• I Think I’ll Go To Boston

    June 6, 2011

    Apparently, everyone is visiting Boston this summer, so I thought it was time to put together a blog post about my favorite places to eat, drink, and be merry in Boston!

    Boston (480x360)

    Where to Stay

    The Colonnade Hotel
    120 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA

    The Colonnade Hotel is located in the Back Bay/Copley area of Boston, right on Huntington Avenue across from the Prudential, so, basically, it’s near everything. The rooms are gorgeous, Brasserie Jo (the hotel restaurant)is delicious, and there’s a pool on the roof! My reviews: The Colonnade Hotel.

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    Hotel Veritas
    1 Remington Street
    Cambridge, MA

    Hotel Veritas is a 30-room independent hotel located in Harvard Square. The exterior of the hotel is a reconstruction of a car repair shop and a house built in the 1880’s. The hotel also includes a funky lounge in the lobby called the Simple Truth. It’s a great place to enjoy a glass of wine and enjoy some good conversation. My review: Hotel Veritas.

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    Since I’m from Boston, I don’t often stay in hotels, so in the Spring of 2010, I asked my blog readers for their recommendations about where to stay in Boston. Here’s a list of their recommendations: Hotel Recommendations from CNC Readers.

    Where to Eat

    My Favorite Restaurants

    Sonsie
    327 Newbury Street
    Boston, MA

    1191

    I always recommend Sonsie to out-of-towners. I love it for many reasons, but my favorite is the big French doors that open onto Newbury Street— perfect for people watching! When the weather is nice, they give the restaurant a nice airy, cozy feeling. Quick tip: Ask to sit in the café area at the restaurant where you get the best people watching view and a more affordable menu. I love the flatbread pizzas!

    Mike & Patty’s
    12 Church Street
    Boston, MA

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    Three words: Grilled Banana Sandwich. It will change your life. But, seriously, if you’re in the mood for a great sandwich, Mike & Patty’s is the place to go. The owners are also incredibly nice! My reviews: Mike & Patty’s

    Grendel’s Den
    89 Winthrop Street
    Cambridge, MA

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    Pretty much anytime Mal and I visit Harvard Square, we pop into the Grendel’s Den for a meal or just drinks. I love pretty much everything about it— the food, selection of beer, cozy atmosphere, and the half price menu! You can’t go wrong with the Grendel’s Den. My reviews: Grendel’s Den

    Additional restaurant favorites (click for my reviews): Myers & Chang, Masa, Otherside Café, and Tory Row.

    My Favorite Coffee Shops

    It’s no surprise that I love iced coffee— even in the dead of winter! Marylou’s (multiple locations on the South Shore) and P.S. Gourmet (South Boston) are my favorite places to get my daily caffeine fix! I also love Crema Café in Harvard Square. It’s adorable and they make a mean latte, but they don’t have all of the fun flavors of iced coffee like Marylou’s and P.S. Gourmet.

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    My Favorite Places to Drink Beer

    I’m not a beer connoisseur by any means, but I know what I like and where to find it in the Boston area. Here are my favorite places to grab a quality brew.

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    Restaurants by Neighborhood

    Boston has so many wonderful places to eat! My restaurant reviews are organized by neighborhood, so depending where you stay, you can pick and choose from the nearby options: My Restaurant Reviews.

    What to Do

    Boston has a ton to see and do, especially in the warmer months. I really could go on and on about all of my favorite things to do here, but here’s a list of my absolute favorites. I also included some links at the bottom, which mention even more things to do.

    Fenway Park Tour
    4 Yawkey Way
    Boston, MA

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    The Fenway Park Tour is a 50-minute historic walking tour of the ballpark, guided by an official Fenway Park Tour Guide. I’m not a huge baseball fan, but I really loved this tour. It was so interesting! My review: Fenway Park Tour.

    Freedom Trail

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    The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads you to 16 nationally significant historic sites, including a unique collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond. You can walk the Freedom Trail on your own or take a guided tour. There’s also a Freedom Trail Run for the runners! I haven’t done it yet, but it looks really cool!

    Harvard Square

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    Plain and simple: Harvard Square is adorable. I love to wander around, window shop, and people watch there. Harvard Square also has hundreds of restaurants, retailers, museums, entertainment venues, bookstores, and, of course, Harvard Yard. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in town! My review: Harvard Square.

    Top of the Hub
    800 Boylston Street
    Boston, MA

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    The Top of the Hub is a fancy-schmancy, fine dining restaurant at the top of the Prudential building in downtown Boston. It’s touristy and overpriced, but grabbing at drink at the bar is totally worth it. The views are amazing and there’s often live jazz. My review: Top of the Hub.

