Parish Cafe

very good

17 Reviews
Parish CafeParish Cafe

Type: Bar, Eatery

361 Boylston St
Boston, Massachusetts, 02116-3303
United States

(617) 247-4777 | map

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Added by Jason

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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 31
Photo of smcolw
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5

One comes to Parish Cafe to have unusual but excellent sandwiches. Each one is "designed" by a different Boston chef.

The beer is well rotated with plenty of local brews that may be difficult to find in any place but a beer bar. That said, the selection is limited with typically the most popular styles represented. In short, I love to go here but I usually don't find a new beer that I haven't had at another local beer bar.

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Photo of KXS
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.75

Known for their unique sandwiches and outside tables on Boylston Street during the nice weather. Very often a line for outside but they are used to handling lots of people - and we often go in for a beer at the bar and wait for an outside table when it's nice out.

Hard for me to find a menu where I legitimately considered ordered each and every sandwich offered. They all sounded great, and since I have eaten here several times before, I knew each one would be even better than described in the menu.

Beers offered on tap was barely adequate, but we go to this place for the great sandwiches at a relatively reasonable cost considering the quality ($10-$14 for most) and the good vibes.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Hit this place up on a Saturday afternoon, and we had an infant with us, so we needed to sit inside. That being said, our party was 5+, and it still was only a 30 minute wait on a Saturday. Outdoor seating has their own host/hostess, so the seating is very streamlined. Looks like a great place to be outside on nice days. The beer list was pretty dynamic, and I want to say there were about 18 brews on tap. Plenty of locals, as well as some more common west coast brews, but a balanced list all together. Great drinks menu, as well. The food is pretty damn good...the big thing at Parish is that they have a sandwich menu that brings all the best sandwiches from around the Boston area to one menu. They give credit to where the sandwich is originally from, and there are specials rotating through all the time. The place was mobbed and the service was still prompt and friendly. The place is narrow once you get inside, with everything to the left and the bar to the right, and it can get a little noisy, but overall a warm, welcoming feel. The prices were a little steep, but then again, you are in downtown Boston, so you have to be prepared to open those purse strings. I will definitely check this place out again in the future...maybe check out the other Parish, as well. Worth stopping by for some brews and grub.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went here on a Wednesday night with my son and daughter. It was a warm and comfortable night, and sitting outdoors was a great experience. Unfortunately, we could only drink outdoors. If we wanted to eat, which we did, it had to be indoors. Inside, it was crowded and noisy. Crowded enough that you couldn't walk from your table to a restroom. Noisy enough that you couldn't converse with the people sitting at your table.
The beer list was great. 15 or so beers on tap, lots of local (massachusetts) beers. I had a couple Buks, which were great. My daughter had a Wachusett Blueberry, which she enjoyed. Extensive bottle list. My son, the contrarian, had a Weihenstephaner Hefe, also enjoyed.
The food was quite good also. We liked the onion rings with aioli. I had a great portabella sandwich with a white bean salad. The others had a turkey wrap and mac and cheese, both well recieved.
Service was OK, a little on the slow side.
Great beer list, very good food. Too noisy, too many people standing in aisles.

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Photo of imabluehen
4.1/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place has an extensive bottled beer list. If you drink all of the bottled beers, you get to join the mug club. While I will probably never be in the mug club I did get to witness someone join the mug club while I was dining at Parish II on Mass. Ave. The bartender played the theme from Rocky and all the staff congratulated the young patron. My only complaint with their beer list is that there are quite a few errors on the beer list. The location of the breweries are wrong on several of my favorites. For example, it says Dogfish is from VT, clearly its from DE. Minutae, I know but bother me none the less.

As for the food, they have great menu. The menu seems to be the best of Boston's sandwiches all on one menu. I like the idea that they borrow and credit all the sandwiches to the original location. I will definitely go back to Parish as it seems like a low key hangout.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I went to the Parish for the first time after hearing so much about it from friends. WOW! You can see and taste why this place is the "Best of Boston" so many times over. The service is great, the food is incredible and the beer selection is above average for a "bistro-style" restaurant.

I had the famous "Zuni" roll which completely lives up to the hype.

The beer selection features about 15 on tap beers. Several seasonals are available as part of that draft selection. The bottled beer selection is also robust for the restaurant type. Maybe around 30 or so.

The service was attentive even though it was quite busy.

Great bistro food without the pretense.

