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First trip to Boston!!!

My girlfriend and I will be making our first visit to the Boston area. We are coming in on tuesday, June 21 and will be leaving on Saturday, June 25.

Here are some places/restaurants/pubs that we thought about checking out:

Union Oyster House
Pizzeria Regina (North End)
The Barking Crab (after reading reviews, we may just stop for a beer)
East Coast Grille
Thirsty Scholar Pub
Bukowski Tavern
Boston Beer Works
Cheers (Beacon Hill)
Durgin Park
Terramia
Cambridge 1
Bleacher Bar
Neptune

Fenway Park
North End
Quincy Market
Harvard University/Harvard Square

I realize that the majority of these (or all) are "tourist" places, but then again - we are tourists! I am looking for suggestions on good restaurants, good pubs/bars, other must sees!

We will be getting into boston around noon on Tuesday and we will be renting a car for the week. I haven't booked hotel rooms yet, but I am guessing we will stay in either the downtown, north end or beacon hill areas.

Tuesday:
- I thought about checking out some of downtown, stopping at The Barking Crab, and we are looking for a good place to eat in those areas. We would like to check out a couple of cool "boston" pubs.

Wednesday:
- we are going to the Red Sox game at 1:30 this day. I am planning on heading down to the fenway area that morning (probably 9ish), maybe for a quick breakfast and check out some of the local bars (bleacher bar). We will probably eat at the park, but may be looking for something lighter that night or some pub food. We will probably try to hit some local pubs/bars either in fenway area or back toward hotel area.

thursday:
- nothing planned. We would like to hit Harvard Square and Harvard University sometime. We could either do this Thursday or Friday. So restaurant suggestions in this area/Cambridge for brunch, lunch or dinner are appreciated. I would like to stop in at the Thirsty Scholar Pub.

Friday:
- nothing planned. We would like to hit Quincy Market and/or Chinatown on one of the days. So restaurant suggestions are appreciated.

Here is what we are looking for in food:

- seafood!!
- Italian/pizza
- good food/good views
- brunch spots
- "boston" feel restaurants
- must see pubs/hole-in-the wall spots

Obviously being our first time, it is hard to envision what we can hit in the same day? What restaurants/pubs make sense to pair up on a day?

thanks!!!

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The Barking Crab
88 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210

Thirsty Scholar
70 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

Union Oyster House
41 Union Street, Boston, MA 02108

Boston Beer Works
61 Brookline Ave Ste 2, Boston, MA 02215

Fenway Park
82 Lansdowne Street, Boston, MA 02215

Bukowski's
50 Dalton St Ste 4, Boston, MA 02115

Terramia
98 Salem St., North End, Boston, MA 02113

East Coast Restaurant
1456 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02122

Durgin Park
1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109

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  1. Ill just comment on your list:

    Union Oyster House -- NO The food is really terrible. The oysters are ok, but you can do better.

    Pizzeria Regina (North End) YES Good.

    The Barking Crab (after reading reviews, we may just stop for a beer) NO!!!!

    East Coast Grille YES!!!!

    Thirsty Scholar Pub NEVER BEEN

    Bukowski Tavern YES. And check out the Pour House across the street too.

    Boston Beer Works NO. Overpriced, meh food and insane on game days

    Cheers (Beacon Hill) HUH? Its name isn't cheers, it's the bull and finch. It doesn't remotely resemble cheers. Its just a neighborhood bar. Fine for that.

    Durgin Park I cant tell you how much I hate this place. Everyone is from Iowa

    Terramia NEver been

    Cambridge 1 Never been

    Bleacher Bar Fun

    Neptune NOW you're talking! Absolutely.

    Ill have more time to think and post later ...

    -----
    The Barking Crab
    88 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210

    Thirsty Scholar
    70 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

    Bukowski's
    1281 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

    Union Oyster House
    41 Union Street, Boston, MA 02108

    Boston Beer Works
    61 Brookline Ave Ste 2, Boston, MA 02215

    Terramia
    98 Salem St., North End, Boston, MA 02113

    Pour House
    907 Boylston St Ste 21, Boston, MA 02115

    East Coast Restaurant
    1456 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02122

    Durgin Park
    1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109

    1 Reply
    1. re: C. Hamster

      Actually, the Bull & Finch officially "gave up" and changed its name to Cheers several years ago. And as a "neighborhood bar" I would recommend 75 Chestnut or The Sevens well before Cheers.

