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restaurants/food stores near boston sheraton/hynes convention center

hi hounds,

toronto hound here. i'm coming to boston for four nights in june for a conference. i'll be staying at the sheraton boston and the conference is at the hynes convention center.

i was wondering if folks could provide me with some restaurants/food stores in that area.

here are my constraints:

1. i have a $65 daily meal budget - breakfast = $10, lunch = $20, dinner = $35 (including gratiuties). i could blow all $65 on dinner ... but then i'd be really hungry! that said, i'd be willing to shell out some of my own $$ for a truly awesome meal.

2. i'll be four months pregnant at the time of this trip ... so i'd like to keep the options close by, if possible. normally, i'd be willing to venture far and wide for great food, but for this trip, i think i'd better keep my options closer to home.

3. i'll eat pretty much anything ... except, being preggers, i've got some limitations. for example, as much as i'd love to gorge myself on lobster for four nights in a row, i think my OB might disapprove! so, while seafood places would be much appreciated, i'd also like other options. for some reason, huge chunks of steak/chicken are not appealing to me right now ... but i'm hoping this will pass by the time i'm in boston!

4. in addition to restaurants, i'm wondering if folks can provide some nearby grocery stores/convenience stores? i'll need to stock up on water, snacks, fruit, etc. i've requested a fridge in my room at the hotel.

5. i checked with the conference and it doesn't seem that breakfast/lunch/dinner are included in the conference price ... so i'd appreciate recos for all three meals. i'm not a coffee-and-a-muffin-type of breakfast eater ... i'd prefer a more substantial breakfast (yogurt, fruit, cereal, eggs, etc.). for lunch, i'm not averse to soup/sandwich places. and for dinner, anything goes.

6. i'll be dining solo for most (if not all) of these meals ... i don't care if i eat in a restaurant alone, but i would also not be averse to any restaurant where i could get take out and head back to the hotel either.

i think that's it ... thanks very much! i really appreciate the help!


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  1. There's a large Star Market (one of the two main supermarket chains) in the Prudential Center, which is connected to the Hynes Convention Center.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jenny Ondioline

      There is a Whole Foods market near Symphony Hal lwithin an easy walk of the Sheraton. You go out the door, cross the Christian Science Center and you're there. They have a good salad bar, excellent produce and lots of take out.

      Beginning on the 18th, there will be a farmers market in front of the Prudential on Thursdays.

      Cafe Jaffa on Gloucester will offer big warm middle eastern sandwiches at great prices. And, Trident Booksellers Cafe on Newbury serves breakfast all day.

      On the other end of Newbury Street is L'Aroma Cafe. They make very good pressed sandwiches, Quiches and other goodies.

      Since you will be dining along, consider grabbing a bag of lunch and walking over to the Commonwealth Avenue Mall where you can grab a bench and become part of the neighborhood while you dine.

      You can also picnic in the South Garden inside the Prudential Center, In the Boston Public Garden or in the Courtyard of the Boston Public Library. The courtyard is one of those secret places that you'll always remember.

      Wonderful Pho Ga (Vietmanese chicken and noodle soup) is to be had on Mass Ave at Pho Basil.


      Cafe Jaffa
      48 Gloucester St, Boston, MA 02115

      Pho Basil Restaurant
      177A Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

      Trident Booksellers & Cafe
      338 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115

    2. there is a 24-hour shaw's in the prudential center.

      brasserie jo is right there and serves great alsatian/french bistro type food. chili duck is nearby for serviceable thai food.

      cafe jaffa for middle-eastern.

      a little bit of a walk, or a quick t-trip are both island creek oyster bar (plenty of cooked options, don't worry) and eastern standard. both reasonable with excellent menus.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hotoynoodle

        forget the Shaws unless you are looking for produce. There is a Trader Joe's market directly across the street from the Hynes. Much better than Shaws if you are looking for something cheap and quick.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I'm going to second brasserie jo! The food is very good and I positively loved the service when we were there last summer. There was nothing they would not have done for us!

        2. Hi lilaki,

          There's a food court inside the Pru; there are some healthy options (such as sandwiches, wraps, soups etc). I think you can easily have lunch for $10 and save the $ for nicer dinner.

          Apart from Shaw's and Trader Joe's, the Copley Sq Farmers Market will be held every Tues & Fri from 11a-6pm. The Prudential Farmers Market is every Thursday 11a-6p. You should be able to find some decent fruits there, and there are usually plenty of baked goods.

          One nearby place I really like for sit-down meal, is Lucy's Ethiopian Cafe on Mass Ave, diagonally across from Symphony Hall. It's under a 10-min walk from your hotel.

