The Hungry I
The Hungry I

The Hungry I

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.hungryiboston.com/
  • Phone: 6172273524
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Thursday & Friday: 12:00pm - 2:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
    Brunch: Sun 11am-2pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: French
  • Executive Chef: Peter Ballarin
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Special Events: Small weddings and Rehersal diners of up to 34 people welcome; please call for information. Private Room available upstairs and we also have a patio for summer events.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Mt. Vernon Street
  • Public Transit: Charles St Red Line is the closest; Arlington St on the green line is also walkable.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street Parking available; also Charles St and Boston Common Public parking lots are close by. Valet Service available nightly during dinner service; 3 doors past the restaurant on the corner.
A word from The Hungry I
Welcome to the Hungry I! Tucked just below street level on Beacon Hill's picturesque brownstone-lined Charles Street, the Hungry I is charming and intimate. Although small, it is quite cozy and very romantic. There's a true elegance to the Hungry I that comes from the surroundings, the food and the staff. A distinctively different place that makes every visit really special.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
The Hungry I reviews from OpenTable diners
29 reviews since May 1, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food3.7
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelQuiet
75% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (19)great for outdoor dining (15)neighborhood gem (14)special occasion (12)fit for foodies (8)notable wine list (6)great for brunch (5)great for lunch (3)good for groups (2)kid-friendly (1)late-night find (1)scenic view (1)hot spot (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Luv luv luv your place
    PJMJR
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    What a special night. Same as it has always been for us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Magical experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    I dined at the Hungry I nearly 15 years ago and it made such a lasting impression on me that I came back again during a recent Boston visit. My second experience was even better than the first. The food and the wine were world-class just like last time. But this time I had the good fortune to personally meet and chat with Peter the owner and some of his lovely staff. What gracious and lovely hosts they are! Restauranteurs in the true most old-fashioned sense. The kind of genuine care and warmth that they have for their guests is almost from a forgotten age. If your spirit is warm and gracious like the owners of I Hungry, and if you want something magical far-beyond simply another great meal, come to I Hungry.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • C'est Bon!
    mikkakmif
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Le lapin c'est magnifique!!! L'ambience et cuisine sont super et les maitre d, garçon, et chef sont exactment qu'elle une restaurant français est ètre. Sorry for the poor French!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great location, lousy food
    deirVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Hadn't been back to this Boston icon in years. We had the place to ourselves, and the quality of the food soon explained this. Bizarre salad, bland uninteresting entree, snotty service. Really unfortunate because the courtyard is magical.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Peter
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    Excellent choice for a quiet, romantic dinner. We ate in the courtyard and it was magnificent. The food was creative, well prepared, well presented and very flavorful. The service was attentive yet restrained, the staff was knowledgable, helpful and friendly. If you are a foodie and waould like a romantic dining experience, this is the place. We just returned from Paris and the Hungry I was on a par with most of the best that we experienced in France. Overall a fabulous experience and we will definately be back again and again and again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Evoking memories
    BlindPig
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Will the sentimental prevail? We think so-- terrific 25th wedding anniversary dinner.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A dinner to remember
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Entering through the little alley into their lovely, old-worldy bar and out onto the patio for dinner. The evening was lovely, service and hosts very friendly and willing to chat, food amazing and atmosphere wonderful. It was nice to go back after a number of years and reminded me of living on Beacon Hill when I first moved to Boston in the 80s.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed with Hungry I
    1DiningCouple
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    We have heard about this place for years and expected more… The service was very poor and the food average. The server was much too inexperienced for a restaurant at this price point. He poured just about the ENTIRE bottle of wine in our glasses at first pour; placed our plates half hanging off the table -- for no reason there was space on the table; and didn't realize we needed utensils following our appetizers. They were out of many menu items and did not have the wine we ordered from their list. We love to dine out and dine all over the world. The Hungry I seems to be resting on a reputation from years gone by perhaps due to the lovely room and patio (NOT the food or service). Boston has better options.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Authentic, intimate, and French
    Justin
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    I have ridiculously high standards so I only gave the food four stars. But, dining here is an experience. The beet gazpacho is fantastic. A beautiful evening, a kir royale and your smiling partner, perfect. The service is impeccable. But, the hanging plants and statues make the ambience truly magical.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • less than average
    onetimevisitor
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    we were the only ones in the restaraunt i.e. obviously there was no need for booking at all. the food was good but nothing particularly good. eating at a chain might feel as good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • On a Whim
    Matt
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    It was a Saturday night and I play music. Before the gig I started thinking that I'd be hungry by 8:30. So around 5:30 I was able to book a reservation for this place for two using open table for that night. It's a beautiful little place tucked in the lower level on Charles Street in Beacon Hill. Watch your head going in, there is even an ouch painted on the header. Great food, service, and wine. Also, the restaurant was quiet which is a rare find. I highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    While the food was good, I thought it would be better. Not as much complexity to the cuisine as expected for the price. Dinner was over $100 without drinks, dessert or appetizers.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Luv2eat
    Luv2eat
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Great food. Romantic spot on historic Charles st. I had the venison and it was excellent.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still romantic, now better food
    zadnor
    Dined on 5/13/2014
