Lexington & Concord Suggestions
My wife and I will be making a day trip to Lexington and Concord this weekend (first time since moving to Boston). I'm looking for places to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'm sure that most places in the area are designed for tourists, but are there any places worth going to? Are there any places that only locals know about? Oh - we'll be wearing shorts or jeans for the day, so I need to take that into consideration also. Thanks for your help.
Via Lago is a cafe in Lex Center that makes really good sandwiches. I recommend Yangtze River for traditional chinese breakfasts like dim sum, seasoned silked tofu and chinese long fried dough.
In Lexington there is a place called LEXX which is pretty good for lunch or dinner but if you would like a recommendation for an excellent place for dinner drive over to Winchester (a short drive from Lexington) and try The Catch Restaurant. It is a small place that features very creatively prepared seafood with a nice atmosphere and an excellent wine list.
If you're into farms, you may want to stop at Verrill Farm in Concord for some locally grown produce. They don't make a half bad sandwich either.
DeCordova Museum in Lincoln has lovely grounds amid various sculptures and artworks. Pick up a sandwich at one of the places mentioned or from the Cheese Shop on Walden St. in Concod Center and have a picnic. You'll also be near the state park area of Walden Pond but I prefer Decordova unless you want to have a swim. Decordova's also has a cafe inside the museum but I have not experience with it. BTW, DeCordova has a very cool shop with various student-made artworks and other things, some of which are very well-priced.
The problem is that Lexington and Concord are kind of chow-wastelands. You've already gotten the best recs there probably are for them. If you care to drive east from Lexington Center on Mass Ave for a couple of miles into Arlington, you can go to Something Savory (Caribbean-influenced), Toraya (Japanese) or Blue Ribbon BBQ. Also on Mass Ave right on the Lexington/Arlington line is Bollywood Cafe (serviceable not great Indian). All are storefront restaurants and shorts or jeans would be fine.
890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476
1312 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476
Blue Ribbon BBQ
910 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476
La Provence in Concord (on Thoreau St by the train station, a block or two from the town center) is an excellent place for eat in or take out for lunch. Good french prepared salads, quiches, etc. If they are open for supper it would also be great for that as it is casual.
Lexington Center has a good Indian place, Khushboo, on Mass Ave. Opposite is a Thai place, Lemon Grass, and a few stores down from there, Great Harvest Bread has sandwiches plus loaves and big cookies. You might want to check out the produce at Wilson Farm in Lex. On the other side of 128, in Bedford, is Cafe Luigi, a good red-sauce Italian place in the same shoppping center as Whole Foods. A block farther is Ginger, a Japanese restaurant, and yet a little farther, Dalya's, which is more upscale but wouldn't toss you out for shorts. Next door is Bedford Farms, a good ice cream stand. From Bedford, rt 62 takes you to Concord Center. Enjoy your weekend! BTW, don't know where you are from, but if you are interested in future trips to the region's historic sites, check out Fruitlands in Harvard, MA, and the Shaker Village in Canterbury NH (shakers.org). At the latter, for the best experience take a guided tour (one guide, Darrell, is kind of unusual but very knowledgeable and grew up there) and have a meal at the onsite restaurant, The Shaker Table.
I second Khushboo as an excellent Indian choice. Yesterday, I tried the downtown Lexington Lemon Grass location for my first time. I thought it was good, but not great. My spicy fried rice was missing a certain smoky flavor that I've been spoiled with at Tip Top Thai in Teele Square, Cambridge. The chicken in my coconut soup was a bit too chewy and firm.
For dinner, go back closer to the city. For lunch Concord has an amazing array of very good options. As mentioned the Concord Cheese Shop and La Provence. I would also add Sally Ann's for sandwiches on freshly baked old-school American loaves as well as Farfalle (http://www.farfalleitalianmarket.com/), which is a newer place that offers some great hot paninis, pastas, salads, soups, etc. Very fresh food and unrivaled quality ingredients. Both Farfalle and La Provence have decent seating areas and other early dinner until 7PM. I think Verill Farm is great for produce (as well as Hutchinson's Farms) but I wouldn't bother with their take-out options.
For breakfast, you have Helen's if you are looking for a dinner type place. Quite good for that type of food and very family friendly. Not a greasy dinner type place. La Provence has French pastries and Sally Ann's has amazing American cookies and pastries.
Not sure why no one ever mentions Tutto Italiano in Lexington Center?
Maybe because it's new? So here's my take. EXCELLENT freshly made Motz every morning (If you get there when they open at 10:30 it's still warm). Bread baked freash and delivered warm at 11am every day. Great selection of Italian meats and cheeses. Nice little sandwich selection as well, anything with the Fresh Motz rocks...
I love the place.