Welcome to The Swellesley Report’s Restaurant’s page, where you’ll find more than 50 dining options in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
92 Central St., 781-237-6100
Italian; owned by Michael Schlow, who has made name for himself with several popular Boston restaurants.
We shared a delicious fettuccine alfredo dish with a slab of broiled chicken on it. A solid portion, the chicken was tender and juicy and the alfredo was light and creamy. A ricotta cheese dip softened small toasty appetizers; and chocolate wafers with better-than-oreos cream to spread on them finished the night in a memorable way. The staff was friendly and attentive throughout the evening. The room was filled on a Thursday night, and unlike so many nice restaurants these days, the sounds weren’t deafening. My dinner mate and I were able to talk easily, and before you knew it it was 2.5 hours later… (BB)
27 Grove St., 731-239-1350
Authentic Thai cuisine.
45 Church St., 781-772-2390
Spanish wine and tapas bar/restaurant, with seating for 100-plus, including inside and outside.
555 Washington St., 781-235-5322
We stopped in a this popular ladies-who-lunch spot where every table was taken by noon on a Thursday. But we saw that coming and beat the rush, getting ourselves all settled in at a prime table where we could dine in comfort and watch the comings and goings at this spotless, bustling, eatery that’s been in town for 22 years.
Since Mangal specializes in Mediterranean cuisine with a heavy Turkish influence, I had the Turkish Lahmacun, a thin dough spread with ground beef, lamb, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices, served with side salad that was crisp, fresh, and not too heavily dressed. It looks a little like a burrito, but the lamb, which gives it a touch of gamey-ness, and Mangal’s use of spices puts it culturally worlds apart. There was a little too much fresh parsley for me, but I was able to easily set most of it aside.
Other dishes that caught my attention for maybe next time: The Turkish Borek (baked pastry layers filled with feta cheese and parsley); the Yengen sandwich (grilled with Turkish soujouk, tomatoes, kaser cheese on white toast bread); the arugula salad with poached figs and proscuitto di parma.
Also on the menu: sandwiches, soups, and salads.
339 Washington St, 781-283-5700
279 Linden St., 781-235-3737
Seafood restaurant and store. The dining room is open for dinner only. Lunch is served from the onsite food truck. See our recent adventure in raw oysters slurping at Captain Marden’s.
2023 update: We’re partial to the Captain’s Weekly family style dinner available each Thursday, serving 4 for $59.95 or 2 for $29.95. The menu changes monthly.
Located in The Boston Sports Institute
900 Worcester Street, Wellesley, MA 781-489-3187
Grilled cheeses and comfort food.
Cheesy Street Grill owner and Wellesley resident Geoff Moorehead is a true believer in the product he puts out, and says he has a cheddar bacon grilled cheese with caramelized onions for lunch every day. How does he do this and not gain weight, I wanted to know. “Everyone asks me that,” he says, explaining that his grilled cheeses are an excellent high-protein meal and that he preps the bread for himself the same way he does for his customers—easy on the butter.
December 2022 visit: We asked Geoff what’s popular lately and he steered us to the CSG Signature sandwich, a blend of asiago, goat, sharp cheddar cheeses that melt beautifully together on grilled country-white bread. Amazing. Seating in the sports center is a simple affair—several basic booths are lined up against a cinderblock wall in the cavernous lobby area.
After lunch, I went upstairs to burn off my meal on the elevated walking track. That’s not a perk just for Cheesy Street customers. Anyone can use the 9/10 of a mile two-lane oval that overlooks route 9.
Other menu offerings: soups, soft pretzels, smoothies, sweet baked goods.
15 Washington St., 781-237-7500
Chinese food. Full bar service. Our take: appetizers of chicken wings, chicken fingers and peking ravioli were all tasty and hot (temperature-wise). Entrees were OK (Shrimp fried rice didn’t have tastiest shrimp). Service was excellent, and the restaurant itself is bright and clean and lively. Watch out for sitting in booths facing the front door on a winter night though — chilly.
57 Central St., 781-772-1213
Raw vegan food, superfood smoothies, and organic juice cleanses, as well as breakfast items, sandwiches, and salads. (More here).
