HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

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

  • 153
  • Share

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
cream
- 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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  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 Reply
    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
              http://www.sowaopenmarket.com/

              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'
              http://www.flourbakery.com/p2.php?pag...

              Check out the schedule at Boston Harbor Hotel to see if anything meets your fancy even if only for a stroll by
              http://www.bhh.com/pdf/summer%20serie...

              oh and if you're in the southend area on the weekend grab a couple of chocolate beignets at chocolee
              http://www.chocoleechocolates.com/con...
              they also have a killer ginger dark chocolate

              1. Thanks Boston hounds for your help so far!

                1. Hi TF - I work right near the Intercontinental. I also recommend walking across the bridge to go to Flour for at least one breakfast. And you are also not too far from Drink - a great place for a cocktail.
                  In Salem, definitely stop by the Peabody Essex Museum - one of their main halls has lots of Colonial art which is beautiful, and very New England-y. Not sure where I'd eat around there though - I stopped into Gulu Gule cafe once and it was pretty nice.
                  JFK Museum is out on the red line pretty far - maybe other hounds can say whether this can be combined w/ a trip to Sullivan's, which is a classic Boston place for hotdogs.
                  Your dinner at Teranga could also be combined with a drink or app in the S End - the Gallows is well-liked on this board, and there's also Myers +Chang or you could fit in Coppa.
                  Have a great trip!

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Bluebell

                    Thanks Bluebell for the great recs - Flour looks amazing for breakfast and fairly inexpensive as well. Which Flour restaurant were you referring to (Fort Point Channel, South End or Central Square)? Also, when you mentioned Coppa were you thinking drinks and apps or for dinner?

                    1. re: TeacherFoodie

                      Also, I'm interested to know if Teranga is worth a visit or should I be considering somewhere else?

                      1. re: TeacherFoodie

                        The Fort Point location of Flour is about a three minute walk from your hotel. Enjoy!

                        1. re: rebeccact

                          Thanks!

                      2. re: Bluebell

                        I would definitely second the Peabody Essex...a real gem. The Wax Museum is very cool...as a child, I was actually there in their opening week (sometime in the late 60's/early 70's I think). I had a great aunt whole lived in Salem and was very active in the city's museum and music scene, and took me to all the sites there. You might also consider the Witch House, which is the original home of the trial judge. Not as provocative as the Wax Museum, but is an incredible 17th century house and gives you an excellent glimpse into colonial life.

                        1. re: Bluebell

                          For lunch in Salem I like the A&J King bakery, very near the Peabody Essex (which btw is much more worthwhile,to me anyway, than the Witch or Wax museums. Also interesting the Old customs House, and the the House of Seven Gables) Anyway, A&J King has excellent sandwiches/bakery items/coffee. But it is definitely counter service, informal atmosphere.

                        2. Pre-Fenway if you can go to the Island Creek Oyster restaurant. Went for a visit recently, sat at the bar and the service was great and the food really good (stick to the lobster roll at Neptune Oyster imho, but other than that everything was great). They have a fried oyster slider that was outstanding.

                          Also, in the Intercontinental and just near it, there are a lot of choices Sorelle on Congress St. for a quick breakfast or coffee, Trade (Jodi Adams local celeb chef).. the burger at Miel in the Incontinental is great and they will make it for dinner even though it's not on the menu :) Emack and Bolio's has a store near the Aquarium (and ferry) that isn't too far from your hotel either.

                          Agree with the other post about the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, other than that, if it is a nice day it is good to just wander and get a drink on the water.

                          You may want to swtich your sightseeing on Tues and Wed, and focus on the North End on Wed and do the Beacon Hill Area, Public Garden and Boston Common on the same day. Start at the Paramount on Charles St. walk around Beacon Hill through the Public Garden (the Common doesn't have that much to see) and make your way to Back Bay on Boylston and/or Newbury St. (beautiful street and shopping!) you can make your way towards Mass Ave and the Fenway direction and just jump on the T when you get tired.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: rr2035

                            Thanks rr2035 for all the helpful information! If I follow your Beacon Hill/Pulbic Garden/Boston Common plan on Tuesday where would be a good place to stop for lunch? Could it still be Parish Cafe or Neptune Oyster? Or is there a better choice based on where we will be?

                            1. re: TeacherFoodie

                              teach, i hjad a thought about how to get an efficient look at boston's layout vis a vis your itineraries. Go to google map, and click directions. Enter a series of destinations by name and a map will appear that you can enlarge.( you can also get approx walking times for the itinerary.)For tues. it might be:

                              your hotel

                              paramount restaurant

                              chestnut st,boston

                              mt vernon st

                              joy st.

                              massachusetts state house

                              beacon st

                              boston public garden

                              parish cafe

                              newbury st

                              copley square

                              dartmouth st.

                              commonwealth ave.

                              la verdad

                              fenway park

                              island creek oyster bar

                              your hotel

                              Do the same for salem, including all the lunch places in a series, so you can see how they work or don't work, location-wise.

                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                Done and done! This seems like a great Tuesday plan. When I started my research I made two maps on google maps (if you have a login for google you can create and save your own maps). The first map was all the sightseeing we wanted to do and the second was of all the restaurants that I had put on my list from my research.

                                Thanks for your help!

                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                  Will I need reservations at any of the Tuesday places? Thanks.

                                2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                  from a location standpoint Parish would still be better, as Neptune is in the North End. Paramount can be a pretty big breakfast (but so good!) you'll probably want to walk it off a bit before getting lunch. Also for Neptune because they don't take reservations you'll want to leave enough time to wait (can be 45-90 minutes..hopefully not longer)--they take your phone number and call you so a good time to explore the North End.

                              2. So, here are some of my random thoughts. Keep in mind that Boston is a small city and is really walkable.

                                Saturday - after lunch at Regina's, walk to the hotel on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. You'll see part of the North End (at Columbus Park) and part of the waterfront. Chinatown is on the other end of the greenway, not far from your hotel. There really isn't all that much to see there since it's mostly food related. Any aspect of chinese american history (like the murals) have been knocked down with new construction. For just seeing it, you won't need more then half an hour.

                                Monday - Salem. I love the Peabody Essex Museum. I think it's worth going to. Also, for lunch, there is Cafe Polonia that has tasty polish food. It may be too warm to eat that heavy though. For dinner, I would skip 10 Tables. There are better options and it's not worth the trek to either location. Instead, see if you can get reservations for Bondir or Bergamot.

                                Tuesday - if you are sightseeing in the North End, then you should go to Neptune Oyster for lunch since it's right there. Be sure to get there right when they open. You can then walk to Beacon Hill (walk past Haymarket T stop and just keep walking up hill until you get to Cambridge Street. All those side streets on Cambridge go up Beacon Hill). Walk around Beacon Hill and then you can also see the Boston Common and Garden.

                                Wed - this day will be freer and you won't be doing as much back tracking. You can have breakfast at the Paramount and then walk down Charles Street to the Common and Garden. Or more Beacon Hill, Maybe this is the day to try Parish Cafe since it's on the other side of the Garden.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: beetlebug

                                  if you do go to the Peabody Essex museum, you can grab lunch at Finz (don't miss the fried oysters). Another good lunch option in Beacon Hill area is Scampo. +1 for Bergamot.

                                  1. re: barleywino

                                    I think the Peabody Essex is a good take as well, and while Finz doesn't get a lot of love on this board, I love their buffalo calamari!

                                    1. re: Pegmeister

                                      Peabody Essex is closed on Monday - I think someone already mentioned it. So I guess we'll do a trolley tour and the one witch museum then.

                                      1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                        If there's any way you can reschedule to a day other than Monday, you should. The PEM is a world-class museum.

                                        As for other things in Salem, if it's a nice day, take a longish walk to the Salem Willows area, and have some ice cream and popcorn from Hobbs'.

                                2. Your post should be the gold standard for any out-of-towner asking for Boston advice. Why? You provided all the context that will allow us to give you the best info: your length of stay, your home town, who you are, where you will stay, your budget, and your likes. The only thing missing is telling us your likes/dislikes in Toronto, a City many hounds here are familiar with. Also, will you be driving in Boston (ha, ha)?

                                  Here are some comments:

                                  MBTA
                                  MBTA is going through some changes.

                                  http://www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/...

                                  Monument Square/Bunker Hill Monument/USS Constitution
                                  You can expect very long lines (>30 minutes) getting onto the USS Constitution. Weekdays may be better than weekends.

                                  Chinatown
                                  You won't find anything there that you can't in Toronto. With far better Chinese food in Toronto, you will only be disappointed. Only hounds like us will put up with its dirtiest streets in Boston.

                                  Teranga and Oleana
                                  Haven't been to either. It seems like you prefer ethnic restaurants. I do too, and prefer those that are *authentic*. But Boston's ethnic restaurants aren't that great in that regard when compared to Toronto's.

                                  East Coast Grill OR All Star Sandwiches AND Christina’s icecream
                                  In that neighborhood, consider Courthouse Seafood, the best value for very fresh seafood in town. As an aside, the other good value seafood place is Belle Isle in East Boston, near the airport. That may be good for a quick meal when arriving/departing in Logan.

                                  http://www.courthouseseafood.com/
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/823331
                                  http://www.belleisleseafood.com/
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/853933

                                  JFK Museum
                                  I always take my visitors to JFK's birthplace instead.

                                  http://www.nps.gov/jofi/index.htm

                                  Salem
                                  I always take my visitors to Rockport and Glouchester instead. Given time, I would also take them to Plum Island. Toronto has nothing like these.

                                  http://www.fws.gov/northeast/parkerri...

                                  Peabody Essex Museum
                                  There is currently an Ansel Adams exhibit with some of his lesser known work.

                                  http://www.pem.org/press/press_releas...

                                  Boston Public Library
                                  The first US public library is worth a stroll through its magnificent hallways, courtyard and reading rooms. And if you like tea, you are in luck.

                                  http://www.bpl.org/central/
                                  http://www.bostonteacup.com/2007/12/b...

                                  Mount Auburn Cemetery
                                  You may laugh, but I often take my visitors to this first US cemetery, in every season. Photographers, birders, nature lovers, history buffs all thank me. With a car, you can drive-park-walk inside the cemetery.

                                  http://www.mountauburn.org/

                                  Ethnic and craft festivals
                                  Too many to recommend. Let us know your exact dates and interests, and we can help. Are you sure you can only stay for five days?

                                  http://festivalnet.com/state/massachu...
                                  http://northendwaterfront.com/feasts/

                                  French Cultural Center
                                  For your French traveling companion, in case he/she is homesick.

                                  http://www.frenchculturalcenter.org/
                                  http://www.frenchculturalcenter.org/i...

                                  Our local libraries offer free/discount museum passes to their patrons. If you should know a Bostonian, ask him/her to get you these passes. Have a great trip, and do tell us your adventure.

                                  1. The JFK Museum is terrific.

                                    So is brunch at East Coast Grill on Sundays.

