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Mar 17, 2008 08:07 PM

First visit to Boston this weekend

Hi all,

I'm coming to Boston this coming weekend with family. We will be staying at the Hyatt Regency downtown, and will have a 9 month old with us.

So, any recommendations? I have *no* idea what's on offer in Boston, so its a clean slate for me. We are looking for family friendly, reasonably priced (no high end unfortunately), maybe some decent seafood? How about a good breakfast/brunch joint? Where should I NOT miss on one visit to Boston? One last point, location is key as we will have no transport and fairly limited due to the infant, so fairly close to the hotel might be good.

Thanks in advance.
Ryan (from Toronto).

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  1. HI Ryan: I suggest you and the family go to the North End--there are alot of italian restaurants coffee shops bakerys etc. Check out Umberto;s on Hanover st. They have Square Italian pizza, and some other favorites like calzone--it is very reasonable and excellent! They are only open from 10:30am. to around 3 pm. go early it does get very busy!! For a great breakfast try the Omni Parker House on tremont st.!!

    Enjoy Boston

    Frankie Imbergamo

    1. The north end is definitely a place new visitors to Boston should try. Maybe Antico Forno or Trattoria Il Panino for dinner and as mentioned, the cafes for cannolis and sfogliatelle (sp). Right in your neighborhood is Silvertone which is kind of a bar hang out, but has good homecooking food for a good price and a 9 month old might be sleeping anyway. You're not really in a breakfast area of town but you could take the subway to Copley and walk over to Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe on Columbus Ave. Go at an off time (they're not open on Sun.). In the Beacon Hill area is the Paramount which wouldn't be as crowded for a weekday breakfast. Very easy to walk around and take the T to a million different things which you can read about on the board.

      1. Ryan, you are staying in an awesome location, you can walk virtually anywhere in Boston from the Hyatt.

        As you're from Toronto I'd optimize for access to seafood, Boston really can handle it as well as anywhere. 'Family friendly' is not much of a differentiator in downtown Boston. Which is to say no place is family friendly in a conventional sense, but anyplace will tolerate a reasonably well behaved baby.

        One of my favorite Boston restaurants at any price is Silvertone, and it happens to be two blocks from your hotel. Plusses: mid-priced, very good wine values, awesome food, unpretentious. Minuses: loud, going to be a test for the baby.

        Another very good mid-price option: one block from your hotel, a French bistro – Kingston Station. Maybe one tick down on food (making it still very, very good) and one tick up on minimizing the likelihood that your baby will freak out.

        You can search for both on this board, people have had lots to say.

        I hope you enjoy your stay in Boston.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Carty

          Thanks for the suggestions all...a couple I will definitely look at. I especially like the sound of the close places suggested by Carty above. Thanks! I hope it will be a good weekend, I'm excited!

          1. re: bachslunch

            I've read something about Legal that just a crappy chain, or fairly decent? I see there is one close to the hotel.

            1. re: Tboy

              Legal started as a good local seafood market, then became a good local seafood restaurant, then became a great local seafood restaurant, then became a good local seafood restaurant chain, then became an ok semi-national seafood restaurant chain.

              While it's not what I'd call a bona fide chow destination, you could do a lot worse for a chain; the seafood is very fresh, and the enterprise certainly has totally local roots. You can also do quite a bit better for seafood, right in the same Inman Square neighborhood where Legal had its beginnings, a short cab ride from downtown (although with an infant, perhaps best to save it for another trip).

              If you were to go to Inman, my recs would be East Coast Grill for an upscale, casual, fun meal out (seafood is a specialty, but they also do a number of other things well, including BBQ), or one of the several Portuguese restaurants in the area, perhaps Boston's single greatest ethnic asset and a sure bet for great seafood. Two of the better ones are Atasca and Casa Portugal.

              1. re: finlero

                Cool, thanks!

                I would normally be looking for good expensive proper chow...! But with some family members in tow, who aren't so extravagant with their food, maybe I'll try Legal. I didn't know it was such a national chain though!