NFT Boston Roslindale

Roslindale

Essentials
Over the last few decades, Roslindale Square (also known as Roslindale Village) has received awards for turning a virtual ghost town into a nice place to live through local shops and some great restaurants. The city subsidies didn't hurt either. Walking through the village area, one gets the sense of a community proud of itself. As a bonus, Roslindale Village is within walking distance of the Arnold Arboretum, the best park in Boston and possibly the best urban park in America.

Sundries/Entertainment
What Rozzie lacks in hip bars, it makes up for in restaurants like Delfino, shopping like Joanne Rossman, and a surprisingly large amount of bakeries like Fornax Bread CompanySee more.

>. If you wanna get your drink on, you'll have to hightail it for JP. Or do what the locals do -- spend an evening at Pleasant Café.

Transportation
To get to Roslindale without driving, you can either take the T's Orange Line to the Forest Hills stop and from there take an MBTA bus, or you can ride the commuter rail to Roslindale Village or Bellevue.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Literary Boston

By Kevin Spak
Boston: Some call it the cradle of literary civilization, some just call it... uncle. Don't worry. Kevin Spak will set you straight.

Read More...

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Todd Strauss
Photo:  Todd Strauss

Pleasant Cafe
From the outside, the Pleasant Cafe doesn't look like a place that would be packed full of families and couples on Friday and Saturday nights. However, on weekend nights, you'll find a line out the door, and they are all here for the food and the drinks. To me, this place is all about the pizza and the cocktails. Let's start with the most important part, the drinks. While they do have a handful of beers on draft, ignore this and head to the giant cocktail list. I don't even know what half of them are, but that doesn't stop me from ordering based on the name alone. All I can say is trust the bartender...he does know what he is doing. After all, he does teach bartending at one of the schools in the South End. What makes the drinks better is that almost all of them cost just under $5! So, go now, get a pizza topped with Italian sausage, jalapenos, and garlic to soak up all that delicious liquor that you will be drinking.



Posted By:  Todd Strauss
Photo:  Todd Strauss

Romano's Pizzeria & Taqueria
I think I was in Chicago when I saw my favorite food sign advertising "Fast Food & Beepers." My second favorite was a sign in San Francisco that dragged me in with its claim of "Chinese Food & Donuts." Next comes "Pizzeria & Taqueria" in Roslindale. Yeah, I know what you're thinking: Mexican food from a pizza place? Well, I thought the same thing until a few friends told me the Mexican food was quite good. I had to check it out. I ordered three tacos, each with a different filling (chorizo, chicken, and steak). On the first bite of the chorizo taco, my doubts went out of the window. This was tasty. Actually, it was really tasty. What makes it even better is the fact that they deliver a few miles outside Roslindale. But don't stop at the tacos. Try their quesadillas, which are bigger and fatter than any quesadilla I have ever encountered. A meal in themselves. I have yet to have one of their Mexican dinner plates, but I plan on it soon. Oh, and if you want a slice, you can get that too.



Posted By:  Todd Strauss
Photo:  Todd Strauss

Droubi Bakery
Is the name really Droubi Bakery or is Bob's Pita? You can argue about this forever, you can go inside and ask, or you can just assume that there are two businesses under the same roof. I like keeping it a mystery. While this place looks more like a grocery store than a bakery (or a pita shop), it has both. I go for their cheap produce. The quality is good, and their prices are much lower than any other grocery store in the area. Besides their fruits and vegetables, they sell tons of Middle Eastern items, including coffee, spices, cheeses, and baked goods. The baked goods are what make this place even more special than their prices. I can't even walk by this place without getting one of the baked items that are way too conveniently placed right next to the cash register.



Posted By:  Todd Strauss
Photo:  Todd Strauss

Thrift Shop of Boston
I remember the first time that I set foot in this thrift store. It was at its old location in JP, and for $5 I picked up an old Atari 2600 with a few games along with a seat for my bike. Now, years later, they have moved to Roslindale Village, and I'm glad to report that little has changed. The place is still packed with possible treasures, the staff friendly as ever, their prices unbelievable good, and the proceeds go to the Home for Little Wanderers. The aisles are narrow so you might have to suck in your gut a bit when checking out their furniture, but it is worth the effort (or just go on a diet). They don't carry many electronic items, the selection of men's clothes is tiny, and the store is small so they rarely have a selection of couches and other large furniture, but they do have a good selection of pretty much everything else. The turnover here is pretty quick so if you have your eye on something, you better act on impulse and buy it right away; don't wait to get approval from that person who shares your bed or living space.



