Sure Boston doesn’t quite top the charts as a culinary destination beyond clam chowder… but that doesn’t mean you should chalk your trip up as a foodie loss and eat subway the whole time you’re here.
-Okay, well you can’t beat the Taj brunch on their rooftop terrace overlooking the city. And the Four Seasons brunch is definitely a close second. Both hotels outdo themselves, with carving stations, make your own omelet, raw bar, dessert after dessert, and flowing champagne — but you do pay for what you’re getting, and it’s not cheap. Both brunches run around 50-60 per person.
-For a fraction of the price (and by fraction I honestly mean 1/20th) head to J Paces and Sons. It is a deli counter, but they makes the most incredible bacon egg and cheese sandwiches ever. You have to get it on a homemade bagel. Oh god and their italian subs. I can honestly taste it now.
-Friendly Toast – Located in Kendall Sq. the joint is littered with bizarre antiques and signs that give it an almost fun-house feel. I could never order anything besides The King Cakes (2 pancakes with bananas and choc chips inside, peanut butter between, encircled by bacon) but their menu is ridiculously fun and imaginative. It reminds me of the Griddle in LA, but better! I’ve also tried the cayenne cheddar toast (delicious), herb omelette (ok, but there is way better on the menu), kitchen sink quesadilla and shrimp (4 fried coconut shrimp and a quesadilla filled with spiced pecans, jalapeno jack and cheddar, spinach, fried onions, sweet potato fries and topped with mango sour cream and balsamic– Odd combination, I know.. but this dish is A.ma.zing), and cheese fries with strawberry habenero dip. NOTE: if you had ADHD, take an extra dose of aderall before picking up their menu; it’s overwhelming — but everything tastes so fabulous that you’ll already be planning what you’re getting on your next visit before you’ve even ordered your Red Bull frappe. While friendly toast isn’t particularly diet friendly, they do guarantee that their menu is trans-fat free.
Why, Legal Seafoods, of course. Hit the flagship in Seaport for some Thai style calamari and the fresh catch of the day. Save the lobster and chowder for James Hook & Co, which is honestly just a free standing shack before the bridge to seaport. But, well, that’s all they really need when they have held their best chowdah ranking for decades.
You can’t experience Boston correctly without dining at least once in the North End. …And of course getting a canoli at Mike’s Pastries. You can’t go wrong at any of these spots: Luccas, Lucia, Antico Forno, Bricco. For pizza, don’t even consider going anywhere besides Pompei.
I normally avoid chain restaurants, but the Capital Grille in Boston does steak right. Go for lunch and get the steak sandwich with havarti. You’ll save money and be so pleasantly surprised you’ll never have a power lunch anywhere else.
-Del Friscos: In the same category as my all time favorites Maestros and Cut (in LA). Honestly this place gets five full stars! Not only is it romantic with a breath taking view, huge comfortable black couches with chandeliers and recessed lighting ..but they have a serve yourself jelly bean bowl at the hostess desk. The sunken bar, lounge and make-shift wine cellar are also nice touches. In terms of food, don’t go if you don’t plan on getting the crab cake appetizer, most amazing one i’ve ever had. No bread crumbs just crab, peppers and spices in some tarragon heaven sauce. I got the three petite filets with different sauces on each one as my main course and I was giddy with happiness. the blue cheese is extremely flavorful and the candied scallop was out of this world and finished with a perfect bernaise. The third sauce had crabmeat and a red cab demi glaze and was also, you guessed it, delicious. I ordered carmalized onions to accompany my steak and I also got the brussel sprouts – both were good, but my eye was on the mac & cheese which i cannot wait to go back and try. Although the steak and crab were fabulous, the real diamond here is the banana bread pudding. Trust me. Best part, sign up for their emails and they’ll send you a hand written letter saying thank you for coming in to eat with them. Perfect touch
-Abe and Louies – Love em! Such a Boston staple. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu.
Met Bar: The one on Newbury has a great feel. Their outdoor seating is great and summer salads & cold plates are delightful. The inside atmosphere is almost even better, I love the big booths and the clean white. Don’t get the cod lettuce cup – they’re drenched in a not so tasty sauce. Do get brussel sprouts, short rib tacos, and any burger.
