Boston + Cambridge Travel Diary
It's now been forever ago since I left Boston and I have seriously been putting off writing about it. I was so thrilled when Lin suggested we visit his son and daughter-in-law there before we leave the country . I had never been before and I love exploring new places. The east coast is so beautiful in the fall too. Boston is a gorgeous city rich in history and I am thrilled to share my faves with you for your very own travel guide. And my sincerest apologies for the most ridiculous delay with this one!
I decided to merge Boston metro and Cambridge. If you are in Boston and have the time, I highly recommend exploring Cambridge too. And of course if you can spend anymore time..catch that ferry over to Martha's Vineyard. That island has stolen my whole entire heart.
The Boxer Boston: Housed in a gorge landmark building dating from 1904, this stylish boutique hotel has a prime location. Location is key in Boston and it was only a 4 minute walk from the TD Garden for some Celtics games, and only a ten minute walk from the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall and Back Bay. We could easily walk about ten minutes to the North End too for Italian food and cannoli's which may or may not be a good thing! Ha! But do not fret...this hotel has a 24-hour exercise room. I loved the sophisticated rooms with a mix of classic and industrial-chic furnishings. (The lobster tail pillows almost came home with me) The room was super quiet and cozy and had everything we needed. Only complaint..I missed my bathtub. Try as I may, I am just not a shower gal. The hotel also has a low key restaurant bar called The Finch and I loved that! I did my research and this is going to be the greatest price you will find for any hotel in this neighborhood. Love the complimentary bicycles too!
Finch: ( as mentioned above) Such fabulous cocktails and nibbles in an airy space.
Sportello: This was hands down one of best dining experiences of my entire life! A modern interpretation of the classic diner, Sportello offers a menu of chef Barbara ... as one of Boston's—and the country's—leading chefs and restaurateurs. Sportello’s casual, lively, Italian spirit is captured in the sleek, minimalist design of the space. The modern interpretation of a diner has two “U”-shaped counters situated around an open kitchen and I just adore this! Take a seat at the counter and enjoy a bowl of handmade pasta and a glass of wine from wine director Cat Silirie’s approachable, artisanal wine list. Sportello does have several tables for more conventional seating. They are available for parties of five or more or by request. Requests are honored based on availability. I have never tasted handmade pasta like this! Do start with the marinated olives, the seasonal salad, and the lobster potato gnocchi is a MUST! And don't forget the wine and that bread basket!
Trattoria il Panino: Such a cozy location in the historic North End. They serve the earthy Mediterranean cuisine from Italy's Amalfi Coast. Known for specialty pastas and shellfish, this landmark also offers casual dining in an intimate outdoor garden during Boston's warm months. Everything is just divine!
Mike's Pastry: Holy Cannoli! The streets of Boston's North End have been in no small part defined by the ongoing legacy of Annette and Mike, their ancestors and enormous extended family and the spirit and inspiration brought to the North End of Boston by this neighborhood-defining family. Everything is made FRESH ON THE PREMISES. Fresh fruit, real Grade A Cream, butter eggs and sugars, and all the flavorings imaginable - from cinnamon sticks to honey and sugar are hand-selected by our resident expert, Mike himself! Mike has a fifty-year history in baking, and his comprehensive knowledge of traditional baking techniques and recipes, gathered from all over Italy land the world, are brought here to you at Mike's Pastry. I literally dream about these pastries. There is another pastry shop across the street..I promise you want to just stick with Mike's.
BLR By Shojo: All i can say is wow. This was such a nice surprise! The place itself is downstairs in a basement with gold walls, lanterns, and really cute decor and they listen to the best karaoke music from the 80's. They do a very creative take on classic Chinese dishes and everything was absolutely delish! Shojo looks really fun too all though you will most definitely need a reservation in advance. Same for BLR as it is super tiny!
Tatte Bakery and Cafe: There are quite a few locations but my personal fave is the Beacon Hill location. Tzurit Or started Tatte in 2007, baking 20 hours a day in her home kitchen and selling her delicious creations to Boston farmers’ markets. After only one summer, Tatte expanded to its first brick-and-mortar bakery in Brookline, MA. Tatte’s cookies, cakes, tarts, and pastries owe their unique look and exceptional flavor to carefully sourced raw ingredients, Tzurit’s culinary artistry, and a passionate team of people who love testing, tasting, and talking about baked goods. Tzurit and her staff have a singular vision to enrich people’s lives with their exceptional baking, crafting bold combinations of flavors and textures that are at once vibrant and comforting, daring and familiar. Extreme attention to detail is evident in each Tatte offering. I want to live here !!!!! The food, the pastries, the coffee.....everything is just perfection!
Boston Public Market: The Boston Public Market is an indoor, year round marketplace for locally sourced groceries and specialty agricultural products, where residents and visitors can find fresh, seasonal food from Massachusetts and New England. The Market houses 40 local farmers, fishers, and food entrepreneurs selling items such as farm fresh produce; meat and poultry; eggs; milk and cheese; fish and shellfish; bread and baked goods; beverages; flowers; and an assortment of specialty and prepared foods. Everything sold at the Market is produced or originates in New England. This was giving me all the local love feels. You could spend hours in here!
Sonsie: Love this gem overlooking the infamous Newbury Street. Pretty perfect ending to an afternoon shopping excursion awaits you here. It's such a classy bistro with an eclectic menu so there is something for everyone. You might also see Tom Brady with his beautiful wife here as it's his fave restaurant in Boston.
Alden & Harlow: So this gem is in Cambridge and whoa, whoa, whoa!!! Chef Michael Scelfo knows the way to my heart. Everything is meant to share and we loved this because we got to try several dishes. Everything is fresh and farm to table. And the craft cocktails are amazing. The charred broccoli was my absolute fave. And do order the REVOLUTIONARY from the bar! You are welcome.
And P.S. Tried to get into Neptune Oyster as this was highly recommended but no luck! Lines form for the raw bar & warm, buttered lobster rolls at this tiny, high-end oyster bar with the loveliest rosè selection. I was a tad devastated but I am adding it here because I really feel like you should make it a priority! I did end up trying a lobster roll from another place but try as I may...I might just not be into lobster rolls. I know, I know. I am getting so much crap from everyone over it.
Also I was pretty disappointed in the coffee scene but here a few recommendations:
Thinking Cup: Love the North End location plus it's hard to go wrong with Stumptown coffee.
Flat Black Coffee: There are locations everywhere! And they did make a mean perfect americano.
And then just explore all of the cafes in The North End. So many gorgeous local Italian places that serve some amazing espresso and biscotti.
If you venture over to Davis Square in Somerville do indulge in a lattè at Diesel Cafe.
Somerville is quite cute ! And Sunday Brunch at the Five Horses Tavern was tasty. The crab cakes were insane!!!
I suggest just diving in. We walked everywhere. We even did one of the duck tour's too because you get to cover so much ground in a short period of time, especially if your visit is on the shorter side. Here are some of my favorite shots from Boston, the amazing Public Library included. That place is an absolute dream. Copley Square is wonderful. But Beacon Hill and The North End...you do have my full attention. I got to cross Acorn Street off my bucket list, finally! And I highly recommend you do too!
And Cambridge was amazing to walk and explore. Do go see Harvard! I mean...you can't go all that way and not. It's the most beautiful campus I have ever seen!
Enjoy visually traveling along with me through my eyes...
Of course you have to hit Newbury Street but before you do that...treat yourself to a visit to Salmagundi in The North End. Thank me later!
What do you love most about Boston and Cambridge?!!!