While visiting big cities has seemed like a travel faux pas in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Boston has slowly been reawakening, allowing indoor and outdoor dining to reopen as of June 22nd, 2020. My best friend has lived in Boston for years, and amidst her making the move to cozy Cambridge at the end of summer, I decided it was time for a weekend visit to see her new stomping ground.
One of the best things about having a friend who is a local in any city is that they know all best places to eat. From Seaport to Cambridge, here's my restaurant guide to Beantown:
Ward 8 - North End
This quirky Gastropub on the North End is your perfect place if you're looking for delicious craft cocktails and a variety of hip dishes inspired from all over the world.
We sat in their outdoor area adorned with Edison lights and brick accents. I highly recommend the pork belly steam buns and ramen.
Russel House Tavern - Cambridge
This is the perfect brunch stop located right in Harvard Square. They have a beautiful courtyard area, along with lots of indoor seating in their two story building, making it easy to stay safely away from others.
Their maple-sriracha glazed crispy brussels sprouts were some of the best I've ever had.
Del Friscos - Seaport
Okay, don’t get me wrong, I’m a ride or die Ocean Prime girl, but I have it on good authority that Boston’s Del Frisco’s is the best place in town for a night of steak and seafood in a decedent upscale steakhouse overlooking the harbor.
Lookout Rooftop @ The Envoy Hotel - Seaport
This rooftop bar at the Envoy Hotel has some of the best views in Boston, making this the perfect happy hour spot to hit up before setting off for a great dinner nearby. Since the current regulations call for food being ordered with any alcoholic beverage, we only shared a couple appetizers, but I highly recommend their guacamole with plantain chips.
Island Creek Oyster Bar - Fenway
I tried this place back in college, and it was always a place I remembered. This was the first place I've ever tried oysters - and with 14 different varieties to pick from, it was love at first bite (or swallow?).
This farm-to-table restaurant felt deeply "Boston" to me, so if you're looking for traditional New England Seafood on your Boston getaway, this place is a must try. Note: Island Creek's Boston location is not yet open from the pandemic-forced closure. However, their sister restaurant, Row 34, in Seaport is open for indoor and outdoor dining.
Bell in Hand Tavern - Government Center
This pub is famed to have been frequented by the likes of Daniel Webster, Paul Revere, and William McKinley, along with being America's oldest withstanding tavern, opening it's doors in 1795. I stopped here on a winter visit last year, and was immediately charmed by the antique interior, making you feel like you stepped back in time with a modern sports bar twist.
Strip by Strega - Theater District
We stayed at the Boston Park Plaza while visiting Boston and this sleek little steakhouse was conveniently adjoined to the hotel. We stopped here for a night cap, sitting at the bar for one of their beautifully mastered drink concoctions. Having already gone to dinner, we simply ordered an arugula salad (which was amazing), but someone at a table next to me ordered the Gnocchi and it looked so good I was one drink away from asking if I could have a bite.
Villa Francesca - North End
This is one your those classic Italian restaurants in Boston's North End. I've been here twice, once for lunch and once for dinner, and the food is always delicious and authentic. I'm a big fan of their pasta dishes, but I highly recommend ordering their seafood menu which includes an appetizer, entrée, and desert - the frutti di mare is to die for. They also toss select fettuccine pasta dishes in a wheel of cheese at your table, which may be as flashy as ordering fajitas at a Mexican restaurant, but I'm here for all of it.
Loretta's Last Call - Fenway
Looking for Nashville in Boston? Loretta's Last Call is the perfect place for a fun girl's day brunch or dinner, with tasty mason jar cocktails, live country music, and a traditional southern menu with choices like hush puppies, Nashville hot chicken, and shimp po-boy.
Barcelona Wine Bar - South End
Although I didn't get the chance to eat here, this South End wine and tapas bar was recommended to me by multiple people. They have an extensive menu of traditional Spanish tapas, with a sister location in Brookline. The paella salvaje will definitely be on my list for next visit.
What are your favorite restaurants in Boston? Let us know in the comments below!
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