So, when you’re out and about in Boston, eat like a local with the 16 must-try dishes of Boston.
1.Taste the Classic Food of Boston - Boston Baked Beans
Boston is nicknamed Beantown, and it is for a good reason. This famous Boston food is number one on this list and number one in the people’s hearts. Although it is named baked beans, it isn’t baked. In fact, they’re boiled, sweetened with molasses or syrup, and mixed with salt pork or bacon. This classic Boston cuisine has been incorporated into the menus of several restaurants and pubs since its inception.
Where to try: The Fours, Beantown Pub, State Street Provisions, Rebel’s Guild, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Marliave.
2. Enjoy the 1856 Staple Food of Boston - Boston Cream Pie
Perhaps the second-best food in Boston is the renowned Boston cream pie, also once known as chocolate cream pie. It’s been a staple food of Boston since 1856, when it was curated by Augustine Francois, a French chef, at the Omni Parker House Hotel. The dessert comprises two layers of sponge cake immersed in custard, touched with rum syrup, and completed with shiny chocolate fondant.
Where to try: Omni Parker House Hotel, Legal Sea Foods, Flour Bakery, Magnolia Bakery, Flour Bakery, S&S Restaurant, Oak Long Bar + Kitchen, and Union Square Donuts.
3. Pick your Cannolis between Two Cannoli Rivals in Boston
One of the foods in Boston that sees some rivalry in the city is cannoli. Where you get the best cannolis in town is just as important and what kind you get your hands on. The Italian hollow pastry pipes are stuffed with sweet ricotta cheese and dusted with either fruits, nuts, or chocolate. If you head to the North End, you could go to Mike’s Pastry, a family-run bakery operating since 1946; make cannolis, and place them in white boxes tied with a thread. Or, you could also go to Modern Pastry, down the street where you’ll find three generations of bakers doing what they’re best at - preparing the cannolis and hand-filling the pipes with the sweet, sweet ricotta cheese. Or, you could just try both the cannolis and decide which one’s your favorite.
Where to try: Modern Pastry, Mike’s Pastry
4. Boston has no shortage with the supply of Lobster Rolls
This iconic Maine lobster roll is looked down upon by the Bostonian neighbor, Maine if it’s eaten anywhere outside of Maine. That being said, lobster rolls in Boston are a favorite summer meal. This dish is a sandwich that’s served on a butter-rolled griddle - comes with pink lobster meat sandwiched between the rolls, and butter or mayo is generously poured onto the dish.
Where to try: Neptune Oyster, Yankee Lobster Co., James Hook, and Co., Pauli’s, B&G Oysters.
5. Don’t leave Boston without trying Clam Chowder
Clam chowdah... as the locals like to pronounce it, has been in Boston for centuries, thanks to all the settlers - Nova Scotian, British, or French. These settlers brought the trending thick soup into New England in the 18th century. Although there are a plethora of versions to this style of dish, Boston has nailed the New England version of clam chowder that comprises a white chowder concocted out of shellfish, clams, milk, or cream, potatoes, and thickened oyster crackers.
Where to try: James Hook and Co., Legal Sea Foods, Union Oyster House, Mooncusser Fish House, and Puritan and Company.
6. Grab Fish and Chips for a Hearty Lunch
Feel the summer of New England when you take the first bite of fish and chips. Although fish and chips have existed since the 19th century in London, Boston has welcomed this British-favourite dish with open arms. The fish - mostly pollock, haddock, or cod, is battered in flour and deep-fried until it looks crispy and golden. And it is paired with golden fries.
Where to try: Matt Murphy’s Pub, Barking Crab
7. Oysters are a True Delicacy in Boston
Along with the lobster rolls, Bostonians have shared the same love for oysters when it comes to the seafood community. If you’re a newbie to the oyster club, make sure the oysters are plump, heavy, and need to have a lot of liquid encompassing the meat. Also, the oysters should smell salty and light.
Where to try: Island Creek Oysters, Row 34, and Union Oyster House.
8. Roast Beef Sandwich - A Classic American Experience
Beef roast sandwiches have taken the North Shore of Massachusetts by storm in the country, but that doesn’t mean greater Boston’s roast beef sandwiches are any less. It comes with its own specialty of roast beef sandwich offerings, which have been around since the 1950s.
The classic roast beef sandwich of Boston is filled with loads of thinly shaved or sliced roast beef on a soft roll. This roll mainly comprises onion. That being said, a true roast beef fan opts for a ‘three-way’ sandwich. This sandwich comes topped with heaps of barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, and white American cheese.