          There are 2 Legal Seafoods within walking distance. The one inside the Pru is crowded, if you don't mind walking a little, go to the one inside Copley Place. Another place for seafood would be Turner Fisheries in Copley Place.

          Hope this helps.

          Turner Fisheries Bar
          10 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

          Lucy Ethiopian Cafe
          334 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02116

          12 Replies
          1. re: y2000k

            I *love* the Copley Square Farmers Market, but there is not likely to be any local fruit there next month. We are just barely away from frost. There will be lots of excellent baked goods (don't miss Iggy's breads) and prepared foods, goat cheese, yogurt, etc., and it is a beautiful experience. Very near the Boston Public Library and the inner courtyard Penny/Bostonzest mentioned. Look for the cider doughnuts..a local speciality..

              1. re: y2000k

                It depends on which end of June - especially with the long, cool spring we're having, I don't think we can expect local strawberries before the middle of the month.

                (On the other hand, this weather is being fantastic for lettuce - I've had two big salads from my front-walk planter already, and the plants are growing so fast that the radishes can't get any sun!)

                1. re: y2000k

                  no strawberries or asparagus at today's opening market, but maybe by June if we are lucky. Both are so worth the extra cost for local, though might cut into the OP's budget and unlike me, she probably doesn't munch on raw asparagus!

                  1. re: Madrid

                    They had it? I work at Boylston and Clarendon and it looked to us like it was cancelled, so we didn't venture over... Grrrr

                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      yep,it was dismal weather but there were a lot of tents. I thanked every vendor I bought from for being there and each one said, wouldn't miss the first market for anything! remember that Tuesday or Friday last summer when we were supposed to get the hurricane? That never came...anyway, most everybody was there that day except Siena Farm and some had "hurricane" sales...

                2. re: Madrid

                  cider donuts? at this time of year?

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    can't remember the name of the stand, but they had them at Copley every time I went throughout the season ( my son loves them). They were also at every Winter Market in Somerville, along with cider. They make them with last year's pressed cider until the apple harvest comes in.

                    1. re: Madrid

                      I don't recall those folks(across from Copley Plaza Hotel) having cider doughnuts until much later in the year.

                      But I'm pretty excited about all the cool early produce.

                      1. re: C. Hamster

                        It's Hamilton Orchards. I think Barbara Hamilton may make them all year but I'll check on Tuesday and confirm.


                        1. re: BostonZest

                          I was at the first Copley Market today....Hamilton Orchards was there and they have the cider donuts all season long, got some for my son today. They are on the Copley Plaza Hotel side. Good turnout by vendors on opening day despite the cold rain, so worth going even if the weather is terrible.

                          1. re: Madrid

                            Thanks Madrid, I just popped in here to say the same thing.

              2. For lunch or a cheap dinner, head to Pad Thai Cafe. Really good. Takeout is easy here too.

                If you've got time for a quick ride on the T, take the B-branch of the Green line to the Packard's Corner stop and go to the Super88 market and food court.

                You can take the 1 bus across the river to Cambridge (10-20 min?) and get Sichuan Chinese at Thailand Cafe and ice cream at Toscanini's. Also up that way is Floating Rock (Cambodian). You could do takeout from either place.

                Toscanini's Ice Cream
                899 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                Thailand Cafe
                302 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                Pad Thai Cafe
                1116 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215

                2 Replies
                1. re: emannths

                  she's 2 t-stops from chinatown as well, instead of standing around and waiting for a bus, or crawling through traffic on the above-ground b-line.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    True, though if you've got a smartphone you get can realtime bus updates, which levels the playing field a bit.

                    There are plenty of threads on Chinatown. My short list is New Shanghai (for Sichuan--all the Sichuan places in Boston go incognito) and Xinh Xinh (for Vietnamese). You can of course also get banh mi, Taiwan Chinese, etc in Chinatown too.

                    New Shanghai Restaurant
                    21 Hudson St, Boston, MA 02111

                    Xinh Xinh
                    7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                2. Lilali is within walking distance to Newbury St. There are a ton of dining options ( and not all "fancy") there.

                  1. hi everyone,

                    WOW. thanks so much for all the options!!! this is great! :)

                    we don't have trader joe's here in canada so i'll definitely check that out ... it's always fun to browse through grocery stores when traveling. even better if i can pick up supplies/snacks/etc. here.

                    any idea where i might be able to get a quick/simple/cheap breakfast in the area? i'm thinking i'll get gouged at the hotel! i'd even settle for a bowl of oatmeal!

                    thanks again!!!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: lilaki

                      Steve's, a Greek diner at the corner of Newbury and Hereford, is just a couple blocks away from Hynes, and has an entirely passable breakfast -- as a matter of fact, the oatmeal is particularly good there.

