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2 months in Boston-which eateries are a must?

Hi everyone,
I will be living in Braintree for 2 months for an internship and am excited to try some of the Boston area's best food while I am in town. I would like to hear opinions of what is not to miss during my time here. I am a student and would appreciate lower-cost recommendations as well as higher-end stuff. I will be looking for North end ideas, as well as where to get the best seafood, but love all kinds of food. Just let me know where your absolute favorite places are, where you return to again and again, what is not to be missed. Thanks!

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  1. Neptune and Island Creek seem to set the standard for seafood here in Boston, but on a budget, Courthouse Seafood and some of the Chinatown options (not sure what the current go-to place is) would be good.

    In the North End, go to Pizzeria Regina and Galleria Umberto, and get some pastries from Modern and/or Maria's. I find this thread to be a good source of information: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/798145

    Not sure where you're coming from, but we have a few good Vietnamese, Thai, and Sichuan Chinese options. If your home town is lacking in these areas, these also offer excellent food at low prices.

    Poke around on this board and look at some past threads as well--as you can probably imagine, many others have asked about best-of-Boston type things, often with cuisine, price, or geographic constraints that might help you find something that works for you too.

    Oh, and you'll want to take a look at EATTV's tour of ethnic options around Boston: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/787402

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

    Courthouse Fish Market
    484 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

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

    Modern Pastry
    257 Hanover St, Boston, MA

    Umberto Galleria
    289 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113

    Pizzeria Regina
    11 1/2 1/2 Thacher St, Boston, MA 02113

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

    1. Another thing Boston has that you won't find in most parts of the country are some really authentic Spanish restaurants. The two best are Taberna de Haro and Estragon. Both offer an array of tapas as well as larger dishes, and also have excellent reasonably-priced wine lists.

      Taberna De Haro
      999 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446

      700 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118

        1. hope these might be helpful:

          Guide to Boston by Areas and Restaurants:


          Also, some extra Boston food profile info for you:


          You likely did not see this but it is a recent very interesting take on ethnic boston restnts by EATTV:

          1. Hi Rise Bakery, Flour Bakery, Iggy's (pizza), Pizzeria Posto, Galleria Umberto, Tamarind Bay, the burger at Casablanca, Craigie on Main, Sichuan Garden, Mr. Bartley's, Charlie's (South End), the second floor of the new Legal Harborside, East Coast Grill, Market. Otherwise, why not buy groceries at Russo's, Tropical Foods, and Salumeria Italiana?


            Tamarind Bay
            75 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138

            Salumeria Italiana
            151 Richmond St, Boston, MA 02109

            Sichuan Garden
            295 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02445

            Flour Bakery + Cafe
            12 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA

            Craigie on Main
            853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

            East Coast Restaurant
            1456 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02122

            Pizzeria Posto
            187 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

            1. Don't miss the food trucks in both Boston and Cambridge. You can get a really good meal for roughly five dollars. Clover, Momogoose, Staff Meal, Redbones, Lobsta Love, Bon Me are a few to look for. And there are lots of good places to seek out in Chinatown for reasonably priced good food.

              Cambridge Street in Cambridge around the Inman Square area is filled with really good food, including Muqueca, East Coast Grill, Eastside Bar and Grill, All Star Sandwich Bar and Courthouse Seafood.

              Just a few more ideas for you.

              All Star Sandwich Bar
              1245 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

              55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

              1010 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

              East Coast Restaurant
              1456 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02122

              Bon Me
              Mobile truck; no formal address, Boston, MA

              Staff Meal
              Mobile truck, no formal location, Boston, MA

              1. I'm going to focus on lower-cost and casual food recs ... as I'm sure 90% of the places you'll be hitting up will be easier on the budget.

                Umberto Galleria (North End) - Mentioned already, I second. Their panzarotti is like a baked potato mashed up and reformed into a potato shape. Giant arancini.

