Eastern Standard or Island Creek Oyster
We will be staying at the Hotel Commonwealth. We can be categorized as foodies.
Which of these places would you suggest for lunch or dinner. Any other restaurants in the area.
Also, love craft beers. Plan on visiting Bukowski's. Other places in the area?
are you open to all cuisines? or are you, for example, from Toronto and already saturated w/ great Asian food?
Bukow's is not near your hotel; 15-20 min. cab. It is near East by Northeast a tiny very innovative chinesey fusion spot.
EastStand is not really a foodie place; more trad Fr. food, and it has fans and non fans on CH. I'm the latter. ICOB, on the other hand, I always rec. Order the lobster roe noodles w/...... and you will likely be a happy camper.
Guide to Boston by Areas and Restaurants:
Dinner Spots that I would highly recommend :
If Creative, unique one-of-a-kind food experiences are a priority for you, I would hop to Oleana and Ribelle in a heartbeat. And Asta and OYa for much higher tickets.
Oleana- predominantly Turkish, w/ a lot of creative riffs. One of the 3 or 4 Boston restnts where you will have truly unique food that you will not have elsewhere. Spices and grains. beans and greens, a world to discover and savor. Many feel the mezze are the strong point, but entrees can be unforgetable as well. As the menu is always changing, the only way to do it right-- is to go back often. If I were a visiting foodie who had 'been there, eaten that', I would happily alot 2 nights to Oleana during my Boston stay Blazing winter hearth , and charming patio in season. 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 in the So. End 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 outpost for Strip T's owner/chef. A very broad menu of small and large plates 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, veggies and condiments are as exciting as the meats and seafood. Brookline
Sycamore- 30 min car or train ride West to affluent Newton Centre and this welcoming veteran run spot with many unique twists on Mediterranean ideas.(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 . 25 yrs as a real locals' fav for all ages; latin, mexican,bbq and and seafood; Bloody Mary bar; great vibe. Cambridge
Myers and Chang- all the pluses of East Coast Grill for brunch, but it is Asian. This place is always hoppin' and the food,service and very creative bar are super. The air is full of happy campers having fun. Edge of So. End
Ribelle- as with all things Ribelle, don't let the minimal menu descriptions fool you. Cerebral, unexpected, luscious. WOW's abound. Brookline
for more refined brunch, Aquitaine and Mistral ($French elegant) are popular. South End
Bukowski Tavern is near your hotel (Boylston near mass ave) , though I am not sure why you are going there.
I'd go to Island Creek Oyster Bar over Eastern Standard every time I'm asked.
Walk a few blocks up Beacon St. to Taberna de Haro for lovely Spanish food, mostly tapas.
Hop the green line and go a little further and hit Lineage in Coolidge Corner, Brookline. One of my favorite spots.
Five minutes farther and you'll hit Ribelle and Fairsted Kitchen, two new, trendy and beloved restaurants
Lower Depths is right next to your hotel and has a very good craft beer list. If you hop on the Green C line to Washington Square The Publick House has a really nice Tap list. And if you take the Green B line to Harvard then walk about 10 mins or cab it, there's is Deep Ellum which is my favorite beer bar in the city.
Eastern Standard is open for lunch while Island Creek is usually only dinner except when the baseball team is playing at home. That may decide when these fit in your day.
C. Hamster and Phatchris have given you great ideas. These days there are better alternatives for great beer selection.
I would second Taberna de Haro for the Spanish wine selection alone but the food is wonderful too.
A bowl of mussels at Eastern Standard (using a shell as a spoon to slurp up the delicious broth) and dinner at Island Creek and a beer at Lower Depths.
As noted, ICOB is only open during the day Sundays. Drinks are great at both places.
I go to ES for their great bar, mussels, charcuterie, lunch.
I go to ICOB for drinks, snacks and dinner. Their oyster sliders are unbelievably fantastic, they have a great oyster selection, they always carry a nice cheese and do fantastic pairings.
Both ES and ICOB have fun with their daily late night menus so be sure to keep that mind.
Also, if you're a cocktail fan, make sure to stop by The Hawthorne (also in your hotel), for top notch drinks. ICOB and ES also have great cocktails, but are more restaurants than bars, while The Hawthorne is certainly a bar. Definitely check out Lower Depths near you for craft beer (Cash only), or as others have suggested take the C train up to either to The Publick House (great beer, meh food), or Ribelle (great food, interesting beer menu).
Agree that both ES and ICOB merit meals and drinks - Hawthorne is a beautiful cocktail space with great drinks as well - my current fav bartender (Todd) is at Clio a 10-minute walk away for drinks only.
Lord Hobo is a formidable beer emporium (with tasty cocktails, but beer is the focus) in Cambridge a short taxi ride away - and only 2 blocks from Oleana which is a MUST as noted - and you need reservations, but walkins are accepted at the bar (no spirits)
Neptune Oyster is also phenomenal but small with no reservations, so plan ahead, go off-peak / early for late lunch or early dinner, leave your phone number and stroll around the North End until they call - then be amazed.
Also for consideration in / near Cambridge are Alden & Harlow, and Bergamot - solid personal favorites but not at the same level as Oleana, ICOB and Neptune.