                                    1. Gulu Gulu Cafe in Salem is a great lunch spot. I recently stopped there for lunch then went to the waterfront.

                                      1. The Peabody Essex is the best place to go in Salem, but unfortunately it's closed on Mondays.

                                        1. hi teach, welcome in advance! i am thrilled by your articulate and well thought out post. So glad to see a sister researcher! I will post some specific suggestions when i can, but i first wanted to ask: what are toronto's food strengths ? don't youall have the largest or 2nd largest chinese popuation in No Amer? because if that is true, then i would never rec Boston chinese places for your limited visit. And bakeries- I don't think Canadian bakeries have anything on U.S. ones, but don't you have a great Parisian bakery there?Boston is sorely lacking in, i.e. we do not have, a great bakery.( Boy do I wish.....) You have to go to NYC or San Fran for a great bakery.Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Boston bakeries have the same bad qualities of 99% of No.American bakeries. Their products are: oversweetened and/or dry and/or not made with 100% butter and/or boring. Any given bakery may have one or two exceptions to that rule, but one or 2 items does not a great bakery make. I know it's a rant, but forgive me; I'm a baker. Then again, your sweets taste may be very happy w/ No Amer bakeries, in which case, forget everything i said.

                                          Will your visit include August? I ask, because of closing/vacation dates for some places we might rec..

                                          Will you be driving or public transit to Salem? Are Art/Architcture/History big on your list of interests or do you prefer to walk and look and experience the city in general? If it is the former, I have some additional things i can send you; just email me at opinionatedchef@comcast.net

                                          Will you be taking public transportation? I will prob make some suggestions combining buses with the T because on certain routes, the bus is a great way to see the city.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                            Thanks opinionatedchef! Just in July, no August, during our visit, from the 14th to 18th. I've hopefully answered your other questions in my updated itinerary post. :)

                                          2. In Salem, while I adore the Peabody Essex Museum, I am not a fan of either their high or low end eating options.I second the GuluGulu Cafe suggestion - just a few blocks away. Funky, great beer list.
                                            http://www.gulu-gulu.com/

                                            I also second Muqueca in Cambridge. You'd need to walk from Central Sq, I guess. Bergamot is great but even more of a walk. Rendezvous is right in Central Sq and there are a ton of good new places in Kendall, if you find yourself on this side of the river. I liked brunch at both Area Four and Abigail's

                                            If you go to SOWA, plan on cruising the food trucks.

                                            If you start with breakfast at Paramount and walk up Charles and thru the public garden, you'll hit Parrish Cafe too early for lunch. You'll need something up near the Mass Ave end of Newbury St. but I don't have any ideas on that. And when you're up there, check out the Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library.
                                            http://www.marybakereddylibrary.org/e...

                                            enjoy!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: LauraBear

                                              ooh LauraBear, I forgot about the Mapparium, that is a really quirky, unique (and pretty quick ) site to see. Nice one!

                                            2. Skip China town, other poster is right, add Newbury Street instead or Harvard Square. Sowa Market is also a great suggestion. I would also skip Great Escape in Salem and try somewhere else. Salem has a great bakery that does sandwiches for lunch, A+J Artisan Bakery. You could also take the ferry to Provincetown for the day if you want the Cape Cod feeling.

                                              1. UPDATED ITINERARY! See below.

                                                Wow – the hounds of Boston are very helpful. Thanks for all the advice, and eatntell and opinionatedchef, thank you for the compliments – I tried to give as much information as possible so that I can get the best advice.

                                                To answer about Toronto – it’s a melting pot here – we have a large Asian population and therefore good Asian restaurants. We have a lot of variety, but there are sometimes some types of food missing (like Burmese- see paragraph below)

                                                To answer about my likes and dislikes – there are a lot of likes, not a lot of dislikes. My least favorite food is Indian, but that is not to say I wouldn’t eat at an Indian restaurant if there was an outstanding one to try. I do enjoy ethnic and trying new foods – on a recent trip to San Francisco the hounds suggested Burmese food and my husband and I liked it so much that we had it twice. I also do not like shrimp, unless it is deep fried or in a chowder! I have tried to like it but so far no success.

                                                For likes I love dessert the most – cupcakes, crème brulee, ICE CREAM, donuts, muffins, pastries – I could go on forever! Food-wise I like everything except for the aforementioned. Toronto does have some great bakeries (and yes, French ones) but looking at Flour’s website – I was drooling!

                                                My co-traveler enjoys everything except raw fish/seafood.

                                                And no, I won’t be driving in Boston, and yes – we will be visiting Salem because we purchased our ferry tickets yesterday and are quite excited for the witch museum! I would be happy to keep your other suggestions for day trips (thanks eatntell) for another time. We will be taking public transport and using two feet and a heartbeat!

                                                This is my second time in the city, but the first visit was only for an afternoon (so it barely counts) – I visited the art museum, walked around a little through Boston Common and Quincy Market and ate at Legal Seafoods. I do hope to be back for a third visit in not too long!

                                                I should also mention that I am originally from the East Coast in Canada, and find some of the scenery in Massachusetts and other close starts to be a lot like where I grew up.

                                                Here is my edited itinerary, still a few holes to fill, and looking for critiques still.

                                                Please would someone also let me know when it makes sense to go to Boston Library and Mount Auburn cemetery (does it make sense to visit the cemetery without a car) based on my itinerary?

                                                My traveling companion loves visiting sports venues. We are already seeing a game at Fenway, but when in my itinerary can we drop by some others so she can at least take a picture (for example, where the Bruins play and where the Celtics play)?

                                                We are both interested in architecture and my co-traveler loves taking photos, but not as interested in art (on my last visit I was with someone who was very into art and so I had a private guide at the museum)!

                                                Too bad I do not know a Bostonian for free museum passes. Luckily, we seem to be more interested in seeing other things. It seems we will be outside a lot, so hopefully there is a nice breeze from the water to offer relief from the hot summer.

                                                For Sunday I am considering flip-flopping the day and seeing Harvard and MIT in the morning, having brunch at East Coast Grill, or lunch at another of the places I mentioned, and then going to SOWA in the afternoon - thoughts?

                                                Saturday - arrive early and take silver line to hotel to drop off bags
                                                - Visit Quincy Market and the North End
                                                - Lunch - Pizzeria Regina
                                                - Sightseeing – walk to hotel on Rose Kennedy Greenway
                                                - Check in at hotel (approx. 3 pm)
                                                - Dinner - Get chocolate beignets at Chocalee for dessert (close at 7)!
                                                Drinks/Apps at The Gallows, Myers and Chang or Coppa, dinner at 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)
                                                on way to or near SOWA market
                                                - Sightseeing - SOWA Market (10 am)
                                                - Lunch - East Coast Grill brunch OR All Star Sandwiches OR Courthouse
                                                Seafood AND Christina’s Ice Cream
                                                - Sightseeing - Harvard and MIT
                                                - Dinner – Oleana (Turkish) or MeQueCa (Brazilian) and dessert at
                                                Tosci’s

                                                Monday - Breakfast – pick up at Sorelle – 282 Congress Street
                                                - Depart 8:30, arrive 9:30 (ferry to Salem)
                                                - Sightseeing – Witch Museum
                                                - Lunch – Greenland Café or Café Polonia or Finz or Gulu Gulu Cafe
                                                - Sightseeing – Wax museum and (somewhere else worth visiting -Peabody-Essex
                                                is closed)
                                                - Return to Boston via ferry (arrival approx. 5:00 pm), go back to hotel
                                                and get ready for dinner
                                                - Dinner - Bondir or Bergamot and dessert at JP Licks

                                                Tuesday - Breakfast - The Paramount
                                                - Sightseeing – Beacon Hill
                                                - Lunch – Parish Café or Scampo
                                                - Sightseeing – Boston Public Garden and Boston Common
                                                - Snack – Popeyes?
                                                - Red Sox Game at 7 pm
                                                - Dinner – ICOB (chowder)

                                                Wednesday - Breakfast – Flour (Fort Point, opens 7 am)
                                                - Sightseeing - Monument Square/Bunker Hill Monument/USS
                                                Constitution
                                                - Lunch – Neptune Oyster (get there when they open) and pick up treats at
                                                Maria’s (cannoli)
                                                - Sightseeing – JFK Museum and/or JFK’s birthplace
                                                - Return to hotel to collect bags and take silver line to airport (possibly stop at Bell
                                                Isle Seafood near airport)

                                                40 Replies
                                                1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                  Sun. breakfast: There are a ton of food trucks and stands (including one woman who sells huge cookies, scones, etc) at the SOWA mkt so no real need to stop at another place. In addition, there's a decent cafe in the midst of the mkt. Since you'll be having brunch, these choices should suffice.

                                                  In Salem, the bakery A&J King is quite nice.

                                                  Your Mon. dessert at JP Licks after Bondir or Bergamot isn't the most convenient or exciting choice in the world.

                                                  As mentioned above, getting breakfast at the Paramount and lunch at the Parish is too much too soon too close (IMHO). Don't forget the fried oyster sliders at ICOB and maybe a drink at the Hawthorne next door.

                                                  The lobster tail at Maria's is excellent as long as you don't let it sit too long and let the pastry get soggy. Good for 3 people. I'd pick up other north end stuff for the plane while you're there, a sub from either Dino's or Il Panino.

                                                  For architecture, wandering around the south end also offers some pretty buidings of the brownstone variety.

                                                  1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                    In Salem it would depend on whether you're looking for a quick lunch or a sit down meal. If you're just looking for something real tasty but quick, Scratch Kitchen is terrific and it's right at the corner of Derby and Congress. For a nicer sit down spot, Gulu is ok, but I've never been blown away by the menu. Greenland Cafe has a nice outside patio and a great menu. I'd also give the thumbs up to Cafe Polonia if you're looking for polish food.

                                                    I'd skip the wax museum as well and do a walking tour instead, particularly if the weather is nice.

                                                    1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                      Sounds fantastic. On Sunday, you could do brunch at Masa, which opens at 9. Very good food and they have an earlybird $7.95 combo that is a real bargain. Gaslight is right in the midst of SOWA. They have a decent brunch but don't open til 10. As total13 says, that might be too much food if you're headed to lunch/brunch later. The other option would be to do Flour for breakfast on Sunday and find something else for Wednesday.

                                                      Be aware that Courthouse Seafood is just a small place for a quick bite of extremely fresh seafood in a no-frills atmosphere. If you want to linger, then East Coast would be a better option. You'll get really fresh fish in a fun and funky environment. All-Star is probably somewhere between the two.

                                                      1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                        If you make it to Chocolee, you will be wanting to eat those beignets warm. Save the ginger dark chocolate candies for dessert.

                                                        This was the article about the pastry at Flour I mentioned. Have not tried it,
                                                        http://www.bostonmagazine.com/article...

                                                        1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                          Nice work, looks good.

