By Nikki Ekstein
June 08, 2015
Craigie on Main
Credit: Courtesy of Craigie on Main

Tony Maws revolutionized the Cambridge dining scene when he opened his hyper-seasonal, French-inspired Craigie on Main in 2008. Now with a James Beard award and a second restaurant under his belt—the more casual Kirkland Tap and Trotter will soon celebrate its two-year anniversary—the chef is an undisputed authority on Boston’s constantly evolving food scene. Here’s his culinary tour of the city, in five meals.


“If I’m looking for something more pastry oriented, I go to either Flour (the established city favorite by pastry chef Joanne Cheng, with four locations around the city) or Tatte Bakery, in Brookline. Tzurit Or, Tatte’s owner, is expanding very much like Joanne did. Her Tatte Breakfast includes an awesome yogurt-cucumber dip, whipped feta, babaganoush, grilled challah… it’s an amazing Israeli breakfast spread. Her challah in particular is really, really good.”


“Lunch is a huge indulgence—I almost never get to sit down and have a midday meal. If I do, I get take out from a place called Dosa Factory on Central Square, right on Mass Ave, a few blocks from Craigie. You can get silly fillings in them, but their traditional potato and fried chickpea dosas are really good and quick.”


“We spend family nights at Chilli Garden in Medford, where we get fiery hot Szechuan food. For date nights, we’ve recently gone to Asta—a place by a talented young chef who is doing great, if slightly precious, tasting menus—or Grill23, an old-school steak place where we can split a quality chop and a bottle of wine. It’s a popular spot to go for Pats games—but it’s a high-end place to watch sports. The chef at Asta reminds me of myself 10 or 15 years ago—he’s scraping everything together to make this little place happen and it’s just fantastic to see.”

Late Night:

“If I’m only getting one beer, I stop at Atwood’s right on Cambridge Street. They have a great beer list, live music later in the night, and an awesome no-frills bar. It’s not a hipster bar, not an Irish bar, just a really good spot.”


“We go to a place called the Druid, a real Irish bar—a tiny space with an un-cheffy burger that I like. I usually get the Irish breakfast with a pint of Guinness. In the wintertime, it’s unbelievable how that meal can warm you right up.”