10 Toughest Tables: Boston

How hard IS it to get a primetime reservation at a city's most coveted restaurants?


Every month The Daily Meal will reveal how difficult it is to reserve a primetime table at a city's most booked restaurants. This month's Toughest Tables hones in on Boston.

We teamed up with Opentable.com's Chief Dining Officer, Caroline Potter, to find out which restaurants customers have established as the most-booked. The ten places below were determined by votes from more than 455,900 diners.

To help you score a much-coveted table, we cross-examined each restaurant to determine how tough it really is to get seated.

 

Boston's Most Booked Restaurants

Top of the Hub — Prudential Building, 52nd Floor — (617) 536-1775
Location: Back Bay
Cuisine: American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "We serve a bar menu at the bar."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? No
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "On occasion."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "We're pretty much always booked between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. so any time before 6 p.m. and after 9 p.m.."

 

Maggiano's — 4 Columbus Ave — (617) 542-3456
Location: Theater District
Cuisine: Italian
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Absolutely. It's mostly for people that walk in and don't want to wait. So we have a bar with four high-top tables where we serve the full menu."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "We can seat them, that's fine."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes we do."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Lunchtime."

 

Grill 23 & Bar — 161 Berkeley St — (617) 542-2255
Location: Back Bay
Cuisine: American, Steak, Seafood
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? Yes
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? Yes
Do You Accept Walk-ins? Yes
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "That all depends on the day and time of year, but most always you can walk in at the beginning of service at 5:30 p.m. and be seated right away."

 

Atlantic Fish — 761 Boylston St — (617) 267-4000
Location: Back Bay
Cuisine: Seafood, Steak
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? Yes
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? Yes
Do You Accept Walk-ins? Yes
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Lunch. During dinnertime, honestly, prime dinner hours, it's rare to get something like that where you could just walk in, but always once in a while. But I couldn't tell you one time in particular that is a lucky time."

 

Ruth's Chris Steak House — 45 School St — (617) 742-8401
Location: Financial District
Cuisine: Steak, Seafood, American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? Yes
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? Yes
Do You Accept Walk-ins? Yes
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m."

 

Beehive — 541 Tremont St — (617) 423-0069
Location: South End
Cuisine: Global, International, Fusion / Eclectic, Comfort Food
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? Yes
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? Yes
Do You Accept Walk-ins? Yes
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "There is no one time."

 

Gaslight — 560 Harrison Ave — (617) 422-0224
Location: South End
Cuisine: French, European
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes. We also have high-tops at the bar."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Yes, depending on if it's really busy, then we like to wait for the whole party to arrive."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "We do, but we have a lounge area that we use for walk-ins on a busy night. We keep them there. It's first-come, first-serve."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "I would say probably 9 p.m."

 

Oleana — 134 Hampshire St — (617) 661-0505
Location: Cambridge
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Turkish
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes, we're wine and beer, but a full menu is available at the bar."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Kind of depends on the situation. We have."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "We do."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "I would say 5:30 p.m. or 10:30 p.m."

 

Post 390 — 406 Stuart St — (617) 399-0015
Location: Back Bay
Cuisine: Comfort Food, Steak, Seafood
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes. Full menu."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? Yes
Do You Accept Walk-ins? Yes
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "5:30ish, 5 to 530ish. Always 8:30 p.m., or 9 p.m. usually, is a good time. It depends on the day of the week."

 

Capital Grille — 10 Wayside Rd — (781) 505-4130
Location: Burlington, MA
Cuisine: Steakhouse, Steak, Seafood
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "We are a busy restaurant, but we're not in the city proper, so I'm not sure this applies. But yes you can. You can have the full dinner menu at the bar."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Yes, we do."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes, we do."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "There's always the opportunity for a reservation because we do have a lounge area with linen cloth-covered tables. When walk-in guests come into the restaurant that's where we seat them. And once the tables in the lounge fill up, we start a list at the door including the regular reservations. Probably the best time to come in is on a Sunday. It's a busy Sunday here, but it's a great time to come in as well."


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2 Comments

tdm-35-icon.png

What about places that don't use open table

donnahobrien's picture

Um: Burlington is not Boston! Also, I would have thought you'd have #9 Park on this list. Just sayin'.

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