    The Hungry i has always been one of the most charming rooms around, probably Boston's most romantic. On this visit, they upped their food game. Previously, the food was good but not up to the standards of the better restaurants in their price range. But this time the food was excellent. Venison was tender, flavorful with just the right sauce. Coq au vin was simply exquisite...one of the best I've had. This has always been one of our favorites restaurants based on the romantic ambience alone. If the food upgrade is maintained, it will be worth a visit for foodies, as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Place for Special Occasion
    Skip
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    A very pleasant place to dine. Service was very good. Outdoor dining quite pleasant. Low noise level at brunch. Was advertised as one of Bonson's best restaurants. It was nice, but didn't fit into that category with respect to food - which was quite good, but not great. I'd go back again for dinner just to see what they serve and whether the restaurant does better on a less busy day.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding Service,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Great service, unmatched setting - tucked away, romantic, cozy, it was a great environment. The food was excellent, but nothing special. I had high expectations and was left feeling like I don't need to go back.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Would not return
    JDMcK
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    My daughter put it best - for a place that bills itself as romantic, she would say 'no' to anyone who proposed to her at this restaurant. Terrible service and lack of ambiance easily offset the passable food. Upstairs was nicer (we were on the below street level section) based on the reports of the people who used the restrooms.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 12 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 1, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food3.7
    • Ambiance4.6
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The following 310 reviews are from the The Hungry I reviews archive.
  • great food
    HMFWIC
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    tremendous food and wine, great service. well located in Boston
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful ambience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Restaurant is a wonderful, romantic spot along Charles Street. Service was excellent, but the food was okay but pricey. My husband had the venison which he liked very much. I had the scallop and crab dish which was only average.
    Special Features:
    Romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden Gem
    SharonVIP
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Fabulous dinner in a lovely, interesting setting. Three friends all had something different and fabulous. The venison ended up being the winner. My seafood dish was terrific as was my friend's steak. Chris, the manager was our excellent and entertaining waiter. Definitely ask for him. The owner came upstairs to say hello. Champagne cocktail was outstanding. I can't wait to go back. Highly recommend this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely little place
    EmiDahl
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    This is a lovely little place, great for a romantic dinner with French flair. I think we aren't the perfect couple to rate the food here because we pretty much determined from this visit that while the food was excellent, maybe French food isn't our cuisine of choice - it wasn't quite hardy enough for us, some of it had very subdued flavors. But the staff was great, allowed us to take our time when we wanted it, and was friendly and professional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place to have a quiet Thursday
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    Came here for restaurant week since the normal prices are a bit much. We both enjoyed out first and second course though I though the sides could be a little more interesting. Unfortunately my favorite part, dessert, was disappointing for both of us.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Don't understand the bad reviews
    Champagne
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    We had a lovely experience from soup to nuts...no pun intended! We were looking for that French je ne sais quoi and that's what we had. GREAT French wine selections, entrees cooked to order, beautiful flavor and properly prepared. Our server (the gentleman from Normandy) was a pleasure and very professional yet welcoming. He recognized our interest in French wines and French food and provided wonderful insights and conversation. Haters---hush up!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just OK
    CatherineVIP
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Good for special occasion, but not worth your money. Do not get the Cod -- was way too salty. Venison was OK, dessert was OK. Service was excellent and it's a beautiful, private dining area.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice feel, we enjoyed it.
    LikeEatingandNotPicky
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    We enjoyed our dinner there, primarily because it was quiet, romantic and had the perfect vibe for a night out with my wife. The food was good, but not great. The frogs legs in particular were just bland. We each had a cocktail and each was great. The venison, apparently the house specialty, was quite good. So, why only a 3? It was too expensive for what we got. I don't mind spending $250 on a meal for two - however, I do when it's not quite outstanding. I'm recommend for the ambience, but not for outstanding food.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A Fading Grand Dame
    kertruffle
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    Sadly, Peter, the owner/chef, who's HungryI has been a Charles St. old-line Beacon Hill stalwart over the better part of 4 decades is aging. Badly. Like a duchess whose teeth aren't exactly that pearly white any longer. Actually, yellowing badly. With rouge applied messily on her withered cheeks, H.I. is fading. Fast. Boursin crepe? Really? I think of Boursin in the same brainspace as Mateus. And The Mamas and The Papas. Peter, step aside. Let' a young turk with old-school sensibilities but with au courant culinary skills take over. Dust off the mahogany high boys and invigorate that old girl.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Didn't live up to its ***reputation
    cupcake
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    quaint, lovely place. Full of atmosphere. Our main course was wonderful and an excellent-sized portion for Restaurant Week. The other courses weren't nearly as good, so the portion size was irrelevant.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    Service was excellent and friendly. There were very helpful in selecting wines.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great starters,mediocre main dishes
    DaveS
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    Thursday night was quiet, as expected and we were seated in their lushly appointed 2nd floor overlooking the interior courtyard. My wife eagerly devoured the pate appetizer, I lingered over my delicious vegetarian choice. Unfortunately, those were the highlights of the meal. My wife's steak au poivre was sliced very thinly with no internal room for a juicy rare treat between its seared sides. My mushroom strudel had so much spicing that the mushrooms were lost in the heat. Her pear tartin dessert was a whole poached pear with a few crusts scattered on the plate while my chocolate bread pudding contained so much cinnamon that the chocolate was lost. And that's not including swapping a 2011 Pinot for a $60 2009. Not a $100 dinner
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Entrees outshone the salads.
