SF Chowhounds in Boston
I will be visiting Boston for the first time with my 16 year-old daughter and would appreciate any recommendations. We will be at a conference staying near Faneuil Hall for the first part of our trip and then at an apartment in North End. We'll also be visiting Cambridge (Harvard) and all the typical historical sight-seeing. We are searching for deliciousness whether it's a food cart or a 4star and are open to any and all types of food. (Although, we'd love a great Italian restaurant recommendation and deli for North End.) Additionally, if you have any recommendations for jazz clubs or live music where I can bring a minor that would be great too. We can't wait to visit your city! Thanks-
Hi ccc. Lot's already written on this board in response to similar questions, try searches for 'North End' and 'jazz', then maybe people can help with more specific questions.
You come from (as you know) a great chow city, I spend a little time there on business. If you and your daughter like seafood I'd focus there. We have different and (in my not so objective opinion) better sea animals here. Especially cod, haddock, scallops, clams, and lobster.
I'd recommend against looking for a ‘seafood’ restaurant, rather sample seafood dishes at otherwise well-recommended restaurants. One of my favorite restaurants in Boston meets your North End request – Prezza. On the high end for the North End, perfect execution. Specific dishes: egg ravioli and grilled anything.
Neptune Oyster is also recommended endlessly on this board, I am not as big a fan as some but my objections have nothing to do with the quality of the food, it is superb.
A place a do like very much, which is controversial here, is the Summer Shack (locations in Cambridge – past Harvard on the Red line at Alewife and downtown Boston). Great place to sample many of the sea animals I listed above. Try fried clams and what I think is one of the best dishes I have ever had anywhere – Jasper White’s Pan Roasted Lobster.
Have a great visit.
I've never had a good meal at Summer Shack and have given them several tries. I'd tread there with caution if at all, especially given their high prices for what you get and the serious noise level of the place.
Will second Neptune Oyster as an excellent choice for seafood and Prezza for Northern Italian.
Jazz clubs for a minor will probably be really tough, as the ones I've been to serve alcohol.
By "deli" for the North End, I'm assuming the OP wants either a good place to get an Italian sub and/or sliced cold cuts and cheese. Good options for the former would include Dino's or Mangia Mangia, for the latter would include Fresh Cheese or Salumeria Italiana, and for both would include Tutto Italiano or J. Pace.
Addis Red Sea is something kind of fun to do - Ethiopian food you eat w/the flat bread that is served with the meal (no utensils). Addis is on Tremont St in Boston. For less expensive Italian in the North End, I do love Pizzeria Regina - it serves great pizza (get a large, well-done and don't go too heavy on the toppings). One of my favorite restaurants is Grotto. It's located on Beacon Hill (Bowdoin St). They offer a great Gnocci w/Short Rib dish that's worth every calorie.
I agree with Carty about the Summer Shack - it gets a lot of flack, but I think they do seafood well there. Partcularly Lobster.
Let us know where you end up!
Couple of quickies - For music (usually folk) and well-made veggie pizza, check out Passim's in Harvard Square, where Joan Baez sang in the early days. Sel de La Terre is close to Faneuil Hall and gets solid recs, and lots of places in South End, short cab ride away. Korean, dim sum, Taiwanese, Burmese, Indian, Lebanese - the list goes on - all in Allston/Harvard St. area. 20 minute ride on B Green line, or 15 minute cab from H Sq. Of course, lots in Chinatown. If you're interested in specific cuisines (e.g. Afghan) we'll have reccs for you!
I happen to think that academia is a large part of Boston's permanent legacy: you might want to stop at Miracles of Science on Mass Ave by MIT for a quality lunch on former lab benches, at Harvard Square classic's would include (beyond Veggie Planet) Bartley's burgers and Casablanca -- your daughter might also like Burdick's chocolates.
Cafe 939 on Boylston St. is owned by Berklee and has different kinds of entertainment, often jazz, that I think would allow a 16 year old. And there are all ages shows around town but those tend to be more punk rock oriented, check out http://wmbr.org/www/cr. Maybe a lobster roll at Kingfish Hall when you're in the Fanueil Hall area.
O Ya (very high prices) is the best restaurant in Boston now, and offers sushi with an ambition and quality you won't find in Bay Area. (Kiss and Tekka aren't bad in SF, but this is truly extraordinary). You can sit at the bar and have just a few nibbles, if you want to keep it reasonable.
Toro in the South End is an excellent tapas place with beyond-the-run-of-the-mill items. Owned by Ken Oringer, one of our few "celebrity" chefs. No reservations accepted, but not a bad wait if you go early.
I second Addis Red Sea. If you aren't squeamish, give the Kitfo a try. The Ethiopian version of steak tartare, tossed with a very spicy butter. Decadent and one of my favorite foods of all.
I'll second Neptune Oyster, though I also love B&G Oysters. You'll see two camps on here, and I fall into the latter. But not so much that I might not defect if I lived/stayed in the North End.
We really do have some good chow here, though I'm afraid SF does trump us on many foodie fronts. :(
Lilliypad in Inman Sq Cambridge is a no alcohol music venue that often has jazz.
And while you're in the neighborhood, hit Ole Mexican Grille (or Olecito), S&S Deli, East Coast Grill, Montien, et cetera.