Where to try: Kelly’s Roast Beef, Harrison’s Roast Beef, Angelo’s Famous Roast Beef.
9. Enjoy the Traditional Milkshake of Boston known as Frappes
No, it’s not a short term Frappuccino. In fact, frappes are what the rest of the country, as well as the world, knows as a milkshake. However, in the northeast region of the US - in New England, a milkshake is a cold beverage that’s prepared from cold milk and flavored syrup. But, a frappe is called a frappe when you add the ice-cream into the milkshake.
Where to try: Christina's Ice Cream, Lizzy’s, Toscanini’s
10. Clam Chowder’s Partner-in-delicious Goodness is a Clam Cake
Clam cakes, also known as clam fritters, are mostly found in Rhode Island, but this New England dish is also found in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine. They are battered clams that are deep-fried into deep-fried balls.
Clam cakes are served in various forms. You could have it as takeaway food and finger food comprising french fries and various cakes. But, the best and classic way of having this dish is, when it’s paired with clam chowder. Here, you dip the clam cakes into the clam chowder and devour all the goodness of clams. The cakes can also be eaten dry or with the use of ketchup or sauce.
Where to try: Yankee Lobster, Boston Chowda, Tony’s Clam Shop, The Clam Box
11. Yankee Pot Roast is the true essence of New England Kitchen
A quite renowned winter dish, Yankee pot roast has been in existence for over 100 years. The combination of rich, creamy sauce, tender beef, and seasoned vegetables is what comfort food is all about.
This classic dish of Boston, pot roast, comprises browned meat that’s cooked with vegetables and covered in a pot; and the dish started appearing in New England cookbooks in the 19th century.
Where to try: Bostonia Public House, Halfway Cafe, Grill 23 & Bar, Sam LaGrassa’s
12. Attend Boston Red Sox Home Game with Fenway Frank
It ain’t just any other hot dog. It’s Fenway Frank! This is a different kind of hot dog that can be found only in Fenway Park, which is the home of the Red Sox. This staple food of Fenway Park has been in people’s hearts for over 100 years.
The secret behind this is every hot dog is boiled first and then gently grilled to keep all the moisture and juices, which will explode in your mouth after the first bite. This hot dog is later placed into a classic split-top roll.
Where to try: Fenway Park
13. Oh, for-the-love of Stuffed Gnocchi
Stuffed gnocchi is a comfort food unlike any. This Boston cuisine is most-famous at No.9 Park where chef Barbara Lynch serves her signature dish decorated with Vin Santo, harkens, almonds, and foie gras.
She uses the technique of soaking the prunes with Vin Santo, an Italian wine, and then wraps it into a potato gnocchi dough. This dish is then complete with an impeccable sauce that’s a blend of foie gras and butter.
Best place to try: No.9 Park
Other places to try: Harvest, Parla, Bistro di Mudi
14. Irish Beef Stew Meat Pie is all the Rage in Boston
Pie is the most comforting dish, no matter where you are. The round pastry full of meat, vegetables, poultry, or even seafood, and even the sweet ingredients have a nostalgic element to the entire dish.
And especially during winters, pies are all the rage, thanks to all the festivals and holidays. One of the more comforting things than having served a bowl of Irish beef stew is having it baked into a crusty pie. All the flavors used in the ingredients blend perfectly with the beef. The ingredients are filled with celery, carrots, onions, herbs, and beef broth, and they are topped onto the puff pastry.
Where to try: KO Pies
15. Get the Best of Both the Worlds with Maple Bacon Doughnut
Not many people can resist the sweet, sweet crispy bacon. And not many people can give up on the maple glazed doughnut. So, when these two come together, you get the best of both worlds - a perfect blend of sweet and salty. Basically, both a breakfast and dessert formed into one delicious bite.
Where to try: Unique Square Donuts, Kane’s Donuts, Blackbird Doughnuts
16. Try the Best Bagel in Boston - T-Rex Bagel Sandwich
Boston might not be the place where bagels are the first thing that people would think of. Sure there’s a great Baseball team, clam chowder, etc, but bagels definitely aren’t under the spotlight. That being said, bagels became all the hype when the T-Rex bagel sandwich of Bagelsaurus was introduced to the Bostonians. This sandwich is filled with banana, almond butter, honey, and bacon (optional).
Where to try: BagelsaurusFor the hardcore food lovers who travel the world mostly to try out new dishes, it’s only fair to eat the foods the city is popular for. So, make sure to try out these 7 must-try foods while out and about in Boston.