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Oct 2, 2009 10:13 AM

In Boston for 2 days (not to miss)

Hi, I'll be in Boston with my wife for a couple of days in early October. Can you guide me to those "not to miss" type places.

I'm sure there are numerous posts of "best of Boston", "where's the best.."fill in the blank") Unfortunately the search function is not too friendly so I apologise for bringing up what has surely been answered before.

A list of previous Chowhound links will do.

We're not looking for 5 star dining, off the beaten path, dives, Boston institutions that have been around forever, Mexican, good Italian, that type of stuff, anything that your city specialises in, Diners, Drive Ins dive places, etc.. etc...

We have a car and a GPS, so getting around is not an issue.


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  1. boston can be a nightmare for driving, even for those of us who live here. however it's a very walkable city. where will you be staying?

    we're not known for diners, drive-ins (do not exist in the city) or much mexican. many places considered institutions manage to draw tourists, but have horrible food and you will never find a bostonian inside them.

    what do you want? italian? seafood? donuts? pizza? locavore cuisine? what's your price point? you're looking at 2 lunches and 2 dinners. not much time and you've given us very little info.

    1. The usual suspects would be Pizzeria Regina in the North End for lunch, Neptune Oyster I(also in NE) for seafood, Durgin Park in Quincy Market is a tourist place but they're known for New England cuisine, including making baked beans every day. They also serve Indian pudding.

      14 Replies
      1. re: mtm7654

        Looking for quintessential Boston type places, i.e the same question on the Montreal board would be to send someone for a Schwartz's smoked meat sandwich, to Banquise for a Poutine and to Au Pied de Cochon for local eats and lots of pork and foie gras.

        I guess what I'm looking for is good chowder and whatever else is somewhat harder to find in other cities (lobster rolls), other than that I guess a good Italian place, something local, latin american cuisine.

        Price point about $15-$20 per person (not including booze), willing to go higher for one of the two dinners. Not looking for steakhouses or french cuisine.

        We'll be staying in Winthrop.

        Are any of these restos on this site (from Boston Phoinex scroll down on the left) any good??


        1. re: ios94

          Not to sound like a syncophant, but if MC Slim Jim recommends it, the restaurant will be fine.

          1. re: ios94

            mcslim is a well-respected poster on this board. you can trust his rec's.

            staying in winthrop, you're a stone's throw from east boston which has lots of delicious cheap eats of the south american sort. you're also not far from kelly's in revere for fried clams on the beach. now THAT is a cultural experience, lol.

            sorry, but my pc is slow as a myopic snail today and keeps timing out. i was hoping to offer you some links for recent eastie threads, but it's not happening. hopefully somebody can upload that for you.

              1. re: GretchenS

                Sweet, thanks Gretchen that's what I was looking for. I'm in bed right now and reading all this stuff and looking at some of those pics (i.e. Rincon Limeno) is making my belly wake up. :)

                1. re: GretchenS

                  gretchen, well done! were you a good girl scout?

                  op: the ceviche at rincon limon is amazing!

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    Where's the best ice cream in Boston? We enjoy rich flavours with lots of ingredients such as Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I've read about Richardson's and Toscani's, anything else? What would you guys recommend?

                    1. re: ios94

                      Toscanini's or Rancatore's. The latter requires a trip to the inner 'burbs, but is worth it. The former is a very worthy choice and quite an institution. Richardson's is good ice cream but more of a large chain than the other two, which serve creative and sometimes quirky flavors made right there on a daily basis.

                      1. re: ios94

                        Christina's Ice Cream in Inman Square, Cambrige
                        For a lower fat option: (frozen yogurt- Berry Line in Cambridge (Harvard Sq.)

                        1. re: mangotango

                          Second Christina's -- I'm not personally much of a fan, because I think that contrary to popular belief, it IS possible to have too much butterfat in ice cream, but they're all about the big flavors there.

                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                            Please bring on as much fat as possible. lol

                            1. re: ios94

                              Then yeah, you'll love Christina's. I just think too much butterfat hides the other flavors.

                              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                Our stay was short but we enjoyed Boston nonetheless, here's a quick TR.

                                Yes, parking and driving is a nightmare. I thought Montreal was bad with all their no parking signs, I saw many poles with 3 and 4 different parking restrictions, side streets are completely residential permit parking.

                                Anyhow, our friend wanted to take us to Regina's saturday night, so off we went. Is Hanover always this crowded? A ton of pedestian traffic. Seemed that every single restaurant had a line up and there were tons. I'm assuming this is a bit of touristy area? Had I known we were heading that way I would have asked for an Italian recommendation. Either way, off to Regina's and the wait was about 45mins, usually not a fan of waiting to eat but hey the weather was nice and since this place has such a rep, we waited. Very well worth the wait, the pizza was just the way I like it, great dough, great sauce just the right amount of toppings. Very very good.

                                We walked around Hanover, our friend suggested pastries at Mike's, another place that had a line up and was a complete zoo at 10pm. I just don't get the line ups for pastries but hey, our friend again suggested it. Cannolis were ok but nothing that I can't find in Montreal, Tiramisu had way too much liquor, some Italian cookies had way too much almond extract. Still don't get the crazy lines, must be "oh there's a line up it must be good".

                                Sunday AM went to some small breakfast dive in WInthrop, great homeade muffins and breakfast did the job, it was along the water I can't remember the name, maybe Joe's Cafe, something like that.

                                The wife and I walked around Harvard square sunday afternoon, they had a bunch of foodstands set up for "Oktoberfest", tried the M+M (Slim had this place on his list in The Phoenix) BBQ Pulled pork sandwich which was pretty good, mac and cheese was ordinary. Ice cream at Christina's was very disappointing.

                                SUnday night off to ANgela's only to find out it was closed, with no contingency plan (the wife didn't want Peruvian at Limon) we headed back to Hanover and picked a random Italian place. I thought I was going to be highly disappointed but the veal turned out to be pretty good. I'm sure there are better places but again I wasn't prepared.

                                Monday lunch before we headed out we tried Angela's, Pozole and Tortilla soup were very good, ingredients very fresh. As it was still early and didn't have a huge appetite I only had a couple of chipotle tacos, everything was great.

                                Too many places on the list not enough time. Thanks for the recs.
                                Looking forward to visiting again sometime soon.

                                1. re: ios94

                                  I'm afraid your friend steered you wrong on the pastries: Mike's has its partisans, but I think a small majority prefer Modern, with an extremely vocal contingent pushing Maria's. Mike's is a bit of a tourist trap, I think.

                                  Sorry Christina's didn't do it for you, although as I said, I don't care for it myself.