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Great restaurants near Copley Square?

jcisrhiannon Mar 5, 2012 12:22 PM

Headed to Boston for two nights. Any great non-touristy restaurants I should try that are not too far from Copley Square? I'm adventurous, will eat anything, but prefer non-tourist trap, and not ridiculously expensive.

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  1. m
    meeps2002 RE: jcisrhiannon Mar 5, 2012 12:40 PM

    You should check out the Salty Pig - it's right nearby and is a unique option

    1. g
      GaryK RE: jcisrhiannon Mar 6, 2012 11:25 AM

      Michael Schlow's latin small plates restaurant Tico is fun and tasty, but as in many tapas-style places those tiny bites can add up to a not-so-tiny bill if you aren't careful.

      1. m
        mkfisher RE: jcisrhiannon Mar 6, 2012 12:10 PM

        Two Chowhound favorites, Eastern Standard and Island Creek Oyster Bar, are in Kenmore Square which is walkable/short T ride from Copley. My word of caution would be to watch the Red Sox schedule on these spots. If there's a home game, I'd avoid them for the couple hours before the game. Once the game starts, they usually empty out and you'll be good.

        1. hotoynoodle RE: jcisrhiannon Mar 6, 2012 12:24 PM

          on the higher end, hammersley's, coppa, both in south end.

          brasserie jo, behind copley, is considerably cheaper and serves french/alsatian.

          myers and chang is about a 15 minute walk for inventive chinese.

          7 Replies
          1. re: hotoynoodle
            libertywharf RE: hotoynoodle Mar 6, 2012 02:37 PM

            Tico is a good suggestion. For less expensive maybe Stephanie's in Newbury street. Still on walking distance

            1. re: libertywharf
              teezeetoo RE: libertywharf Mar 6, 2012 03:25 PM

              Erbaluce, La Voile, Bistro du Midi, Lucca in Back Bay.

              1. re: libertywharf
                hotoynoodle RE: libertywharf Mar 6, 2012 07:21 PM

                i would rather stab myself in the eye than eat at stephanie's.

                1. re: hotoynoodle
                  LeoLioness RE: hotoynoodle Mar 6, 2012 08:27 PM

                  Same. I was there over the summer after a looong hiatus (friends in from the suburbs could not be talked out of the idea that the patio was something special) was shocked at both the poor quality, bad service and prices. Sandwiches and salads that are the better part of $20 The drink list actually made me laugh out loud. $13 for some fruity vodka thing?

                  1. re: LeoLioness
                    teezeetoo RE: LeoLioness Mar 7, 2012 05:07 AM

                    oh dear, ditto with that - I was dragged there for a "girl's lunch" and Stephanie's was so dreadful that I wondered how it stayed open. and, for the record, I think there are lots of good restaurants in the Copley area: Parish Cafe and upstairs at the Rattlesnake are not expensive and are worth stopping at. Yes, it's a tourist area, No, it's not a food desert.

                  2. re: hotoynoodle
                    C. Hamster RE: hotoynoodle Mar 7, 2012 06:00 AM

                    I'd sooner have a sex change operation than eat @Stephanies again unsedated.

                    La Voille
                    Bistro du Midi

                  3. re: libertywharf
                    Alcachofa RE: libertywharf Mar 7, 2012 12:34 PM

                    He said no tourist trap. Stephanie's most certainly is that.

                    Have to confess, though, had a good brunch at Stephi's on Tremont.

                2. m
                  minneapolite RE: jcisrhiannon Mar 6, 2012 03:30 PM

                  yeah, Copley doesn't exactly have a wealth of options. . . like most downtowns, lots of overpriced blah. sel de la terre is always quality, though. bar area on the ground level is a nice spot, as is the dining room upstairs. But I would take mkfisher's advice and make the short trek to Island Creek Oyster Bar. Wonderful space, outstanding local food experience. . .great drinks, too. Eastern standard is lively, great cocktails, and the food is *pretty* good, but i rarely go there for dinner.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: minneapolite
                    aregularjoe RE: minneapolite Mar 6, 2012 07:40 PM


                    Respectfully, Copley Square is NOT downtown, its almost a mile from it. Sel De La Terre is the only place that you list that is in Copley Square and it IS a tourist trap and is frankly awful and a rip off.

                    Island Creek and Eastern Standard are in Kenmore Square, a little over a half mile away. Island Creek is good. Eastern Standard is OK, but has a lively young bar clientele and serves a few dishes at the bar until late night.

                    Eastern Standard
                    528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                    Sel De La Terre
                    776 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

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

                    1. re: aregularjoe
                      Allstonian RE: aregularjoe Mar 7, 2012 06:29 AM

                      Because I am a stickler on accurate distances, I will point out that Kenmore Square is actually just a hair over a full mile from Copley Square. It is, however, a pretty quick cab ride and only two stops outbound on the Green Line (take anything but the E line.)

                      1. re: aregularjoe
                        MC Slim JB RE: aregularjoe Mar 7, 2012 07:35 AM

                        Well, it's not Downtown-Crossing downtown, but to a lot of people that don't live in the city, "downtown Boston" means the North, West, and South Ends, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, the Financial District, Chinatown, the Theatre District, Downtown Crossing, the Waterfront / Seaport, and maybe Fenway/Kenmore.

                        Unless for some reason you want easy walking distance from Copley Square, all of these neighborhoods are a reasonable walk (for people who love to walk) or an easy cab or T ride away, so I wouldn't limit your search to Back Bay. Much of Cambridge has plenty of worthy options, too, and isn't much further time- or distance-wise away.

                        I had to entertain clients who wanted walking distance from Copley recently, so I chose Sorellina. It was a big hit, though all in (cocktails, a lot of decent wine, desserts, afters, etc.), it worked out to about $170/head. Glad I didn't have to pick up that check.


                    2. a
                      aregularjoe RE: jcisrhiannon Mar 6, 2012 07:31 PM

                      Sorellina is expensive but incredible. They deliver big time on quality of food, preparation and service.

                      1 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116

                      1. opinionatedchef RE: jcisrhiannon Mar 6, 2012 10:16 PM

                        think this might prove helpful:

                        copley sq:

                        1. Bob Dobalina RE: jcisrhiannon Mar 7, 2012 05:25 AM

                          You need not confine yourself to Copley - Boston is a small town, and nearly everything worth visiting is accessible by the T and certainly by a short cab ride. The South End is also within easy walking distance of Copley.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Bob Dobalina
                            2 italianfoodies RE: Bob Dobalina Oct 4, 2013 07:46 PM

                            Anybody tried Island Creek oyster bar? We're headed to Boston and coincidentally staying at Copley Square as well.

                            1. re: 2 italianfoodies
                              hotoynoodle RE: 2 italianfoodies Oct 4, 2013 07:51 PM

                              icob is a huge favorite on this board.

                              this is an old thread. :)

                              1. re: 2 italianfoodies
                                opinionatedchef RE: 2 italianfoodies Oct 5, 2013 01:50 PM

                                icob is one of the boston CH most raved restnts. do a Search at the top right of this page and many theads will come up.

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