What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
Birthplace of the American Revolution, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and a fascinating, accessible tourist destination, even for first-time visitors to the USA.
Widely considered to be the most European city in America, Boston will charm you with its rich history and its distinct neighbourhoods.
Discover the architecture, culture and historic pride of this economic capital with a sightseeing tour—by bike, ''Duck Tour'' or on foot—or self-guided tour.
Numerous historic sites bear witness to America's fight for liberty, from North End to Beacon Hill to Back Bay.
If you fancy breathing in a little salt air, a walk along the Boston Waterfront, on Atlantic Avenue, will allow you to admire the boats and the various docks such as Commercial Wharf, Long Wharf and Rowes Wharf .
You can also stop for a picnic in Christopher Columbus Park.
New England Aquarium
The New England Aquarium has so much to offer that visitors of all ages hardly know where to look first! From sharks to penguins, clownfish to anacondas, the aquarium is home to more than 600 species of animals, reptiles and fish, including several rare specimens.
The main attraction is, without a doubt, the Giant Ocean Tank, a four-storey, 700,000-litre coral reef featuring hundreds of Caribbean reef animals that visitors can observe through large glass windows.
In addition to traditional aquarium tanks, the aquarium offers the chance to observe an array of marine mammals and birds. An open-air marine mammal habitat houses seals and sea lions that can be seen lounging, playing and zooming around the exhibit space.
Open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Climb on board the Voyager III, a high-speed catamaran operated by Boston Harbor Cruises, which has partnered up with the New England Aquarium to offer 3,5 hour whale-watching cruises.
The cruise will take you to the heart of Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, one of the most active marine sanctuaries in the world, three miles north of Cape Cod at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay.
You will have the chance to observe these majestic marine mammals in their natural habitat, and learn all about them from onboard naturalist guides trained by New England Aquarium experts.
This area is home to several kinds of large whales, including acrobatic humpback whales, finback whales, minke whales, pilot whales and the critically endangered right whales, as well as dolphins, sea birds and other marine life.
Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made directly on their website. Departures every day from mid-March to mid-November, with one departure per day in low season and several sailings per day in high season.
If you're travelling with young children and would like to treat them to a fun learning experience, the Boston Children's Museum is sure to please! One of the largest children's museums in the world and one of the oldest and most beautiful in the United States, it is entirely dedicated to educating children through hands-on experience and play, with exhibits focusing on topics such as health & fitness, environmental awareness, culture, the arts and science.
The museum's young visitors will enjoy exploring and interacting with the museum's many innovative, child-centred exhibits. It is also one of the few children’s museums in the world to maintain a permanent collection of more than 50,000 items.
Open Wednesday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. You must reserve.
Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)
Contemporary art lovers are sure to enjoy visiting this small museum overlooking Massachusetts Bay. In addition to regularly-changing temporary collections, you can admire the permanent collection of videos, photographs and paintings by great American and international artists.
Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
The Boston Tea Party was an important historic event that paved the way for the American Revolution and the War of Independence of 1776. Angry about the unpopular policies and taxes imposed by Great Britain and the British East India Company's monopoly on tea sales, more than one hundred American patriots disguised as Native Americans dumped an entire shipment of 45 tons of tea from three British ships into Boston Harbour.
The museum's guided tour will take you onto a full-scale restored 18th-century sailing vessel where you will relive, and even take part in, the Boston Tea Party, accompanied by interpreters in period costume. The museum also offers a collection of historic artifacts and interactive exhibits in addition to an award-winning multi-sensory documentary.
The museum is open Thursday-Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This 4-kilometre red-lined route will lead you to 16 official historic sites, including churches, cemeteries, museums, parks and houses, that played a significant role in the American Revolution. The complete circuit takes about a day. If you don't have time to see it all, here are some of the highlights you won't want to miss:
Boston Common is America's oldest public park. Located in the heart of Boston, the Common has borne witness to many significant events in the city's history since its founding in 1634.
Puritan colonists purchased the land rights to the Common’s 44 acres from the first settler of the area, Anglican minister William Blackstone. The pasture then became known as the "Common Land" and was used to graze local livestock. Over the years, it has served as a camp for British troops, a site for public hangings and civil war recruitment, and has played host to anti-slavery meetings, anti-Vietnam War and civil rights rallies, and public assemblies of all kinds.
