Located a quick stroll from the Maverick T stop on the blue line, 303 Café seems like it’d be more suited in the South End or on Newbury as opposed to East Boston. With its exposed brick walls adorned with local artwork and the resin encased mosaic table tops this little bistro has a cozy and welcoming feel to it. What is more surprising than its location is the fact that they’ve got amazing food and a tasty beer list.
The beer list is small and limited to bottles, but still respectable. They’ve got a dozen regulars to choose from including Beamish Stout, La Fin Du Monde, Hennepin, Chimay Red, Julius Echter Hefe and Loose Cannon IPA. Plus they have rotating specials, which have recently included Pork Slap Ale, Whales Tale Pale Ale, Weihenstephan Hefeweiss, Old Speckled Hen, Small Craft Warning Uber Pilsner, and Bitburger Pils. Cost wise you’re looking at between $5-$7 a bottle, though the majority are $5. On a beer related side note: They’re starting to do beer dinners, though I haven’t had a chance to hit one up, but it’s on the to do list.
Oh, and they’ve got food too. Man alive do they have food.
I’ve eaten here half a dozen times and have never had a bad dish; breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This past Friday (8/22) my fiancé and I made our way there where they were screening Crash on their big screen TV. I had the 303 chicken burrito (gigantic and tasty) with a Julius Echter and an Uber Pils, my fiancé had the grilled flank steak (melt in your mouth amazing) with Hennepin, and for an app we shared the Middle Eastern antipasto (big enough for a meal in and of itself). We topped it all off with the peanut butter cup cookie. Top to bottom the food was fantastic. Prices are about what you expect to pay $8-ish for sandwiches $12 and up for the dinner entrees. Service was good and the atmosphere was nice and relaxed. This place makes for a great date locale.
I can’t speak to the wait staff’s knowledge of the beers as I’m at least functionally familiar with everything they have, but they are always timely with checking to make sure glasses don’t go empty and quick with service.
I highly recommend 303 Café. Go for the food stay for the beer. They use their flat screen for movie nights and for bigger sports events and they usually have beer and food specials that tie into the film or game, but it’s not like it’s always on. It’s a pretty small place and can fill up pretty quickly, especially if you are trying for brunch, in which case I would suggest getting there before 10am. All in all it’s a fun little café that I’m glad I’ve been introduced to as a local dining option outside of the standard Italian and South American offerings of the area.
If you live on the blue line you should head on down to 303 because it’s got some of the best food in the area and a beer menu that, small though it may be, beats any bar’s selection from Maverick to Revere. Tuesday nights are “International Hops Night” where they feature a new beer and usually a food pairing. If you are in from out of town and trapped at one of the airport hotels, 303 is only one T stop away and very much worth the quick trip to escape the purgatory of overpriced room service food.