Brick walls and wooden ceiling planks reflect a warm earthen red in the glow of old-fashioned street lamps at Northworks Bar & Grille, which is entering its 34th year of business. A carousel-style painted horse hangs from one of the exposed rafters as if in homage to the bar's offerings of free popcorn at each table. The menu catalogs such whimsical combinations as lobster mac and cheese, plus stuffed sandwiches and half-pound burgers––ordering 40 and stuffing them in a pillowcase can render 20-lb dumbbells unnecessary. The chef further demonstrates skills by preparing fresh salmon and scallop entrees, as wells as the N.Y. sirloin steak drenched in the house's classic Jack Daniels sauce. The team also curates a gluten-free menu, which offers thin-crust pizzas and Redbridge beer, or the paperless menu, which was covertly drawn on the server's forehead as he slept.
The cooks at Piccadilly Pub Restaurant bake, fry, grill, and assemble a medley of sandwiches, seafood platters, and other comfort cuisine. Haddock fillets take a dip in a light beer batter before trans-fat-free oil cooks them to a golden crisp, and fries and coleslaw cuddle up beside them in a dish of fish 'n' chips ($11.69). A dozen seafood platters harvest additional ocean occupants, including lobster, salmon, shrimp, and mermaid-grown sea vegetables. Baked bowls of shepherd's pie ($9.59) and chicken pot pie ($8.99) release a flood of steam after knives and forks cut into the blistering combination of seasoned meat and vegetables. A different house-made soup holds court daily ($3.50–$4.50), and the soothing staples of Piccadilly clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl ($7.99) and lobster bisque ($4.59–$7.99), taking their middle-school yearbook inscriptions to heart, never change.
We are an authentic 1950s diner. The DeRaffele diner complete with it's Italian tile floor is listed on the Nat'l Historic Registry and the largest true diner in Worcester. We serve breakfast and lunch each cooked to order from scratch every day but Tuesday. Breakfast is served all day with bottomless cup of coffee.
New England Roast Beef's full menu centers on hot, oven-roasted slabs of beefy beef, with a large selection of ancillary meats complementing the sandwiches, seafood, and melts. Specialty sandwiches, named by location, flatten hunger with flair. Roll the grilled roast beef and barbecue sauce of the West Boylston down your flavor boulevard ($6.89), or stick with a proven classic such as the hot 6-ounce Super beef ($5.99). For sea-beefiness, the fried beer-battered scallops, onion rings and coleslaw comprise a filling platter ($12.99). New England Roast Beef also offers a massive variety of chicken wings, with 17 sauce options, such as buffalo and Cajun blackened, and six sizes, from a massive six-wing basket ($4.99) to the demure 120-wing Closer barrel ($63.99).
Made up of a team of culinary creatives, Niche Hospitality Group has carved out four hubs of gourmet extravagance in the greater Worcester area. Yet apart from belonging to the same parent umbrella, the restaurants show few commonalities. Each outpost champions its own distinctive vibe and cuisine, from Spanish tapas and modern Mexican dishes to classic American seafood and pizzas.
At Bocado, chefs showcase imported Spanish meats and cheeses in 40 hot and cold tapas, which favor complex flavor pairings such as bacon-wrapped scallops with white-truffle honey. Wines from an exclusively Spanish list and in-house sangria complement the small bites. While guests delve into the signature paella, they lounge amid rustic brick walls, curvy leather upholstery, and lighting as sultry and alluring as a chocolate sculpture of Marilyn Monroe.
The Citizen Wine Bar / The People's Kitchen / Still & Stir
The Citizen Wine Bar introduces newcomers to the finer things in life. There, a vast selection of wine, cheese, and chocolate combine and intermingle to awaken taste buds and deepen appreciation. In the same building, The People’s Kitchen anchors that triumvirate with a menu of house-butchered and dry-aged steaks, and Still & Stir’s mixologists invite visitors to wind down with old-fashioned cocktails served until 2 a.m.
Mezcal Tequila Cantina
Chefs at Mezcal don’t shy away from bold flavors. To wit: they whip up six globally inspired varieties of guacamole by hand, and toss southwestern shrimp scampi with tequila-butter sauce and pickled jalapeño. Dishes from Mexico and the southwestern United States combine with a checklist of aged tequilas to fuel long conversations and marathon sessions of Truth or Dare.
Rye & Thyme American Tavern
Situated in the 120-year-old historic Wood Block Building, Rye and Thyme has all the trappings of a classic American tavern. It’s a fitting locale for devouring wood-fired steaks, pizzas, and seafood, whose smoky flavors stand up to the bourbons and ryes that dominate the drinks menu.
Originally built in 1879, the building at 25 Union Street stood for nearly a century as an industrial bastion in downtown Worcester. When the last manufactures moved out in the 1970s, Robert "Gus" Giordano had an idea: convert the ruggedly beautiful interior into an upscale restaurant, preserving the historical building and ensuring that he would not be eating in there by himself everyday. Inhabiting the former screw-machine department, Maxwell-Silverman's Toolhouse ensconces diners in industrial elegance, with a ceiling crisscrossed with heating pipes, a floor dotted with oblong railroad ties, and cozy illumination courtesy of more than 40 vintage pool-hall lights.
Nestled in Union Station, Luciano's Restaurant transports diners back to the 1920s and '30s with walls covered in vintage photos and framed newsprints detailing the escapes of legendary gangsters. The refined indoor dining room features plush white seating and lush, flowery carpeting, while outdoor tables allow patrons to enjoy the sun or taunt slugs with salt shakers. Free parking is available at both locations.