When I went to Boston a few weeks ago, I knew our time there would be packed with great things to do (stay tuned for a guide to what to do and see in Boston), but I had no idea how much great food that city has to eat.
In fact, all I really knew was that a bunch of people had told me to get a lobster roll. But there's so much more (click on pics for a closer look at the delicious food)...
The North End: Pastries
Scott and I took a flight at the ass crack of dawn, so we didn't eat breakfast at home. Rather than pissing away money on a garbage breakfast at the airport, we decided to get some baked goodies from an Italian bakery. We were staying with our friends Lyndsey and Nick, who live in Boston's North End, which is essentially Boston's Little Italy. Scott assured me we'd have no problem finding breakfast.
Holy shit, he was right. Every other storefront is a cafe, bakery, or cafe/bakery. It wasn't a lobster roll, but we had an amazing lobster TAIL, a cream-filled pastry from Bova's Bakery, as well as a raspberry turnover and an almond scone (yes, we go HAM on baked goods rather often).
On our last night, Lyndsey decided we'd have to grab cannolis, and we did at Mike's Pastry. They have NUMEROUS cannoli flavors, and the line was out the door on a Monday night. I got an Oreo cannoli. I dare you to think of a better dessert.
Pro tip: If you can't get into Mike's, you can try Modern Pastry across the street. Nick, who has lived in the North End for over a decade prefers Modern Pastry to Mike's (Lyndsey prefers Mike's though, so you really can't go wrong).
The Waterfront: A Lobstah Roll!
After Scott and I finished our first-day naps and Nick and Lyndsey were finished work for the afternoon, they took us to James Hook Lobster for my first lobster roll. OMG, it was so good. Not too much mayo, perfectly buttered bread. I am drooling just thinking about it.
James Hook is very cool too -- it's a little seafood shack where you order, and then all the seating is outside which was perfect.
Longtime readers probably know by now that I live for Asian cuisines. So when we visited Shojo in Chinatown on our first night, I was not disappointed. Because of the dim lighting, my photos aren't great, but the Asian fusion dishes were sooo good -- kimchi fried rice, hamachi poké, monkey chicken wings -- yes please.
If you're a Baltimore/D.C. resident, all you need to know is this is the place Sticky Rice *wants* to be.
The North End: Cafes
Longtime readers will also know that Jen and I love a city with a quality cafe culture. On this front, Boston does not disappoint. Again, the North End FTW! You see, due to its Italian roots, the business owners of the North End agreed to keep Starbucks out. Just like (Big) Italy!
Don't get me wrong, there's (always) a time and a place for Starbucks, but an old-school independent coffee shop, especially one with quality Italian coffee, is always preferable. After stopping at Bova's our first morning, I got possibly the best vanilla latte I've ever had at Caffe Vittoria.
But my FAVORITE place in Boston was the Thinking Cup, a specific recommendation of Lyndsey's. She and Nick went to her family's home the first night after dinner to welcome her new niece into the world, so Saturday morning, Scott and I took her suggestion and went to the Thinking Cup.
I just cannot say enough about this place. I love the kitschy, steampunk vibe (especially the creepy YET CLEAN all-black bathroom with the terrifying floating doll in the wall), and the bakery items and coffee were so good. HONEY CINNAMON LATTE.
And when Nick went again to grab coffee on Sunday before brunch, you know I didn't turn down his offer to grab me another latte. SO good. DO NOT MISS.
East Boston: Reel House
East Boston is a part of Boston that's on the verge of major gentrification, and Reel House is definitely evidence of that. (For you Baltimoreans, this place is almost exactly like the Boathouse in Canton.)
The service was frankly abominably slow, but the brunch we had there was worth it and the views on the water were unbeatable. I think the photos speak for themselves.
Greenway: Boston Public Market
Part food hall, part market, the Boston Public Market makes me really jealous we don't have something like that in Baltimore. You can get anything you want there (I got a very nutritious smoothie to balance out...everything else), and on Fridays and Saturdays you can check out the Haymarket right outside nearby for really cheap produce.
Fort Point: Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar
A close second to my love of Asian flavors is my love for Mexican cuisine -- enter Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar. This place is SUPER trendy and it was packed at 10 p.m. (we had to wait for our reserved table). It reminded me of younger days when I gave more of a shit about dressing up and "going out" and wasn't completely lazy.
And it wasn't just all scene. The food was fucking GREAT. A trio of guacamoles (one including lobster), ceviche, jalapeño cornbread...everything was delicious. And the drinks were phenomenal (and DANGEROUS). I definitely want to go back.
The North End (Again!): Snacks, pizza, pastries, fresh pasta, wine, baguettes, cheese, charcuterie
Yeah, that's right. The North End is amazing. I am not even big into Italian food (I think study abroad actually did me in on Italian pasta for literal years), but I am so jealous that Nick and Lyndsey can just walk out their door, go into a mom and pop shop and get fresh handmade pasta and freshly baked bread. It's so much better than anything you can get at your standard grocery store. An impromptu happy hour (since Boston doesn't have actual happy hours) with charcuterie, rosé, and French bread in their building's courtyard was perfect. As was pizza across the street on the Greenway on our last night.
BOSTON! I can't wait to come back and eat more of what you have to offer!