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Sep 29, 2010 08:06 AM

Boston for Torontonians - Oct 8-10

My husband and I will be traveling to Boston next weekend (Oct 8-10). We are looking for tips for places that are not too touristy, but capture the feel of the GBA. We love seafood so we think we're heading to the right city :) In Toronto, we love everything from French bistro to pho, Ethiopian to neapolitan pizza. Are there beer/wine/food festivals in the area that weekend? Good markets to check out?

All we care about is the chow - it needs to be delicious. Decor, ambiance, service are secondary. It would be great to get your best 'cheap eats' near our hotel (we're staying at the Club Quarters on Devonshire St).

Please give us a range of ideas for brunch, coffee, lunch and dinners. Are restaurants typically open early/late? Do takeout? We have our 10-month-old with us and he's used to fine dining (we aim for early dinners), but if we don't get a good vibe, we'll leave him with my mother who is along with us for the ride.

Oh, and please let us know if we need to make a reso!

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    1. re: yumyum

      pretty good thread yumyum, it looks like the consensus is taiwanese, cambodian, afghan, seafood and turkish. haitian and burmese also look interesting.
      i'm leaving out cocktails, and italian, brazilian and portuguese bc we do have plenty of that here.

      anyway that thread seems more about getting a very diverse set of restaurants (since toronto is pretty cosmopolitan). i'd like more boston-representative food close to our hotel, where we can bring our little guy.

    2. you aren't staying in a restaurant heavy neighborhood but you're not far from chinatown and boston is small so if you're driving or taking the train you can get around with some ease. Try Peach Farm for good chinese seafood and Windsor Cafe for dim sum. Mike and Patty's in Bay Village is the best for breakfast. Neptune Oyster (try it for a late lunch when it isn't crazy) is a great choice, with maybe desert at the Modern for a little italy break. Penang isn't far from you and it's very good malaysian. Most dinner service starts around 5:30, except at ethnic places which often serve all day. Very few places in Boston serve much past 10:30. Staying on the inexpensive side. you can take the red line to kendall square and try the portuguese restaurant there (sorry, the name has gone out of my head, begins with an A, check the board's threads for portuguese) or go a little upscale at the Blue Room. Head out to Scups on the Harbour in east boston for good seafood (take the water taxi, you get a roundtrip rate if you're going to scups and the tourist aspect of sightseeing from the water taxi is cool).

      Peach Farm
      4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

      Neptune Oyster
      63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

      The Blue Room
      Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

      4 Replies
      1. re: teezeetoo

        Scups for seafood? I thought they were best known for their brunch items.

        Also, much as I love Peach Farm and Windsor, Toronto's Cantonese restaurants totally put ours to shame. However, if pinto bean is interested in some other Chinese cuisines, we've got Sichuan and Taiwanese options that are worth a look, and I don't believe that either of those are strongly represented in TO.

        Peach Farm
        4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

        1. re: Allstonian

          dinner scups is big on local fresh fish. not so much lunch or brunch. also kid friendly and a nice ride on the water taxi for the kids which is why i recommended it. do you know any good non-cantonese options, kid friendly, near Devonshire? Maybe Super 88 food court also fun with kids 'cause you can graze? summer shack is pretty kid friendly. This isn't a neighborhood I know well, so maybe folks who live or work near it will have some better suggestions.

          1. re: Allstonian

            Agreed on especially the Taiwanese.

            A couple other ethnic restaurants that do Seafood very well worth looking into are Muqueca in Inman Square and Rincon Limeno in East Boston. Muqueca is Brazilian and Rincoln Limeno Peruvian, which are two categories I think Boston shines in comparison to TO.

            Neptune Oyster as mentioned before is a must eat IMO, and arguably is our best Seafood restaurant.

            For fine dining the general consensus is that our best are from the group of: O Ya, L'Espalier, Menton, Clio, Craigie on Main and No.9 Park. I would look at the menu's and see what catches your attention. Craigie on Main is also excellent for Brunch.

            As mentioned before Boston is very compact, so I would not worry too much about staying in your Hotel area. Especially since you are right downtown and within walking distance of basically all 5 Subway lines.

            774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

            1010 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

            354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

            1. re: Matt H

              ok from the above it looks like neptune oyster is a must! this is exactly what i needed to know. to tell you the truth we almost changed our hotel to cambridge bc we heard the downtown is dead on the wkend. but then we saw the rates in cambridge...

