The Quick & Dirty List of All Things Boston

Visiting Boston? Check out the list below for all things Boston related.  I tried to note if my suggestions are pricey or not. (I’m still suffering from sticker shock).

Coffee Shops:

  • Darwins, LTD (Cambridge–two locations: Cambridge St. or St. Auburn St.). Amazing coffee, yummy sandwiches, and delicious Florentine cookies 😉
  • Barismo (Arlington): coffee shop that touts the fact that you won’t need sugar for your coffee because theirs is so good. It’s true.
  • The Thinking Cup (North End, Boston Common, or Newbury St.): coffee shop, small bakery, and light lunch (if I’m remembering correctly). I find it a little over priced, but they have yummy macarons.
  • Crema Cafe (Cambridge): Coffee shop with light lunch. Yummy coffee, grilled cheese wasn’t bad either, but I’d pass on the sweet potato chips
  • Boston Coffee Shop (Theater District): I want to love this place, but I had a vegan chocolate chip cookie and it turned me off completely
  • Tratta (Kendall Square): coffee shop and bakery–SO good
  • Flour (Central Square): coffee shop and bakery–light lunch/dinner/bakery. Owner has a few cookbooks out. It’s good and reasonably priced. I would skip brunch on the weekend–it’s packed.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts (or Dunks to the locals): it’s a national chain but the first one originated here. It’s kind of a thing. The locals would rather have Dunks than Starbucks any day 😉 I’m a fan of an iced coffee with skim and one Splenda. Definitely makes me happy!

Restaurants:

  • Life Alive (Cambridge) is a great vegetarian restaurant (wicked crunchy granola–smells like pachouli and cashiers have dreds, but super yummy) and affordable
  • Christopher’s (Porter Square): their Buffalo Chicken Tofu is the bomb.com–the bar area is good too
  • The Museum of Science: It’s a bar with yummy looking burgers–but they only serve beer and wine. I went there on a date for drinks, so haven’t had a chance to try the food, but I want to.
  • 5 Horses Tavern (Somerville): great bar area, killer brunch and lunch. One of my favorite spots in the ‘Ville. I’ve never had a bad meal there–they have really interesting brunch options (the last time I was there, I had quinoa with pears and apples for breakfast).
  • Pomodoro’s (North End): hands down my favorite restaurant in the North End. A little pricey, but great for a celebratory night out. Only has wine service. Salted cod pasta is ridiculously good. Owner goes across the street to get Mike’s Pastry’s. Not a huge eclair fan, but I love theirs (bonus: she brings over a mini version, so you don’t have to eat a days worth of calories in one treat.)
  • Giacamo’s: People rave about this place. Maybe we got it on a bad night. I got the special, and while it was good, and affordable, it wasn’t anything to write home about. I was also very disappointed when I saw a case of Barilla pasta in the back :\
  • Stephanie’s on Newbury: One of my favorite brunch places…the lobster roll is amazing, as is the clam chowder, and the burger. Decently priced drinks–full bar.
  • Pizza Regina (North End): the best pizza in the city (and reasonably priced). Prepare for a line–we waited 45 min, but it was totally worth it. It’s really cramped, and the service is kind of rude, but it’s worth putting up with.
  • Za’s (Arlington): pizza, salads, etc. Think Mellow Mushroom of New England. I had the mac & cheese pizza–wasn’t my fav–I don’t really like mac & cheese, not really sure why I ordered it, but my friends are obsessed.
  • Tryst (Arlington): LOVE. My favorite brunch spot in my neck of the woods. The steak & eggs is amazing. Reasonably priced too.
  • Max Brenner’s: chocolate everything. And I mean, EVERYTHING. Martini’s, pizza, crepes, you name it.
  • Park (Cambridge): Yummy place for dinner, though a little pricey. Cambridge can be expensive because of the Harvard $$, FYI.
  • Met Bar (Newbury Street): I’ve only been once, but I liked it. They serve lunch (I think), definitely dinner, and have a small bar downstairs. I just liked the vibe. I went around the holidays and had calamari (YUM) and a flight of hot chocolate. Was reasonably priced and a fun/interesting spot.
  • Tavern on the Square (Cambridge): a local chain, food’s OK…sports bar atmosphere
  • Not Your Average Joe’s (multiple locations): a local chain, food is good and reasonably priced

Night Life:

  • Legal Seafood at the Seaport–expensive but you can’t beat the view
  • Sissy K’s–I haven’t been there yet, but I heard it’s great
  • Bell in Hand–fun pub in Fanueil Hall area
  • Science Museum (Porter Square)
  • Joshua Tree (Porter Square)
  • McGoon’s Irish Pub (Tufts)–love their beer selection
  • Mead Hall (Kendall Square)–killer beer selection on tap
  • Toads: good local music–only serve beer and wine
  • Russel House: killer drinks–only went for post-dinner drinks but they were really different and interesting
  • Boston Beer Works

Things To Do:

  • Duck Boat Tour (look for a Groupon–otherwise, can be pricey)–also, you’ll need to schedule this ahead of time
  • Walk the Freedom Trail (Free!)–be sure to check out Bunker Hill–I loved it
  • The JFK Museum-one of my favorite things in the city–it’s $10 to get in, but sometimes you can get reduced passes or free passes at the library
  • Boston Public Library Tour-free on Sundays at 2 PM–so good!! A little long (2 hours ish, I think) but really well done
  • Walden Pond (Concord): Thoreau lived here for a year and wrote Walden Pond–it’s gorgeous and they have a replica of his home as well as the remnants of his original place. You’ll need to Zipcar a car to do this.
  • Orchard House: Louisa May Alcott’s Home: tour is $10 and well worth it. You’ll need to Zipcar a car.
  • American Repertory Theater (ART) (Cambridge)–great local theater
  • Broadway a the Boston Opera House–pricey, but the theater is AMAZING. So gorgeous.
  • Catch a movie (free) at the hatch shell
  • Catch a concert at the Blue Hills Pavilion
  • Fanueil Hall
  • Kayak in the Charles River (can pick this up in Kendall Square)–SO fun!!! We did this on my birthday and it was a blast. I got a Groupon, so you may want to keep your eyes peeled
  • Take the Commuter Rail to Newport and spend the day–get a lobsta roll and chowda at the Brick Alley Pub. Check out the Breakers or the other mansions in the area–Newport is one of my favorite places (it’s about an hour by car), so beautiful and a typical New England city
  • Rent a Zipcar for the day and go hiking in the White Mountains (New Hampshire)–New Hampshire is one of my favorite things about this area
  • Spend a Sunday in the Southend and go to SoWa, a vintage market and farmer’s market–the few times I’ve been, they’ve had fresh homemade donuts, breads, cheeses, and vegetables. Great vintage shopping, if you’re into that sort of thing
  • Rent a paddle boat on Boston Public Garden
  • Sox game! I’m not a huge baseball fan, but the stadium is awesome (the oldest in the country–you can do tours for $14) and the experience is fun (it’s no Swamp, but it’s fun)…one of those things you have to do while you’re here 😉
  • Tour the Boston Science Museum: great for a rainy day. I have a season pass and love taking the twins (my cousins) or friends when their in town
  • Rent a Zipcar and check out the strawberry festival in Concord–was really fun for a Saturday afternoon
  • Tour the Harpoon Brewery
  • The Cider House (Somerville)–just opened, heard it was cool but haven’t been

Enjoy the City,

C

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