-Stephanis on Newbury: A staple to say the least. Breakfast? Get the pulled pork scramble and CEO mimosas. Then go walk it off and come right back for lunch/dinner. Their lobster and truffle mac and cheese is indescribably delicious. They also have the best ahi tuna I have had to date, and I’ve had my fair share of ahi tuna tartars.
-Cafeteria: Amazing Sangria, possibly the best I’ve ever had. Get the white and the red. Actually get a pitcher of both and sit outside on a lazy spring or summer day and enjoy every fruity crisp sip. The menu is limited and food is sub par. I’d save the calories and just go for one of their salads or split an app, the entrees are far from impressive and quite overpriced.
|Stephanie’s on Newbury|
Drink Just all around best. This hidden gem is my favorite bar in Boston. You just tell them what you like..what you feel like, etc. and the bartenders (i feel like they should have a fancier name — like how starbucks calls their coffee pourers baristas) create a delicious and unique concoction. It has this inviting speak-easy, relaxed feel that makes you want to engage in pensive discussions on the meaning of life. The apps are good, but will leave you hungry. I’d go for the olive mix and the bacon flavored nuts, then head upstairs to Sportella for something of more substance. Don’t go here if you’re looking for fast service, the bartenders even chop their own ice cubes off of an enormous block, which takes about 5 minutes but is worth every second.
-Back Bay Social Club & Town: Great drink menus and they are right across from one another in the Back Bay. BBSC has meat candy (candied kilbasa=yes please), but the crowd can be hit or miss.
-More laid back bars in the Back Bay area: Pour House, Dillons & Whiskeys – Go ahead go on the Boylston bar crawl! Hungry for bar food? Go for whiskey’s buffalo tenders.
-For a even more laid back bar crawl, hit faneuil hall. Bell and Hand will always reign as my favorite bar here, but I’ve never had a bad night at Ned Devine’s either. (well, I suppose we’d have to come to an equal agreement on the definition of ‘bad’ but you get my point).
-Summertime you are going to Tias. If you can’t get in head to Whiskeys and ABG.
-If you’re looking to get down and dirty with locals and are not a yankee fan, then there’s no better place to get a real Bah-stan experience than Southie. Get your fix at Stats and Lincoln. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but I guarantee that the first person you strike up a convo with at either of these places will either know me or have a buddy that does.
Langham. Bond is the best place to impress friends/clients. It’s fabulously decorated and feels regal with a delightful cocktail menu. Don’t eat any of the desserts, no matter how good you think the cheesecake lolipops sound, take my word, they’re horrific.
-Liberty Hotel. Amazing. No better place to enjoy a cocktail after work. Limited seating and overpriced, but SO worth it. History buff alert: The hotel itself is an old renovated jail that housed some pretty cool celebrities back in the day. The bar is appropriately named Clink. Get it.
-Mandarin Oriental. Lychee martini with champagne and grapefruit? yep. Sure its a splurge at 18 dollars, but it really is that good. Plus they give roasted nuts and olives to munch on at the bar. This is a great place to find yourself in a deep conversation with a worldly traveler. Older crowd and plenty of cougars, but I alway have a great time.
….I justified returning to the Mandarin bar & ordering the lychee martini on the grounds that it was blog research. It really is that good I couldn’t even wait to guzzle it before picture snapping!
In my opinion, you’d have to drive an hour west to hit up Worcester for some real box car greasy delights. but South Street Diner has bomb buffalo tenders and omelets with suprisingly fresh ingredients. It’s not necessarily dirt cheap, but they have healthy options (which actually makes me not like them as a diner) and they’re incredibly efficient, even with a packed house of drunks at 4AM.
–Charlies on Dartmouth Street attracts local celebrities. The owner is a jolly guy who works hard to make his diner efficient and welcoming to regulars and newcomers alike. Greasy and border-line dirty, the atmosphere is perfect. Everyone raves about the turkey hash scramble, but unless you’re looking to waste 4 times your normal fat intake on mediocre flavorless food, I’d opt for a breakfast sandwich.
Omni Parker Hotel. The originator of the Boston Cream Pie. This hotel is also a history geek land mind.
-Mike’s Pastries. This place will ruin you… as you will never be able to enjoy a cannoli again after experiencing the ecstasy of your first Mike’s pastry.
-Del Friscos. Oh that banana bread pudding. Yum.
Max Brenners. A true dessert experience. Order the chocolate pizza. The works.