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Toronto Foodie Visits Boston

Hello All,

My parents and I will be visiting Boston between September 4-8th, and would love your suggestions on "must-try" restaurants (with, of course, an emphasis on seafood). We are staying at Courtyard Boston (63 R Boston Street, Boston, MA 02125) and are open to travelling via public transit but also have access to a car if needed.

Some places that have caught my eye so far include:
-Island Creek Oyster Bar
-Atlantic Fish Co.
-Legal Harborside
-Yankee Lobster
(Open to your comments on the above)

We are flexible on price, and are open to trying seafood shacks as much as fine dining. We particularly love crab cakes, scallops, lobster and oysters. If there are any standout restaurants that aren't seafood-themed, I'd certainly be open to hearing your recommendations on those too.

Are there any special events going on during the timeframe that we'll be in town?

Thank you in advance for your help :)

PS. No need to recommend any Chinese restaurants - we have an abundance back home in Toronto!

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  1. Row 34 for more great seafood and small plates, Daily Catch for great Sicilian style seafood.

    2 Replies
    1. re: teezeetoo

      FYI - Daily Catch in the North End WAY outshines the other locations consistently (and especially Fan Pier, in spite of its waterfront views...).

    2. Lobster Roll at Belle Isle just over the Boston line in Winthrop.

      1. Take a look at the recent discussions on this Board. There have been numerous recent threads (in the last week or two)covering this that are very informative.

        1. If you are on a seafood hunt and on public transit, I would recommend Island Creek, Neptune Oyster, Row 34, B&G Oysters and lobster rolls at Hooks. Nothing there is cheap (except maybe Hooks) but not fine dining either. Fine dining (not seafood focused) I think L'Espalier or O Ya are top (with a shout out to Asta, which I haven't tried, and Menton). Some hip foodie places that are right now would be La Brasa, Alden & Harlow & Ribelle (not sure about public transit to La Brasa, but not a terrible cab ride). Hope this helps.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ScotchandSirloin

            For La Brasa, take the orange line to Sullivan Square and walk the half mile into Somerville, walking under I93, or take the 90 or 101 bus to the stop at Glenn and Broadway in Somerville.

          2. Row 34 and Island Creek are the gold standard for oysters and others seafood items. They are both tough tables so you should call ASAP if you want a reservation as opposed to showing up and hoping for the best.

            I don't think you need to do Atlantic Fish or Legal Harborside if you do Row 34 and/or Island Creek. For a good lobster roll downtown, I recommend J.Hook. Get the large and ask for the roll to be toasted.

            Looks like you are staying not too far from the South End which is home to many of the city's best restaurants. Toro is fun for tapas but no reservations and the wait can be long. Coppa is great. I like the Gallows for gastro pub type food in the South End.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Gordough

              I agree with all of gordough's recs

              But South Bay to the South End on foot down Mass Ave or Southampton is something I'd definitely not recommend doing at night. Maybe your hotel has a shuttle bus?

              There is an MBTA bus to Copley that careens through the shopping center with (I think) 2 stops within it.

              Café Polonia serves pretty good Polish food and is close to your hotel.

              1. re: C. Hamster

                Yes to both! South Bay isn't a bad walk from the Andrew Square T stop, though I probably wouldn't do it at night either. And definitely not a walk to Toro or other South End establishments.

                I also love Cafe Polonia. There's a greasy spoon type breakfast spot - Victoria Diner, open 24 hours - nearby. Also, Haley House is not too far away - definitely a drive, but totally delicious sandwiches and salads and other lunch items. Don't miss the cookies!

            2. This MA foodie visited your city 2 weeks ago. Please bring that St. Lawrence farmers market along with you to Boston. Just fantastic!!

              1. You are near Dorchester Avenue which is home to some of the best Vietnamese food in Boston (try Sunset Café or Pho Le). If you come in to the city toward the south end, on Harrison Avenue near Boston City Hospital you'll find Estragon, a wonderful Spanish tapas place. Also on Dorchester Avenue you'll find Shanti, a very good Indian restaurant. And I agree with the recommendation for Café Polonia: how often do you find good Polish food in a city?

                1. Hamersley's Bistro in the South End is wonderful and is such a beautiful atmosphere to hang out. They also have a fantastic outdoor patio. The South End has many great places to eat, as does the North End (Boston's little Italy). Bricco (in the north end) is great. We made a reservation and followed up with a phone call requesting the upstairs table next to the window -- it's perfect. It's a giant open window with a perfect vantage point into the north end. Mike's Pastry is a must do after dinner treat if your in the North End. Lines are long, but they move very quickly. The Beehive in the south end does a fantastic Sunday jazz brunch. They also have a beautiful outdoor patio. Stephanie's on Newbury is great for lunch if you'll be shopping on Newbury Street. Check out "girl who ate boston" blog. I get lots of ideas from her. Have fun!

                  1. Welcome in advance, te! This is a v long post which i hope might prove of some help. Just scroll down in this link to my entry:


                    1. Thanks for all your advice! Just managed to book Island Creek Oyster Bar (I thought Toronto foodies booked far in advance, but Boston takes the cake!) and now will work through your other suggestions. Appreciate all your input.