As someone who grew up in Boston and lived here for for more than 23 years, it’s safe to say I know of a few hidden gems in the city! As I prepare to move to my NEW city of Chicago on May 11, I thought it only fitting to share some of my favorite haunts in my hometown. While first timers to the city obviously have to visit tourist mainstays like the Freedom Trail and Newbury Street, here are some of the places I’d take a guest.
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Now without further ado…
My 6 Favorite Hidden Gems in Boston, Massachusetts
1. The Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library
My favorite museum in Boston is one that almost no one knows about – the Mapparium in the Mary Baker Eddy Library. It’s a three-story, stained-glass globe that offers a three-dimensional perspective of the world of 1935. It’s also just $6 for a tour ($4 for students).
2. Pauli’s for a Lobster Roll
You can’t take a trip to Boston without eating a lobster roll (or “lobstah roll,” as some of us might call it). At Pauli’s in the North End you can go all out with their “Lobstitution” – at 25oz it’s the biggest one in New England!
3. Jamaica Plain
See Boston’s quirky side in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood known for its artsy residents, cool independently owned restaurants and sustainable sensibilities.
It’s also known for Jamaica Pond, a lovely area to walk (or run!) around on a nice day.
Some of my favorite local JP spots: Chilacates (a tiny but delicious place for tacos & burritos), Vee Vee (a nice spot for a laid back dinner, focused on seasonal ingredients) and Bella Luna Restaurant/Milky Way Lounge (they have avocado pizza and a parking lot… enough said!).
4. Pier 6
When the weather turns nice, one of the best places for dinner on the Boston waterfront is Pier 6 in Charlestown. It has a panoramic view of the city skyline, and you can actually take a water taxi there, which is half the fun.
5. The South End
The South End is one of Boston’s most beautiful historic neighborhoods and on the weekends it’s a trendy place for eating, drinking + shopping. Some of my must-visit spots in the area are…
In the summer: Don’t miss the SoWa Open Market on Sundays, featuring food trucks, locally made goods, art and a farmer’s market. It’s right next to Gaslight.
For dinner: Myers + Chang is the yummiest Asian fusion I’ve had ever. Not an exaggeration. This is definitely my favorite hidden gem of Boston, although I’m not sure how “hidden” it is given that it’s packed nightly. Make a reservation!
For cocktails: the speakeasy-esque Wink & Nod. One of their drinks has a Hi-C in it if you feel like indulging you’re inner 6 year old. Pro tip: go on a weeknight or early to avoid lines.
6. Nebo for Modern Italian Eats
Skip the crowded, overhyped North End for Italian food (I already told you to go there for a lobster roll, didn’t I??) and instead book a reservation at Nebo Cucina & Enoteca near Boston’s waterfront. It’s much more convenient, as you can get a reservation using the Open Table app. Start with cocktails at the bar, and when you get hungry move on to one of their yummy pasta dishes – or non-pasta dishes: the zucchini lasagna is all the yum with none of the guilt. This place gets lively in the summer, and soon you can enjoy these refreshing drinks outside with a view of the city and great people watching.
And those are my favorite hidden gems of Boston! Did I miss anything? If so, please let me know in the comments… since my family’s still here, I’ll be back a ton and always enjoy finding something new in town. And of course if you know of any Chicago hidden gems… please do tell 🙂