A foodie guide to 24 hours in Boston

Inna's Kitchen

Boston is not only one of the most historic cities in the US, but one of the most exciting. Old and new lie comfortably side by side here, a city which played host to some of the key events of the American Revolution but that also boasts a strong sporting tradition, world-class shopping and two of the best universities in the world in the form of Harvard and MIT. With a compact city centre made up of leafy cobblestone streets, Boston is tremendously walkable, meaning even with a short time in the city, visitors can get a feel for what makes Boston so unique.  However, one of the most thrilling aspects of exploring Boston is investigating its food scene, something which has gone from strength to strength in recent years and gained the city quite a foodie following. So, without further ado, here’s your guide to all the best places to eat and drink in Boston during a 24 hour stay. Enjoy!

For breakfast…

Tatte

The ideal start to a day spent exploring Boston has to be Tatte Bakery and Cafe, a gorgeous mini-chain of cafes founded by Tzurit Or. Or is a self-trained pastry chef who was an acclaimed film producer in her native Israel before moving to the States and founding Tatte, starting up by selling her delicious pastries at local farmers markets before opening up her first permanent location in Boston and expanding rapidly ever since. With six locations in Boston and Cambridge, you’re spoiled for choice, but I’d especially recommend the Harvard Square and Beacon Hill cafes, both located in great spots from which to start exploring the city.

The decor at Tatte looks like a scene created specifically for Pinterest: clean white interiors with attention and style put into everything from the coffee counter to the flooring (check out the Instagram-ready tile pattern at the Harvard Square branch, pictured below). It’s pretty much impossible to eat here without taking at least one photo, whether it’s of the gorgeous cafe itself or the food on offer. Choose from a delectable range of pastries such as the croissin (yep, a croissant/muffin hybrid – it’s as amazing as you’d imagine) and more substantial breakfast  & brunch plates such as muesli, shakshuka or a tartine. Alternatively, just go the whole hog and get both. You’ll need the energy for the day of sightseeing ahead!

tatte harvard square.jpg

Once you’ve finished your breakfast, you’ll be raring to start exploring. From the Harvard Square location on Massachusetts Ave, head to the nearby Harvard Bookstore and browse the impressive selection of books and gifts on offer, before heading to the Harvard Information Center to sign up for a free tour of the campus. These are led by students, and offer a great insight into both the history of the University as well as a student perspective into life at Harvard. Once you’ve got a feel for life in Cambridge, hop on the T train to the Charles / MGH stop and you’ll be in the perfect spot to start exploring beautiful Beacon Hill.

If you headed to the Beacon Hill branch of Tatte on Charles Street, then you’ll already have started to soak up the charm of this historic neighbourhood. Spend a little while exploring, and imagining what lies behind the impressive doors of the houses here: especially picturesque spots include Acorn Street and Chestnut Street (even their names are gorgeous!), as well as Louisburg Square.

Wend your way down to Boston Common for a wander around America’s oldest public park. There’s a handy visitor center on the common, and here you can pick up some information about Boston’s famous Freedom Trail, a walk through the city that leads visitors to a number of historic sights including the Old State House and Faneuil Hall. The Freedom Trail is a great way to spend a couple of hours, whether you want to visit a number of the locations along the way or just follow the trail and get a feeling for the history of the city.  By now you might be feeling a little hungry, and just past Faneuil Hall lies the perfect spot for lunch…

For lunch…

Though Faneuil Hall (also known as Quincy Market) is known for offering a range of mouth-watering options  from its extensive food hall, there’s another spot worth visiting before you make your final choice on where to have lunch. In less than ten minutes, you can find yourself at Boston Public Market, an indoor marketplace with a focus on offering fresh, seasonal produce from Massachusetts and New England. The Market boasts 40 permanent vendors serving up delicious produce to a crowd of hungry locals (and in-the-know visitors), as well as welcoming a changing rota of pop-up vendors as well. With the huge variety on offer, it’s all too easy to find a tempting lunch dish – the problem really comes from having to decide between all the amazing food on offer. My personal recommendation would be Inna’s Kitchen, a great food stall serving up, in their own words, ‘Jewish cuisine from around the world’. With a permanent location a little further out of the city in Newton Center, the Inna’s Kitchen team offer up a more limited version of their menu at the Public Market, but their food is hearty and great quality. Try their falafel wrap for a delicious lunchtime meal!

Inna's Kitchen Boston Public Market (2).jpg

For something sweet…

If you still have room for something sweet after lunch, or if you fancy picking up a treat to eat a little later on in the afternoon, Boston Public Market is still the place to be. Head to the Union Square Donuts stall to really indulge: their Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch doughnut might be one of the best I’ve ever tasted, and their Raspberry Jam filled doughnut has what feels like a whole jar’s worth of jam somehow concealed within it. If you’re not feeling up to a full doughnut and just fancy a bit of something sweet, Union Square also sell doughnut holes at $2 for 6 – delicious and a bargain! Another Massachusetts company with a number of locations, Union Square hand make all of their doughnuts in Somerville, MA, as well as having a second outpost in Brookline, MA. Their merchandise is also super cute if you want to bring a souvenir away with you (& you just might, their doughnuts really are that good…).

