Let’s face it—Boston isn’t exactly New York City when it comes to late-night (or early-morning) dining, as the number of all-night full-service restaurants found in the city doesn’t come even close to being in the double digits. Options include the South Street Diner in the city’s Leather District, and… well, that’s about it. Oh wait, there is one other dining spot that is open 24 hours, but unlike the South Street Diner which is open 24/7, Victoria’s in the Newmarket Square area is open 24/3—that is, it opens for business early on Thursday morning and remains open all night Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before closing on Sunday night, at which point it does the early morning to late night thing until Thursday morning when the 24-hour stretch begins again. So while the diner isn’t open all night every night, it is open on the nights when most people who stay up all night are up all night, which basically gives the city of Boston 1.5 24-hour places.
Victoria’s Diner is located in a section of Boston that some consider Roxbury, others consider Dorchester, and still others simply call “Boston” (it is technically considered Dorchester, but if you park across the street, guess what—your car is in Roxbury). Parking is usually not a problem here—there is a parking lot and also some street parking—and for those who rely on public transportation, it is easy to get to, as it is right at the Newmarket commuter rail stop and some bus lines are also located in the area. The interior of Victoria’s has the type of retro feel that only a true diner seems to have, with the front room being a bit brighter and more spacious than the quieter back room, which tends to be used when the place gets crowded. The eatery has a mix of booths, tables with chairs, and counter seating, with the regulars and old-timers often being found up at the counter.
Diners tend to focus on comfort food and classic American fare, and Victoria’s is no different; many of the breakfast, lunch, and dinner items here are stick-to-your-ribs foods that are good for the soul (though perhaps not so much for the diet). Some of the highlights here include a decadent breakfast monte cristo with ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese stuffed into Texas-style French toast; a similarly sinful breakfast burger with scrambled eggs and ham; French toast smothered in creamy Nutella; two quarter-pound Pearl hot dogs with loads of chili on top; macaroni and cheese mixed with rich and tender short rib meat; a classic grilled pastrami with Swiss cheese and mustard on dark rye; a signature meat loaf plate with roasted red pepper sauce; and for dessert, everything from bourbon pecan pie to carrot cake to bread pudding.
Victoria’s Diner may not be open 24 hours a day every day, but it’s open 24 hours when it counts (to many, anyway)—and since it is one of two places in Boston where you can get a meal brought to your table at three in the morning, it is one that you really need to keep in mind if you’re a night owl. New Yorkers may laugh at us for having a lack of late-night/early-morning dining options, but we do have two very good ones, and in the case of Victoria’s, you can actually drive to the place and get a parking spot right away—and when can you ever say you did that in the city that never sleeps?
VICTORIA’S DINER. 1024 MASS. AVE., BOSTON. VICTORIASDINER.COM
Marc is the founder of @hiddenboston, a textbook editor, a hike leader for @AppMtnClub, and a food and travel writer and commenter for DigBoston, NBC/NECN, WBZ, WMFO and indie617.