    Skywalk Observatory
    800 Boylston Street
    Boston, MA

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    The Skywalk Observatory is Boston’s only “sky-high vantage point for sweeping 360 degree views of Greater Boston and beyond.” An audio tour is also provided detailing the city’s many points of historic and cultural interest. My review: Skywalk Observatory.

    Additional favorites: Faneuil Hall, Duck Tours, Harpoon Brewery Tour, Museum of Fine Arts, Newbury Street, North End, Sam Adams Brewery Tour, and Swan Boats. More information about Boston tourism: Great Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau.

    Have you ever visited Boston? Where did you stay and eat? What are your favorite things to do and see? 

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    { 95 comments… read them below or add one }

    Lauren June 6, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    This is my favorite song! Augustina, right?

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    Kayla @ Sprouty Buns June 6, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to Boston and this post has re-ingited the flame! Now just to save up enough money to truly enjoy all the city has to offer :)

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    Stephanie @ The Travelling Tastebuds June 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    I’ll have to revisit this post if I ever make a trip out to Boston :)

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    Cait June 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I LOVE that Augustana song!! I’m guessing that’s what you were thinking of for your title right?!

    I love these photos – I miss Boston so much and am just counting the days until I can move back there!!

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    Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner June 6, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Oh my gosh that hotel is GORGEOUS!!! Have you ever had a towel shaped-as-a-puppy???

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    Diane from NY June 6, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you so much Tina for doing this post and doing it so quickly!!! You’ll help us map out our Boston trip ~ and probably have a tough time choosing from so many great things to do!!!

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    Lee @ in the pink of condition June 6, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    I visit Boston a lot, because my sister and a few of my best friends live there. I personally love to eat in the cute Italian restaurants in the North End. One of the best restaurants I’ve been to in Boston though is Atlantic Fish. So delicious, and romantic as well!

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    Cynthia (It All Changes) June 6, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I go to Boston all the time for work but always hit up the same places. I’ve bookmarked this and will use it later this month :-)

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    Emily June 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks for the post, Tina! Even as a local, it’s good to know what other people love and enjoy in Boston :)

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    Hannah June 6, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Hey this is great! I was planning on going down to Boston with a few friends this summer, and I’ll definitely be looking at this when we’re planning our trip. Thanks!

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    Austin June 6, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    A couple favorites of mine in Boston:

    1. Wired Puppy (250 Newbury Street) – What better way to take a break from shopping than by stopping off for some coffee? The french press takes a little longer (~5-10 minutes), but is worth every minute of the wait! The Cinnamon Coffee Chip muffin was quite delicious too.

    2. Terramia Ristorante (98 Salem Street) – Fantastic Italian restaurant in the North End. Pricey, but the food is incredible. There’s only seating for about 20-30 inside, so I’d recommend making a reservation. And when you’re done eating, you can walk around the corner to Mike’s for some pastries.

    I’ve also heard great things about the Liberty Hotel (http://www.libertyhotel.com/). I’ve only seen the lobby, but the fact that it used to be the Charles Street Jail is reason enough to go visit!

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    Tina June 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    @Austin: The Liberty Hotel is really nice!!!

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    BroccoliHut June 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Definitely bookmarking this for later use! I haven’t visited since the HLS two years ago.

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    Lauren @ MRS June 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    I think I’ll go to Boston too, hee. I do love to finally see Boston, from the pictures and clips that I’ve seen, it seems like a lovely and inviting city.

    Reply

    Heidi June 6, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    this post absolutely reminded me how much i miss boston :( Thank goodness it’s my five year reunion this year – I’m beginning to withdrawl!

    My former favorite places:
    drinks: green dragon in the North End; Conor Larkins on Huntington Ave (what? I was an NU grad!); andthe Landing over on Long Wharf. Perfect place to enjoy a nice summer drink (try the guppy bowl) :)
    Eat: Grasshopper Cafe off Brighton Ave (i think it’s been like 7 years since i’ve been…) a vegan chinese food restaurant :) http://www.grasshoppervegan.info/
    hotel: gotta agree about the Colonnade – especially since that was right in old stomping grounds :)

    To do? Visit the Make Way for Ducklings statue in the Public Garden, and I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong strolling around Newbury or catching a concert on the Esplanade.

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    Alaina June 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    I love Sonsie!! Have you been to their sister property Back Bay Social Club? They have the best cocktail – the Gin Somethin’…and chicken & waffles. :-P

    I was just walking through the common and garden today and just thinking how much I love Boston!