      -----
      75 Chestnut
      75 Chestnut St, Boston, MA 02108

    2. Cambridge One would cover off pizza and Harvard Square and it's good. Pizzeria Regina (in North End only) also good. Sadly, good food and good views are largely mutually exclusive around here. Based on your plans, I doubt you need a car and suspect you will find it more of a liability than anything else. Everything is public transport ("T") accessible, whiile parking is a problem in most if not all of the touristy spots. Agree with C. Hamster that Boston Beer Works is a must-miss and that the Cheers bar (Bull & Finch) turns out to be a major disappointment for out-of-towners I have not been able to discourage from waiting in line for. Neptune and East Coast Grill will get you seafood and consider adding Peach Farm in Chinatown for their take on seafood. Brunch is going to be tough because you're not around on the weekend. Can't speak to the pubs but you seem to have an assortment. Enjoy your stay!

      -----
      Peach Farm
      4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

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

      Boston Beer Works
      61 Brookline Ave Ste 2, Boston, MA 02215

      2 Replies
      1. re: GretchenS

        Skip Boston Beer Works and Bull & Finch. Instead, when you go to East Coast Grill, follow it with a stop at Bukowski next door--a good beer bar. Then go on to the Druid, my favorite neighborhood pub, and continue up Beacon Street for a nice cocktail at Trina's. By the time you are done at Trina's and ready to go to Thirsty Scholar just a few doors down, you will be too smashed to mind that you are only there because it was in The Social Network. That said, the Thirsty Scholar is a plenty fine place, especially if there is a game on that you want to watch.

        1. re: hckybg

          Personally I like the Thirsty Scholar but the food is very, very mediocre. Druid is much better by far and a real local hole in the wall. In Harvard Square, consider stopping by Grendel's...it's an old pub and big grad student hangout. OK food at half price during happy hour. Another bar you might want to try is Casablanca...full of lots of Harvard prof types, a real local hangout, and bar food above average.Scenes from the movie on the wall. You will not want to drive to Cambridge, the parking situation is horrific. Others have posted about newer taverns/pubs in Cambridge.

          I love Oleana in Cambridge and don't miss Neptune! Go right when they open at lunch or midafternoon. Also, earlier today someone who just visited and who has very high end food tastes posted a good review of Durgin Park. Looking inside the Union Oyster House/getting a drink/oysters is fine...but as others have said, dont get anything else there!

          Did you know that there is an inexpensive Amtrak train to Portland? You may still want the car for that trip. Where are you from? Depending, you may be shocked at the price for off street parking, including at the hotel.

          For a short, cheap boat ride with fabulous views of the city, check out the the MBTA boat from the Aquarium (long wharf) to Charlestown....where Bunker Hill and the Old Ironsides/Constitution ship are. There is a pub right there at the boat dock called Tavern on the Water...it has fabulous views and a deck, horrible food but stopping for a drink before you head back on the boat is fine. Even more water view are the boats to the Harbor Islands...take a picnic with you.

          -----
          Thirsty Scholar
          70 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

          Oleana
          134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

          Durgin Park
          1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109

      2. thanks for the advice C. Hamster and Gretchen!

        One of the reasons for the car is that we are driving up to Portland on Saturday and will be up there for a couple of days.

        5 Replies
        1. re: gators2k

          In Portland, hit up 3 Dollar Dewey's and Gritty McDuff's.

          1. re: gators2k

            In that case consider getting the car only for that side trip to Portland - I agree with Gretchen S that you don't need the car in Boston & Cambridge, and it may indeed be more of a liability than an asset, especially trying to park in the busiest parts of town.

            1. re: Allstonian

              Seconded: Boston has many in-town car rental places where you can book a car without having to head back to the airport to do so. Book a car sole for the Portland run and use the T the rest of the time. You'll save both money and aggravation.

            2. re: gators2k

              If you like good beer stop by Novare Res while in Portland. It's right down in old-port hidden in an alley behind the parking garage that's across the street from Gritty's. They are always pouring some great Belgian inspired brews and have nice cheese and hams to nibble on as well. They have a funky basement space and a large sunny outside area.

              1. re: gators2k

                The food in Portland is much better than in Boston! Check out Duckfat, Atlantic Baking Co., or Nosh. By the water go either Gilbert's Chowder House or the Port Hole.