257 Washington St., 781-431-2388
288 Washington St., 781-235-7300
Popular for their 16″ bargain pizza. The popular Italian eatery also offers signature dishes are called “Messes” and feature a mix of veggies, pasta and more. Comella’s has several other locations in surrounding communities, including Newton and Needham.
19 Washington St., 781-237-1331
Pizza, salads, wraps, calzones, pasta, and more.
190 Linden St., 781-239-1100
Features food with Southern California flair. Full bar service. Signature dishes include their Grass Fed Burger, Cottage Fish Tacos, and Lamb Bolognese. Sunday Brunch is a much-loved favorite.
Notable past visit to check out their newly renovated interior and slightly revamped menu. See the full post here.
352 Washington St., 781-772-1731
CrepeBerry offers a diverse and healthy menu. You can see our review here.
1 Forest St., 781-235-6811
This place has a Greek flavor (pictures of Greece on the walls), has about 20 seats, features Tiffany-style lamps and an assortment of foods beyond pizza: salads, calzones, vegetables, etc. Be warned: No credit cards accepted.
868 Worcester St., 781-235-6800
50 Central Street, Wellesley Square
DR/P is open on weekends only to serve coffee, espresso drinks, lattes, teas, and specialty drinks like the Golden Girl + Iced Coco Matcha. The storefront spot is a part of B/SPOKE cycle, strength and yoga studio.
951 Worcester Street (Rte. 9 west), 781-235-9815
978 Worcester St. (Rte. 9 east), 781-237 1437
277 Linden St., 781-235-1237
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No hassle, healthy food, delivered to your door.
575 Washington Street, 781-694-8800
The fast-casual place was does a brisk take-out business, and customers were also enjoying meals in the dining area, which has six tables and two booths that seat approximately 25 diners. The exterior planters are always beautiful, giving this Wellesley Square spot on-point curb appeal.
180 Worcester St. (Rte. 9), 781-235-0238
JeJes Coffeehouse—COMING SOON
259 Washington St.
After receiving the Select Board’s approval for a common victualler license in early 2022, JeJes had planned to open at 259 Washington St., in Wellesley Hills by fall 2022. They’re still all in on Wellesley, however, their opening has been delayed. The business told its Facebook followers in a post: “This year, we met so many wonderful coffee lovers who have been supporting us. At the same time, we also met a terrible general contractor who delayed and fudged the construction of our brick-and-mortar shop for an entire year. However, we sincerely hope to meet many more wonderful coffee lovers at our coffee shop that will open in early February!”
JeJes will offer coffee, tea, and desserts, including South Korean treats. Jejes will have seven seats where customers can consume their drinks and food on site, but also will offer beans to go. More info here.
11 Washington St., 781-237-5888
63 Central St., 781-416-1799
Ice cream, yogurt, coffee.
I knew my companions would mock me, and they did, but the kiddy size cup is what I ordered. That’s really all the Oreo Cake Batter ice cream richness I require after dinner. Besides, in the interest of research I naturally needed to try a taste of the Brownie Brownie Batter. It was a chocolate-lover’s dream, densely packed with all it promised, and likely impossible to get out of a white t-shirt. The Peach was good, but I prefer bigger, firmer chunks of fresh peach in a purer vanilla base. They marinate their peaches in brown sugar giving it a more fall-is-coming look and flavor rather than the summer-is-here attitude I need in July.
The seating inside, the bench outside, and the fun fake grass on the walls all encourage customers to graze awhile and indeed, we did.
13 Central St., 781-446-6950
Greek Mediterranean cuisine, from the owner of Needham’s Sweet Basil restaurant. Full bar. Here’s our review.
Most recent visit (Sept.2021): We tried out the summery peach gazpacho made with mint labneh (a yogurt cheese). Nice, chunky, and fresh-tasting.
Things we’ve tried during other visits: The charred octopus, which is now more readily available after some supply issues during mid-COVID. When Mr. Swellesley went with a group of 7 other guys, the attentive server warned that it isn’t the best sharing item for such strapping lads. They ordered the pork belly rangoon (sweet, flavorful), smokey seafood fritters (crisp, just the right softness inside), and brussels sprouts (which his vegan friend ordered and loved). Mr. S went with the special, a serving of 5 hefty scallops served on black rice (he doesn’t get out much and had never had black rice, but says it was not to be feared), and plentiful broccolini cooked just right. Adobo fried chicken was a favorite of all, with its hearty portions. They sampled several beers, including Revolution Anti-Hero IPA (so suitable for our crew).
