The hard-working people of Boston have never been shy about sharing their opinions, particularly when it comes to their favorite foods. It seems like every Bostonian has a mental list of their favorite eateries just waiting for a hungry out-of-towner to happen by and ask for a recommendation. That’s a useful trait for our annual Best of Fooda awards, where we ask our customers to vote for the best delivery places, caterers, and restaurants in the Boston area. Let’s take a look at this year’s winners.
Best Popup Entree of 2023 – Grilled Jerk Chicken from Work Hard Eat Good
There are many delights on the Work Hard Eat Good popup menu, but the Jerk Chicken is hard to beat. It starts with a healthy serving of tender chicken thighs, deeply marinated in a spicy homemade jerk sauce, which is both grilled and baked to ensure maximum moistness. This heavenly protein is then served over a plate of expertly cooked coconut rice, with fresh mangoes and veggies on the side. It’s a flavor-packed delicacy that almost everyone can enjoy, and the perfect entree for a Fooda popup event.
Runner Up: Taco Bowl from Tacos Mexico
Best Customer Service – The Halal Guys
As one of the founding restaurants in the American Halal Food movement, the Halal Guys have long understood the importance of providing great customer service. After all, not every customer has a strong grasp of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Even in a cosmopolitan city like Boston, there’s always going to be someone in line who has a question about the differences between hummus and baba ghanoush. If there’s a problem with an order, even during the hungry hubbub of a popup event, the Halal Guys are always prepared to make things right. This fact isn’t lost on Fooda’s customers, who voted overwhelmingly to give them the Best Customer Service award for 2023.
Runner Up: Work Hard Eat Good
Most Likely To Visit Outside Of Work – Pancho’s Taqueria
Located in the heart of Dedham Square, Pancho’s Taqueria is an unassuming little Mexican restaurant that would be easy to miss if you didn’t know to keep your eyes out for their lime-green sign. Founded by Mexican expatriates who craved the simple flavors of home, the menu never strays far from essentials like burritos, tacos, and enchiladas. It’s the kind of place where you can settle in for a nacho platter and an after-work margarita, leaving the stress of the day behind. Clearly, Fooda’s voters clearly understand that there’s much more to Pancho’s Taqueria than just the items on their delivery menu.
Runner Up: Grendel’s Den
Best Overall Popup – The Halal Guys
Who doesn’t love an American success story centered around great food? Starting out with just a used hot dog cart and a dream, the Halal Guys have served enticingly authentic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean meals for more than 30 years. They’ve built a national fast-casual restaurant empire on little more than aromatically irresistible beef gyros, grilled chicken, and falafel. It’s an experience that translates perfectly to a crowd-pleasing popup event, making the Halal Guys the odds-on favorite for Fooda’s Best Overall Popup of 2023.
Runner Up: Work Hard Eat Good
Best Delivery Entree of 2023 – Spicy Avocado & Lime Bowl from B. Good
There’s no great secret to B.Good’s win in this category. Based in Boston, the regional chain’s entire culinary ethos is serving wholesome, farm-fresh comfort food that everyone can feel good about eating. Their Spicy Avocado & Lime bowl may be vegetarian and gluten free, but it can still delight the taste buds of even the most skeptical of omnivores. Bursting with the bright flavors of fresh avocado, lime, sautéed zucchini, black bean and corn salsa, and queso fresco on a bed of marinated kale and quinoa, it’s not surprising that this bowl has become a Fooda favorite.
Runner Up: Chicken Teriyaki Bowl from Lotus Test Kitchen
Most Likely To Visit Outside Of Work – Anna’s Taqueria
Since opening their first location in 1995, Anna’s Taqueria has become a fixture in Boston’s culinary landscape. Established as a neighborhood burrito joint in Brookline, Anna’s now boasts locations across the city. If you’re craving home-style Mexican street food, from a flavor-filled veggie burrito to a plate of tacos al pastor, chances are that there’s an Anna’s Taqueria nearby. This makes them an excellent Fooda delivery partner, and it makes them an even better place to grab a deliciously quick bite after work.
Runner Up: Al’s Cafe
Best Overall for Fooda Delivery – Al’s Cafe
Ordering lunch at an Al’s Cafe can be a little intense, even for the most experienced customers. It takes a small army of fast-moving workers in yellow t-shirts to feed Boston’s ravenously hungry lunchtime crowds, and no one has the time for even a moment of ordering indecision. Why bother with the long lines and the chaos behind the counter when you can just place an order for delivery? You get the same great soups, salads, and subs, but without the stress of surviving Boston’s most iconic lunch rush.
Runner Up: Lotus Test Kitchen