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Aug 4, 2013 10:53 AM

Best Boston Baked Beans?

Will be in Boston the middle of August, and will be dining fairly high end every night. For lunch one day, I'd really love to sample an authentic rendition of this dish, if such a thing still exists. Couldn't find anything recent on this topic, so would appreciate any input.

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  1. Boston Baked Beans are more of a homemade thing these days. I make my own if I want them. The closest ones to the taste of mine are at Soul Fire BBQ.

    I suppose a tourist place like Durgin Park might have them on the menu but I have no idea if they would be house-made or from a can.

    Diners have traditionally served them but I don't know of any that have a great version today. Hope someone else can be of more help to you. I'd love to find someone who makes some that I would love.


    6 Replies
    1. re: BostonZest

      Durgin-Park does still claim to make their own, and I'm inclined to believe it - the beans, along with prime rib and Indian pudding, are their cornerstone dishes.

      Many local BBQ joints make very tasty beans from scratch, bit those aren't really "Boston baked beans."

      Local diners do traditionally serve beans, but I'm pretty sure that most of those are from a can.

      1. re: Allstonian

        Years ago on another food related site, someone picked a fight with me, claiming that I must not live in Boston because every diner here served fish cakes, baked beans and brown bread. It eventually turned out that he had been in Boston once, for 36 hours, in 1983. But he was positive the streets of Boston were paved with fish cakes and baked beans!

        1. re: Jenny Ondioline

          I actually remember that fight and when i thought hard about it the only place i could come up with was Mandy & Joes in Brighton Center. They have fish cakes on the menu, and hot dogs and beans, liverwurst, sardines and jell-o.

          whats not to like?

          1. re: hyde

            Ah, but do they have fish cakes *with* baked beans and brown bread on the menu?

            1. re: Allstonian

              ok, you got me. I do not think they have brown bread.

              But they have pudding!

              Come on, some slack? When was the last place still had a liverwurst sandwich left on their menu?

              Of course they also close at like, three oclock in the afternoon.

              1. re: hyde

                Hey, I'm all in favor of a diner with a liverwurst sandwich on the menu! Just funnin' you because that was the argument on that other board - the guy insisted that you could get a blue plate special of fish cakes with baked beans and brown bread at just about any diner in Boston. Which might have been the case in about 1963, but isn't now.

    2. Martha Stewart just did an episode on beans last week-google her cooking classes. She did a great Boston Baked beans in the traditionally way.

      1. Marliave has really good homemade baked beans.

        1. If you are out exploring Beacon hill or near the Public Gardens/Boston Common you can have an easy-going pub lunch at The Seven's Ale House on Charles st. All of their sandwiches are served with either beans or slaw and the beans are tasty and the sandwiches good. My fav is the turkey ruben.

          1. The Best Boston Baked Beans are Grandma's Baked Beans at East Coast Grill in Cambridge (Inman Square). The chef gave me his recipe, which was really rather simple and exactly like every online recipe out there, but I still can't duplicate his results. One problem for you may be that they're open for lunch only on Saturdays (you can request them during their Sunday brunch, but they're not on the menu). These beans belong on the dessert menu. Their barbecue is pretty good, but I go there for the beans. If Saturday lunch is out but you're in the area one evening, pick up a quart on your way back to the hotel.