Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Apr 19, 2007 11:45 AM

Essential Boston?

It's my first time going to Boston and I can't wait to get there. I'll be there for two days and I'm hoping to taste some of the essential dishes that the city has to offer. I'm staying in Brookline with a friend but I'll be around town doing the tourist thing. I'm catching a Red Sox game while there so what are the essential eats in and around Fenway Park as well?

I eat anything and everything but I really want to eat food that defines Boston.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This thread should help you get on the right track:

    There are some good restaurants near Fenway that you might want to check out, including Woody's on Hemenway Street (pizza), El Pelon Taqueria on Peterborough Street (Mexican), Mission Bar and Grill in Brigham Circle (upscale comfort food), and, a bit further up the road in Brookline, Dok Bua (Thai).

    Have fun!

    1. Marc's right on with his picks, but you should also have a sausage with peppers and onions at Gate B outside Fenway (the ones inside the park pale in comparison to the outside vendors).

      Be sure to squirt on a liberal amount of Sirachai sauce for the full effect.

      If you're in the mood for really good Indian, India Quality is outstanding, and quite near the park (in Kenmore Square).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bostonbob3

        If we're talking park food, you've got to try a Cubano from El Tiante. It's a stand on Yawkee Way, and, yes, it's owned by Luis Tiant (a.k.a. El Tiante), who's often there signing autographs.

      2. I know Mexican food doesn't exacatly scream Boston, but Ken Oringer is certainly one of the biggest name chefs in town, and he just opened a place on Lansdowne St. called La Verdad. When it gets a little warmer, he's opening a window at the restaurant to sell tacos (all kinds of unusual varieties) to Sox fans. It's definately worth trying while you're here...After all, how much clam chowder and Boston baked beans can you reall eat?

        1. Where are you coming from, BobMack? (Outstanding first name BTW.)

          7 Replies
          1. re: Bostonbob3

            Coming from LA (yes I'm a Dodger fan). What about Boston cream pies? Is that a myth?

            1. re: BobMack

              You can get it at the Omni Parker House, but don't get much else on the menu. The Oak Room at Copley Plaza has it too and they have great $$$ steaks in an impressive dining room if that's your thing. Many similar requests to yours if you read. Durgin Park is another typical recommendation, prime rib and indian pudding.

              1. re: BobMack

                No, Boston Cream Pie really was "invented" at the Parker House, a hotel downtown. They also originated Parker House rolls. And strangely, both Malcolm X and Ho Chi Min worked there.

                As for Boston Mexican places, I'd pass, given that you're from Los Angeles (I went to Loyola Marymount BTW,. Go Lions!).

                Are you limited to the Fenway/Kenmore area, or do you want city-wide suggestions?

                1. re: Bostonbob3

                  City wide suggestions work. I'm going to be getting around as much I can while I'm there.

                  1. re: BobMack

                    I live in the North End (our Little Italy), so here are my favs in the neighborhood:

                    Mamma Maria
                    Neptune Oyster
                    Antico Forno
                    Pizzeria Regina

                    There's tons more info on the North End if you do a site search. Actually, it's a great tool for every Boston neighborhood/cuisine style.

                    1. re: Bostonbob3

                      The North End should definitely be on your list. Bob listed some great places here--my personal favorites on his list are Rabia's and Regina's.

                      You might want to seek out some of our "restaurant rows" while in town. Some places to hit are:

                      Moody Street, Waltham
                      Hancock Street, Quincy
                      Mass. Ave., North Cambridge to Arlington Center
                      the Allston neighborhood (lots of cheap eats)
                      Coolidge Corner, Brookline

                      Lots of good eatin' ahead for you! Enjoy!

                  2. re: Bostonbob3

                    To add to the surreality (did I just make up that word?), Malcolm X, Ho Chi Min, AND Emeril Lagasse all worked at the Parker House. Talk about strange bedfellows...

              2. You should do a search on the board..this is a question that is often asked and there are lots of posts that will give you lots more ideas than just this one thread will do..
                That being said..when I think of Boston I think of seafood....
                You definitely wanna have some good clam chowder, maybe a lobster, some fresh fish, oysters....some thoughts that come to mind include:

                B & G oyster bar: casual spot in Boston's South End, a funky neighborhood that is just filled with a variety of restaurants. I'd sit at the bar, suck down a few oysters, order the delectible (but pricey, around $24) lobster roll, and enjoy.

                A similar spot is Neptune Oyster Bar --pretty much all the same offerings but I like their menu a little better 'cause there's a slight italian bend to it..this spot is located in the North End, which is Boston's "little italy.."

                And while you are in the North End, you must visit Pizzeria Regina. A Boston institution where you get your pie served alongside some classic Boston character. Been around since the can get a real sense of neighborhoody Boston here. Plus the pizzas are delicious --cooked in an old brick oven..

                East Coast Grill: This is in Cambridge (just across the River..) I love this place..again...seafood...but the emphasis is on fresh, grilled fish --very simple but flavorful...also has a bit of a bbq bend so lots of interesting flavors. Great energy, fun vibe...can also saddle up to the bar, start with some oysters (btw, make sure you try Wellfleet oysters,,or Duxbury..or really any local ones, while in Boston....)

                more in a minute

                4 Replies
                1. re: twentyoystahs

                  If you go to B&G Oysters, I'd also recommend the clam chowder, which is the best I've had in Boston.

                  I'll second the other suggestions twentyoystahs put forth, plus strongly second Joanie's recommendation of Durgin Park (especially for the Indian pudding) and bostonbob3's North End suggestions (and add Galleria Umberto). Chinatown is also an excellent spot to go.

                  1. re: bachslunch

                    The Galleria Umberto caveat is that it only serves lunch, and then only until they sell out of food. Which is usually within 2 hours.

                    Great food though, at unbelievably low prices. And you must - MUST - have some wine in a Dixie cup.

                    1. re: Bostonbob3

                      actually, they start selling out of "food" pretty early but the line keeps going until they are out of everything, i.e. "pizza.." . i went the other day at about 12:45 and though they had pizza and aracini, and maybe a calzone or two, they were out of just about everything else. i was really craving one of those fried potato and cheese balls (i forget the name). no luck :(