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GREAT LUNCH SPOTS IN BOSTON

My sweetie and I will be in Boston for 4 days in December. I haven't been back since I graduated from college quite a few years ago, so I am no longer familiar with the good restaurant spots.
We will eat one meal out per day, a late lunch, and are looking for excellent, local restaurants that serve a real meal for a good price. A great place in the North End would be appreciated, as would a couple in the Beacon Hill area and in Back Bay, and one in Chinatown. (Sweetie has never been to Boston, so we are going to be sightseeing.) We are staying in Cambridge, and will be traveling around by T.
I would love to expose him to some great Boston fare (including ethnic fare), but want to avoid touristy spots.
(On another note, what one Boston attraction should we definintely visit, other than the obvious ones?)

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  1. Do a search for Neptune Oyster on this board. It's in the North End, just steps from the Haymarket T stop - not cheap, but great seafood - incredible lobster rolls - a great lunch destination if you're doing the North End. And Pizzeria Regina is still turning out great pies at decent prices.

    1. in the Beacon hill area, try Scampo for lunch (you may remember chef Lydia Shire from Biba restaurant, now closed). Lunch there is peaceful and relaxed compared to the loud frenetic dinner atmosphere. In the downtown area, try Sam LaGrassa's for pastrami or other sandwiches, Vinalia for nachos made w/ fried wonton wrappers, or check the recent thread on best roasted meat plates in Chinatown.

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      Vinalia
      101 Arch St, Boston, MA 02110

      Scampo
      215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

      1 Reply
      1. re: barleywino

        Found the thread- Vinh Sun sounds great!

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        Vinh Sun
        58 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

      2. Any more suggestions? We will be in Boston next week.

        7 Replies
        1. re: ragamuffin

          Some lunch recs: Galleria Umberto for arancini and pizza on Hanover in the North End, or Chacarero for Chilean sandwiches on Arch or Province Street (not sure if they are open on weekends). I also really like Picco in the south end for pizza and ice cream these days. There's Speed Dog in Newmarket Square about a ten minute walk from the Andrew red line stop.

          1. re: nsenada

            I second the Picco recommendation. Their food is high quality and flavorful. I love their style of pizza (thin crust), and they make their own ice cream, served with truly decadent hot fudge.

            http://www.northshoredish.com

            1. re: nsenada

              I do love Galleria Umberto, but they don't fit the "late lunch" criterion at all - if you're not in line by about 12:30 you run a serious risk of having at least one item (most likely the arancini) run out before you make it to the counter to order. And they close down altogether by about 1:30 or 2.

              1. re: Allstonian

                Good point - unless it's raining or the planets align just right.

            2. re: ragamuffin

              In the Beacon Hill area on Charles St, I would opt for Toscano, Atmosphere is upscale casual. It's easy to linger here and comfortable for conversation. I like their chicken milonaise (spelling?) 75 Chestnut (off of Charles) is another good neighborhood option, but I'm not sure which days they are open for lunch. Maybe someone else will chime in. Scampo as someone else suggested is a great spot for a lobster pizza. One place not often mentioned on this board and I have no idea why is North 26. This restaurant is located in the Millennium Hotel near Fanueil Hall. I've found them to have some lovely creative lunch dishes.

              1. re: Pegmeister

                North 26 has really good Eggs Benedict on grilled house-made English at breakfast, and good coffee and breakfast potatoes, too.

              2. re: ragamuffin

                Toro, South End. accessible by the silver line (not around when you were here). look for it on this board...lots of mentions. No lunch served on Sat.

              3. I like to have lunch on special occasions at either Radius or Via Matta. Both are very good and a cheaper alternative to having dinner there.

                1. For lunch in Chinatown - Peach Farm. Dumpy-looking joint with spectacular seafood. I can recommend the salt & pepper squid, clams with black bean sauce... and I've been told (though I haven't tried it myself) that they also do an amazing Peking Duck. Search this board for the name and you'll find tons of other recommendations.