Our Trip to Boston: Where We Ate
One of my favorite things about traveling is eating at new restaurants. I spend hours scouring Yelp and various food blogs to find restaurants that have fun atmospheres and quality, but not overly expensive, food. In fact, if you ask Nate, I may obsess about where we eat a little too much. Add in the fact that we were traveling with a 4-month old baby, I felt like I needed to have a pretty clear plan on where we were going and when. We were lucky that my mother-in-law, Pam, came with us - not only was it more fun, but she was also a major help!
Given that we wanted to be back to the hotel as close to 7 pm as possible (hello, sleep training), we ate quite early and were able to avoid waiting for a table. We also did our best to get reservations for the popular places we didn’t want to miss. Here are the highlights of where we ate while exploring Boston!
The first time I ate at a Wagamama was in London when I was 20-years-old. I think it was my first experience eating Thai food and I loved it. While the food was flavorful and the atmosphere buzzing, the quality of food wasn't as outstanding as I remember. It is a fun place to eat that is kid-friendly, but given a choice, I would choose a non-chain restaurant. However, this Wagamama was connected to our hotel, in the Prudential Center, and it was the perfect place to grab lunch and refuel after our flight. We each enjoyed our meals - I got Pad Thai, Pam got a Korean Beef Bowl, and Nate got Ramen.
While I didn't really want to eat in the Prudential Center again - I often feel pressure to go to as many local restaurants as possible - it made the most sense for us to stay close to the hotel on our first evening in Boston. Not to mention, it was pouring rain and cold, and the town was still a bit chaotic since the Boston Marathon was going on.
So, we put Everett in his pjs and walked over to Eataly - they have several restaurants, two espresso bars, a gelateria, and a large market. It is actually a really neat place, despite being a chain. Don't get me wrong, it's not like what you can find in the North End, but it is still a unique experience!
Nate and I both got wood-fired pizzas, and Pam got a pasta dish. We all enjoyed it. After dinner, we got some gelato to eat on our way back to the hotel. Throughout the trip, I would stop here to grab an Americano in the morning. More fun than going to Starbucks! If you want to be transported to an Italian market, take the time to meander through their vast array of pasta, cheese, and meat aisles.
The Friendly Toast
The Friendly Toast is a popular place to grab a hearty, delicious, and potentially quirky breakfast. A funky diner, this place was well worth the wait. They are known for their variety of Eggs Benedict and for their unique twist on classic American breakfasts.
While I like to think of myself as an adventurous eater, most of the time I go for something traditional. But seriously, what beats a pancake with pure maple syrup, bacon, potatoes, and eggs? We all loved our meals and the experience here. A great way to start a busy day touring Boston.
This was a fun place to grab a quick bite at lunch. However, if you have a stroller with you, DON’T try to bring it in. This is a tiny little place and you are better of grabbing your food to go. We barely beat the crowd and the line was out the door shortly after we arrived (maybe because of our stroller?? ;) )
When it came to visiting the North End (the Italian neighborhood), I was a little overwhelmed by all of the restaurant options. We were also trying to get to Bible Study, so I was concerned with the timing.
Carmelina’s is one of the few restaurants in this neighborhood that accepts reservations, so we decided to try it out. This restaurant is known for paying respect to traditional Italian dishes, while also adding a modern twist. - All of the food was decadent and rich. The only problem was how HUGE the portions were. We shared three dishes, and felt bad we couldn’t take the leftovers with us. I highly recommend ordering less than you think you need and ordering more later.
And while we were stuffed beyond reason after Carmelina’s, after walking around Little Italy for awhile, I managed to make room for an Affogato and pastry at Caffe Vittoria’s. I’m no quitter. I’m not totally sure what pastry I ordered - but it was a bit dense. If I were to go back, I would try a traditional cannoli.
Flour Bakery + Cafe
While this place was busy, they cranked out the food quickly. We wanted to grab a quick breakfast sandwich before we did a walking tour around Boston. While the sandwich was decent, it wasn’t the best I’ve had. I will admit that their baked good selection was extremely tempting. I made the poor choice of only getting one pecan caramel role for us to share. SO GOOD. I definitely should have gotten one for each of us. ;)
This restaurant is a bit off the beaten track - more in the business area, and we were definitely the only people with a baby with us, but it was worth it. The quality of food, service, and atmosphere were all top notch. We all left raving about the food. The roasted cauliflower was perfectly cooked, although next time we would ask for the sauce on the side. Nate and I shared a steak and potato meal, and man, I’m still dreaming about those cheesy potatoes!
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
One afternoon, we decided to walk around Harvard campus. While campus is much smaller than we imagined, it was fun to explore a place where so many important Americans studied! (Not to mention, my uncle Tommy studied there!) It was a chilly day, so Nate found us an amazing Ramen restaurant to eat at. We tried the Shio Ramen, Yaki Gyoza (dumplings — out of this world), Negimeshi (pork and green onions over rice). We truly enjoyed everything. And of course, we were so focused on warming up and eating, that we did not get any pictures!