Posted By:  Matthew Killorin
Photo:  Matthew Killorin

Delfino
William Butler Yeats would love Delfino in Roslindale Square. The au poivre encrusted steak with melted gorgonzola butter looked like a scaled, sirloin version of Benbulben. It was gravity defying. The mashed potatoes with asparagus were a welcomed accoutrement. We had the littleneck clams as an appetizer; they come in a garlic wine sauce with cherry tomatoes and jalapeño peppers with a crostini-like grilled bread. The pepper addition demonstrated thinking outside the new-Italian box, but if I were to split hairs, the mussels at Sophia’s around the corner are a similar but better dish. The open kitchen format was fun for my visiting relatives, more accustomed to the tract-restaurant philosophy of hiding the food prep at all costs. Probably the most expensive restaurant in Rozzie Square, Delfino is very good and worth its reputation.



Posted By:  Matthew Killorin
Photo:  Matthew Killorin

Every city square aspiring for gentrification needs a wine shop, a gourmet ice cream purveyor, a small boutique filled with clothes for the discerning middle-aged woman, but a cheese shop? That comes later, when the roots have firmly taken, when said city square has established the type of reputation that draws the type of people that can’t pass up a rare sheep’s milk cheese from the Italian campagna. But Roslindale Square, still peppered with empty and for lease retail spaces, has perhaps the horse in front of the cart with this one. That understood, this place is pretty awesome. They’ve got cool cheese-centric gadgetry, smoked meats and fish, pasta, and cheese that, if you were cleaning out your friend’s fridge and found it in the crisper, you’d swear was from the cold war era. The best part, they have free samples. So if you don’t know that fromages de chevre melt your nose hairs, you don’t have to drop $17.99/lb. before finding out. $17.99/lb you say? Cheesus, that’s expensive! True, but what did you expect? The lady that runs the place is super-nice so hope this before-it’s-time cheese shop in Roslindale Village sticks. Check out the video here.



Posted By:  Matthew Killorin
Photo:  Matthew Killorin

Geoffrey's Café
Geoffrey’s Café has been around for a while, once set in the Back Bay and once in the South End, it is now in Roslindale, in the space formerly occupied by Salute. Geoffrey’s has a loyal following and is almost always packed on weekend nights and during the Sunday disco brunch. The prices are great, especially for cocktails, with many hovering around the $5 range. They have a great appetizer menu, too, I love anyplace bold enough to offer offal and expect people to spend money on it, people like me, who can’t pass up things like bacon wrapped liver or fried kidneys—if for no other reason than trying something different. The entrees, however, were a touch flat…not bad just not as good as I was ramped up to expect them to be. Nonetheless, a nice dinner, for a good price. Sit on the patio if the weather permits.



Posted By:  Matthew Killorin
Photo:  Matthew Killorin

Sophia's Grotto
Sophia’s Grotto isn’t as Italian as you’d expect it to be. With Sophia Loren shots and the faux-villa décor, you’d think you were in for macaroni and gravy or some fresh mozz, basil mélange across the board. Sophia’s, however, has a nice selection of Spanish items on the menu. Generally, I’d think culinary identity crisis, restaurant dreams bigger than the chef’s acumen, but the Grotto seems to except the rule. Essentially, its Italian food, but with chorizo added to it. Serve Sangria and Margaritas with high-end tequila and we’ve got a party. As far as I can tell, if you have good chorizo, not that usual hot dog stuck with a syringe of cumin stuff, you can survive as a restaurant. Two best things about the Grotto: Pappardelle is on the menu and they’ve got the best mussels dish ever. The spicy mussels come in a chorizo, tomato, and fennel stew with tons of shellfish served on a chunk of soft polenta for maximum sauce absorption. Why hasn’t anyone else thought of putting polenta down there, it’s friggin’ brilliant.



