Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Guide to Wicked Awesome Boston Eats

This last weekend I headed to Boston with the 'rents to watch my dad attempt his fifth Boston Marathon.  We've been quite a few times in the past, so it was kind of a challenge to find new and interesting things to do that fit within the marathon-preparation purview.  But we did manage to check out some new places in this historic city, and I insisted on a few foodie locations along the way! 

Stop One: Haymarket
We had quite a bit of time between our arrival in Boston and our hotel check-in (I didn't plan it...not my fault) so we trekked over to Haymarket, Boston's open air market.  It's not a farmer's market, so they were selling things like bananas and mangoes, but because Boston is a seaside city, they certainly had a fair amount of seafood for sale!
more produce....
BAM!  Fish heads!
It's a really fun place to go wander around and listen to some wicked awesome Boston accents.  (Disclaimer: ever since I heard a guy talking about how he got "wicked hammered" on the T, I haven't been able to stop using the word "wicked" in everyday conversation!)  Plus you can literally eat your way through the market.  Just don't buy a mango and expect to eat it...knives aren't easily carried around and wielded while walking through town!  The market also runs along some shops that sell ethnic eats that looked delish.  It's a great area of town so be sure to check it out.

Stop Two: New York Pizza

My dad runs with the Alzheimer's Association team, and on our first night there, he and my mom went to the pre-race banquet in one of the Boston suburbs.  I was exhausted and irritated with traveling, so I opted out.  I then had to find somewhere to eat dinner!  A quick google search on my Blackberry for "takeout pizza in boston theatre district" came up with New York Pizza on Tremont Street.  It's so small that they don't even have a website (as far as I can tell), but it was pretty delish pizza for $3.50 a slice!!  I chose the feta/spinach slice and salivated the entire walk back to the hotel.

It was the biggest slice of pizza ever!

It certainly wasn't the most tasty pizza in the world, and it probably won't win any awards, but if you're in Boston craving a quick slice of pizza for a super awesome price, this is a pretty great place to go!  Mmmmm, cheesy pizza.

Stop Three: Mike's City Diner

The next morning we headed out to the South End of Boston (different than South Boston, mind you) to see a new area of town.  The South End is so awesome -- I can't believe we'd never checked it out before.  It's quieter with lovely brownstones and parks filled with people and their dogs.  And Mike's City Diner is a classic in this neighborhood.  They had photographs inside of everyone from President Bill Clinton to Mitt Romney enjoying the diner eats.  It's a tiny, bustling diner with big portions of greasy diner food, which I just can't get enough of.  I ordered a classic breakfast of eggs, homestyle potatoes, and toast. 

The breakfast potatoes were phenomenal.  They were cooked with onions to add some depth of flavor and, by looking behind the counter, they are cooked up by the bucketful.  So they had some crispy edges but were all melded together in a giant potato mash.  I ate every single morsel of food on my plate.  Top it all off with a giant ceramic mug full of coffee and I was in heaven.  If you're ever in Boston, you must take a walk to the South End and check out this diner. 

Stop Four: Boston Olive Oil Company

Are you serious?  An entire STORE dedicated to delicious, flavored olive oil?  I couldn't get there fast enough.  The Boston Olive Oil Company is a wonderful little shop on Newbury Street and it is literally a haven for olive oil lovers like myself.  They have vats of different flavored olive oils and vinegars and tiny paper cups for you to taste test the varieties.  While they have pieces of torn up baguette to dip into the oils, I'm not going to lie -- I actually sipped some of the oils right out of the cup.  No shame here.  After trying every single option, I settled on harissa flavored oil.

Oh. My. Goodness.  This was astounding!  The olive oil itself is a bright, orange-ish color and the flavor is rich with a bit of a kick.  As I walked around the store with my precious bottle I started dreaming up all of the great dishes I could cook using it.  But mostly I'm excited to buy some freshly baked bread and dip it right into a plate full of this tasty oil.  Good news for all of us locals?  They take online orders!

Stop Five: Sweet

After watching some elite runners get their world record on, my mom and I decided to drop into this charming little bakery, Sweet, for some cupcakes.  We felt obligated to eat up the calories that those runners depleted during their runs.  This bakery is adorable and right on Newbury street....close to the olive oil company as well!  They offer regular cupcakes, tiny cupcakes, and these:

FROSTING SHOTS!  I don't have a huge sweet tooth, but I have a lot of friends who do.  So I saw this and immediately thought of a few Minnesota girls who would loooooove having this $0.50 option!  My mom and I ordered two mini cupcakes -- I tried a red velvet and carrot cupcake. 

Both were sweet, tasty, and in perfect two-bite portions.  Getting two minis was the perfect way to try out a few of their delicious offerings.  If you need a sweet treat in Boston, check out this charming place.

Ugh, this post is already out-of-control long, and I still have so many places to talk about!  My dad's pre-race dinner was at Davio's near our hotel.  It's an Italian steakhouse and they had an indulgent macaroni and cheese made with truffle oil.  My dad, a classic-food eater, couldn't rave enough about this dish.  On race day, my mom and I got some breakfast at Finagle a Bagel, which had one of the lightest, freshest tasting bagels I've ever tasted. 

But I guess the two high points of our trip were (1) watching the fastest marathon race on record and seeing an American woman .02 seconds away from taking home the victory....

....and (2) capping off the trip with some coffee from Dunkin' Donuts!!!

If you head out to Boston, add some of these to your list of must-visit places.  There are TONS of other amazing places that I have either been to in the past or did not get the chance to check out this time around.  If you have any restaurants that I should go to the next time my dad attempts Boston (I'm so not fast enough to qualify!) let me know!  We're starting to run out of ideas!


  1. Great post! I have a feeling I would have enjoyed this trip to Boston more so then my last. In which I was a crab face. I think we should have Pops run just one more.... :)

  2. Haha, well I think staying in a tiny hotel room also didn't help matters! I think he'd do another one, but not for a few years. I'm trying to convince him to do BIG SUR next spring!!! Heyyyyy California!

  3. two thoughts:
    1. my cousin from boston says 'wicked' all the time
    2. truffle oil is amazing! seven sushi and steakhouse uses truffle oil on their mac and cheese and on their french fries...they're both awesome!

  4. truffle oil on french fries?! umm sounds amazing! lets go to this sushi place stat :)