Boston Common is the starting point for the Freedom Trail. Pay a visit to the Boston Common Visitor Center (139 Tremont Street), inside the park, before setting out to explore the Trail.
Boston Common is also the perfect spot to relax by “Frog Pond”, which features a children's carrousel and water games in summer and becomes an ice-skating rink in winter, or to go for a stroll along one of the park's short pedestrian trails.
Old South Meeting House
This historic Puritan church, built in 1729, was the biggest building in all of colonial Boston and an important gathering place for almost three hundred years. Members of the congregation included none other than patriot leader and founding father Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin, founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence. This was the place where colonists met time after time to challenge British rule. On December 16, 1773, 5,000 colonists gathered to decide what to do about the tea on ships moored in the Boston harbour, leading to the events of the Boston Tea Party.
Old South Meeting House is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please note that the doors will close at 4 p.m. on June 30 and July 1st.
Old State House
The oldest surviving public building in Boston and the former seat of colonial government, the Old State House was at the center of several events that sparked the American Revolution. It was in front of the Old State House that, on a cold night in March 1770, a group of British soldiers opened fire, killing five Bostonians and injuring many others. This incident, known as the Boston Massacre, fueled the anger of the Patriots and led to public protests and threats of retaliation. On July 18, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was first read to the people of Boston from the Old State House balcony.
The museum is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please note that it will open at 11 a.m. on July 4, after reading the Declaration of Independence.
Faneuil Hall played an important historical role in the build-up to the American War of Independence and has served as an open forum for debate and discussion for over 250 years. Behind the Hall stands a statue of Samuel Adams, an important figure in American history. Known as the Cradle of Liberty, Faneuil Hall was built in 1741 by wealthy merchant Peter Faneuil to be a permanent public market house. The building is topped by the famous gilded "Grasshopper" weather vane, symbol of the Boston Harbour.
Usually open Wednesday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's days.
Just behind historic Faneuil Hall is the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, a series of restored 19th century buildings housing food stalls, cafes, shops and restaurants of all kinds. The main building, Quincy Market , is a Greek Revival gem built in 1826 to accommodate the overflow of vendors from nearby Faneuil Hall. You will find something for every taste: it's the perfect to stop for an inexpensive bite to eat. One of Boston's must-see attractions!
Open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Paul Revere House
Built around 1680, the Paul Revere House is the oldest remaining structure in downtown Boston and the only home on the Freedom Trail. Paul Revere, a goldsmith, purchased the house in 1770. He and his family lived here when Revere made his famous "Midnight Ride" to Lexington on the night of April 18-19, 1775 to inform John Hancock and Samuel Adams of the route taken by the 800 British soldiers coming to arrest them and seize their weapons and ammunition. You will learn about the life and times of Paul Revere, and will even see several pieces of furniture that belonged to the Revere family. Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. from April 15 to October 31, and from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. from November 1 to April 14.
Usually open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Old North Church
Visit the oldest standing church in Boston, founded in 1723 and made famous by Paul Revere's “Midnight Ride”. It was from the church's steeple (the tallest in Boston) that two lanterns were hung signalling that the British were coming to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River and not by land, on the night of April 18, 1775. A real icon of American history!
Usually open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in high season and Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in low season.
Built in 1794, the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned U.S. navy warship afloat, and a great source of national pride. She earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” during the War of 1812 when cannonballs fired at her appeared to bounce off, causing one of her crew to remark that her sides were made of iron. Note that the USS Constitution is open for public visitation, free of charge.
The nearby USS Constitution Museum boasts an impressive collection of more than 3,000 objects spanning over 200 years of naval history.
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Beacon Hill is one of Boston's most picturesque neighbourhoods, with its English-style red brick houses, gas lanterns and cobblestone streets. A walk through Beacon Hill is a must-do Boston activity, especially at night when the gas lanterns flicker to life, creating a romantic atmosphere! The neighbourhood is named for the beacon installed on the top of the hill to warn residents of an invasion in the 17th century. Here are some of the highlights you won't want to miss:
Rising on the top of Beacon Hill, State House is a real architectural gem. Designed by architect Charles Bulfinch and built in 1798, its dome is completely covered in 24-carat gold leaf. It is the seat of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Free guided tours lasting 30-45 minutes are available Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
During the 19th century, Beacon Street was very popular with the city's wealthier families. It is lined with a number of sumptuous urban mansions.
