Authentic Boston Cuisine: Iconic Local Dishes & Where to Try Them
Creamy clam chowder. Crispy fried cod. To-die-for cannoli and decadent Boston cream pie. Boston's culinary scene offers a delicious balance of heart-warming comfort foods and innovative dishes - all inspired by the bounty of fresh local seafood and diverse cultural makeup of the city's many immigrant groups (thank you, Italians). Whether you have a sweet tooth or a seafood craving, you'll discover incredible Boston cuisine that speaks to the soul of the city. Check out some of our favorite dishes and where to live out your foodie dreams in Boston.
Lobster Rolls (aka Lobstah Rolls): Hot or Cold & Simply Divine
The beauty of the New England lobster roll is in its simplicity: fresh chunks of lobster meat piled high sauce on a toasted bun. Lobster rolls can be served hot with a butter sauce or cold with mayo - and almost always comes with a side of fries. Best enjoyed outdoors on a warm and sunny day, the lobster roll is a quintessential summertime treat in Boston. Try one of the city's most iconic lobster sandwiches at award-winning Neptune Oyster in the North End. Be prepared to wait - they don't take reservations. But it's totally worth it, as the legions of locals in line will let you know. Neptune Oyster is also known for its classic New England clambake, featuring a whole lobster, fresh clams, chorizo, and corn on the cob.
Heavenly Boston Cream Pie - Or Is It a Cake?
Created in 1856 by a chef at the Parker House, this creamy layered dessert is half cake, half pie. Rounds of yellow French butter sponge cake are layered with velvety custard cream and brushed with rum - and then the entire thing is covered with rich chocolate fondant. While you can find different versions of the Boston cream pie all over the city (including iterations as doughnuts, cannoli, and frappes) - they're still serving the original at Parker House, located in Downtown Boston.
True New England Clam Chowder: Thick, Rich & Creamy
With a briny white broth made with plenty of cream, Boston's clam chowder is the perfect dish to warm your body and your soul. Unlike Rhode Island's thin version (no thank you) or Manhattan's red chowder (the horror!) - TRUE New England clam chowder is always thick, creamy, and white. The iconic soup is made with fresh clams, chunks of potatoes, bacon, onion, and cream. Try one of the best bowls in the city at Union Oyster House, a historic seafood restaurant on the Freedom Trail. It's Boston's oldest eatery!
Boston Baked Beans: A Humble Colonial Favorite Taken to New Heights
Welcome to Beantown! Boston's nickname comes from slow-cooked Boston baked beans, an old-fashioned dish traditionally made with navy beans, salt pork, brown sugar, molasses, onion, and dry mustard. Many restaurants' recipes date back over 100 years. But today's chefs are also adding new twists to the classic, with add-ins like pork belly, bacon, and maple syrup. Cooked until a sweet crust begins to form and the flavors meld, Boston baked beans are ideal on a chilly evening or blustery winter day. Try them at Marliave, a rightfully famous French restaurant that serves their meaty version of Boston baked beans in a cast iron pot.
Creamy Italian Cannoli: Melt-In-Your-Mouth Masterpiece Pastries
Boston's large Italian population means that the pastries here are on-point, and there's no more beloved pastry in Boston than the cannoli. Delicate, hand-rolled pastry shells are piped full of sweet, ricotta-based cream and then topped off on both ends with chocolate chips, toasted nuts, or candies. You'll find a huge variety of cannoli, including pistachio, limoncello, raspberry, tiramisu, mint chocolate, Nutella, amaretto, strawberry, peanut butter…but you can never go wrong the classic "plain." Two pastry shops in Boston are locked in an endless battle for cannoli supremacy, Mike's Pastry and Modern Pastry. Try them both and decide for yourself!
Crispy, Crunchy Fish & Chips with Cole Slaw & Tartar Sauce
Boston's English heritage has left a taste for hot fried fish and chips, a delicious dish which is served pretty much all over the city. Fresh cod is the fish of choice and a source of local pride. Fish and chips are traditionally served on a sheet of newspaper, with the fried fish fillets stacked on top of the chips (aka French fries). Coleslaw, tartar sauce, and lemon wedges come standard. Quality can vary greatly however, so choose your fish and chips wisely. Try them for lunch or dinner at Rebels Guild, an English-style pub that serves beer-battered cod loin (plus artisan cocktails and other local treats like lobster fritters, clam chowder, and Boston barbecue.
Indulge in Genuine Boston Cuisine at Revere Hotel: Rebel's Guild
Fish and chips are just the beginning of the provocative Boston cuisine and pioneering treats at Rebel's Guild, located adjacent to Revere Hotel and just steps away from the Theatre District. Savor creative local specialties made with fresh, organic ingredients plus bold brews and unique libations - all in a playful atmosphere inspired by the spirit of the famous revolutionary, Paul Revere. You'll also find a rustic-chic lobby bar plus a coveted rooftop lounge, Rooftop@Revere. Immerse yourself in the authentic character and brilliant spirit of Boston with every bite - and every moment - at Revere Hotel.