My husband and I will be traveling to Boston soon and would love some restaraunt recommendations. I am especially interested in Italian recommendations in the North End that are not touristy. We will be staying in the Copley Square area.
Any other advice or ideas of things to see and do would be appreciated.
I have lived in Boston for over 30 years, and it keeps getting better every year. If you really want North End, try Rigoletto Ristorante or PrezzaThe former is small and a bit manic, but really good food, and the latter is more formal and pricey with a very professional waitstaff. Nearer you/Copley is chef-owned Erbaluce. Erbaluce is real Italian, including wild boar chops on the menu and a chef who seems to always come out into the dining room and bring a sample of something. We love it.
Ditto the previous advice about Flour Bakery. Easy walk from Copley Square.
As for other advice, Boston is a walking city-- don't rent a car. Check out www.bostonbyfoot.org, a 40-year old not-for-profit that does historical and architectural walking tours given by well-trained volunteer guides (including me) who love Boston. Have a fabulous visit!
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I lived in Boston for 5 years. It is really hard to wrong in the North End with Italian. If you are against touristy places, stay away from Giacomo's. It is good food, but tourists bombard it constantly.
I highly recommend Pagliuca's. The atmosphere is quaint, the staff was lovely, and the food is amazing. It is very tiny, so try to book ahead. If I remember correctly, they only take cash so be sure to have some with you.
To get to Pagliuca's from Copley square, I recommend taking the Green Line from Copley to Haymarket. Paglicua's is a 7 minute walk from there.
As far as other food recommendations, here are a few of my favorites.
Flour Bakery - easily the best bakery/cafe in the city. Joanne Chang is a local legend. You MUST try the sticky buns. They beat Bobby Flay on Throwdown after all! I haven't had one thing I didn't like.
Myers + Chang - Joanne's small-plates Asian restaurant. Chef Karen has been on Top Chef and nominated for James Beard awards. The food is creative and fun, but it isn't a white table cloth setting at all.
Alden & Harlow - If you find yourself over in Cambridge, try a lunch or dinner at Alden and Harlow. Trendy, fun, creative, and fancy all at the same time. Lovely food! A little harder to get to, but a short walk from Harvard Square.
Toro - Chopped winner and James Beard winner Jamie Bissonnette's Spanish restaurant. Again, everything is good here but I particularly liked the dry-aged burguesas and churros. This one is a little out of the way--take a taxi.
Coppa - Still a local gem (tourists don't know about it just yet), this is Jamie B's Italian restaurant. Great wines, really good small plates. The best drinks I've ever had came from Coppa.
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Check out the Seaport district, there`s over 50 new restaurants there in walking distance, plus you`re near the water, Great Area!!!
I think the best Italian Restaurant is actually in Brookline if you are looking for authentic Italian food and ambiance in a low key setting. La Morra, in Brookline Village is a neighborhood spot as well as a destination for a special night out. For a real Boston experience take the Greenline D train from Copley to Brookline Village. Its about a five minute walk. Or its a 10-15 minute cab down Huntington to Route 9. Seats at the bar are first come first, with their latest "best of Boston" a reservation is the way to go if you don't want to wait or be disappointed.
The Boston Public Library in Copley Square is an amazing gem for outstanding art, the map collection, architecture and a great inner courtyard with free concerts during the summer and fall. Ah and I believe it was the 1st public library in the US. Grab something to eat from one of the Food trucks or the farmer's market and enjoy your lunch at one of the court side tables. If you want a special treat the lunch or tea at the Library is special http://www.thecateredaffair.com/bpl/courtyard.
My sister lives in Boston so we have had some wonderful meals all over. Some of these will be more easily reached with a car. For breakfast, try to go to http://www.sofrabakery.com/ Amazing Turkish and Middle Eastern food open breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Turkish Breakfast, Shakshuka and morning bun or bobstock make excellent breakfasts. It's small and crowded, but a treat if you like to try new things. The chef/owner also owns the famous Oleana in Harvard Square and Sarma in Somerville (reservations required). The Liberty Hotel has a wonderful Italian restaurant called Scampo, chef Lydia Shire. The bar scene in the hotel lobby is worth a visit. It sits at the end of Charles St. which connects the Common to the hotel and has lovely shops. It's around the corner from Cheers - FYI. There is a great new Greek restaurant that follows the Chipotle counter service. It's called Saloniki near Fenway.
If you'll be there this summer, check out http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/blog/2016/05/08/best-outdoor-dining-boston/
The North End - Modern Pastry & Pizzeria Regina are landmarks and Artu is wonderful. Here are some other ideas too http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/blog/2014/08/28/chefs-guide-north-end-restaurants/
The MFA Boston is a beautiful museum, but we had a nice trip to the ICA (contemporary art) too. It is on the newly developed seaport world trade center and close the the JFK Presidential Library. If you go, make a reservation at Legal Harborside for dinner - nice views and Legal Seafood is a pretty reliable restaurant throughout the area.
Another fun thing to do in Boston is to take the ferry out to the Harbor Islands from the Aquarium. You can island hop - short walks and nice views, not the best beaches though.