It’s cool if I post TBT on Friday, right?
Last week, a friend asked me for Boston recommendations since I went to college in the area. And upon pulling up my list, I made a couple distinct observations:
- It really needs an update, and
- I basically only ate Mexican food in college.
That being said, I maintain that it’s still a decent place to start (and a fail-safe guide to finding Boston’s best burrito).
Read on for the classics, as selected by yours truly–some of my newer finds will appear in a blog post coming your way once I catch all the way up to May ahahaha oh my God I’m so behind.
Things to do:
- Mapparium at the Christian Science Museum – If you’ve ever wanted to walk inside a giant, historical stained-glass globe, this is the place to do it. There’s a short show inside (with lights!), and afterword you can test out the cool acoustic features you never knew came with being inside a mammoth glass sphere.
- Freedom Trail – I’m not sure I’ve actually ever finished it, but you’ve got to at least start it. It takes you past Boston’s most historic (and prettiest) sights and will teach you something you didn’t know about American history, guaranteed. Make sure to go inside Quincy Market–attached to Faneuil Hall–for a peek at a vast, super-touristy and yet somehow still-pretty-good food court.
- Copley Square and the Boston Public Library – Best square in the city, IMO, featuring some pretty disparate architecture that somehow works together. Check out the inside of the library–it’s beautiful and free to enter.
- Newbury Street – This is the city’s most fashionable shopping street, but it’s worth a walk-down even for the non-shoppers.
- Boston Common – Boston’s largest park, with lots of pretty spots to hang out, watch a weird puppet performance and ride in a swan boat. The gardens are particularly lovely.
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum – This isn’t the city’s biggest art museum, nor is it its most impressive collection if you want to name-drop painters (for that, head to the Museum of Fine Arts, and say hello to my favorite painting–John Singer Sargent’s The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit). But it is a former mansion housing the once-private collection of a rich, prominent Boston woman–and it’s also the site of once of the art world’s most famed unsolved heists. It’s got some great architecture that makes you feel outdoors when you’re really indoors, too.
- Beacon Hill – In this neighborhood, you’ll find great boutiques, iconic Boston brownstones, and the Cheers bar. It’s probably the prettiest area in the city, and it’s got a great chocolate shop named after it, too.
- Charles River – If you want to see the most “Boston” scene ever, take the T’s red line from Charles MGH to Kendall-MIT on a weekend morning in the fall. You’ll see plenty of rowers, great leaves, and a gorgeous view of the city on the water.
- Harvard Square – You can’t go into the buildings, but you can certainly stroll around Harvard Yard (and even sleep on the green. I know. I tried it). The area is home to some great restaurants and boutiques, too (Mint Julep for clothes, Blank Ink for curiosities).
- North End – Little Italy packs a big punch in Boston. No matter which restaurant you choose, you pretty much can’t go wrong. Follow it up with a visit to Mike’s Pastry.
Things to eat (that aren’t already listed above):
- Anna’s Taqueria – The. Best. Burrito. On. The. Planet. This is literally what made me choose Tufts. Literally. It’s a chain, so you can find one wherever you are–within the Boston area, that is.
- Olé Mexican Grill – Guacamole made table-side. Please and thank you.
- Casa Romero – Are we sensing a pattern? Great Mexican food tucked away off Newbury Street.
- Aquitaine – For a slightly-more-upscale French (not Mexican) feast.
- Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream – Does this really need explaining? As a bonus, it’s in Inman Square along with Olé.
- Diesel Cafe – Fight with hipsters for table space in Davis Square. It’s worth it.