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Parish Cafe - 33 Reviews - 361 Boylston St, Boston, MA - Late Night Dining Reviews - Phone (617) 247-4777

Parish Cafe

361 Boylston St (at at Arlington St)
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 247-4777
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


Parish Cafe - Boston, MA
Parish Cafe - Boston, MA
Parish Cafe - Boston, MA
Parish Cafe - Boston, MA
Parish Cafe - Boston, MA
Parish Cafe - Boston, MA
Parish Cafe - Boston, MA


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I am going to start this off by saying this is one of my favorite places to go, if not my favorite place to go in Boston. I was born and raised in this city and in my opinion, I ...


This place used to be great --- fun, friendly servers, lively atmosphere, and prompt service of delicious food. Not so much as of late --- the servers are poorly trained, rude, a...

rude waitperson 7/22/2011

We had seen this restaurant noted as serving good vegetarian food. Visiting the city during a heatwave, ready to cool off and have a drink or two and an early dinner, we entered the cafe. We waited for the hostess, asked to sit near the window, said that we would head to the restroom first. When we emerged, we were chastised for not waiting for the hostess and told that next time we came we should do so. Hot and thirsty, we ignored the rudeness and dirty screen at the window, and sat. The waitperson threw menus at us, and stalked away without taking drink orders. We left. She may have had a long hot day, but so had we and her crankiness was not something we chose to deal with. We found a great place down the street and left a hefty tip for their great service. Avoid Parish Cafe -we will. more

Two Words: Beer, Zuni 5/24/2010

I am going to start this off by saying this is one of my favorite places to go, if not my favorite place to go in Boston. I was born and raised in this city and in my opinion, I have had one of the greatest sandwhiches here. \r \r The whole concept behind this place is just cool. They have executive chefs from different restaurants around the area create a sandwhich for their menu. 9 out of 10 times its gonna be great. Which brings me to my favorite sandwhich. \r \r It is called the zuni roll and it is amazing. It consists of Smoked turkey breast, bacon, scallions, dill havarti cheese, and cranberry-chipotle sauce wrapped in a flour tortilla and served warm. This sandwhich or wrap (whatever) kicks serious arse. This comes with potato salad or cole slaw (pick the potato salad). The funny thing is that it doesnt look all that big but it fills you up and I am a big guy (like 215 lb. big). \r \r The other thing that really keeps bringing me back is the Beer Mug Club which I am a proud member of (working on my second...I know I drink too much but who cares?!!!!) For those of you who do not know what this is, it is an exclusive club of about 600+ people who have consumed 75 (78 when I started) beers from all accross the world and country and received a mug laser engraved for your accomplishment. Hmmm, I probably should of broken that really long sentence up. Don't forget you have one year to complete it. Anyways, the one downside is that a lot of these beers are very expensive but to do it once is truly a joy and a great experience. You get to try all different beers from around the world and really expand your pallet to the wonder that is beer. The mug is personalized with 20 characters or less and you keep it at the bar to drink from later. The mug is also 25oz but you still pay for a pint (that's 9 oz free!! well not really but I'll keep dreaming). Like I said before the beer is expensive and to get this mug you are probably gonna drop like $500+ over a year so be prepared to cry yourself to sleep a couple of times.\r \r I'll end with this. If you haven't gone, go! Beer Beer Beer! Pros: Beer selection, great sandwhiches, friendly staff Cons: expensive beer more