The room was dark but not too dark, with playful oversized art on the walls to add a splash of color to a restaurant that also features quirky decor, including purples, pinks and neon themes. The staff was friendly but not overbearing. The prices won’t faze those of you who have been to Juniper, with entrees generally in the mid-to-high $20s. On a Tuesday night in spring there was no problem getting seating at this no-reservations spot.
Note: If you’re a fan of Juniper owner and chef Dave Becker, and already know of his long-running Sweet Basil restaurant in Needham, you might like to round out the trifecta and visit Sweet Basil on Moody Street in Waltham, too. The fusion restaurant opened in late 2018, and serves up an eclectic mix of small dishes, salads, entrees and desserts that will feel both familiar and different to Juniper patrons.
Karma, which boasts of sushi featuring “a cross between Japanese flavors and the delicate sauces and styles of France” being its speciality, is on its way to Linden Square in Wellesley. The target opening is 2023. More info here.
99 Central Street, Wellesley Square
Opened April 2022.
La Toscana’s serves up over over a dozen specialty pizzas, and prices range from $14 for a small 14″ cheese pizza with house-made tomato sauce, four cheeses (mozzarella, parmigiano, romano, and asiago) to $29 for a large 18″ La Carne with house-made tomato sauce, meatballs, and Italian sausage.
10/2022 visit: We ran into La Toscana’s when needing a slice of pizza to get us through the afternoon. Our triangle of pepperoni and cheese hit the spot, but we were also taken with the autumnal display outside the restaurant, which opened its doors last spring. White string lights cast a welcoming glow, while chrysanthemums, seasonal grasses, and pumpkins and other gourds hit just the right fall note. Spotless tables under cheerful yellow umbrellas completed the satisfying scene. Now that’s the way to make the Square look lively.
90 Central Street., Wellesley Square
With its spring 2022 opening of Laughing Monk Cafe in Wellesley Square (90 Central St.), owner Dome Nakapakorn’s dream of bringing high-end sushi and Thai cuisine to Wellesley has come true. We had the great good fortune to experience a 15-course tasting menu put together by creative force Chef Nick Korboon. The Omakasé (chef’s choice) menu included raw fish and seafood and small cooked dishes of such high quality and artistic presentation that our sushi dreams, the ones we never even knew we had, also came true.
555 Washington St., 781-237-6995
162 Linden St., 781-235-9837
The fun family-owned deli that seats 31, including 2 handicapped-accessible spots, has a ton of variety on the menu (from sandwiches — cheesesteak is yummy — to smoothies to soup) and can be a real madhouse at lunch, though the staff does a great job juggling it all.
There was plenty of friendly, efficient staff on hand to take our order of a toasted meatball sub with cheese and a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sub, no mayo. Both items came as ordered, and we were moved along smoothly to the cashier, and then to what was, at the time we went in (12:30, weekday, school cancelled due to snow day), plenty of seating to choose from.
The meatball sub was hot with plenty of cheese in the proper state of melt, and a nice tomato sauce. My companion reported that the BLT came with lots of bacon, tomatoes that are about as good as they can be in the middle of the winter, and crisp lettuce.
They renovated a couple of years ago, and the white subway tile backsplashes and the crisply painted grey, white, and bright blue accent walls give it a clean feel. The gleaming stainless steel appliances let you know that the owners made their wish for more modern food storage a reality. Look for the university pennants and other homey touches.
11 Forest St., 781-694-1210
Wellesley’s Frank Santo, and Tom Wynn have brought gastropub food and drink in a warm, sophisticated interior. Check out our review here
102 Central St., Wellesley, MA 02482
The Tex-Mex style restaurant, which opened in summer 2022, has a wide variety of tacos—there are 10 on the menu, priced between $4 and $6.50 apiece. You’re encouraged to try a few different types, as opposed to getting a bundle of tacos of the same variety, as is common at other establishments. “We encourage you to go a la carte,” our host said. We tried a lobster taco, which included avocado, and microgreens, on a soft shell. The rock shrimp taco that included romaine lettuce, and a flavorful remoulade. All ingredients in the tacos were fresh and delicious.