                                                          BTW - Perhaps you're already familiar, but there are a couple of Burmese restaurants in the GTA that I have on my list to check out next time I'm back home for a visit:

                                                          Motherhome Myanmar Cuisine
                                                          1194 Bloor St West

                                                          Basil Thai Kitchen (Thai, Malaysian, and a few Burmese dishes here and there - apparently the owner is Burmese)
                                                          2326 Danforth
                                                          http://www.basilthaikitchen.com/

                                                          1. re: Nab

                                                            The reviews for Motherhome weren't that great - I'm not in a hurry to try. We actually made our own tea leaf salad. We found a recipe online where you buy the Senza (I think that's the brand) green tea leaves and ferment them yourself (boil them in vinegar). It turned out not too bad. I think for good Burmese you have to go (back) to San Francisco!

                                                            We tried the Burmese restaurant in Ottawa when we were there a few months ago - it was okay, but nothing like in SF.

                                                            1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                              Well that's just too bad to hear.

                                                              If you have a hankering, I would put our own Yoma here in Boston up against the SF spots, certainly in the same league (and I'd say Yoma Myanmar in San Gabriel Valley is in a slight league unto its own).

                                                              1. re: Nab

                                                                Have you been there? Do they mix the tea salad in front of you?

                                                                1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                  The Yoma here in Boston serves it semi-assembled, ready to be tossed to your own liking, at your own doing.

                                                                  I could only find a takeout picture and I note they even take care to serve it up separated for takeout, a nice touch.

                                                                   
                                                                  1. re: Nab

                                                                    I have only skimmed this post, so I'll just offer two observations:

                                                                    • In a rare disagreement with Nab, I'd have to say that YoMa is very good, but the tea leaves salad is a far cry from the three or four I tried in SF (based on recs from the Chowhound board there). I haven't tried the one opinionatedchef mentioned. But it's good enough that I would order it if I happened to be in the area, because I love that dish so much.

                                                                    • Just to balance out the comments re Myers + Chang: It's one of my favorite places in Boston. It's a restaurant that knows how to do Modern Asian (in that post–Slanted Door way), with a pitch-perfect casualness and hip-vibe factor. I love it.

                                                                    1. re: Jolyon Helterman

                                                                      right, the waiters are so busy trying to be casual and hip that they have no clue what the food they serve is. "Are the wings crispy?" Waiter: "Yes, they're flash fried." (NOT) "Does the old school eggroll have that old school bubbly skin?" Waiter: "Yes". (NOT) "The menu says the eggroll has cabbage in it. This is red cabbage, not cabbage." Waiter: "Same thing." (NOT; and who fills an eggroll with shredded carrots and red cabbage? Sounds like they were just trying to use up their leftover salad scraps) Even their beef chow fun is worse than any version you can find in Chinatown, with tough overcooked beef. Might as well go to P.F. Changs. Or at least some place like Blue Ginger (too far for the OP, probably). Modern Asian is as much about execution as concept, it's not about vibe or hanging paper lanterns on the wall. If the OP wants Modern Asian, I would recommend saving their dollars for next year's trip to Honolulu and going to Alan Wong's.

                                                                      1. re: barleywino

                                                                        Didn't mean to start a feud.

                                                                        Fortunately, I haven't had that experience myself. The waitstaff have been friendly and knowledgable, IMO. And sorry to miscommunicate, but, no, I don't feel that decor and vibe are the only things that make something modern Asian. (If I'd known how controversial I was being, I would have staved off counterarguments more exhaustively.)

                                                                        I think the wok-charred udon with chicken and bok choy is an excellent, updated version of traditional stir-fried noodle dishes. Ditto, the tea-smoked ribs, the pork-and-chive dumplings, the sriracha chicken wings (not crispy, but I thought they were flash-fried for service, then quick-sautéed in wok, not for crispiness, which they're not, but for heat and flavor—I may be wrong there...). The red miso carrots are terrific, as are the spicy silky tofu, wok-roasted mussels, and charred octopus with grilled corn. The hakka eggplant rates as one of the best Asian dishes in the city. The ingredients are excellent in general.

                                                                        And unless you're a reactionary stickler for capital-A Authenticity (whatever that is), putting anything that inspires inside an eggroll wrapper doesn't seem like much of a crime. "This is simply NOT what I remember eggrolls being filled with in Jackson Heights in the mid-’70s. Harumph!"

                                                                        I will go further out on a limb and say that Myers & Chang is one of only a handful of restaurants in Boston that I think could be transplanted—with no alterations—to downtown Manhattan and thrive. Others (but not limited to this list): O Ya, Toro, Coppa, Sweet Cheeks, Strip-T's, Neptune, Sportello, and Erbaluce (that last, with a less depressing dining room).

                                                                        1. re: Jolyon Helterman

                                                                          sorry for the rant...just disappointed that chef Joanne Chang (whom I'm otherwise a big fan of, didn't she even work at Biba at one point?) hasn't taken this to the next level in terms of food and service. I've had the dumplings, thought the skin was much too thick/ doughy. The silken tofu I had to return because it was sour. The ribs I remember as being dried out. I really expected better from her, given her background.

                                                                          1. re: barleywino

                                                                            Yup, I think so. Later, Rialto and Payard Patisserie.

                                                                            [ And sorry for taking the bait. :) ]

                                                                        2. re: barleywino

                                                                          Modern Asian is an attempt to step up from Pu-Pu Platter + Mai-Tai, for the same crowd who made them popular.

                                                                  2. re: Nab

                                                                    nab, i can only guess from this remark that you have not been to the Burmese place in the Richmond district. Yoma is easily a 4 compared to their 10 imo.

                                                              2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                When I visited Boston (north end) we bought Italian pastries (cannoli and sf.......can't spell it! layered pastry with baked custard?) at both Modern and Mike's -- Modern won. Maybe I'll try Maria's next time. I can't find Italian pastries in SF worth eating.

                                                                1. re: walker

                                                                  Sfogliatelle. three cornered hat. my fav too. But walker, what i would give if Boston had just ONE bakery as good as Boulangerie on Pine. sigh. Now THAT is a bakery to die for.

                                                                2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                  Here's another rec for a restaurant in Salem. 43 Church. Here is a review of it:
                                                                  http://megan-deliciousdishings.blogsp...

                                                                  1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                    I wouldn't choose Muqueca over Oleana. Oleana has some imperfections, but its best dishes soar. I've limited experience of Muqueca, but enough to have never particularly wanted more.

                                                                    1. re: FoodDabbler

                                                                      Which dishes do you consider to be Oleana's best?

                                                                      1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                        you didn't ask me, but I'm a big Oleana fan and my answer is the meze. You can get a veg. meze tasting 5 courses plus dessert for $45. It's great to combine this with ordering a few of the non veg meze....the sultan's delight, fried mussels are personal favorites, I've heard the quail and octopus are amazing. The tasting plus a few extra are great for two sharing. And if you get there right at 5:30, good chance to get seated in the beautiful garden. It's really an unusual, delightful experience. I also love the deviled eggs, which include olive oil poached tuna and black olives. Always get those!

                                                                        1. re: Madrid

                                                                          Thank you Madrid!

                                                                          1. re: Madrid

                                                                            I agree with Madrid. The small plates are the way to go. They're prety much all good, but I did get one clunker on a recent visit (overly smoky bluefish dolmas). Counterbalancing that was an exceptionally good tomato bourek. Search for a recent thread on Oleana that has some more detailed comments on the bourek.

                                                                      2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                        Chocolee is closed for the month of July...

                                                                        1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                          Teach, you have done some great homework here. The one thing you are missing is an understanding of the locations and the travel time needed for these possible itineraries. When you are trying to pack in as much as you are (WHEW!!) it's best to simplify things a bit and minimize travel times. I know alot of people will be upset by my using caps but i honestly couldn't figure out another way to differentiate my comments next to your text so you could more easily compare them. Sorry but i hope my advice might be useful.
                                                                          -------------------------------
                                                                          Too bad I do not know a Bostonian for free museum passes. Luckily, we seem to be more interested in seeing other things. It seems we will be outside a lot, so hopefully there is a nice breeze from the water to offer relief from the hot summer.
                                                                          BTW, MT AUBURN CEMETERY IS BASICALLY A BEAUTIFUL AND HUGE OLMSTED DESIGNED PARK. NO TIME FOR IT IN YOUR SCHEDULE.

                                                                          For Sunday I am considering flip-flopping the day and seeing Harvard and MIT in the morning, having brunch at East Coast Grill, or lunch at another of the places I mentioned, and then going to SOWA in the afternoon - thoughts?SKIP SOWA; NO BIGGIE AND FAR FROM REST OF SUNDAY LOCATIONS

                                                                          SUGGESTED ITINERARY:

                                                                          Saturday - arrive early and take silver line to hotel to drop off bags
                                                                          - Visit Quincy Market and SKIRT OR PASS THROUGH the North End
                                                                          - Lunch - Pizzeria Regina NORTH END (EDGE OF)
                                                                          - Sightseeing – FLEET(NOW VERIZON CENTER)IS BRUINS AND CELTICS VENUE BUT I DON'T THINK YOU CAN ENTER EXCEPT FOR GAMES; IT IS CLOSE TO REGINA'S. (JUST FYI FOR YOUR FRIEND. )walk to hotel on Rose Kennedy Greenway AND WALK THROUGH HAYMARKET
                                                                          (THERE'S A POPULAR BELGIAN FRITES AND WAFFLE PLACE THERE TOO- http://www.eatfrites.com/

                                                                          Check in at hotel (approx. 3 pm
                                                                          )- Dinner - Get chocolate beignets at Chocalee for dessert (close at 7)!

                                                                          *** CHOCOLEE IS CLOSED FOR JULY***
                                                                          Drinks/Apps at The Gallows, Myers and Chang or Coppa, dinner at Teranga
                                                                          (Senagalese) LOCATION WISE, MYERS AND CHANG IS AWAY FROM ALL THE REST, AND CLOSER TO YOUR HOTEL. MY ADVICE IS TO GET DRINKS AND APPS AND DINNER AT M+C, or DRINKS AND APPS AND PAELLA DINNER AT TORO.(IMO, SKIP TERANGA WHICH IS NEXT TO TORO, or DO DRINKS AND APPS AT TORO AND DINNER AT TERANGA)

                                                                          -----------------------------------------------------------

                                                                          Sunday -

                                                                          MORNING MIT- CHAPEL AND KRESGE AUDITORIUM BY SAARINEN; WALK THE WHOLE 'HEART OF MIT' CORRIDOR, ENTERING THE BLDG 10 ROTUNDA ON MASS AVE, EXITING NEAR THE GREEN BLDG, EXPLORING FRANK GEHRY'S STATA CENTER AND THE MEDIA LAB.

                                                                          7 MINUTE CAB TO EAST COAST GRILL FOR FUN -W/ ALL- THE- LOCALS BRUNCH.

                                                                          BUS TO HARVARD SQ. WALK HARVARD YARD,CHURCH ST. AND UP HISTORIC BRATTLE ST PAST BLACKSMITH HOUSE, BURDICK'S CHOCOLATES, LONGFELLOW HOUSE AND MANSIONS C.1800-1900.