gourment sandwiches, huge portions 4/9/2010

I was introduced to the Parish Café by a few friends and former coworkers and the illustrious Phantom Gourmet. I don’t always believe the Phantom so the coworker recommendation held far more weight with me. I don’t normally get all jazzed up about sandwiches; I mean, how hard is it to make a good sandwich? Bread, a few toppings, go. Parish Café made me a believer that sandwiches can stand as dinner and hold their own against any gourmet meal out there. \r \r This little gem, located on Boylston Street near the Common, prides itself on sandwiches cultivated from some of the country’s finest chefs. I noshed on ‘Rowdy’s Famous Chicken Sandwich’ and, while not exactly health conscious, it was amazing. Chicken cutlet, swiss and cheddar cheese, bacon (mmmm, bacon). I snagged a bite of a friend’s Zuni Roll (turkey, bacon, scallions, havarti cheese, some sort of cranberry goodness) and it was divine as well. I hear that’s one of the most popular in the restaurant. Make sure you get down there as soon as you can. It will rock your socks.\r Pros: good drinks, huge portions, good value Cons: always busy, expect a bit of a wait more

Boston's Best between 2 slices of Bread 3/1/2010

Somewhat hidden amongst the handful of furniture & interior design stores in Boylston Street's 300's, it's not the most conspicuous of eateries. In the warmer months, there's ample patio seating out front, perfect for a leisurely pint and people watching.\r \r Boston has its fancy places, but food that is simple, familiar and comforting is more this city's style. Like the sandwich. And that is what Parish is known for. Of course, these aren't your mama's PB&J or ham & cheese. Each sandwich is created by the best chefs in Boston. That said, no changes can be made to their creations. But trust me, you don't want to. \r \r I love Parish because you can sample the cuisine of the best restaurants all over the city in a chill atmosphere for little money. The menu also changes seasonally so there's always something different (don't worry, old favorites are put into the specials rotation).\r \r There's the SDLT from Geoff Gardner of Sel De La Terre, an amazing smoked duck BLT with applewood bacon and caper mayo on rye. Or you have Rowdy's Famous Chicken Sandwich courtesy of Rowdy Bessey from Flash's, the crispiest, least greasy but moist breaded baked chicken with melted swiss and cheddar, chipotle mayo, bacon lettuce and tomato on a roll. And 10 others.\r \r There's also a sandwich created by chef of Parish Cafe, Sean Simmons. The Chipotle Meatloaf Club embodies all the familiarity of mom's version but with a punch of smoky heat. Served on white with melted Jack cheese and chipotle mayo, it's the perfect blend of Southwest flavor with pure Americana. And of course there's the mandatory side of mashed potatoes, which are nothing special, with a beef gravy that's reminiscent of that powdered stuff from a packet. Trade them in for the potato salad (it's some of the best I've ever tasted), and you've got a winner. \r \r With limited seating and a shortage of waitstaff, service can be slow and confusing. You don't have a specific waiter; basically flag down anyone in a black apron and hope for the best. But once my sandwich arrives, I don't really care that my water glass isn't refilled more than once. These portable culinary creations are something I can't live without. Pros: Sandwiches from Boston's best chefs Cons: Sometimes confusing, slow service more

Worst Treatment Ever Experienced at a Restaurant 12/20/2008

This is the first time I have ever posted a review. I am also about to call the manager. Last night, my boyfriend and I were trekking through HUGE snowstorm in Boston to try and find something to eat. We had been to Parish before and its wasn't bad so we thought it would be a good option for us. We were tired, hungry, freezing and somewhat disheveled from the storm when we arrived. You know what we were told? The overly inflated, horrendous bouncer told us we were too drunk to come in. Really? We hadn't had anything to drink. Rather than argue (mostly because we were so humiliated), we left. But I will NEVER set foot the Parish again and I will tell everyone I know in the area about what happened. Pros: Food is ok. Cons: Worst treatment I've ever seen from a restaurant in my life. more

Atrocious Service; Great Sandwiches 7/21/2008

Incredibly good sandwiches, but the surliest waitresses in Boston. I had the same experience as a previous reviewer -- I requested potato salad; I got coleslaw. When I politely asked for what I ordered, I got attitude. That said, the sandwiches are great, especially the Zuni Roll. Pros: Sandwiches Cons: Service, ugly waitstaff more

