Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 1 {Downtown Boston}

It’s no surprise that I love to go out to lunch or dinner or even just for drinks, right? I love trying new places or foods or drinks and then sharing that information with all of you who read this little blog. I especially love when you guys ask me for restaurant recommendations, so I thought that I would make it a little easier for you and give you my Boston Restaurant Roundup so you can have access to all my favorite restaurants in a few different posts. I originally wanted to put everything in one post, but as I started to list out the various restaurants I’ve been to, I realized I’ve been to A LOT of different places all around Boston. Putting them into one post would’ve just been too long, so here is your first installment of my “Boston Restaurant Roundup”, which includes restaurants in Downtown Boston (Fanuel Hall, Financial District and Downtown Crossing).

Faneuil Hall/Financial District

  • Anthem– I have talked about Anthem a number of times on here, so it’s no surprise that it’s the first place I list. They are located right in the heart of Faneuil Hall, have a good wine and cocktail menu and a terrific food menu. It’s great for outdoor dining in the summer and the bar area is great for indoor people watching in the winter/colder months. If you go, you MUST, I repeat, MUST get the fondue! It is the absolute best.

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  • Granary Tavern– This is another place with a similar vibe to Anthem. I have to say that the prices are a little better and I like their wines more, so sometimes we choose this place over Anthem. It’s located on Atlantic Ave, so it’s still close to shopping and bar hopping. They’ve got some terrific salads and pizza’s and a great outdoor patio area for summer dining.

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  • Sakurabana– If you’re looking for Sushi in this area, I definitely suggest Sakurabana. The fish has always been really fresh and colorful and they have brown rice options. This is a really popular lunch place, and although it’s never busy for dinner, it’s wroth a trip. I think I’ve been there 3 times in the past 2 months. If you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, they accommodate that, too!

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  • Society on High– I went here for after work drinks and loved the atmosphere. They had a great bar area and lots of high-top tables to sit at around the bar. They also had an absolutely delicious Sauvignon Blanc that I may or may not have had 3 glasses of… on a Tuesday! ūüėČ We ended up getting some apps and really loved the fish tacos and shrimp cocktail. I’ve been trying to get back there ever since.

Downtown Crossing

  • Stoddards– I haven’t eaten here, but my sister, Amy and I had a girls night there a few months ago and loved the bar area. We ended up downstairs, but they have an area upstairs, too. I’ve heard that the food is good, I just haven’t had a chance to get back there to try it.
  • 49 Social– Danielle, Amy and I went across the street from Stoddards for dinner at 49 Social. While this is a little more of an ‘upscale” place compared to Stoddards, it wasn’t TOO stuffy. We tried to sit at the bar area since it was certainly more casual there, but they were full so we had to go upstairs. The regular menu looked wonderful, but we were more in the mood for munchy food and asked if we could order from the bar menu- no problem at all! Everything we had was absolutely delicious- I highly recommend trying this place.
  • Sip– I recently went with my friend Lisa and we enjoyed countless drinks and a few food dishes and left there completely satisfied. I still dream about the tacos and mushroom pizza with truffle oil. The fact that you can choose what size glass of wine you want is also a really fun thing- it gives you a chance to do a tasting “flight” of various wines. The prices are also very reasonable.

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  • Gem– This triples as a great dinner spot, lively after dinner drink spot and a great post dinner drink spot. Trust me on this- I’ve done all three ūüėČ We did dinner first (a while ago as one of our girls nights) and loved it. We shared a salad and a flatbread and lots of wine (they have a heavy pour!). Recently, we went for after dinner drinks and loved the scene. It’s certainly not a “casual” atmosphere (more clubby than casual Boston bars), but if you’re looking for a time to get dressed up, it’s a great place to go!

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So, there you have it! Your first installment of my “Boston Restaurant Roundup”. Next up will be Southie/Seaport District and East Boston. There are lots of good places in those locations!

Questions for you: Have you been to any of these places? Did I miss any/are there any that I should try? I’m always looking to expand my restaurant repertoire, so share your favorites in the comments section!

Birthday Celebrations

Ok, ok. I know. You’re probably all sick of hearing about my birthday, but I promise this is it! I want to have this as a reminder of how wonderful my birthday was this year.¬†It was definitely¬†one for the books. So many cards, texts, flowers, emails, Facebook notes… I feel SO blessed and loved. I wish it could be my birthday every day!

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Most of you probably¬†saw how I spent my Saturday, but if you didn’t, go check it out! It was a busy day for sure, but it was fun because I was able to pamper myself a little! Saturday night, some of my closest girlfriends and I got all done up and headed to The Brahmin¬†for dinner before other friends met up for drinking. The girls know me so well because Jessi, Danielle and Amy all got me Prosecco! Amy also got me flowers:)

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We headed to the Brahmin around 7pm so that we could eat and relax and not worry about the ridiculous line that forms there by, like, 9pm. It’s insane!

033The food was really quite tasty and we loved that it was all tapas style since we love sharing food! The waitress brought over shots and I think that’s what got me going to a drunken place I don’t tend to go! Luckily, I remembered dessert! ūüėČ

020I was so happy to have so many friends around to make my birthday so special!

031And, a gym friend even came! Of COURSE we had to bring the guns out… it’s a gym thing.

030Not long after this, it was time for me to go home. Luckily, Rachel was nice enough and got me into a cab safely. THANK YOU, friend! JP sent me this photo the next day and it pretty much sums up the night and how happy I was:

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My parents came into the city on Tuesday for post-birthday celebrations. We totally lucked out and had gorgeous weather. The city was still a little somber after Monday’s Marathon events, and the security/police presence was bigger than I’ve ever seen it, but we still made the best of the day. I loved seeing all the marathon runners wearing their blue jackets. I wanted to run up and hug every one of them.

We opted to stay in the Faneuil Hall and North End part of the city, which was fine by me. We played tourist walking up and down along Quincy Market,

016and decided to have lunch at the Salty Dog. Lunch was delicious (I splurged on a fried catfish sandwich!), the beer (first Sam Summer of the season) was so refreshing, but the company was the best part!

025After lunch, we walked along the water and up the back end¬†of Hanover street. My mom wanted to take some cannoli’s home, so obviously Mike’s Pastry¬†was a necessary stop. I couldn’t believe it-the line was short! This is unheard of at this place. I got a red velvet cupcake and then later stopped and got a gelato. So tasty!

024All that walking around really made us thirsty, so a stop at Bell In Hand was a perfect place to quench our thirst before my parents went to catch their train at North Station.

020I was sad to see them leave, but so thankful that I got to spend such a fun day in the city with them. They are just the cutest little people around!

So, there you have it- my 28th birthday celebrations are FINALLY all documented! If you made it this far, thanks for sticking through this monster post!

Questions for you: What’s the most memorable birthday you’ve had? Do you play tourist in your city?