People of New England, Advise Me

So we’re taking a spring break later this month and heading to Boston for a couple of days. I haven’t lived there in 10 years, and the last time I did, I was a poor-as-shit grad student and going to Mr. Bartley’s for a burger was a special treat.* So tell me, people of New England: where MUST we eat when we’re there?

*Truth be told, it still kinda is.

33 thoughts on “People of New England, Advise Me

  1. South End: Coppa
    South Boston: Drink
    Kenmore: Eastern Standard and Island Creek Oyster Bar
    Central Square: Craigie, Rendezvous, and my personal favorite, Green St. (for the bar)
    Harvard: Russell House Tavern
    Somerville: Red Bones, Bergamot, and Highland Kitchen
    Roxbury: Speed’s Hot Dog Truck

  2. Orinoco; there’s one in Brookline Village and one in the South End:
    http://www.orinocokitchen.com/
    I have yet to eat something here and not ADORE it. Get a Martinon if you like cashew juice.

    Green Street Grill in Central Square:
    http://www.greenstreetgrill.com/
    The open secret about this place: ask for the full cocktail menu. It’s 6 or so pages rather than the standard half sheet, and full of awesomeness.

    The Breakfast Club diner in Allston is worth the usual wait on the weekend.

  3. When I was living in Boston, I was also dirt poor, but my top three not-too-expensive treats were India Quality (Kenmore), the truffle fries at the Cellar Bar in Cambridge, and ice cream at Christina’s (Inman Square).

  4. My absolute fave in Boston is right around the corner from me in Jamaica Plain, Ten Tables. They have a location in Cambridge, as well. I also really like Dali and Sportello.

  5. Do yourself a favor and have some ice cream at Herrell’s in Allston. Do yourself an even bigger favor and have a hot fudge sundae! They sell jars of the hot fudge to take home with you and I buy some every time I’m home, it’s the best!!

  6. The 10 course tasting menu at Craigie was definitely the best meal I’ve ever had, and they also have a pig’s head entree (seriously, the pig’s head) for two. Awesome.

    I need to bookmark this post for future eating ideas.

  7. You know what I am really looking forward to eating next time I’m in Boston? Soup dumplings from Gourmet Dumpling House in Chinatown. I will probably burn the hell out of my mouth but come on, dumplings filled with soup!

  8. Clio has amazing food but is super pricey, so if you eat anywhere down on Newbury, make sure you go the block over to the corner of Comm Ave and Mass Ave and pop into the bar at Clio where they have some of the best cocktails in the entire city. I second Green Street (also delish cocktails there) as well as Bondir just a stone’s throw from Central Square (book a week out though). Russell House and Hungry Mother that were suggested are also good.

    Hands down our fave restaurant in town is Erbaluce though. Amazing amazing amazing amazing. I could eat there every day and be happy as a clam. Menu changes every night and he uses fresh, local ingredients when he can. http://www.erbaluce-boston.com/

    One of our other faves is T.W. Food, also big on local, organic produce and a menu that is ever changing. http://www.twfoodrestaurant.com/

  9. I have to second the recommendation for 10 Tables in Jamaica Plain. I grew up in the Boston area and now live in San Francisco and it is still my favorite restaurant.

  10. ten tables in jp! in addition to whatever else you get, get a salad. seriously. for some reason they’re able to do amazing things with a salad.

    jp licks (any location) for ice cream.

    and if you ever want to just hit a dive bar, delux cafe in back bay has a shrine to elvis, a year-round christmas tree, and eloise pages in the bathroom.

  11. Another vote for Ten Tables!

    My other favorite place is The Elephant Walk (there’s locations in Cambridge, Boston and Waltham) — Cambodian food, which is not something you run into everywhere. The Loc Lac is brilliant.

    Can’t go wrong at Dali or Tapeo (or Cuchi Cuchi, another tapas place owned by friends of the owner of the first two).