There are seven bowls and salads on the menu. The Salmon Glow Bowl was a fun and filling mix of fresh salmon, charred zucchini, and pepitas seeds served over warm rice, mixed with hot honey vinaigrette. Healthy and fabulous. The Harvest Bowl had more of an autumnal than summer feel to it, but tasted good regardless of the season. It packed grilled vegetables, cucumber, tomatoes, and avocado over warm brown rice. Full post on our visit here.
MassBay Community College cafeteria
50 Oakland St., Wellesley
The cafeteria dining room is the hub of activity at the publicly funded community college that serves about 8,000 students at its Wellesley, Framingham, and Ashland locations. They’ve got a good hot bar that changes daily with offerings from Indian, to Italian, to Asian.
300 Washington St., 781-235-9647
Classic breakfast and lunch diner, with Greek flair.
Oath Pizza—COMING SOON
Oath Pizza, which boasts of its “100% feel-good pizza,” is targeting late summer or early fall for its move into the space occupied by Roosters Men’s Grooming Center, which is just moving around the corner in the same Linden Square complex. More info here.
552 Washington St., 781-235-8300
Their pizza crust is neither thick nor crispy-thin, and they don’t skimp on the mozzarella or the slice size. My bowl of minestrone, however was a disappointing bland collection of mushy pasta, a few cannellini beans, and some canned tomatoes floating about in an unseasoned broth. That’s what I get for ordering soup at a pizza parlor, I suppose.
Some memorabilia, and oldies tunes on the sound system keep the atmosphere lively. You can’t leave here downhearted after dining to classics like “Help Me Rhonda” and “Be My Baby.”
16 Washington St., 781-235-4747
Italian food, including pizza. The 250+ seat Wellesley standby underwent a complete renovation and refresh in 2018. In addition to the main dining area, the private dining room has space for 100; the bar area has tripled in size and seats about 45; and the patio area has been expanded to 44 seats. See our full story on Papa Razzi here.
Our most recent visit, October 2022: We really enjoyed our recent Friday here. The restaurant had a healthy buzz, with patrons enjoying meals at tables and the bar, but it wasn’t so crowded that we couldn’t be seated right away.
We ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with fresh mozzarella and arugula pesto on ciabatta, classic chicken soup, and orecchiette with broccoli rabe, fennel sausage, garlic, chili flakes, and pecorino cheese. It all hit the spot, plus the manager swung by to tempt us with upcoming menu items that sound absolutely autumnal.
57 Washington St., 781-489-3205
Breakfast, lunch & dinner, plus catering. Cash/checks, ATM inside.
180 Linden St., 781-235-1140
Serves cold-pressed juices, healthy freezes. Our post about Pressed Juicery’s opening.
185 Linden St., 781-235-339
272 Washington St., 781-237-2111
Baked goods, including muffins and breads.
552 Washington St., 781-772-1473
Rice Burg has been a unique addition to the Wellesley food scene. Rice Burg’s forte is burgers with specialized buns made from Japanese small-grain rice. They’re a gluten-free alternative to traditional bread buns, and the idea is to welcome back those who have run away from burgers due to dietary restrictions. You can also get their menu items in bowls.
Our Rice Burg review during the restaurant’s grand opening week
312 Washington St., 781-235-1666
Fine Indian cuisine.
583 Washington St., 781-992-5150
See our post, Nice to meat you, Smith & Wollensky.
68A Central St., 781-235-2390
190 Linden St., 781-237-5282
268 Washington St. 781-237-1000
With 41k+ locations in over 100 countries, it’s no wonder Wellesley didn’t want to be left out. You don’t need me to tell you that they can put together a decent tuna melt.
180 Linden St., 617-917-3500
Salads, warm bowls, lots of kale.
January, 2022. The popular salad spot has resolved its late-2021 staffing issues and is open for all the things—you can order and eat in-store if you please, or order online for easy pickup at their organized shelf devoted to the grab-and-go crowd. We stopped in for a warm bowl of Chicken Pesto Parm, made up primarily of warm quinoa, baby spinach, and roasted chicken, tossed with a pesto vinaigrette and a dash of hot sauce. Spinach can be hard to get 100% right, but every leaf in our bowl was fresh, not a hint of slime to be found. When we asked for “lightly dressed” we got “lightly dressed,” put together by an organized and friendly staff. At a corner table, three high school girls chatted away, clearly enjoying each other’s company and a bit of freedom. Well-dressed customers (hello, Louis Vuitton high-heeled boots) waited in line for their healthy-living lunches and dashed out the door, on to the next part of their busy day. On the cold, raw day we stopped in, the red cafe chairs in the Linden Square Courtyard served as but a reminder that warmer days are coming.
