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From cheap eats to not so cheap--Where best to dine in Boston?(near Pru tower, back bay, or Faneuil area)

Hi All,
I'll be staying near the Prudential tower, and would love your suggestions on places to dine (includes Back Bay, Beacon Hill etc)that aren't too far from that area . Probably the furthest I would like to go is the Faneuil Hall area, unless there is an absolute 'must dine' place that you love...

I used to love Marche (gone), Cappuccino's (gone), great cafe in Beacon Hill (name escapes me but it's gone)(oh and I hate hate hate Finale so fyi if someone is thinking of going there)...
I'd love to gain a new repertoire of place to go to that you food experts could recommend to me.

I would appreciate your recommendations on good places for a quick/nice breakfast (definately has to be near the Pru for that one), nice lunch or quick lunch, inexpensive to moderate dinners, cafes, afternoon tea places, and general fun lively places maybe with some music as well.

The cuisine I would appreciate at these places would be 'new American'/eclectic, American, continental, Italian, English, Irish, French, Brazilian, Cuban, Seafood. Not interested in steakhouses, chinese, mexican or Indian.

I greatly look forward to your wonderful insight on where is best to dine in the Boston area. Thanks for your help!!!!

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  1. For breakfast, I think you have to go to Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe on Columbus ave. You can't go wrong, and you'll eat enough to keep you going all day.

    Trattoria Toscana on Jersey St in the Fenway area is only about a 30 minute walk from the Pru and a quick search on this board will give you plenty of positive reviews.

    1. Back Bay is difficult because there are so many bad chain restaurants here. Everything is gear to tourists and conventioneers. You don't have to be good, just near the Pru.

      You could try Steve's on Newbury (at Hereford) for breakfast. Or, Trident Bookseller's cafe on Newbury near Mass Ave. Niether is great but they are okay.

      Panificio is about to open at Mass Ave and Commonwealth and if it is half as good as the one on Beacon Hill, it will be a great addition to the neighborhood. We asked on Sunday and they were hoping to be open by this weekend.

      For lunch there are a few tiny places with simple food and good value. There is Cafe Jaffa at 48 Gloucester St and a noodle shop across the street. (Correction: It is not across the street. It is on Hereford Street across the alley from Steve's)

      Island Hopper on Mass between Newbury and Commonwealth is good. And, our last take-out from Indian Samraat on Mass between Commonwealth and Marlborough was very good.

      If you want great food, you have to leave Back Bay. Aside from L'Espalier, the food here is just so-so. (Edit: I forgot Cleo- Excelelnt but pricy and UNI at the Eliot Hotel.)

      1. Chili Duck on Boylston if you like Thai. Parish Cafe further down Boylston by Arlington. Paramount on Charles St. Laurel on Berkeley St. The Pourhouse for very basic barfood. Also on Boylston Lir and Solea for Irish pubs. City Bar in the Lenox is fairly reasonable for fancy bar food. Bukowski's on Dalton St.

        1. Casa Romero, tucked away in an alley between Newbury & Comm Ave, is about as good an upscale Mexican place as you'll find in Boston.

          1. I'll second Charlie's. I'll suggest a few South End spots that are a close walk. For lunch-- Appleton Bakery is close, Flour is a little further but worth the walk. Miami cafe is less than a 10 minute walk as well for a cuban sandwich. For dinner, try Orinoco or Delux.