  12. Some really good recommendations here! We like Hungry Mother, Ten Tables in Cambridge and Craigie, but also Ana Sortun’s Oleana in Cambridge for Mediterranean food and her bakery/cafe, Sofra. Have a great trip!

  13. If you want death by chocolate, Cafe Fleuri at the Langham Hotel has a fab Chocolate Bar – an all you can eat dessert buffet. I suggest wearing stretch waist pants if you go. ;)

    Great list! I’m so bookmarking this post. I’m moving closer to Boston this summer and I can’t wait to try some of these places.

  14. When I was college poor in Kenmore Square I loved Angora Cafe on Com Ave. http://www.angoracafe.com/. It has ginomous sandwiches, pretty good calzones and custom blended fro yo ( which if I’m honest most of us in my dorm lived off of it was so good). Man, just thinking about it gives me hunger pangs… Have an awesome time!

  15. Not sure I have anything new to add here, but additional votes of confidence for the following: Bondir, Oleana, Troquet, Craigie on Main, TW Food, Pigalle. Have fun! – S

  16. I’m seconding (thirding, and fourthing in some cases) a lot of votes here, but definitely Craigie on Main. Coppa and Torro in the south end are amazing. Ten Tables, Hungry Mother and Oleana in Cambridge. Oiishi in the south end for sushi. You also can’t go wrong with the Butcher Shop or B&G Oyster, or any Barbara Lynch restaurant for that matter (Drink, Sportello, Number 9 Park).

  17. Oh yeah-and another vote for Sofra-hit that up for lunch someday-a bit of a drive but so worth it! They make this elderberry/yogurt drink in the summertime that is TO DIE FOR. Another great lunch spot is Flour (locations in the South End and Cambridge), they have awesome sandwiches. And cookies. And what proper lunch is complete without a cookie?

  18. You’ve already got a ton of great restaurant recommendations, so I won’t even bother with that. If you go with Ten Tables in JP [which is awesome], try to make time to stop into one of the great bars around there. The Galway House is on Centre Street and is a hole in the wall townie bar with great drinks and free popcorn. Their food is also really good. Also in that neighborhood is Tres Gatos, a book store / cafe / tapas restaurant that is amazing.

  19. New American: Gallows. Seriously.
    Northern Italian: Erbaluce
    Divey Red Sauce Italian: Anchovies
    10 Course Tasting Menu, New American: Craige on Main
    French: Petit Robert Bistro
    Super High End French: Menton
    Craft Cocktails: Drink
    Craft Cocktails with food: Green Street
    Awesome Rotating Beer list w/pizza: Picco
    Peruvian: Don Ricardo’s (order anything with the carrot sauce)
    Venezuelan: Orinoco
    Shabu: Kaze Shabu
    Taiwanese: Taiwan Cafe
    Vietnamese/Pho: Xhin Xhin
    Pastry: Flour
    Iced Coffee: 1369
    Good beer at odd hours to avoid the crazy croud: Lord Hobo

    If you must do Giacomo’s, go to the South End location. They take reservations and serve dessert. The Amaretto version of tiramisu is good.

    You’re welcome to email me for more recs if you have a better itinerary.

  20. Oh yeah.

    Tapas: Torro
    Salumi: Coppa
    Ice Cream: Christina’s
    Brunch: Fritz
    Asian Fusion: Myers+Chang

    …I promise I’ll stop soon.

  21. I’ve lived essentially down the street from Ten Tables for years and have never gone. There is no way I can get my husband into a fancy place like that without veterinary-grade sedatives.

    However, would you like some haggis? The Haven ( http://www.thehavenjp.com ) is also in JP, a kick ass Scottish restaurant and bar. Also, about 2 blocks away is El Oriental de Cuba, aka The Cuban Restaurant That Got Blown Up. We had a little bit of an arson problem in the neighbourhood a few years ago and it got firebombed RIGHT when we moved to JP, so for a year or so we just kept having to hear about how great it was but couldn’t go. It has since been rebuilt. It rocks ass. Both these places are just on the other side of the SPCA hospital from my apartment. You can also go to the Brendan Behan for a beer after – not that there’s anything wrong with Galway House, but the Behan is my local. No doubt it was around when you lived here, but I don’t know how much you came to JP.

