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Visiting Boston for Hubby's Convention in October

I will be on my own during the day so would like recommendations for solo-friendly lunch dining and will be in charge of making dinner plans for 3 dinners (one of which will be a sunday). I am from the south so sometimes that is an issue (not sure about Boston though). We love all kinds of food.

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  1. Which convention center are you going to? Where will you be staying? How are you getting around? And how much are you looking to spend on dinner? All those things can help us narrow down what is recommendable.

    1. Also, what does being from the south mean regarding Boston? The comment above is that there's a convention center in Back Bay and one in South Boston and you could be a hotel anywhere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lergnom

        I think she just meant that restaurants tend to be closed on Sundays in the south, and she was unsure whether she would run into that problem in Boston.

      2. Durgin Park is a Boston landmark which is right in Fanueil Hall.
        Jacob Wirth's down in the theater district is one of the oldest restaurants in town. Can seat a large table of people or for your lunch you could sit at the beautiful mahogany bar.
        Just some ideas to make your trip memorable.
        Have fun. Boston is a very walkable town.

        1 Reply
        1. re: taxi

          what do you like to eat? Locke Ober is very upscale and quintessential Boston. Legals seafood in the prudential center, while a chain, has very good fish, chowder and lobster, and you would be comfortable eating on your own. If you are staying in the Back Bay area, Parish Cafe is a nice place for lunch, tables outside, and there are some fine dinner options: L'Espalier or Troquet if you want to drop a bundle, Clio as well. You'll get more suggestions i'm sure when folks know what you like to eat and how fancy dinner needs to be.

        2. We are staying at the Intercontinental on Atlantic Avenue which I believe is in the "financial district." The convention is at the hotel. We have no complaints about paying $100 for a diner for 2 if the food is good. We enjoy all types of seafood. I would love to have some good lobster and clam chowder. I have been to the Legal Seafood in South Florida but was not impressed. Maybe the one in Boston is better. We actually prefer non-chains - the type of place locals go to because the food is good.
          I made the comment about the South because alot of the restaurants in my hometown are closed on Sundays.
          During the day, I plan on doing the tourist thing so any recommendation along the famous walk or near Fanueil Hall is good too. My husband would like to catch a game (although I understand it is during the playoffs) and recommendations near the park would be appreciated as well.

          Thanks.

          4 Replies
          1. re: rfemmons

            I am from the south, too! My son lives in Boston. If you are a first time visitor, I recommend walking at least part of the Freedom Trail that will put you in the North End for some good Italian food.

            Don't be afraid to try the T. It's cheap to ride and will take you almost anywhere including the Back Bay area where you will find lots of good food and shopping.
            Enjoy.
            P.S. L'espalier has a lunch for about $25. It's wonderful and I recommend it. Maybe you could find another convention wife to go with you. That's part of the fun of conventions: meeting new people and trying new food!

            1. re: rfemmons

              $100.00 total for two might be difficult at a lot of the places mentioned, especially if you'll be drinking, $100.00 each would open up the city a lot more. If you're looking at about $50.00 each including a glass or two of wine and before tip you could go to Pops and Coda in the South End, Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square you could sneak out of for about $100.00 total for both of you.

              If you're willing to ethnic you'll find a lot more options. Indian is particularly abundant here (I'm unwilling to say it's better than other places as I typically don't eat it while travelling), note that it is an acquired taste for some. Other options here are Ethiopian and, of course, Chinese, a dim sum brunch is quite affordable and a lot of fun, search the board to match your taste.

              Personally, I've found Sel de la Terre, recommended by other posters, to be quite underwhelming.

              A nice afternoon snack or very light lunch can be had in the Public Library, which is in Copley Square. The food isn't that great but the space is incredible.

              1. re: rfemmons

                Near Fenway Park is Elephant Walk, a French/Cambodian restaurant. While it's not "Boston fare," it has great food at very reasonable prices, price fixed dinners for $30 or $40, and good wine deals. You could have a meal with wine, but perhaps not tip, for $100. www.elephantwalk.com.

                1. re: rfemmons

                  Daily Catch is next to the Barking Crab and very good, you're also near the North End for Italian -- Strega, Tresca, etc

                2. I just stayed at the Intercontinental for work. Here are a few ideas near the hotel: Sel de la Terre is good French, has a wine dinner on Wednesdays which is great value, and a fantastic bread basket. Barking Crab is a "crab shack like" restaurant with outdoor seating on the waterfront. If you're interested in fried seafood & pitchers of beer, this could be fun. In the North End, a short walk from your hotel or a $5 cab ride, Neptune Oyster serves an excellent clam chowder. They also serve a hot buttered lobster roll that I dream about.

                  Near Fenway, you could catch a crowded pre-game eat at Eastern Standard Kitchen. Good brasserie with a lively atmosphere. Or try Audobon Circle for casual burgers. These two places will probably be packed, fyi. Trattoria Toscona behind Fenway has excellent Tuscan; probably wouldn't be a mad house. Or you could go real local with a sausage & peppers before the game.

                  1. Sel de la Terre, Neptune Oyster and Radius are all walkable or a 5-minute cab ride from your hotel, and all are great options for lunch or dinner. Note that Neptune Oyster does not accept reservations.

                    Boston, as you may know, is a small enough city that you easily can get to most of the places you see discussed on this board. So look around and see if anything strikes your fancy. My favorite places -- Clio, No. 9 Park, Sorellina, B&G Oysters, Mistral -- are all reachable within 10-15 minutes by cab.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Blumie

                      Although, you can't go to most of those places for $50 per person. I agree with the Parish Cafe, Barking Crab and L'Espalier for lunch. Among the other Fenway possibilities already mentioned is Petit Robert, but as another poster said, around game time all those places in Kenmore Sq. will be mobbed. Some of them take reservations though. I also like the Trattoria Toscana idea.

                      Definitely go to the North End. Antico Forno is has excellent food, and is not as expensive as many NE restaurants. I just sent some out-of-town friends there, and they want to come back to Boston just for Antico Forno! (Maybe it should be noted that they're from Texas.)

                    2. Second Sel de la Terre. Also Durgin Park is a fun place for classic New England cooking.

                      There are some other really good places near the hotel. Radius and Locke-Ober are nearby and are excellent. Meritage at the Boston Harbor Hotel is very good as well. The North End is close with many great choices discussed on this board. And Chinatown is nearby as well.

                      The restraurants at the Intercontinental hotel have received only mediocre reviews and should be avoided.