Rock City Ramble

The MySecretBoston guide to Allston

allstoneBrighton©2011susanogan-23Photo: Susan Ogan

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llston is, hands down, Boston’s most underrated neighborhood. And the hipsters who inhabit it prefer things that way. Among other things, it helps keep rents at the levels that attract small, edgy businesses, including great, cheap ethnic restaurants. Allston is home to some of the best Italian outside of the North End and some of the best Chinese that’s not in Chinatown. There are hookah bars, private karaoke studios, independent coffee shops, funky diners, great bars, hot music, and (thanks to all those college kids), a lot of places that serve late-night munchies. So take advantage of Allston before it becomes Harvard’s satellite campus. Here are 25 great ways to start:

1


Where to karaoke only with your closest friends
 

2


Friendly, homestyle Italian—that’s not in the North End
 

3


A hidden, home-style Taiwanese standout
 

4


Have some pop-culture fun with your breakfast.
 

5


A high-end wholesaler takes its coffee straight to you.
 

6


Great bread from a hidden-away bakery
 

7


Grab a drink at Al Capone’s bar.
 

8


A little-noticed patio behind a crowded Allston bar
 

9


Hookah and hummus in an exotic basement tea room
 

10


A taste of Texas in a Boston neighborhood
 

11


Where you can eat like a future CEO  

12


Forget Rock Band. Come play Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo.
 

13


Authentic
Chinese—but not in Chinatown
 

14


A vintage clothing shop that also sells home goods
 

15


A robust competition in a sport you’d never guess
 

16


A
cool place to study—or not
 

17


Asian cuisine for vegetarians that’s actually good
 

18


The mother of all munchies menus  

19


Where to
get your doughnut fix—at 4 a.m.
 

20


Fine wines for tasting—and you’ll never believe where
 

21


At this restaurant, you create your own Italian meal.
 

22


Funky frozen yogurt with self-serve toppings
 

23


A weekend hot spot with great live music midweek
 

24


An unassuming venue for great indie music
 

25


A gold mine of classic vinyl
 

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