Boston isn’t just for academics and history buffs. With a storied past as an international port city for hundreds of years, Boston has had plenty of time to establish itself as a world-class culinary destination. But you don’t need to break open your piggy bank to visit—there’s enough cheap eats in Boston to keep you full as you take in the city’s historic sights. If you’re asking yourself, “How can I eat cheap in Boston?” just follow our nifty guide to the city!
1. State Street Provisions
If you’re wondering what foods Boston is known for, look no further than one of the city’s enduring nicknames: “Beantown.” Yes, Boston is well-known for its baked beans, swirled with molasses and seasoned with earthy spices. State Street Provisions serves a hearty bowl with braised pork belly and brown sugar. And though the restaurant is a beautiful boutique space, this mouthwatering crock of beans will set you back only $8.
2. Boston Chowda Co
As a harbor city with a long tradition of sailing and fishing, Boston has a strong relationship with seafood. One of the city’s iconic dishes is New England clam chowder, a rich cream-based soup full of tender chunks of potato and flavorful morsels of clam. While there’s no shortage of great chowder houses serving cheap food in Boston, Boston Chowda Co is hard to beat. Its Faneuil Hall location offers a bread bowl full of steaming chowder, and they also sell their signature soup in sizes ranging from 8 oz to a gallon.
3. Legal Sea Foods
Clams aren’t the only savory seafood Bostonians love to put in their soup—Legal Sea Foods offers a creamy lobster bisque, and their clam chowder comes in both a classic and “lite” recipe.
4. Billy’s Roast Beef & Seafood
Did we mention Boston loves its seafood? Whether you’re in the mood for fish or something else, you’ll find great variety at Billy’s Roast Beef & Seafood, which offers not just a variety of seafood plates and fish sandwiches but also burgers, fries, chicken wings, wraps, and, yes, roast beef sandwiches.
Boston isn’t all fish and meat; it has plenty of vegetarian and vegan selections for the plant-based traveler. Spyce has a variety of appetizing, flavor-forward vegan and vegetarian bowls featuring international flavors. They also have a number of gluten-free options. The best cheap eats in Boston are healthier than you’d think!
6. Chill on Park
For a classic Boston sweet treat, grab a creamy-cold frappe at Chill on Park. If you want the ice cream but also a caffeine boost, go for an affogato (espresso poured over ice cream).
7. Yankee Lobster Company
You might not think of lobster as cheap food in Boston, but this harbor town has many opportunities to enjoy shellfish inexpensively. Yankee Lobster Co. serves lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, lobster bisque, lobster Caesar salads, and traditional lobster rolls—plus many other fresh seafood dishes—for well under $25 each.
The quickest, easiest way to enjoy lobster while walking Boston’s historic streets is a good old-fashioned lobster roll. Grab one for takeout at Pauli’s in Boston’s North End, and have fun meandering!
9. Boston Kitchen Pizza
Craving pizza? Boston Kitchen Pizza has you covered with its extensive menu of specialty pies. Try a classic Margherita Pizza, or indulge in the Bostonian for honey garlic chicken, green onion, and sesame seeds on your pie.
10. Flour Bakery + Cafe
You weren’t going to end your visit without a slice of Boston cream pie, were you? Flour Bakery makes an acclaimed Boston cream pie, and they’ll sell it to you in sizes ranging from six inches to a half sheet that serves 40+. The classic combination of sponge cake, vanilla cream, and chocolate ganache is a must-try. The best cheap food in Boston really takes the cake!
Want to find some fun things to do in Boston while eating your way through the city? Work off some of those delicious meals with fun activities:
- Boston has a long relationship with the ocean, and the New England Aquarium is a fascinating look at its many wonders.
- Immerse yourself in America’s history with a museum & ship excursion focusing on the Boston Tea Party.
- Let one of Harvard’s bright students lead you on a walking tour of the world-famous university, including a visit to the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
Grab your coat and get busy planning your East Coast visit! With these many treats to offer, the world of Boston’s food scene is your oyster. With these tips—and our Boston on a budget guide—you’ll have no problem eating your way through the city without breaking the bank.
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