Eating well is pretty important. It’s like they say, “You are what you eat.” But hey, you already knew that. Which is why you try to make healthy choices…most of the time. And other times you don’t.
Come on, you know what we’re talking about. You’re all about eating clean until cheat day rolls around. It’s that carb-filled day when anything goes. The one day of the week when you don’t need to feel guilty about snacking on any and all of the foods you love.
Luckily our town also knows how to indulge in a big way. Pick any Boston neighborhood, and we’ll show you a restaurant serving up mouthwatering, button-popping cheat meals.
If you’re going to cheat, do it with pizza. The original Pizzeria Regina’s pizza, to be exact. This spot represents old school North End traditions, all the while serving up world famous pies. And the Giambotta is three pounds of dough, cheese, and toppings. So, basically the perfect meal to have on cheat day.
If you haven’t been to Mike’s Pastry in the North End yet, you need to. Drop everything, put on your stretchy pants, and go. You might have to stand in line, but that’s only because their pastries are legendary – especially their cannolis. And there is no better way to splurge than by picking one covered in chocolate.
If it’s cheat day, then you might as well start early. And The Paramount is the place in Beacon Hill to splurge on breakfast. You might have to wait in line, but the food will be well worth it. And if you don’t want to choose between sweet or savory, you don’t have to. Order their Texas Style French Toast and their Grilled Chorizo Omelet and call it a morning.
When you hear ‘cheat meal,’ two things should always come to mind: pizza and ice cream. And Picco might be the best at making both. We know that sounds biased, but it’s the truth. Their pizza is so good that you will have no choice but to finish the entire pie. And no matter how full you are at the end of it, make room for their house-made ice creams like PB Chip and Caramel Swirl.
If you love paella – and who doesn’t, really? – then this is the place to go in the South End. The Paella Valenciana is packed with delicious mussels, clams, shrimp, pork sausage, chicken, and rice. It comes in half and whole sizes, but you can probably guess which one we recommend.
The Franken-Burger from The Gallows is packed with a beef patty, bacon, pulled pork, fried chicken thigh, and foie gras aioli (commence mouth-watering daydream). Or you can just head on over to the South End for your next cheat day. Because nothing really says indulgent like a burger topped with four different kinds of meat.
There is never a bad time to eat here (as long as you have a reservation), but we recommend going during brunch. Because chances are you won’t find a perfectly cooked omelet brimming with delicious, buttery lobster anywhere else. And since cheat meals and brunch are both meant for big eats, you should always follow it up with one of their buttermilk biscuits. Or several.
It’s pretty much expected that, if you are going to watch nine innings of baseball, you are going to eat. A lot. Between an appetizer of roasted peanuts and cracker jacks and a dessert of soft serve ice cream in a miniature baseball helmet, we recommend fitting in a Fenway Frank. Not only is it classic Fenway fare, but it’s also delicious and filling.
Every day is a good day for tacos. That’s a fact that needs no explanation. And we are eternally grateful for Lone Star Taco Bar because they make some of the best Mexican food around, including but not at all limited to Carnitas Pork Tacos. Each of their tacos is only $4.00, which means you can get several. But getting one of each kind is probably the right move on cheat day.
If you want comfort food, look no further. Roxy’s Grilled Cheese in Allston specializes in, well, grilled cheeses. Their Mighty Rib Melt with fontina cheese, braised short rib, and caramelized onions is especially comforting. Paired with their savory truffle fries, it’s one of the best ways to cheat on your diet.
For anyone who likes sandwiches – so, basically everyone – this Brookline spot is for you. Use your cheat day to scarf down a sandwich jam-packed with house-roasted meats and tasty toppings. And since deciding to get homemade potato chips on the side is an easy choice, your only challenge will come when picking which specialty sandwich to get. But if you want a suggestion, we recommend the Spuckie, which is their even more delicious version of an Italian.
Have we said how much we love brunch? Because we do. Especially at Washington Square Tavern in Brookline. There, you certainly can’t go wrong with The New England Breakfast. It has a lot of everything you could want in brunch food – including breakfast meats, home fries, fried eggs, and bread. And if you’re really ambitious, follow the savory with some sweet beignets.
Your mouth will think it’s in France at this Brookline creperie. And it will be completely psyched after one bite of their S’mores Crepe and one sip of their Nutella Hot Chocolate. You might think this is a sugar overload, but there is no such thing on cheat day. That means when the cashier asks if you want to add whipped cream – you say yes. Add it to everything.
There are very few places that can pull off a menu as big as the one at The Friendly Toast. But they do it in style. As a renowned pig-out spot, they’ve got everything. You can have an omelet the size of your head – we’re talking about the Sklarmageddon here. You know, the same omelet Man vs. Food conquered. They’re also changing the game with poutine smothered in chorizo corn gravy. Pancakes that are basically just dessert. Oh, and cocktails. Starting at 8 AM every day.
Anywhere where you order by the number is a safe bet on cheat day. And the No. 25 – or The Biotech – is the last number on Emma’s menu. It’s loaded with both of their sausages, both kinds of bacon, pepperoni, grilled chicken, traditional sauce, and mozzarella. That might sound like a lot, but don’t worry, it’s thin crust. Which means yes, you should order the large.
We can’t have an article about cheat day meals without including a burger joint. And Harvard Square has one of the best. Flat Patties flips juicy, unique burgers like their Sunday Morning Burger (topped with a fried egg, ham, and tomato jam) all for reasonable prices. Which means you can order more than one and still have money leftover for a side of chili cheese fries.
Nothing says “cheat day” quite like a big slab of beef ribs. And pulled pork. And a whole BBQ chicken. Basically, using your day of food freedom to eat a large plate of meat is always a good decision in our book. As long as you also pair it with one of their rich sides – like the mac n’ cheese or baked beans.
Cater to your ice cream vice at the original JP Licks in the neighborhood from which it got its name. For those with a powerful sweet-tooth, there is really no better way to treat yo’ self than with a giant bowl of ice cream. At JP Licks you can go with a few scoops of your favorite flavor, or really splurge with one of their featured sundaes. Like the Mint Mania in all of its thin mint ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream glory!
This JP spot gives a new name to the word ‘pie.’ They’ve created a calzone and pita hybrid that makes for a perfect, jam-packed sandwich. And The Beast of Burden lives up to that standard. It’s got shaved steak, salami, red peppers, red onion, and two kinds of cheeses, all in their hand-made dough. Need we say more?
Why wait to get started on your day of culinary bliss? Right off the bat, you can have a thick, sweet sticky bun from the famous Flour Bakery in the Seaport District. That’ll make for a balanced breakfast, right? Even if it’s not – anything goes on cheat day. So start it off right.
Fried food is generally a health no-no. But not on cheat day, and not in Saus. They are known for frying up two things: Fries and waffles. And they turn both into a spiritual experience. You won’t know how to eat fries anywhere else after trying Saus’ hand-cut creation with any of their 15 dipping sauces. And, after eating their waffle sundae, you might just have a new favorite dessert.
No cheat day is complete without ice cream. And we want you to go big or go home. What better way to do that than with an excessive amount of chocolate? Get the chocolate ice cream, with chocolate chips, and chocolate fudge chunks. And since Emack & Bolio’s invented the cereal cone, we highly recommend getting your Chocolate Addiction in a marshmallow and rice krispy-covered cone.
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