Posted on

Worcester Restaurants: The True Cultural Melting Pot

Worcester is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities creating unique dining experiences.

The term “melting pot,” or blending of diverse peoples, has been a cherished ethos that our nation has embraced throughout history. The cities were built by immigrants and communities were formed by their assimilation and integration. Locally, Worcester’s seven hills represent the pillars of various cultures that come together to make the big city of Worcester a little smaller. True testament to the importance of this ethnic diversity was brought to light in a 2015 Seven Hill Foundation report that found, “Foreign-born entrepreneurs account for 37 percent of all business owners in Worcester, double the statewide rate. Historically, immigrant entrepreneurs are more likely to own neighborhood-based businesses such as restaurants, groceries, and retail stores.”

Worcester reflects this diversity with a vast selection of ethnic markets including Ed Hyder’s Mediterranean Marketplace, Al Anwar Market, Bahnan’s, and many more. Today, it is easy to find that the hospitality culture has embraced traditions and flavors of a community and shares them with the consumer—especially in the form of restaurants.

Jamaican Patty from Homestyle Kitchen on Harrison Street in Worcester, MA
Jamaican Patty from Homestyle Kitchen on Harrison Street in Worcester, MA

While there are a lot of diverse restaurants in the city (Fatima’s Café, Tandoori, Hacienda Don Juan, Addie Lee’s Soul Food… etc.) Worcester Foodies experienced two great evenings with Afghani (Pomir Grill) and Greek (Mezé). If you want to get your hands dirty, we ate African (Ghana) food with our hands at Anokye Krom, devoured Levantine cuisine (multiple times) from Bay State Shawarma, and even went as far south as Jamaica with a visit to Jamaican Homestyle. The range of restaurants in Worcester offer an opportunity for some to “feel at home” and others to “travel without leaving the state.”

The city of Worcester expanded because of the Irish canal workers and European immigrants who worked tirelessly to open the Blackstone Canal. The canal breathed life into the region and created an economy in Central Massachusetts and the Blackstone Valley Corridor. Today, the city continues to flourish because of a growth of popular from around the world—and with it, they share the diverse flavors of their foods.