I am not an expert on Boston. But I recently went for work, and several of my colleagues on the trip are from the area. I had the opportunity to eat some fantastic meals and I thought I would pass along my favorites.
Italian: I love Italian food and it was a high priority to try some in Boston’s North End. I made a reservation Al Dente and was not disappointed. It is a small establishment, and it was packed. The food and atmosphere were both outstanding and I could have not asked for a better experience. I will also add that Trattoria Il Panino was recommended to us by a colleague’s brother in-law who is a North End police officer and Giacomo was recommended by the Italian wife of a friend.
Irish: Boston is also known for its Irish immigrants and culture. To experience this part of the city’s heritage I ate at the Druid in Cambridge and Black Rose in downtown Boston. Druid is a small tavern off the beaten-path and we just ran into it while walking. The food was amazing and the clientele was all local. Our waiter was a 20-something kid from Ireland who was traveling around the world. I will definitely go back on my next trip and some of my colleagues went back that same week. The Black Rose is right downtown and is a pretty famous place to grab a bite. It is fairly touristy now, but a friend remembers it as his favorite hangout as a teenager. Regardless, the food was still great.
Cambridge: If heading to see the Harvard Campus, you can’t go wrong with Russell Tavern which has a great menu and college/local vibe. We sat next to a table of young (very young) professionals out for a night after work. It looked like they were dressed up in their father’s suits. Next to them was a group of college kids blowing off steam from the week.
Cannoli’s: There is a good-hearted debate about the best spot for the best cannoli. Modern and Mike’s are a short distance from each other in the North End. But I have to tell you that Bova’s Bakery was my favorite. But really, you need to make the decision for yourself and if up to the challenge, I recommend you try all 3 like I did.
Books: For those that love to read, I highly recommend you hit both the MIT Coop and Harvard Coop. You will see a great selection of both non-fiction and fiction. I also found I Am Books in the North End and went back twice.