Most tourists to Boston are eager to visit the plethora of museums and historic attractions, as well as walk the much celebrated Freedom Trail. But what about the unmarked yet endless Foodie Trail? That’s right – Boston is home to a vibrant culinary scene, some of it influenced by its revolutionary roots and multiculturalism. For the 16 million visitors a year, here are some sumptuous ways to explore the city using your taste buds as a guide:
Epic Brunch at Mooo Restaurant
15 Beacon Street
Inside the swanky XV Beacon Hotel, this modern steakhouse serves up a damn good brunch with live music. Breakfast starts with warm cinnamon buns and fresh orange juice, and continues with farm fresh Poached Eggs & Lobster drizzled in hollandaise sauce and with a side of applewood smoked bacon. If savoury and sweet is your thing, gobble order the griddled pancakes with dark chocolate chips and a side of truffle oil Parmesan frites. For something lighter, the Mesclun Greens with cabernet vinaigrette or the Parfait of homemade granola, organic yogurt, and berries are not a lesser choices.
Lobster Rolls at the Atlantic Fish Company
761 Boylston Street
Rated as a top seafood restaurant by Zagat, the Atlantic Fish Company is popular spot for “the freshest catches of the day.” The New England Clam Chowder has won awards for its creamy broth, chock full of potatoes, onions, and fresh clams. A signature dish is the Maine Lobster Roll – meaty chunks of fresh lobster loaded onto a toasted sandwich bun, lightly dressed with lemon, mayo, and thyme.
But if you really want to dive into Boston classic cuisine, go for the gargantuan Maine Lobster – a three pound crustacean served with corn on the cob, potatoes, and crabmeat stuffing. It’s as big as a turkey dinner, so go family style and split the meal amongst the table.
Michele Topor spent 30 years as a nurse before turning to a different kind of nurturing – one that involves carbs. After years of studying cooking in Italy, Topor designed The North End Market Tour to introduce her visitors to Boston’s Little Italy and the shops that sell the highest quality Italian ingredients.
On this half day walking tour, participants also learn about the neighbourhood’s history, and vital life lessons such as: where to buy homemade mozzarella and how to spot a premium extra virgin olive oil (hint: if it’s under $10, put it back on the shelf). The tour includes samples of decadent desserts, meats, and Italian wines, and a list of the best Italian restaurants in The North End.
Midnight Cocktails at Top of the Hub
800 Boylston Street
Take the elevator to the 52nd floor to this swanky restaurant and lounge for midnight cocktails, live jazz, dancing, and a panoramic bird’s eye view of Boston. After 50 years of service, Top of the Hub is practically a city landmark, and is popular for offering live jazz and dancing nightly. “The Top” also boasts two large wine rooms and one of the largest collections of brandies, bourbons, vodkas and gins.
Savour Beer and History with The Ye Olde Tavern Tour
Beer and history lovers can absorb both on the Ye Olde Tavern Tour. Over three hours, a local historian leads a walk along the Freedom Trail and details the significance of Boston’s most historic sites. It also involves stopping at notable taverns to sample a pint (or two). Back in the day, these taverns offered more than just watering holes for colonialists looking to get tanked. They were also hot beds for political activity and other shenanigans during the American Revolution. After listening to tales of rebellion and learning about taverns frequented by Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and JFK, you’ll want to raise a glass and proclaim a hearty “Huzzah!”
Classic Boston Seafood at Legal Sea Foods
Multiple locations – including the airport
With 30 locations across the country, Legal Sea Foods may seem like a generic American chain. But it’s actually a Boston icon that has been highly acclaimed by Zagat, USA Today, and Bon Appetit Magazine.
The restaurant first opened as a fish market in the 1950s in nearby Cambridge, and quickly spawned into an empire of seafood restaurants promising “If it isn’t fresh, it isn’t Legal!” The clam chowder has been served at every presidential inauguration since 1981, and the dining room has even seen the likes of Julia Child.
If you’re not opting for one of the wood-grilled fresh fishes, go big or go home with the 2.5lbs steamed Atlantic lobster. And if there’s no time to dine in, get a live lobster to go at the airport location.