Some of our dearest friends live in Boston, and we are always happy to visit them in what has become their hometown. We found that our standard way of exploring a city – starting out the day on a jog with a credit card, ID, and cell phone in hand- was still easy enough to do in this ‘big’ city. The scene is picturesque in the warmer months when the Common is in full bloom, rowers are on the Charles and people are out enjoying their town.
To Eat –
Neptune Oyster – small quaint but hip North End seafood restaurant with fantastic lobster rolls and oysters. The lobster rolls come either warm with butter or cold with mayo – we think the warm roll is the best one we’ve ever eaten but get either one with some of there fantastic fries and a cold beer on tap. Featured on Cooking Channel’s “Unique Eats.”
B&G Oysters – South End neighborhood oyster bar also from Chef Barbara Lynch with fresh seafood and a cool vibe. The restaurant is slightly below ground and creates a vibrant mood. Recommend the B.L.T with Lobster, the oysters with prosecco mignonette and Maine Lobster Roll. Their oysters are harvested from areas all along the east and west coast.
Sportello – Italian tratorria in the South End from Chef Barbara Lynch with a minimalist/modern diner decor and relaxed atmosphere. Their fresh breads and pastas are all spectacular. Recommend the braised beef short ribs, lamb tartare, and tagliatelle with bolognese sauce.
Myers + Chang – Asian fusion done right. The Hot Dan Dan Noodles, Korean Fish Tacos and the Mama Chang’s Dumplings were highlights. Would be a regular stop if we lived in Boston.
Flour Bakery – with 4 locations around the city, Joanne Chang’s (of Myers and Chang) bakery is a great way to start the day – you have to get there early to try their famous homemade “Pop-Tarts” but all of their pastries are very good.
Craigie on Main – critically acclaimed farm-to-table/locavore Cambridge restaurant with excellent drinks and food. Chef Tony Maws utilizes many parts of many creatures (i.e. cock’s combs), so be wary if you are a less adventurous eater.
Coppa – very small entoteca by acclaimed Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette in the South End. Although Toro gets all of the hype, we’d recommend going here instead for better food and more authentic vibe. Try the Coppa Italian Grinder.
Island Creek Oyster Bar – larger than the more quaint Neptune Oyster and B & G Oyster, but sleek and fun. Their namesake oysters are served everywhere from Alinea in Chicago to French Laundry in Napa. Needless to say, start out with some raw Island Creek Oysters, but also try the fantastic Oyster Sliders. Don’t skip dessert, all of the options were excellent, especially the Carrot Cake.
The Kirkland Tap and Trotter – Chef Tony Maws’ more casual and approachable eatery in the Somerville area. The Spanish Octopus Salad is one of the better octopus dishes I’ve had, with a delicious Mediterranean/Indian broth. Though the burger is much ballyhooed, we say skip it (the cheese-meat combo made it dry tasting). Ask to see their “Underground” Beer List for an expansive list of sour ales and other harder to find craft beers.
Regina Pizzeria – legendary North End pizza joint (check out the photos of the multiple movie stars and athletes on the walls) with fantastic pies. The secret seems to be in their red sauce – a great sweet fresh tomato taste and perfectly cooked crust in their brick oven
Cafe Madeleine – master class level croissants and coffee from Le Colombe.
Alden & Harlow – relative newcomer to the food scene but instantly a Cambridge success. Located underground with a modern decor/vibe. Would recommend sharing multiple small plates.
Tatte Bakery – several locations in the Boston area. Serves excellent pastries and coffee drinks featuring Stumptown coffee. The Beacon Hill location is a popular brunch site and nice patio on the cobblestone.
To Drink –
Pressed – “GREENS + JUICE + PALETAS” is their moniker and they have nailed them all. Located off of the cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill, owners Dave Clendenin and Ashley Gleeson have brought the juice bar to new levels. Everything is first class from the design/decor to the service to the ingredients to the food. They also can boast that NYC Chef Joya Carlton helped develop their healthy delicious menu. Don’t skip the Avocado Smash or the Calm Supershake. Expanding to South Boston in 2016.
Thinking Cup – fine coffee shop serving our favorite Stumptown Coffee with 3 locations in Boston (we checked out the newer Back Bay location on Newbury Street). Want a great way to end a run on the Charles? Try their Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee which they serve on tap.
Drink – South End cocktail bar underneath Sportello. Expert bartenders help to create a drink for you based on your “flavor profile” and favorite liquors.
For Dessert –
JP Licks – local ice creamery with several locations throughout the city – all with long lines inside even on some of the coldest of days. The Cake Batter Oreo is decadent and addictive.
Mike’s Pastry – famous pastry shop in the North End. The cannolis, cakes, and pastries are all over-sized and full of richness. May not get the best or nicest service, but it’s all part of the Boston charm.