50/50 Bakoneator at Burger Dive
Boston’s love affair with the elevated-casual burger joint continues unabated with the newest spot from Legendary Restaurant Group, the team behind Papagayo and Sip Wine Bar. Inside the industrial-chic space (the first restaurant in Somerville’s revitalized Assembly Square district), you’ll find creative milkshakes and palate-pounding patties: like the 50/50 Bakoneator, made of equal parts ground beef and ground bacon. Keep an eye out for its hilariously tricked-out Burger Mobile roaming the streets.
702 Assembly Square Dr., Somerville; 617-628-3300
Arlington Fried Chicken at Tryst
Craving the comfort of fast food? Take it up a notch on Tuesday nights at Tryst, when chef Paul Turano offers Arlington fried chicken. This off-menu item puts a finer shine on KFC-style fare. Each take-out box has two pieces of double-fried chicken, coleslaw, whipped mashed potatoes with pan gravy and a buttermilk biscuit. Plus $3 per order benefits local nonprofits.
689 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington; 781-641-2227
White Trash Charcuterie Board at jm Curley
Tempted to reach for the Cheetos? Don’t. Head to jm Curley, where chef (and 30 Under 30 honoree) Sam Monsour has concocted a “Future of Junk Food” special menu that puts gourmet tweaks on guilty pleasures. Recent selections have included a burger using a donut as bread (and slathered in maple frosting), and a griddle-fried "White Trash Charcuterie Board": think a deconstructed bologna sandwich, an assemblage of housemade “locavore velveeta,” Brambly Farms hog bologna, white bread and pickled green tomatoes.
21 Temple Pl.; 617-338-5333
Cannoli at Gigi Gelateria
Restaurateur Frank DePasquale's gelateria has been around for seven years, but he must have been itching for a change. The spot now offers two types of cannoli shells that can be filled with ricotta - or one of 40 flavors of housemade gelato. Summer strolls through the North End just got a little sweeter.
272 Hanover St.; 617-720-4243
Bucket of Bubbles (or Suds) at Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant
The best part of brunch is the buzz. (Sunday uniquely sanctions day drinking.) And luckily, this South Boston American restaurant understands that. Those who want to indulge their thirsts on a budget can count on the "Bucket of Bubbles" ($24), a bottle of Prosecco paired with orange juice, grapefruit juice or peach purée. Or there’s the "Bucket of Suds," a bartender-selected assortment of five canned beers, for just 20 bucks.
425 W. Broadway; 617-765-8636
Asian Sloppy Joe at Blue Dragon
James Beard Award winner Ming Tsai might be one of Boston’s most esteemed chefs, but the Simply Ming show host has a soft spot for a favorite comfort food. His new gastropub features an Asian sloppy joe on its lunch menu. Influenced by his mother’s home-cooked meals, it replaces the sandwich’s traditional beef with chicken and pork, stirs in hoisin sauce and is topped with sambal aïoli and crispy onions.
324 A St.; 617-338-8585
Rotating flavors From Cupcake City
Better late than never. The cupcake fad isn’t as au courant - but for fans of the North Shore’s Cupcake City, that business’ food truck has arrived just in time. New for the 2013 season, the pink van brings sugary goodness to Boston streets on Wednesday and Friday. The rotating flavor selection includes standbys like Hostess (chocolate cake filled with marshmallow filling) and s'mores (graham cracker crust topped with a mini Hershey bar). Stay updated on specific times and locations here.
Fried Lobster Caramel at Local 149
This Southie neighborhood favorite has revamped its menu under its new culinary director, chef David Nevins. And here's one standout special you'll want to get your claws in: fried lobster caramel, served every Monday. As if lobster wasn't decadent enough, here the big red crustacean is fried in buttermilk batter - then served with cheddar and a creamy caramel sauce. Sinfully indulgent seafood.
149 P St.; 617-269-0900
A Meatball Joint at An Tua Nua
By night, this Kenmore Square bar is best known for its student-friendly dance floor. But in April the spot introduced a new daily restaurant concept, "A Meatball Joint," that commands us to "mangia!" The build-your-own approach goes like this: pick a ball (including beef, bacon and pork, veggie or a "meatball of the moment") and a sauce (like pesto, tomato, cheddar and five-onion). Decide how you want it plated, such as a hero - four balls on a baguette - seen here. And polish everything off with a housemade whoopie pie.
835 Beacon St.; 617-262-2121