Dishing Up a Tasty World Tour

  • Visit North Central

Zapata Mexican Cocina (photo taken pre-COVID)

Sure, it would be nice to travel the world, seeing new sights and feasting on foods that simply don’t appear on your kitchen table. But if your plans for an exciting tour of far-off lands were squelched by the Corona virus — or if major travel just doesn’t fit your budget, don’t despair!

You can take a world-wide tour of interesting meals right here in North Central Massachusetts!

Even if you really enjoy a tasty tuna sandwich for lunch, or a good steak cooked to perfection on the backyard grill, sometimes you just get a yen for something, well, more exotic. Fortunately, North Central Massachusetts is peppered with terrific restaurants featuring an astounding array of gastronomic delights. You don’t have to leave the region to take a tasteful world tour…just decide what country or region of the globe you’d like to “visit” — and a quick drive will take your taste buds there.

In this unsettling pandemic era, regulations for indoor and outdoor dining are constantly changing, so you’ll want to be sure to check on the current status of any destination you’re thinking about taking your appetite to visit. But don’t let that stop you from expanding your menu horizons!

Spin That Compass!


Taste of Vietnam

Whether you’re in the mood for some South of the Border flavor, a sampling of European plates, or a taste of Asia, you’ll find it in the cities and

towns of North Central Massachusetts.

Of course, generations of locals have enjoyed American-influenced Chinese food. After all, who can pass up a generous pupu platter, plate of beef lo mein, or steaming bowl of egg drop soup? To be sure, this region has lots of those very popular restaurants ready to satisfy your yen for a taste of the Orient — in fact, you could spend your entire vacation trying them all.

Everyone, too, has an absolute favorite pizza shop. And when you need a quick food fix, this area is home to scores of familiar burger and sub shops.

But there are some intriguing new restaurants, too, waiting to expand your horizons. How about some authentic Vietnamese cuisine at A Taste of Vietnam in Leominster, or a dinner of Tamarind Duck or Pad Pik King at Bangkok Hill, a Thai restaurant in Lunenburg?

Love Mexican food? You’ll want to try the chimichanga and fajitas at Zapata Mexican Cocina in Fitchburg! Or how about a Don Diego Burrito or some Cajun Jambalaya at Happy Jack’s in Leominster (accompanied perhaps, by a perfect Margarita)?

Did you know you can find a slice of South America right here in Johnny Appleseed’s backyard? Check out the coxinha (croquette stuffed with seasoned shredded chicken) or an empanada platter at Comeketo Brazilian Steakhouse in Leominster.


Davis BBQ

Have you tried Jamaican Jerk chicken, oxtails, curry goat or an entrée featuring saltfish and callaloo? If not, you’re in for a treat at Fitchburg’s newest restaurant, Kingston Island Cuisine on Main Street. Relax in the Caribbean atmosphere when you visit this business that was launched in the midst of the pandemic.

Or maybe it’s time for a take-out trip to Bion Greek Kitchen in downtown Fitchburg, featuring taste treats from a pork souvlaki platter to a mouth-watering serving of Portokalopita (Orange Pie).

And if you just can’t get Italian food off your mind, you’ll want to stop by Il Forno in Lunenburg for some Calamari Fritte or Veal Scallopini with Lobster Meat. Want more? Visit Dario’s Ristorante in Fitchburg, for some mouth-watering Linguini Abruzzi or Gamberi Formaggio, or a simple Insalate de Capra.

Of course, if you want something that feels oh, so, down home, head out to the brand-new Davis BBQ in Sterling for some fast, casual award-winning Kansas City BBQ. Ribs. Wings. Burnt Ends. Pulled Pork. Hickory Pit Beans. Hungry yet?

Home Again

Imagine that — a world-wide gastronomic tour … without all the hassle of an airport, cost of a plane ticket, or trouble of lugging suitcases around!

When you’ve finished your trip around the globe and are ready to settle back in for some familiar American food, you can’t go wrong with a visit to any of the region’s most popular spots, like the Old Mill Restaurant in Westminster, Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley, Brady’s in downtown Leominster, the Forge & Vine in Groton, or — for a taste of down-home New England — SS Lobster in Fitchburg.

So you had to cancel your travel plans … but take heart! You can take a culinary trip around the world, right here in North Central Massachusetts.