A walking tour of Boston, snacking options...
Ok folks--one of my favorite things to do with people who are visiting Boston is to wander around the city. It's so fun and walkable. I start out at Charles MGH, head through Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Govt Center/Faneuil Hall, and end up in the North End. Would love Chowhound suggestions for must-have snacks, appetizers, desserts, drinks along the way.... such as Pizza at Regina's, Modern Pastry's Ricotta Pie... other thoughts?
Interesting topic! A few thoughts, in no particular order:
Banh mi from Mei Sum Bakery in Chinatown - delicious Vietnamese sandwiches made with meat (BBQ beef, cold pork, or tofu) and fresh vegetables (cucumber, carrot, cilantro, spicy chilis), served on a French baguette, for $2.50 each. Other sweets and savories here are also excellent.
Chacarero in Downtown Crossing - Chilean sandwiches made with chicken or beef, meunster, roasted red peppers, green beans (don't ask, but it works), avocado spread, and homemade hot sauce. Even the smaller size is pretty enormous, but great to split if you're with a group.
Some (definitely not all) of the baked goods from the Spotted Apron next to the Charles MGH T station - everything looks ridiculously beautiful at this newish Beacon Hill bakery, a few things taste great. My faves are the pain aux raisins and the black and white cookie. Pressed sandwiches are ok, red velvet cupcakes with mascarpone frosting are pretty good if warmed to room temperature.
Slices from Upper Crust on Beacon Hill - not my favorite pizza in town, although it does have its apologists, they tend to have some interesting toppings available for their slices.
Teuscher chocolates in Back Bay - their signature champagne truffles are subtle, rich, and definitely a crowd-pleaser.
If you're with out-of-towners, you might want to drop by the Omni Parker House, birthplace of the Boston cream pie, for a slice of their signature dessert.
Ah, yes... thank you for reminding me about Teushcher. My favorite truffle of all time. For those of you who haven't tried it, just go get one, now. And get the original--though I heart dark chocolate and frequently eat 85%+ bars, their milk chocolate Champagne truffle is far superior to the dark choc variety.
A couple of places come to mind:
Papa Beard's cream puffs in Quincy Market. In general the food court there is not good, but I came upon these one day and was pleasantly surprised. They had light pastry and good pastry cream.
L'Aroma Cafe on Newbury St. Good lattes and the "currant" scone I had the other day had raisins instead of currants, but was otherwise an excellent example of a sweet scone - tender and moist but just a bit crumbly. Also, during the summer they had a fig gelato I enjoyed.
The cream puff place is "Beard Papa"— they're a Japanese chain. (Visitors from California or Hawaii may recognize them from home; in fact, the Boston one seems to be generally lower quality than the ones closer to home for some reason) Though not as convenient in a walking itinenrary, if you're on the Kenmore side of things, Japonaise Bakery makes a great azuki cream puff, and curry "doughnuts" (kare pan). It's on Beacon, @ St Mary's.
I love doing that too, it's such a great way to showcase the city.
For repeat guests and a different walk you could try a Park St. to Back Bay Station stroll. Cross the Common to the Public Garden and have snacks at the Four Seasons or that yummy gelato place on Newbury. Followed by a coffee and more at the Library, ice cream at JP Licks or something at the Otherside, head down Mass Ave to the Christian Science Motherchurch and have either a substantial lunch or a drink at Brasserie Jo, walk through the SE to Formaggio for a plowman's platter. Then up to Back Bay station and some okay sushi at Douzo. If your still neat and clean and feel like more walking you could head back to the Common and have a cocktail at No. 9.
When I do a tour with friends we usually stop at the walrus and carpenter in quincy market for a few oysters.
Galleria Umberto for arancini, panzarotti, etc. (Though they're closed by 3PM so you know it's not for tourists.)
I also like walking around Boston, my walks generally involve good distances and breaks for beer and snacks, particularly seafood. I'm not so big on dessert or pizza so I can't help you there.
In Beacon Hill I've really only gone to Savenors (I've neglected several neighborhoods since moving here), surely there would be some great snacks there for a stoll over to Back Bay, but I think that wine bar on Charles Street looks pretty good - Bin 26 Enoteca.
When walking in Back Bay I tend to go to Sushi Express, the OtherSide, and Bukowski's -- these really don't seem like your sort of place. There's Summer Shack and Legal Seafood for fried clams and lobster rolls. I'll also walk through to Eastern Standard at Kenmore Square; B&G Oysters and the Butcher Shop might be another option, and there's also a Formaggio Kitchen in the South End. I like chowder and schnitzel with German beer at Jakob Wirths by Chinatown (another neighborhood I've neglected).
Around Quincy Market I'll suggest McCormick and Schmicks, the Salty Dog, Kingfish Hall, and Legal Seafoods, for oysters and seafood. Similarly, Neptune Oyster in the North End. There are of course good Cafes in the North End, and Cafe Vittoria has grappa!