Hynes -- nearby options:
I recently attended a conference at Hynes which had me staying at the Back Bay Sheraton for a week. Due to limited time and budget, I didn’t do a lot of exploring, but instead found a few reliable places and (mostly) ate there repeatedly.
Summer Shack: Right across from the hotel, so most convenient. I’m not a fan of bivalves or lobsters, but the menu had a good variety of other things. I’m a big meatloaf fan, and they do an excellent one – in fact possibly the best restaurant meatloaf I’ve ever had. The fish tacos are pretty good for an East coast version. Haddock isn’t my favorite, but their frying technique was outstanding – almost greaseless. I wish I could say the same for their onion rings. Although tasty, they were greasy enough to make me wonder if they came out of the same kitchen as the fish tacos. Service was inconsistent – I sometimes seemed invisible to the help. Maybe it was because I wasn’t ordering lobster and expensive drinks.
Chili Duck: Down Boylston, downstairs next to Walgreens. Very good Thai food. This became my regular lunch place, as it was reasonably priced, close enough to Hynes, and far better than any of the food court options at Prudential. I especially liked the curries.
Brasserie Jo: This has been a regular stop in the past when staying at the Marriott, and it rarely disappoints. Reliable breakfasts and lunches. Their Hansi Onion Tart is one of my favorite dishes anywhere.
India Quality: At Kenmore station, this was very good Indian at fair prices. I wished I had tried this earlier in the trip, as I would have returned.
Next time in town, I plan to try Atlantic Fish Co. (they were too busy when I went), and would like to work my way down the menus at both Chili Duck and India Quality. I’d like to try some other things at Summer Shack as well, but it’s hard to top that meatloaf. BTW, on a very busy weekend night when I couldn’t get seating, it was a perfect dish to order to go, and take back across the street to my room.
Summer Shack Boston
50 Dalton St., Boston, MA 02115
Atlantic Fish Co
761 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116
India Quality Restaurant
484 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215
120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116
I think you did very well in the neighborhood of your hotel.
I'm not a huge fan of Atlantic, though it's not the worst touristy seafood place in Boston, either. I do like Pho Basil over on Mass Ave; solid Vietnamese fare (and decent Thai, but Chili Duck is better). Not far away is Woody's, a college-y pub with good wood-grilled pizzas. Moby Dick, around the corner from Symphony Hall on Huntington Ave, has good Persian kebabs and sandwiches. Caffe Jaffa is a decent casual Israeli place, mainly salads and sandwiches.
You're also pretty close to Columbus Cafe, a good neighborhood Eclectic / American restaurant, and Petit Robert, a classic Parisian bistro, both with pretty nice prices for the South End. Anchovies is up the block on Columbus Ave, a neighborhood tavern with cheap, decent Italian-American fare (though the menu seems to have shrunken lately).
269 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Pho Basil Restaurant
177A Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Nice job! This is a tough area to find decent food.
I was at Summer Shack the other night seeking their tuna tartare. But while it was on the menu board in the vestibule, it's not actually on the menu anymore except apparently as an occasional special. Had the fish tacos, agree with you they're pretty decent, had nice balance of flavors and textures with the cabbage and all. In future I'd ask for the fish to be grilled, possibly with their cajun seasoning, rather than deep fried. They're also a bit pricey at $12. Also got the 'cherrystone seviche', and was pretty pleased with them too. Six halfshells piled with chopped clams and citrusy ceviche veggies. Otherwise I didn't see much that appealed, likely because I was craving something very specific. I was briefly tempted by the softshell crab special, but couldn't justify $14 for a single specimen.
Good to know about other places in the area.
310 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210