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Phantom Gourmet: Great 8 Old School Restaurants

Sometimes flavor comes with nostalgia. These are the 8 Greatest old school spots Phantom says are still crazy delicious after all these years.

Galleria Umberto
North End

Kicking off the Great 8 is Galleria Umberto. It doesn't get much better than this classic, cash only, counter service spot in Boston's North End. But be advised: you have to get there early, because this place is so popular with locals and tourists alike, that whenever they're out of their Sicilian pizza, panini, calzone, panzarotti and arrancini, they close the doors for the day.

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Thwaites Market

Thwaites Market in Methuen is a throwback grocery store that specializes in English meat pies, small savory snacks filled with everything from Mac and Cheese, to Spicy Buffalo Chicken, to Broccoli and Cheese. If you want to go old school, you have to order the original English Pork Pie, with freshly ground meat and perfect seasoning.

George's Coney Island

Another Great 8 winner is George's Coney Island. This Worcester institution has been serving hot dogs on the cheap for close to a century. The Coney Island style wieners are best topped with mustard, onion and their famous chili sauce. While it may not be fancy, these wieners have quite the following, with nostalgic locals lunching on some of the tastiest dogs around.

Ken's Steak House

From the vintage sign out front, to the menu lined with classic comfort foods, Ken's Steak House in Framingham has been serving the masses for decades. They have everything you could possibly want in a throwback meal, from ultra-fresh shrimp cocktail served over ice, to choice steaks and chops, to an old school salad with plenty of their famous dressing.

South Boston

Amrheins in South Boston is a charming, old school restaurant and bar that has been serving Southie since 1890. Comfort food dominates the menu, with popular dishes like Lobster Mac and Cheese, Chicken Pot Pie, and choice steaks cooked the way you want them. The scene is just as comforting, with rich woods, leather banquettes and a fun bar where you will feel right at home.

La Cantina Italiana

Another Great 8 winner is La Cantina Italiana. This Framingham institution serves big plates of hearty homestyle Italian eats. They are not shy with the cheese, whether you have creamy ricotta stuffed inside their jumbo-sized fried ravioli, mozzarella smothered on crunchy garlic bread, or over their famous square pizza.


Since 1938, Katz's in Chelsea has been making the best bagels north of Manhattan out of a small, hard to find spot. Inside they are boiling and baking bagel perfection that's crispy on the outside and chewy in the center. While having them on their own or with a schmear is fantastic, having them with a hot dog is even better. Bagel Dogs are Vienna Beef dogs wrapped in their special, secret dough.

Bull Run

Rounding out the Great 8 is the Bull Run, located 50 miles northwest of Boston in Shirley. This 200-year-old restaurant may be the best kept secret in all of New England, because while it may be old and charming, the food is modern and delicious with selections like Sliders, Truffled Cabot Cheddar Popcorn, creative Burgers and outstanding Prime Rib.

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.

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