Last week I visited Boston for the second time, and loved it even more than before. As one of the oldest cities in the United States, there is a strong British influence in the architecture and even a few cobblestoned streets. The clapboard houses make Somerville and Cambridge feel like beachside towns, and I love how lush the residential and public spaces are. I found the food and coffee scenes to be unpretentious and low-key – right up my alley! When I was planning our trip to Boston, I did a lot of research and could not find any great comprehensive guides to the city… I compiled this short list from a combination of recommendations, online reviews, and Instagram photos so here they are, all in one place.
Where to eat:
I read somewhere that when Yotam Ottolenghi is in Boston, he eats at the Turkish restaurant Sofra, so of course that spoke for itself. And Sofra did not disappoint; the food is fresh, flavourful and inventive, and the atmosphere is warm. The chef and co-owner, Ana Sortun, also runs Oleana and Sarma in Boston. While we ended up skipping out on Oleana – her original restaurant – we have become obsessed with Sarma. Breakfast there is always crowded and always worth it… Try the turkish coffee or the rooibos lattes, and don’t miss out on the pistachio pastries for (breakfast) dessert. The atmosphere is homey and casual so be prepared to squeeze onto a hightop elbow to elbow with strangers.
I love rustic Italian food, and although we went to Coppa and loved it last time, we tried Giulia on this trip after it was recommended to us on numerous occasions. The food was delicious and the service was excellent. Both of these restaurants have casual neighbourhoody vibes.
Since we are coffee crazy, we did our research and quickly became regulars at Loyal Nine and Curio Coffee, both in Cambridge. Loyal Nine is attached to a restaurant and offers a range of food and endless patio seating/ work space. They also have the best prepared cashew milk ever. Curio on the other hand is much smaller and serves only pipping hot Beglian-style waffles with their coffee, and even though I have never been a waffles person these are worth making an exception for. They are perfectly crispy and lightly sugared – I think I had at least one every day we were in Boston. If you are looking for somewhere to work or have a quiet lunch date, Juliet in Somerville is perfect. There is also a really cute general store next door.
A few chains around Boston are worth mentioning; Tatte is a cute bakeshop and cafe with really good matcha lattes, Sweetgreen is a quick and healthy place to grab a salad or grain bowl, and Shake Shack is Shake Shack and needs no explanation…
What to do:
Boston is very walkable, but the various areas are a bit spread out so it is good to plan the days around areas. The cobblestoned streets around Beacon Hill are definitely worth visiting, and there is a Tatte to make a pitstop at. Also check out Follain on the high street for all natural skin products. If you want to do some shopping, head to Newbury Street. In addition to Intermix, Illesteva and all the usual shops, there is a Shake Shack, a Sweetgreen and the Boston Public Library is in walking distance. Also take a walk around the Harvard campus in Cambridge, and check out the Concepts shop while you are in the area. There is a Tatte there as well, which is maybe the nicest/ largest location I saw. Last of all, the Isabella Gardner Museum is an unusual and beautiful museum worth seeing at least once.