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Limited-Time Left Living in Boston! Where to Eat Before I Move?

Hello fellow food lovers!

There's a chance I'm moving to the West Coast next year, so I've decided to compile a list of all the places I must try in the city before I go. I'm looking for local restaurants in Boston (non-chain) that are really something special (can be well-known spots, but want them to be unique). Suggestions for cocktails lounges/bars are also welcome.

So, the question is where would you go if you knew you only had a little time left in Boston?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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    1. re: carolinadawg

      Ooooh. Good one! Thanks, carolinadawg!

    2. Would help to know some of the places you've been first.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Taralli

        Hi Taralli, I'm happy to go back to places I've been. Open to any suggestions.

        1. re: Snomad

          But what have you liked? I'm assuming that's why Taralli asked

          Also, what do you mean by west coast? If going to a place like San Francisco, I'd be less focused on something like Chinatown. If it's a small town, then I'd definitely want to hit Peach Farm, New Shanghai, Q, GDH etc.

          1. re: mkfisher

            Small town setting without a lot of dining options, so I'm hoping to eat everything from amazing local hole-in-the-wall to exciting new chef restaurants before I move. And i eat everything.

            1. re: Snomad

              Well, then all those places in Chinatown I mentioned.

              A trip up to the north shore for some roast beef and fried clams.

              Lobster roll at Belle Isle.

              L'Osteria for some red sauce Italian.

              Sapporo for a bowl of soy sauce ramen

      2. Dinner at Row 34 followed by cocktails at Tavern Road.

            1. re: hyde

              That chicken dish with the claw foot at Strip T's could be Tim Burton rather than Tim Maslow.

              If he incorporates Zagnuts into a dish, I'd get worried.

              1. re: hyde

                It's getting there... I've been there 4 times in the past 6 weeks and headed there for brunch for my birthday coming up soon!

                1. re: Bugsey34

                  are you going to get the banana pancakes i posted about? remember to ask for extra cocoa nib butter!
                  (and Happy Bday)
                  p.s. i hope you've been/will be posting to a ribelle thread so we can follow your successes when we order!

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    The brunch is tomorrow, will post about it. I'm going with a big group so hope to try lots of dishes.

            2. Atlantic Fish Co in Copley Sq for lobster bisque, fried clam appetizer and lobster fra diavolo. Not in the city but I would try to get up to the clam box in Ipswich and eat lobster roll at Sullivan's, Castle Island while taking one last walk around it.

              6 Replies
              1. re: catsmeow

                Big Belly clams at Clam Box for sure. That's definitely something you don't generally see outside of this area.

                1. re: Chris VR

                  Clam Box was going to be my major suggestion too, chris. snomad, when you drive up there, you might enjoy making a day of it- Salem , Beverly Farms, Marblehead // or Ipswich, Essex, Newburyport- because they are such memorable New England port towns.(Particularly if you're going to be inland.)

                2. re: catsmeow

                  atlantic fish is part of a company that owns hundreds of restaurants now. even before the sale to tavistock, it was part of the bbrg chain and the food is meh at best.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    I as well as several dining companions that like to go there definitely find the food better than "meh."

                    1. re: catsmeow

                      fwiw, the bisque comes out of a bag. :(

                3. Well, of course,the original Regina Pizza. I would put old standby Hamersley's Bistro on the list. I think you should go to the Top of the Hub for at least a drink to bid farewell. Also, go to the Taj for a drink and get a table in the window looking out at the Public Garden. I wouldn't go for dinner, but go to the Union Oyster House when it's cold out for chowder and oysters at the bar. Go to your favorite red sauce place in the North End and then to Café Vittoria for coffee and desert.

                  1. Sofra and Oleana! Maybe Sarma too but I'm not quite as enamored.

                    Also Cutty's.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: addiez

                      Oleana and Sarma. I love both. tapas mondays at rendezvous in central square. cassoulet for a while longer there. Neptune Oyster. I haven't been to Wine Belly, but sounds great, as do all the new places in Kendall.

                    2. Neptune Oyster, Alden & Harlow, Island Creek Oyster, Row 34, Pinocchio's Pizza, Backbar (cocktails) + Casa B dinner, Bar at Clio, Galleria Umberto, Bergamot, Rendezvous, Eastern Standard (bar only), Taiwan Cafe

                      1. -Regina's, Santarpio's, Galleria Umberto

                        -Simco's, Sullivans (Castle Island), Belle Island,

                        -JJ Foleys, Doyle's, Amrheins

                        -Woodmans (Clam Box really, but closed out of season),
                        --Morse Fish (then a walk through the South End),
                        -Courthouse seafood (then a walk up to the Atwood Tavern 1/2 mile)

                        Mandy and Joe's (Brighton). The Dudley Chateau (Wayland), The Wayside Inn (Sudbury) , -The food is only fair at these joints but you wont see anything like them in small town California.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: hyde


                          Sullivans opens tomorrow 2/22.

                          !/2 price hot dogs all week!

                        2. If I ever left, these are the places I'd miss the most:

                          Peach Farm (yum), Hammersely's, No 9 Park, No Name Restaurant, Littlest Bar, Les Zygomats, Rialto, Tavern at the End of the World, Harvest, Washington Square Tavern, Artu's Pork sandwiches (taken to the Esplanade) with Flour for dessert, Greek Corner, Chocolate Brunch @ the Langham, Clio, The Paramount, Posto, The Oak Bar, Modern Pastry, and L'espalier (although less so in the new space) and finally, Grill 23.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: TechieTechie

                            Thank you, Techie Techie! This is exactly what I was looking for.

                          2. I know it probably wouldn't make a lot of lists, but if I were leaving I would be eating buffalo chicken fingers from Ma Magoo's in Fresh Pond almost every day. Make sure you get their honey mustard to go with it. So good.


                            1. Snomad I hope you'll end up near some skiable area. I met my wife at one and understand the importance.

                              If I was going to live before I leave Boston, I'd ask myself what my favorites are and go back to those. There is a lot of debate here about "where's the best" but after thinking about it for a minute I'd say:

                              Since 1926, Regina Pizzeria http://www.pizzeriaregina.com/

                              Red's diner in Salem MA for breakfast.

                              Speeds Dog, but no more.

                              Woodmans for clams and onion rings.

                              The original Chateau in Waltham for pasta and toasted raviolis.

                              Nick's "get out of dodge street" roast beef sub

                              Beverly Depot, I have a soft sport and would definitely make it a point for dinner since we had our wedding reception there, was downstairs ask to see it and they will probably oblige ( or tell them you will be getting married soon) amazing historical character. In a train station!

                              1. In the North End at this time of year, Massimino's for their soft-shell crab specials. L'Osteria for the stratachelli soup and fabulous antipasto salad. Neptune for just about everything. And would want one last chicken kabob salad from Dimirios, the little place on the corner of Brookline & Putnam in Cambridgeport.

                                1. If you're moving to the LA-area, this may be a fruitless suggestion, but I recall visiting an Armenian supermarket in Watertown. Might be a good trek.

                                  1 Reply