The city of Boston is famous for many things: enthusiastic sports fans, traffic jams and a unique American accent. But for some reason, Boston cuisine doesn't make this list. The choices on Boston's menus should contribute greatly to the city's image, and while I may be a bit biased, I can assure you that Boston's food is extremely tasty! I've scoured the city for culinary highlights and compiled this list of the best restaurants so you can enjoy New England cuisine, too.
HOW ABOUT SEAFOOD?
In the warm summer months, Bostonians are drawn to the waterfront. Residents can be found kayaking on the Charles River, hoisting their sailboats in Boston Harbor, or escaping to the beach on weekends in Cape Cod. The ever present sea contributes to the fact that we have some of the freshest seafood in the country.
For your first course, indulge in raw oysters in their signature half shell at Island Creek Oyster Bar or enjoy the contents of crab legs overlooking the ocean at The Barking Crab . Next on the agenda is New England's clam chowder. This creamy soup (which is much better than Manhattan's tomatoey clam chowder!) is on most menus in this region. To taste the real clam chowder, head to Quincy Market and order your portion in a wrapped bread at Boston Chowda Co. Food tastes even better when you can eat the one you're served it in!
To complete your culinary tour, head to the North End neighborhood and get your name on a list (be prepared for hours of waiting!) to get a seat at the small Neptune Oyster Restaurant. Don't you like to wait? I can promise you it will be worth the long wait when you take a bite of the famous buttery lobster rolls.
It's not all lobster rolls in the North End. This is the part of town where Italian immigrants first settled in Boston after arriving, and so they also brought the best Italian food with them. The smell of garlic wafts through the narrow streets, making the neighborhood even more appealing. Line up to get a table at Giacomo's to sample the best pasta dishes you'll ever eat. Or line up at Pizzeria Regina to enjoy traditional bread and dwell in cheese heaven. After dinner, head to the nearest waiting line (recognize the pattern?) at Mike's Pastry , to end the evening with something sweet and enjoy a typical Italian pastry, cannoli.
North End residents love their cuisine. And a good party. During the summer, there are many outdoor festivals dedicated to a religious holiday or person. The St. Anthony's Feast is one of the larger festivals that features processions, music, shooting galleries, and of course, lots of food. Run from stall to stall to sample dishes like arancini, calzoni, cured meats and desserts.
WASH IT ALL DOWN WITH A DELICIOUS ALE
For those over 21, there are plenty of options in the traditionally Irish neighborhood of South Boston to wind down the evening. Stop by Murphy's Law or L Street Tavern, where scenes from the movie "Good Will Hunting" were filmed. South Boston (or "Southie," as it's affectionately known) should also be a must on the st. Patrick's Day to be visited. On this day, people come from near and far to watch the parade.
Sam Adams is Boston's most famous and a widely available beer that can be ordered in any pub. Another popular beer is Harpoon. The brewery in the Seaport district was recently expanded and now has a lively beer cellar where visitors can sample beers and ciders while being served pretzels with spicy mustard. Harpoon Brewery also hosts popular events at the St. Patrick's Day and Oktoberfest, where attendees can enjoy beer and music, and both attire and other entertainment are tailored to the day.
Pictures from: from top: Clarissa Eyu, Flickr / Creative Commons, Massachusetts Institute of Travel and Tourism, Flickr / Creative Commons, Amy Gizienski, Flickr / Creative Commons,Dave Levy, Flickr / Creative Commons