        2. Welcome. TO is my hometown. Thinking upscale (read expensive),l non-touristy and excellent: O Ya for NYC style sushi and izakaya items and sake bar (don't come hungry). Locke Ober revamped Boston Brahman. Mid-range: Erbaluce and Prezza for fresh/interesting Italian, agree on Neptune Oyster. Low-range Cheap and near you, not much but Chinatown (agree with Allstonian, try Taiwan Cafe, Dumpling Cafe or Gourmet Dumpling Cafe) is close by. Restaurants close very early here except Chinatown.

          O Ya
          9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

          Neptune Oyster
          63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

          24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

          69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

          1 Reply
          1. re: gourmaniac

            Can I counter the "early-closing restaurants" thing? Plenty of good places at least serve a bar menu till 12 or 12:30 on weeknights.

          2. Right down the street from where you're staying is the Boston Kebab House, which is a great Turkish lunch place, decent prices too. Flat Black, on Milk St. has great coffee. Vintage Lounge on Broad is good for a drink, I've never eaten there. For dinner I'd recommend strolling down the greenway to the north end, I'm sure you can find plenty of rec's on here. Another place along the greenway is James Hook, great lobster rolls.

            Last place I'd suggest is totally out of your way but a great place to get early dinner with kids is Highland Kitchen in Somerville, but it's not all that easy to get to (have to take a train and a bus).
            - Gaby

            Boston Kebab House
            7 Liberty Sq, Boston, MA 02109

            Vintage Lounge
            72 Broad Street, Boston, MA 02110

            4 Replies
            1. Dingle..really inappropiate post

              Pinto, the hotel you're staying at is in the Financial District..and most places are closed during the weekend. It will feel like a ghost town; not a bad hotel..Elephant and Castle on ground floor.

              The good news is that you are not far from the North End..Italian and Boston is a small city so you can hit most any area pretty easily. Everyone says Toronto has great Cantonese but nearby Chinatown has New Shanghai (Sichuan), Taiwan Cafe and Dumpling Cafe..all delicious and a short walk.

              Scups is a great choice for bkfast lunch and getting there is 1/2 the enjoyment..water taxi across the harbor and great food. Mention you're going to Scups and I think you get a deal.

              Kingston St is a fun place nearby with decent food/drink..nightspot so probably not for a 10 mo old.

              Higer end..9 Park, Troquet, Locke Ober (classic Boston) and dinner only should be on the radar....all a short walk; although through a quiet part of town.


              New Shanghai Restaurant
              21 Hudson St, Boston, MA 02111

              1. re: 9lives

                if the weather is good, the water front will be hopping on the weekend..., you aren't far from the aquarium, etc. if you are up for public transit, check out the trip planner feature at mbta. com. The aquarium admission ( is outrageously expensive, but if you can brave the crowds, you can see a great exhibit of sea lions your son might love at the left to the entrance, for free, and then if you walk around to the back, see some other sea mammals swimming around.

                sel de la terre nearby is kid friendly and has breakfast though I'm not sure about weekend days. But you may not be in the mood for Boston French food...

                For the water experience, I'll put in an endorsement for the 10 minute ferry from Long Wharf (the aquarium) to the Charlestown Boston neighborhood. Home of old Ironsides, etc. Very cheap boat ride with great water views of the city. again, can give you details. There's a restaurant with great water views that I'd recommend only for drinks before heading back to Long Wharf...Tavern on the Water.

                sel de la terre
                boston, MA, boston, MA

                1. re: Madrid

                  if we went to see the aquarium on the cheap, are there any good restaurants nearby?
                  and i'm guessing 'scups' may be a good place to go after the ferry?

                  1. re: pinto bean

                    Not exactly a restaurant, but if the weather is nice and you don't have much time there is alway James Hook for a reasonably priced lobster roll and other take out items. It is a short walk from aquarium and there are plenty of benches along the waterfront.

                    15 Northern Ave
                    Saturday: 9am - 5pm Sunday: 10am - 2pm

            2. On Sundays there is the SoWa Open Market. You can walk around and check out the crafts, art, bakers, and farm stands. Either pick up something there or wander into one of the local restaurants for brunch/lunch. 10/10 is Dogtoberfest at the Market and the famous Speed hot dog truck will be there.


              1 Reply
              1. re: viperlush

                we love farmer's markets. perfect! so our sunday is planned - market and then dogtoberfest :)