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Oct 7, 2010 11:06 PM

Downtown Boston Casual Dining/Takeout Options for a Sunday?

Vancouver 'hound ISO quick and good downtown options. I'll be in town and at loose ends just for the Sunday. I've poked around the board a bit and D'Guru and Cafe Latino seemed to fit the bill, but neither appear to be open Sunday. I know I could just do Quincy Market, but was hoping to find less touristy options. I'd consider taking the T, say out to Fenway or Porter Sq., but not much beyond. Mexican and Indian options would be great, since we lack good representation for both cuisines in Vancouver. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Cafe Latino
2 Center Plz, Boston, MA 02108

D'Guru Restaurant
185 Devonshire St, Boston, MA 02110

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  1. If you're ok with taking the T for a short distance, perhaps hop on the Blue Line to the Airport stop and walk to Angela's Cafe? Perhaps the best Mexican in the Boston area, IMO.
    For Indian food, India Quality (Kenmore Square) is one of the best, I'd say, and a short T ride from downtown.

    India Quality Restaurant
    484 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

    1 Reply
    1. van COOOver?? oh, can i plse come back with you in your luggage?it's been a couple of yrs since we made our annual 3wk trip out there and i miss it so. Diva and the Bins and lumiere and........

      Unfortunately, for some of Boston's best mexican and indian, the places that they are- are not our most beautiful areas- for walking and exploring afterwards. To encompass good food and nice area, i would probably steer you to take the T to harv square and eat at Tanjore. it is mostly punjabi style northern indian (as are 99.9% of indian restaurants in the u.s.) but they do have some good southern indian things- uttapum and dosa. Other CHs have liked the Bombay Club, also in harv sq. A longtime fav spot of ours is Casablanca, a local academics-filled institution with comfy seating , handpainted murals from the movie, and interesting international foods. In harv sq you can: window shop, watch buskers, stroll the river, see wonderful 18th and 19th c. domestic architecture up Brattle St., walk harvard yard and harv museums...... Because it is a bustling international community, you can also find good coffee shops, tea cafes, and ice cream as well.
      It is also a very tree filled area,esp. maples, so october color will likely be quite splendid.

      while the mexican/latin food scene is excellent in east boston, it is not a pretty area.( i actually don't think i've seen anywhere in the greater vancouver area- that has the filth and ugliness of a few (the minority) of boston's neighborhoods and i would not point you to them.


      for remaining in the central boston downtown, i would make non-mexican or indian suggestions, directing you to the area around the public garden, commonwealth ave and newbury streets, the south end, charles street, all lovely historic areas that show off the best of our city. This is long, but you might find it useful:

      North End/ Waterfront/ Aquarium/ Faneuil Hall-Quincy Market

      If at all possible. one must go to the original Pizzeria Regina in the North End.(note- closed Sun.) This is many aficionados' fav pizza place, period. It is the original(and only worthwhile) location of what is now a chain, and most importantly, its pizzas taste like no others , partly because of the WWII oven they use, which is more than 'seasoned' by now. This pizza tastes like it does in Rome. It is also a tiny CROWDED, loud, FUNKY space; unique; not decor-changed since the 50's maybe. If you haven’t been there, don't go on a wkend ,and go for lunch or earlier dinner to avoid lines.

      Regina’s is located on the outer edge of the compact North End, so after pizza, walk over to the Hanover St. (main drag) area and feel the history of this unique neighborhood. Its oldest extant buildings are from the early 19th c.; through the centuries it has been peopled successively, by : rich Bostonians, blacks , Jews, Italians. It has been Italian since the early 20th c. While harbor-dwelling yuppies have been encroaching of late, it still has lots of sidewalk life, Italian being spoken, bocce being played. There are some wonderful gelato/cafes on Hanover St. I particularly like the gelato at. Café Sport, and Modern Pastry is across the street, with wonderful quaresimali( a version of almond biscotti)
      and sfogliadel, a very unusual 3 cornered hat of layered/crunchy pastry filled with a farmer's cheese/candied fruit mixture. (While many will steer you to Mike’s Pastry, I won't.)The North End is also home to the 18th c. Old North Church and 19th c. Seamen's Home etc etc. If you like to discover-by-walking, the end of Hanover St away from downtown Boston- leads onto the waterfront area. This is also architecturally and historically fascinating because it is very intact with its 19th c. warehouses/wharves (now water view condos). With all I've described, you might find it worth your while to go to Regina's and the North End for lunch and the afternoon. You could incorporate the nearby Aquarium, and Sel de la Terre for dinner (excellent ,modern French style.)You could also go the local seafood route and try Neptune Oyster in the North End.
      Quincy market is the old historic marketplace from 18th and 19th c. Boston. It was the prototype for all the other U.S. 'Commercial Historic Restoration/Tourist Attractions'. It has endless vendor carts and shops and restaurants. Good place to sample some finger food or ice cream but not a lot else. It IS the location of one of Boston's oldest and nationally famous restaurants- Durgin Park- a real bastion of old fashioned dishes (prime rib, roasts, Chowdah, Lobstah, Boston Baked Beans and Indian Pudding) with old fashioned loud friendly or rude waitresses to add to the color.
      The South End
      The South End is Boston’s amazing well-preserved and very large Victorian district, chock-a-block w/ handsome brick and brownstone rowhouses grouped around pocket parks in the middle of all the side street cul-de-sacs. There is a large gay population and young yuppie couples with strollers. On Sundays, it seems EVERYBODY goes out for brunch, and the sidewalks are full of people, strollers, dogs. Lots of super restaurants(mostly bistro style).

