Here, the F&W Best New Chef alum (Class of 1996) shares her go-to restaurants, from hot newcomers to beloved classics, in the city she calls home. 

Sarma, Boston
Credit: Michael Prince; Susie Cushner

“I stayed in Boston because I’m a Bostonian, but it was missing a lot, restaurant-wise, so I took advantage of that,” says Barbara Lynch, the pioneering chef of seven hot spots, including No. 9 Park. She writes about her local pride in her new memoir, Out of Line. “It was important to me to build the base in my hometown.”


24 Edwin H. Land Blvd., Cambridge; 617-868-4444;

“Chef David Bazirgan is so creative, but without being over-the-top. He makes great food with a slight Armenian twist. My go-tos are his steak tartare and all the vegetables the kitchen throws at me.”

Bar Mezzana

360 Harrison Ave., Boston; 617-530-1770;

“This is a South End community hangout. It’s a sure win: reasonable prices and great Italian food. I love the langoustine crudo.”


45 Province St., Boston; 617-208-6000;

“The chef here cooks over portable burners, and the menu is mostly tinned goods. Get the tuna with bread and Sancerre. It’s brilliant.”

La Voile

261 Newbury St., Boston; 617-587-4200;

“You wouldn’t expect to find chefs at this spot on Newbury Street, but my staff goes for veal blanquette. It transports you to the south of France.”

Neptune Oyster

63 Salem St., Boston; 617-742-3474;

“Every neighborhood should have as charming an oyster bar as my old colleague Jeff Nace’s. I always order oysters, shrimp cocktail and rosé.”


249 Pearl St., Somerville; 617-764-4464;

“Ana Sortun from Oleana has been my best friend for over 20 years, so I was excited when she opened Sarma in Somerville. The chef, Cassie Piuma, changes the menu often—get the fried chicken if she’s making it.”


501 E. 8th St., Boston; 617-268-0007; shamrockpubboston

“My gang in South Boston (where I grew up) and I hang out at this dive. It’s nice to go to a place where you know everyone.”