                                                                          BUS,T OR CAB TO OLEANA'S (JUST THE BEST! IF WANT PATIO,GOTTA GET THERE BY 5:30)

                                                                          20-30 MIN.WALK TO TOSCANINI

                                                                          T TO HOTEL

                                                                          .
                                                                          - Lunch - East Coast Grill brunch OR All Star Sandwiches OR Courthouse
                                                                          Seafood AND Christina’s Ice Cream
                                                                          - Sightseeing - Harvard and MIT
                                                                          - Dinner – Oleana (Turkish) or MeQueCa (Brazilian) and dessert at
                                                                          Tosci’s

                                                                          ------------------------------------------------

                                                                          Monday - Breakfast – pick up at Sorelle – 282 Congress Street
                                                                          - Depart 8:30, arrive 9:30 (ferry to Salem)
                                                                          - Sightseeing – CAB TO Witch Museum
                                                                          - Lunch –

                                                                          Greenland Café or Café Polonia or Finz or Gulu Gulu Cafe or A&J KING BAKERY MAKES SANDWICHES, BREADS AND BAKED GOODS.
                                                                          - Sightseeing – Wax museum and (somewhere else worth visiting -Peabody-Essex
                                                                          is closed)

                                                                          WALK UP CHESTNUT ST- THE MOST FAMOUS INTACT STREET IN THE U.S. OF 19TH C. FEDERAL MANSIONS. STUNNING.

                                                                          VISIT DERBY ST. NATIONAL PARK INFO CENTER EXHIBIT BY SCHOONER AND CUSTOM HOUSE
                                                                          - Return to Boston via ferry (arrival approx. 5:00 pm), go back to hotel
                                                                          and get ready for dinner
                                                                          - Dinner - Bondir or Bergamot and dessert at JP Licks . YOU NEED A BREAK ON TRAVEL>>SKIP THESE CAMBRIDGE PLACES AND EAT IN BOSTON, AT ERBALUCE or DEUXAVE or MYERS+CHANG or TORO(BONDIR AND BERGAMOT ARE LONG WALKS FROM PUBLIC TRANSIT EXCEPT BUSSES; BONDIR IS RIGHT NEAR OLEANA; BERGAMOT is A 30 MIN WALK FROM HARV SQ.) .

                                                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                          Tuesday - Breakfast - The Paramount
                                                                          - Sightseeing – UP CHARLES ST AND UP CHESTNUT TO WILLOW ST AND AROUND LOUISBURG SQ.,UP MT. VERNON ST. TO JOY ST TO BEACON ST AND GOLD DOMED STATE HOUSE; WALK DOWN BEACON ST. (NOTH TO SEE ON COMMON REALLY) THROUGH LOVELY PUBLIC GARDEN TO PARISH
                                                                          CAFE- Lunch – Parish Café or Scampo PARISH CAFE QUICKER AND BETTER LOCATED FOR YOU
                                                                          - Sightseeing – Boston Public Garden and Boston Common DOWN NEWBURY ST,OVER TO COPLEY SQ,/TRINITY CHURCH AND BOSTON PUB.LIB.(LOVELY CAFE HERE TOO),OVER TO COMM AVE (DESIGNED AFTER THE CHAMPS ELYSEES, FANTASTIC) DOWN COMM AVE. TO GAME

                                                                          - Snack – Popeyes? LA VERDAD TAQUERIA- BEST FISH TACOS AND CARNE ASADA TACOS IN NEW ENGLAND, IMO; ACROSS ST. FROM GAME
                                                                          - Red Sox Game at 7 pm
                                                                          - Dinner – ICOB (chowder)LOBSTER ROE NOODLES WITH OXTAIL, CHANTERELLES AND RICH DEMI; FANTASTIC BISCUIT; OYSTERS (CHOWDER O.K.)

                                                                          -----------------------------------------------------------

                                                                          Wednesday -YOU'RE TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH THIS DAY; TOO MUCH TRAVEL TIME REQUIRED BETWEEN ALL THESE PLACES. ALTERNATE :

                                                                          Breakfast – Flour (Fort Point, opens 7 am)
                                                                          - Sightseeing - Monument Square/Bunker Hill Monument/USS
                                                                          Constitution SKIP ALL THIS IN CHARLESTOWN. YOU WILL HAVE SEEN EQUAL OR BETTER ON BEACON HILL/CHARLES ST. INSTEAD, WALK AROUND HISTORIC NORTH END AND WATERFRONT-WILL FILL YOUR MORNING.
                                                                          - Lunch – Neptune Oyster (get there when they open) and pick up ARANCINI AT GALLERIA UMBERTO (11-3 SAT, OFTEN SELL OUT;CLOSED PART OF JULY IIRC)

                                                                          AND treats at
                                                                          Maria’s (cannoli) AND MODERN BAKERY- SFOLIATELLE, ALMOND BISCOTTI. NOUGATINE
                                                                          - Sightseeing – JFK Museum GO HERE> MUCH MORE TO SEE, STUNNING HARBOR LOCATION, RELATIVELY CLOSE BY TO HOTEL/NO. END

                                                                          and/or JFK’s birthplace TOO FAR AWAY, SUBURB

                                                                          - Return to hotel to collect bags and take silver line to airport (possibly stop at Bell
                                                                          Isle Seafood near airport)TOO MANY NEG REPORTS ON FUNKY BELLE ISLE; UGLY INDUSTRIAL AREA, AND REALLY NEED CAR TO GET THERE. IF YOU WANT TO TAKE LOBSTERS HOME, J HOOK NEAR YOUR HOTEL OR AT AIRPORT . NEXT TIME YOU VISIT US, WALK AROUND/EAT IN THE HISTORIC SOUTH END

                                                                          ----------------------------------------------

                                                                          I'm guessing you've already seen these, but just in case:

                                                                          Guide to Boston by Areas and Restaurants:

                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/781155

                                                                          ---------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                          Also, some extra Boston food profile info for you:

                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/781156

                                                                          shopping for Boston food souvenirs:

                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/781171

                                                                          ----------------------------------------
                                                                          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:

                                                                          http://www.bostonmagazine.com/scripts...

                                                                          -----------------------------------------------

                                                                          **Don't forget, reservations are a must(and you can change them if needed). If OpenTable.com doesn't show a time to your liking, call the restnt; they usually have tables they keep for their own reservations.**

                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                            Re: Bergamot. It's less then a mile walk from Harvard Sq. It won't take 30 minutes to walk there. It's probably closer to a leisurely 20 minute stroll. And, there are also plenty of cabs from the square if you are tuckered out.

                                                                            1. re: beetlebug

                                                                              There are two MBTA bus lines that pass Bergamot (at the corner of Beacon and Kirkland Streets in Somerville: the #83 between Central Square and Porter Square, travelling along Beacon Street; and the #86 between Sullivan Square (Charlestown) and Cleveland Circle via Harvard Square, travelling along Kirkland Street. Schedules can be found at www.mbta.com.

                                                                          2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                            As a regular tourist in boston I'll add something we do to get to charleston. The mta has a ferry that goes between the aquarium and a pier next to the uss constitution. I think it's covered with your weekly pass. If not it's only about $3. Beats the hell out of walking both ways.

                                                                            1. re: bobbert

                                                                              that ferry is a short (10 min) trip with stunning views of the city and the harbor. I think it is among best unknown features of Boston. Goes from Long Wharf right by the aquarium to the Charlestown Navy Yard, Constitution. There's an upper open deck.
                                                                              http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_map...
                                                                              Unfortunately, no good eats near the Navy Yard. The Tavern on the Water near the boat has horrible food, but great place to enjoy the view with a drink.

                                                                              1. re: Madrid

                                                                                We are taking the ferry from Long Wharf to Salem - if we do this will it be a repeat or will we see different things?

                                                                                1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                  I was suggesting the ferry strictly from a transportation perspective. If you are starting the day at Flour and then plan on going to charleston to see the constitution, it's probably the quickest way to go. The price (cheap or maybe free if your pass covers it) and the view (great) are simply bonuses.

                                                                                  1. re: bobbert

                                                                                    Thanks.

                                                                                  2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                    Salem is north, Charlestown is east, and the ferry to Charlestown is only 10 minutes.

                                                                                    1. re: Madrid

                                                                                      Thank you.

                                                                                      1. re: Madrid

                                                                                        Not to start a technical discussion of Boston geography, but... what is your originating point for Charlestown being east? If Long Wharf, then Charlestown is north (and Salem will take you some variation on NE). Just don't want to confuse the OP. :)

                                                                                        1. re: chevrelove

                                                                                          check out the map:
                                                                                          http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/Doc...

                                                                                          yes, Charlestown is north but more north west...sorry, I should have said west, not east!!! thanks chevre for the correction. Salem is northeast.

                                                                                2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                  "My traveling companion loves visiting sports venues... where the Bruins play and where the Celtics play)?"

                                                                                  The Boston Garden, which has had about 10 different names in the last 15 years is just a big box from the outside. There are a couple of statues in front, but it's not exactly a tourist destination. If you want to visit, it's next to the North End and about a half mile walk from the Statehouse corner of the Boston Common. "North Station" is a big MBTA Green Line stop, and that's right at The Garden. The Patriots play in Foxboro, which is far out of town.

                                                                                  Another suggestion might be to stop by Harvard Stadium, which is just across the river (about 1/2 to 3/4 miles) from Harvard Square in Allston. It's much more histroic, architectural, and interesting to look at. I know it holds several historic claims to fame. First concrete college stadium? - or something similar to that. It looks like a classic football stadium from a movie set in the '50s. Best way I can describe it.

                                                                                  1. re: Foodie_BBQ

                                                                                    You actually can see the inside of the TD Garden by visiting the Sports Museum. I don't think many people even know it's there. It could be combined with the North End day, or you could visit either going or coming back from Charlestown. Take the harbor shuttle one-way and walk on the return (or do it in reverse). www.sportsmuseum.org

                                                                                  2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                    I'll begin with concurring with opinionatedchef that your itinerary is way too crammed, especially if you plan to take public transportation and walk. Having said that, you seem like a seasoned independent traveler and may use an itinerary the way I do.

                                                                                    On a trip, I much prefer to spend quality time at a few spots (favored by the locals) rather than rush to every tourist trap. The planning, research, getting advice etc. is part of the fun, and a huge build up long before a trip. I would start with a Powepoint document and enter the dates, hours, locations etc. It would give me a better feel of the reality, and juggling the itinerary by cut/paste is very easy. I will of course print the final copy to take with me. Now comes the twist. I almost NEVER adhere to my itinerary EXACTLY. More often than not, I would bump into unplanned attractions, and change my plan. On many trips, these surprises would turn out to be the highlights I remember.

                                                                                    Indian and Chinese food
                                                                                    I have to confess that I also dislike Indian food. Perhaps I never have the chance to sample some really good ones (i.e. authentic). From what I know, Chinese is the largest ethnic group in Toronto, and Indian is the second. My sample of Toronto's Chinese food is small, but they blow away Boston's Chinese food, in both variety and authenticity. That's what a large Chinese community can bring. I would imagine the same can be said about Indian food in Toronto and Boston.

                                                                                    Boston Library
                                                                                    It is on route between Boston Common and ICOB. Entering from the Dartmouth Street entrance and exiting the other end will let you walk through the hallways and view the courtyard, 15 -30 minutes. You may find it of interest as a teacher (?).

                                                                                    Also, after leaving Boston Common, make sure you walk through the Commonwealth Ave "mall" with many public art on display. Along the way, the French Cultural Center is a very short detour on Marlboro Street. Too bad you will miss their Bastille Day Party on 7/13.

                                                                                    Mount Auburn Cemetery
                                                                                    It is LARGE, properly done, it should take half a day. With a car, you can drive along the maze liked lanes, park and stroll, and hop back onto the car. You can get a map with locations of the rich and famous residents, and identification of plants. It is a photographer's paradise, in every season. Save this one for your next trip.

                                                                                    http://www.mountauburn.org/map/
                                                                                    http://www.findagrave.com/php/famous....

                                                                                    SOWA
                                                                                    The market is in a large parking lot. The surrounding buildings house many artists studios and a few galleries. Not sure if these are open at the same time of SOWA (I doubt that they are). The vendors at SOWA are more about craft than art. Note that their site does not bother listing the participating vendors. Compared to the other similar art festivals (link below) around Boston, SOWA is sub-par. I would be shocked if there are not better ones in Toronto. I would punt on this one, or at least have a plan B if it should rain.

                                                                                    http://www.beaconhillartwalk.org/arti...

                                                                                    Food trucks
                                                                                    The popularity of food trucks is very recent in Boston when City Hall started making it easier for them. Compared to other cities' (NYC, SF, LA, etc.) they are tiny in number, and bland in their food. And I'm being kind. I just can't get excited about a hotdog or a grilled cheese sandwich.

                                                                                    Courthouse Seafood
                                                                                    Closed on Sunday.

                                                                                    Observatory
                                                                                    All three are along your routes. The observatory deck at One International Place is a hidden gem even for most Bostonians, and FREE. It's been quite a while since my last visit, better check if it is still open.

                                                                                    http://www.prudentialcenter.com/shop/...
                                                                                    http://www.orbitz.com/hotel/United_St...
                                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Inte...

                                                                                    I would like to think that your great opening post is why you are getting good responses from the hounds. In return, we would like to know:

                                                                                    - your biggest surprises (good and bad, food and non-food
                                                                                    )- your best and worst encounter with a Bostonian
                                                                                    etc.

                                                                                  3. Buttered popcorn at Hobbs at the Willows in Salem.

                                                                                    1. Skip Myers&Chang and La Verdad, both mediocre. Why go to Parish cafe for sandwiches (which you can make at home) when you can have a real meal at Scampo (James beard award chef)? Similarly, why eat sandwiches in Salem when you can get excellent fried oysters at Finz?

                                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: barleywino

                                                                                        of course i completely utterly disagree w/ you on M+C and la Verdad, and i understand your sandwich comment .But yes,sandwiches because of time constraints>> did you look at her itinerary? with all the great food she's going to have, i just don't think the trade off is worth it to choose Scampo over seeing copley sq/back bay or finz over chestnut st.

                                                                                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                          I've had to return more than one dish at Myers&Chang for being burnt, overcooked or just awful tasting. Why waste a meal there for mediocre pseudo Asian food when Toronto has so much better in both Asian and pseudo Asian (Susur for example)? The fish tacos I had at La verdad were very disappointing and a ripoff. Given their limited time, they shouldn't waste any meal. They can have good meals and see Boston too. The fried oysters at Finz are even better and more iconic New England (to me) than the fried clams at ICOB, which, although I enjoy them, are tough and rubbery by comparison. Also I don't think Bergamot is any further from the subway than say Oleana.

                                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                            more opinions on La Verdad

                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/813700

                                                                                            also, if you have lunch at Scampo, you can kill 2 birds with one stone: tour the Liberty hotel where Scampo is located, a unique architectural attraction and National Historic Landmark (former jail transformed into hotel) http://www.libertyhotel.com/images/Li...

                                                                                            1. re: barleywino

                                                                                              +1 on scampo for lunch. The food is excellent and it will give you a breather in the middle of a busy day. For a refreshing drink, try the iced tea. It's Mem Tea's bergamot rooibos and it's delicious.

                                                                                              If the downstairs hotel bar (it's either Clink or Alibi) is open, go in and look at the room. Also, there are amusing booking photos of celebrities. Also, go upstairs to look at the lobby. Thins building was the former Charles Street Jail and it was closed via lawsuit bc it was so decrepit and unsafe.

                                                                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                Did the response show up? Something weird with th edit function.

                                                                                                1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                  Yes, it showed. Thanks beetlebug.

                                                                                                2. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                  Scampo menu does look delicious - but after breakfast at Paramount and with a planned stop for a fish taco before the game, I feel like a sandwich is a better plan.

                                                                                                  1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                    If you want a fish taco before the game, you can get a much better one at Uni bar inside the Eliot hotel, which is walking distance from Fenway. Other bites available at the Clio bar a few feet away (same hotel) as well as great cocktails.

                                                                                                    1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                      I *think* Parish may do half sandwiches as well. It's been awhile since I've been and I'm not the biggest sandwich eater (hence no sandwich recommendations ;-) )

                                                                                                      But, the Liberty Hotel is still worth a look over. It's right at the top of Charles Street where Charles and Cambridge Street intersect. Right next to the Mass General Hospital (MGH).

                                                                                                      1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                        Unless a salad at scampo or sharing a main is a better plan than a sandwich.

                                                                                                  2. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                    more recommendations for Finz in Salem http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/857573

                                                                                                3. Big support for including:

                                                                                                  Toscanini's (not JP Licks)
                                                                                                  Flour (breakfast - amazing chocolate croissants)
                                                                                                  Drink (top cocktails - very difficult to find this level of bartending artistry in France, even in Paris)
                                                                                                  Bergamot (off the beaten path but so delicious, consistent, and very local fare with flair along with thoughtful wines at fair prices, great service, etc.)
                                                                                                  Island Creek (raw bar), and
                                                                                                  Cafe Polonia if you can make time for top notch, authentic Polish food in Salem (the soups are always amazing).

                                                                                                  Also not sure I saw Prezza noted among the North End options - GREAT upscale northern Italian food and excellent service (reservations a MUST).

                                                                                                  Well done research and planning - you're in for a GREAT time! Enjoy.

                                                                                                  I'll be in touch the next time I get to Toronto!

                                                                                                  1. Take the trolley tour in Salem and you will see everything in the city in the shortest amount of time, skip the ghost tours!

                                                                                                    1. I am overwhelmed by everyone's willingness to help! Big thanks Boston hounds (and non-Boston hounds as well)! It's going to take me a while to sift through this and make changes and decisions!

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                        If you go to SOWA be sure to go to Boston Super Dog (formerly Speed Dog). Many posts on this sight. This is no ordinary hot dog. Get it with everything and make sure you are hungry.

                                                                                                      2. I noticed that you mentioned Casa Portugal on your first post. I would definatley recomend going there, it is a wonderful Portuguese restaurant with delicious food and beautiful ambience in the Inman Sq. neighborhood of Cambridge. It also will fall into your price range very nicely. Get the house white wine ($14 a carafe) and clam appetiser! Not sure if they are open Sun and Monday or not, check first.

                                                                                                        1. Wow, it nice to see how many hounds are willing to respond to a well researched request. Born in T, but long time Boston Hound here. Most of your questions have been aptly answered. Teranga is nothing special but OK. I remember the apps were better than main courses. RE Toronto (and French) weaknesses, we have relative strengths in Taiwanese (vs Cantonese) and Latin (Peruvian, Dominican and Mexican). For Taiwanese, in Chinatown, Dumpling Cafe (for Xaio Long Bao) and Gourmet Dumpling House or Jo Jo Taipei in Allston. For Mexican and Peruvian, It's worth your while to take the Blue Line to East Boston for Rincon Limeno and Taqueria Jalisco, and Angela's Cafe. RE sightseeing, the Boston Public Library has beautiful murals by John Singer Sargent (and others) and Trinity Church across Copley Square is worth seeing. A 10 minute walk to Chinatown from there. Definitely get ice cream while you're here. Toscanini's if you'r in Cambridge (Central Square to MIT). While in Salem, walk along Derby Street and elsewhere in a self guided tour of some of the best 18th Century homes in the US.

                                                                                                          1. In Salem, A&J King Bakery is a small artisan bakery that makes wonderful breads and pastries. It's on a small side street about 2 blocks from the waterfront. You"ll probably walk right by the side street in your travels. Good coffee and teas too!
                                                                                                            www.ajkingBakery.com.
                                                                                                            A & J King Bakery
                                                                                                            48 Central St
                                                                                                            Salem

                                                                                                            1. REVISED ITINERARY (Take 3)

                                                                                                              Again, thank you hounds for all your help!

                                                                                                              I have tried to take all your suggestions and comments and fir them into my schedule – eatntell I google mapped out the plan for Tuesday like you suggested (and it looks totally reasonable), is it similar at all to the plan included here (that I copy-pasted from another post)?

                                                                                                              I have starred **** the parts of my itinerary where I have questions or still need help deciding.

                                                                                                              ****Where can I fit in TD Garden Sports Museum? I think my co-traveller would enjoy it.

                                                                                                              ***** We will need to purchase our transit passes on Saturday after leaving our bags at the hotel. Where would be the most convenient place to get them based on our itinerary?

                                                                                                              **** Saturday and Monday dinners still undecided. I guess location could be anywhere within a reasonable distance of the hotel. Monday dinner could be on the way back from the ferry to the hotel, rather than getting ready at the hotel and then venturing out again.
                                                                                                              Observatory - ***When can I fit this in my schedule?
                                                                                                              All three are along your routes. The observatory deck at One International Place is a hidden gem even for most Bostonians, and FREE. It's been quite a while since my last visit, better check if it is still open.
                                                                                                              http://www.prudentialcenter.com/shop/...
                                                                                                              http://www.orbitz.com/hotel/United_St...
                                                                                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Inte...

