The past several months have been a tough stretch for the restaurant industry, with a lot of dining and drinking spots closing for good while others have gone into temporary hibernation, changed concepts, focused on takeout/delivery, or basically done whatever it takes to make it through the pandemic.
And while more than a few terrific eating and drinking establishments have shut down permanently as a direct (or indirect) result of the coronavirus, plenty of other great places continue to putter throughout the Greater Boston area.
Revere certainly follows this pattern, and this North Shore city also happens to be home to a number of hidden gems and beloved neighborhood spots, making it a great place to go to for restaurants that are a bit under the radar.
If it’s old-school that you want, DeMaino's Restaurant (14 Malden St.) is a can’t-miss option on the northern edge of the downtown area, with this being a classic Italian-American place that has all the familiar pasta, chicken, veal, and seafood dishes that you would expect from a place like this —and you’ll find brick oven pizza here as well.
A relatively new addition to the Revere dining scene is Dryft (500 Ocean Avenue), an upscale eatery with ocean views and one that is housed in a new mixed-use development that is also home to a more casual comfort food and beer spot called Fine Line. Expect to find an array of pasta and seafood items at Dryft, along with a mix of classic and modern cocktails.
Another new spot is Istanbul Diner Cafe (120 VFW Parkway), a little eatery near Bell Circle that features Mediterranean fare with an emphasis on Turkish cuisine. Some offerings at this place include lentil soup, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, hummus, lamb kabobs, shawarma, lahmacun (Turkish pizza), kofte (Turkish meatballs), and baklava, and many items are under $10.
For great sunset views, it’s tough to beat The Marina at the Wharf (543 North Shore Road), a local favorite on Route 1A which first opened back in the 1970s. Here you’ll find a mix of classic American and Italian fare along with beer, wine, and cocktails, and its west-facing views of an enormous salt marsh can be particularly breathtaking late in the day.
While not specifically a restaurant, New Deal Fruit (920 Broadway) is one of the best choices in the city (and the entire region, for that matter) for a sandwich; indeed, the deli tucked away in this market has Italian subs that are a must, while their chicken parm and meatball subs are just two other options that are sure to satisfy.
A longtime favorite for Chinese and Pan-Asian fare, Billy Tse (441 Revere St.) has a little something for everyone. Lovers of Chinese-American food will have a field day at this old-fashioned eatery, with such standards as spare ribs, lo mein, crab rangoon, egg foo young, and chow mein, while items with Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese influences are also offered.
Originally located on the South Shore in Braintree, Easy Pie (649 Squire Road) debuted in Revere a few years ago and then shut down its first outlet, but the South Shore’s loss is the North Shore’s gain, as both the savory and sweet pizzas here are often quirky and always outstanding, as are the tots, sandwiches, and wings.
For a quick meal that won’t break the bank, Esquite (194 Shirley Avenue) should be right up your alley, as this Mexican street food spot serves up some tasty dishes including corn on the cob, enchiladas, tortas, quesadillas, tostadas, and burritos. By the way, the name “esquite” refers to a Mexican corn salad, and you can certainly find that here as well.
Because Revere is part of the North Shore, good roast beef places are pretty easy to find. And Beachmont Roast Beef (629 Winthrop Avenue) is definitely a local fave, tucked away in a little neighborhood by the same name just south of Revere Beach and offering a classic super beef on an onion roll. By the way, consider getting it “3 way,” which includes cheese, sauce, and mayo.
Just west of Revere Beach are some real hidden gems, including Thmor Da (144 Shirley Avenue), a Cambodian restaurant that is about as no-frills as they come, but it’s all about the food at this spot. A few highlights at this tiny eatery include a spicy Tiger Tears salad, a sour fish soup, quail with ginger, yellow noodle soup, and spicy pork with mint.