Thanks to all our friends who shared their Boston favorites and helped with recommendations. We’d consider this long-weekend a Vacation Success.
Hey, a few unsolicited tips on Boston. Bleacher Bar on Lansdowne St, part of Fenway. Dinner w jazz/blues at The Beehive in South End. Drink at Anchovies on Columbus (great neighborhood bar). Seafood at Giacomo’s next door. Just as good as North End parent, and unlike North End, this one takes reservations. (Bring cash). Late night drink at Delux in South end (kitschy neighborhood bar). Beer at Five Horse Tavern on Columbus (outside seating, too). Late night jazz at Wally’s on Mass Ave — Peter, a friend who’s lived in the South End
Brian found this local dive thank to Yelp. Peter messaged me the next day, recommending Anchovies too. Within walking distance of our AirBnB, Anchovies is a basement Italian joint that served up the most amazing polenta, sausage and peppers. The drinks were generously poured and the wait staff was awesome. If you are in the South End, or staying nearby, add this to your list.
We met a great Uber driver on our way back from the Freedom trail walk. A Fine Arts major, he gave us great recommendations on the Museum of Fine Arts and the Gardner Museum. As we drove into our idyllic street in South End, he said, “Are you guys up for a little detour? I’ll show you my favorite restaurants in this part of town.” We gladly obliged. And, thank goodness. He recommended Coppa, along with a martini bar across the street on Shawmut. Coppa’s Italian fare was so delicious. We shared steak tartare, ricotta on toast with peas and fava beans to start. And, rigatoni in meat sauce with a side of meatballs.
Several friends recommended the Beehive. So, we made Saturday night reservations. The jazz trio was great. The bass player was a young quirky guy who made the oddest facial expressions while he played. The drummer was a chill forty-something who carried the group. The saxophone player wore a scruffy beard and chugged from 20 oz bottle of “beer”. They were very entertaining, and sounded good together despite it being obvious that they didn’t usually play together. The food at the Beehive was a disappointment. We should have been tipped off by the paper napkins. I think we’d set the bar too high by the time we ate at the Beehive. We’d had delicious meals everywhere we went over the weekend, so we had great expectations. The baked hake was good, but bland. The ricotta and rhubarb was too wet. Given all the great restaurants just on that block, we struggle to recommend Beehive. But, our Boston local friends love it, so maybe we hit it on an off night.
My all time favorite, Beehive, for jazz/dinner in the South End and Eastern Standard for brunch in Fenway-Kenmore. Elephant Walk is also in South End for Cambodian-French if you’re feeling adventurous.
And don’t forget to walk from North End to Zakim Bridge- there’s a beautiful park area and light exhibit under the bridge. — Stacey, a Colorado friend who was lucky enough to live in Boston for a few years.
After walking the SOWA market, we cooled off at Gaslight. A French brunch place, not far from the market. The SOWA market was way more quiet and smaller than we’d expected. Could have been due to timing of our visit just ahead of the 4th of July.
The Gaslight brunch was so delicious. The crowd was a mix of neighborhood couples and a handful of tourists. Their wine selection was pretty extensive, given that it was brunch. This was a great find, in really great neighborhood.
Our amazing friends offered great recommendations. Here’s a few more:
Walk into the lobby of the Liberty Hotel. It’s built from a 150-year-old prison. Lobby and Clink bar are very cool.
Colonnade Hotel has rooftop bar by pool. Before or after MFA, check out the Mapparium. Part of Christian Science Church. Has a cool glass Globe that you walk into, with world as of 1930
One thing we learned on this trip, is to avoid the highly-reviewed places. Just like the Beehive, Lemocello disappointed. Set right in the heart of the North End, it was packed. And, they packed us in. We sat less than a foot away from the adjacent table. The family across from us kept joining into our conversation. The scallops we ordered as an appetizer were delicious, but the veal for dinner was over cooked. Total bummer, given the reputation of the North End. If you have an Italian recommendation, please share.
Here are just a few more recommendations from our friend, Jay. He and his family returned to Boston for vacation a few weeks before our trip. Note to self, next time, listen to Jay’s North End recommendations.
If u like Italian then eat anywhere in the North End. Hanover is the main street. Most places hav like 8 tables. All good. Wherever u eat, Mikes pastry on Hanover is a must esp if u like cannolis. They’re like the cheescake factory of cannolis but a tiny hole in the wall and only takes cash. Also no seating there, they box it and u eat em as u walk around. Bell In Hand is the oldest pub in the US. Google Faneuil Hall. Dozens of pubs and eateries and shops. 5 min walk from the North End and bell in hand between the two. Faneuil hall and north end are both places you can hit more than once to try different places
Boston Beer Works. Adjacent to Fenway Park. Im all about french fries. The sour cream n chive fries i hav not been able to find anywhere else. Their blueberry ale has real Maine blueberries floated in it. The pastrami is awesome if u like reubens. — Jay, an old neighbor and long-time friend.
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