Are the Stanley Cup hockey series motivating a trip to Boston? REALLY? Have I got some suggestions for you!
I recently spent three days/two nights in Boston soaking in sunshine, green, green grass and food…a lot of it!
Here is a list of my five foodie musts while in Boston, Massachusetts.
Yes, it’s a cliché, because many Boston tourist agencies recommend a visit to Mike’s Pastry. And I hesitated before going, because I though it was just another tourist attraction with a bland product. Not the case! You must give Mike’s Pastry a visit. Not only is it located in the heart of the North district, bubbling with Italian attitude and charming architectural contrasts, but mainly because Mike’s Pastry is one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had in Boston.
Let me picture it for you: a near-hundred people gathered inside a relatively small bakery in order to get their hands on cannoli filled with ricotta cheese, whipped cream, sprinkled with sugar and/or coated with chocolate…It’s just like a drug factory!
And, yes, the cannoli is good!
4-Haymarket, Quincy Market, Copley Square Market
The Haymarket is an open-air, century-old market located on the corner of Hanover and Congress streets. It’s a temporary market that happens only on Fridays and Saturdays during daylight. Hundreds of tables are set-up with fruits and veggies, butcher meats (indoors!) and seafood right off the boat. I’m pretty sure you can find anything and everything at this market.
In the same area of town, you’ll find what claims to be the oldest restaurant in North America, a toothpick shrine. Who wouldn’t want to instagram a toothpick shrine?
A few street corners away is the Quincy Market, a permanent building where you’ll find a wide variety of food/dishes. You can expect e few expensive dishes from this main Boston tourist attractionso give the kiosques a tour beforehand. I unfortunately gave into the first lobster roll I saw (and it had way too much mayo). Together with a fruit smoothie, it cost me 25$ US!
The Quincy Market is also where you’ll find the exact replica of the CHEERS bar; not the one where they actually filmed the series.
Copley Square Farmers Market is the biggest of all markets in Boston and is located in the Back Bay. This market is set-up Tuesdays and Fridays and not all stands are there both days. Check out their website to plan ahead. This market also features local artists’ work, so you definitely want to give this one a visit.
While in Boston, we stayed at the Inn at Crystal Cove. Free hotel parking, free wifi and free metro station parking. Yes it’s a little outside the city, but the price alongside all the free amenities motivated our decision.
For our first night in Boston, we wanted something simple and hearty. Santarpio’s is where we landed. The place was jam packed and a few people were waiting in line outside. We almost turned around. DO NOT TURN AROUND! Everything about this place screams Boston: the decoration (don’t go there during the Stanley Cup series if you’re a Habs fan. A no-no!), the service (what a beautiful accent) and the food. The best Italian-American experience in Boston! Santarpio’s is an unpretentious, family-run business where locals go for a hearty, generous pizza. And you won’t be disappointed with their BBQ skewers, served with homemade marinated hot chilli peppers.
It’s while walking around the Boston Common park that we noticed how Dunkin Donuts is a very popular spot for coffee. Actually, there are 77 Dunkin Donuts in Boston for 66 Starbucks. Boston is where you’ll find the most Dunkin Donuts per street corner.
So why am I talking about Dunkin Donuts in reference to Mike & Patty’s? Because, Dunkin Donuts has free wifi and you don’t need to go inside to have access. That’s how I found Mike & Patty’s. Being too far from where we initially planned on eating, we searched the neighbourhood online to find a suggestion. Mike & Patty’s popped up quite a few times.
Whichever time of day, this hidden little gem in the Back Bay neighbourhood is a must! But the place is so small you can forget about sitting on one of their four seats. Get the food you need and bring it to the Boston Common park a few street corners away. Best duo for a sunny afternoon in the park.
**There are a few wifi hotspots in Boston. The most reliable hotspot I found is on the esplanade of the Faneuil Hall, right behind the Quincy Market (Faneuil Hall Marketplace). You’ll also find clean public washrooms inside this building. Grab a coffee from Red Barn Coffee Roasters, choose a bench in the sun, and soak up in the lively atmosphere.
This is definitely the most beautiful bakery I stepped in during my three days in Boston. And do not go to Boston without stopping at any of their location. We dropped by the one in Cambridge after visiting the Harvard grounds. And finally an excellent coffee…cappuccino please! Everything here is handmade with fresh, local ingredients and sweetened to perfection. Thankfully this was our last stop in Boston, because I would have wanted to eat at Flour Bakery every day, three times a day. And they cook an excellent breakfast too! I brought back a bag of their granola, which blends perfectly with vanilla yogourt. We also tried the marshmallow square and a doughnut, a real one. I can still remember the softness of the bun and that creamy lemon filling. Flour Bakery is definitely part of my best culinary memories in Boston.
BUT, the ultimate food thing to do in Boston (especially for someone from Quebec City) is to hunt down the food trucks. Rent a bike, get the app, track the trucks and dicover Boston throughit’s street food! That’s what my next roadtrip to Boston is all about. Cheers foodies!