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Nov 17, 2010 09:15 AM

1st time in Boston, help with dining itineray

After much research, here's what I narrowed it down to...

only 2 days, not enough time to fit everything in

Day 1:
Breakfast - Flour Bakery
Lunch - Butcher Shop
Dinner - No 9 Park
Late Nite - Drink

Day 2:
Breakfast - ????
Lunch - Neptune Oyster
Dinner - Craigie on Main
Late Nite - Market by Jean Georges

Day 3:
Lunch - Dumpling Cafe

Any suggestions otherwise?

Also, if time permits...some sightseeing, what's a tourist must see?

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  1. There really isnt anything glaringly wrong with your itinerary at all. A couple alternate suggestions though.

    Ive personally never been a huge fan of No.9 Park, but it defintietly has its fans so take that with a grain of salt. An alternative though would be L'Esplaier or Clio if you are comfortable with the No.9 price point.

    For Day 1 Lunch, once again the Butcher Shop has its supporters, but Coppa and Toro are also both in the South End and two of the best lunch spots in the city.

    Day 2 Breakfast, I would look into Mike and Pattys in Bay Village.

    Enjoy your stay and please report back with your impressions!

    1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

    253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

    6 Replies
    1. re: Matt H

      Matt H makes some good points.

      The only improvement I could think of was to sub in a Speed's hot dog for lunch on one of the days.

      1. re: Matt H

        Matt's great recs aside, I do like that Barbara Lynch-based day 1 plan. If only she served breakfast somewhere....

        To clarify your day 2 late night plans: Market stops seating around 10 or 11 (depending on the day), so you will probably be in the adjacent W lounge (and have to enter through the hotel entrance and not the "Market" entrance which gets locked at some point). They have an addictive ginger margarita and a very yummy (but overpriced) truffle pizza, but it definitely feels like a hotel lounge to me. Sure, it's a very nice, swanky, W hotel lounge, but depending on where you are staying, there could be better options in my opinion.

        Tourist stops? When I have first-time visitors in town, I do like getting drinks at the Top of the Hub if the day is clear. Combining drinks with tourist activities is important to me.

        Top of the Hub
        800 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02199

        1. re: redelephant

          was planning on the W lounge for late night drinks on day 2, unless there's better recommendations for a late night place close to the back bay area

          1. re: Allencvc

            I shouldn't say there are better options, just different options. But if you really like ginger and margaritas, the decision is simple. And if you don't like it there after a drink or two, then I would just bar hop back to your hotel---it's a great way to spend those late hours.

          2. re: redelephant

            Doesn't Sportello serve breakfast? I haven't been but I've heard very good things about their pastry. In case the OP wants an entire day catered by Barbara Lynch Gruppo. Kind of an odd achievement but notable nonetheless, plus there would be a certain symmetry to starting the day at Sportello (upstairs) and then circling back to Drink (downstairs) at the end of the night.

            More seriously, I agree that Flour's pastry isn't that great (muffins and cakey things better than brioche or croissants; sandwiches are excellent) but I don't think it's worth trekking out to Clear Flour given that it's take-out only and the OP seems to want a place to stay and eat breakfast. It's a very good bakery but it won't blow your mind.

            If you're open to a different location though, maybe Crema Cafe in Harvard Square for breakfast one of the days might work. Mornings are one of the few times you can actually get a seat there, the food is great (their english muffin is excellent but so are most of their baked goods and sandwiches) and they are pretty serious about their espresso as well if that's an attraction. Plus there's plenty to see in and around Harvard Square.

            Crema Cafe
            27 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

            348 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02110

        2. Is there any particular reason why you want to visit Flour? Their sandwiches are good but I'm not so crazy about their pastry. If you have a car I would skip Flour and head to Clear Flour instead. It's not in Boston proper but just over the border in nearby Brookline. Get a gruyere croissant. It's one of my (many) favorite things to eat in the city.

          3 Replies
          1. re: chefematician

            no particular reason for choosing flour, just looking for a cute breakfast/pastry place. no car so traveling anyplace out of the way is prob not going to happen unless a place is truly worth it.

            1. re: Allencvc

              Travel in Boston is much different than other cities. It's a small city in terms of area, so things that may seem far away are closer than one might think. Clear Flour is IMHO, much better than Flour in terms of pastries,their gruyere cheese croissant is ruly phenomenal, and it's only a 20 minute subway ride away from Back Bay. Definitely add Mike & Patty's for breakfast one day, though you may need to bring it back to your hotel as they have like 4 seats inside. Their food is seriuosly good, though.

              I also agree on Toro or Coppa instead of The Butcher Shop, unless you really want to pad Barbara Lynch's bank account. BTW if you really want to pad her bank account switch #9 Park for Menton. More expensive, but fabulous food and the best service I've ever had in Boston. Good luck, enjoy your visit, and please let us know what you decided on, and what you thought of the places you went!

              1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

              253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

              354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

              1. re: Allencvc

                Flour certainly fits the bill for a cute and cozy breakfast/pastry place (which Clear Flour doesn't, having no place to sit, even though they do have great breads). The egg sandwich at Flour is great and probably the best breakfasty thing on the menu. If they have the cheddar scallion scone, that's another favorite of mine.

            2. I know you probably really want to try Drink but I think you should look for something around No9 (unless you've switched to Menton already). You'll be over in the Seaport for breakfast at Flour, then South End for lunch, then downtown for dinner, then back to the Seaport for Drink's. Great plan if that's where your hotel is... if not I wouldn't bother going back there late night on a Friday.

              By No9 you could do The Marliave, Silvertone, Stoddard's, or Troquet for wine.

              I'd also sub Eastern Standard for the lobby bar at the W, though that ginger margarita is very good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Beachowolfe

                I'm assuming they will go to the Flour in the South End, no? That's the easy one to walk to from the Back Bay and feeds right into their lunch plans, while the Seaport location is where you go the morning after you pass out on the sidewalk the night before after too many drinks at Drink. And yeah, personally, I too would sub Eastern Standard for the W Lounge.

                1. re: Beachowolfe

                  thanks everyone....too many places, not enough time!

                  Clio, No 9 Park or Craigie on Main? (pick 2)

                  Coppa or Woodward at Ames for after dinner drinks?

                  1. re: Allencvc

                    bar at Coppa is tiny and there's not much standing room. Woodward is a little more loung-ey especially upstairs.

                    1. re: Allencvc

                      Coppa doesn't have a full liquor license (cordials). Not a place for getting cocktails IMO. What days of the week are you going? Lunch at Coppa and Toro are awesome mid-week. Weekends mean brunch and no lunch for a lot of Boston restaurants. Good brunches include Toro, Sel De La Terre, East Coast Grill and Craigie.

                      For drinks, I love Eastern Standard and No. 9 Park. Drink is great and I love the concept, but there is too much pretense these days.

                      As for a dinner at the price points that you're considering, O Ya and Craigie on Main would be my two choices.

                      O Ya
                      9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

                      East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
                      1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                      Eastern Standard
                      528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                      1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                      Craigie on Main
                      853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                      Sel De La Terre
                      776 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

                      253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                  2. I just returned Saturday from my first trip to Boston....I reviewed this site and chose Hamersly's Bistro for a dinner. It was oustanding, every aspect of the experience. Service and food were outstanding. The chef/owner (James Beard winner 1995) was manning a station on the line. He later visited with every table and was a stand-up guy. I wish the restaurant was in Minneapolis as I would be a regular. Enjoy your trip.