The second and final part of my 48-hour guide to Boston, Massachusetts. This is a guide for food lovers who want to explore the city’s rich history and also eat their way around town.
The “things to do in boston ma” is a guide that will help you plan your trip to Boston. It includes restaurants, attractions and more.
Click here to view Part 1 of my 48-hour guide. And welcome to Day 2 of the challenge!
OGAWA COFFEE FOR BREAKFAST
Head downtown in the morning to get a feel for the city. On affluent Newbury Street, Downtown Crossing and the adjacent neighborhood are renowned for retailers ranging from H&M to Coach.
Ogawa Coffee is tucked hidden between lofty buildings. Ogawa originated in Kyoto and has grown to become one of Japan’s greatest coffee cafes, with over 36 locations. They just relocated to Boston, where they opened their first international coffee shop.
Ogawa combines Eastern rigor with a well-known product: the coffee bean. Haruna Murayama, their chief barista, is the 2010 World Latte Art Champion.
Yes, your coffee will be very Instagrammable if you go here.
Try their Signature Drink, which is a combination of cold foam espresso and cappuccino. These two beverages, when served together, complement each other and make for a pleasant start to the day.
DARWIN’S LTD. – LUNCH
Cambridge, on the other side of the Charles River, is a big part of what makes Boston so great. The Red Line makes it simple to go from downtown Boston to Harvard Square, the hub of Cambridge and home to Harvard University, in only 20 minutes. If you take a vehicle, it will cost you ten dollars.
There are several clothes boutiques, cafés, pubs, and speciality businesses in Harvard Square. The area is large enough that you could easily spend a whole day exploring it. The Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cardullo’s, and Black Ink are all worth seeing.
If you become hungry in between activities, stop into Darwin’s Ltd, Cambridge’s most well-known sandwich store.
“Purveyors of exquisite comestibles & caffeinated supplies,” says Darwin’s. Lunches at Harvard Business School and local high schools are both catered to on the menu. From a queue that usually extends out the door, each sandwich is cooked to order.
The Hubbard Park (seen below) is a thick vegetarian sandwich with avocado, hummus, apple slices, carrots, tomato, sprouts, and honey mustard. It’s also good with cheddar.
BOSTON HARBOR DISTILLERY AFTERNOON ACTIVITY & HAPPY HOUR
Take an afternoon tour of the Boston Harbor Distillery following a hearty meal. For a variety of reasons, I can practically promise that this will be the finest part of your vacation.
Every Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m., tours include tastings of housemade spirits as well as a tour of the distillery. All for ten dollars. Seriously.
One of the most striking aspects of the distillery is how firmly it is embedded in the building’s history.
The structure has had many owners over the years, first as a horseshoe nail factory in 1859, then a ship construction business (as shown by the long spine of the roof, which apparently created place for ship masts), and finally an ice cream manufacturing facility.
Each bottle of Boston Harbor Distillery’s bourbon pays respect to these master distillers. Lawley’s New England Spirit, Putnam New England Rye Whiskey, and Seymour’s Coffee Liqueur are just a few of the brands available.
The overall structure is stunning, with plenty of light and antique wood beams. The pleasant fragrance of whiskey remains in the air as soon as you open the door to the bottling room.
We got to try all of the spirits after seeing the employees bottle Lawley’s by hand. I couldn’t leave without a bottle of whiskey produced in Sam Adam’s barrels and a bottle of Seymour’s Boston Cream Liqueur, a combination of cream, Vermont maple syrup, and rum. Swooon!
Side note: you can bet I’ll be posting a Boston Cream Brownie recipe next week.
Rhonda Khallman, the owner, was a delight to speak with. She co-founded Sam Adams, started New Century Brewing Company, and, most recently, Boston Harbor Distillery. She was a treasure of information, as well as friendly, witty, and a true boss woman. She made our visit to the distillery one to remember.
So it’s evident that I can’t get enough of this location. I adored it and have the highest admiration for what they’ve accomplished. Put this on your must-see list if you ever find yourself in Boston. You will not be sorry.
PLAYSKA – SECOND LUNCH
Is it obvious that I am a major fan of sandwiches? Yep. They’re fantastic. I couldn’t leave out a visit to Playska, a Balcan sandwich store in Inman Square.
Playska is a one-of-a-kind establishment. You’d probably walk right by it every day if you didn’t know it was there if you didn’t know. However, there is an extremely fantastic lunch restaurant hidden behind the door.
The Veggie Playska, a beet, lentil, and walnut patty on lepinje bread with ajvar relish, cucumber pickle, and a cream cheese rémoulade, is brimming with tastes and fresh ingredients.
On challah, try the Foraged Mushroom, which comes with hand-picked hen-of-the-woods, avocado and red cardamom spread, butter lettuce, and aged cheese.
The store itself is extremely simple. The stars of the show are the sandwiches.
I wish this area was closer to me since I would come here every day. The combination of daily menu changes and inventive tastes makes this a place you’ll want to come back to time and time again.
STATE STREET PROVISIONS FOR DINNER
After a stroll through the South End or Back Bay, I recommend supper at State Street Provisions in the Seaport neighborhood. It’s a wonderful way to end the day.
State St. Provisions has a pleasant and inviting ambiance. It makes you feel like you’re in Boston, from the tufted leather seats to the well-stocked bar.
The Kale Caesar Salad, Housemade Rigatoni with beef cheek and poached egg (drool), and Salt Cod Fritters were all delicious. Because when you’re in Boston, you have to eat fish at some point, and it best be fried.
The folks there were once again exceedingly courteous, pleasant, and attentive. It was something I noticed during my trip: everyone was extremely kind. Bostonians have a nasty reputation, but what I saw was a community of kind, warm individuals who obviously care about what they do.
Food that is honest. That is all there is to it.
BONUS BREAKFAST – THE ENVOY HOTEL FROM THE OUTSIDE
I mean, look at this FRENCH TOAST. I had to end the trip with an additional breakfast tossed in. To be precise, Nutella French Toast with brown sugar caramelized chai rum bananas.
The main floor restaurant of the Envoy, Outlook, was nearly as lovely at night as it was during the day. We couldn’t resist the Savory Oatmeal with ham, shallots, swiss cheese, and an egg on top, even though we were loaded from the night before.
That’s the type of breakfast I like.
Overall, it was an incredible journey. Even as a native Bostonian, I was shown parts of the city I hadn’t seen before and fell in love with it all over again. What are my top Boston travel tips?
-Rent a vehicle or use Uber to go about. As any survivor of Snowpocalypse 2015 will tell, Boston’s public transit system is in desperate need of updating. It also goes out like a star, making it difficult to go from one area outside of the city to another without passing through the city center.
-Go to Cambridge for a whole day. It’s one of my favorite places of Boston since there’s so much to see and do.
-Come in the spring or autumn. Because Boston is cold in the winter and scorching in the summer, taking advantage of the pleasant spring air or the magnificent autumn foliage is a necessity.
-Do not ask locals whether they pahked the cah in Hahvahd Yahd, no matter what you’ve heard. To begin with, Harvard Yard is a park. Second, there’s a party foul.
Last but not least, a heartfelt thank you and a hug to the following places and individuals that made this journey possible:
Barteca Restaurant Group Marlo Marketing Sofra Bakery Ames Street Deli Barcelona Wine Bar Brookline The Envoy Hotel Darwin’s Ltd. Boston Harbor Distillery The Hawthorne Ogawa Coffee Outlook Kitchen & Bar Playska State Street Provisions
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