Posted By:  Todd Strauss
Photo:  Todd Strauss

Geoffrey's Café
With a long bar, a great looking patio, and a tasteful modern touch, it makes me wonder if Geoffrey’s is another reason why Roslindale Village is slowly becoming better than JP’s Centre Street. When a business closes in Roslindale, it is rare that a bank or a real estate office opens up (JP needs to take a hint from this). The food at Geoffrey’s is pretty good, earning a spot in my top three for Roslindale village. The patio, reasonable prices, and friendly staff are the reasons why Geoffrey’s stands out. While their steak tips were above average and they do serve a good chicken dish, my favorites are their homemade Mozzarella Sticks (which are bigger and cheesier than any that I have ever had) and their pizza which features a sausage that is made right next door at Tony’s.



Posted By:  Matthew Killorin
Photo:  Matthew Killorin

Pizza means a lot of things to a lot of people. There’s brick oven, California, and there’s delivery chains like Dominos and not-delivery like DiGiorno’s. Don’t want to make a big production out of ordering a pie? You have two real choices: New York Style pizza and Greek Pizza. While the area Greek pizzerias outnumber the NY Style, the regular-Joe slice from the latter is usually better. Greek pizza has a tendency to be greasy, with too much cheese. The slices are smaller and the crust, while good and crunchy at first, eventually leaves you with that Pizza Hut-type film all over your body. NY Style pizza is thin and crisp with the right cheese-to-sauce ratio. The crust is more like fresh Italian bread—its really good NY Style pizza if the slice stays horizontal when held by the crust. That being said, if you are going Greek, the Roslindale House of Pizza is good for what it is. Their toppings, especially the sausage, are decent and the crust is crunchy without clogging your arteries. They follow the all important rule—easy does it on the cheese. Even cows find Greek pizza binding, the Roslindale House understands this and their prudence with dairy products makes them better.



Posted By:  Matthew Killorin
Photo:  Matthew Killorin

Before I moved to Roslindale, I used to rent this apartment in the ‘Tufts to look at, Tufts to talk to’ neighborhood of Medford, about a ten minute walk from Atlas—the strong man of Boston-area liquor marts. There’s always a large selection of red wines for less than $10 at Atlas, and the walk-in beer cooler keeps the cubes of Miller High Life just as cold as the sixers of Stella Artois. It’s big enough to represent, but not so big you get lost. Leaving Meffa for Roslindale, I resigned myself to finding a Kappy’s or a Blanchard’s, some liquor Stop and Shop with a large display floor of warm Sam Adams and long lines at the checkout. So imagine my surprise, one thirsty Friday evening after work, when I stumbled across the Atlas Liquors on Hyde Park Avenue. Sometimes you eat the bear, indeed. One word of warning, if you are one of those ‘Rally at the Register’ type drinkers, there’s usually a cop up front jawing with the checkout dudes, so focus! And don’t drink and drive.



Posted By:  Manya Chylinski
Photo:  Henry Cataldo

Forest Hills Cemetery
Come celebrate a traditional Mexican Day of the Dead celebration in the shadow of a century-old landmark tree at Forest Hills cemetery. This sacred event is truly a joyful celebration—to honor the spirits of those who have died and to forge a connection to a Latin American heritage. Children from La Piñata will dance and perform music and incantations, all to remember and celebrate life and death, creating a magical, spiritual gathering. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly and to bring flowers, photos, and gifts to leave on an altar for friends and relatives who have died. This event is bilingual in English and Spanish. At nearby Spontaneous Celebrations, workshops prior to the event teach how to make sugar skulls, a traditional symbol of the holiday, for the altar, and how to participate in the dancing.



Posted By:  Lacey Prpic Hedtke
Photo: 

Forest Hills Cemetery is Boston’s first public park. Although it is now a cemetery, it is still a public park where picnics are permitted. The cemetery is a lovely place to spend a day; they offer guided tours on weekends. Spanning 250 acres, it’s also an ideal place for bike riding. The Forest Hills Educational Trust is responsible for a contemporary art program featuring permanent and temporary art installations throughout the grounds, making it one of the best places in the city to see outdoor sculpture. Check the website for upcoming events—the Trust hosts poetry readings, concerts, and annual events such as the el Dia de los Muertos celebration. They also host the annual lantern festival, inspired by a Buddhist ritual, with hundreds of lanterns set out to float on the lake to remember those in spirit. If you have the nerve, sign up for one of the scary flashlight tours. ee cummings and Anne Sexton are buried here, along with many influential figures from Boston’s history. This place is a great retreat on a hot, hazy day.




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Restaurants (17)
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