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May 2, 2011 04:28 AM

3 day trip to Boston - suggestions for must-eats?

My girlfriend and I will be visiting Boston from Australia for 3 days in two weeks time. We will be staying in downtown, near Aquarium station.

I am checking out the other threads for information and questions similar to mine, but if someone can have some suggestions that would be really helpful for me as a starting point.

For the fine dining scene, it has been well covered here:
so I will refer to that thread, and also this one:

The following are on my must-eat list: Boston Lobster, lobster rolls, clam chowder, fish and chips and steam/fried clams.

For the above, can anyone please suggest restaurants/places that do these dishes well? I am especially looking forward to trying Boston lobster and clam chowder.

Are there any other foods I'm missing from my list?

Will continue researching/reading older threads in the meantime.


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  1. Check this one out, it covers a lot. For fried clams if you can rent a car (~1 hr drive there) go to the north shore to Essex seafood fried clams, chowder and steamed clams and more, if not hit Neptune oyster in the northend for pricey but great seafood, if it is a nice day you can grab a lobster roll a short walk from the aquarium to the old northern ave bridge near the Federal court house and eat it on the greenway park or on the benches out side the court house with lovely views of the harbor.

    You might want to visit Chinatown the restaruants there do a good but messy chinese lobster with scallions and ginger. Peach farm, Jumbo's and new golden gate are my favorites some times the prices can be as low as 2 one pound lobsters for $19 search this board for recommendations. They also do good chines food, if you are in to spicy food hit new shanghai.

    Have a great visit.

    1. Assuming you will not have a car, I suggest:
      lobster rolls, Neptune oyster (about $25) or James Hook for a take out lunch on the Greenway.
      chowder, Turner's Fisheries. We ate there recently and loved our meal.
      fried clams, take the Braintree branch of the Redline to Wollaston and walk about 1 mile to the beach. Turn right and walk 1/4 of a mile or so past The Original Clam Box to Tony's. I just ate there and was very pleased. On this trip you will get to see a glimpse of America you won't see downtown.
      fish and chips, we really like the fried haddock at The Daily Catch in the N End. Did lunch there to avoid the crowds.
      The Summer Shack is a good choice for all your seafood desires.
      Two more places that I have not gotten to are the Drydock Cafe and Yankee Lobster both in S Boston
      If you have a car I suggest:
      The Clam Box in Ipswich for freid clams, On a warm day check out Roy Moore lobsters in Rockport (you eat outdoors on the water here). The Causeway in Gloucester (huge portions and reasonable prices, again they cover all the seafood bases).

      Yankee Lobster
      300 Northern Ave, Boston, MA

      Summer Shack
      310 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

      Daily Catch
      323 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113

      Clam Box
      789 Quincy Shore Dr, Quincy, MA 02170

      1. Many visitors to Boston expecting to find that seafood is a regional specialty. Indeed, there are excellent seafood meals to be had, but surprisingly, seafood is not the center of attention here. In addition to satisfying the culinary cravings that you mention, you might also consider

        - Some of the foods of the ethnic communities that may not be as well represented in your home community. In particular, originally attracted by the fishing industry, there is a significant Portuguese and Azorean community here and on Cape Cod. You can take the subway or a taxi from your hotel to Cambridge, where there are some excellent choices.

        - Seafood in the rough. Go to most of the Boston recommendations for seafood and you will be treated to a good restaurant meal. But that is a far cry from what, to me is "real" New England seafood. (Maybe I am the only one?) I am thinking of the kind of place where they cook it inside and then you sit outside at a picnic table while enjoying your meal. Extra points if the picnic table is on or at least in sight of a dock. Roy Moore, which has already been mentioned, is a great place for lobster. However you would probably want to go somewhere else for your fix of fried seafood. There are a number of places up on the North Shore (you've already been pointed at the Clam Shack; there are a number of similar places, each with fierce partisans) that do that on a large-ish scale. My personal favorite, however, is about 60 miles north of Boston in Kittery, Maine. Bob's Clam Hut is a little place that sits by the side of the road and is surrounded by picnic tables. It is definitely un-fancy and decidedly wonderful. Their belly clams are sumptuous and they still offer things like fried oysters that you may have trouble finding elsewhere. This is REAL authentic New England food at its most basic. I try to make a pilgrimage at least once a year. Kittery is just over the bridge from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a great old ship-building town with a very interesting and enjoyable historic area (Strawberry Banke). If you have time to do this as part of your trip, you might enjoy renting a car and spending a day in Portsmouth, hopping over the bridge to Kittery for lunch at Bob's, and driving back to Boston for dinner.

        Bob's Clam Hut
        RR 1, Kittery, ME 03904

        1 Reply
        1. re: PinchOfSalt

          PinchOfSalt's comment about ethnic foods reminded me of Casa Portugal in Inman Sq/Cambridge. we had a great seafood dish there. It was clams, mussels, fish, calmari and shrimp in a red sauce. Portions are large so this and an appeizer should be enough for two.

