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Aug 4, 2009 09:40 AM

Help for upcoming visit highly appreciated...

We will be visiting from Los Angeles for four days later this month and would very much appreciate some eating advice. We are planning to rely on walking, public transportation and taxis as opposed to renting a car, which is quite different than California.

We'll be staying at the Boston Harbor Hotel, are there any good places we should try close to the hotel? Bakeries or other light breakfast and would be really appreciated as well as lunch and dinner suggestions. We are happy any where in the range of smaller food focused (vs. fancy environment) to more expensive places.

Does anyone have experiences, good or bad, with the hotel's restaurants?

We're seeing a concert at the Comcast center and would like to have a picnic to have before the show. We are taking a bus to the venue and would like to keep it relatively simple. Do you have any recommendations on where to go for great sandwiches, bread, cheese and salami or the like? (As a measurement point, in LA we'd go to our neighborhood Whole Foods or family owned Italian deli, in Napa we hit Dean & Deluca, etc.).

Are there any places for afternoon tea that are extraordinary? Any places to get an afternoon beer or drink and snack that are great Boston experiences?

Finally, sea food is a big goal of the trip, especially lobster and chowder. I've been perusing the board, and reading reviews but I thought I would also include it here as well for any additional suggestions one may have for a visitor staying in the wharf area.

Thank you in advance for your time and assistance.

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  1. For bakery, breakfast, sandwiches, etc, Flour Bakery at Fort Point Channel is near your hotel and very good.

    J. Pace and Salumeria Italiana in the North End will yield great picnic supplies.

    I think there was a fairly recent thread about afternoon tea in Boston.

    For a truly amazing Sunday brunch, try Craigie on Main in Cambridge. For romantic and exquisite French dining, try Salts in Cambridge, same area as CoM. Sage in the South End of Boston is reliably delicious northern Italian with an emphasis on small plates.

    Have a great trip and please report back on your eating experiences!

    1. Here are some suggestions that are absolutely within walking distance of your hotel.

      For drinks: Drink (in the Fort Point area); Miel's outside patio at the Intercontinential Hotel (near your hotel), just because the outside patio is nice there. No. 9 Park for cocktails at the bar. Bin 26 for wine and snack on Charles Street (which is historic and a very pleasant stroll.)

      Seafood: Neptune Oyster in the North End. (An easy walk.) Do not get sucked into Union Oyster House near Quincy Market. Honest. Don't go.

      Lunch near your hotel? Sel de la Terre, close to the Aquarium.

      There is a Formaggio Kitchen in the South End which would be great for picnic fare, but is a little far on foot. However, if you make that way, there are many good eats in that neighborhood.

      For a city of our size, we have a strong Chinatown. Some board favorites to explore would include Xinh Xinh, Shabu Zen, Hong Kong Eatery, China Pearl, Peach Farm and Gourmet Dumpling House.

      Hope that helps.

      1 Reply
      1. re: SuperFineSugar

        Sportello, upstairs from drink has very good food. It does primarily lunch and dinner but does have some breakfast items. It has a unique kind of diner setting.

      2. Sel de la Terre close to your hotel has a bakery section that's good for breakfast and sandwiches for your picnic. Meritage in your hotel is a nice place. Haven't tried the new more casual cafe there yet, nice view tho.

        1. Bina Alimentaria might be a good place to order a picnic lunch. It's right near the Boston Common, Public Garden & Beacon Hill:

          1 Reply
          1. re: Taralli

            I second the idea that Sel de la Terre can meet your breakfast and picnic needs, as well as be a great place to have lunch, brunch or dinner.

          2. I ate at Meritage in your hotel during Restaurant Week last winter. The menu was focused heavily on seafood, and very, very good. The room has a great view over the water, and a good wine list too. However it isn't cheap.