was back in his native Boston on Wednesday, where he squeezed in a visit to his family's famous hamburger joint, Wahlburgers, with ET's Kevin Frazier.
"If people ever come once because they're interested in what they see either with the show or whatever, the food is the thing that keeps people coming back," Wahlberg told ET as he greeted patrons inside the Boston establishment.
The restaurant chain was started by Mark along with his brothers Donnie and Chef Paul. In addition to running the restaurant, the family also starred in A&E's reality show of the same name, which revolved around the eatery.
"The reason why it's been so successful, honestly, is because of Paul," Mark admitted. "We have a great tool with the show, being able to market this and other things we do, but it's about the restaurant. It's about the business. It's about the food."
Today, Mark is a far cry from the scrappy kid he was years ago growing up in Boston. As the youngest in a household of nine children, he was sometimes left to his own devices.
"I'm different," Mark said. "I like to think I kept the good qualities that were instilled in me from an early age, but there was also that lure of being in the streets… But I've paid for those things and I'm trying to move forward."
Wahlberg was in his hometown for a special screening of his new film, Patriots Day.
The movie, based on the true events of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, stars Wahlberg as police sergeant Tommy Saunders. When four people are killed and 264 more are injured in the attack, Sgt. Saunders, along with the rest of the force, must deal with the bombing and the subsequent city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists behind it.
The real-life tragedy took place on April 15, 2013, the third Monday in April, which is reserved as a state holiday in Massachusetts, called Patriots' Day. The holiday was created to commemorate the anniversary of the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.
The Boston Marathon has been run every Patriots' Day since April 19, 1897.
"This movie is a tribute to the people of Boston," Wahlberg said. "It's going to be an emotional event, but ultimately uplifting."
Patriots Day, also starring John Goodman and Michelle Monaghan, opens in limited release Dec. 21, and goes wide on Jan. 13.