Dining Playbook’s Favorite South End Restaurants

Pizzas at Coppa
Pizzas at Coppa

Cosmica

Located at the Revolution Hotel, Cosmica is the neighborhood’s newest venture from Wildlife Hospitality, the operators of The Beehive and Beat Brew Hall. This Mexican eatery & bar is serving up Cal-Mex specialities that include tacos, snacks, and plenty of cocktails. Start your night off with homemade tortilla chips and tacos along with a super cold margarita. Veggie options include their cauliflower al pastor with grilled pineapple, roasted pepitas, and sesame with chipotle yogurt. Plant-based dieters can feast on their vegan taco with coconut and serrano melted leeks, grilled broccolini, fermented bean, and Anaheim chili saw. And to cap it all off, boozy slushes! Want to be a Cosmica insider? Follow their Instagram page to receive a rotating code word to tell your server for a secret taco special that’s not on the menu. 

 

Ilona

If you haven’t yet seen the inside of Ilona, you’ll certainly want to take a pic when you get there. It’s a stunning setup full of bold colors, a huge floral mural, teal couches, and pink chairs. If you’re thinking that sounds great for Instagram photos, you are correct. It’s just that aesthetically pleasing. But let’s move on to the menu. Dishes range from the region stretching from the Eastern Mediterranean to the shores of the Black Sea. From the mezze options, the halloumi is a delight. The delicately pan-seared cheese is served with pickled grapes, toasted sesame, and honey and makes a great start to the night. For something more substantial, choose from various types of kebabs, or entrees like their grilled fish filet served with cherry tomatoes, capers, kalamata olives, and herbs.

 

Coppa

It doesn’t get more cozy than an evening at Coppa. Or more delicious. Coppa has been one of our favorite South End spots for a while. We can’t get enough of their homemade pasta, pizza, and of course, all the charcuterie. There’s something so mesmerizing about watching prosciutto being sliced right in front of you and then perfectly plated alongside some of the best cheese you’ll ever have. And the pasta. Oh, the pasta. Coppa’s interesting twist on spaghetti carbonara is basically pasta spiked with sea urchin — and we’re all about it. More of a pizza lover? We love the ‘Nduja pizza with spicy Calabrian pork sausage, burrata, and marjoram.

 

Stella

Located in the heart of the South End, Stella offers approachable Italian cuisine in a chic, yet super lively, environment. Consider their menu like an exciting travel adventure through Italy, with innovative interpretations of Italian classics from each region. But what we really love is their brunch and — when the weather permits — eating on their huge patio. Even their brunch options have an Italian twist like the eggs & arancini, the Florentine omelet, and the linguine carbonara served with a poached egg and smoked bacon. 

 

Mela

Mela was the first modern Indian restaurant to hit the South End scene, and boy are we glad it arrived. The ambience in itself is enough to rave about, but It’s the little things that also win us over, like being able to choose from regular naan or garlic naan, and the variety of condiments to adorn your meal with. Popular options include tikka masala, butter chicken, lamb coconut curry, and of course, samosas. If you’re new to Indian cuisine, we suggest going to their lunch or Sunday brunch buffet to try a little bit of everything.