Looking to enjoy a meal out in Boston, but thinking about accessibility? The city has some unique experiences for diners with disabilities.

For this guide, we asked people with a variety of disabilities where they like to go out to eat in the Boston area. These are the restaurants they recommended.

They also shared suggestions for how diners can prepare beforehand so they have an enjoyable experience, and tips for restaurants on how to make their spaces more accommodating.

The information on this list is subject to change, so we encourage users to check directly with restaurants for specific questions. Do you have a suggestion for this list or a tip you’d like to share? Email meghan_smith@wgbh.org.

Clover Food Lab


Clover Food Lab keeps its menus — which change daily — up to date online. Rachel Tanenhaus, who has low vision, said that is helpful for people who use assistive technology to look up information rather than relying on paper menus or signs. “I like that I can check the menu ahead of time,” Tanenhaus said. The chain, which started as a food truck and now has 13 locations in the Boston area, features creative vegetarian food aimed at addressing environmental challenges in the food industry.

Tanenhaus also appreciates the staff. “Everybody there is incredibly helpful. … The culture there sort of welcomes questions,” she said. “The fact that I have an access-related one doesn’t faze them because they’re supposed to answer a lot of questions.”

Neighborhood: Locations in Downtown Boston, Cambridge, Newton
Accessible bathroom: Yes
Parking: Varied depending on location
Public transportation: Near many subway stops

Democracy Brewing, Downtown

35 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111

Jerry Boyd, a wheelchair user, gave a shout out to Democracy Brewing, a worker-owned brewery in Downtown Crossing. “It’s the first bar that I ever went to that has a lower counter at the bar,” he said. “So I could saunter right up to the bar and order a drink. And that was awesome.” Although he acknowledges that some parts of the restaurant can be “tricky” — like the lift to get to the restroom — he said the brick and wood interior brings a cozy and historic atmosphere, and feels like a traditional beer hall.

Neighborhood: Downtown Crossing
Accessible bathroom: Yes
Parking: Street
Public transportation: Near MBTA Park Street on Red and Green line, Downtown Crossing on Red and Orange Line and Silver Line
Attractions nearby: Freedom Trail, Boston Common, Boston Public Garden, Beacon Hill, Old State House

Distraction Brewing Company, Roslindale

2 Belgrade Ave., Roslindale, MA 02131

Boyd recommends this Roslindale Square brewery, which he says is friendly and accommodating. “They have a really nice inside, and their restroom is very accessible,” he said. It has a family atmosphere, with games, and trivia and music events. It features an outdoor beer garden in the summer and there is “plenty of room inside to accommodate a chair.” You can bring your own food.

Neighborhood: Roslindale
Parking: Municipal lot or Roslindale Village Commuter Rail Parking Lot
Accessible bathroom: Yes
Public transportation: Close to the Roslindale Village Commuter Rail and several bus lines
Attractions nearby: Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Gyu-Kaku, Dorchester

23 District Ave., Dorchester, MA 02125

Juan Carlos Ramírez-Tapia says the South Bay location of this Japanese barbecue restaurant “gives the impression they built the space with accessibility in mind,” and says it’s a good option to accommodate a group of people in wheelchairs. “I’ve enjoyed this restaurant because right off the entrance there are two tables wide enough to accommodate a group, including multiple wheelchairs if needed,” he said. “It’s easy to roll in and be all set without having to worry about someone bumping into you.”

Neighborhood: South Bay, Dorchester
Public transportation: Closest MBTA stop is Andrew on the Red Line; several bus lines
Accessible bathroom: Yes
Parking: Patrons can use the South Bay Center mall parking, which has elevators
Attractions nearby: South Bay Center, Carson Beach

Hub Hall, Downtown

80 Causeway St., Boston, MA 02114

Boyd recently went to Hub Hall after seeing a show around the corner at City Winery. Opened in 2021 and connected to North Station and the TD Garden, the hall features 18 options for food, including local favorites like Greco, Mike’s Pastry, Momosan Ramen and The Smoke Shop. “We went for Japanese food there and it was great,” he said. “I even checked out the bathroom and that was nice and new and clean and very accommodating.”

Neighborhood: Downtown
Accessible bathroom: Yes
Parking: Garages, street
Public transportation: North Station on Green and Orange lines
Attractions nearby: TD Garden, North End, USS Constitution Museum, Museum of Science

Machu Picchu, Somerville

307 Somerville Ave., Somerville, MA 02143

Ramírez-Tapia is originally from Peru, and says that he loves going here “because the food is diverse and brings the essence of flavors from my home country.” He says the restaurant is spacious enough to move around with a power wheelchair. “The staff has been super friendly to facilitate access every time I went with my family and group of friends,” he said. The outdoor patio is accessible and it has a ramp to get inside.

Neighborhood: Union Square, Somerville
Accessible bathroom: Yes
Parking: Street parking
Public transportation: Union Square on Green Line
Attractions nearby: Union Square, Bow Market

Showcase SuperLux Chestnut Hill

55 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

If you’re looking for dinner and a movie, Keisha Greaves recommends this movie theater for “amazing” accessibility. “When I [booked] accessible seating, they provided me with a table for me to eat my food and drinks on, and I thought that was cool because I’d never seen that at another movie theater,” she said. “To some people it may not be a big deal, but that just brought me joy and excitement, knowing they get it.” For accessibility, the theater chain offers showings with devices for closed captioning and showings with audio description.