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    Joan June 6, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Love, love, love Boston! I think I have done all but two on your “what to do” list! I come at least twice each year. I will write down your restaurant choices. I have been to so many but I don’t remember the names except the ones in Somerville. My daughter lives one block from Ball Square and they have great food there too. Kelly’s Dinner, yummy breakfast. Puscatore ( I think that’s the name, it’s around the corner from Kelly’s Dinner), delicious. Red Bones in Davis Square, love their nachos! I am looking forward to coming in September.

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    Elizabeth June 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    I saw this today and couldn’t help but think of you. We’ve never met, but I always think of the blog when I see pug stuff!

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/69892076/eye-love-pugs-eco-friendly-7×9-print

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    Tina June 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    @Elizabeth: Cute!

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    Katie @ peacebeme June 7, 2011 at 12:07 am

    I have been to Boston for five times. My younger sister went to college there. Did you grow up there?not sure if you have ever mentioned that…

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    Kristin June 7, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Awesome list ! Do you ever go to Java House on East Broadway in Southie? That is my absolute favorite! They have a million flavors :)

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    Tina June 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    @Kristin: I haven’t, but maybe I should!!!

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    Jennifer June 7, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Thank you so much Tina! It will be very helpful when I come in boston on september.

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    Danielle June 7, 2011 at 6:15 am

    If you like flatbreads, you should check out Flatbread Pizza! It is a chain but they use only organic ingredience. I would eat there everyday if I could. There is one in Daivs Square in a bowling alley.

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    Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living June 7, 2011 at 8:00 am

    This is a fantastic overview of our wonderful city! My husband and I keep “threatening” to play tourist in Boston for a weekend and do non-local things like go on a duck tour. I love this city :).

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    Michelle June 7, 2011 at 8:52 am

    One of my favorites is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It’s a hidden gem!

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    Jaime June 7, 2011 at 8:52 am

    This is now bookmarked and very much appreciated. Our annual “ear” conference is in Boston next year (March 2012) and this will be extremely helpful.

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    chelsea June 7, 2011 at 9:09 am

    im lucky to live 75 minutes away from boston :) i love living in Massachusetts!

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    Rachel L June 7, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I think I WANT to go to Boston now! Good thing it’s not too far from Maine

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    Meg June 7, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I would add Henrietta’s Table on to the list of yummy restaurants!

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    Tina June 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    @Meg: I agree! I should add it to the list!

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    Marcus June 7, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I plan on coming to Boston this summer to see my Soxs. I’d like to check out Salem and also the Sam Brewery. Any nice but inexpensive hotel ideas?

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    Sabrina June 7, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Thanks Tina! Can’t wait to see all the places…I have a long time lol I’m moving there in July!

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    Steph June 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks for this great post. I am heading to Boston in July and was thinking about asking you these exact questions.

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    natalie (the sweets life) June 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I LOVED our few days in Boston last Fall, one of my favorite cities I’ve ever visited! We went to Mike and Patty’s twice and I swear I’ll return, if only to go back there! :) Also loved Myers + Chang, Flour Bakery, and all the ice cream places we tried! (JP Licks, Toscanini’s, and Christine’s!!!)

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    Kristyn June 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I relocated to Boston two years ago, and one place that is always a hit when my family comes to visit is Mercato del Mare. It’s a great seafood market in the North End, but they also give oyster shucking lessons! You get to eat what you shuck at a dollar a piece, definitely not a bad deal for seafood that is so fresh.

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    Caitlin June 7, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Oh, how I miss Sonsie! I used to work a block down from them — it was always an after-work hangout! And their salads are awesome for lunch.

    Can’t wait to get back to Boston =)

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    Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope June 7, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I was born in Brockton:) Moved to Fl at the age of 9, but i go back every year to visit my sister. Truly the best city in the world.

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    allie November 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    OMG PS GOURMET!!! So good. My roommates and I discovered a few months ago and now we are double parked on Dorchester St like every other jerk on Saturday mornings. So worth it.

    Sonsie and Publick House, also great picks. All around, solid recommendations!
    Boston love <3
    -Allie

    blog.neverbroken.com

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    Raquel February 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I had my first experience in Boston in September when I represented my company at the MIT career fair. I managed to tour MIT, Harvard, see the town and take in a Red Sox game in a 48 hour period (Had to be back in San Francisco on Friday morning after arriving in Boston late Wednesday night). What a great town and I cannot wait to go back!

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    Debbie February 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Have you been to Scollay Square for Brunch? It is near the State House. We went this Sunday…definately worth the trip if you are in town!
    Best to make reservations. We didn’t have any but they had a table top in the back available…which was good too.

    Reply

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