          Casa Portugal
          1200 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

        2. The fish & chips at the Druid in Inman Square (a 12 minute walk for the Central Sq T stop) are highly recommended.

          It's a little boring, but I'd do the steamers and chowder at Legal Seafoods. There's one just around the corner from your hotel--swing by sometime, grab a pint (sorry, it's 16oz, if you're lucky), a bowl of chowder and some steamers, and go on with your day and/or grab dinner elsewhere. Or combine it with a whole steamed lobster and make a feast of it. There are probably other places that are more highly recommended, but steamed lobster and clams are not rocket science, and probably not worth driving an hour to seek out some particular location if you've only got 3 days.

          One food missing: raw oysters on the half shell. Plop yourself down at Neptune Oyster Bar or Island Creek Oyster Bar with a fistful of dollars and suck down a dozen. My favorites are from Wellfleet, MA, but get an assortment and taste the variety! You can get good fried clams at Neptune as well--maybe the best in Boston-proper?

          I'd also add some pastries (canoli et al, and biscotti travel well) from Maria's or Modern. Also, if you're interested, Boston's take on pizza at either Pizzeria Regina (north end) or Santarpio's (East Boston, a 10 minute walk from the Maverick T stop, which is one stop from the Aquarium).

          Boston is a major beer city. If you like beer, spend an afternoon or evening on the patio at Cambridge Brewing Company sampling their many excellent beers. Or swing by the Kinsale (near Gov't Ctr) on your way home one night--they'll give you a 20oz pour for $6.50 or so, which is a great price here in Boston.

          If you are driving towards Ipswich or NH, make a stop at Kane's in Saugus for donuts.

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

          Kane's Doughnut House
          120 Lincoln Ave, Saugus, MA 01906

          Maria's Pastry Shop
          46 Cross St, Boston, MA 02129

          Cambridge Brewing Company
          1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139

          Kinsale Irish Pub & Restaurant
          2 Center Plz, Boston, MA

          Druid Restaurant
          1357 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

          Modern Pastry
          257 Hanover St, Boston, MA

          Legal Sea Foods - Long Wharf
          255 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

          Island Creek Oyster Bar
          500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

          2 Replies
          1. re: emannths

            there are plenty of 1 dollar oyster places; my favorite monday nights at Riatlo. There is no need to pay more.

            here is a link:

            1. re: cambridgedoctpr

              That's certainly true. Aside from time/geographical convenience, the only other reason I can think of would be selection. Most Legal Seafoods locations have a number of different oysters that you can get during the $1/oyster period. Are there other places that offer a selection broader than just Duxbury (not that there's anything wrong with them, but if I were visiting I'd want to try a range of oysters)?

          2. Bruce,

            May is a particularly beautiful month here; welcome in advance!You're doing great with your research so far. here is a suggestion for other questions you might answer so we can help you better. In particular- are you here for 3 days and then travelling elsewhere in the new england region?


            --what days of the week ?

            --car or public transit?

            --what atmosphere and price range (entrees in the $20‘s, $30‘s, or other)

            --Lunch- prefer sandwiches or more?

            - Any particular areas you will be exploring, where you would also like to dine?

            Should we assume that you have tremendous chinese, japanese and SE asian at home? I know you are a seafood filled country with many kinds that we do have but also many varieties that we do not/ or rarely see here. But maybe you've never had our (sweet and local) scallops, or bluefish? Our maine shrimp are tiny and sweet but i think there are better seafoods here myself. For tasty but not local American seafood that you occasionally see on menus here, you might enjoy soft shell crab(they get shipped up from The South; blue crabs that have recently shed their skin, are soft and can be eaten whole), trout, lingcod/sablefish, sturgeon,salmon( because this is farm raised in Eastern Canada, you see salmon on EVERY restnt menu! more rare are the wild salmon menu sightings). All these things have their season; I'm not going into all that detail, but you might just want to be aware of these as possible options when you eat out (here and elsewhere in the U.S.). Fish and chips is not a common menu item here and you'd likely have much better versions at home(yes?)

            If your U.S. visit does not include going South, you might enjoy a Southern restaurant like the very popular Hungry Mother where you can sample Southern seafood and other Southern specialties. For a place that has many more options in the Southern realm but also the bigger seafood realm and BBQ and Mexican too, with a great welcoming vibe, I highly urge you to eat at one of our most popular institutions (25 yrs. old this yr!) East Coast Grill. Their brunch is fabulous and unique in Boston; their dinners offer more in the seafood line.


            Also, some extra Boston food profile info for you:


            I always advise pulling up menus to give you an up to date sense of a restnt's food etc. And reservations are a must, when possible, if you're here on a wkend.

            p.s. you might get a kick out of knowing that there is a new cafe and food truck in boston that offers some aussie specialties- in case you're on a world tour and you miss the accent etc!:


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

            Hungry Mother
            Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA