Coming to Boston from Australia as part of a states trip and will be in town from the 10th of December until the 14th.
Whilst there we are catching a Celtics game and hopefully a Bruins game (not holding my breath, frustrating NHL, can only imagine what it is like for die-hard fans in the states).
I'm looking at any good reccomendations for places to eat and drink around TD Garden.
It will be my girlfriend and myself, aged in late 20's. We are keen to eat before the game and have a few drinks afterwards.
I have done a bit of reading and Neptune Oyster Bar seems like a good early dinner option in the area.
Bars wise it seems like The Fours, The Greatest Bar and The Grand Canal are all fun options.
We are not adverse to any style of food and enjoy drinking in any location from loud sports bars to speakeasy style cocktail bars.
Essentially any advice is good advice, keen to hear your thoughts.
As a Bostonian who spend 11 years in Sydney (and had to be dragged back Stateside kicking and screaming), I would urge you to try Regina Pizza on Thacher St. in the North End. I found that food in Sydney (and everywhere else in Aus I went) was *amazing*, but I was consistently disappointed by the pizza, which is an entirely different beast. Regina is what I dreamed of. But there are a few keys to getting it right at Regina: order a plain cheese or a MAXIMUM of cheese + 1 other topping; ask for the pizza to be well-done (this will make it crispy, not burnt); and ask for the chili oil or garlic oil (your preference) for sprinkling over your pizza or dipping your crust in. I would suggest following this with ricotta cannoli or sfogliatelle from Modern Pastry on Hanover St. (Avoid Mike's Pastry, it's tourist-trap material.)
Neptune Oyster would be another excellent choice in that area, but know that it's a small place and they don't take reservations, so get there *very* early, especially if you have game tickets and don't want to miss the start. You might be better off aiming for a later lunch and following this with drinks and a snack after the game. If you want something more substantial, Bova's Bakery in the North End is open 24 hours and does sandwiches, breads and pastries.
More broadly, I would suggest that you avoid Thai food in Boston, and actually pretty much everywhere in the US except maybe New York, as you will find nothing that comes close even to the cheapest place in your nearest Australian city. That will also be true for a lot of Chinese food, though Boston has some great Szechuan places, which I didn't find many of in Sydney at least.
Traditional and craft cocktails have had a big resurgence here in the last couple of years, and I reckon you'll find that they (and spirits generally) tend to be less expensive than back home. I'm not sure about good cocktail places near the Garden, but farther out I would suggest Drink, the Hawthorne, and Russell House. Food trucks are also exploding; there's lots of debate on the boards about which is best for what, but my favourite is M&M Ribs, which I reckon is also the best Southern-style barbecue in town. Check their website for locations/times.
I hope you have a great time, and I'm sorry the NHL is letting you down. My gf and I are running into a similar problem: we're off to Sydney on Tuesday for a short holiday, and we seem to have picked the only three-week stretch in the entire year where no sport is being played. (But since my beloved Newtown Jets managed to win their Premiership, I can't really get too mad.)
Thanks for the advice TimTamGirl, I appreciate it.
Thanks for the pizza advice, I would have to agree with you that a good pizza is hard to come by down under. Will definitely have to make a trip to Regina.
In regads to Neptune Oyster Bar, I was thinking of arriving at around 430/5ish, is there usually a wait at that time on game days?
Thanks again for all the info, it seems the NHL is back at the bargaining table which is a good sign, hopefully I get a chance to see the Bruins like I had planned.
I reckon if you get to Neptune around 4:30 you should be okay because you'll beat most of the after-work crowd, but anything later than that would be chancey. If you finish dinner early and find yourself with a bit of time to kill before the game, there are cafes and bars in the area where you could get a coffee/drink/pastry. I've already spruiked for Modern, who have coffee and liqueurs in addition to pastries; I also quite like Caffe dello Sport, just two doors down, for a Sambuca with coffee beans (I know, but it's a family thing) and a catch-up on the soccer. I've heard that dello Sport's gelati and pastries are good too, but I haven't tried them myself.
Fingers tightly crossed about the Bruins, for you and for me! Nothing like a little blood on the ice to whet the appetite. :)