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boston trip, need reasonably priced places to check out

i'm going to be traveling to boston for 4 days (around new years) and want to eat good food before i start my (cruel) no dairy or red meat diet. I'll be with one vegetarian and one "i don't eat vegetables, or healthy food in general." oh, yeah and they've been dating for many years. but anyways our friend lives in Cambridge and we won't have a car. I'm looking for quality food, a good brunch spot. a place to celebrate our birthdays (we each had one in the past few months) and just in general reasonably priced boston spots. I'm really serious about the reasonably priced bit, one of the two is a teacher and the other is just out of school working in development at a nonprof.... oh and one of them doesn't like mexican... trust me i tried for 4 years in college to convince him otherwise. oh and my other, broke broke broke friend lives in jamaica plain and he has very high end taste for his wallet (read i'll be paying) so if you have any recs for good, reasonably priced (sorry i swear i'm not a cheapskate), recs for that neighborhood that would be wonderful. OH, and places with winelists and delicious cocktails is always a plus. THANKS Boston! I can't wait to eat you. ha.

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  1. Wow, that is a very jumbled request.

    Try pizza at Pizzeria Regina's in the North End (only). That should satisfy.

    1. In JP, I'd go to Bon Savor for interesting food in a very casual setting. Brunch, lunch, dinners (4 courses for $20 on Tues. and Wed.). Bar food/townie places Costello's and Galway House or Dogwoodo by Forest Hills. Maybe El Oriental de Cuba for something that you may not have in your city (wherever that is). In Cambridge w/ the veggie and non for reasonable, River Gods in Central Sq. would be fun. Plough & Stars on Mass Ave. bet. Central and Harvard and Miracle of Science outside Central. Veggie and regular burgers at Bartley's? Cambridge 1 in Harvard for good pizzas. These are all very casual, American oriented places.

      1. i'm a DC gal that rarely splurges but loves good food. i consider going to boston to see my best friends in the world worthy of a splurge and thus thought i should consult the boston chowhound crowd. otherwise i know we would end up at a sbarro for every other meal (for shame).

        1. Trattoria Toscana in the Fenway. Good Italian food at a reasonable price. In north Cambridge on mass ave is the Greek Corner. A really nice local fave, consistant good quality and very reasonable.

          1. In JP, you can't get better (or more reasonably-priced) than 10 Tables.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bostonbob3

              I was going to say 10 Tables, but the OP sounds really really super budget minded, and even TT will set you back a bit. A cheaper option is a couple of fish tacos at the bar at D Bar up the street but that's Mexican. However if the broke broke JP friend can dig Mexican, then those tacos would be my pick in the hood.

              1. re: yumyum

                You mean Cafe D? I give that a thumbs up for the JP dinner, though honestly you'll end up spending as much as you will at 10 Tables. The whole menu isn't Mexican, just the fish tacos. And I think their other food is good too. Plus, yummy silly cocktails. There's also Zon's in JP.

                For a birthday dinner in Cambridge, maybe Garden at the Cellar. And Toscanini's for brunch? You'll spend more than you think you're going to, though. I love love the Deluxe Town Diner and I love the neighborhood it's in, but I'm not sure I'd want to trek out there on the bus during a short visit to Boston. Though it IS an easy trip from Harvard Square.

            2. You could do pretty well at Cafe Barada in Cambridge for good veggie options, and decent kabobs. Lebanese comfort food. Casual, so not a celebration night, but prices are reasonable.

              1. Brookline Family Restaurant in Brookline Village. The decor is pretty down-to-earth Greek diner-ish, but they serve up an amazing series of Turkish fare (which is to say Middle Eastern, but with the kind of food-fussy obsessiveness that make Lyon chefs seem like slackers). There are wonderful vegetarian options there and lovely kebaps and other things to satisfy a carnivore and the prices are almost embarrassingly low considering how much food gets heaped on your plate. Oh, and save room for the best baklava in Boston.

                Search on "brunch" in this board and you will get a large list of possibilities. Dim sum would certainly be cheap, but a little difficult to manage for a vegetarian. The Deluxe Town Diner is one of my favorite brunch spots, in Watertown (not for omelettes but for their wonderful selection of assorted pancakes, french toast and waffles). Unfortunately, this isn't T accessible except by bus.

                Brookline Family Restaurant
                305 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02445

                Deluxe Town Diner
                627 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

                1. Don't know if you will be in Boston Dec. 28th or Dec. 31st but a great and fun place to go to is Jacob Wirth's in the theater district to the sing-along with Mel Stiller at the piano from 8-12. Food is good, too. Plus, it is the second oldest rest. in Boston so it is an historical place and so pretty inside. The huge mahogany bar is decorated so lovely this time of year. Have fun.

                  1. Please try the Parish Cafe on Boylston near Arlington. It has very delicious, upscale sandwiches (other things, too.) and a great vibe. The sandwiches are designed by various chefs from the area and there is something for everyone. Nice beer on tap and fun drinks. Enjoy!

                    1. I'll second the Garden at the Cellar (Cambridge), Trattoria Toscana (Fenway), and Ten Tables (JP). Top quality food turned out at reasonable prices.