Union Square Donuts

Once you’ve refueled at Boston Public Market, it’s time to decide how to spend the rest of the afternoon. A couple of choices: you could continue along the Freedom Trail, which would take you through the North End (don’t worry, we’ll be back here for dinner!) and past the USS Constitution to Bunker Hill Monument. Otherwise, you could hop on another T train to Boston’s Back Bay area. If you’re a baseball fan and fancy heading to the famous Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, get off at Kenmore, which is just a short stroll from the stadium. Here you can get guided tours of Fenway Park as well as browse the huge shops selling all kinds of Red Sox merchandise. Otherwise, hop off the train at Hynes Convention Center head for Newbury Street, a long street leading back towards the Boston Public Garden known for its great selection of shops.

For an afternoon pick-me-up…

Once you’re worn out from all the shopping or from touring Fenway Park, you’ll probably be in need of a rest and a cup of coffee. Don’t worry, Newbury Street has you covered here too! Head to Trident Booksellers & Cafe, an independent bookshop spreading itself over a number of floors which also houses a cool coffee shop serving up coffee, tea and juices alongside an extensive all day menu if you’re feeling peckish. If you’re in the Back Bay area in the morning, then Trident is also an amazing breakfast spot – try their Challah Bread French Toast in cinnamon batter! The selection of books in the shop is varied and interesting, and Trident also sell lots of nice gifts if you’re looking for something to take home with you.

Alternatively, a little further along Newbury Street you’ll find a branch of local coffee chain Thinking Cup, which serves up some of the best coffee in the city along with a range of other snacks and treats.  With beans provided by Stumptown’s acclaimed Brooklyn Roastery, it’s no wonder that this is one of the most popular spots in the city to get a caffeine kick. Thinking Cup also offers a great range of decaf and non-dairy milk options to its customers, so if you’re vegan or avoid caffeine then you won’t be disappointed here either. The Newbury Street branch is warm, cozy and popular with the locals: grab a table, order a drink and a snack and get comfortable: it’s the perfect place to relax.

Trident Booksellers

For dinner…

When your stomach starts to growl again, it’s time to think about dinner plans. Boston’s North End is known for its many high quality Italian restaurants, and a few of these have reached cult status, with queues for tables winding down the streets. However, my recommendation isn’t one of these spots, though they of course do come highly recommended (as any quick TripAdvisor search on the area will show you!). Located on Hanover Street, Locale is a slightly more under-the-radar gem serving up top quality Neopolitan pizza to its loyal customers. The menu lists the Tartufo as a customer favourite, and it’s easy to see why: mushrooms, caremalized onions and fontina cheese combine with truffle oil and rosemary to make a winning combination that’s irresistable to vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Another hit on the menu is their take on the classic Roman pasta dish Cacio e Pepe, reimagined into a pizza topping that seems to please all who try it. The restaurant itself is comfortable and casual, service is attentive and efficient, and the atmosphere is cosy and convivial. In short, it’s the perfect spot for a delicious bite to eat without the frills.

For desserts…

Within a quick 5 minute stroll of Locale lie two of the North End’s most popular spots for something sweet. Both located on Hanover St, Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry are long-standing, award-winning spots serving up a range of sweet treats to locals, from huge cannoli filled with a range of flavoured creams to all sorts of cookies and cakes. While the treats here are a little too sickly for me, if you still have lots of room for dessert post-pizza and want to indulge then you won’t have to look any further!

However, if your evening meal filled you up a little more and you fancy something a little smaller for dessert, there’s another great local option for an after dinner treat. Sweet Bakery is a cupcake bakery with 5 locations in the Boston area, including one downtown outpost on School St. (pictured below), and another in Beacon Hill on Charles Street. Sweet bake their cupcakes daily, with a number of flavours available year-round and others that vary depending on the time of year. Most of their flavours are available in miniature form, and they also have a great selection of vegan and gluten-free cupcakes available. If  you’re a cupcake fan, make sure you make room for a trip to Sweet before you call it a night: you won’t regret it. Sweet dreams!

Sweet Bakery

What else would you recommend for the perfect foodie day in Boston? Be sure to tell me what you think if you’ve been to or decide to try any of these great foodie spots! You can get in touch on Twitter and Instagram as well as by commenting below!

As usual, I’ll leave Instagram links to all the spots I’ve mentioned below! Happy scrolling!

Tatte Bakery

Boston Public Market

Inna’s Kitchen

Union Square Donuts

Trident Booksellers & Cafe

Thinking Cup

Locale

Mike’s Pastry

Modern Pastry

Sweet Bakery

A foodie guide to Boston USA.png

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