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Nov 6, 2013 02:01 PM

First Time in Boston

Coming to Boston this weekend. Need places to eat and shop local. Looking for good seafood and maybe some good Italian. Also what marketplaces are good to find local items. Any great breakfast places. Thanks

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  1. If you search this board for posts by Opiniatedchef you will find posts that give visitors a good over view of some of our best dining options. It would help other people if you tell us what types of food enjoy, what price points you can afford, where you will be staying and if you have trasnportation

    1. Agreed - give us some examples of what looks appealing to you based on what you have already found on this board and we can provide more specifics, update recommendations, etc.

      Definitely try the North End for Italian food, markets, etc.

      Top seafood options include Island Creek Oyster Bar, Neptune Oyster, Legal Harborside, Moulton's Seafood, etc.

      1. Thanks. Will be staying in the financial district no transportation but willing to go anywhere. Would like one really nice dinner up to 300.00. Want to try local flavor neighborhood places. Can be anything from dives on up. Open most cuisines but would like some good clam chowder and things that aren't as good as in L.A. Also would like to visit some good markets.

        4 Replies
        1. re: paprkutr

          there's so much posted on restaurants but less on markets. We are strong here on Russian and Middle Eastern markets. You can take the train in and shop at Bazaar on Cambridge Street in Allston and then eat at some of our best local ethnic restaurants: JoJo Taipei, Shanghai Gate, YoMa for Burmese, S & I Thai are all within walking distance as well as good Korean and that's just the tip of that neighborhood's treasures. Bazaar has excellent jams, russian baked goods including fresh breads, great salmon roe caviar at good prices, lots of charcuterie. You can shop the Middle Eastern/Armenian markets on Mt. Auburn for a whole range of amazing prepared and packaged food including all sorts of olives, hummus, babaganoush, tzatziki, pistachios, halva, etc. (Arax and Sevarn are two of the best). Then head across the street for great nuts, nut butters, and candy at Fastacchi. Go to the North End for a fine dinner at Prezza and shop at the various Italian markets for salami, fresh pasta, fresh mozzarella.

          1. re: teezeetoo

            Teezeetoo gave you a great outline. We also have one of the best cheese shops in the country, Formaggio Kitchen, with two locations in the area. Here are the link to the TA reviews with details.

            Cambridge location

            South End location

            One of my favorite afternoons is a walk to the South End with lunch at Coppa Enoteca.

            Followed by a visit to South End Formaggio across the Street. Sometimes a coffee at Wholy Grain bakery a block away and then a stroll home.


          2. re: paprkutr

            If staying in the financial district, then walk along the greenway into the north end. Stop at hook lobster for chowder and lobster roll, mostly take out with a few tables outside. Faneuil hall is a five minute walk from your hotel and just last hook on the left.
            Mama Maria's in the north end is a good place to dine.
            If you have time, Yankee Lobster in the seaport district has great chowder. Casual atmosphere and a 15 minute walk from your hotel.

            1. re: libertywharf

              Bee's Knees market in Fort Point has lots of local and international items. Salumeria Italiana is a good Italian (not local) market in the North End. Lots of markets in Chinatown near the Financial District, and Winsor Dim Sum for breakfast. The Paramount in Beacon Hill is busy but good for breakfast, as is Flour in Fort Point.

          3. Guide to Boston by Areas and Restaurants:



            Dinner Spots that I would highly recommend :

            Oleana- really unusual Turkish/Mediterranean menu; (owner's farm)-to-table;charming patio. Aside from the food being delicious, this is a real 'foodie's delight' because the menu will be full of things you will not see elsewhere in the U.S. Cambridge

            Erbaluce- unusual inventive No.Italian Piedmontese. South End

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

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

            Neptune Oyster- crowded tiny, always a line, top quality raw bar; inventive seafood along w/ trad.Leave your name and stroll the fascinating North End. (no resvtns-NR
            Island Creek Oyster Bar- the BEST service, large room yet intimate, more trad but some inventive.

            Toro- possibly the loudest room in Boston, full-out Tapas (the inventive often more successful than the trad) yet their Paella is unbeatably unctuous .South End .NR

            Aquitaine- THE spot when you're exhausted and you want to be taken care of. Classic French Bistro food beautifully done in a beautiful room, w/ gracious top notch service. South End.
            Strip T's (in a 'suburb', 10 min cab from Harvard Square) Casual small treasure for serious foodies; Momofuku chef; great inventive Asian- inspired, but also exc.fried chicken and unusual terrific burger. Watertown.

            Ribelle- new Brookline expansion for Strip T's owner/chef. A very broad menu w/ two or three times more components than you would likely see on other menus. With dishes this inventive and full of surprises, the food is the focus for the night, and the starches and veggies are as exciting as the meats and seafood.

            Sycamore- 30 min car or train ride West to affluent Newton Centre and this welcoming veteran run spot with many unique twists (see the Daily Duck, Lamb or Pork board- with four mini entree ,starch and veg.medleys.)

            For brunch, you cannot have more fun than at East Coast Grill in Cambridge. 25 yrs as a real locals' fav for all ages; latin, mexican,bbq and and seafood; Bloody Mary bar; great vibe.
            Myers and Chang, near the South End, has all the pluses of East Coast Grill for brunch, but it is Asian. This place is always hoppin' and the food,service and bar are super. The air is full of happy campers having fun.

            Another neighborhood hotspot is Highland Kitchen in Somerville,packed w/ 20's and young families.'Comfort food' plus daily specials ( but not consistently successful); great music. NR

            For more refined brunch, Aquitaine and Mistral ($French elegant) are popular. South End.

            Also, I urge you to take advantage of the convenience of 24/7 reservations with a system like Reservations are a must here, and even if your plans may change, it's good to get reservations ASAP and then change them if needed, as your plans solidify. opentable has an easy system for changing or cancelling your reservation. Also, if a restnt shows no availability for a time you wanted to dine, best to call that restnt because they always have more seats than shown on opentable.

            And finally, we have a very active CH board here in Boston, so doing a CH Search for a restnt. will likely bring you to a number of pertinent threads.And we'll also chirp in as your plans get more specific.

            shopping for Boston food souvenirs:


            2 Replies