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Not too miss restaurants in back bay for 4 days next week?


What restaurants should I make sure to eat at while in the back bay area? I'm interested in seafood (lobster), sushi, indian, steaks, breweries, great sandwich shop, irish pubs, italian, and anything new, never had peruvian. I'm interested in breakfast, lunch, and dinner :). So far I've found a few that I'm interested in eating at:

- clio
- tamarind bay
- sakanaya
- the druid
- james hook lobster

I'm willing to walk so it doesn't have to be "back bay" I suppose. I'm from Arizona, thanks.

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  1. hi phlite, welcome in advance! sounds like this might be your first visit, so i hope these links are helpful: (Back Bay is not our strongest suit,food-wise, but ours is a pretty small city so many of our excellent restaurants are fairly close to the Back Bay.)

    Guide to Boston by Areas and Restaurants:



    Dinner Spots that I would recommend to you:

    Oleana- really unusual Turkish/Moroccan/Mediterranean menu; all farm-to-table;charming patio.Cambridge

    Erbaluce- unusual inventive No.Italian, South End

    Craigie on Main- famous for offal but also seafood. Cambridge

    OYa- v.v.expensive Japanese American inventive. South Station

    Neptune Oyster- crowded tiny always a line, top quality inventive seafood along w/ trad.North End

    Island Creek Oyster Bar- the BEST service, large room but intimate, more trad but some inventive,Kenmore Sq./ Close to Back Bay.

    Strip T's (in a 'suburb', 10 min cab from harvard square) for serious foodies; Momofuku chef; inventive Asian -inspired but also best fried chicken and burger in Boston (ymmv) Watertown

    Toro -which is Spanish and Spanish influenced tapas and the best paella around.South End which is fairly close to the Back Bay.

    Myers+Chang- Chinese small plates, always lively and welcoming.Edge of the South End.

    I would steer you away from Clio. We found it sooo disappointing and all about the garnishes, not about delicious food. I think the best steak you'll find here is at Grill 23.
    James Hook lobster is unnecessary when you have the options of Neptune and Island Creek.

    For brunch, you cannot have more fun than at East Coast Grill in Cambridge. A real locals' fav for all ages; latin, mexican,bbq and and seafood; Bloody Mary bar; great vibe.
    (But , given that the SW is where you're coming from, it might not be the choice for you!
    )For more refined high end brunch, Aquitaine (French bistro) and Mistral (French elegant) are popular and closer to you.
    Sat and Sun you can get dim sum in Chinatown(best are Winsor for menu-ordering or China Pearl for cart ordering.)


    For lunches, it's likely that you would want them near your daily activities/sightseeing. But my suggestion for the "Must eat there" is Regina's Pizzeria in the North End, our most famous pizza spot and a real retro and local trip!

    Other lunch spots: Chinatown; Chacarero Peruvian sandwiches(Downtown), Myers+Chang.


    here's a recent thread of advice for where you are staying:

    Boston Magazine 11/11 issue: 50 Best Boston Restnts. This list is a very comprehensive and convenient reference list for brief restnt. descriptions, essential info, website links of the 50:


    You might want to rough out a plan of what you want to see here, so people can advise you on lunch spots in those areas.

    1 Reply
    1. re: opinionatedchef

      Thank you! I'm excited for island creek and neptune! Also for soft shell crabs! Thank you for the info and links :)

    2. Of the places on your list, only Clio is in the Back Bay. None of the others are close to Back Bay and would be verrrry long walks. Think public transportation.

      Nearer to Back Bay

      Salty Pig -- charcuterie, cheese, pizzas other good stuff
      Parish Cafe -- long list of sandwiches inspired by other Boston chefs
      Brasserie Jo -- casual French
      Chili Duck -- Thai
      Douzo -- sushi
      Mike and Patty's -- cool breakfast spot
      Charlie's -- diner kind of popular breakfast and lunch spot
      Cafe Jaffa -- middle eastern

      Chinatown is within walking distance.

      Island Creek Oyster Bar is a very popular oyster/seafood place also an easy walk.

      There are food trucks in front of the library, at Trinity Place and on the corner of Clarendon and Boylston.

      There is a farmer's market in Copley Sq. on tues and Fridays;

      There are some great spots in the South End: Toro, Coppa, Estragon, Meyers and Chang.

      East Coast Grill's brunch (sun only) is good and fun, especially if you like Bloody Marys -- it's in Cambridge.

      1. Toro - spanish tapas interpretation (don't remember a really good tapas place when I visited Scottsdale a few years back)
        Island Creek Oyster Bar - seafood

        Depending on whether you want to damage your wallet:
        O Ya - interesting sushi interpretations
        Sorellina - fine dining italian
        Clio is a good choice too

        2 Replies
        1. re: Spike

          Toro is sounding like a place I need to check out!

          1. re: Spike

            I prefer the Uni Bar to the regular Clio.

          2. For Peruvian, Rincon Limeno in East Boston is just great w/wonderful & wide variety of offerings. We especially like the cerviche mixto and the Jalea. http://www.rinconlimeno.com/index.html. Sorry, you were asking for Back Bay environs. Rincon is close to the airport. There is Taranta in the Northend which is Jose Duarte's Peruvian/Italian place: http://www.rinconlimeno.com/index.html

            1. For lobster and (bonus for this time of year) live (not frozen) soft shell crab, try them both at Peach Farm in Chinatown (the ginger scallion prep is a good bet, or salt and pepper) ($$). Sushi at O Ya ($$$$). Weekend Indian lunch buffet at Kebab Factory ($; not near Back Bay though). Although you can go to a steakhouse for steak, Island Creek Oyster bar also does a respectable ribeye if you find yourself there (I often find myself ordering steak there instead of their overcooked fish). Clio is a good bet if you get one of the tasting menus.

