The papers have all been written, exams taken, projects presented — now comes the real test: where to take your parents when they come to town for graduation. Between move-in and Parents’ Weekends, and that time (or three) they popped into town for a surprise visit, your parents have likely seen most of Boston’s highlights (and dined at Legal Seafood at least five times). While Boston’s historic sites haven’t changed in, like, a million years, the food scene is constantly evolving. If you’re looking to give the family a new flavor, any of these restaurants — which have all opened in the last year — are a sure bet, at either your budget or the 'rents'.
You’re treating: Highland Fried
Opened in December 2017 by the creators of local favorite Highland Kitchen, this Inman Square eatery serves up delicious fried chicken and a relaxed atmosphere. You can’t go wrong with the classic three-piece dinner (chicken, biscuit, and a side of your choosing, pictured above). Celebrate that hard-earned degree with one of their signature Tiki cocktails (a Long Suffering Bastard, anyone?) or a game of pool.
1271 Cambridge St., Cambridge, highlandfried.com
They’re treating: Brighton Bodega
Despite its unassuming name, Brighton Bodega’s sophistication is evident the moment you walk in. This tapas restaurant opened in the summer of 2017 and boasts a globally-inspired menu that changes daily. The small plates are perfect for sharing (get the pulled pork sliders for a guaranteed crowd pleaser), but order a few of them if the ‘rents are footing the bill.
328 Washington St., Brighton, brightonbodega.com
You’re treating: Snappy Kitchen
Say goodbye to your college days with one final, delicious, celebratory bowl of ramen. Formerly Snappy Ramen (and before that, Snappy Sushi), this Davis hot spot opened in December 2017 with a new, modern vibe. Fill up on the oversized ramen bowls or order the Instagram-worthy pork belly buns.
234 Elm St., Somerville, snappy-kitchen.com
They’re treating: Talulla
Opened in April 2018, Talulla (named after the owners’ daughter) in Cambridge serves up global flavors using seasonal ingredients. The restaurant offers an a la carte menu for a more casual dining experience or a tasting menu if you want to get real fancy. (Hey, you only graduate college once!)
377 Walden St., Cambridge, talullacambridge.com
You’re treating: Spyce
This Downtown Crossing eatery opened in May 2018 and boasts the world’s first robotic kitchen. Whether you dig the high-tech vibe or chalk it up to hype, one thing’s for sure: you’ll get an affordable and delicious meal served to you in minutes. A must-try if you find yourself on the Freedom Trail, yet again.
241 Washington St., Boston, spyce.com
They’re treating: Porto Maltese
Graduate to the next level of seafood at Porto Maltese, the new addition to Washington Square in Brookline. Choose how your fish is cooked from the options on their Mediterranean-inspired menu (spoiler alert: there are six different ways!) and watch the waiters debone it for you table-side. The ambiance is friendly but still sophisticated enough to be worthy of this momentous occasion.
1634 Beacon St., Brookline, portomaltese.com