No visit to New England is complete without a stopover in Boston, a city home to great food, history, sights and of course, excellent baseball. With a bevy of new restaurants, including a new eatery by Mario Batali himself, the city is proving it’s more than a Cheers-era holdover. Today’s Boston feels fresh, modern, and settling into its newfound cinematic allure. Just ask the cast of the new “Ghostbusters,” filming here now.
Plan your day with our guide to 24 Hours in Boston:
Pavement Coffeehouse. Founded by Chicago-bred Larry Margulies, this one-off cafe has expanded to six locations, its latest incarnation right in the heart of Fenway. Fans flock not only for the pour-over coffee and beans sourced from all over, but the Spanish latte, complete with sweetened condensed milk. That – and a bagel sandwich – will wake you up, alright.
Various locations around the city, including Fenway Park, Commonwealth, Boylston and Newbury
Fenway Park. If you’ve never been to Boston, make an effort to visit the home of the Red Sox to understand the true heart of the locals. If you can’t catch a game, snap a few photos and stock up on some souvenirs for family and friends back home.
4 Yawkey Way
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The site of a famous art heist, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is like nothing you’ve seen before. There’s the art, which ranges from contemporary to ancient, including works by Titian, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Manet, Degas, all housed in a Venetian-style building. But the showstopper is the transporting courtyard, which truly feels like you’ve touched down in the Mediterranean.
25 Evans Way
Toro. This lauded Ken Oringer-Jamie Bissonette collaboration all started in Boston’s Back Bay and while its dinner tapas are drool-worthy, Toro’s brunch ain’t shabby at all. Try the scrambled eggs, or huevos con verduras, featuring potatoes and toast, or try the picadillo de cerdo – a pork hash with eggs over easy. If lunch is more your thing, a selection of tapas such as garlic shrimp, croquettes, wild mushrooms and homemade breads will make for excellent sharing.
1704 Washington St
The Rose Kennedy Greenway. Boston’s latest greenspace is a one-stop shop for public events, a breath of fresh air, and fun—check out the treasured Greenway Carousel, for kids and adults alike, and only $3 a ride it’s irresistible. If that doesn’t lure you, artist Janet Echelman’s fiber sculpture installation will. Insider’s tip: Go at night, when the city lights turn the sculpture into a surrealist cloud.
Overlooking Boston’s water, the hulking Hatch Shell sits along the Charles River and hosts a rotating lineup of artists from the Boston POPS to Eddie Money. It’s a great place to not only take in the scenery or have a picnic during warm weather, but catch a concert or a Friday flick. Best of all? It’s free.
47 David G Mugar Way
Peruse stalls of farm-fresh veggies, local cheeses, salsas, dips, pastries, and more at this bi-weekly market right in the heart of Back Bay, and across from the Boston Public Library, worth a gander itself. Insider’s tip: Copley is a food truck mecca; some recommended eats include Baja Taco Truck and a bánh mì sandwich from Bon Me.
139 St James Ave
As the North End’s crown jewel, Neptune Oyster has been slaying the lobster roll competition since its variation went live in 2005. Diners can choose either a mayonnaise roll or one with clarified butter, and both are delectable. While the lobster roll’s reputation is definitely earned, the place is called Neptune Oyster, and the oysters shouldn’t be ignored. With an impressive variety to choose from, the menu lends a hand with detailed flavor profiles of each– from popcorn aftertaste to notes of cucumber. Insider’s tip: Get there early. No reservations, and this small restaurant is constantly packed (for good reason, though).
63 Salem St
Runner up: Pizzeria Regina
The original corner outpost of this beloved Boston institution is like stepping back in time. Leather booths, draft beer, servers who’ve worked there for years, and agreeable prices epitomize Boston’s history in a section of town that’ll cost you a kidney to make rent. You can smell its secret crust crisping on the brick oven from blocks away and there’s often a line out the door. Wait it out. It’s worth it.
Mike’s Pastry. This traditional Italian bakery is known for its trademark ribbon-tied to-go boxes that send mouths salivating all over Boston. Cannolis are the go-to item, but the lobster tail—a custard-filled concoction big enough for sharing (or not)—is truly sinful. Insider’s tip: Mike’s is cash only!
300 Hanover Street
Marliave. This speakeasy-themed restaurant is located just steps from touristy Boston Common, but to find it you’ll have to wander down the right side street, making it a tried and true local’s spot. When it comes to the art of the cocktail, Marliave does it right – no syrupy mixes here. Try the Rock & Rye with Rittenhouse rye, rock candy, cherry, and orange– a heady libation that’ll stand up to Marliave’s throwback classics like beef Wellington or a can’t-go-wrong chopped salad.
10 Bosworth Street