              2. Don't rent a car for the days you are in Boston. Its the worst way to get around the city by far. Every place you mentioned is within walking distance accept for the places you mentioned in Cambridge, which is easily accessible by subway.

                If you are going to a Sox game then I wouldn't recommend Bleacher Bar because the appeal of Bleacher Bar is that you can kinda see into the field from it, but if you are going to the game anyway then whats the point? In the Fenway area check out:

                Eastern Standard: amazing cocktails

                Citizen Pub: good cocktails, decent beer

                Lower Depths: Solid but expensive beer selection

                Boston Beer Works: decent brewpub, right at the ballpark

                Since you plan to go to Harvard Square and are interested in bars, check out the beer garden at Charlies Kitchen. Russell House Tavern is a good place in the square too. You mentioned both Thirsty Scholar and East Coast Grill. Keep in mind these two places are near Harvard Square. Other places you should check out in this area are Oleana for great Mediterranean food with a lovely patio and Cambridge Brewing Company and Lord Hobo for the 2 best beer destinations in city.

                If you are going to be looking for bars in the downtown area, check out Drink for the best cocktails in the city. Kinsale, Stoddards and Jacob Wirths are probably along the lines of pubs you are looking for in that part of town.

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

                Eastern Standard
                528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                Cambridge Brewing Company
                1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139

                Jacob Wirth Restaurant
                31 Stuart St, Boston, MA 02116

                Thirsty Scholar
                70 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

                Oleana
                134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                Boston Beer Works
                61 Brookline Ave Ste 2, Boston, MA 02215

                Lower Depths
                476 Commonwealth Ave Ste 1, Boston, MA 02215

                Lord Hobo
                92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                Russell House Tavern
                14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

                2 Replies
                1. re: Kinopio

                  While in Portland, I highly recommend a stop in at Scratch Bakery (S. Portland, only 10 minutes from downtown)
                  http://scratchbakingco.com/

                  PLEEZ don't go to the Barking Crab, unless you are hellbent on a beer in a plastic cup in a filthy environment. Many other great suggestions here for something on the waterfront. It's one thing to do something touristy that is good.....it's another to go to a touristy spot that simply stinks!

                  Here's a few others:
                  While in Harvard Square, Henrietta's Table is a great spot for brunch or other meals.

                  Chinatown is a good call, whether for a Banh Mi, dimsum (Chau Chow Seafood or Hei La Moon; although I would stick with a cart place), great seafood at Peach Farm, great overall meal at Taiwan Cafe.

                  -----
                  Hei La Moon
                  88 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                  Peach Farm
                  4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

                  The Barking Crab
                  88 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210

                  Henrietta's Table
                  One Bennett St., Cambridge, MA 02138

                  1. re: Science Chick

                    BTW, on your way to Portland I highly recommend stopping for lunch at Fisherman's Catch in Wells. Slightly off the main tourist route (Rt. 1), with lovely marsh views, top notch seafood. Really one of the best seafood places in southern Maine.

                    http://www.fishermanscatchwells.com/

                2. I have a few ideas for you. If it's really nice out, a drink at the Barking Crab might not be out of order, but in that area better choices when you don't have to be outside are Lucky's and Drink. Lucky's is a fun Boston bar, a bit of Southie, they have live music some nights and decent bar food. If you like classic cocktails you should definitely stop in at Drink if it's not too crowded.

                  For a day in Cambridge: start off with brunch at the Friendly Toast served all day every day. It's a fun place, with good toast and weird kitschy decor. You could visit MIT, or walk along the Charles River.

                  Bartley's Burgers is a classic tourist destination in Harvard Square you could go to for lunch. Or if you value taste over touristy, go to Flat Patties instead. Tory Row has also been reported to have good burgers if you want a beer with your burger.

                  Later in the day I would suggest the Russell House Tavern for some good drinks and food. Or you could head down to Inman Square to finish off the day and go to the places hckybg suggested.

                  Other bars:
                  Irish Pub: touristy-Black Rose by Quincy Market authentic-the Burren in Davis Square
                  Brew Pub: average-Boston Beer Works great beer-Cambridge Brewing Company
                  Beer Bars: Bukowski's, Publick House, Lord Hobo, Sunset, Deep Ellum, Meadhall (opening tomorrow)