HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


First Time to Visit Boston

Hey everyone, my husband and I will be visiting Boston from Dallas in September.
I have read through some of the posts as to what restaurants not to miss
and here is what I have gathered so far. Please let me know if one is better than the other, or what I am missing. I would love some more suggestions for unique bars to get pre/post dinner drinks.

Neptune Oyster
Mamma Maria
Mike's Pastry
Craigie on Main

Thought I should mention we are staying at the Back Bay Hotel.

Is there a place to have brunch on a Sunday? In Dallas, some restaurants have mimosa specials on Sundays and didnt know if that was done in Boston or not. If not, no big deal, would still love to hear your ideas!
Thank you so much!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. i think Paparazzi not far from your hotel still has a mimosa with their brunch. Union and Aquitaine in the south end have brunch specials on Sat. for $9.95 and Masa is only $7.95 on Sat. and early Sun. You should definitely go to the south end for one meal when you're in town.

    Your other restaurants are fine. Audobon not far from Fenway Park is a fun casual place.

    1. Craigie on Main has brunch. You might want to look into the Liberty Hotel's unique brunch at Scampo, plus it's in an historic, converted old jail: http://www.libertyhotel.com/ Clink, another resto in the complex, has more traditional brunch menu.

      1. Hi,

        I hope you have a fun trip to our town. The only place on your list that doesn't ring true for me is Mike's Pastry, which is big and touristy and uses more commercial ingredients than my two other favorites, Modern Pastry (on the opposite side of the street) and Maria's on Cross St. (all 3 in the North End). I think you'll find though that Mike's has its fans but as Italians, my family always frequented Modern (I'm talking 60 years of patronage). Enjoy!


        4 Replies
        1. re: JoJo5

          Perfect! Thanks Joanne! I would like to steer clear of touristy places so that is good to know.

          1. re: mere07

            Mike's is touristy but still quite tasty. As someone who grew up in Boston and has been giving tours to out-of-towners for years, I can tell you that you'll want to spend an entire afternoon/evening just wandering around (see the Old North Church, take a Freedom Trail tour, etc.)

            Hanover St. is packed with dozens upon dozens of fantastic Italian restaurants, pastry shops and bars. For dessert I'd also recommend Caffe Vittoria (http://www.vittoriacaffe.com/) -- great espressos, tiramisu, etc.

            Just remember to take the T or walk.

            1. re: TroyOLeary

              Caffe Vittoria looks wonderful! I will add that to our list. If you had to choose between Mamma Maria or Prezza, which would you choose?

              1. re: mere07

                They are both excellent, so it's really up to you. Check out their online menus and pick one. Prezza is perhaps a bit louder and livelier; Mamma Maria has more "old world charm".

        2. Prezza for certain. I know it's not popular but we were not impressed with Mamma Maria's. Prezza has never disappointed. For drinks go to Drink (fort point channel?) or ESK near Fenway. Mike's Pastry, fine but not the best you'll find in this city. Staying in Back Bay, check out the Madarin, it's fun just to walk through.

          1. Thanks for all of the suggestions below. I have the majority of our meals planned except for Friday night. We are looking for a fun, casual place to have happy hour, preferably with a patio. We would like to have dinner somewhere causal with great seafood or pizza. We would prefer patios, especially if they are by water! I wont rule out any "can't miss" places though. Thanks in advance!!!

            2 Replies
            1. re: mere07

              You might try Eastern Standard in Kenmore Sq for your Friday night dinner. They have a fabulous patio, although while they do have seafood dishes, it's not a particular specialty. But the food and drinks are top notch.

              Others may disagree but I like Atlantic Fish on Boylston St in the Back Bay, they have a patio. You could also check out Sushi Teq at the Intercontinental, outside dining on the water.

              1. re: mere07

                You had Dante on your original list. Its strong point is its patio, drinks and apps in my opinion. It's located in Cambridge, right across the river from Boston so the view across the Charles of the Boston skyline is probably the best there is. I've had some excellent entrees there (hangar steak) and some disappoint (breaded pork cutlet, essentially- can't remember the fancied-up name). A few of their seafood apps have been very good- squid and a fish ceviche are coming to mind.

              2. East Coast Grill in Cambridge has a great Sunday brunch with a do-it-yourself bloody mary bar. If you like spicy, you'll love it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: C. Hamster

                  Oleana! You must go to Oleana. It's one of my personal faves since I moved here! In addition I'd recommend Ten Tables. The JP original version and the Cambridge Version are pretty amazing. Hungry Mother is great for a low key evening and The Blue Room in Kendall Square is also quite nice. If you like Sushi...and have deep pockets, O-Ya and Oishii have some good fine sexy fish. Haven't gotten to Toro yet, hear it's quite lovely.

                2. I've heard the brunch at Eastern Standard is great.

                  I love the brunch at Lucky's Lounge in South Boston/Fort Port Channel area. but it is VERY hard to find. It's on the corner of A Street and Congress. Henrietta's in Cambridge is good, but I think it's expensive.

                  I love Taranta, it has very unique food.
                  In the Back Bay, Parish Cafe is very unique in good.
                  If you have $$, try to stop by the Oak Bar for dinks.