                                                                                                              REVISED ITINERARY (Take 3

                                                                                                              )

                                                                                                              Saturday - arrive early and take silver line to hotel to drop off bags
                                                                                                              - Visit Quincy Market and the North End
                                                                                                              - Lunch - Pizzeria Regina
                                                                                                              http://www.reginapizzeria.com/menu.php
                                                                                                              - Sightseeing – walk to hotel on Rose Kennedy Greenway (FLEET(NOW VERIZON CENTER)IS BRUINS AND CELTICS VENUE BUT I DON'T THINK YOU CAN ENTER EXCEPT FOR GAMES; IT IS CLOSE TO REGINA'S. (JUST FYI FOR YOUR FRIEND. )walk to hotel on Rose Kennedy Greenway AND WALK THROUGH HAYMARKET
                                                                                                              (THERE'S A POPULAR BELGIAN FRITES AND WAFFLE PLACE THERE TOO-
                                                                                                              )- Check in at hotel (approx. 3 pm)
                                                                                                              - Dinner - Drinks/Apps at The Gallows, Myers and Chang or Coppa, dinner at Teranga (Senagalese) or Toro ***** or make another suggestion for me

                                                                                                              Sunday - Light Breakfast – Sorelle or Flour or somewhere close to MIT ***ideas?
                                                                                                              - Sightseeing – MIT (CHAPEL AND KRESGE AUDITORIUM BY SAARINEN; WALK THE WHOLE 'HEART OF MIT' CORRIDOR, ENTERING THE BLDG 10 ROTUNDA ON MASS AVE, EXITING NEAR THE GREEN BLDG, EXPLORING FRANK GEHRY'S STATA CENTER AND THE MEDIA LAB.)
                                                                                                              - Brunch – Cab to East Coast Grill AND ***** Does it make sense to go to Christina’s Ice Cream after and if not, is it on the way from East Coast to Harvard at all?? – I LOVE ice-cream!!
                                                                                                              - Sightseeing – Harvard (visit Harvard Stadium, Harvard Square, etc) (BUS TO HARVARD SQ. WALK HARVARD YARD,CHURCH ST. AND UP HISTORIC BRATTLE ST PAST BLACKSMITH HOUSE, BURDICK'S CHOCOLATES, LONGFELLOW HOUSE AND MANSIONS C.1800-1900.)
                                                                                                              - Dinner – Oleana (Turkish – for patio get there by 5:30) (You can get a veg. meze tasting 5 courses plus dessert for $45. It's great to combine this with ordering a few of the non veg meze....the sultan's delight, fried mussels are personal favorites, I've heard the quail and octopus are amazing. The tasting plus a few extra are great for two sharing. And if you get there right at 5:30, good chance to get seated in the beautiful garden. It's really an unusual, delightful experience. I also love the deviled eggs, which include olive oil poached tuna and black olives. Always get those!)
                                                                                                              and dessert at Tosci’s (take T back to hotel)

                                                                                                              Monday - Breakfast – pick up at Sorelle at 7 am! – 282 Congress Street
                                                                                                              - Depart 8:30, arrive 9:30 (ferry to Salem) *** Walk to ferry?
                                                                                                              - Sightseeing – Walk to Witch Museum (12 mins)
                                                                                                              - Lunch – Greenland Café OR Café Polonia OR Finz OR Gulu Gulu Café OR A & J King Bakers
                                                                                                              AND Buttered popcorn and ice cream at Hobbs at the Willows in Salem
                                                                                                              - Sightseeing – Walk along derby street and WALK UP CHESTNUT ST- THE MOST FAMOUS INTACT STREET IN THE U.S. OF 19TH C. FEDERAL MANSIONS. STUNNING. VISIT DERBY ST. NATIONAL PARK INFO CENTER EXHIBIT BY SCHOONER AND CUSTOM HOUSE or walk to salem willows)
                                                                                                              - Return to Boston via ferry (arrival approx. 5:00 pm), go back to hotel
                                                                                                              and get ready for dinner –
                                                                                                              *****Is there somewhere to stop for an ice-cream on the walk back to the
                                                                                                              hotel?
                                                                                                              - Dinner - *****ERBALUCE or DEUXAVE or BERGAMOT or TORO
                                                                                                              or CASA PORTUGAL or Rincon Limeno or Taqueria Jalisco
                                                                                                              or Angela's Café (I love Mexican food so if these places are
                                                                                                              good, I’d love to try one)

                                                                                                              Tuesday - Breakfast - The Paramount
                                                                                                              - Sightseeing – Beacon Hill, Boston Public Garden, Boston Common,
                                                                                                              Mapparium (*** Where does Mapparium fit into the description below)
                                                                                                              (UP CHARLES ST AND UP CHESTNUT TO WILLOW ST AND AROUND LOUISBURG SQ.,UP MT. VERNON ST. TO JOY ST TO BEACON ST AND GOLD DOMED STATE HOUSE; WALK DOWN BEACON ST. (NOTH TO SEE ON COMMON REALLY) THROUGH LOVELY PUBLIC GARDEN TO PARISH
                                                                                                              CAFÉ)
                                                                                                              - Lunch – Parish Café (late lunch) or Scampo (iced tea) and see Liberty
                                                                                                              Hotel
                                                                                                              - Sightseeing – (DOWN NEWBURY ST,OVER TO COPLEY
                                                                                                              SQ,/TRINITY CHURCH AND BOSTON PUB.LIB.(LOVELY CAFE HERE TOO),OVER TO COMM AVE (DESIGNED AFTER THE CHAMPS ELYSEES, FANTASTIC) DOWN COMM AVE. TO GAME)
                                                                                                              - Snack – La Verdad Fish Taco or Uni Bar (Eliot Hotel) (***** or should
                                                                                                              I just get a fish taco at one of the Mexican places listed for Monday
                                                                                                              dinner?) or snack at Clio
                                                                                                              - Red Sox Game at 7 pm
                                                                                                              - Dinner (late) – ICOB (chowder, LOBSTER ROE NOODLES WITH
                                                                                                              OXTAIL, CHANTERELLES AND RICH DEMI; FANTASTIC BISCUIT; OYSTERS etc.)

                                                                                                              Wednesday - Breakfast – Flour (Fort Point, opens 7 am) – get queen-a-man
                                                                                                              - Sightseeing - WALK AROUND HISTORIC NORTH END AND
                                                                                                              WATERFRONT-WILL FILL YOUR MORNING.
                                                                                                              - Lunch – Neptune Oyster (get there when they open) and pick up ARANCINI AT GALLERIA UMBERTO (11-3 SAT, OFTEN SELL OUT;CLOSED PART OF JULY IIRC) AND treats at
                                                                                                              Maria’s (cannoli) AND MODERN BAKERY- SFOLIATELLE, ALMOND BISCOTTI. NOUGATINE
                                                                                                              - Sightseeing – JFK Museum
                                                                                                              - Return to hotel to collect bags and take silver line to airport

                                                                                                              14 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                Christina's is literally 2 or 3 doors down from East Coast Grill, so yes, it makes sense to go there from ECG.

                                                                                                                1. re: VintageMolly

                                                                                                                  Just wanted to second this, given the anti-Christina's sentiment elsewhere in the thread. Christina's is absolutely not Tosci's and I think their different styles are worth comparing. For an ice cream lover there's no reason not to try them if you're right next door, especially since you can get preview tastes of what sounds interesting.

                                                                                                                2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                  For the Mapparium. It is really neat, especially the echo part (one person stands on one end and the other other, on the opposite side), but it would make more sense to do it on Tuesday since it isn't far from the Boston Public Library. Symphony Hall is also across the street from the Mapparium so you can see it.

                                                                                                                  I think a light lunch at Scampo is better then sandwiches at Parrish. Liberty Hotel is worth seeing and it would be a nice respite after a busy morning. If I go for lunch, I usually split an appetizer and an entree and drink lots of ice tea. But, I am also more partial to Scampo then I am to sandwiches. I'm just not much of a sandwich person.

                                                                                                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                    if you do lunch at Scampo, ask for the lemon curd pavlova for dessert (it's on the dinner dessert menu, but they should be able to do it for you at lunchtime as well). Also if you do Bergamot, be sure to try their chocolate pave dessert w/ honeycomb and milk jam. If you go to Toscanini's for ice cream, be sure to ask for some B3 (brown sugar, brown butter, brownie) ice cream. In fact, instead of taking the cab to East Coast Grill for brunch (and Christina's for ice cream), just walk from your Sunday MIT touring to Craigie on Main for brunch (and Toscanini's for ice cream, almost next door)

                                                                                                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                      through the Boston public library (from kenmore square) to the mapparium to symphony hall is no more than a half mile TOTAL. it might take a while to see all of this but they are all very close.

                                                                                                                      1. re: hyde

                                                                                                                        I agree that it's close, which is why I suggested the mapparium on the BPL day v. the OP's original day.

                                                                                                                        1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                          excellent call

                                                                                                                    2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                      In case you are out of ideas how to spend the five days, here's a link that may help :-)

                                                                                                                      http://www.boston.com/travel/boston/?...

                                                                                                                      ****Where can I fit in TD Garden Sports Museum? I think my co-traveller would enjoy it.

                                                                                                                      Your co-traveller may find this of interest:

                                                                                                                      http://www.boston.com/travel/boston/g...

                                                                                                                      ***** We will need to purchase our transit passes on Saturday after leaving our bags at the hotel. Where would be the most convenient place to get them based on our itinerary?

                                                                                                                      If you are cyclists, check this out before purchasing any transit passes. It may save you lots of time walking or waiting for the s-l-o-w T. This is very recent, and may not be in many guide books yet.

                                                                                                                      http://www.thehubway.com/

                                                                                                                      Observatory along your routes

                                                                                                                      http://www.prudentialcenter.com/shop/...
                                                                                                                      After you exit the Boston Public Library, it is only a few blocks away before you reach Fenway.

                                                                                                                      http://www.orbitz.com/hotel/United_St...
                                                                                                                      Relatively close to Greenway.

                                                                                                                      http://www.internationalplace.com/
                                                                                                                      At one end of Greenway, close to South Station, Chinatown.

                                                                                                                      Harvard stadium
                                                                                                                      It is a few extremely boring blocks away from Harvard Square, in the middle of nowhere. IOW, it would be an outlying detour from your route. I'm a football fan, and have never found it of any interest. OK, I confess I'm not a Harvard grad.

                                                                                                                      Unless I get a promise of a trip report, this will be my last post.

                                                                                                                      1. re: eatntell

                                                                                                                        Of course! I always report - wrote a big one when I got back from SF in March!

                                                                                                                      2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                        here is the info on the transit passes...1 day or 7 day and they do include the inner harbor ferry

                                                                                                                        http://www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/...

                                                                                                                        you can buy the pass at the Logan airport station.....even though the silver line is free, go ahead and get your pass there.

                                                                                                                        http://www.massport.com/logan-airport...

                                                                                                                        the one week pass price raised to $18 on July 1; the Massport site still has it at the old price, $15.

                                                                                                                        1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                          By all means get breakfast at Miracle of Science on Sunday (opens 9am - great, strong Illy coffee, amazing breakfast burrito and broiled grapefruit with fast in/out service, especially if you sit at the bar) - take Red Line to Central Square and its halfway down Mass Ave toward MIT Chapel / Kresge (and don't miss Baker House dorm right next to Kresge by the river - it's a quite noted structure by a Scandanavian architect - Aalto, I think - though the interiors and views of the river are key to its notoriety, and am not sure you can get inside - depends how friendly the door monitor student may be - I would buzz and ask).

                                                                                                                          Finally, Christina's is excellent ice cream and convenient, but it would be a travesty for an ice cream lover to visit Cambridge and miss Toscanini's - it's the most amazing it's been in years right now - be sure not to change that part of your Sunday evening plans!

