As the North End’s crown jewel, Neptune Oyster has been slaying the lobster roll competition since its variation went live in 2005. Diners can choose either a mayonnaise roll or one with clarified butter, and both are delectable. While the lobster roll’s reputation is definitely earned, the place is called Neptune Oyster, and the oysters shouldn’t be ignored. With an impressive variety to choose from, the menu lends a hand with detailed flavor profiles of each– from popcorn aftertaste to notes of cucumber. Insider’s tip: Get there early. No reservations, and this small restaurant is constantly packed (for good reason, though).
63 Salem St
Runner up: Pizzeria Regina
The original corner outpost of this beloved Boston institution is like stepping back in time. Leather booths, draft beer, servers who’ve worked there for years, and agreeable prices epitomize Boston’s history in a section of town that’ll cost you a kidney to make rent. You can smell its secret crust crisping on the brick oven from blocks away and there’s often a line out the door. Wait it out. It’s worth it.