When it comes to lesser-known restaurants, some are definitely more hidden than others, and there are those that aren't hidden at all, at least to people who live in the area. Cabot's Ice Cream and Restaurant in Newton is just such a place, as it has been an institution of sorts since the late 1960s among residents of this city (and in particular, the nearby Newtonville and Newton Corner neighborhoods), but ask folks who live outside of Newton what they think of Cabot's, and quite often, their answer will be "What's Cabot's"? And while there will probably be a debate over whether this eatery constitutes a true hidden gem, one thing is for sure--this is a very fun spot that has something for everyone.
Cabot's is located on a stretch of Washington Street just east of Newtonville that can be a bit of a speedway at times, making it easy to miss the place, especially since the exterior of it is rather plain and much less colorful than its interior. And the inside of the eatery certainly is colorful, with the brightly-lit space having lots of reds, blacks, and whites that help make it stand out. (The overall look perhaps gives it the feel of a chain, though it is definitely not a chain.) A large counter dominates the inside of Cabot's, with stools along the counter and rows of tables and booths set up to the left and in back. The hard tile floor ups the noise level here, so don't expect a quiet evening out at this dining spot.
Comfort food is the name of the game at Cabot's, with all kinds of classic American dishes available here including breakfast (served all day), lunch, and dinner items. A few options that can be found here include a savory Italian wedding soup, a plate of nachos that gets some heat from sliced jalapenos, eggs benedict that can be ordered with a variety of items (sausage, spinach, asparagus, etc.), ham and eggs with cottage fries, a hot roast beef sandwich with plenty of gravy, a greasy griddled burger, baked macaroni and cheese that can be topped with a hot dog, a decadent hash dinner that includes baked beans and brown bread, an old-fashioned chopped sirloin steak, and lighter fare such as a chicken Creole plate, steamed spinach with baked potatoes, and a fruit and cottage cheese plate. Drinks at Cabot's include frappes and freezes as well as a raspberry lime rickey that can be ordered by the pitcher. Ice cream is perhaps the main thing at Cabot's, with all kinds of delicious flavors available such as ginger, bubble gum, pistachio, coffee, coconut pineapple, toffee crunch, and peppermint stick. Prices are extremely reasonable here, with nearly everything being under $10.
Depending on where you live, Cabot's Ice Cream and Restaurant may or may not be a hidden gem, but either way, it is a high-energy, upbeat place that feels like some of the unpretentious old-school spots of long ago. If you like food that's good for the soul--and you love ice cream (and who doesn't?)--check out this fun little spot within sight of the Mass. Pike in Newton.
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