Nothing goes better with Cafenation’s caffeinated drinks than one of its made-to-order crepes. Sweet or savory, the starchy parcels packed with eggs, black beans, and cheddar, Nutella and banana, or other decadent ingredients are made all day long. In the summer, meals almost turn al fresco thanks to the open front windows.
Marilda Kocibelli paints leaves all day. Rather than brushes and pigments, however, her tools are steamed milk and coffee. She runs Dolce Vita Caf?, a casual oasis of handcrafted espresso drinks, cozy little tables, and sandwiches and pastries. Marilda and her staff serve hot, Italian-inspired paninis, such as the carmine, with fresh mozzarella and prosciutto, as well as the tonno siciliano, featuring imported tuna. Hot mugs of lattes and dark-roast coffee bookend meals. The cafe also conveniently provides free wireless Internet.
The menu of the recently renovated Eagles Deli and Restaurant crams gastro-caverns with fresh Angus-beef patties as well as healthy salads and wraps, its savory eats garnering attention from culinary programs such as the Rachael Ray Show and Man V. Food Nation. The Cowabunga challenge invites diners to try to consume two pounds of burger, eight pieces of American cheese, and two pounds of fries while pretending to surf on an ironing board ($25.99). Slightly less colossal cravings are curbed with the Hot Dog Lovers two-pound frankfurter ($15.99). Herbivorous fangs are kept at bay with delicious greenery such as Wafa's Heavenly salad, packed with torrents of sun-dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and balsamic dressing swirl atop a bed of baby spinach and romaine lettuce ($7.59).
Allston Diner forges hearty breakfast platters all day long, filling a significant gap in the area's dining scene with its "down-South comfort food," according to a feature in the Boston Phoenix. The cooks ladle sausage gravy over house-made biscuits and top crispy cornbread waffles with golden-brown pieces of fried chicken. They also do their best to accommodate a range of diets by whisking together vegetarian-friendly omelets and vegan pancakes.
Much like the menu, the dining room toes the line between a nostalgic diner and a contemporary urban eatery. Backless stools line the front counter, and turquoise trim adorns the walls and booths. Even the tables embrace this whimsical eclecticism, featuring carefully arranged collages of comic-book panels and napkins that are made from hand-woven cotton candy.
The Chinese symbols that line the menu behind Infusions Tea Spa's front counter can mean only one thing: bubble tea. The more than 50 types of green, black, and herbal tea—available hot or cold, with milk or without—are satisfying on their own, but get even tastier with the addition of boba. "The boba you get with your fruity or milky teas are the perfect consistency, not too soft and not too firm," noted CBS Boston in their rundown of the best bubble tea in the city. But tea leaves aren’t the only ingredients to be found at Infusions Tea Spa. There’s also a selection of smoothies made with sorbet, fruits, and juices. The Chinese influence also translates to an exotic food menu—spring rolls, shu mai, and seaweed salads accompany an all-day breakfast menu.
Uncommon Grounds is more than just a gathering place for Watertown’s residents—it’s also a place where Watertown’s locally produced foods come together in the form of creative breakfast and lunch dishes. Nashoba Brooks Bakery and Russo’s Produce are just a few Watertown producers the chefs tap for ingredients to produce their delectable dishes. Fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes—infused with fresh lemon zest and ricotta cheese—are a big crowd pleaser with early-risers, as are the caprese breakfast sandwiches, which cradle strips of applewood bacon, smoked gouda cheese, and layers of pesto mayo between slices of ciabatta bread. That sort of creativity carries over to the coffee menu, where diners can choose from candy- and- dessert-themed lattes, such as the Almond Joy, the Milky Way, and the Cinnamon Bun brew, any of which is sure to awaken your inner child and exhaust its babysitter. Of course, Uncommon Grounds also keeps the spirit alive well into the lunch hour, doling out hot Panini sandwiches, burritos, and burgers.