Bring the Gang

As fun as it is to be able to lean over and sample your neighboring table’s appetizers, sometimes it’s nice
By Christina A. Traugott

As fun as it is to be able to lean over and sample your neighboring table’s appetizers, sometimes it’s nice to get away from “cozy” restaurants with room for only groups of three or less. When the occasion calls for a larger, more group-friendly space, it’s best to escape the confines of Harvard Square. Here are a few suggestions for larger parties.

Sunset Grill and Tap

130 Brighton Avenue. (617) 254-1331. Daily 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.

Though the food is unexciting, it’s reliably appetizing. More importantly, however, Sunset Grill and Tap has over 100 beers on tap. Grab your rowdiest, ale-loving buds, pile into a couple cabs and head over to this Allston hotspot. There’s no need for a special reason—you can raise a stein to anything from world peace to simply the completion of another week.


1815 Mass. Ave. (617) 354-3727. Daily 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.

A hop, skip and a jump from Harvard Square, the newest restaurant addition to the Porter Square area offers moderately priced Italian food. The good-sized dining area lends itself to larger parties, and groups will love sharing the restaurant’s above-average appetizers. Conveniently located and pleasant, Guiseppes is great for a casual night out.

New Shanghai

21 Hudson St. (617) 338-0732. Sunday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

Arguably Boston’s best Chinese restaurant, New Shanghai is also a fantastic place for large parties. Bring your parents, your roommates, your significant others—this one is a real crowd pleaser. The extensive menu has Americanized Chinese dishes of the sesame chicken variety as well as authentic and less common Northern Chinese specialties. The dining area’s multiple rooms can also accommodate private parties.

Dolce Vita

221 N. Hanover St. (617) 720-0422. Monday-Wednesday 2:30 p.m.-12 a.m., Thursday-Sunday 12 p.m.-12 a.m. This North End gem transcends several Hanover St. stereotypes—the restaurant seats more than 20 people, the prices are manageable and the staff is earnestly helpful. Owner Franco Graceffa has even been known to spontaneously break into song to please diners. Next time you’ve got a birthday or a job offer to celebrate, throw on the festive attire and let Dolce Vita do the rest of the work.

Green Street Grill

280 Green Street. (617) 876-1655. Monday-Wednesday 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m., Sunday 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

Green Street Grill’s generic name belies its spicy Latin flava. This is the place to go when you want to please a group of cultural connoisseurs. The Caribbean/Latin menu will delight the senses, and the atmosphere is lively and fun. Come hungry; the servings pack a punch.

O’Cantinho Cafe

1128 Cambridge St. (617) 354-3443. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

With a homey, soothing atmosphere, this Portuguese restaurant makes for pleasant impromptu group dinner. The brief menu offers a small assortment of regional favorites. Order a couple bottles of wine, and enjoy good company in a great atmosphere.