      Union Bar and Grill and Acquitaine and Tremont 647 are my own favs. Union is handsome, dark, comfy with amer.regional food(delish. cornbread in a skillet brought to you when you sit down).Aquitaine is an authentic French bistro with great Steak Frites and simple traditional roasted or grilled food in a very handsome atmosphere and beautiful historic neighborhood. Tremont 647 has a FUN Sunday brunch, their famous Pajama Brunch, where all their servers, chefs etc. wear their pjs . Tremont is also known for its national-competition winning BBQ and grilled meat and seafood along with Asian and Mexican influenced foods; laid back and fun atmosphere. On the far edge of the South End is Toro, a very loud crowded Spanish tapas place owned by one of our most famous innovative chefs, Ken Oringer, whose Clio is probably Boston’s most innovative(Asian influenced) restaurant (and very expensive). .
      Back Bay

      Make sure to experience one of Boston's most beautiful features: Comm(onwealth) Ave between Mass(achusetts) Ave and Arlington St.(next to the Public Garden, the oldest arboretum/public park in the U.S. ) This part of Comm. Ave was designed after the Champs Elysees in Paris and is a 9 block long strip of tree, bench and statue- lined park with handsome 19th c. mansions lining both sides. It is parallel to and one block away from Newbury Street, Boston’s center of couture and art galleries , with many restaurants. Right around the corner from the Public Garden end of Newbury Street is Parish Cafe on Boylston St. with great sandwiches designed by different Boston chefs
      Beacon Hill and Charles St.

      Across the Public Garden, away from Comm Ave, is Beacon Hill, Boston’s well preserved elite neighborhood of 18th and 19th c. brick town and rowhouses.Also the spot for our famous gold domed State House. Historic Charles Street, full of restaurants and shops, runs along the base of Beacon Hill. In that neighborhood, Figs has good simple Italian pizzas, pastas etc. For dinner, Grotto has excellent well priced less-tomato-saucey Northern Italian food and seafood. Lala Rokh has delicious Mediterranean-Persian food with grilled and stewed lamb and eggplant taking the spotlight. It is a very quiet comfortable resting spot after a long day of walking.
      Fenway Park

      Next to our beloved old baseball park., is a terrific Mexican taco place, La Verdad. Their tacos of carne asado(grilled beef), pescado(fish), and chiles rellenos(cheese stuffed mild green chiles, battered and deep fried) are the best i have ever ever had, and be sure to also get their refried beans and silky soft citrus cinnamon flan .Open for lunch and dinner (just don't go there when a baseball game is being played!) and a 5 minute drive from our amazing Museum of Fine Arts, world famous for its substantial collections of French Impressionism, American paintings and decorative arts, and Japanese art.



      Another good place for lunch or dinner, after a day at the MFA or the neighboring Gardner Museum(a Venetian palace with its beautiful one of a kind large atrium courtyards- filled with breathtaking changing flower displays) is Betty's Wok and Noodle. Very popular, it's a fun friendly vibrant spot at dinner (quieter at lunch) with the best onion rings in town and a unique concept of 'choose your own veggie buffet' which they take and add to your choice of meat , noodles and sauce- in a terrific Asian stirfry. Our fav is the Cool Cukes salad and the chewy Shanghai Noodles stirfry with Orange Chipotle Sauce, our bowl of veggies and choice of protein! They also do a wonderful Coconut Flan for dessert.
      Cambridge and Harvard Square

      If you end up exploring bustling student-oriented Harvard Square, Casablanca is a long running underground bistro w/ a loyal academic following; open for lunch and dinner, interesting international foods-Moroccan, French and Mediterranean..The murals of the movie are great and it's a quiet comfie spot to have lunch and relax from the din. Harvard Square is beautifully situated on the Charles River and the historic 18th and 19th c. Brattle Street mansions make for very pleasant strolling/driving out of the Square.

      hope you enjoy yourself.

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

      1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

      Tremont 647
      647 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02118

      Modern Pastry
      257 Hanover St, Boston, MA

      La Verdad
      1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

      Sel de la Terre
      774 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199

      Lala Rokh
      97 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

      18 Eliot St, Cambridge, MA 02138

      Durgin Park
      1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109

      Tremont Cafe
      418 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

      1 Reply
      1. re: opinionatedchef

        Wow, opinionatedchef, this is a fantastic guide to Beantown chow. I should probably have mentioned that I used to live there and your post reminded me of some old favourites and points me to some new places I am keen to try. Now I only regret that I won't have time to check them all out. Look us up on the British Columbia board next time you're heading out west -- we have a bunch of great new places that we are always happy to share.