Neighborhood: Chestnut Hill, Newton
Public transportation: Chestnut Hill on Green Line [not an accessible station]
Accessible bathroom: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Attractions nearby: Hammond Pond, Chestnut Hill Reservoir, Metropolitan Waterworks Museum

Tony C’s Sports Bar & Grill, Seaport

250 Northern Ave., Boston, MA 02210

Greaves likes places with high-top tables, like this sports bar, which she finds more comfortable than other options. “It [my wheelchair] can go high or low, and I like to be high up,” she said. “Also when I used to walk with my cane, I appreciated the high bar tables because it was easy for me to get in [and out] from.” The restaurant has a built-in ramp at its front entrance. In addition to Boston’s Seaport, Tony C’s has locations in Somerville, Peabody and Burlington.

Neighborhood: Seaport, Boston
Accessible bathroom: Yes
Parking: Street parking or garages
Public transportation: MBTA Silver Line
Attractions nearby: Institute of Contemporary Art

Union Oyster House, Downtown

41 Union St., Boston, MA 02108

Boyd recently visited Union Oyster House for the first time, and was pleasantly surprised that the historic building was OK on accessibility. “You would think being one of the oldest restaurants in the country, that it wouldn’t be that accommodating, and it was, actually,” he said.

The menu features seafood and New England fare. “There was an accessible restroom that I could fit in nicely on the first floor. And the table was fine, so I would give that a thumbs up,” he said.

Neighborhood: Downtown
Accessible bathroom: Yes
Parking: Street or validated parking at Parcel #7 Garage, 136 Blackstone St.
Public transportation: Near Haymarket on Orange and Green lines; State Street on Blue and Orange lines
Attractions nearby: Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North End, Old State House, New England Aquarium

Zuma, Back Bay

1 Dalton St., 2nd floor, Boston, MA 02199

Wheelchair user Becky Curran Kekula enjoys the food, great service and “welcoming environment” at this high-end Japanese restaurant on the second floor of the Four Seasons in Back Bay. “They’re really good at having people moving their chairs and making sure we get to a table that works, then immediate pivots, like, if one table doesn’t work, let’s try another and make it work,” she said.

Neighborhood: Back Bay
Parking: Hotel valet or street
Public transportation: Prudential on Green Line; Back Bay on Orange Line
Attractions nearby: Prudential Center, Boston Public Library, Newbury Street, Boston Public Garden

Tips for guests

Diners with disabilities say they often do some extra work ahead of time to make sure they will have a good experience at a restaurant.

  • Use Google Maps: Kekula recommends first using Google Maps, which has information about accessibility in the “About” tab for each restaurant.
  • Call ahead: Diners said they often call ahead after using Google Maps to double check and ask specifically about their individual needs. “Most likely if the icons are not there [on Google Maps], or if there’s a cross [out] it’s not worth even calling, but, maybe they have a solution and they just haven’t updated Maps.” Greaves for example, likes to avoid restaurants where the only accessible entrance is in the back or through an alley. 
  • Consider the time: Greaves suggests that it can be easier to visit restaurants when they’re less busy, so she sometimes prefers to “go out early in the day when a lot of people are not in the restaurants.”
  • Visit the food halls: A number of food halls have recently opened in Boston — Time Out in Fenway, Hub Hall at North Station and High Street Place downtown — which can provide a fun and accessible way to experience a variety of cuisines, according to Boyd.
  • Don’t make assumptions: Sometimes a place can be more or less accessible than you might expect. Kekula has found that overall, restaurants are usually willing to accommodate if asked, for example, Limoncello in the North End. “At first, it may not look accessible because there’s a step to get in,” she said. “But then once you get there, they bring out a small ramp. … They’re going a little bit above and beyond to help out.”

    What restaurants are required to do

    • Adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act: Under the ADA, restaurants must meet certain requirements, including having at least 5% of tables be accessible and an accessible entrance.
    • Know the rules about service dogs: Some patrons say restaurant staff could brush up on the rules for service dogs. Under the ADA, service animals should always be allowed to enter public spaces like restaurants. Employees are only allowed to ask two questions: Is the dog a service dog, and what task is the dog trained to perform? Rachel Tanenhaus, a guide dog user, says that most of the time there are no issues, but there could be more awareness. “Some places will let me in. But they have a lot of questions and it’s like, man, I’m just hungry,” she said.
    • Turn on captions: Colleen Flanagan of the Boston Disabilities Commission reminds restaurant owners that the city recently passed an ordinance to require all public venues to turn on closed captioning on their televisions. “Captions provide access to the audible TV content for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, older adults with hearing difficulties, people who speak a language other than English, and many others,” she said. “A little creativity and a little flexibility go a long way in making sure your restaurant is welcoming to everyone.”

    How restaurants can go above and beyond

    • Make accessible entrances: Kekula said she’s frustrated the ADA does not require restaurants to have push buttons that open doors. “I feel like I need them everywhere I go,” she said. 
    • Consider interior design: “For quite some time, restaurant interior design has veered away from upholstery, carpet and fabric and steered toward glass, metal and hard surfaces, like tin ceilings. This, with added ambient music, can create a cacophonous and overwhelming environment,” said Nora Nagle, who is legally blind. “This is intolerable for people with sensory sensitivities and anyone with even minimal hearing loss. It can also complicate things for people with vision loss, as they are depending on what they can hear.”

    Do you have a suggestion for this list or a tip you’d like to share? Email meghan_smith@wgbh.org.

    Updated: June 17, 2024
    This list has been updated to reflect the locations of Clover Food Labs.