    Harborview
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    Entrees outshone the salads. Maybe should have gotten a traditional appetizer instead? But really it was because the entree was incredible!! I got the quail special and my husband got their venison, both were tremendous. Our waiter was helpful and appropriately attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cozy - very good food.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/4/2014
    We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the tiny little The Hungry I on Charles Street. The prices were higher than you'd expect in such a small place, but I guess that's necessary to keep going. All of the French food was very tasty. The interior is dark wood, with a live fire. Nice, low background music. Definitely a place to go if you're not going to worry about the prices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beacon Hill Treasure
    freshfood
    Dined on 2/20/2014
    We had never eaten at the Hungry I - but went there on a special occasion. the restaurant is intimate, beautiful selection of background music, attentive but not rushed service....loved there special cocktail: champagne with raspberry and lime... Food was elegantly presented...A romantic and memorable evening.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hungry I, Quite please.
    Carlos1VIP
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    Terrible presentation of the Tarte Tatin and they only serve, from their "full bar", quite drinks. No shakers allowed, since its particular and distinguish sound will disrupt their "noisy" atmosphere. Pricy menu for what we received. Much better options out there for their price range. Don't bother to go...
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Time
    Allegra
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    We started with bread that included an inventive cornbread with cranberries. For the appetizer we tried the fried eggplant - it was creatively served in a martini glass! This was followed by the highlight of the asparagus/tomato/garlic soup. Served steaming hot it was the perfect for a winter night. We both ordered a special - the snapper and scallops in a dijonnaise sauce with an atypical mix of vegetables of sprouts, potatoes, green beans. etc. Great! The servings were more than generous and we asked to take some of our entrée. When we asked if we could have a bit more dijonnaise sauce the waiter said no. Then he asked if we wanted separate containers for our take aways - um, yes. Despite this oddness, we definitely plan to come back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Romantic but also casual
    klee
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    When i booked the restaurant, i expected quite and romantic mood. I was also worried about too classic mood. However, Servers were really kind and other customers were also very delightful. It was one of the best dinner that i had in Boston!!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Celebrating our anniversary
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 1/19/2014
    Romantic, unique Beacon Hill special restaurant. I had frogs legs, escargot and braised rabbit. My husband had Coq a vin. Service was excellent, food delicious, a special night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • more attention to make perfect
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    This restaurant still makes the most fantastic well presented food in a lovely intimate space. With a little bit more attention to the service. Our waiter was friendly and gave prompt service but was unable to accomodate a request for a table away from the door even with the restaurant only half full at the time. On prior visits the waiter knew all about the food but this waiter said the menu had just changed and was not very descriptive of the dishes. I think the Hungry I is a Boston gem that seems to be on the decline (very few diners for a Saturday night) so with a little bit more attention to detail, this great place with continue to be around for years to come
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great evening
    Pat0406
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    We enjoyed a fine meal, venison with pepper cooked perfectly, not gamey, very good. Looking forward to returning next time we are in Boston. The restaurant is a little below street level, very cozy, not large at all. Staff was present and very helpful, not intrusive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of Boston's best
    RGH71
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Absolutely unbeatable---food, service spectacular, and settling is charming.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Christmas Eve birthday dinner
    IvyGuy
    Dined on 12/24/2013
    For over 30 years this quirky space on the ground floor & cellar of a Beacon Hill townhouse has been a reliable home for French cooking presented beautifully and served in an elegantly decorated room. Peter, owner & chef, keeps the atmosphere warm as he stokes the fireplaces and conversations, slipping from table to table charming old friends and winning new customers, and never failing to greet arriving and departing guests at the restaurant's cellar entrance. The restaurant's portal requires one to stoop to descend 3 granite steps beneath a massive stone lintel bearing the warning, "OUCH!" A narrow alley decorated with seasonal vegetables, greens & lights leads to the restaurant's entrance, and beyond that, the massive lighted wood stack.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.