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Apr 12, 2009 05:11 AM

Toronto chowhound first visit to Boston/Worcester

Heading for BIFF (check out my friends movie at, my first visit to Boston. A serious fan of local, fresh, seasonal food at fair prices. Not necessarily organic. I own a restaurant in Toronto ( and am very interested in diners, out of the way hidden gems, small, unpretentious and really interested in seafood (i'm guessing they do it right in Boston), breakfast joints, sandwiches and what i think of as all American food (burgers, dogs, chili and the like).

Any recommendations? I'll have a car and most days free (i hope).

Also, good pubs? In the sense that they're unpretentious, cheap-ish and feature good, local beer and American wines by the glass. Or a joint that makes a mean martini/manhattan!

Thanks in advance, hounds!

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  1. While in Worcester, the home of the dining car check out thr Boulevard Diner and Parkway Diner. O'Connors Pub is not far. On the way to Boston stop at Tommasso Tratoria for some of the best locally sourced food in the area. The Dive Bar and Armsbey Abbey have the best beer selection, local and Belgian in Worcester. I'll recommend Doyle's in Jamaica Plain for atmosphere. Another midway point is Stone's Public House in Ashland. Try to go Sunday for the blues jam. BTW, is Fed still not here?

    1 Reply
    1. re: trufflehound

      Hey, thanks! And do you mean is Fred Not Here still her in TO? i tend not to go to that part of town (v. touristy!) but last i saw it was still there. but like i said it's been a while since i hit that part of town.

    2. I'm no diner expert, but consider putting the Town Diner (a/k/a Deluxe Town Diner) on your list. it's in Watertown, not far from the Cambridge border. Do not do this on Saturday or Sunday morning -- the wait it just too much. But I like it for a weekday breakfast.
      One of the famous burger places around town is Bartley's Burger Cottage in Cambridge, right near Harvard Square. I find it difficult to get in to -- you might have to wait for a table. Try eating early or late, maybe that will help.
      I'll second Doyle's, at least for atmosphere -- a shrine to Boston politics, but also very comfortable.

      1. Another Worcester stop for you -- George's Coney Island for their super tasty and equally cute hot dogs in a very deco space. Great neon out front and untouched inside.

        1. For Worcester recs, check out the New England board. That's where most of the Worcester discussion takes place. For sure, while there visit George's Coney Island, and also the Wonder Bar for a great pizza and step back into the '30s. If you have a good appetite you could really do these both for lunch the same day. The pies at Wonder Bar are small. Scarf that up (I highly recommend either the Calabrese or just pepperoni and cheese). Then head to Coney Island and get two dogs with chili, mustard, and onion.

          Check out Craigie on Main in Cambridge for great locovore chow. I'd say the prices are fair for what you get, but it's not inexpensive.

          You might also like Central Kitchen and Henrietta's Table.

          Others here may disagree with me, but I also really like East Coast Grill for fresh seafood. Unpretentious, very American, and fun.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Eatin in Woostah

            George's is ok...but I reallly prefer hot dog express. Great quality dogs and toppings. Larger dogs than George's.

            Also, if you like fish you should definitely check out Baba sushi. Wilson, the owner, presents some of the best and most artistic sushi in New England. Rivaled only by Oishii, IIMHO. Also for amazing pizza, try Corner Grill for super thin pizza with amazing, fresh toppings. I love their pesto pizza!

            1. re: Science Chick

              Agreed, Baba Sushi is the best sushi I've had outside of Boston. I actually like it better than Oishii.

              I've never had hot dog express, but you can't beat the combo of dogs and atmosphere at George's.

              1. re: Eatin in Woostah

                The atmosphere at George's is cool for sure....but I really think their dogs are quite ordinary. Ray's is more of a stand (on Park Ave.), but REALLY good.

            2. re: Eatin in Woostah

              My mouth is watering. And i'm getting pretty excited. I'm gonna surprise my boston buddy. come to the movie, we'll be having a party afterwards. thanks for everything. don't hesitate to post on toronto boards if you need any help.

              1. re: stapler

                Let us know where you go, and enjoy your time here!

            3. I'm from Toronto and I went to Boston couple summers ago, here's the places we ate at, the daily catch was amazing they serve the pasta in the pan at your table.. I had the best clam chowda at Joe's American Bar and grill, they put dill in the chowder which made it just that much more special here's the address.100 Atlantic Avenue Boston, MA 02110. If you walk along Hanover street at night it's amazing and there is an little Italian bakery that makes Boston cream pie to die for, we brought back a half a pound of the little cookies,, and there is Italian ice cream everywhere..Over all it was my fave American city so far..most the places we picked where cheap but amazing, the daily catch is Sicilian and they use fresh squid ink in the sauces and the home made pastas, we also went to a small Italian place in the north end there is a small street off a main street where the cobble stone is very rough and the sidewalks are narrow there is a slight hill and most of the restaurants have steel planter boxes in the windows it reminded me of old Quebec you almost expect a horse and buggy to drive by it's that vintage, but we walked everywhere for the 3 days we were there and had a great time, we also went to a nice little pub near the huge white bridge close to the TD field it's close to a good oyster house..sorry I don't have more address but most stuff in the north end isn't hard to find.. enjoy your trip and good eats..

              2 Replies
              1. re: lovleyladyT

                Glad you had such a memorable time in Boston. No offense, but Joe's is a local chain and I wouldn't recommend it to any looking for an authentic Boston experience. Many great places around for good chowder. The North End is certainly ripe with quaintness, and many good things are there for the eating.

                1. re: Science Chick

                  Will second Science Chick on this, with some suggestions for good New England clam chowder places:

                  -for the thick gloppy kind: Legal Seafoods.
                  -for the thinner kind that actually tastes like clams: Neptune Oyster or B&G Oysters.