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Photo of acme401
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The Zuni Roll is one of the best sandwiches on this Earth!

I love the Parish Cafe. I have been going here for years and the Food, Beer and Service has always been top notch. It's not quite a restaurant and it's not quite a bar, it's right in the middle.

The menu consist mainly of sandwiches, but these are not the sandwiches your Mom made for you for lunch in a brown bag. Each one was created by a local chef. Some are amazing, like the Zuni Roll (smoked turkey breast, crisp bacon, chopped scallions, dill Havarti cheese and cranberry-chipotle sauce wrapped in a flour tortilla) and some are down right strange, (they used to have a ham sandwich served on banana bread with pickled red cabbage, I had it once....very weird). I've had a few of the entries but the sandwiches are what keep me coming back.

The Drinks: I love their beer selection. I'm a beer lover and Parish always has something for everyone. Any place that always has Chimay on hand is a good place by me. The claim to have 75 beers on tap and in the bottle. You can join their "Mug Club" if you go there often, and your personalized beer mug will be waiting for you hanging above the bar. Also my wife loves the Raspberry Zinger the bartenders make. She swears by it.

The art on the walls rotates, so there is always something to look at. A few flat screen TVs hung on the walls and very eclectic music played all the time.

When the weather turns nice, the patio seating is great for people watching. Oneof the best spots in the city.

I love this place.

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Photo of FlederMaus
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I must say this is one of my favorite places to eat and drink in the city of Boston. Patio views of the parks and buildings behind them as well as other perks of the top-notch location aside, the menu has it all. The sandwiches literally are the best of boston, with the menu heralding signature sandwiches from some of boston's best chefs (they would improve by adding some Bagel Rising too). Their beer selection is limited in comparison to something like Sunset Grill and Tap but it is quite sufficient for any great beer lover. While one will find better cocktails up the street at No. 9 Park, the bartenders at parish are very skilled and their drinks are exceptional (try the hunny bunny on warmer days and the drink with macallans and hot tea, the name of which i cannot recall, on colder nights). Overall this place does not deserve the title of perfect but it is damn near it.

Oh, and the staff is good too, esp the women.

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Photo of dippy
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Come for the Sandwiches and stay for teh Sandwiches!

Chef inspired sandwiches from the best restaurants in the area. Try the Rowdy (A chicken cutlet) or the Boss (Meatloaf Club). As this is a beer web site I won't go into too much detail. Sandies run about 10-12 dollars.

They have about 60 beers to choose from with about 5-6 on tap. Notables include Dogfish head, Anchor, Chimay, Harpoon, Stone and more that I can't recall at the moment.

They have a beer club that I am working on as we speak.

Overall I love this place. While the atmosphere isn't the dive spots I prefer, yhe sandwiches make up for it.

Give it a try.

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Photo of Gavage
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Stopped in on a late Friday evening so there was a good crowd inside. Interesting we all got proofed walking in, especially since one in our group was celebrating a 40th birthday, and I sport plenty of grey hairs. We grabbed some stools at the smallish bar and watched over the filled restuarant area as food was being delivered quickly. The place is a bit artsy for my taste but the atmosphere was cool.

There about 10 beers on tap including some locals such as Sam Adams, Sam Adams Wit, and Berkshire Cabin Fever. Others were typical bar beers like Bass and Miller Lite. There were about 25 beers on the bottle menu, and again nothing really stood out from the typical Euro imports, macros, and a few easy to find micros. The beers were fresh and tasty. Service was friendly and quick to ask if I was ready for another beer.

This was a decent place to hit as a group to have a few pints, but in no was is this a beer destination.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I've been here a few times to eat, and the sandwiches are always interesting and pretty tasty. This past Saturday night was the first time I was there in a long time to have some beers. The waitress was ok, she seemed a bit ticked that we grabbed an open table near the bar (plenty of them) since all the bar stools were taken. The bottled beer list was pretty extensive, and they had a few drafts beers listed on a chalk board. It looks they focus more on bottles here. There were probably 25-30 to choose from, and plenty of variety for a Newbury Street location. We had an Allagash White ($4.75) and a Leffe Blonde ($5.50) both served in appropriate glasses. I know people have said that this place is a bit expensive, and it is, but it's Newbury Street so it should not be a surprise. Better here than drinking at Daisy Buchanan's...