Be sure to visit Chestnut Street, which features a variety of 1800-1830 architectural styles, including the so-called “Swan Houses” at numbers 13, 15 and 17.
Mount Vernon Street
It is said that the area's most elegant homes are found on Mount Vernon Street! One of these, the Rose Nichols House Museum, designed in 1804, is one of the few Beacon Hill houses open to the public (55 Mount Vernon Street).
This area of Beacon Hill is one of the most affluent parts of Boston. With its private park and elegant neo-classical mansions, it has been home to some of the city’s most notable residents.
This charming narrow lane is the most photographed street in Boston: you're sure to get some great shots!
Beacon Hill's main shopping street offers an array of boutiques, antique dealers, art galleries, cafes and restaurants. It's the perfect spot to do some shopping or take a break in a cafe!
East of Boston Public Garden along the Charles River is Back Bay, a neighbourhood most famous for its rows of Victorian brownstone homes but also a popular shopping and dining destination.
It's hard to believe that the area used to be covered in marshland!
Familiarly referred to as “Comm Ave”, Commonwealth Ave is one of Boston's major streets. Designed by architect Arthur D. Gilman in the Paris boulevard style in 1856, it is a parkway divided down the centre by a 32-acre wide grassy mall. This greenway, called Commonwealth Avenue Mall, is punctuated with benches and memorials and lined with magnificent trees including elm, ash, maple and linden.
Newbury Street, Boston's chic shopping district, will meet all your shopping needs, with its many stores and boutiques of all kinds and for every budget. There are also art galleries and antique shops, as well as many restaurants and cafes.
Prudential Center Skywalk
Like large cities around the world, Boston has its Skywalk Observatory, on the 50th floor of the Prudential Center, offering visitors sweeping 360-degree views of Greater Boston and beyond.
Open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
This bustling public square was named in honour of celebrated American portrait painter John Singleton Copley, a bronze statue of whom can be found there. The square features several marvels of American architecture including Trinity Church , the Public Library and cultural institutions like the Museum of Fine Arts . If you visit on a Tuesday or Friday between mid-May and mid-November, you will have the chance to see the famous Copley Square Farmer's Market, Boston's biggest and busiest farmers market where many local farmers come to offer a vibrant selection of fresh produce.
Between Boylston and Dartmouth Streets and St-James Avenue
Located in Copley Square, this magnificent neo-Roman style church was designed by architect Henry Hobson Richardson and built in 1877. If you would like to visit this masterpiece, admission is around $10 per adult and free for children aged 12 and under.
Open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry for the visit at 4.30 p.m.).
Boston Public Library
Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986, the Boston Public Library is the pride of Boston. Established in 1848, it was the first large free municipal library in the country, the first public library to lend books, and the first to have a children's section. Over the course of its history, the library was forced to change quarters several times, as its collection continued to grow. Today the Boston Public Library holds more than 23 million items in its various branches across the city. The Central Library in Copley Square is an outstanding example of Renaissance Beaux-Arts Classicism in America and is definitely worth a visit.
Open Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday until 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Boston Public Garden, next to the Boston Common, was America's first public botanical garden.
The iconic Swan Boats, which began operating in 1877, are a popular tourist attraction. Children especially enjoy the short 15-minute ride on the artificial lake, passing under the suspension bridge, surrounded by weeping willows (usually open every day from mid-April between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for the tourist season.
Stroll along its meandering pathways with their decorative trees, plants and fountains, and admire the statues such as a bronze of the family of ducks immortalized in the children's book “Make way for Ducklings” and an equestrian statue of George Washington. You can even watch real swans and ducks on the lagoon!
Located between Beacon, Arlington, Boylston and Charles Streets.
Charles River Esplanade
Along the Charles River, between the Museum of Science and the Boston University Bridge and across the river from the City of Cambridge, stretches a 5-km leafy path. The perfect place to stretch your legs or perhaps stop for a picnic lunch, the Esplanade features walking trails, bike trails, historical monuments, a marina and children's playgrounds.