The WORST service in Boston 7/8/2008

Went on a weekday at about 2 pm. It seemed as if the hostess wait staff went out of their way to be extremely surly and rude, it was if they were doing me a favor by letting me eat there. I made a point to say twice no tomatoes on my sandwich as politely as possible, but of course my sandwich had tomatoes. When I asked to have it remade without tomatoes the waiter and kitchen looked at me as if was my fault. The food was decent, I had the meatloaf sandwich, the bread was over toasted but it was pretty good. The one decent waiter in the restaurant did make an effort to reconcile the fault by comping the sandwich. Pros: intresting sandwiches Cons: Service and attitude more

Are you kidding? Why do people go there? 6/4/2008

Just an all around bad experience, I really don't understand why people bother.. Service was REALLY bad, waited 5 minutes to get seated in a half empty room. And the food is a JOKE, I've had better prepared sandwiches at Subway. They seem funky and different on the menu but they come bland and boring, one could eaasily make better at home. And I'm sorry but if I spend $12 for a sandwich I'd like more than a handful of potatoe chips. Overpriced and Over-rated - STAY AWAY Pros: location Cons: service, food more

Great food, great beer selection, nice servers 11/10/2007

I love this place. The food is always great, and is very reasonably priced for what it is. Appetizers are awesome - get the white bean hummus for an app or the vegetarian potstickers - both are yum. And the sandwiches are eclectic and interesting. The beer selection is second to none in Boston, and the service is unpretentious, laid-back, and quick. I love to bring out of towners here for a late afternoon lunch. Also good for after work drinks and apps. Don't bother to wait for an outside table during the summer, but watch your bags if you do get one - it's a busy street corner, and I've heard of several people whose things were lifted while they sat on the patio. Pros: nice servers, great food, incredible beer selection Cons: outdoor seating is crowded and wait for it is looonnngg more

good food, better people watching 10/8/2007

Very creative menu, loved the corn cakes. We both had sandwiches which were very good. Service was excellent. Overall, a very good experience and fairly inexpensive. more

Overrated. Ridiculous policies. Unfriendly servers. 9/5/2007

This place used to be great --- fun, friendly servers, lively atmosphere, and prompt service of delicious food. Not so much as of late --- the servers are poorly trained, rude, and slow. Atmosphere would be better if the servers would start off on the right foot. Last time I tried to go there, I was able to put my name on the list for outside, but then when I asked how long the wait would be, the server said ""I can't give you a time estimate unless your entire party is here."" What kind of sense does that make? Their signature serving style of ""all servers are yours"" has really fallen apart --- you're either bombarded by too many people or ignored by all. \r The food is pretty consistent, but the menu needs some major updating --- the seasonal menus are the same year after year, especially the sides. I'm sick of their potato salad and cole slaw. Another drawback is that a majority of the sandwiches are meat, with bacon, and I'm not even a vegetarian, just tired of all the red meat options! Pros: consistent quality of food. good beer list. Cons: stupid policies. Bad servers. more

Always a good time... 8/4/2007

I am ""The Bostonian."" I've lived here my entire life and rarely do I find a restaurant or bar that is consistently great. The Parish is one of the few that make the grade. While I've been a fan of the ""Regal Regis"" and the ""Lemondrop Martini"" for years, there is always something new and exciting to try. They also make the only potato salad that I'll eat in the city. I recommend the Parish to all my friends and everyone brings back rave reviews. Thank you Parish Cafe for being such a huge part of the Boston industry scene. Pros: Yum more

