and wedges of fresh citrus make it light and sweet (even when served in a carafe). The food’s hard to miss on as well. Consistently delicious steaks, salads, burgers and pizzas stand out on the restaurant’s Italian menu.

One Eleven Chop House

The entire menu is spot on, but order steak at One Eleven and you really can’t go wrong. The price range is a little out of my league for an everyday meal, but the salads and apps are reasonably valued, including a chilled seafood spread complete with a whole lobster.

The Sole Proprieter

I’ll admit that the giant crab positioned atop of The Sole turned me off at first glance, but the family spot is home to the city’s best seafood – a far-reaching raw bar and extensive selection of the Northeast’s best catches span the well-priced menu. Plus, it’s owned by Worcester Restaurant Group, the same brilliant folks behind Via and One Eleven Chop House – a Central Mass company that does no wrong when it comes to quality and consistency.

Wholly Cannoli

Wholly Cannoli is to Worcester what the North End is to Boston (okay, only it’s about one one-thousandth of the size, but still pretty noteworthy) – a Mecca of cylindrical Italian sweets in a variety of flavors and sizes. I’m a dessert junkie through and through, so it’s one of my most consistent dining stops when visiting my guy in the center of our state.

Like I said, it’s no Boston. But these four establishments alone take Worcester up a notch from a concrete-centric metropolis to one with some definite dining potential.

Posted by Mary

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