Kelly’s Roast Beef

Review by: Michael Stern

Kelly’s Roast Beef in Revere, MA | What to expect

Roast beef is a local passion in the Boston area, as much as chili in Cincinnati or bratwurst in Sheboygan. In Lynn, Saugus, Salem, Beverly, and up towards Cape Ann, dozens of quick-service eateries boast of beef. When we went looking for Kelly’s Roast Beef in Revere (the original, and now one of four Kelly’s around Beantown), we asked a gent outside an auto body shop if he knew where Kelly’s was. “Whaddaya, hungry?” he asked with glee, pointing us to what he promised would be “one hunnerd fitty percent satisfaction.”

Service is eat-in-the-rough: place your order at the broad window, then linger on the sidewalk until it’s ready. Gather everything in your arms and dash across Revere Beach Boulevard to find a bench under a covered pavilion by the beach. Dine in true summer-vacation style – overlooking the ocean, surrounded by greedy seagulls.

What to eat at Kelly’s Roast Beef

The roast beef, available in a small or large sandwich, is lovely: soft, pink, thin-sliced, and piled high on a butter-toasted, sesame-seed bun. The rest of the menu is shoreline seafood, including fish and chips and fried clams that are golden-brown, toasty-flavored, and a joy to chew – much juicier than rubber-textured clam strips, yet not as gushy as a North Shore whole-belly clam. A clam plate includes French fries, sweet onion rings, and homemade tartar sauce.

Note the drink nomenclature, also utterly local. Carbonated beverages are here called tonics. What the rest of the world knows as a milk shake (ice cream, milk, flavoring) is a frappe.

What To Eat

Roast Beef

Fried Clams

Onion Rings

Large Roast Beef Sandwich


Kelly’s Roast Beef Recipes


What do you think of Kelly’s Roast Beef?

2 Responses to “Kelly’s Roast Beef”

Steve A

April 12th, 2023

My in-laws lived in the senior housing right behind Kelly’s . My kids grew up visiting their grandparents and expecting Kelly’s at least twice before going home. They’re gone, my kids are grown and moved away, but I have had a hankering for Kelly’s and if the weather is good, a group of us will motorcycle to revere beach from NW NJ to partake in a large roast beef plate with onion rings, then turn and burn back home. If I feel like it, I’ll hook up the trailer, throw in a bag of ice and bring a couple rb sandwiches home fir my wife, who grew up in Chelsea and spent her summers at the beach. Good times aplenty


Patricia Beninato

September 25th, 2006

When planning my weekend trip to Boston, one of my friends up there asked me if there was anyplace in town I particularly wanted to go to eat. “Kelly’s Roast Beef” was my immediate answer. It’s fortunate that Kelly’s has more than one location–with the near-Gordian knots of Boston beach traffic in summer we got frustrated trying to find the original Revere location, which isn’t exactly on the beaten path. So we headed up Route 1 to another Massachusetts garden spot, Saugus, where the Kelly’s there is sleek and modern, all brick and glass. Don’t let the clean lines of the place fool you, though–this is some good eating.

The roast beef sandwich is terrific. I opted to get mine only with some horseradish sauce (I know the purists prefer BBQ sauce, but I love horseradish). Every bite was juicy and tender, so good that I didn’t mind that it was a little more well done than I usually get, and the sesame seed bun was butter-toasted and tasty. With the sandwich came some very good french fries and a cold root beer. However, I would avoid the onion rings next time, as they were extremely bland. We wanted to try the fried clams but were a little taken aback by the price, about $15.50 for an order, although we did consider getting a clam roll which is a bit cheaper. But it’s Kelly’s Roast Beef, not Kelly’s Fried Clams, right? Service is efficient, and the woman who took my order was delighted to hear that I had come all the way from Virginia to eat there. “It’s gonna be worth your trip!” she enthused. And she was right.


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