Museums you won't want to miss...
Museum of fine Arts
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1870 and is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world. The museum's collection encompasses more than 500,000 works of art, with 13 collection areas: Art of the Americas, Art of Europe, Art of Asia, Art of Africa and Oceania, Art of the Ancient World, Contemporary Art, Judaica, Photography, Prints and Drawings, Musical Instruments, Department of Textiles and Fashion Arts, and Jewelry. It also houses frequently-changing temporary exhibitions, offering visitors new experiences with every visit. Take a tour of the museum with a touch screen mobile Guide (available in several languages) and learn more about the different exhibits and works of art.
Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last admission at 4.30 p.m.).
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Isabella Stewart Gardner was a passionate collector of art and rare objects. She travelled around the world collecting more than 2,500 treasures, including furniture, sculptures, drawings, ceramics, rare books and manuscripts (including early editions of Dante), paintings, textiles, silver, photographs and letters written at different times in history including Ancient Rome. After the death of her husband in 1898, she had a magnificent 15th-century Venetian-style palace with sumptuous gardens built to house her extensive collection, and the museum opened its doors to the public in 1903. You will find works by great masters such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Manet, Rembrandt, Raphaël, Matisse, and many more.
Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays.
Let's talk Sports!
Like many large American cities, Boston has several major league sports teams.
If you're in town between April and September and have the time, why not buy tickets to a Red Sox baseball game at Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox since 1912? It's the ultimate all-American sports experience!
Red Sox: www.mlb.com/redsox
Basketball fans can see the Celtics in action from October to April at TD Garden, which is also the headquarters of one of the oldest hockey clubs in the National Hockey League (NHL), the Boston Bruins, founded in 1924. Their regular season begins in September and runs until April.
Celtics : www.nba.com/celtics
Attention beer lovers
If you love a good brew, be sure to visit Samuel Adams Brewery, named in honour of one of America's founding fathers. The brewery's story began when its founder, Jim Koch, brewed the first batch of Boston Lager in his kitchen – using a recipe that belonged to his great-great-grandfather that he found in his father’s attic back in the early 1980’s. Jim believed that beer drinkers deserved a better beer option that what was available at the time, and this remains a motivation today. The brewery opened its doors 1988 and admission is free. Guests aged 21 or over can take a brewery tour, which includes samples of three Samuel Adams beers.
These tours are available from Thursday to Sunday. The brasserie is open Monday to Friday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Boston's reputation is due in part to neighbouring Cambridge, home to two of the world's most prestigious universities, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technologies) and Harvard University .
Harvard University and Harvard Yard
Founded in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Its sprawling 209-acre main campus houses some 500 buildings large and small. Harvard Yard is the oldest part of the university campus.
Take the time to admire the classical and modern architecture and to take a walk through the campus of this iconic university whose alumni include such notable figures as John F. Kennedy, Bill Gates, Barak Obama, Nathalie Portman and Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.
The oldest building on campus is Massachusetts Hall, built in 1720, followed by Holden Chapel in 1744, Hollis Hall in 1763 and Harvard Hall in 1766, which is just off Peabody Street.
It is a Harvard tradition to touch the left foot of the statue of John Harvard, also known as the Statue of Three Lies, in front of University Hall (1815). The inscription on the statue reads "John Harvard-Founder-1638". In fact, John Harvard was NOT the founder of Harvard, he was merely a donor; Harvard was NOT founded in 1638, it was founded in 1636; and the man portrayed in the statue is NOT John Harvard!
Student-led public walking tours of the campus are available, free of charge. Tours depart from the Harvard Information Center (1350 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge / 617-495-1573 / www.harvard.edu/on-campus/visit-harvard) on the Smith Campus and last about one hour. The tour provides a history of the university, general information, and a unique view on the student’s individual experience. Reservations are not required, but tours are capped at 35 attendees and you must register for the tour one hour prior to departure time.
You may prefer to take a self-guided walking tour using a tour pamphlet offered in nine different languages, which can be purchased from the information center for a minimal charge. You can also download audio files of historical information on each of the buildings in Harvard Yard. (see www.harvard.edu/on-campus/visit-harvard/tours/audio-tours).
