Neighborhood: Various
Address: Various

There are restaurants that cater to every kind of comfort food these days, from grilled cheese to, well, mac and cheese. The Meatball Shop is technically just another one of these, but it seems like something more—and not just because they have their own Vans sneakers and Shut skateboard decks. Their Stanton Street location is the one I’m thinking of, primarily it’s because that’s the one I frequent. Located between Allen and Orchard Streets right next to Epstein’s Bar, The Meatball Shop is a relative newcomer that seems like it’s been there all along. It’s a place where ‘90s hip-hop from both coasts flows as readily as their white peach sangria, and where daily specials supplement the fairly basic menu. As for that menu, it’s primarily their housemade, locally sourced meatballs (natch) and what to have them over or on, including the traditional pasta as well as white beans or polenta. The Kitchen Sink, three balls over a medley of roasted vegetables and green salad fortified with apple slices, is spot-on for summer. And with five locations, getting there shouldn’t be a problem. — Russ Bengtson