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Restaurant Recommendations for Every Craving in Worcester

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

Worcester is a big city with lots to offer, but I still find myself blanking on where to eat when I have company. As a sophomore, I have experienced great food that satisfies every appetite, no matter how picky or adventurous one may be. So, here are my top places to eat in Worcester if you are ever in a pinch and want to impress a visitor!

BEST PIZZA: Volturno Pizza

This pizza place needs no explanation, as it is a true gem in the city of Worcester. They have every possible type of pizza for which you could ask, and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the pizza is buy one, get one free on Mondays and Tuesdays! It is a staple if you are in the mood for a good slice, and to satisfy your sweet tooth, the tiramisu is some of the best I have had.


This restaurant is definitely one of my top five favorite restaurants in Worcester. I may be a little biased because pasta is, by far, my favorite food, but I would go back to Piccolo’s for the environment alone. It is very family-friendly and has a true Italian restaurant feel. Piccolo’s is usually crowded when I visit which makes it so lively, and the waiters are always very friendly. The servings are very generous so I’m usually set for food for the rest of the​​ day!


I ate here with my parents on move-in day and I still think about the tacos all of the time. The food is so authentic and it is close to campus for those days you need to refuel fast! My favorite part about this restaurant has to be the Aguas Frescas, which are refreshing drinks made of water, fruit, sugar, and sweet and sour syrup. They are made in-house and were definitely the highlight of my meal. I recommend passion fruit!

BEST SUSHI: Baba Sushi

I came here with my dad one night when he came out to visit. It was last minute and I found it on Google when I looked up “places to eat near me”, but I definitely do not regret it. When we first walked in it seemed like a small restaurant, but we were brought into the back where there was a big fountain with running water and much more seating. If I had to describe it in one word, I would say it was earthy, and the sushi was absolutely delicious. Baba is surely a secret spot in Worcester that you need to try ASAP!

BEST BBQ: Smokestack Urban BBQ

I definitely would not call myself a BBQ connoisseur, and this restaurant was not my first choice when my parents came to visit. My dad insisted on trying it, so I kept an open mind and was pleasantly surprised. I ordered the BBQ mac and cheese as a safer option since I had no idea what to expect, and I was not disappointed, but it was extremely filling and I probably got through half of it before I had to stop. I would recommend this place to anyone who loves BBQ, and to anyone who wants to try something new in Worcester.


Bocado is great for when you would rather split a few dishes with everyone than have your own entrée. They have yummy options and it is a different vibe compared to a standard restaurant that serves one meal per person. Although I love the food, I must say that the tapas experience alone is my favorite part of the restaurant.

BEST BRUNCH: Armsby Abbey

Whether you lean towards sweet or savory, Armsby Abbey has got you covered. My personal favorite is the stout waffle which is made with Cadbury milk chocolate sauce. This order was very different and definitely left me wanting more! Located on Main Street in Worcester, Armsby Abbey is a brunch staple and the welcoming atmosphere will keep you coming back for more.

BEST PUB FOOD: Maddi’s Cookery

Maddi’s is a casual, fun restaurant located on Water Street. They have a lot of food to offer and I have gone a few times, usually after a game day or when I was craving a good sandwich but didn’t feel like dressing up. There are televisions all around with high-top seating, and the paninis and burgers never miss.


Worcester Beer Garden is what comes to mind for me when my friends and I are looking for a relaxed place to order a few appetizers and be back on campus before it gets late. There is definitely a large presence of college students, which makes the environment fun and social for people around our age. I have not tried the entrée-styled food here, but I would definitely come with friends just for the atmosphere.


The Mercantile is another place I would cross off the list for the atmosphere. The inside is big, there are televisions all around, and the music makes it easy to dance! I love coming here to celebrate a friend’s birthday as we can dress up nice, go to a new side of Worcester, and enjoy the food. Not only is The Mercantile amazing for dinner, but the brunch is to DIE for!


VIA serves some of the best Italian food in Worcester, with a beautiful environment and even better food. I have never had a bad meal here, and it is my #1 recommendation for a dinner out with your parents! The salads are unique, the housemade pasta is excellent, and they have great dessert options if you’re in need of a sweet treat, as I usually am. My most consistent order is the seafood orecchiette and it has truly never disappointed.


These are places that are just as good as the ones above, and I would definitely try these if you are ever in need!

  • ‘Olo Pizza
  • Mezcal
  • Birchtree Bread Company
  • Miss Worcester Diner
  • NU Kitchen
  • The Fix Burger
  • The Boynton
  • The Sole Proprietor
Emily Johnson

Holy Cross '25

Junior English major at the College of the Holy Cross