Words by Natalia Shilotri, Photos by Gabrielle Kim
Being relatively new to Boston, I’m constantly looking for new restaurants and cafés where I can enjoy some Sunday brunch. Since the Cafeteria was one of the first brunch places recommended to me by a local, I just knew I had to go. Located on one of Newbury’s busiest corners, definitely expect a waiting line - especially on the weekends!
Upon first sight, the Cafeteria decor is decidedly modern - the ambiance was very warm and inviting. Some might even say it’s “Instagrammable.” From the outside, you would expect a smaller cafe. However, after walking in I was surprised to find how spacious the restaurant was — there was outdoor seating and two floors full of customers.
The Cafeteria is well-known for its typical American comfort food. There’s definitely something for everyone, from salads to sandwiches to burgers. The servers are extremely friendly and will provide the right recommendations if you ask!
For appetizers, we got truffle fries to share. It was pretty delicious. These truffle fries were coated with Parmesan, parsley and garlic - drizzled with some truffle oil. We were surprised by how crispy these fries were. Usually, fries tend to go soggy after even 10 or 15 minutes on the plate, but these fries retained their crunch. The portion size was also the perfect amount for an appetizer.
For one of our entrées, we decided to get the classic Cafeteria burger, an angus beef burger with some special Cafeteria sauce. Like most restaurants, we were given the choice of either fries or a salad on the side. Quite honestly, I believed the burger was lackluster. It wasn’t as impressive as some of the reviews on Yelp had promised. It tasted like a classic cheeseburger with an average taste. One thing I liked, however, about this burger was that it was juicy and flavorful.
Our next entrée was Monday’s plate du jour, Fra Diavolo. This dish included shrimp, calamari, and mussels tossed in a spicy tomato sauce served with spaghetti. The seafood was fresh and well-cooked. The shrimp and calamari were tender and not rubbery nor overcooked. The mussels were well-infused with the spice and had great aroma. I thought the dish was extremely delicious and succulent. If you enjoy a good level of spice in your food, then this is a must-try!
On the side, I enjoyed a classic strawberry lemonade to wash it all down. The drink was not too sweet and was quite refreshing.
Overall, a trip to Cafeteria Boston will not disappoint. It’s a great choice if you want brunch or an early dinner. Their service is really great and despite the long lines, the servers will definitely accommodate to your needs. If you’re lucky, definitely reserve a table outdoors! A beautiful restaurant with plenty of options for everybody - a go-to if you’re in the area!
279a Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115