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Visting from Toronto, tell me the must try's!

  • c

Hello Hounds,

I am visiting from Toronto from Saturday through the following Sunday. So that gives me quite a few days to try out what Boston has to offer.

The group I am traveling with and myself are on a very strict budget, so we are looking for some great food, but affordable.

A couple things we are specifically looking for that we do not get enough of in TO are....Pizza, A Good seafood place and authentic Irish Pub's, and anything Latin. Especially in the Pizza category, since Toronto and good pizza should never be used in the same sentence. Any other places that you think an out of towner from Toronto should try would be welcome as well. Also some nightlife recommendations would also be great.

We are staying at the Hyatt in the Financial District, which is apparently close to Downtown Crossing. In addition we are going to the Bruins game against the Thrashers on Tuesday, so a recommendation on a good place to grab a drink and bit before game time in the area is appreciated.

Thanks!!!

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  1. I can only comment on the Pizza but not the Irish Pub or the seafood. Boston doesn't have great pizza either but here are some places that make good ones Iggy's Bread of the World bakery (Cambridge, right next to Fresh Pond), Figs (on Charles Street) and Cambridge One (in Harvard Square)

    1 Reply
    1. re: joebelt

      Disagree with joebelt's assessment here, and almost completely. Best Boston/Cambridge pizza places more or less in descending order are Pizzeria Regina (North End location only), Santarpio's (East Boston), Emma's (Cambridge near Kendall Square), Upper Crust (several locs), Pizza Oggi (Cambridge Harvard Square), Antico Forno and Galleria Umberto (North End), Picco (South End, also excellent ice cream).

      Am lukewarm on Cambridge One and do not like Figs at all. Have not tried the pizza at Iggy's, but very much like their sandwiches and breads. Iggy's Cambridge store is very hard to find, though, and a bit of a hike from the Alewife T stop.

      For seafood, would recommend Neptune Oyster (North End) or B&G Oysters (South End), though both are expensive. A good reasonably priced alternative is Dolphin Seafood near Harvard Square, while a good super cheap alternative with utterly, absolutely no frills is Morse Fish in the South End.

    2. For pizza, Regina's North End location only.

      10 Replies
      1. re: treb

        Regina is an institution that sells pizzas because of its name and history. If you want a touristy place for a pizza go there but don't expect good food (or service).

        1. re: joebelt

          I have to disagree...Regina's is popular for a reason - GOOD pizza! The fact that locals will put up with all the tourists and still wait in line to go there is testament to that fact.

          Another place I'd suggest for pizza is Santarpio's in East Boston (good place to stop on your way to the airport).

          -----
          Regina Pizza
          11 1/2 Thacher St, Boston, MA 02113

          Santarpio's Pizza
          111 Chelsea St, Boston, MA 02128

          1. re: joebelt

            Completely totally disagree with joebelt as usual. The pizza at Regina's is the best! (Order well done if you like charred bubbles - yum!) And it's not just for tourists -- every time I stop into the North End location it seems like an equal mix of locals and visitors. Service can be variable, but if you are cool with them they are cool with you.

            1. re: yumyum

              And you disagree that Iggy's bakery, Figs or Cambridge 1 make good pizza, right?

              1. re: joebelt

                They don't make BAD pizza, but I certainly wouldn't recommend them to someone who is looking for some of the best Boston has to offer...once upon a time Figs would have been on that list for me, but my last few visits there have been a little disappointing. Also the prices at Figs and Cambridge1 are probably outside the OPs range.

                1. re: joebelt

                  I wouldn't send an out-of-towner chasing out to Iggy's, much as I like their stuff.

              2. re: joebelt

                ridiculous. I consider myself a pizza snob, have tried almost all of the great new york places, and a well-done pepperoni from Regina's is an absolutely outstanding pie for any city.

                1. re: joebelt

                  I completely disagree!! The north end location of Pizzeria Regina makes excellent pizza. I am actually eating a slice right now and can testify to it's fresh ample toppings and crunchy yet chewy crust (my work ordered in a dozen pies for a pizza lunch party....mmmm leftovers!).

                  For Latin, let me recommend Muqueca in Cambridge (little family run Brazilian family seafood restaurant worth the cab ride)
                  http://www.muquecarestaurant.com/

                  For Irish pubs, try The Grand Canal on Canal St. in Boston (down the street from the north station T stop ...which is on the same orange line as the downtown crossing T stop by your hotel). http://www.thegrandcanalboston.com/ho...
                  Also Atasca in Cambridge (larger pretty Portuguese place, also with great seafood) http://www.atascarest.com/

                2. re: treb

                  You have to go to Regina's Pizza. Regina's in the North End is a couple of blocks away from the Bruins game. You could hit it early, then hit one of the many Irish Pubs outside the Garden.

