The beautiful Boston suburb of Wellesley is a beautiful place to visit for the day. Whether you are visiting the Boston area for vacation, or are visiting the colleges in Wellesley (including Babson College and Wellesley College), this upscale western suburb is conveniently located off of the Mass Pike and is near Route 128. While you are in Wellesley, there are a number of delicious restaurants that you may consider visiting for everything from a quick lunch to a special occasion dinner.
For a relatively small town, Wellesley has lots of wonderful restaurants. Options include sandwich shops, high-end steak restaurants, Italian restaurants, and so much more. Here are some of the best restaurants in Wellesley MA for your next visit to the town.
This post contains affiliate links, and a purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no cost to you. We did receive some complimentary meals/food at the Cottage over the years but all opinions are my own.
The Best Restaurants in Wellesley MA
Depending on when you are visiting Wellesley, you may find some of these restaurants to be busy. This is usually the case during busy college weekends – like parents’ weekend and college graduation. If visiting these times, be sure that you make a restaurant reservation in advance so you aren’t disappointed once you arrive and can’t find a table.
This delicious Italian restaurant, by celebrity chef Michael Schlow, is one of my favorite restaurants. There are several locations in other parts of the country – but this is the only Massachusetts location. The seasonal menu contains pasta, seafood, chicken, and pizza.
Tucked downstairs, in the back of the restaurant, is the Alta Strada market. This takeout area offers more casual food, like sandwiches, salads, and side dishes.
Alta Strada doesn’t have a kids’ menu. However, there are some kid friendly options including a plain cheese pizza. There’s also a full bar with Italian wines as well as seasonal cocktails.
Parking at this Wellesley Square restaurant is available on the street, or in the parking lot in the back. There is some bar seating as well as tables.
Bocado Tapas Bar
Another great restaurant in Wellesley Square is Bocado Tapas Bar. The Wellesley restaurant is a second location for this delicious Spanish restaurant (the original is in Worcester). There’s both a seasonal patio as well as indoor seating.
Bocado has a huge menu with lots of options. There isn’t a kids’ menu, but there are some options that will appeal to kids, including mini hamburgers. If you are visiting with a group, there is also a family style option which includes paella.
Bocado is known for its sangria, which is offered in several varieties. But, there is also a full bar and a great wine list.
If you want to sit on the patio, you’ll definitely want to make an early reservation. There aren’t many tables available outside. They also offer takeout and delivery through third parties.
Although it’s been in Wellesley Square for a few years, Juniper is one of the newer restaurants in the area. It’s owned and operated by the same chef that owns the extremely popular Sweet Basil in nearby Needham.
Juniper’s menu offers Mediterranean food, including Greek and middle east inspired entrees. Don’t miss the various dips and spreads served with homemade pita bread. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations. It’s first-come, first-served, and is very popular, especially on the weekends.
Unlike Sweet Basil, Juniper does have a liquor license. The cocktail menu includes some very inventive drinks as well as wine. There are a few outdoor tables as well as indoor bar seating in addition to the restaurant.
Looking for sushi in Wellesley? Yama, located on the 2nd floor of a strip mall, is a tiny hidden restaurant with delicious sushi entrees.
The restaurant offers traditional indoor seating as well as several seats at the sushi bar. Reservations and walk-ins are available, but be sure to make a reservation for a weekend night. Delivery is also offered.
While Yama does have a robust sushi menu, there is no alcohol served. They also have tempura and teriyaki if you’d prefer to have cooked food.
The Cottage, located in the Linden Square shopping area, offers Southern California inspired dishes. It’s a beautiful restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating.
Entrees include salads, fish dishes, meat, and more. My favorite lunch entree is the stuffed avocado with chicken salad. It’s the perfect size for a light lunch.
The Cottage does have a full alcohol menu as well as non-alcoholic spa drinks. They offer brunch on the weekend, as well as lunch and dinner.
Smith & Wollensky
One of the newest restaurants on the Wellesley MA restaurant scene is the popular steak restaurant chain Smith & Wollensky. This upscale steak restaurant opened in the former Blue Ginger location in the center of Wellesley, in the Church Square plaza. There’s on-street parking, or you can park in the private lot in the back.
