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Feb 11, 2014 08:15 PM

Seeking real Boston, one night, two kids (So. Common/North End)

Heading up to Boston next week, have to figure out dinner Tuesday night. Staying on South Common; anywhere near there or Hanover St./North End (thinking of going to improv show there afterward). Read the incredibly helpful Boston Guide post from opinionatedchef and that has got breakfast and lunch (and the key gelato break) sorted but would love recs for a place in above areas that's got some authentic Boston flavor but not hushed or sceney or super-pricy. Kids are 5 & 8 not too adventurous nor picky (don't need kids' menu & crayons, but hey everybody like crayons esp. me). American/Seafood/Italian best. Also 6 pm on a Tuesday shouldn't be too hectic, yeah? Or go earlier? Thanks!

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  1. hi sb,welcome in advance! I don't know south common; do you mean the South End, or The Common maybe? Would dinner in the North End be too much the same area for one day? or are you thinking that you would go back to your hotel sometime in the afternoon? If not, the 2 places I like to rec are Regina's Pizzeria, and Neptune Oyster. Both are open for Lu and allday incl.dinner, so you could do lu or dinner at each one . If you did decide to stay in that general area, there are lots of things to see and do in between lunch and dinner, incl Freedom Trail stops, ethnic market window shopping, segueing over to Quincy Market and/or City Hall and the Customs House tower, waterfront..... (And while you stroll through the No. End, make sure to stop in late morn to see the (ooooold time Boston) Galleria Umberto Rosticceria , and Modern Pastry.

    In Quincy Market there is another old time restnt called Durgin Park. CHs don't seem to go there and I haven't been since the early '70's, but CH visitors have reported really enjoying themselves and I fondly remember the unique atmosphere, feeling and look of the place." Many many tales to tell" kind of place. Maybe do a CH search and see what you thnk... I'm not recommending you go there for dinner, but lunch or mid-aftnoon chowder and brown bread and Indian Pudding- could be fun.

    12 Replies
    1. re: opinionatedchef

      I cannot imagine trying to take a 5 and 8 year old to Neptune Oyster.


      1. re: opinionatedchef

        Meant the south side of the Common! I booked the Revere on Stuart St seems like a great location but quite frankly the Emerald Lounge downstairs looks scary—way too much neon as in: more than none. Thinking maybe a switch to Seaport hotel might be a good idea.
        Yes was thinking Regina's for lunch, but maybe will switch that up for Quincy market for lunch and pizza for dinner. The kids are pretty well behaved but they won't wait a long time to be rewarded with sea creatures on the half shell (unless maybe it's Sponge Bob).
        Thanks all so wish we had more than a couple of days but we'll probably be back!

        1. re: stregabuona

          I work across the street from the Emerald Lounge and its not as bad as it looks.

          I'd probably not switch.

          The hotel's immediate neighborhood is a sea of chain restaurants, none of which are that great, but Chinatown is right down the street, which gives you options. My niece who is a bit older loves to go to Q Hotpot and cook her food in broth.

          1. re: C. Hamster

            Thanks for eyewitness account! It's hard to go from pictures. We don't mind walking a bit—in fact it's practically necessary to burn off all the calories we plan on consuming.

          2. re: stregabuona

            I'd stick with the Regina-for-lunch plan - the line for a table can be long at dinner time (although a Tuesday may be less bad. On the other hand, it's school vacation week...) The payoff is worth it, though - the pizza is great, and the staff are really good with kids.

            1. re: stregabuona

              If you do hit Quincy Market for lunch I would suggest skipping the food court there and hitting Saus on Union Street. They specialize in Belgian Street food, namely frites and waffles, but they have a bunch of other interesting selections as well. I think it's great and worth a look, especially with the other options in the immediate area.

              1. re: ebone

                Excellent recommendation. Besides the frites and waffles, I love the frikandel, and they've added a whole bunch of sandwiches and other savory options. Nice people, too.

                Here's a link to their website:

              2. re: stregabuona

                The Seaport Hotel will put you closer to the children's museum and the aquarium. Kid friendly places in the area are flour, Yankee lobster and sebastians for beakfast lunch. If you haven't arrived yet, switching is a good idea. Your kids can enjoy the spacious lobby at the seaport. Salvatores next door is also kid friendly with a take out section.

                1. re: libertywharf

                  lib, I have only been there for the Japanese House. What age range do you think most enjoys the Children's Museum?

                2. re: stregabuona

                  -5 on Neptune Oyster.

                  I am not a fan, but the idea of wait times (always), kids general love for fish (not), and expense, push this into the bad idea category with two children, even well behaved ones. MAYBE for two adults.

                  Now, chocolate chip pancakes at Charlies Sandwich Shoppe ( probably about 1500 meters from your hotel) at 429 Columbus street for breakfast one day (they close at 2:30) I imagine would be well received.

                  edit: just saw that you have been and gone. For next time then.

                3. re: opinionatedchef

                  I agree with Durgin Park in Fanueil Hall, one of the oldest restaurants from Colonial days. It's still very good, and they still have some of the more traditional New England dishes on their menu like baked beans and Indian pudding. Kid friendly items too.

                  1. re: catsmeow

                    We had lunch at Durgin Park a few years ago. I remember it as the place we went for lunch on school field trips decades ago. If your kids have never had Indian pudding, you should definitely go there. You might have to explain other items on the menu. I remember having short ribs on our last visit.

                    Someplace in Chinatown would be great fun. Visit a Chinese bakery at the very least.

                4. We don't have a South Common here ... maybe tell us the hotel or the street?

                  I think Regina's is a great suggestion but also agree that Neptune might not be a great idea with kids.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    Regina's definitely fits for "real" Boston, works for your location and will also be good for kids. Do it.

                  2. First night went to Legal Harborside 1st floor to meet a friend, great food and service nice view very enjoyable evening. Second day due to late start no one was hungry by the time we hit Quincy Market so we pressed on. Ended up having the North End all to ourselves it felt like; eerily quiet and quite beautiful with snow swirling around. Got personal history lesson at Paul Revere House! Regina's for lunch did not disappoint really really hit the spot and real Boston accents a plus. Dinner was at New Shanghai in Chinatown but I couldn't get anyone to go for hot pot... Missed the Paramount for brunch next day as on tight schedule and kids needed souvenirs (of course). Revere was fine for hotel but perhaps try Seaport next. Two nights was not enough!