Written by Ariel Goldberg

Boston is many things, and a food-lover’s paradise is certainly one of them (even its nickname – “Beantown” – comes from food; it’s an homage to baked beans, a regional and historical favorite).

When you think Boston, you might think clam chowder, cream pies, lobster rolls, and beer. And, while you can undoubtedly find the aforementioned delicacies aplenty, the city has so much more to offer.

There are so many great places to eat that we knew we couldn’t fit all the best into one article, but we tried. So, without further ado, here’s the WITS ’15 ultimate Boston food guide!

Boloco on the Common. Photo courtesy of Ariel Goldberg.
Boloco on the Common. Photo courtesy of Ariel Goldberg.

Close to the Revere

Erbaluce (2 minute walk) $$$: A small restaurant with elegant Italian dishes and a wonderfully executed menu that changes nightly.

Finale (2 minute walk) $$: Finale is a dessert lover’s dream. But they also have plenty of yummy drinks and small plates.

Boloco (3 minute walk) $: Full disclosure: We are in love with Boloco. Founded in Boston (side note: their name stands for BOston LOcal COmpany (AKA Boloco…get it?)), this city-wide chain serves up delicious, inspired, and mindfully sourced burritos, bowls, and shakes/smoothies.

Liquid Art House (3 minute walk) $$$: Liquid Art House offers classically chic American food from INSIDE a fantastic art gallery. Show them your WITS ’15 badge for a 10% discount throughout the weekend!

Jacob Wirth (4 minute walk) $$: A German-inspired beer hall with an extensive drink list and a menu that’ll leave you quite full.

Empire Garden (5 minute walk) $$: Arguably the best dim sum in Chinatown.

Parish Cafe (6 minute walk) $$: Yummy and unique sandwiches; a local favorite! They’ve also got another location in the South End if you feel like taking a further walk.

Pho Pasteur (6 minute walk) $: Who doesn’t love pho? One of our favorite places for Vietnamese treats in Chinatown.

Liquid Art House. Photo courtesy of Gustav Hoiland.Liquid Art House! Photo courtesy of Gustav Hoiland.

My Thai (6 minute walk) $$: Vegan and vegetarian delights, plus bubble tea that you absolutely cannot miss while you’re in the city.

Fire + Ice (7 minute walk) $$: Fire + Ice is a chain, but we’re throwing it on here because of its unique concept (self-serve style where you can fill your plate with all sorts of proteins, vegetables, and starches and then bring it up to a giant circular flattop where a slew of chefs will cook it right in front of you) and its excellent group atmosphere. A great place to bring some of your new WITS ’15 friends!

Mei Sum (7 minute walk) $: A hidden little Vietnamese bakery that serves crisp and fresh banh mi sandwiches for just $3.50 each!

New Dong Khanh (7 minute walk) $: Classic Vietnamese delicacies, plus killer bubble tea. How can you go wrong?

Caffe Nero (9 minute walk) $$: A beautiful Italian-style cafe with something for everyone.

Boston Common Coffee Co. (10 minute walk): Fabulous local coffee chain; other locations throughout the city!

Elsewhere Around the City

Back Bay

Cafeteria $$: Salads, sandwiches, and burgers done right (we hear the lamb burger is especially delicious).

Joe’s American Bar and Grill $$: Catch them at our opening party! A classic American spot with locations around the city (although we especially love the one in Back Bay).

Sweetgreen $$: Delicious vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and more options for those with dietary restrictions!

Trident Booksellers and Cafe $$: A cafe INSIDE a bookstore? Yes, it’s true (and the food’s pretty great too)!

Beacon Hill

Paramount $$: One of the best breakfasts or brunches in the city and delightfully nestled on adorable Charles Street.

TRADE Boston. Photo courtesy of TRADE.Yummy cocktails. Photo courtesy of TRADE.

South End

Myers + Chang $$: An upscale tapas-style Asian eatery in a chic setting with mindfully-sourced and used ingredients.

South End Buttery $$:  A quiet neighborhood bakery/cafe that doubles as an amazingly good diner and bar (basically everything you could ever want).

Waterfront

TRADE $$$: Catch them at our opening party! A modern (and exquisite) take on Mediterranean. Show them your WITS ’15 badge for a special WITS cocktail throughout the weekend!

