This scrappy city is more than just colleges, cobblestones and crazy sports fans—its food and booze scenes rival LA and New York. Here’s the gourmand’s guide to Beantown.
Ming Tsai’s Blue Dragon, in Boston’s Fort Point Channel, rocks East-meets-West-style tapas with a gastropub twist, enjoyed best with sake or house cocktails like the Dragon Bowl, a big-enough-for-two blend of rum, Pisco and passion fruit. In Cambridge, don’t miss Craigie on Main, James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Maws’s shrine to upscale comfort food; whole hog dinners happen here regularly. Do. Not. Miss.
You’ve got to love a town where they name a bar after an insufferable hatchet-wielding temperance-movement figure. The Carrie Nation Cocktail Club in Beacon Hill delivers a history lesson via drinks like the Volstead (rum, Chartreuse, maraschino cherry liqueur, lemon cordial and grapefruit bitters) and Spigot Bigot (IPA, mezcal, Solerno, agave, lime and hellfire bitters). At small-production-minded Central Bottle Wine + Provisions, the eclectic weekly tasting offerings can range from sour beers to the cult wines of Italy. Spoke Wine Bar in nearby Somerville makes small bites with small-batch wines, while Local 149 (local149.com) is a South Boston haven for craft beer and small-batch booze.
Savenor’s Butcher and Market in Boston and Cambridge has farm-fresh produce, local meats and the region’s best sammies (sandwiches) to order. Must try: The Ariccia, with house-made porketta, pickled fennel and Eat Local Honey on an Iggy’s farmhouse roll. Somerville-based Taza Chocolate stone-grinds chocolate beans into a medley of bars and will show you how on a factory tour. Reasons To Be Cheerful in West Concord, is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor with very grown-up flavors like raspberry-lime Rickey and margarita sorbet.