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Help! DC Foodie in Boston for about 28 hours.

Hello all, we’re flying up for a show at the Paradise Rock Club in June and have about four meals to plan. Don’t even get me started on how it actually costs less to fly roundtrip to Boston and pay for a hotel than seeing them in DC…but now I’m getting excited for the meal possibilities!

We won’t have a car, but we’ll be down to take public transport wherever we need to go. I’m a sucker for anything from the sea, and we’d like some “authentic fare,” but I know the tiffs that phrase usually causes on the DC CH board. :)

After taking a quick look at the boards, we’re definitely grabbing a Speed’s dog immediately after we land, so after that we have dinner before the show and breakfast/ lunch on our second day to plan. We fly back out around 5:30pm. Of Eastern Standard and Neptune, which would be best for lunch on the second day? Or are they better for dinner? I’d like to do something a bit more casual for dinner on the 1st night since we have to catch a show at 8pm. Anything on the water with brews and decent pub food? What about B&G Oysters?

Also, we won’t be able to make it up to the Clam Box, but is there something comparable in the city proper? And we’re major suckers for legit diners: any gems? I know it’s hard without our hotel location (still trying to lock that down) but we’ll travel wherever we need to go to get a good meal…even with hungover, hungry tummies!

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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  1. I would do Neptune Oyster for a laid back dinner before the show the first night. On your second day, I would go to Pizzeria Regina in the North End for pizza (I lived in DC and there is no pizza there that comes close). I like Eastern Standard but there are similar places in DC. B&G might be a good choice for the second night- you could do a roving dinner of sorts and hit up the Butcher Shop for wine and a cheese plate before heading to B&G. You might also want to hit up the Littlest Oyster Bar at the Marliave for an oyster treat while wondering around town.
    Flour Bakery is a great place for breakfast- there is one in Fort Point Channel so you could grab coffee and some treats (the egg sandwich is good and if they have the homemade nutella banana brioche thing as a special, it is yummy) and walk over behind the federal courthouse to sit and watch the boats.
    So for legit dinners, there are plenty of options- I'll throw out some names but a search of the board will get you more details.
    Grotto
    L'espalier
    O Ya
    Mistral or Sorrellina
    Clio
    Prezza
    Mamma Maria's
    Radius
    Oleana

    1 Reply
    1. re: bostondiner

      I would take DC's 2Amys over Pizzeria Regina any night, but that is sort of like saying you would take platinum over gold. Both are awesome and PR is absolutely one of my favorite places in Boston, so I fully endorse this suggestion. And it is much different from any pizza you would find in DC.

    2. Let's see - Speed Dog is a great choice. Go to the Fan Pier area. There is the Barking Crab, Legal Test Kitchen and Salvatore's. I second the recommendation for Regina's Pizza. If you are adventurous, you could travel to East Boston and go to Santarpio's Pizza. For seafood, there are Legal Seafood locations throughout the city and they're all pretty good. Good fried clams are tough to come by in the city. You could get them at Legal or go the No Name (also in Fan pier area). As far as diners go, try Mike's City Diner or Victoria Diner - two good ones. As far as eating and drinking ocean side, try Tia's near Quincy Market.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lowbuckbob

        I'd say DON'T go to the Fan Pier area: there is Barking Crab, Test Kitchen and Salvatores.

        You've researched well. I agree with others that Neptune Oyster and Pizzeria Regina in the North End are what you seek. Or, if you want to have dinner not far from the Paradise, Eastern Standard.

      2. There is no place in Boston that serves really good food and beer and is also on the water. Also, if there is a Sox game that night, have a Plan B--lots of crowds.

        I would roam around the North End and grab some lovely picnic items from the Italian groceries and head out to one of the parks (http://www.bostonharborwalk.com/place...).

        In Kenmore:
        Lower Depths has a great beer selection but mediocre food
        Audubon Circle has fancier good pub food
        Eastern Standard is a good choice

        On the Green Line:
        Publick House at Washington Square
        Washington Tavern at Washington Square
        Bukowski's at Back Bay/Hynes (great beer selection

        )

        Breakfast/diners:
        Back Bay: Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe
        Downtown: Mike's City Diner (24x7; mikescitydiner.com)

        3 Replies
        1. re: MaineRed

          Mike's City Diner is 24/7? I am pretty sure that is totally incorrect unless something drastic changed in the last couple of weeks.

          1. re: Gordough

            Mike's closes at 3pm every day.

            The not so far away (but rather less good) Victoria's Diner is open continuously from Thursday morning to Sunday evening.

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Also, Mike's is not downtown, nor is Charlie's in the Back Bay. Both are in the South End, about 10 - 12 blocks apart.

        2. Great replies so far, but who are you seeing at the Paradise that costs more in DC than a plane ticket and hotel? It's a small club (900 capacity), and I've never seen a ticket there go for more than $25 or so (I'm seeing Todd Snider there in June, and it costs $15!). Just wondering. Have a great time here in Boston!

          2 Replies
          1. re: kimfair1

            Phoenix is the band. StubHub is selling the DC tickets at $250 a pop which should be illegal!!!

            Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I'll dig deeper and follow up if I need more advice, and i'll be sure to report back.

            1. re: mcmullek

              Yay, I'm going to that show too! Whatever you do, don't go to the bar next door, I think it is called 976 Commonwealth or something. Deep Ellum is further down the way, on Cambridge St, with a huge beer selection and really good cocktails!

          2. If you eat a Speed's dog each, depending on when you land, you won't want a huge dinner. The Paradise is right near (in?) Allston, so for your casual dinner you could do one of the neighborhood restaurants around there - but not all have beer, so if that's important, check in advance. Deep Ellum has great beer, fine food, and a cute deck - no water though. Eastern Standard (assuming no Red Sox game) is also easily accessible to Paradise.

            I've never been, but I would imagine that Neptune could fill your "Clam Box comparable" request - everyone raves about their seafood. You could eat there and wander the North End for a bit.

            2 Replies
            1. re: laura jean

              Neptune doesn't take reservations and there can be a line, which might interfere with the laid-backnesss of your pre-show dinner. Better for lunch IMHO, same menu. I'd go to Allston. And there is a Sox game on, at 7, so allow extra travel time.

              1. re: Aromatherapy

                Yeah, that's exactly what I intended to say (but I guess I didn't actually specify) - dinner in Allston, lunch the next day at Neptune, followed by walking around the city.

            2. You might want to reconsider the Speeds Dog - it's a tad out of the way in the meat, seafood and grocery warehouse district - there's absolutely nothing else there. And while it's a good hot dog, without a car, the effort to get there may put some 'bad seasoning' in the dish.

              Neptune is more casual than B&G - B&G is more urban and in a great location to hang out for an evening - there are a ton of bars and clubs in the area (and you'll find less college age people there - this is a school town).

              Pizza Regina (in the NE only) is a good.

              As someone previously stated, there are no decent restaurants or bars on the water (with the exception of Meritage but it's a tad formal). Barking Crab is like a beer hall (think Bud) with fried fish and seafood - good for what it is. Personally, I'd avoid Fan Pier with the exception of J Hook. It's a seafood purveyor focusing mostly on Lobster. Buy a lobster roll to take out and find a place along the water for a picnic.

              Since you haven't specified where you're staying (or did I miss it), I list the diners in Boston: Charlies famous, old and popular (and I don't know why), Mikes in the SE (popular and cheap but standard diner food), Victoria's (out of the way unless you have a car - better but again basic diner). If you're in Cambridge, there are a few others.

              Since the club is in Allston, consider having dinner in the neighborhood. It's full of various ethnic restaurants, some very good, and inexpensive. JoJo Taipei is good but walking around (on Brighten Ave) you may discover something to your preference (others could suggest more options). It's a very active college age area with lots of bars as well.

              Drink seems to be the place for cocktails.

              If there are specific cuisines or ambiance you'd like, let us know.

              Happy eating.

              6 Replies
              1. re: alwayscooking

                I agree; I'd ditch Speed's. It's a great dog, no question, but there are so many more amazing restaurants in Boston to try in a 28-hr period.

                1. re: twentyoystahs

                  Update: Hotwire got us the best rate at the Sheraton on Dalton Street. I think we'll do Deep Ellum for dinner before our show and Neptune for lunch on the 2nd day. Anything in the Copley Place/ Convention Center or Commonwealth Mall area that can't be missed?

                  Thanks so much for all the helpful suggestions. My bf has been making fun of the fact that i've planned every minute of our short trip, but i'm confident we'll sample the best Boston has to offer!

                  1. re: mcmullek

                    You might try Steve's, a Greek diner at the corner of Newbury and Hereford, for breakfast. It's not super-dinery in the classic sense, but it's very close to your hotel and the breakfasts are pretty good. The oatmeal is particularly nice.

                    The problem is that most of the really good old-school diners (Deluxe Town Diner or Victor's in Watertown, Joseph's II in Waltham) are just enough of a drag to get to via T that you might not want to bother on a tightly-scheduled visit like this.

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      Actually, they'll be pretty near to Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe.

                      1. re: Allstonian

                        Hello all-
                        Clearly I'm planning the last-minute details for our trip, rather than finishing up my work!
                        I think we've got it nailed down to:
                        Dinner at B&G Wed. night
                        breakfast at Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe on Thursday morning
                        Late lunch at Garden at the Cellar in Harvard Square Thursday

                        Our flight leaves at around 5:30 so hopefully we'll have enough time to get back to Logan after mulling about Harvard Square. Are there any better must eats in the Harvard area than the Cellar?

                        Thanks for the great suggestions. I decided to go with B&G because my fateful $50 Open Table check for my 5,00 dining points came yesterday!

                        1. re: mcmullek

                          Wow, that sure switched around. The Cellar is definitely open for lunch? Lunch in the north end is definitely easier for heading back to the airport but maybe there's stuff in Harvard Sq. you want to see. Keep in mind that they serve pretty hefty portions at Charlie's if that affects your lunching. Haven't been to Tory Row yet but that might be a H. Sq. option for lunch.

                          I'm out of it, had never heard of this Phoenix band til 2 weeks ago and they sell out the Paradise.