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Photo of RBorsato
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Had lunch here on the outside patio on 09/30/05 and dinner here inside on 10/01/05 since our lunch experience was nice. The outdoor seating on a perfect weather day was much nicer than the cramped interior conditions.

A fairly nice selection of bottled beers with a few decent beers on tap.

Beers were served with the appropriate glassware when glassware was requested; otherwise unfortunately they just served up the bottle. Other than that, the service was very prompt and friendly.

Food was pretty good; large sandwiches at lunchtime and also decent portions for dinner.

Drink and food prices were a bit pricey though.

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Photo of LPorter33
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I want to start off by saying the food and beer selection here are both very good and well above average, and I recommend you go here for those alone. I was especially extremely impressed with the selection of bottled beers and got to try an Allagash White that I'd been dying to sample for awhile now.

What I found absolutely awful about this place was the service, and this might be highly biased because my waiter was a utter moron. First, they seated us at a table that was right in the path of people, when there were TONS of tables off to the side, in a more intimate area. Second the table wasn't steady and continually rocked. But by far the biggest gripe I have is that when I ordered my beer, the Allagash white, the stupid waiter just brought the bottle. NO GLASS. When I politely asked for a glass, he brought me a tiny 8 oz juice glass. I couldn't believe it. For a place with such a respectable beer selection, how could they be so ignorant?

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Photo of rousee
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

I have been going to the Parish for years. In fact, it is often where my associates and I have lunch before a BA fest. They have some of the top chefs from around town create designer sandwiches in their style. I tend to stick with a few different ones but I would say any of them are worth a try. They are excellent.

They have a great outdoor seating area--kind of an elevated patio out in front that is great for enjoying a nice sunny day and people watching on Boylston street.

The draught beer selection in the last few years has gone downhill. They used to carry at least one or two that you didn't see around town all that often but now it seems the standard Guinness, Bass, Sam, a few seasonals by these locals, a macro or 2 and maybe a Hoegarden or Pilsener Urquel--Nothing special there. The bottled selection is much better with about 30 or so different ones and I most recently had an Ayinger which was good and plenty fresh.

The prices, on the other hand are a bit of a joke--not so much on the food but definitely on the beers. My friend had a SA Summer and plunked down $6 and was given 20 cents back in return. $5.80 for a pint of Sam Adams is ridiculous. I know this is a fancy neighborhood and all but I believe my bottled Ayingers were $7 a piece too which is quite steep.

So thats it--a great place for food and sandwiches, a good beer selection, nice outdoor seating, and friendly staff but tremendously overpriced for beers.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Located about a block from the Arlington T stop on Boylston St. Nice location but a bit snug in terms of size. In the summer they have patio dining out front which is a nice touch.

The food is solid. Specialty sandwiches that "celebrity" chefs from the area have created. A bit on the pricey side but good quality ingredients. The Nora Zumy (sp?) Roll is one of my favorites.

In terms of beer they have around 12 taps or so. I would say that it is the normal line up for Boston. Guinness, Bass, Hoegarden, HP, Sam Adams and the like. The bottles get a bit more interesting INCLUDING Rapscallion. Last time I was there they had a couple of Belgians in the bottle as well.

My fiance loves this place. Great sandwiches and decent beer, but at a price.

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Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The concept of the Parish is basically that their sandwiches and martinis were each designed by a famous chef.

The beer selection is decent. A few taps with a decent bottle selection. I noticed chimay, duvel a couple germans, lambics a nice selection of micros. But.. Parish really isn't about the beer, it's all about their extensive martini list.

The food, sandwiches designed by some of the best chefs in boston, is artsy, eclectic and very good. Good luck finding french fries here. Usually an avante garde salad or other side dish acompies them. If they have it I highly recomend the blue ginger, a blue rare tuna steak sandwich with wasabi.

Overall it's artsy, trendy and a bit pricey, yet casual at the same time. A nice place to try if you're looking for a unique sandwich and to sip a martini.

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Photo of Jason
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Damn good sandwiches, don't even bother with anything else on the menu as far as the food goes. Yeah they are a bit pricey but they are generously portioned and gormet at that.

As for the beer I only noticed three beers on tap at the time ... all imports; Hoegaarden, Stella and Hacker-Pschorr Munich Edelhell. The bottle selection looked good from their beer menu until I started ordering some local NE micros and they seems to be out of half of them.

A decent place to have a brew, I come here for the sandwiches though.

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Parish Cafe in Boston, MA
3.83 out of 5 based on 31 ratings.
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