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Jul 1, 2012 03:40 PM

Please critique my itinerary - did LOTS of research - visiting Boston for 5 days and Salem for one of them.

Hello Boston and area hounds. I will be visiting Boston for 5 days in a couple weeks. One of those days will be spent in Salem. I am looking for advice and critiques of my itinerary.

I am coming from Toronto and my fellow traveller is from France. We are both in our 30s. We like all types of food. I am interested in eating foods that can’t be found in Toronto as well as trying the restaurants that are considered not to be missed in Boston.

We are staying at the Intercontinental on 510 Atlantic Avenue. The plan is to get up early every day and breakfast should be at 8:30 or 9 am.

Price range – looking mostly for moderate, mains priced $10 - $20 - however we may have one or two splurge meals so please let me know if you think there is something not to be missed.

Also interested in trying and am looking for recs for pastries, ice-cream and baked goods. Is there a not to be missed place for great cupcakes? We love sweets and chocolate!

As you can see in the itinerary I still need a few breakfast places. I have read on the board that Brasserie Jo is great, but my co-traveller is French so I think I should look for other options.

In Salem, the Great Escape looks neat (it’s a converted prison) but I don’t see much about it on the board and am wondering if we should consider somewhere else for our Salem lunch.

I am also planning to take the silver line to the hotel – if we buy a pass for transit is the silver line included in this? Can I buy the transit pass at the airport? (Sorry these questions aren’t about the restaurants and food, just wondering if someone might know).

If anyone can help with additional sights not to be missed please let me know! Perhaps you know of something that isn’t usually a tourist destination but is still worth a visit.

Here is the itinerary I created. I appreciate your help!! At the end I have attached a list of restaurants that I kept track of during my research but that I could not fit in to my itinerary.

Saturday - arrive early and take silver line to hotel to drop off bags
- Visit Monument Square/Bunker Hill Monument/USS Constitution
- Lunch - Pizzeria Regina
- Check in at hotel (approx. 3 pm)
- Sightseeing - Chinatown and (somewhere else on the way to dinner)?
- Dinner – Teranga (Senagalese)

Sunday - Breakfast – looking for somewhere that we can’t eat breakfast on the
other days (ie. a weekends only breakfast or Sundays only)
- Sightseeing - Quincy Market
- Lunch - East Coast Grill OR All Star Sandwiches AND Christina’s ice
- Sightseeing - Harvard and MIT
- Dinner – Oleana (Turkish)

Monday - Breakfast - pick something up on way to ferry to Salem (at long wharf) –
looking for suggestions.
- Depart 8:30, arrive 9:30
- Sightseeing – Witch Museum
- Lunch – Great Escape? Is it good? Should I consider somewhere else?
Is this place worth a stop for a drink if not for the food?
- Sightseeing – Wax museum and (somewhere else worth visiting)?
- Return to Boston via ferry (arrival approx. 5:00 pm), go back to hotel
and get ready for dinner
- Dinner – Ten Tables

Tuesday - Breakfast - help!
- Sightseeing – Walk through the North End
- Lunch – Parish Cafe
- Sightseeing – Boston Public Garden and Boston Common
- Snack – help!
- Red Sox Game at 7 pm

Wednesday - Breakfast – The Paramount
- Sightseeing - Beacon Hill
- Lunch – Neptune Oyster
- Sightseeing – JFK Museum
- Pick up treats at ______ for flight home – help!

Other restaurants that I noted while researching (the end of the list is donuts and ice cream):

Thmor Dat, Casa Portugal, O Senor Ramos, Chez Henri, Muqueca, Santarpio's, Gran Gusto, Galleria Umberto, Café Polonia, Trattoria Toscana, Toro, Mama Maria, Prezza, Coppa, Modern, Maria’s, Mike’s, Parish Café, All Star Sandwiches, East Coast Grill, Legal Seafoods, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Clam Box, Lala Rokh, Tasty Burger .Addis Red Sea, La Verdad, When Pigs Fly, Flour Bakery, O Ya ,Craigie on Main, Hamersley’s, No. 9 Park, Kane's, Linda's, Verna's, Donuts with a Difference, Toscanini's, J.P. Licks, Rancatore's, Emack&Bolio's, Tosci’s

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    1. I am not being sarcastic or making a joke about last season when I say this: Popeye's before a Sox game. Always.

      Actually, it's not "before" so much as "bring it to eat during the first couple innings." You're welcome.

      1. re: Luther

        Agreed. I have done this and it is amazing.

    2. In Salem I'd suggest Greenland cafe. Much better than great escape. Great escape really isn't that inspired and the lunch dining room looks nothing like an old jail

      1. Combine Quincy Market with all the other North End stuff, such as Regina's. Speaking of hte North End, if you're having lunch at Neptune, you can get treats for the flight home (well, cannoli) at Maria's.

        Don't miss Tosci's. Make room for lots of ice cream after Oleana. It's a nice 15-minute walk from there. While we're on the topic, if you're up in that area of Cambridge, I'd strongly recommend you go to MuQueCa instead of Oleana. It's a cuisine (Bahian Brazilian) I'm sure you won't find well represented in Toronto, and they do a fantastic job. Oleana gets some solid support on this board but I find it overhyped and not worth the $.

        You could get dinner at ICOB after the Sox.

        A weekly pass for all MBTA buses and subways (includes Silver Line) is $18. It's called a "weekly LinkPass." They just raised the price.

        To endorse a personal favorite, if you can get to Allston, I highly recommend S&I Thai. It's very close to the green line. Order strictly off of the picture menu or the pictures on the walls and you can't go wrong.

        I don't know anything about Salem but a lot of the places in your list at the end aren't destination places.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Luther

          Regardless of the pass, the silverline from the airport is free this summer.

          1. re: Luther

            You might also consider the almond cremolata with chocolate panini dessert at Oleana, in lieu of ice cream at Christina's or Toscanini's - this is my wife's favorite dessert.
            The baked Alaska is also very well regarded.

            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              I had the baked alaska once and the ice cream was damn icy. Having eaten at Toscanini's over 50 times, I can say that they products are occasionally, but almost never, icy.

              1. re: Luther

                I'm not a fan of their baked Alaska either. Maybe I just don't like baked Alaska, but I thought it was too fruity-sweet.

              2. re: Bob Dobalina

                I don't like the desserts at Oleana either. I much prefer the ice cream at Toscanini's.

            2. Sunday you should go to SOWA market

              not far from you you could check out Flour. Their BLT and Bfast sandwich is topnotch, as is the carrot cake, and keep your eye out for the newly revealed chef/owners favorite pastry pronounced 'queen-o-mon'

              Check out the schedule at Boston Harbor Hotel to see if anything meets your fancy even if only for a stroll by

              oh and if you're in the southend area on the weekend grab a couple of chocolate beignets at chocolee
              they also have a killer ginger dark chocolate

              1. Thanks Boston hounds for your help so far!