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Boston, Massachusetts: Must-Try Foods During Your Weekend in Boston

We grabbed some cheap Spirit tickets and made ourselves a

long weekend trip during one of the coldest snow storms this winter. What kept us going? All of the warm and delicious food that we devoured. Naturally we planned out our breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day before planning any accommodations. It made for a great snowy weekend that left me full and repeating, “we should definitely come back again when it warms up.”

Listed are some delicious recommendations of what amazing New England dishes to try while you're there...

New England Clam Chowder at Union Oyster House

41 Union Street

Boston, MA 02108

What is it? Thick, creamy soup with diced clam, often also containing vegetables like potatoes, celery, and onion. Don’t forget to add the oyster crackers! Tell me more…

Around Boston, especially if you’re there in the wintertime, New England clam chowder is one of the best starters (or meals) you can eat. Creamy hot soup with clams and veggies, this bisque of a dish is said to be the best at Union Oyster House. Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant and bar in the United States, with the original bar still intact. The inside is warm, wooden, and cozy- a great stop on a cold night when you’re craving some authentic Boston seafood. It tasted so good, we tried it at multiple other locations around the city and couldn’t get enough. Even if you can’t reach Union Oyster House, don’t leave Boston without trying a taste of this dish somewhere around the city.

Boston Cream Pie at Omni Parker House

60 School Street Boston, Massachusetts 02108

What is it? Yellow butter cake filled with custard or cream, topped with a thin layer of glazed chocolate Tell Me more…

Boston Cream Pie is a beloved dessert around the country, but was perfected right in the heart of Boston at the historic Omni Parker Hotel. The Omni Parker House is a historical stop in Boston, said to be where JFK proposed to Jackie O, and writers like Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne met for regular meet ups during their time. It’s also said to be haunted (spoooky). We made it a point to stop here and give it a try, and figured, why not make a reservation for a whole meal while we are at it? Stuffed, we happily found room to squeeze in some extra bites of the Boston cream pie. Still made fresh everyday, what’s more authentic than a Boston cream pie from the people who created it?

Italian Food from the North End

(Carmelina’s and Caffé Vittoria suggested)

Like what? Pasta, Pizza, Italian Coffee

Tell me more…

If you’re an Italian food lover like me, the North End is an essential area to explore and eat around in Boston. The streets are lined with pizza, pasta, seafood, and desserts (what dreams are made of). We made our way to Carmelina’s and ate some of the best seafood pasta I have had in a long time. Everything was made fresh in the open kitchen that spills into the dining area and filled us to the brim. We also made our way to Caffé Vittoria across the street, which opened in 1929 and is said to be the oldest Italian cafe in Boston. This packed and intimate space was a great place to squeeze in and grab some great coffee and desserts! I can’t reiterate enough how kind the staff at Caffé Vittoria is; I love visiting spots that truly still feel like a family restaurant.

Cannolis at Mike’s Pastry

300 Hanover Street

Boston, MA 02113

What is it? A cylinder shell of fried dough filled with a variety of different cream fillings, some traditionally containing ricotta. Tell me more…

I had never tried a cannoli before Boston. With a crispy outside, which might remind you of a fortune cookie, and a creamy filling of any flavor you could desire, Mike’s cannolis have long been considered the best in town. Mike’s Pastry opened in 1946 and continues today, open 365 days a year, as a Bostonian classic. Even in “feels like -15” degree weather, Mike's was jam-packed full of tourists and locals alike when we stopped by. I happily searched the lines for the shortest one, making myself like a local weaving to the front. Nearby people pulled out lists of orders, stacking the famous Mike’s Pastry boxes in their arms and squeezing their way back outside. When I got mine I was shocked by how fresh it tasted until I peeked behind the counter to see bakers diligently working in the back to keep up with the orders. Trust me, well worth the wait!

Boston Market Foods

Like what? Union Square Donuts, Red Apple Farm, fresh veggie stalls Tell me more... If you’re a food lover, then the Boston Market is an essential stop on your trip to the city. There are multiple buildings that make up marketplaces flooding the area: Quincy Market, the outdoor market, the north side market, the south side market, and then the Boston public market. Make your way around all of these parts (also partially functioning under the National Park Service) for a full meal or simply for some afternoon snacks. Each area is lined with food and shops where you can walk around or just sit and enjoy some live laidback music. Then, once you’ve had your fill of fried food and sweets, be sure to make your way to the fresh outdoor market full of fruits and veggies.

