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Spring Break Boston

Dallas
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54 posts
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Spring Break Boston

Wife and I are coming up from March 12-16.

Looking for true INSTITUTIONS in Boston. I've heard stick to the North End, but want suggestions.

We're staying in Cambridge right across the bridge in the Marriott, so accessibility is no problem.

Rules for our dining

1) No Oriental whatsoever...wife is not a fan

2) No chains (well, at least not big ones) I've heard of Legal Seafood and know there are a few.

3) No FINE DINING...somewhere we can go in with sweater and jeans and be comfortable.

4) Obviously want seafood, but seems like Italian is very big up there as well.

5) It can be a dive...no worries there.

6) Cost...well, it's relative I guess...but I don't want a majorly expensive meal, but throw it out.

7) Atmosphere is a must, but relative also...somewhere that feels local.

Basically we're looking for the place you would take your best friend if he was in town for a weekend. If you were coming to Ft. Worth/Dallas, that would be relatively easy...so hoping that there are some up there.

ALSO...what about bars and places that you have to drink...we will be in the Fenway area, we're going to Samuel Adams, also the Freedom Walk. Heard there are pubs galore after you pass the Boston Massacre scene and up towards the bridge before the Constitution.

Hope this helps...if you need to ask questions, please feel free.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Winchester...
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1. Re: Spring Break Boston

You should go to Jacob Wirth's:

http://www.jacobwirth.com/

why is it obvious that you want seafood?

Dallas
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2. Re: Spring Break Boston

Well, and this could be wrong, but almost without reserve each thread you read about the New England area has at least a mention (and usually a large one) of seafood. From Lobster Rolls, crabs, lobsters, clams (and chowder), Atlantic Salmon, Cod…and more. As an outsider…that is what the area is kind of known for, but if I'm incorrect, tell me and I'll acquiesce to suggestions or broken stereotypes.

Boston...
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3. Re: Spring Break Boston

Some of the restaurants that are institutions don't necessarily have the best meals these days.

That said, you should stop by the Union Oyster House for a drink at the bar and maybe some oysters, and consider dining at Durgin Park in Quincy Market. It is a landmark, and current reviews are good but not great though I'm not sure that they have changed or our tastes have changed. Worth a visit for the atmosphere.

My cousin from Dallas always wants seafood when he visits. Last Fall we had lunch at the Legal Seafood in the Seaport area. Yes, it's now a chain, but it's a local chain.

For better seafood, I'd recommend Neptune Oyster in the North End--go early for lunch or dinner to avoid the lines, and Island Creek Oyster Bar in Kenmore Square (near Fenway, but open only for dinner).

There is no shortage of casual bars and restaurants near Fenway.

If you go on the Sam Adams brewery tour, they transport people to Doyle's, which is a real Boston institution with both food and drink. I have out-of-town friends who always like to go there. Not fine dining but solid pub food. Try the schrod.

Dallas
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4. Re: Spring Break Boston

Thanks for the response...what about the BEST CHOWDER in the Boston area?!? No one seems to have ONE favorite...is there somewhere that just has the reputation for being the best bowl in the area?!?

Boston...
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5. Re: Spring Break Boston

Well . . . I like a thinner chowder. Legal Seafoods serves a thick chowder. It's one of those things that you'll have to sample and find your best.

I think there was a chowder discussion here recently. Maybe you can search for it.

Dallas, Texas...
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6. Re: Spring Break Boston

The best chowder is relative. It's like asking who has the best enchiladas in DFW. It depends on how you like it. Some like it quite thick and some like it more creamy (with real cream rather than milk and corn starch). Some appreciate the addition of herbs and other accents, and some want a more pure and simple clam-and-potato flavor. Though it has become a moderate sized chain, Legals still has very good New England Clam Chowder and it's easy to grab a bowl for a lunch when you're out and about. Here's a discussion on Boston's Chowhound board: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/560504

For a dinner restaurant, how about Italian (more specifically, Sicilian) Seafood?? Though it's small, The Daily Catch is an "institution", with amazing food. You'll find nothing remotely like it in DFW or most other areas of the country. It has atmosphere galore, but it's not a chic or trendy atmosphere. If you have a spice loving Texas palate, try the Fra Diavolo.

Though they have opened up a two other locations in and around Boston, they are not a chain. Those locations have been open awhile and they are not in an expansion frenzy. The North End http://www.dailycatch.com/northend.html is the original location. Go there, then go to one of the cafe's for people watching and dessert. The location in Brookline Village is also quite good, a bit larger with a slightly more soothing decor. Accessible on the T, but not much else of interest around it. http://www.dailycatch.com/brookline.html I've not been to the seaport location (though it looks quite elegant). It seems to get lower scoring food reviews than the North End or Brookline location.

Expect a line and a wait, but it's worth it!

Boston...
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7. Re: Spring Break Boston

Christnp2: a note--the Daily Catch in Brookline is no longer in Brookline Village--it has moved to the other end of Harvard St. in Brookline, roughly between Beacon and Commonwealth.

Boston
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8. Re: Spring Break Boston

I'm not a chowder fan but Ned Devine's and Legals comes up as contenders. Here's a link on a past discussion tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60745-i48-k486002…

Boston
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9. Re: Spring Break Boston

For pizza, Regina's in the North End is an institution. They do not take reservations and there might be a line. Also -- fyi -- they serve only pizza, that means not even salad.

Boston...
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10. Re: Spring Break Boston

Regina's is also cash only. And so amazing! Definitely an institution.

You can't swing a dead cat and not hit a bar in this town (this is a good thing!) so you won't be at a loss for places to drink. I'd suggest JJ Foley's, either in Southie or on Kingston Street downtown. Both are legendary drinking establishments. Add to that Bukowski's Tavern, Pour House (my personal fave), Mr. Dooley's, Cask & Flagon, Boston Beer Works, Black Rose, Cheers (ugh), Purple Shamrock, Silvertone, Beantown Pub, the list goes on and on.

I'd also recommend taking the tour at Harpoon Brewery on North Street by South Station. As popular as Sam Adams around here.