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Boston Restaurant Spotlight
Forget about baked beans and cream pie, Boston’s youthful population breathes innovation and cultural diversity into this city’s food scene.
Craft breweries abound as do New England wineries, allowing you to add a splash of local flavor to any meal. Whether you’re a Bostonian about to catch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park or you’re a visitor tracing the historic Freedom Trail, you can fill your belly with wholesome comfort food or spice it up with global-fusion cuisine that is sure to satisfy.
With wooden-shingle walls and garage-door windows that roll open to let in a summer breeze, the Tip Tap Room feels like a neighborhood backyard barbeque with a gourmand at the grill. Check the huge chalkboards above the bar for daily specials of wild game or start your dinner with boar meatballs in spicy ginger cilantro broth. True to its name, a long line of 36 tap handles stretches behind the bar and includes more than a dozen local brews. Try a signature “tip” dish with mouthwatering flavors like the mint and shallot lamb tips with goat cheese potatoes. Vegetarians can delight in the tofu tips on a bed of quinoa and tomato basil salad. Conveniently located in Beacon Hill, a meal at the Tip Tap Room perfectly punctuates a day spent walking the Freedom Trail or gets the party started before a Boston Celtics or Bruins game at the TD Garden.
Find a smoked slice of Texas barbecue tradition in the heart of Beantown with big, flaky biscuits to die for at Sweet Cheeks Q. Order your smoked meats on a sandwich or by the pound, and then slather them with 1 of 3 sauces—thick and tomatoey, thin and vinegary, or hot and spicy. For sides, choose “scoops” like collard greens, heirloom barbecue beans, mac n’ cheese, or rough-cut coleslaw. Food stacked upon metal trays lined with butcher paper and drinks in mason jars complement the worn wooden tables to create a rustic, urban-roadhouse aesthetic. If not for all the Boston Red Sox fans packing the place before and after ballgames at nearby Fenway Park, you might think you had teleported to Texas.
Sip a refreshing school-themed mixed drink like Spanish Class, Detention, or Scientific Method while enjoying the sunny patio seating in front of the classic-Boston-brick façade of Cafeteria. Locals pack the place for a bite of modern comfort food like truffle fries and tuna melts or fluffy pancakes for weekend brunch. Fresh, organic ingredients elevate dishes like the Boston cream burger made with grass-fed beef and habanero-radish cream cheese. Pair your Americana meal with American history on a duck tour to see famous sites from the Revolutionary War with a cruise the Charles River in an amphibious vehicle.
From matzo ball ramen and Parisian gnocchi to Argentinian steak frites, a meal of small plates at the Little Donkey lets your taste buds travel a world of fusion flavors. If you feel like fresh seafood, dive into the raw bar with a pony platter. A vibe of neighborhood friendliness fills the bright industrial chic interior, which features a white brick wall stenciled with a not-so-little donkey. Located between MIT and Harvard, Little Donkey’s international menu reflects the cultural diversity of the area and is a perfect place for adventurous eaters to grab brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Pendant lights reminiscent of Venetian glass cast a golden glow over the lively, spacious bar and intimate dining area. The buttery smell of pasta and the salty scent of seafood mix with the sharp bite of baby arugula salad. SRV, which stands for Serene Republic of Venice, brings a modern interpretation of traditional Venetian food to Boston. With a bevy of cicchetti (small bites) served late into the night and an exclusively Italian wine list, SRV entices you let your evening linger. A meal at SRV may inspire you to delve further into Boston’s Italian heritage on a guided photography walking tour of Little Italy. Be sure to try at least one SRV pasta dish crafted from flour milled in house—and the made-to-order risotto is not to be missed.
Café du Pays invites you to step into a French-Canadian home for a dinner of oysters spiced with horseradish, thick-gravy poutine, and sap-brined pork lion. The farmhouse-style interior features house plants hanging in sunny windows and a low-lit bar carved from reclaimed wood. Settle into your seat as your tongue wanders the countryside with regional wines, cocktails, and both French and local beers on tap. After a day exploring the city on foot or by trolley, you can relax with the warm, filling flavors and welcoming service of Café du Pays.
Grab your friends and head to Boston’s Somerville neighborhood for tasty tacos with delectable fillings ranging from chorizo to charred octopus and be sure to tip back a drink or two from the extensive collection of more than 100 craft tequilas at The Painted Burro. Find a spot at the hammered-tin-sided bar or sit at a weathered-wood table in the white hacienda-style dining room. With a menu as quirky as its mural of a luchador-masked burro, the flavors of this restaurant rotate seasonally but always excite with modern interpretations of Latin American cuisine featuring moles and grilled meats. Treat yourself to a culinary fiesta before enjoying a comedy night or intimate concert at the nearby Sommerville Theatre, or stop by for brunch to spice up your weekend.
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