                                                                                                                          1. re: rlh

                                                                                                                            rlh, as lovable as is that mug, i can't believe you would rec miracle of science over East Coast Grill. MOS was sooo meh when we ate there; no reason to return. Get thee to ECG for a happenin' ,friendly, great big menu and great food Brunch! And I completely agree w/ you about Tosci. Christina's has just obviously lost the interest of its owner. Teach would be so much better off eating twice at Tosci (so many interesting choices to try) and skipping Christina altogether. Btw, teacher, i don't know if this is done in Canada, but at Tosci, it is very common and accepted practice, to ask for tastes so you can decide what you want. Some people, ahem..., have occasionally asked for more than 3 tastes, before deciding.
                                                                                                                            (But then sometimes, if the options include Espresso Lemon, no tastes are required at all:-}

                                                                                                                          2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                            If you go to uni bar for fish taco, you might also (or instead) enjoy the softshell crab bun and the berkshirepork belly bun

                                                                                                                            1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                              Also, if you go to East Coast Grill for brunch, they have a jamaican banana split dessert. Roasted bananas with Christina's ice cream (I forget the flavors, but it's tropical). Really delicious. And, you could still go next door and get a small ice cream to try another flavor. Two of my favorite combo flavors are burnt sugar and mexican chocolate. I love Christina's, but one annoying thing is that you can't get two flavors for a small.

                                                                                                                            2. It seems Galleria Umberto is closed for the entire month of July - how can they afford to close for a tourist month? Too bad - the arancini sounds amazing.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                They more than make up for it the other 11 months: lines out the door pretty much every day.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                                                                  Wow - Hopefully I can get some arancini on my next visit.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                    I was going to post that they are closed for the entire month of July. Well worth it for cheap excellent food if you get back here in one of the other 11 months of the year!

                                                                                                                              2. A must visit if you are a chocolate lover visiting Salem. In the little mall across from the PEM.

                                                                                                                                http://www.yelp.com/biz/turtle-alley-...

                                                                                                                                You might also consider a Go Boston card

                                                                                                                                .http://www.goboston.com/

                                                                                                                                1. wow you have a lot of info here!!

                                                                                                                                  DEFINITELY skip Popeyes!! So vile. Island creek oyster bar for local seafood or La Verdad for tacos before the game.

                                                                                                                                  Unless you are a huge fan of Senagalese food---I think there are A LOT better options for Boston dining than Teranga. Coppa, Myers & Chang, Stella, and Toro are all awesome and in that same neighborhood. The Gallows tries a bit too hard to be too gastro-pubby for me.

                                                                                                                                  Saturday is the open marked on the Rose Kennedy Greenway--there will be loads of delicious food trucks--you can get a snack on your way to Regina or cupcakes from the cupcake truck on your way back!

                                                                                                                                  Sunday breakfast- The Friendly Toast for breakfast--close to MIT; Mistral- if you're looking for a more upscale/ sit down brunch--we sit at the bar here on Sundays and it is wonderful.

                                                                                                                                  Oleana is a great choice. Definitely make sure you get there. Fresh farm to table---espescially in the summer, this cannot be beat.

                                                                                                                                  Empire has just recently opened behind you hotel. Could be a good stop in. Very cool lounge for cocktails. Their food is Asian fusion and excellent if you want a snack.

                                                                                                                                  I agree with some of the other hounds that Parrish Cafe can be replaced. Just nothing fantastic about it. Right around the corner, however, is Via Matta...Their Italian food is better than almost anything in the North End and serve lunch and dinner. They have a great patio if the weather permits.

                                                                                                                                  "- Dinner - *****ERBALUCE or DEUXAVE or BERGAMOT or TORO
                                                                                                                                  or CASA PORTUGAL or Rincon Limeno or Taqueria Jalisco
                                                                                                                                  or Angela's Café (I love Mexican food so if these places are
                                                                                                                                  good, I’d love to try one)"

                                                                                                                                  Erbaluce and Bergamot are head and shoulders above the rest as far as the food goes. Erbaluce does not have the nicest room in the city but I don' think there is a better start to a meal than their salumi plate and cheese plate--combined with a glass of wine from one of their very knowledgeable staff.

                                                                                                                                  I hope you let us know how your trip went and give us some reviews!!

                                                                                                                                  1. Does anyone have an idea of how long it might take us complete our Tuesday sightseeing? Thinking about sleeping in a bit that day, having a later breakfast at Paramount and skipping lunch.

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                      if you change your hotel from the Intercontinental to a private room in the brand new boston hostel on stuart st, you can save $150/night per person, which should definitely help your restaurant budget

                                                                                                                                      1. re: barleywino

                                                                                                                                        If they have not booked their hotel, they can get much better value than the new hostel, such as:

                                                                                                                                        http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/312632
                                                                                                                                        http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/257781
                                                                                                                                        http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/356658

                                                                                                                                        and many more:

                                                                                                                                        http://www.airbnb.com/s/Boston--Massa...

                                                                                                                                        Disclaimer: I'm not associated with this service, but have been a very satisfied customer at several locations. Hotels and hostels need to learn who they are competing against.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                        Definitely sleep in on Tuesday! Enjoy yourself. You can easily see Beacon Hill, Boston Common and the Public Gardens in an hour or two, have a late breakfast and skip lunch.

                                                                                                                                        barley, you're losing it!! (and you know I think the world of you)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Niblet

                                                                                                                                          Niblet, I lost it a long time ago!

                                                                                                                                      3. Only thing still left to pick is dinners for Saturday and Tuesday night. I am heavily leaning toward Bergamot for one of them. The dinners can be in any part of the city as long as it's not ridiculously far to get to from our hotel at 510 Atlantic Avenue.

                                                                                                                                        Pricing should be $15 - $25 per entree.

                                                                                                                                        Thanks for all the help!

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                          We just came back from bergamot. (see my report on this forum) My suggestion is that it's not worth it.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                            Bergamot is one of my favorite places in the area. Pastas, fish, beef all meticulously executed,creative and constantly changing menu, good drinks/desserts, high end cooking hiding in a casual setting and reasonably priced. I've never left hungry and I'm not a light eater. Since you seem to be willing to split entrees and skip meals, I doubt you will leave hungry either. Skip the salads and go for the "real" food.

                                                                                                                                            For one of your other meals you can do Scampo and stay within your budget if you order carefully. Half order of pasta, beef carpaccio, dessert etc. Another option is to go to Prezza for their corn raviolini and zucchini blossoms.

                                                                                                                                          2. teacher,

                                                                                                                                            i was thinking about your visit this morning and I realized that I might have missed that you are a MAJOR ice cream fan? if so, some things i wanted to mention: There are 2 flavors I associate with New England. (Now, local CHs, plse don't start a debate about this and derail this thread).
                                                                                                                                            One is Grapenut and the other is Maple Walnut. You might want to sample them if they are available where you go.

                                                                                                                                            While I adore Tosci's, it is JPLicks that has the superior Maple Walnut imo (in my top fav flavors). Unlike Tosci, JPLicks has a number of locations throughout Boston, one in Harv Sq where you are considering going i think. They make super duper ice cream but are not as sophisticated as Tosci in their more unusual flavors (Tosci has done Saffron, Earl Grey,
                                                                                                                                            Espresso Lemon, etc etc). Also, JPLicks has monthly flavors of their X which is their version of the recent and wildly popular invasion of Asian fro yo.( Mixx in Allston and ___Berry? - just north of Harv Sq -as the best imo .(this is a hot debate topic here on B CH.)

                                                                                                                                            Lastly, there is some excellent gelato in the North End at Cafe Sport (though i haven't been in yrs.)

                                                                                                                                            and finally,CONGRATS! I do believe your thread has the (exponentially) largest number of replies of any Visitor-to-Boston inquiry thread I have ever seen!! maybe it's because it's so hot lately that people are inside more or maybe it's because of your longer than three days visit, but it could easily be because you did so much homework that we are delighted to have your inquiries here!

                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                              Funny, we just happened to be exploring, today, a part of Boston we had lost touch with, and we ended up at JPLicks main location, which I had never seen. A very large handsome 19th c. red brick firehouse with a park and tables outside, a real JP (Jamaica Plain) neighborhood gathering place w/ lots of families and little kids. Best of all was the 4' H painted black and white cow's head hanging above the entrance!Anyway, we were celebrating a double B'day (JPL gives you a free small sundae on your bday) and went crazy for the Peach frozen X and the Peach ice cream, followed by the Extreme Chocolate and the strong Coffee ice cream And as I perused the menu, I noticed that they serve Egg Creams and Lime Rickeys.Don't know if they have those in Toronto. In the back of my mind, under many dusty piles, is a recollection of a long-ago CH discussion about these drinks. IIRC, Egg Creams are a New England thing.......

                                                                                                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                IIRC. Egg Creams are a Brooklyn thing....

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Infomaniac

                                                                                                                                                  Yes. To call egg creams a New England thing is a particularly spectacular bit of misinformation. See Wikipedia or http://www.imbibemagazine.com/History... or pretty much any source.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Infomaniac

                                                                                                                                                    aha! <Vote for me cuz i'm always right and i never lie!> So, scratch that egg cream attribution, teacher, but since you're not going to NYC on this trip, you still might want to try one!
                                                                                                                                                    and here's a link to the rickey info (likely created in Washington D.C.):
                                                                                                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rickey

                                                                                                                                                    thx so much for that Egg Cream info link, fd, i love learning that history.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                  This thread belongs in the Visitor-to-Boston inquiry Hall of Fame because:

                                                                                                                                                  - Teacher started by telling us the details of the trip.

                                                                                                                                                  - Teacher followed up with clarifications, questions, and itinerary revisions.

                                                                                                                                                  - When (good) responses poured in, other hounds (even those not very vocal usually) seemed to want to up the ante, offering corrections, alternatives and/or hidden gems. IOW, good responses led to many more.

                                                                                                                                                  Let this be a lesson to the inquirers who would ask, "Where should we go to dinner?" without much context. That's the beginning of the end for many bad threads. Hounds can't read mind, although that doesn't stop some from responding as if they can.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: eatntell

                                                                                                                                                    I guess I should be "teaching" others how to make visitor to a city inquiries? I am so impressed with the help I have been given. San Francisco hounds were extremely helpful as well and I was interested to see how the Boston hounds would compare. As helpful, if not more!

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                    I grew up in Nova Scotia and grapenut was a regular in my grandmother's freezer! My co-traveller loves maple so that will be excellent!

                                                                                                                                                  3. teacher, you've already gotten lots of great ideas here from regulars. i'm a regular lurker and an almost-never poster, but a hearty Boston eater, and a Bostonian, so here goes...:

                                                                                                                                                    FOOD:
                                                                                                                                                    I second BarleyWino's comments on Myers + Chang. I went there once - for a birthday celebration. The service was terrible, the food awfully executed. It was a waste of an important evening, a good appetite and a decent amount of money. Since so many hounds like it, maybe we just went on a bad night, but when a restaurant comes with a celebrity chef and so much hype, i expect better service and more consistency. So I can't bring myself to recommend that restaurant to anyone and I don't see myself returning.

                                                                                                                                                    i agree with other posters that Parish is something that can be skipped. Just isn't that special, in my humble opinion.