                      1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                        Also, Brasserie JO, recommended above for dinner, also serves breakfast. I've never had it, but it's reported to be good and I've always been very happy with dinners there.

                        Brasserie JO
                        120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

                        1. re: Allstonian

                          They do a very nice breakfast and it's not outrageously priced.

                      2. re: lilaki

                        Charlies Sandwich shop is a very old- timey diner an easy 5 min walk away.

                        Good for breakfast or lunch.


                        1. re: lilaki

                          If you go through the Prudential Center across the bridge and through Copley Place (make a left at Nieman Marcus) there is a big Au Bon Pain. It serves breakfast buffet style with eggs, oatmeal and fruit as well as baked goods.

                        2. For breakfast, you might want to stock something in you fridge from Whole Foods or Trader Joe's.

                          Sel de la Terre is also in the Prudential Center. They have excellent sandwiches (and soup/sandwich or soup/salad express lunches) and some of my favorite pommes frites (with olive oil and rosemary). Dinner can be a bit pricey, but it could be one of your options if you want to treat yourself.

                          Trader Joe's
                          1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

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

                          1. wow,lilaki, looks like penny et al have really nailed your needs with great suggestions.
                            here are some links that may be of interest- that address the bigger boston picture, in case they might be helpful:
                            Guide to Boston by Areas and Restaurants:

                            Also, some extra Boston food profile info for you:


                            shopping for Boston food souvenirs:

                            1. If you're in the mood for a more substantial restaurant breakfast with table service one morning, Eastern Standard does breakfast.

                              If you want a big lunch one day (pehaps paired with a light dinner), try the Oak Bar, in the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. I love their lamb chops and IIRC they're $26 for a gigantic portion. I also had their lobster Benedict last week (they have about a half dozen different types of Benedict if you aren't up for lobster). It came with the most phenomenal fried potatoes - sliced like an ultra thick potato chip but with the texture of tempura-light onion rings. I'm not a potato lover but these were a total turn on.

                              Eastern Standard
                              528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: peelmeagrape

                                How was the hollandaise? I'm a big BIG eggs benny fan but have been let down by mediocre hollandaise.

                                1. re: yumyum

                                  yum, i can't remember if we've had this conversation, but the holl. sauce at Soundbites is terrific, as is the whole product.

                                  1. re: yumyum

                                    yumyum, I'm also a big benny fan and always ask for extra sauce. Maybe that's where this pesky extra 10 lbs. come from. Anyway, in the past few weeks, I've had decent hollandaise at Russell House, Clink, and Back Bay Social Club (didn't need the extra sauce there...they were quite generous). North 26 also make a good one and I like their griddled homemade English muffin but it makes for a pretty rich meal. Brasserie Jo's is good as well.

                                    Of course, I do love the benny at Soundbites, too, and it's such a generous serving of sauce. It's been too long...have to head back there. So many choices.

                                    North 26 Restaurant & Bar
                                    26 North Street, Boston, MA 02109

                                    Back Bay Social Club
                                    867 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

                                    1. re: bear

                                      so many choices! but doesn't it amaze you- the low prices at Soundbites for equal or better quality as those other spots? (However, I am not touching on atmosphere here!)

                                2. hi hounds,

                                  just wanted to thank everyone for all the info here. i'm back from my trip and ate/shopped at the following places:

                                  - summer shack: day 1 dinner ... i was tired and it was close. not sure i'd go back but seeing as how we don't get fresh lobster often in toronto, it wasn't bad!
                                  - au bon pain: in the prudential center ... right by the entrance to the sheraton and the hynes (very convenient)
                                  - atlantic fish: wow, GREAT dinner, great service. very close to the hotel/hynes
                                  - whole foods: smaller than i expected but still managed to stock up on fruit, yogurt, cheese, etc.
                                  - trader joes: grabbed some snack bars etc. here
                                  - brasserie jo: i had high hopes for this place ... the food was pretty good but the service was super, super slow (the baguette was awesome)
                                  - wagamama: i haven't been to wagamama since being in london a few years ago so this was a fun treat ... in the prudential center
                                  - island creek oyster bar: took the T one stop and ended up walking home in the pouring rain (couldn't be bothered to line up with all the sox fans at the T). GREAT dinner, attentive service.
                                  - legal sea food: in the prudential center ... i know, you warned me. food was fine, service was atrocious (slow, inattentive, etc.).

                                  my OB said it was okay to have lobster every day of my trip ... so i did! it was fantastic!

                                  thanks again for all the recos!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: lilaki

                                    thanks for reporting back, and best wishes for an easy birth!