    I second, third, or a-millionth JP Licks, who FINALLY just posted their April flavours. lexy mentioned Flour – there’s actually a third location in the Fort Point area, so if you do go to Sportello (another place I want to go but can’t afford), a block back towards the bridge is Flour. And at the end of that block is my office, so it still fits in the Camille Tour of Boston.

  22. Bartley’s Burger Cottage – esp the fries with gravy and the raspberry-lime rickey

    Mary Chung’s in Central square. get the suan la chow show

    Toscanini’s Ice Cream in Central square. Every.Damn.Day.

    Barking Crab seafood. Cheesy, I know, but you’ll remember it.

    Whatever is the current best sushi place in town.

    Chau Chow City Restaurant for Dim Sum. Still the best in town.

  23. I’m not a foodie but I’ve had good food at Deep Ellum and Brown Sugar, both in Allston, and Il Vilaggio in the North End. Deep Ellum is a gastropub, Brown Sugar is thai, and Il Vil is a very small Italian place. There are a lot of other great places mentioned above, too.

  24. I’m shocked not to see Brookline/Brookline Village favs Cutty’s http://www.cuttyfoods.com/ and Lineage http://www.lineagerestaurant.com/home/ in these comments. (And Orinoco IS! I always have problems with the service at Orinoco’s Brookline location.)

    Cutty’s keeps getting spotlighted in food mags and media, perhaps because Charles Kelsey, the owner/chef, is an America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated alum? Try the roast beef. Last time I was at Lineage the regular male bartender was super-attractive and super-knowledgeable re: wine; try the lobster tacos and butterscotch pudding.

  25. Cannoli, Mike’s Pastry or Modern in the North End.

    Brunch/Breakfast: Mike & Patty’s in Bay Village (get the bacon & egg fancy or the torta)

    Pho: Pho Hoa or Pho Pasteur in Chinatown

    Banh mi: 163 Sandwich Shop in Chinatown

    Vegan: Life Alive in Central Square

    Wine/Cheese: Thursday wine tastings at Central Bottle in Central Square (right next to Flour!)

    Coffee: Thinking Cup (right next to Boston Common, go over after touring the Freedom Trail and the Common)

    Sandwiches: Parish Cafe (guest chefs create sandwiches for the menu) – right near the Common

    Drinks: Enormous Room in Central Square (also right next to Central Kitchen, which has good food).

  26. You must try out the South End Fromagerie- cute guys with a very welcoming attitude. Lots of stanky, oozy cheeses.

    My husband lived in JP and took me to Ten Tables- I highly recommend it!

    Christina’s in Cambridge has burnt sugar ice cream. And carrot cake ice cream. And molasses ice cream. And other wonderful things.

    Charlie’s in Cambridge has great chowder and beer selection. My husband would like to put in his two cents that “the smart f*cks in Cambridge won’t take passports as valid identification.” That shouldn’t be a problem for you, though.

    Food Wall dumplings in JP. They are very different than ones I’m used to other places- much bigger and doughier (and addictive-ier).

    If you have a dog and are taking them with, there is the Brendan Behan in JP- a very dog-friendly bar. If you’re lucky, the Salvadoran carry-out joint next door might be open again with some scrumptious papusas to go alongside your endurance pale ale.

    OH, and bring an enormous wad of cash and don’t plan on splitting any checks.

  27. Oh, apparently the Salvadoran papusas place is shut down forever because of failed health inspection/tax-evasion/etc… Sorry.

  28. LesEspalier! Say no more!!!! James is AMAZING!!! Louis knows his cheeses inside and out! Eric and Erik are the BEST sommiliers this side of Paris!!!

    On the other hand, you NEED to head up to Essex and have fried clams at Woodman’s……nuf said…

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