                                                                                                                                                    I agreed with opinionatedchef on the JP Licks Maple Walnut Ice Cream - it is excellent. The closest JP you'll get to in your travels now is the one in Harvard Square.

                                                                                                                                                    On the day you go to the JFK birthplace, if you end up hungry after, a few blocks down is a place called Zaftigs. Breakfast throughout the day. LONG LINES on sundays. But we like a lot of stuff off their breakfast/brunch menu, the portions are big, the prices reasonable, the ambiance relaxed but modern.

                                                                                                                                                    On the day you go to the North End, I agree with other posters, definitely stop by Modern Pastry on Hanover Street. Their cannolis are filled to order. And a lot of their offerings (including the torrone) are awesome. Just leave yourself some time, because Modern always has a line out the door, even in the middle of a weekday. The North End also has a great panini place "Volle Nolle", just down the road from Modern. I love their freshly baked chocolate chip cookies also. Not suggesting you go to the North End to eat sandwiches, but since your hotel is so close, if you end up wanting a quick bite on one of the days, or just want to keep some backup ideas on hand, there it is.

                                                                                                                                                    Teranga - I've never eaten there so can't comment on that, but I have eaten many, many times over the years at Addis Red Sea (ethiopian) in the south end and I enjoyed it. I've also often taken visitors there. My last experience with them (a few months ago) I felt some of the things were rather oily, but in 15 years of eating with them, this has been the first time I was less than satisfied, so I'm chalking it up to a bad night.

                                                                                                                                                    If you find yourself hungry before you get to Fenway, about 2.5 blocks from the Mapparium, down Boylston Street is a good Thai restaurant - Pad Thai Cafe. The decor is nothing to speak of, it's downright mall-like, but their food is fresh and flavorful. you can walk from there to the park also.

                                                                                                                                                    SIGHTSEEING:

                                                                                                                                                    Re: the Library - during the summer, BPL has free concerts in its courtyard during the day. go to bpl.org/concerts to see if there are any you are interested in. also, they have a great printmaking exhibit going on right now, showcasing the work of a renowned printmaker it falls into the art category, but if you're going to be there already... ). you can find details at bpl.org/mixit

                                                                                                                                                    Re: the mapparium - go from Beacon Hill to Newbury/Copley/Boston Public Library/Prudential Observatory, then walk through the Pru, get out at the back near Cheesecake Factory and walk down the Christian Science Plaza (fountains etc) and take a right and you'll see the Mapparium entrance. You can walk from the Mapparium to Fenway park (it'll take you about 20 mins), or you can hop on the #1 bus all the way down Mass Ave to the intersection with Beacon Street, and then walk down to Kenmore Sq/Fenway.

                                                                                                                                                    Re: the harvard stadium - it's just across the bridge from Harvard Square. I've made the walk on crutches on a super hot day and still found it pretty easy. There's also a bus that goes from Harvard Square (#66) and stops right by the stadium. It's an old world stadium (think Rome and gladiators) and makes for great pictures. Or sneak in through the gates, climb the dank unlit stairs and get some spooky photographs.

                                                                                                                                                    Two museum-y things to throw your way as suggestions because they're close to your planned areas:

                                                                                                                                                    In the Fenway area, is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. You mentioned an interest in architecture - it's an old mansion with a beautiful flowered courtyard in the middle. It's packed with art and artifacts, but the rooms themselves are also rather interesting. The museum has worked hard to preserve/restore the rooms in their authenticity, down to the wallpaper. It's a lovely, serene, otherworldly oasis in the middle of the city. And was the scene of the infamous Gardner heist. The empty painting frames still hang in the rooms.

                                                                                                                                                    At one end of Harvard Square, is Harvard's Natural History Museum with its Glass Flower Collection. It really is unique - exacting replicas of different flowers, all done in glass. You guys might enjoy it, though you did mention no art, and this is artistic.

                                                                                                                                                    p.s. if you want museum passes, I can get em for you. But they need to be reserved in advance in the summer, because each library only has a limited number for each day/weekend and they go fast. so you'll have to plan out that visit quickly. some passes are one-time use passes, but others are ones that you borrow from the library and return back to the library.

                                                                                                                                                    Two other things:

                                                                                                                                                    on summer and Fall Sundays, Memorial Drive (road along river outside Harvard Square) is closed for several blocks so people can rollerblade, bike, walk etc. You get to see the sailboats and scullers in the water, picnic on the grass, even get carnival food from vendors. It's beautiful and relaxed and fun. Thought I'd mention it since your friend likes sporty things.

                                                                                                                                                    Architecture - in terms of classic architecture, there's a gorgeous church in Boston - The Mission Church aka the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Hope. The dome and the insides are full of frescoes. It is gorgeous and large and historic. On one side is the papal umbrella (only basilicas can welcome a pope). Most recently the place of Sen Ted Kennedy's funeral, but over the years known as a place where the faithful go to pray for health miracles. If you do go, you'd be best off fitting it in on the JFK birthplace day. There's a JP Licks around the corner for that Maple Walnut ice cream, if you feel like it. :)

                                                                                                                                                    on summer weekends, along the river on the Boston side, they have free concerts at what is called the hatch shell. worth checking to see what's on the weekend you're here, in case it's a pretty day and you guys feel like relaxing by the water for a while, and just taking in the Boston skyline etc.

                                                                                                                                                    Boston in general:

                                                                                                                                                    if you go to cityofboston.gov, there is a summer events guide as a pdf on the front page. download and look through it, in case anything jumps out at you that you might want to do/see/attend.

                                                                                                                                                    Hope you enjoy this lovely city and return again for more!

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: capers

                                                                                                                                                      Terrific advice all 'round.* Expanded activity options combined with food, yes!

                                                                                                                                                      *- (ahem...except for Myers+Chang!)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: capers

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks capers for posting. I hope we hear more from you, since you have a lot of great advice.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Boston hounds - wow! You are very helpful! Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                        One last request - for our two dinners still TBD we are looking for something typically American or a fusion American and something else. Anywhere in the city that is 30 minutes or less (transit or walking) from our hotel at 510 Atlantic Avenue. Pricing - moderate (no more than $25 per entree).

                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                                          If you must have traditional American food (Bergamot is "progressive American", according to their website, by the way), Joe's American on the waterfront is walking distance from your hotel (have not been, going on a rec by 9Lives). Strip T's is a good option but is in Watertown which may exceed your 30 minute limit.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                                            Check out the menus for: Blue Inc (Financial District), Area Four (Kendall Square), Hungry Mother (Kendall Square)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Matt H

                                                                                                                                                              I would go to Area Four of these - haven't been but hear it's good and interesting. I am not a fan of Hungry Mother based on three visits - no finesse and limited creativity in the fat-intensive, Southern-based American menu.

                                                                                                                                                              We had dinner Saturday at Blue Inc. - nice service, empty dining room at 6:30p but half full at 7:30p - pricey, quite limited range on the menu. The server who welcomed us was also our waitress and quite attentive and professional with helpful opinions and recommendations when asked. I got a huge kick out of the "Anorexic Model" cocktail that came with liquid nitrogen and the admonishment "not to drink until the model stops smoking" - it was tasty enough as well with bubbly wine, St. Germain, and some citrus juice.

                                                                                                                                                              My soft shell crab dish ($24 or $25) was enormous and the noodles tasty but a bit too salty with two WAY over-battered but nicely fried crabs. The red snapper entree was tiny at the same price and my wife was happy to help finish the noodles on my plate so as not to go hungry. I like this spot for lunch but for dinner it's overpriced and underwhelming to me.

                                                                                                                                                              Legal Seafood Harborside is pretty American with its casual first floor or very upscale second floor options as well as the roof deck overlooking the water if it's a nice night - and a very pleasant 10-15 minute walk from your hotel down Northern Avenue or better yet on the Harborwalk.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rlh

                                                                                                                                                                wow, i found out recently that i have a 2nd CH on the 'Mi Amigos?' 'No, never' island, and now i see you are on my ' Magnolia?' 'No never' bus. wow, this is a surprise.

                                                                                                                                                                We were big fans of talented Blue Inc chef/owner Jason Santos for the many yrs he worked for Andy Husbands and then when he took Gargoyles to great heights. We ate at his Blue Inc. once and were disappointed ,but given teacher's inquiry parameters, it does certainly fit the bill for good quality fusion American in her price range. If she stayed with 2 of Jason's signature dishes- the fantastic app of Tuna Poke and the entree of duck confit , cashews and coconut rice wrapped in a banana leaf- I think she would be delighted indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                                  i meant to say Hungry Mother, not Magnolia!

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: rlh

                                                                                                                                                                  I've been to Area Four and found it to be very very good. And consistent between visits, which I think is particularly important for visitors who only get one chance with each restaurant. :) The space is kind of industrial and not cozy, but I loved everything else about it.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rlh

                                                                                                                                                                    I also agree on Area 4 out of these three choices- plus, if the weather is nice, you can eat outside and it gets you to a nice area and they can see the Frank Gehry building. I might also suggest the Blue Room. While it's an old standard on the board, it's pretty solid and entrees are around 25 as long as you don't choose the expensive steaks.
                                                                                                                                                                    Also think that Legal's Harborside could work nicely.

                                                                                                                                                              2. you asked about specific recs for Oleana. We had a Bday dinner there last month and our fav savory things were the Fatoush (salad) w/Beets, Fennel, Stwberries, Mint and Sumac, and the Sultan's Delight (though portion of this signatire dish has downsized considerably.) She also uses freekeh alot, which I love (green/smoked/toasted wheat.) Oleana's menu does change alot, just fyi.

                                                                                                                                                                Though not on the 'best' recs list of our waiter, I was really mesmerized by the very unusual dessert plate with sesame elements:
                                                                                                                                                                <Frozen Sesame-Caramel Chiboust, Apricot Dolma, Halvah & Apricot Sorbet >
                                                                                                                                                                While the Baked Alaska gets alot of fans, I find it too too and not very interesting. But that sesame plate is very sophisticated and subtle and something you'll just never have anywhere else.

                                                                                                                                                                1. As regards lunch in Salem, there was a recent post from a Salem visitor who enjoyed their waterside lunch at Finz:

                                                                                                                                                                  < A late lunch for two at Finz was excellent. We went halfies on the Paella and the Sesame Tuna. The Paella was à la Finz, not quite Portuguese, delicately seasoned, lots of fresh seafood and not much rice. The Tuna was a very thick cut, perfectly seared, also very fresh. The atmosphere was very relaxed and the service was attentive, but we were closing out the lunch crowd so I have no idea how they handle peak hours. Dessert was a tangy Key Lime Pie. (Some of the desserts were sold out by about 3pm.) The Mr. tasted his coffee, then drank it black - a high compliment. We'd go back again for another celebration.>
                                                                                                                                                                  By peregrine on Jul 12, 2012 06:11 PM >

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Headed to finz in Salem for lunch today. Any recommendations? Enjoying the trip so far and will have a report for you when I get back.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Trip Report Part 1 is in! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/860499

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Trip Report Days 2 and 3 is posted:
                                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/860499

                                                                                                                                                                        1. The trip report is complete! Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/860499