Innovative sandwiches, GREAT drink menu! 7/9/2007

We really enjoyed our visit to this restaurant. We were kind of afraid of the service being unnatentive after reading some reviews, but our service was fantastic. We even had to tell her (our server) to go away a couple of times (because we were talking too much to make dining decisions!) The drink menu was very fruitful and we really enjoyed the Mango Mojito and the Hada (a FANASTIC Pear martini) The sandwiches that we chose were realllllly good (though a few of the sandwiches on the menu did look a little scary.) I will definitely be going back. Pros: Food, Bar more

rude service and mediocre food 6/24/2006

I have lived in Boston almost 10 years and I have never experienced anyone who was as rude and pretentious as the staff at the Parish Cafe. The food is mediocre and overpriced. The mozzarella sandwich was soggy and burnt at the same time. The potato salad is potato with mayo - that's it. When I asked if I could add or omit anything on the sandwich I was told they couldn't change the integrity of the chef's creation and if I had a problem with it to go call the chef. I had to go to the bar to order drinks for the table as the wait staff was more interested in chatting with groups of single women then waiting on their tables. If you are looking for a good meal and polite service, keep walking. more

decent spot for a sandwich and a beer. 3/24/2006

casual place for a quick bite and a pint. flank steak sandwich was good though sides (cole slaw or potato salad) are obviously used as a ""plate filler"" and are not meant to be eaten. trust me. the service- ah yes! the service....what service?...bartender and his crew virtually ignored my date and i after his greeting - ""What's up?"" bout a menu and a little service?- that's what's up! Pros: sandwiches, casual ambiance Cons: the service more

User review by lanajigglers 5/23/2005

This is one of my favorite places in the Back Bay. The menu changes seasonally and the beer list is fantastic! Plus it serves food later than most places in Boston which is great for people in the industry. The staff can be hard to flag down but the place is unpretentious and relaxing. And in a city trying to snuff us out, you can smoke on the patio. The Rialto is amazing and the portions are huge for the price. Cons: Parking more

The BEST sandwich I've ever had 4/25/2005

This restaurant had the absolute best sandwich I've ever had. I am making this quaint cafe my spot to come to whenever I come to Boston! Pros: people watching, casual, inexpensive more

Subpar sandwiches and sporadic service 7/10/2004

First of all, there are very few vegetarian options on the menu, and all their food is quite pricy for what you get. I decided to order the Big Cheese, but they told me they couldn't alter any of the sandwiches on the menu (take out bacon, change bread type) because all their sandwiches are pre-made! The waitress ended up suggesting that I order a grilled cheese from the kids' menu, which I did, and it was nothing special. For the price, I would rather go up the street to Bukowski's and have their ""Gourmet Grilled Cheese,"" which blew this one away. Also, their beers are way overpriced and they didn't even serve their bottled beers along with a glass. Service was subpar and getting anyone's attention was difficult. I do not recommend this place, as there are so many other places downtown that have exponentially better food and value. Pros: Atmosphere is ok Cons: , unaccomodating staff, few veg. option more

The Anti Boston 6/20/2003

I think that The Parish is my one oasis in a city of students, snobs and artists. This place is so unassuming I feel very relaxed there. The food is tremendous, the service extremely friendly and their beer list is awesome. My favorite is The Benny which is a vietnamese chicken sandwich. I get it all the time, though my friends say the rest of the food is that good as well. You can go hang out for hours eating, drinking and watching sports and still not have a bill to choke over. Pros: food, service, outside seating Cons: crowded more

Poor Done Parish 6/16/2003

I went to check out Parish with three of my friends for dinner. They do not take reservations and when the first member of our party arrived they rufused to put our name on the seating list until the entire party was there. Apparently this was a 'miscommunication' but nonetheless the service was rude to us and we waited for a while in the small bar area. The food was good but the ambiance was bright, cramped and dull. Parish was not what we expected and we will not being going back. Pros: Location, Food Cons: Ambiance, Size, Service more
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Menu for Parish Cafe

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  • In Short
    Parish Cafe's primary draw is its patio, which provides prime people-watching along upper Boylston Street. A relaxed crowd camps at the bar to enjoy an impressive list of beers...

  • 8/1/2008 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon-Sat 11:30am-2am Sun 12pm-2am
  • Payments:

    Discover, Diner's Club, Master Card, American Express, Visa
  • Neighborhoods:

    Back Bay East, Back Bay