              1. I don't know how high end you want to go, but L'Espalier in the Mandarin Hotel is a grandaddy of Boston fine dining. (Until recently it was in an old brownstone.)

                Eastern Standard (Kenmore Square) is a 15 minute walk or short subway ride from the Back Bay and has good food, drinks, and service in a lively atmoshpere.

                1. Some of my faves in the Back Bay and nearby South End include Cafe Jaffa on Gloucester Street (Middle Eastern), Picco on Tremont (pizza and ice cream), Addis Red Sea on Tremont (Ethiopian), Metropolis on Tremont (New American), and Orinoco on Shawmut (Venezuelan).

                  Have fun in Boston!

                  1. Here's a link to public transportation in Boston that will help you get around:


                    1. If you are willing to walk and take the T, there's no reason to limit yourself to the Back Bay--you can pretty much go anywhere in the city. Your current choices are kind of all over the place (high-end fine dining of Clio to Cambridge neighborhood pub the Druid to very casual James Hook....are you open to anything budget-wise and atmosphere-wise?

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: LeoLioness

                        I'm open to anything budget wise, except for the ridiculous! Atmosphere, fun and cheerful hah!

                          1. re: LeoLioness

                            Greater than $80 for dinner with no drinks for one person.

                            1. re: phlite

                              (haha we must look like we are being pains in the asses)

                              For how many courses? App, entree and dessert? Because you potentially may hit that easily at Grill 23/Delfrisco with an app, one of the better steaks, a couple sides, followed by a dessert.

                              1. re: drtechno

                                If that's really more like $60 due to tip/tax then DelFrisco's at dinnertime is probably ridiculous. Their cheapest steak is $40.

                                Lunch special may be a better option..

                                1. re: drtechno

                                  drtechno, lol, probably two sides, and desert

                        1. I would second people's sentiment: Clio is definitely NOT worth it. I found it disappointing. Many better places for that same price range.

                          And I would disagree with L'espalier being the grand-daddy of Boston dining. While still at the top, I would rank Menton above it at the moment. In either case, both of those places are great, and you won't go wrong.

                          I have been to every steakhouse in Boston, multiple times, and I continue to go once a month. Trust me when I say Grill 23 is eclipsed by DelFrisco's. Yes, it's a chain, but the steaks themselves are the best in town. The sides aren't up to Grill 23 standards, but I don't go to a steakhouse to focus on how their asparagus came out.

                          I would definitely add DeuxAve to any list of Backbay places. Awesome food, awesome ambience.. I have an amazing experience every time I go.

                          Oleana and Craige on Main are also good choices if you want to brave the hippy liberal commune that is Cambridge.

                          O Ya- O wow is what you'll be saying when you see your bill :) but it's really really good.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: drtechno

                            I was trying to think of somewhere in the Back Bay, and by "grandaddy" I meant been around a long time.

                            1. re: pemma

                              Ah yea.. I thought that might be the case. But certainly Boston is so small that phlite should not limit themselves to the back bay.

                              Having said that, if we strictly are staying in BackBay, the DeuxAve is a must behind L'espalier

                              1. re: drtechno

                                I'm not going to limit myself to the back bay, sounds like boston isn't that huge that I couldn't walk or jump on the T!

                            2. re: drtechno

                              Check on Clio, won't head there. Grill 23, and DelFrisco's both sound great for steak.

                              1. re: drtechno

                                I regularly go to Clio, mostly for the cocktails, but their food is excellent as well. I almost always sit at the bar except when splurging on a tasting.

                                On the other hand, I've been once to Deuxave and have not been back.

                              2. How about a awesome bar, local favorite before and after a sox game?

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: phlite

                                  answer depends on whether you are looking for beer or cocktails (sounds like beer, from your post?)

                                  1. re: barleywino

                                    beer, good preferably, with fun townies lol

                                    1. re: phlite

                                      Yard House may be your best bet for a wide selection in the immediate vicinity of Fenway

                                      1. re: barleywino

                                        Bah, yard house is a chain thats all over the place :). Any local favorites close to fenway?

                                        1. re: phlite

                                          Cask'n'Flagon is the old stalwart for local place+baseball. But right across the street is Game On, and across the street from both of them is Boston Beer Works. BBW is a local microbrewery chain, so you would be getting something different on tap. All three will be hustling and have local and tourist flavor before game time. Tasty Burger has a lot of interesting can varieties, but you go there for the yummy burgers more so than the beer. In fact, I haven't heard of anyone just going to Tasty for only a beer.

                                        2. re: barleywino

                                          Lower Depths in Kenmore, Tasty Burger in Fenway, Corner Tavern in Back Bay are all fun places to get a beer (though I tend to avoid the pre- and post-Sox crowds, so I can't tell you what they're like then).

                                          Further afield, Penguin Pizza is a local bar in Mission Hill (a more blue-collar neighborhood 15 minutes walk from Fenway) with an excellent and impressive beer selection.

                                    2. re: phlite

                                      Let me point you at this thread : http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/836830
                                      It's recent, and is almost the definitive "food and drink near Fenway" thread.

                                      I think Boston Beer Works, and the Baseball Tavern are probably the most likely places for a brew before and after. Though I have to admit...I really liked the Yardhouse. Unfortunately there was a pretty long line to get in postgame on a Thursday night!