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Allston: A Taste of Asia

A hidden culinary haven

By Amanda Brucculeri

Photo By Emma Almarez

Boston is notable for its expansive range of food options. You can go to the Seaport neighborhood for high-quality seafood, Faneuil Hall for dozens of cuisines, and Chinatown for classic Asian dishes. However, many overlook the neighborhood of Allston as an option for Asian cuisine. Located just a short T ride from the city’s center, Allston is home to a plethora of Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Thai restaurants. Here are the must-try places.

Isshindo Ramen

Located inside the Super 88 Market on Brighton Ave, Isshindo Ramen is a hidden gem. The inside is tiny, with only a few seats, harboring a cozy feel. And what better way to feel cozy than with a warm bowl of ramen? Isshindo offers a plethora of different ramen, including spicy miso, karaka men, and their bestselling Isshindo ramen, which includes their signature silky tonkotsu broth. You can also get sides, like buns and gyoza. 


If you’re looking for Japanese and Korean food, Kayuga is the place to go. It is located a short walk away from the corner of BU’s 1019 residence. The menu is huge, including classic Korean dishes like japchae (a sweet stir-fry of sweet potato noodles with vegetables), dukboki (spicy rice cakes), and sushi. It also includes some unique appetizers, like “corn cheese,” which is essentially corn covered in mayo and cheese. It’s seriously delicious. Kayuga is also perfect for late-night grub: it stays open until 2 AM!

Brown Sugar Cafe

Just a few steps outside of West Campus, Brown Sugar Cafe offers all your Thai food cravings. Their menu features an array of classic Thai dishes like pad thai and tom yum noodle soup. The inside is classy yet cozy, making it a great spot for birthday celebrations or a casual hangout.

Shabu Zen 

If you prefer to do it yourself, you must check out Brighton Avenue’s  Shabu Zen, self-labeled “Boston’s Best Authentic Japanese Hotpot.” Their main course menu offers a variety of meats, such as beef, lamb, and pork. Each meat comes with vegetables and your choice of udon, vermicelli, or rice. You can also choose your own broth and order pre-cooked appetizers. 


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