                Flour Bakery (mult. loc.)- Mentioned already, I second.

                Chacarero's (Downtown) - My fave sandwich in all of Boston. I don't care what anyone else says. Get the beef. Best time to go is circa 5pm when business is slow and the beef is grilled to order.

                Sam Lagrassa's (Downtown) - Solid subs.

                Blue Asia Cafe (Allston Village) - Cheap, simple Taiwanese and Korean-inspired dishes.

                Wai Wai (Chinatown) - Not the best roast meat, but they'll load the plate with ginger-scallion sauce (not sure if you have to ask for it). It's one of my favorite things to get when I'm craving simple Chinese food that reminds me of home (California cheap eats).

                LA Burdicks (Harvard Sq) - My fave hot chocolate, better than Max Brenners. Very rich/thick, so rich that you used to be able to put whatever you couldn't finish into the fridge and then find pudding in the morning. Doesn't work with skim milk, though, I think.

                Anna's Taqueria (mult. loc.) - Boston's main-staple of "Mexican" food. I prefer the chili verde. My DC prefers the al pastor (we've found pineapples in the mix, which we like).

                Felipe's (Harvard Sq) - Sometimes I prefer this over Anna's ...

                Villa Mexico (West End) - Closing soon because I think the gas station it's in is closing (yes, it's in a convenience store), but hopefully you can catch it before it does. They grill their burritos, which reminds me of SF's El Farrolito).

                Espresso Royale (mult. loc.) - Espresso drinks, particularly the Cuban. Also, I like their wraps made with the sundried tomato tofu spread, and I'm nothing close to vegan.

                Cutty's (Brookline Village) - Well made, tasty sandwiches.

                I know there's more, but I'm running out of steam ...

                1 Reply
                1. re: tammyh

                  Many good suggestions but I completely disagree about Villa Mexico; worst Mexican 'tacos' I have ever had; fillings like sawdust.

                2. Make sure you get a roast beef sandwich. Either Nick's in Beverly, or Billy's in Wakefield . Sauce, or three way.

                  1. The Panera in Newton Centre is a must-try. Greater Boston's best kept secret, and easy on the wallet too!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: SeattleMonkey

                      is there something special about this particular location?

                      1. re: tammyh

                        I was wondering that too - the one near me is pathetic (they served me what was possibly the driest, blandest tuna sandwich I've ever eaten the one time I ate there), and this was in Brookline, where the owner of Panera lives, so you'd expect it to be a showplace.

                        For those who might be interested, Chowhound founder Jim Leff once wrote a very funny piece on the sophisticated horror that is Panera: http://jimleff.info/panera.html

                        1. re: BobB

                          Tx for the link. Leff can do a good rant.

                      2. re: SeattleMonkey

                        that is hard to believe! those that i tried are mediocre.

                      3. If you are in Braintree, go to the Lynwood in Randolph for a bar pie. Try these


                        Lynwood Cafe
                        320 Center St, Randolph, MA 02368

                          1. Charlie's Sandwich Shop in the Back Bay is a great spot for breakfast.Their cranberry pancakes (fresh cranberries) are the best.

                            1. shopping - fish from New Deal, produce and cheese from Russo's, shop the Armenian stores in Watertown for great produce, spices, oils, hummus, etc., (Arax, Sevan) and the Russian stores in Brookline,Brighton, Newton for the best sausages, jams, teas, smoked fish (Baza, Bazaar in particular). As to restaurants, what don't you have where you come from? Island Creek, Rendezvous, Legal's, Neptunes all good to great seafood - we have good portuguese food, asian of all stripes (Shanghai Gate, JoJo Taipei, Mulan, Yoma and S & I Thai are my favorites) and tons of different ethnic choices with our weakest probably being Mexican.

                              S & I Thai
                              168 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: teezeetoo

                                There's also Formaggio Kitchen for cheese and charculterie, and Sakanaya for fish/sushi to-go.

