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Recs please: 3 meals in Boston

  • m

I will be in your lovely city in a few weeks, and would love some restaurant recs. I have visited a number of times, but have not been in several years--it looks like the food scene in Boston has exploded in the past few years and the sheer number of wonderful-looking places is overwhelming!

I have one meal of each and preferences are below:

Breakfast: Someplace in Chinatown/Theater District or Bay Village. I can also go to Backbay or Southend as long as it isn't too far west/south. Something light or coffee shop-ish is fine, but would like to go somewhere that won't mind if I bring a book and enjoy a leisurely hour or two.

Lunch: Similar area as breakfast. Cuisine and budget are open, but would like something casual.

Dinner: Anywhere in Boston or Cambridge, but no suburbs. Cuisine and budget are open. I would love seafood.

Thank you in advance!

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  1. Lunch: Taiwan Cafe or Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe

    Dinner: Neptune Oyster, Row 34, or Island Creek Oyster House

    1 Reply
    1. re: rlh

      gene's is better for take-out. i vote coppa for lunch.

    2. Breakfast: Mike and Patty's or Thinking Cup (Boston Common location)

      Lunch and DInner: Agree with every option posted by RLH and Hotonynoodle. Also would add O Ya (Dinner) if you want a real $$$$ blowout meal. Also JM Curley (Lunch)

      4 Replies
      1. re: Matt H

        I think for your area, Mike and Patty's is your best breakfast option but they don't have much in terms of seating.

        1. re: addiez

          It's a quick walk from Mike & Patty's to the Public Garden, and I can't think of a more lovely way to spend the morning then a leisurely picnic breakfast, and a couple of hours reading in the park, people watching and swan boat watching.

          1. re: VintageMolly

            Good point. Definitely not a place to linger, but good place to grab food and linger at many of the great outdoor options near by.

          2. re: addiez

            I agree Mike and Patty's is great but it is tiny and only has a few seats. It would not be a place I would feel comfortable lingering for an hour or two. People definitely linger at The Thinking Cup though!

        2. I would add to the alreay good suggestins Mike's Diner for breakfast, Xian Xian or Myers and Chang for lunch, Erbaluce or Asta for dinner.

          2 Replies
          1. The Map Room Cafe at the Boston Public Library would be a lovely place to have breakfast and read a book for an hour or two (particularly if the weather is good and you can sit in the courtyard).


            1. 17, map room cafe is lovely and peaceful spot for respite from the busy downtown crowds.
              If i had ONE dinner in Boston, i would go with one of 3 places:
              Island Creek Oyster Bar

              ICOB because it is a dramatic memorable room with welcoming positive-energy staff,and a few of my fav seafood dishes, all the result of an owner who has thought about aaaaall the details.

              Ribelle because chef Tim Maslow is a true one-of-a-kind amazingly serious and inspiring creative chef who consistently gets me to the WOW! experience every time i eat there. It could be something as simple as kale, or mushrooms, but it will definitely not be well described on the menu, and it will be the 'best___' i ever ate.

              Oleana because Turkish food can be such a revelation for most of us, esp the spices/herbs, and you will likely have delicious foods you will not find elsewhere in the U.S.,from a very hard working woman chef who is her own icon in Boston.

              Here are some detailed links fyi:



              Welcome in advance; hope you have a lovely visit!

              1 Reply
              1. It sounds like you are traveling solo, and you mention seafood...so for dinner, I would recommend going to island Creek and sit at the bar. Personally, I like sitting at the bar when I dine alone. And the Island Creek bar is pleasant, with friendly bartenders, and outstanding seafood.

                1. Oh my goodness, thank you all so much for these recs! Everything sounds absolutely amazing--the hard part is now trying to decide between them. I made a res at Island Creek Oyster (after living in the NE for several years, I desperately miss good oysters now that I'm in TX). I think breakfast and lunch might be last minute decisions, but I will definitely report back!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ml7

                    good call to reserve at ICOB (or Row 34)! enjoy. also - another Oleana plug if you are willing to trek into Cambridge - it is memorable and phenomenal...a must reserve kind of place as well

                  2. I would add Liquid Art House to the list of suggestions. My wife and I enjoyed our second dinner there last night. The place was very busy and about 80% of tables were occupied by 9:00PM. The food, while not inexpensive, is very good and well presented with interesting flavors. We love the wild mushroom dumplings, the scallops and the striped bass. We split the sour cherry bread pudding for dessert. It was delicious! They have a very competent bar staff and my Rye Manhattan couldn't have been better. The atmosphere is unusual but we really like all the art that is displayed.