North End

There are SO MANY places to eat in the North End that we could make an entire article (an entire 5 articles) just devoted to that. But here are a few of our (somewhat unconventional and not just Italian) favorites.

Haymarket $: Not a restaurant per se, but an open air vendor’s market with TONS of cheap produce, breads, cheeses, and so much more. A great spot to hit on Fridays and Saturdays – especially in a group – before or after wandering the North End or Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market.

Mike’s/Modern/Bova’s $: You can’t go wrong with any of these places. Mike’s and Modern, located almost exactly across from each other on Hanover Street, have a rather historic rivalry among locals over who has the better cannoli (we prefer Mike’s, but we’ll let you be the judge). However, Bova’s is open 24/7, which gives it a special place in our hearts.

Regina Pizzeria $$: You may not think pizza when you think Boston, but trust us, this is Boston’s quintessential pizzeria. The original location is in the North End, but there are Reginas all over the city.

Saus $: Walk across the threshold of Saus and you’ll feel like you’ve left Boston and plopped down in Brussels. Waffles and fries make this Belgian-style street food spot a favorite.

Union Oyster House $$$: While their oysters are always spot on, the Union Oyster House (also known as the oldest continuously running restaurant in the country) has both an awesome beer (called the Union Colonial Ale) brewed specially for them by Sam Adams and also a Boston cream pie that is, we think, the best in the city. (Tip: Sit in the bar for less of a wait and a smaller, but still excellent, menu.)

Fenway/Kenmore

Citizen Public House $$$: Catch them at our opening party! Pig roast? Raw bar? All the whiskey you could possibly want to drink? Citizen Public has it all.

Eastern Standard $$$: One of the go-to nighttime food joints in the city, Eastern Standard is on the pricey side, but absolutely worth it.

Photo courtesy of Ariel Goldberg.Photo courtesy of Ariel Goldberg.

El Pelon Taqueria $: Catch them at our opening party! Some of the best Mexican food in the city.

Sweet Cheeks Q $$: Family-style BBQ and southern comfort food that is rich and tasty. A great place to bring a group!

Symphony Sushi $$: This sushi joint may seem run of the mill, but we’ve been dreaming about their Symphony Roll since the last time we had it.

Cambridge

Clover Food Lab $: Founded by an MIT material science grad and Harvard MBA, Clover serves up unique but simple (and simply delicious) food that changes based on the day or season. Keep an eye out for their food truck too!

Life Alive Cafe $$: Life Alive bills itself as an urban oasis and organic cafe. Delightful and hip healthy bites.

Mr Bartley’s $$: Bartley’s is a Harvard Square institution that specializes in burgers and fries and has a menu as long as it is sassy. Our favorites are the People’s Republic of Cambridge (Liberal Heaven), Taxachu$ette$, and Viagara (Rise to the Occasion).

Border Cafe $$: Delicious Tex-Mex and Cajun/Creole food, amazing margaritas, and a super fun atmosphere. Need we say more? (Try the pastelitos!)

Brookline

Paris Creperie $$: Sweet crepes, savory crepes, combo crepes…we love crepes! A little Parisian hideaway in Coolidge Corner.

Publick House $$: Anther Belgian spot, but this one with a beer list to kill (and frites with more dipping sauces than we can count).

Seven Subs $: Subs, hoagies, sandwiches…whatever you call them, know that they’re great here. Try the Lucky 7.

Zaftig’s $$: Jewish deli-style comfort food, plain and simple. Get the latkes. Actually, get anything. Get everything. It’s all amazing.

Photo courtesy of Ariel Goldberg.Mmmm, Pho Pasteur. Photo courtesy of Ariel Goldberg.

Allston/Brighton

The Avenue $: A dive bar in the heart of Boston’s college central. Drink and food specials every night, 30 taps, and wings that might melt your face off (but are totally worth it).

Deep Ellum $$: Craft beer, eclectic bites, and a laid back atmosphere.

Garlic n’ Lemons $: Think Mediterranean Chipotle. Get anything with their couscous or falafel, trust us.

Soul Fire BBQ $$: Finger-licking delicious chicken, ribs, and sides. We especially love the mac and cheese!

Super 88 $: Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese…you name it, Super 88 has a place with it (and they’re ALL good)!

Tasca $$: A bit of a T ride away from the summit, but this tapas bar is well worth the trip (try the sangria!).

Have another great food recommendation? Post a comment here or on this thread in our WITS Attendees Facebook group!