                  1. re: joebelt

                    I respectfully disagree with joebelt and concur with a previous poster that only the original Regina's location is chow-worthy. The old oven is what makes it. For Cind, the original poster (from my hometown no less), here are a few suggestions. Boston is less good for seafood than you might expect and the better places (Neptune Oyster (North End) and B&G Oyster(South End) are not cheap. One variation that might appeal to you is Moqueca (in East Cambridge), a Brazilian/Potuguese seafood place. For an Irish pub, again these are harder to find here than you would expect. There are old standbys like Doyles in Jamaica Plain, or Irish-like places like James Gate in Jamaica Plain,or CF Donovans in Dorchester. For food, River Gods in Cambridge and Publick House (Brighton) has good recs here (I've not been). Latin may be better here than in TO and may be your best bet for cheap. Angelas Cafe (Mexican) in East Boston has great feedback here and I need to go. There are a string of Dominican places in JP on Centre street near Jackson Square such as Yely's, Alex's Chimis,. Also Tacos Lupita for Salvadorean-mexican , in Cambridge. Have a nice visit.

                3. I second the suggestion for Cambridge 1 ( 27 Church Street) in Harvard Square in Cambridge- great real pizza with a thin crust, great arugula salad and a large picture window overlooking the old cemetery out back. Harvard Square will be an interesting place to check out as well.
                  For seafood, and especially oysters, B&G Oysters in the South End of Boston ( 550 Tremont Street).The best.
                  For an Irish Pub experience, hop on the Red Line of the metro, direction Alewife and get off at Davis Square- look on the main street for The Burren- great atmosphere, english/ irish style pub fare, and lively.Enjoy!

                  1. As you can see from these guidelines: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/467053, it's helpful to indicate specific monetary guidelines. What may be affordable to you may not be to someone else. And the other way around. Without that knowledge, I can only help narrow your search with a few search suggestions.

                    East Boston & East Cambridge offer a treasure of Latin restaurants. Search "East Boston" or "East Cambridge" for recommendations.

                    Search "seafood". Search "Irish Pubs". Search "near the garden" for recommendations before the Bruins game.

                    Happy searching!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: gini

                      The Burren would be one of the Irish pubs I would recommend if I'm pressed to do so. It does get very crowded on weekends.

                      Just avoid the Irish pubs around Faneuil Hall. Those are just trouble.

                      1. re: joebelt

                        I'd definitely recommend going to the Burren Sunday afternoon, that's a great time (they have a band and there are lots of famlies).

                      2. re: gini

                        Point taken, will do a search as well, but would still welcome people adding onto the thread as well.

                        Thanks

                        1. re: Cind

                          Thanks for clarifying your price point below. It really helps - you have no idea.

                          While I'm not an Angela's groupie by any means, it's probably the best shot you'll get at Mexican in Boston, if you need some. Rincon Limeno has a far greater spot in my heart for awesome Peruvian. The aforementioned Moqueca in Inman Square is wonderful for Brazilian hot pots. East Boston also holds a number of great Columbian roast chicken places.

                          Please note that Neptune Oyster & B&G are sorely out of your pricepoint, unless you only want to order 5 oysters each. In terms of $15 seafood - you may want to try twin lobsters in ginger sauce at many of the local Chinatown restaurants, the Mount Vernon for the $19.99 twin lobster special, or some of the local bars like The Whiskey. Fried seafood is hard to find for that little money, but Summer Shack or No Name might fit within your price range.

                          Matt Murphy's in Brookline and The Druid in Inman Square are great little Irish pubs. Other bars with interesting food include Miracle of Science, Audobon Circle, River Gods (kimchee hand roll!) and Publik House.

                          I don't have a goto pizzeria in Boston, but Regina's is an institution and it's much less floppy than Santarpio's in East Boston. I actually think the pizza at Il Panino Express on Hanover isn't half bad. Pinnochio's in Harvard Square makes a great sicilian, if that's your thing.

                          1. re: gini

                            River Gods, good recommendation as well but expect a trendy crowd.

                            1. re: gini

                              Rincon Limeno has great ceviche and the other fish I've tried has been good too. Large portions, plan on sharing and you're easily in your price range. Sharing goes for Moqueca as well, in fact it goes for most of the inexpensive Latin-Am (and Portuguese) places in town. Seriously, one main can feed 2, a lot of the time. (Does not apply to Angela's.) Americans like big platefuls.

                        2. Obiviously the OP has a thing about Regina's. Read other posts for yourself.

                          For a good quick lunch you can try Galleria Umberto on Hanover St. in the NE but, get there early, when they run out of food they close. Also, there's Al Capones on Broad St, for a sub, one sub can feed 2 easily. If you want to be adventerous, Santarpio's has excellent pizza and grilled sausage.

                          Been to TO and know what you mean about pizza, terrible.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: treb

                            Regarding Galleria Umberto - by "go early" you should understand that means no later than about 12:30pm. They run out of arancini about 1:15, the other things (pizzette, panzarotti, Sicilian pizza, and calzones) run out gradually after that, and they close down by maybe 2. On top of that, the line is *long* - I've twice had it happen that I got there and waited about half an hour, only to have the last arancini go to the person in front of me.