back bay recommendations
I just moved to the Back Bay area and was wondering if anybody could give me recommendations for any restaurants, markets, bakeries, etc. In particular I'd like to know where to get the best:
good, *cheap* food of any sort, for eat-in, take-out, or delivery
in particular, good delivered pizza
good basic french bread
large cheese selection
fresh produce, ripe fruit
really, recommendations for anything at all would be quite welcome -- dry cleaners, used furniture places, cheap mattress stores, anything.
On Tuesdays and Fridays May-October (I'm pretty sure those are the days/months), there is a large farmer's market in Copley Square -- great produce and even a stand for Iggy's Bakery, which many would argue has the best bread in town. A French friend of mine says that their pain au chocolats are the best she's had this side of the Atlantic.
Trader Joe's, a funky grocery store, has recently opened a store in the Back Bay, on Boylston across the street from the Prudential Tower. Great and inexpensive cheese selection, not to mention deals on other staples like olive oil, pasta, and chocolate (yes, chocolate counts as a staple!). Their produce is pretty useless though. For top notch spendy gourmet stuff, especially cheese, you can go over to Formaggio's in the South End.
I've noticed the prices at the Pru Star Market are higher than the Star Markets in the suburbs, those @#$@!. I like Dependable Dry Cleaners on Newbury, a local chain, and they often have coupons online.
The Haymarket/North End isn't too far away for dirt-cheap (very ripe!) produce, great pizza and fish (although I don't know if I'd buy my fish at the Haymarket -- I wonder what others here think of the fish there? I'm always a little scared of it).
Regarding the pizza question, I wandered into the Upper Crust on Charles St. in Beacon Hill and had a great slice of their plain old regular, while a friend had the chicken, broc, and some kind of tasty cheese that I'm not remembering now. I've been searching for a while for tasty pizza in the area, and was pretty excited to learn they deliver to the Back Bay. It was a few weeks ago, but I do recall really fresh ingredients, crsip crust, etc. They also have a nice looking selection of white pizzas, which I'm a huge fan of (shrimp, clam, pesto, that kind of thing), and haven't yet tried.
Bread and Circus..near Symphony Hall; high end supermkt..South End Formaggio..cheese and bread..Morse Fish and Epicurean Meat Mkt..all nearby in South End..Delucas Mkt..Newbury St..also on Charles St...Savenors Mkt on Charles..very expensive but hi quality meats..nearby Beacon Hill.
Back Bay is not a "cheap" part of town for restaurants, food, or anything else but Steves is inexpensive, good, Greek food..on Newbury..Kebab n Kurry..Indian on Mass Ave.
There is not much of the way of cheap mattress and furniture in the back bay. However, trash days happen very frequently in Beacon Hill. Many of my favorite furniture pieces were discovered there - work evening walks there into your routine. Try one of the many futon shops for a cheap mattress. The prices start at around $79 and are fine for a couple of years.
A good, inexpensive restaurant is Laurel on Berkely (near Columbus) - all entrees are under $10 (unless they state otherwise)