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Boston - 3 days - recommendations?

Michigan
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Boston - 3 days - recommendations?

We will be staying in Boston for 3 days next week at the Hilton in Back Bay. Would love to hear recommendations for:

Breakfast cafe - we love little quirky cafes with great breakfast foods.

Coffee shop - local coffee shops for an afternoon espresso

Duck Tours or another harbor tour - we like to see cities from the water.

What about Top of the Hub for jazz & a cocktail - is it worth it?

Is a lobster roll a "must eat" food when in Boston?

Any other ideas for a lazy, relaxed few days in Boston?

Quincy...
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1. Re: Boston - 3 days - recommendations?

Boston isn't a great breakfast city, but there are a few good options for you:

Paramount Diner on Charles St. in Beacon Hill

Friendly Toast in Kendall Sq. Cambridge...definitely fits the "quirky" requirement.

Mike's City Diner on Washington St. in the South End: Small, classic diner with huge breakfasts (things like chocolate chip pancakes, homemade corned beef hash, great french toast, etc.)

The Duck Tours are a good combination of city and water. I don't think the Harbor Cruises are operating this time of year, so the Duck Tour may be your only option.

Do you like lobster? Then I'd suggest you try a lobster roll, or just have a boiled lobster. As I mentioned in a prior post, Yankee Lobster on Northern Avenue in South Boston is a good place to get both.

Boston, MA
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2. Re: Boston - 3 days - recommendations?

The duck tour doesn't go into the Harbor, it goes into the Charles River. It still is a good view, but I just wanted to clarify.

There is a 'Super Duck Tour', that goes into the Harbor, but as a driver and pedestrian the shear SIZE of the Super Ducks BUGS me ....

http://bostonducktours.com/

http://www.superducktours.com/SDT/HomePage

Boston...
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3. Re: Boston - 3 days - recommendations?

More breakfast suggestions;

Trident Booksellers & Cafe on Newbury Street. Breakfast and a book.

Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe on Columbus Avenue. TONS of history in this Boston breakfast joint.

A lobster roll isn't a must eat, but they are quite delicious. You should, however, have some clam chowdah while in Boston. Have both at the same time and kill 2 birds with one stone. The hot lobster roll at Neptune Oyster is really good. It comes with crispy hand cut french fries, but Neptune, like many Boston restaurants, has clam chowdah on the menu.

The only harbor tour still running is the 45 minute USS Constitution tour. You'll get your great Boston skyline views from the harbor on this tour, and you'll get to see the Constitution too.

http://www.bostonharborcruises.com/

Top of the Hub is an awesome spot for cocktails and Jazz while admiring the twinkling lights of Boston all around you. Drinks are pricey, but that's to be expected.

Relaxing to me is to poke around the beautiful Beacon Hill and North End neighborhoods. Or, since you'll be based in the Back Bay, and if it's not to windy and cold, head over and walk the river at the Charles River Esplanade.

Edited: 08 November 2010, 02:39
Michigan
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4. Re: Boston - 3 days - recommendations?

Thanks for all the suggestions - they sound wonderful!

I was wondering about all the Dunkin' Donuts listings when I searched for breakfast cafes. Guess Bostonians grab a coffee & donut for breakfast? :-)

Neptune Oyster is on our list to try. Is it true that the wait is long, but they'll call your cell when your table is ready?

Do we need reservations at Top of the Hub if we're just going for a drink and the jazz? Bar seating is fine with us.

So maybe I have the Duck tours & harbour tours mixed up. If we wanted an open air tour that's on the water, we want a Duck tour? Are there any open air trolley or bus tours of downtown Boston?

Boston
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5. Re: Boston - 3 days - recommendations?

I was at the Top of the Hub yesterday afternoon for a drink. There were a couple of guys playing jazz. It's a nice spot. We just walked right in and were seated at a window table. So, that's how it was on a Sunday afternoon.

For an espresso, get over to Cafe Vittoria in the North End. You might think you are in Italy.

Boston
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6. Re: Boston - 3 days - recommendations?

The Duck Boats and the Trollies all have plastic windows that they roll down when the weather is inclement or cold. I think you can plan on it being one or both at this tme of year. The Harbor Cruise has a deck that's fully outside, however, or you can stay inside down below.

Boston
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7. Re: Boston - 3 days - recommendations?

Yes, you can give your cell number to Neptune if there's a long wait.

Boston
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8. Re: Boston - 3 days - recommendations?

Espresso - naturally there are Starbucks all over. In Back Bay, on Newbury Street not far from your hotel, I hope that little coffee house is still there -- it's called Espresso Royale.

One additional idea if you want to have a great-looking bar with live music, while you are here. The Oak Bar, at the Copley Plaza Hotel. They (usually) have a piano player, and the bar is great. Service is great, too. One of my faves.

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9. Re: Boston - 3 days - recommendations?

I would 2nd the suggestions for Charlies (fantastic hash-but not open Sundays if I recall), Mikes or the Paramount for breakfast. We ate at the Trident for the 1st time this summer and I was not impressed at all. We have found that for lunch-if you get to Neptune about when they open we have no issues with waits. But I cannot speak to dinner as we have not gone there for dinner. I also 2nd the suggestion for the Oak Bar-beautiful room, great service. Someday we will get to the Top of the Hub!!

Boston...
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10. Re: Boston - 3 days - recommendations?

I'll second will's recommendation of Trident Bookseller Cafe for breakfast.

http://www.tridentbookscafe.com/

There's a small, specialty coffee shop called the Wired Puppy on Newbury near Fairfield if you want really good coffee. They bake muffins on site.

http://www.wiredpuppy.com/

Both place have free wifi if you need it.

Penny

http://www.bostonzest.com/