                                Formaggio Kitchen
                                244 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                75 Linden St, Boston, MA 02134

                                1. re: teezeetoo

                                  i would learn to live without mexican food. more positively

                                  Thai: Rod Dee
                                  Chinese: Golden Garden (Belmont), Little Q, Thailand Cafe, Sichuan Gourmet (various locations) as well as those mentioned above
                                  high end: Craigie on Main, Clio
                                  sushi take-out; Sakayana in Allston
                                  Fish mongers: New Deal and Courthouse (Cambridge locations)
                                  Indian: Tamarind Bay in Harvard Square
                                  oysters: lots of 1.00 per oyster specials; my preferred Rialto on Mondays for island creek oysters
                                  wine: Wine and Cheese Cask, Marty's, Blanchards
                                  cheese: Formagio's

                                  Tamarind Bay
                                  75 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                  Craigie on Main
                                  853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                  Sichuan Gourmet
                                  1004 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446

                                  Golden Garden
                                  63 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478

                                  1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                    learn to live w/o Mexican???? not possible!! just don't expect the mexican moon, but rather cherish and support those few mex. spots that produce some very good items.

                                    1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                      to add ...

                                      $1 oysters at Marliave, 4-6pm and 9-10pm, 7 days a week. not the best shucking job, but Rialto's is worse, IMO ...

                                      high end, I'd add TW Food. they sometimes have prix-fixe specials that I think would be more economical than Craigie's.

                                      10 Bosworth Street, Boston, MA 02108

                                  2. I'm going to keep it local to the south shore:

                                    Kam man plaza- asian grocery store in a strip mall with smaller outlets. The grocery store is a field trip within itself, grab a banh mi from the restaurant in the same strip mall

                                    Alumni pizza- also in quincy, famous for the south shore bar pizza not so famous for its atmosphere

                                    Genarros- basic italian done well and cant be beat for value.

                                    Punjab cafe- best indian around, love the naan and tikka masalla, they have a weekend buffet that is one of the best deals around.

                                    Fat Cat- not sure how to classify this, little short of the gastropub. Stay away on the weekends unless you want a long wait, search the boards for the glowing reviews.

                                    Union Brewhouse- located in weymouth, one of the few local places with a good craft beer tap list, food is more than acceptable, but wouldnt go here just for the food, its the beer that keeps people coming back. They also have the bar pizza but its not on par w/ the alumnis, lynwoods, and cape cod cafe.

                                    Someone posted about roast beef, you dont need to go to the north shore hit, Liberty Bell im South Boston, I get mine with sauce and cheese.

                                    Fat Cat
                                    24 Chestnut St, Quincy, MA 02169

                                    Liberty Bell Restaurant
                                    466 Main St, Woburn, MA 01801

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: mkel34

                                      Sure, you could go to Liberty Bell. There are tons of roast beef places around.

                                      But Liberty Bell and all of the other places are not going to be as good as Nick's or Billy's.

                                      One important thing to note: While the roast beef at Cutty's is great (and you should get it), it's not a Roast Beef Sandwich, with capital letters. You should get a Roast Beef Sandwich as well as Cutty's.

                                      Liberty Bell Restaurant
                                      466 Main St, Woburn, MA 01801

                                      1. re: Fly

                                        fly, in your last sentence, did you mean to say ' get a Roast Pork sandwich as well"?

                                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                                          No, I meant Roast Beef.

                                          Like, a Famous Roast Beef from Someone's Famous Roast Beef. In addition to going to Cutty's and getting their roast beef sandwich, which is great but entirely different from Someone's Famous Roast Beef.

                                    2. Evoo and Oleana, in Cambridge.

                                      134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                                      1. Murray's Deli in Braintree has the best reuben in the Greater Boston area, Located at the the corner of Washington St and Elm St, it is a wonderful surprise. Good luck.

                                        Murray's Deli
                                        2 Elm St, Braintree, MA 02184