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3 days in Boston-restaurant recommendations?

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Hey-I'm going on a fun weekend with a few friends (all in our 30s) from college and need to know where we should go for great/unique/fun food-we don't want to break the bank and we don't want to get stuck in tourist traps. I've heard about Giacomo's but would like some more suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. Actually, Giacomo's in the Northend is a bit of a tourist trap with long long lines and really tight tables and a get em in and get em out thang. The one in the southend is a great neighborhood place with better food imho.

    1. Giacomo's serves straightforward Italian-American fare, hardly anything most people would call unique (and "great" is probably stretching it too). So, what do *you* consider unique and what does breaking the bank mean to you?

      1 Reply
      1. re: LeoLioness

        Giacomo was the one recommendation that was given from a friend that lived in Boston for a few years. I am not stuck on it, but she liked it! I usually like places that are independent, using locally sourced ingredients, that hopefully reflects the local culture. Not super fancy, more hip. Does that help? Entrees around 25 and lower would be ideal. Thanks!

      2. Russell House Tavern in Harvard Sq. , Deep Ellum in Allston, both have great cocktail's and interesting food featuring local ingrediants (hosemade charcuterie, pickle's etc. ) for under $25. The Gallows in the South End , Coppa in the South End, there are actually alot of places i Boston these days that could fit the bill!

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        Deep Ellum Bar
        477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

        Coppa
        253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

        Russell House Tavern
        14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

        1 Reply
        1. re: nachovegas

          Those sound up my alley! Thanks!

        2. Also, any suggestions for a yummy brunch? We are in the Copley area but will have a transit pass.

          1 Reply
          1. re: The Londoner

            The Gallows brunch is great (lower end), as is the brunch at Craigie on Main (more expensive, but worth it).

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            Craigie on Main
            853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

          2. hope this might be helpful:
            Guide to Boston by Areas and Restaurants:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/781155

            for a 'hip' fun brunch, you can't do better than the East Coast Grill in Cambridge. Lots of threads on them.

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

            2 Replies
            1. re: opinionatedchef

              Eastern Standard, an American-style brasserie, for a festive brunch.

              Second Coppa and Russell House Tavern recs.

              Would also add:
              Myers + Chang, a hip, urban Chinese and pan-Asian place
              Gaslight, a lively, straightforward French brasserie with good food
              Erbaluce (chef-owner, ingredients-driven Italian, though with the starter/pasta/entree set-up, you could end up spending lots more, or lots less, than your budget)

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              Eastern Standard
              528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

              Erbaluce
              69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

              Coppa
              253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

              Russell House Tavern
              14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

              1. re: Jolyon Helterman

                I agree with all of these and will add Toro for Spanish/tapas and Island Creek Oyster Bar (which may blow the budget a tiny bit).

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                Toro
                1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

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

            2. I'm going to add more casual fare options in case you need lunch (which I'm sure you do) ... Flour (for sandwiches and sweets), Chacarero (for a Chilean sandwich--I suggest the beef), Galleria Umberto (cheap Italian eats), and Parish Cafe (sandwiches crafted by various Boston chefs). If you can make it out to Huron Village in Cambridge, there's Formaggio Kitchen's Saturday street BBQ.

              Haven't been to Darryl's myself, but I've heard about their Sunday brunch with live jazz.

              Also, I know that No Name is a tourist trap, but I'm in love with their fish chowder.

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              Formaggio Kitchen
              244 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

              Chacarero
              101 Arch St, Boston, MA 02110

              No Name Restaurant
              151-2 Fish Pier, Boston, MA 02210

              3 Replies
              1. re: tammyh

                I love NoNames chowder! It is the only thing I will eat there.

                1. re: tammyh

                  Where is Chacararo now that the one near School St. closed?

                  1. re: lunchout

                    101 Arch St, Boston. :)

                    IMO, the best time to go for a beef sandwich is in the late afternoon for an early dinner because they make the beef to order. I miss working a block away ...

                2. Thank you, thank you!!! We leave tomorrow and I'm so looking forward to discovering Boston!!! I'm looking forward to trying as many suggestions as I can, but there are only so many hours in a day! We'll try, though!!!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: The Londoner

                    Hope you have a great time and plse let us know your experiences so we can help others!

                    1. re: The Londoner

                      if you like oysters, there are many places that have them for a buck; my favorite place is Rialto in the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square. Mondays from about 6 until they run out. That is probably about cost as Island Creek Oysters cost 1.50 at New Deal Seafood.

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