Sonsie, 327 Newbury Street. This is a fun place, especially in the warm weather when tables spill into the street. Great music, a wonderful mahogany bar, and delicious, delicious food. Henrietta’s Table at The Charles in Cambridge has a massive all-you-can-eat buffet with just about anything you can think of to eat. Enjoy great food and live jazz at The Beehive . The Bristol at the Four Seasons offers a delightful, upscale brunch with views out over the Public Gardens. The Paramount in Beacon Hill has been serving breakfast since 1937. The Friendly Toast, Back Bay, is a local favorite.
Abe & Louie’s , 793 Boylston. Wonderful steak house. Fireplace. Sidewalk dining. Booths. Perfect place to while away an afternoon. B&G Oysters . 550 Tremont. Owned by the people of No. 9 Park. Delightful white wine list. Oysters, of course and the Lobster Roll is the best in Boston, maybe anywhere. Also try the Lobster BLT. We love Toscano’s in Beacon hill. Excellent Italian food, warm, clubby interior and sidewalk dining in nice weather. Just want some chowdah, shrimp and cold beer? Head to Union Oyster House. Great burger? Mr. Bartley’s below in Cambridge.
Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage , 1246 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge. You dine on communal pine tables, it’s crowded and loud, but oh, those burgers. Absolutely worth the trip to Cambridge. 30 different types like the John Kerry, “only flipped once”, or the Ted Kennedy, “a plump and liberal burger”, or the Dick Chaney, “only a heartbeat away”. Award winning frappes and onion rings. I can’t wait to go back. Cash only.
They only make 18 per night and only serve it at the bar but the burger at Craigie on Main is a half-pound patty made with brisket, short rib, bone marrow, and suet and is to die for.
Bostonians are almost as crazed about their ice cream as they are about the Sox. There’s an on-going debate as to who makes the best ice cream. Many pick Steve’s, the guy who invented adding things like heath bars and oreos to ice cream, located at Faneuil Hall. Or try Christina’s in Cambridge, specially if you are going to Mr. Bartley’s for a burger.
Oyster, Lobster Roll, Chowder and Fried Clams
When you come to Boston, these are staples. Here are the best places to enjoy them. Union Oyster House , been around since 1826. Love sitting at the Union Bar and talking to the locals. Acclaimed chef Barbara Lynch’s B&G Oyster, puts her stamp on the favorites. Jeremy Sewall’s Island Creek Oyster Bar serves their chowder with house-cured bacon, and buttermilk biscuit-croutons.
Troquet is more of a restaurant than wine bar, but it was voted one of America’s top 100 wine restaurants. Fantastic selection. haley.henry. Boston magazine’s “Best Wine Bar”. James Beard semi-finalist “Outstanding Wine Program”. natural wines. Cat Silirie’s award-winning wine list is worth the trip to No. 9 Park. Bar Boulud is celebrity chef Daniel Boulud’s wine bar featuring an amazing selection of French Burgundy and Rhone wines.
12+ year “Best of Boston” Winner, Grill 23 & Bar , reigns as king of the Boston steakhouses. Their 100-day aged prime ribeye “hits all the right notes: a deftly charred salty crust, deep/rich flavor, and tender “you can cut it with a fork” meat.” A creative menu, a fireplace, outdoor seating and wonderful booths that remind me of the old Hollywood restaurants, make Abe & Louie’s , a very close second.
Universal praise for Neptune Oyster. Love the swordfish here. Great raw bar. Legal Seafood is a chain, originated in Boston, but it garners rave reviews for its seafood. Legal Harborside is a fantastic waterfront venue. Their raw bar offers 14 kinds of oysters.
Try a chilled glass filled with cucumber organic vodka, blackberries, lemon juice and a champagne float at City Bar in the Lenox. Or, the Cucumelon Martini, a haute summer sizzler made with cucumber vodka, watermelon puree and mint at 75 Chestnut in Beacon Hill.
Top of the Hub , 800 Boylston Street, at sunset. 52 stories up with panoramic views of the City. Whew! The Living Room , Nude abstracts, comfortable sofas, fireplace stoves and good appys. The Oak Long Bar at the Copley Plaza, 138 James Avenue. Dark, cavernous, sexy and elegant. Last visit, there was a line waiting to get in on a Saturday night. The Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel, 200 Boylston Street. Sophisticated and stylish overlooking the Public Garden. Fireplace and intimate nooks Roof Top Pool Known locally as RTP. Colonnade Hotel. One of Boston’s “hot” spots Memorial Day-Labor Day. 11 stories up with great views of the City. Eastern Standard offers great cocktails, a very reasonably priced wine list and an excellent beer selection. Down an alley and an unmarked hallway you’ll find Backbar, one of the worst kept secrets in Boston for amazing cocktails.
There are certainly more authentic Irish pubs than the Black Rose , but I’ve been stopping here for years to hoist a Guinness and listen to Irish bands. Critics claim there are too many fanny pack tourists, but let them complain.
Union Oyster House. 41 Union Street in the Quincy Market area. America’s oldest restaurant. I love to go here in the afternoon, sit at the horseshoe shaped oyster bar, have some chowder, eat some oysters, drink a couple of cold beers and talk to the locals. The cheeses, charcuterie and pizzas are amazing at The Salty Pig.
After Dinner Fun
Lots of cultural things to do (See Things to Do) and there’s the wonderful Sheer Madness play. But if you’re not feeling “cultural” try these great spots. Dolce Vita, (North End).This is my favorite spot in the North End for dessert or a drink after dinner. It has a small but stylish bar, an amazing dessert list and its exuberant owner Franco Graceffa and two friends stroll the restaurant charming guests with wonderful songs from Italy. Regattabar at the Charles Hotel, THE hot spot, in a very cool room, for the great jazz. Big names. Sculler’s Jazz Club . Voted “Best Live Music Venue” and “Best First Date Spot”. 200 seat theater. Intimate and fun. Top of the Hub , top floor of the Prudential Building. Best view of the City. Dance to live jazz bands.
There’s dancing at Howl at the Moon, sing-along piano bar at D’s Keys and comedy at Improv Boston
Deluca’s, 11 Charles Street. Old time neighborhood store that has just about anything you may want, including caviar! It’s fun just to walk around the store to see what they have.
V. Cirace & Son, 173 North Street, North End. Quaint and charming, this has been a family business for 97 years. The best selection of Italian wines, aperitifs and digestives I have ever seen. A really fun place to shop for hard to get items.
Can there be a “best” tourist trap? If so, it’s Fanueil Hall/Quincy Market in Boston Shops, pubs, kiosks. Guess you have to stop here, but promise you’ll only go once. It’s certainly not tacky, just very touristy and overpriced. The best thing about it is you are only a block from the Union Oyster House.
Roof Top Pool. Atop the Colonnade Hotel. $25pp/day. Cocktails and lunch. Memorial Day-Labor Day. After Friday, supposed to be just for hotel guests, but it’s worth a try.