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Feb 1, 2012 10:02 AM

Spring Break in Boston

Coming for the entire week of Spring Break (March 12-16) with wife.
We are looking for seafood suggestions...
We're staying across the river at Marriott MIT...and we're very familiar with the subway system, so no problem traveling to wherever you suggest.
A bit about us...hopefully this helps.

1) No chains (unless regional)...for instance we've heard of Legal Seafood and know it's a chain, but there's no way I can have it in DFW.
2) Money...if we can't wear jeans/sweater...not interested. Money not that big of a deal, but we have more fun in chill places with an energetic atmosphere more than a quiet place with formal feel.
3) Trying to eat at INSTITUTIONS...places you wouldn't let your buddy leave Boston without eating. Even if it's a MAJOR hole in the wall, no big deal.
4) Wife doesn't care about...OR LIKE oysters, so if that helps eliminate certain places perhaps that will narrow the recommendation list.
5) We're in lower 30' the "feel" of a place is more important than it will be in say 20 years for us.

Thanks for your help...if you need more questions answered, glad to repost any details.

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  1. Island Creek Oyster Bar, Neptune Oyster, East Coast Grill, Courthouse Seafood (cheap/hole in the wall/fry up stuff from the adjacent fishmarket place). Lobster sandwich from Alive n Kickin'. Fried clams from Fresh Pond Fish if you want to schlep out there on the 77 bus.

    There are of course plenty of places that don't have a seafood focus yet serve excellent seafood.

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

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

    Courthouse Fish Market
    484 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

    Alive And Kicking Lobsters
    269 Putnam Avenue, Cambridge, MA

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

    Fresh Pond Seafood
    75 Summer St, Arlington, MA 02474

    1 Reply
    1. re: emannths

      Make your way to Rincon Limeno in East Boston for ceviche and as good a fried fish combo as you will find.

      In Cambridge, try the clams and chorizo-style stews at Casa Portugal, or one of the other Portuguese places.

      Also note that there are plenty of non-oyster options at Island Creek and Neptune.

    2. I am so glad you will be able to visit Boston and I am sure you will get some great suggestions here.
      Mine is Artu in the North End. Very affordable as well as innovative. At lunch they do a lamb sandwich with eggplant that is amazing.

      I couldn't help but notice that you asked similar questions on the relevant boards for your prevous trips to San Francisco and to Washington. I also noticed that you received some great ideas and what I would consider excellent guidance. But you never reported back, you never thanked anyone or shared where you ultimately chose to eat. A lot of people put a fair amount of thought into thinking about your situation to come up with ideas. Would you let us know how you make out, where you eat and how our recommendations worked out?

      1 Reply
      1. re: bgavin

        Hey there...I appreciate your suggestions. My trip to Washington did not end up happening, but the San Francisco is this Summer, I will make sure I put replies.
        But it never hurts to be reminded...I really do appreciate it.

      2. I second the suggestions that emannth gave and add...

        Over in the MIT/Kendall area I would suggest Cambridge Brewing Company for the beer and Hungry Mother for southern inspired food. I would head down to Central Square for ice cream at Toscanini's (or over to Christina's in Inman).

        Also in the Inman area there is Muqueca for Brazilian seafood

        In Kenmore there is Eastern Standard Kitchen

        And if you want to do a search for the Kendall Square area you might find some more suggestions for restaurants near your hotel.

        And for the best hot dog in the area:

        1. For what it's worth, my friend from Dallas was in town over the Summer and declared his dinner at Craigie on Main the best meal of his life. He said they didn't have anything like that back home. He also enjoyed getting cocktails at Drink. Since then we've added a couple of other fabulous cocktail bars (Hawthorne, Brick & Mortar)

          6 Replies
          1. re: mkfisher

            Then again, Craigie probably doesn't meet your jeans & sweater criteria. You wouldn't feel out of place in the bar area dressed like that, but probably not exactly the vibe you want.

            1. re: mkfisher

              I've always worn jeans every time I've eaten at Craigie, and never felt weird about it. I do usually go with the button down shirt and not a sweater, and we usually eat on the bar side, or at the bar itself, but I've sat at the chef's table with jeans on, and no one batted an eye. As for my suggestion, I'd recommend Craigie on Main, Island Creek, and Neptune.

              1. re: kimfair1

                I was speaking more towards the money aspect. The OP sounded concerned with a price point as opposed to a dress code. As Bob points out, you can drop some serious cash at Craigie while wearing a jeans and a sweater.

              2. re: mkfisher

                Yeah, point is that there are only a few places where you cannot get away with wearing nice jeans and a sweater - at the same time, there are a few places where you can drop $$$$ while wearing jeans and a sweater, Craigie's bar being one of them.

                1. re: mkfisher

                  Jeans and a sweater are fine for all of Craigie.

                  1. re: mkfisher

                    craigie is a bistro; it is not a coat and tie place. Though the way things are going, there won't be any coat and tie places left on the East Coast. People eat at 3 star Michellin guide restaruants in NYC in a sweater and t-shirt.

                2. I've noticed a lot of places that look really good.
                  Many look as if they are nice places to dine...
                  There is rumor of one spot that is where the fisherman go themselves and it is a really dumpy kind of place. I heard you walk along a seawall and down stairs, up stairs, etc...then you get there.
                  Any idea what this place is...and if so, is it worth it?!?

                  Also, one day will obviously be spent doing the Freedom Trail...we heard the Quincy Market area is a good joint to stop for a few drinks...with a lot of pubs and bars. Any suggestions there for that afternoon/evening?!?

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: drano21

                    No Name is not worth it - maybe 30 years ago - but not now, nor is the Union Oyster House except for the raw bar & avoid the Barking Crab.

                    1. re: Taralli

                      No Name isnt anywhere near QM but I agree that it is a place to avoid.

                    2. re: drano21

                      Yes, stay away from the places at Quincy Market - it is a tourist trap, plain and simple.

                      1. re: drano21

                        The Freedom Trail goes through the North End. So I would recommend stopping there if you want food. If you do a search for the North End you will get some recommendations (And couple detailed tourist threads by opininatedchef). If you are in the North End and want dessert/pastries there are three main places to go (Mikes, Marias and Modern). All have their fans, but Mikes seems to have the most detractors.

                        For drinks there are a lot of bars in the Faniuel (sp?) Hall/Quincy Market area. Though frequented by tourists and college students, they aren't bad per se as places to get a drink. Just not where Chowhounds choose to drink or eat.

                        I would suggest heading to the Kenmore area for drinks if you are into cocktails. Island Creek Oyster Bar, Hawhorne, and Eastern Standard are neighbors. Or if you are into beer I would suggest staying in Cambridge and going to Cambridge Brewing Company, Meadhall, and Lord Hobo.

                        This is one of the opinionatedchef threads that I mentioned:

                        1. re: drano21

                          Quincy Market does indeed have a lot of pubs and bars....and most of them are horrible if you aren't a drunk 20-something in town from the suburbs, at least on a weekend night.