Will we need reservations?
My mother and I are attending a conference in Boston this weekend. We'll be in town Thursday night through Sunday morning. We have dinner plans with friends on Friday, but the rest of the time we're on our own.
I searched the Boston board and found a lot of great recommendations for casual breakfast and dinners. We were planning to try seafood on Thursday night but we aren't sure about Saturday.
My question is, will we need to make reservations at any point? We aren't planning to eat anywhere upscale, but since we've never been to Boston we're unsure about the restaurant scene.
It really depends on where you decide to eat. Some of the most popular places don't take reservations; some do. Obviously, if they do, it's in your best interest to make a rez vs. waiting endlessly for a table. If you tell us where you are thinking of going, we can let you know what to expect.
We'll probably do Italian in the North End one night (as per a recommendation from a friend). I've heard most places there don't take reservations.
My mom wants to do seafood one night so I did a search on the board and we have three choices - Summer Shack, Legal Seafood and LTK.
Of the three seafood choices, Legal's is my clear preference. They do not take reservations, however, and get crowded early.
Another great option for seafood is B&G Oysters. It is a chowhound favorite -- for good reason. But they also do not take reservations, also get crowded, and are small, so waits can be long. And their menu is far more limited than Legal's. But it's an awesome place.
Legal's is a good choice for a good but generic seafood dinner. B&G is a great choice for a top-notch meal.
This weekend is the Head of the Charles Regatta, so there will be thousands of folks in addition to the leaf-peepers usual at this time of year.
On Friday and Saturday nights, if you want to dine between 6:30-8:30 (in some places, 6-9) and don't have a reso, you will likely be waiting a long time. ON Thursday and Sunday, the peak hour is more like 7-8.
There are a handful of places in the North End that do take reservations. Two of my favorites are Prezza and Sage.
I agree with the B&G recommendation. I like it better than Legal's. They don't take reservations but you can go and put your name in and they will call you when your table is ready (so you can go and have a drink somewhere while you wait).
Legal has gone downhill, admittedly, but IMO Skipjacks is nowhere near as good. And they definitly don't have the selection that Legal does. Working in Copley, we eat at Legal a lot but have been impressed with McCormick and Schmick's quality at lunch. After our last visit to Skipjack's (it's like 200 feet away and it was raining) we vowed not to return.