Downtown Worcester’s dining options reflect the city’s cultural diversity, creativity, and intense hometown pride. Our neighborhood eateries can turn a simple night out on the town into a treasured memory. What are you in the mood for? Experiment with a wide range of options—your tastebuds and Instagram followers will thank you later.

110 Grill

110 Grill in Worcester is known for its modern American cuisine and a bustling bar scene. This Downtown watering hole is located right next to the AC Hotel, making it a favorite hotspot among residents and out-of-town visitors alike. With dishes ranging from a hearty Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese to a delicate Prosciutto Wrapped Cod, the 110 Grill is sure to have something satisfying for every guest. Enjoy their popular outdoor patio seating and blazing fire pit if people-watching and fresh air are your idea of a perfect evening.

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Addie Lee’s

Addie Lee’s boasts Downtown’s best soul food. Worcester native Rob Evans and his family opened Addie Lee’s on Main Street in honor of his great grandmother who was born in Mississippi in 1909. All of the restaurant’s recipes were handed down by its namesake, Addie Lee. Evans recalls his grandmother as an astute business woman with a non-nonsense approach.

Armsby Abbey

Don’t be deterred by the line of fifty people waiting outside of Armsby Abbey every weekend. This local brewpub with a national reputation draws huge crowds for brunch, but dinner reservations are easier to come by if you plan ahead. Armsby Abbey is also the only place in the state where beer nerds can get their hands on a glass of Hill Farmstead, voted the best brewery in the world. The menu changes every week to reflect the availability of farm-fresh ingredients and the eclectic interests of Armsby’s culinary team. Pro tip: Bar customers skip the line when doors open, so plan accordingly.

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Photo by Ken Rivard
Photo by Ken Rivard

Chashu Ramen

Nothing beats a nourishing bowl of steamy ramen on a blustery Downtown evening. Chashu Ramen serves up the best broth in the city, offering a fusion of flavors and techniques originating from five Eastern regions. In addition to ramen, Chashu Ramen also crafts their own signature izakaya along with scrumptious small plates like the seared cajun togashi tofu and fried chicken bao bao. Don’t skip the charcoal-grilled short ribs and sizzling wild prawns. Bring friends; Chashu is best as a communal experience.

deadhorse hill

Deadhorse hill is located in the former ‘Bay State House’ hotel, a historic Downtown landmark. Executive Chef Jared Forman, a New York City transplant, evolves his American seasonal menu nightly to reflect the freshest ingredients and the most innovative techniques in his ever-growing arsenal. Deadhorse hill’s natural wine and cocktail programs are truly exceptional. Forman’s resume includes some of the country’s most celebrated restaurants, including Per Se, Momofuku, and Marea.

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The Theatre Café

Before going to a show at The Hanover Theatre or after watching a performance at the BrickBox Theater, it’s a Downtown tradition to dine at The Theatre Café. This local bistro takes “dinner and a show” to the next level with a wide variety of gourmet fare. The menu is full of clever theater puns like an appetizer section dubbed “opening act” and side dishes noted as the “supporting cast.” The Café is also the perfect venue to celebrate milestones such as anniversaries, bridal showers, and business functions. Reservations fill up quickly on show nights, so make sure you secure your seat.

Shawarma Palace

If Downtown is Worcester’s campus, then Shawarma Palace is our cafeteria. You are sure to spot your favorite local politicians, attorneys, and creatives snacking on smooth bowls of tahini-rich hummus and warm slivers of fresh pita bread. The menu is packed with a rich array of Levantine, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Lebanese fare. Shawarma Palace ensures old-world preparation of responsibly-grown and ethically raised ingredients. Try the falafel, labneh, and kibbeh — then finish with baklava.

Shawarma Palace counter and menu board
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The Vegan Nest

The Vegan Nest inspires healthy living Downtown. Ironically, the vegan proprietors Nicole and Victor Broushet first met in the Meatpacking district of New York City. Regular customers, deemed “nesters,” recommend superfood smoothies, bagels with vegan cream cheese, queso blanco, and bbq jackfruit. You’ll find their beverage offerings equally compelling, including moCa, a Maya Nut beverage that is non-GMO and eco-friendly.

Woosta Pizzeria & Ristorante

Woosta Pizzeria & Ristorante is the place to be if you crave authentic Italian American slices. A local gem, Woosta Pizza, is conveniently located near City Hall, right in the heart of Downtown. In addition to calzones, pasta dishes, and grinders, Woosta Pizzeria offers signature pies with fun flavors like: Philly Steak & Cheese, Woosta Special, and Shrimp Scampi. Every neighborhood has a favorite pizza joint, and for Downtown Worcester, Woosta Pizza is it.

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