Boston Creme Donut at Union Square Donuts

136 Blackstone Street Boston, MA 02109

What is it? A yellow doughnut with a chocolate glaze and a creamy custard filling (essentially, a Boston cream pie in doughnut version) Tell me more... Yes I agree, doughnut spots have become more and more “hip” over the past couple years and has caused an influx of trendy doughnut shops (do I sound like a grandmother?). I haven’t really fallen for the trend. But I was recommended Union Square Donuts by multiple friends, and when I stumbled upon the Boston Public Market shop, I knew I had to give it a try. The Boston Cream Donut was one that I just had to taste while I was visiting, and as a non-local, I definitely struggled to eat it without getting filling all over myself. That being said, I will admit, it was delicious.

Crab Cakes at Legal Sea Food

255 State Street Boston, MA 02109

What is it? Lumped crab meat, cooked and shaped together with a variety of different ingredients, sometimes including breadcrumbs, mayo, mustard, eggs, seasoning, and diced veggies

Tell me more…

Legal Sea Foods has spread around the Northeast, but began its long history in the early 20th century as a grocery store that got its name from the legal trading stamps used at the family grocery. Soon, the seafood restaurant opened next door, and the rest is history. I was hesitant to make this a stop during our trip, simply because it has spread out so much around the Northeast area and I didn’t want to take the time to visit a chain. But it ended up being a great, easy spot to stop for fresh seafood. I specifically wanted to try their crab cakes, a dish they are particularly known for. Even if you stop by for just the crab cake appetizer and some drinks, you will leave satisfied and ready for the next spot!

And ALL Other Fresh Seafood

Like what? Lobster, Oysters, Mussels, Crab

Tell me more...

Speaking of seafood, make it your goal to try as many different seafood dishes as possible while in Boston. So fresh and so delicious, you can find oysters, lobster, mussels, crab, and a variety of different fish all around the city of Boston. I inhaled seafood everywhere we went and, as a midwestern Chicagoan, I still can’t get over how truly delicious, fresh, and wonderful it all was.

Breakfast Sandwiches at Mike & Patty's

12 Church Street

Boston, MA 02116

Any Suggestions? The Breakfast Grilled Crack, The Fancy

Tell me more... Now, Mike & Patty's was a local recommendation, and I doubt I would have found it otherwise. Located just south of Boston Common, this corner store is on a residential street and blends in with the local row homes. With one list hanging on the wall as the menu, it’s impossible to go wrong with your choice in breakfast sandwich. I tried the “Breakfast Grilled Crack,” essentially 4 different cheeses with eggs and bacon on a sourdough, and the “Fancy,” eggs, cheese, bacon, avocado, and red onion on a multigrain bun. Honestly, I know you will be in heaven eating any of them. Expect the small corner space to be packed with people!

Romantic Restaurants around Boston Common

For example? Mooo..., Teatron

Tell me more…

We found a lot of happiness touring around Boston Common and eating at some date-night spots in the area. Two highly rated and accessible places (you can make reservations for both on OpenTable) were Mooo... and Teatron. Mooo... is great if you are looking for a high-end experience. It is a gorgeous and delicious restaurant right on the north side of Boston Common. Teatron is a more intimate dining experience, a sliver of a restaurant with a chic bar in the front and tables in the back, where we sat down and were quickly served delicious and uniquely creative drinks, bread, and cuisine.

College Campus Cuisine

For Example? Tiger Mama, Black Sheep Bagel Cafe, Coffee Shops Tell me more…

Boston is bustling with good schools, and in turn, bustling with delicious college-cuisine. If you have time to visit any universities, make sure to stop by some restaurants and cafes well-loved by the local college students. Some places we tried were Tiger Mama in the Fenway area and Black Sheep Bagel Cafe right in Cambridge. Tiger Mama's chef, Tiffani Faison, was recently nominated for a James Beard Award and it is well-deserved! I highly recommend giving her restaurant a try!

Any other suggestions? Let us know!

Written by Emi Lungmus

Photos by Emi Lungmus

Edited by Anna McCarthy


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