Smith & Wollensky is open for lunch and dinner, and outdoor seating is available. In addition to steak, the menu includes seafood, salads, chicken, and more. It’s definitely more expensive than some of the other Wellesley MA restaurants, but it’s a great option for a special occasion or a treat.
Reservations are accepted, and are recommended during busy times like college graduation.
Would you like to have Indian food while visiting Wellesley? Singh’s Cafe, located on Washington Street offers lunch and dinner seven days a week. There’s a lunch menu, or you can opt for the lunch buffet, which offers a discount for children.
Singh’s does have a full bar, including some delicious cocktails like a Cardamom and Ginger Margarita and a Mango Martini. There is both indoor and outdoor seating, and reservations are accepted and recommended.
One of the most unique restaurants in Wellesley is the small Cafe Mangal, located off of Wellesley Square. This Turkish-American restaurant offers counter-service at lunch and table-service for dinner.
There are a few tables in the restaurant, or takeout is also offered. Reservations are not accepted, and there isn’t much seating. So, if you want to eat there, you’ll want to arrive early.
Lunch options are mostly salads and sandwiches. For dinner, larger entrees are offered in addition to salads. There’s also an extensive dessert menu as well as Turkish coffee and teas.
Down the street from the Cottage is Captain Marden’s, the restaurant associated with the popular seafood wholesaler. It includes a dining room (the Captain’s Table and TakeAway), a food truck (the Cod Squad), and a retail fish market.
Captain Marden’s offers delicious fish and chips, fried seafood, and a fantastic lobster roll. The food truck is parked on the premises at lunchtime and has fried clams, fish and chips, lobster rolls, and more. The restaurant also offers breakfast during the week and brunch on Sundays.
In addition to the traditional restaurants, Wellesley also has some quick lunch spots with great food. One of my favorites is the Linden Store deli, a traditional deli offering hot and cold sandwiches, salads, and soups.
This busy deli slices meat to order for sandwiches, and also has daily specials that are usually very popular. It’s open only for breakfast and lunch, and often has a (quick-moving) line to the door. Phone orders are taken and can be a good way to save time.
There’s pretty limited seating at the Linden Store, I always take our sandwiches to go. The Linden Store is also a great option if you’d like to have a picnic or want food for a day at the beach. They also have packed chips and a cooler with drinks so you can get everything you need right there.
Another delicious sandwich shop in town is Tutto Italiano, located across from Cafe Mangal. It’s more than a deli, however – it’s also a specialty shop with wines, imported foods, and prepared dishes.
My favorite sandwich is the Parma, with imported prosciutto. However, they also have delicious pizza, salads and other antipasti, and take-home packages of homemade meatballs. There isn’t any seating in Tutto Italiano, so you’ll want to take your food for a picnic or back home to eat.
Whether you are looking for a sweet treat during the day, or want dessert after dinner, there are some great places to get ice cream in Wellesley.
Right in Wellesley Square, you’ll find a location of JP Licks, a small Massachusetts chain offering ice cream, frozen yogurt, and cakes. It’s walkable from Bocado, Alta Strada, and Juniper, so you just stop there after dinner.
There’s also the independent Truly Yogurt. Despite the name, Truly offers more than frozen yogurt. The ice cream is also delicious, and they give huge portions. In the summer, you’ll see lots of families along the road by Truly Yogurt enjoying their treats.
Where to Stay
There aren’t any hotels directly in Wellesley, but there are plenty of nearby options. Within the adjacent town of Natick, there are several hotels:
- The Verve Boston/Natick (A Hilton Tapestry Collection Hotel)
- The Residence Inn Boston Natick
- The Courtyard Boston Natick
- The Hampton Inn Boston Natick
There are also a few hotels in nearby Needham. These include:
Keep in mind that although all of these hotels have Boston in the name, they aren’t located in the city. Natick and Needham are suburbs of Boston but you’ll either need to take the commuter rail or drive into the city.