151 Linden St. 781-235-9888
Linden Square, Wellesley 781-943-3743
Tatte, the ubiquitous bakery & cafe with about 20 locations in the Boston/Brookline/Cambridge area, has moved into Wellesley’s Linden Square. The eatery, known for Israel-born founder Tzurit Or’s artisanal coffees, pastries, breakfast sandwiches, salads, and sandwiches, made its foray into the western territories when it opened in Newton Centre in October 2021. Things went so well in the neighborhood-oriented location, Or decided to open up a Wellesley outpost in the space formerly occupied by California Pizza Kitchen. We stopped in for a sneak peek in June 2021.
570 Washington St., 781-431-2250
Italian specialties, including lunch and breakfast offerings.
Wellesley’s Tutto Italiano owner goes Hollywood—sort of
35 Grove St., 781-239-1356
Serving ice cream and yogurt, including soft serve, since 1992.
Wellesley Bakery & Cafe
542 Washington St., 781-235-1171
Baked goods, soups, sandwiches.
This 12-seat cafe serves baked goods (croissants, cookies, muffins, scones), soups, sandwiches, wraps, and salads. It’s cash or check only here, so be prepared. I ordered the 1/2 sandwich and soup combination. The generously sized 1/2 portion of chicken tarragon on French bread had the right touch mayo and tarragon. The tomato soup was served hot and chunky, but didn’t taste much like tomato for some reason. The star of the meal was dessert, a shortbread heart cookie with red raspberry jam filling. So good, and worth every calorie. Everything is paper plates and plastic utensils here, strictly a quick place to grab a bite or get take-out. Paintings for beauty and for sale from local artists decorated the cheerful yellow walls.
Wellesley College eateries—limited service during 2023
We haven’t been to any of these campus spots since before COVID. Wellesley College continues to be COVID-conscious, so we’ve kept our forays to walking the part of the Lake Waban trail owned by the all-women’s college. We’ll update this section as we learn more.
Collins Cafe (across from Davis Museum)
Campus Center Emporium on 2 (in Wang Center)
Claflin Bakery (Claflin Hall)
Leaky Beaker (Science Building)
Cafe Hoop (Wang Center)
Punch’s Alley Bar (Wang Center)
7 Washington St. (Rte. 16), 781-237-3388 or 3389
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Our family enjoyed a broccoli & chicken calzone served hot and fresh, buffalo chicken wings and a garlic and cheese pizza. The staff was friendly and accommodating. We sat at one of the four tables near the front door, so was a bit chilly. Decor is pretty modest, mainly consisting of posters of food. There’s a flat screen TV and the prices are reasonable.
165 Linden St.
Permanently closed as of July 2022
336 Weston Rd., 781-235-1116
Breakfast and lunch, with salads, subs, etc. Motto is: A place where you can meet anybody.
442 Washington St., 781-235-7262
The 26,000 square foot grocery store is big with those looking for natural and organic foods. They’ve got a salad bar and lots of hot and cold prepared foods, as well as a hot drinks area. You can also get sandwiches and pizza, and for dessert, gelato or kefir. Seating is available near the check-out area at the front of the store. There is also outdoor seating.
245 Washington St., 781-431-8886
We went in for lunch and ordered the Sushi Special, which is one tuna roll and six pieces of assorted sushi. The $10.50 special includes miso soup and salad. We also ordered some edamame for good measure. The service was excellent and the sushi was beautifully fresh. Other things on the lunch menu: Bento boxes (beef teriyaki; seafood tempura; vegetable tempura, and more); noodle specials (udon; raman; soba. All with a choice of protein and/or veggies. There are also combo options and a selection of ice cream desserts or fried banana.
The space also has a sushi bar and and area for large groups. Yama is BYOB place, which is becoming more of a rarity ever since Wellesley loosened up its liquor licensing laws.