This lively plaza adjacent to Harvard Yard is teeming with independent bookstores (more than thirty of them!) cafes, restaurants and boutiques of all kinds. It also houses theatres, movie theaters and concert halls, making it a major commercial and cultural hub.
Tours were not possible in 2021, check online the possibilities for 2022.
Harvard Museum of Natural History
Harvard Museum of Natural History is a Boston treasure and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in natural history. Founded in 1998, it brings together three distinct research museums: the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Harvard University Herbaria and the Mineralogical and Geological Museum. The museum's galleries house exhibits with themes such as Climate Change, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Glass Flowers (superb glass models of plants, made in Germany between 1887 and 1936 by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, a father and son team of Czech glass artists), Arthropods, Cenozoic Mammals, Evolution, Vertebrate Paleontology, Sea Creatures in Glass (also made by the Blaschkas), Asia, Afrique, Central and South America, Marine Life, New England Forests, Birds of the World and the Great Mammal Hall.
Note that the Museum of Natural History is adjacent to the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, and admission to one museum admits you to both during regular hours.
Open Sunday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving Day, December 24 and 25, and January 1.
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
Boston Sail Loft ($$)
The Boston Sail Loft is an unpretentious little seafood restaurant located on Commercial Wharf, right on Boston Harbour. Famous for its overflowing cups of thick and creamy clam chowder, while other specialties include lobster. The menu also features soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and a wide variety of fish and seafood dishes. The atmosphere is easygoing and if you're in the mood for a cocktail, be sure to try the Dark & Stormy, a mix of ginger beer and lime topped with Goslings Black Seal Rum (an award-winning dark rum from Bermuda).
Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations not possible.
Mike’s Pastry ($)
Since 1946, tourists from around the world have been coming to the North End, Boston's Italian district, to enjoy the one-of-a-kind cannoli created by Michael Mercogliano (the “Mike” behind Mike’s Pastry). Mercogliano moved to the North End when he was only 12 years old with his family straight off the boat from Italy. Today Mike's son-in-law, Angelo Papa, runs the bakery, which now has other locations (in Cambridge and Somerville). In addition to a dozen flavours of cannoli, the bakery offers a variety of biscotti, cookies and sfogliatelle (known as lobster tails). If you see pedestrians holding a small blue and white box tied with a string bow, you'll know they've been to Mike’s!
Open Sunday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m .
Monica’s Mercato ($)
This small Italian grocery store and eatery prepares a variety of fresh sandwiches and pizzas to eat in or take out, crafted using the best ingredients. A neighbourhood favourite since 1995, owned and run by the Mendoza family.
Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Quincy Market Food Court ($)
Quincy Market houses a wide variety of food stalls offering typical New England fare such as lobster rolls, fresh oysters and clam chowder as well as dishes from all over the world. It's the perfect place to stop while walking the Freedom Trail!
Open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.
Sam La Grassa’s ($)
Sam La Grassa’s claims to serve "the World's No. 1 Sandwiches", nothing less! In operation since 1968, the restaurant's immense popularity is certainly no accident: the menu features more than thirty types of sandwiches of all kinds, grilled or not, including vegetarian options. It also offers salads, soups and side orders. With the gigantic portion sizes, sharing is always a good option.
Open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Warning: it's a very popular spot!
Ma Maison ($$$)
Celebrity chef Jacky Robert left France to come to Boston as a young man in the early 1970s, in order to help his uncle Lucien open Maison Robert. His career took him to Paris, Geneva, Munich, Florida and San Francisco before opening Ma Maison in 2015. The restaurant serves authentic bistro fare such as calf’s liver with caramelized onions, mussels steamed with shallots and wine, duck magret à l’orange, pan seared sea scallops, and many other classics of French cuisine. If you feel so inclined, try the Uncle Lucien’s Country Pâté, a house specialty.
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sweetgreen serves simple, healthy food at affordable prices. The menu offers seasonal dishes, warm bowls and salads, or you can "make your own" by choosing your own ingredients (two bases such as greens, quinoa or rice, 4 ingredients such as vegetables, nuts, beans, etc., one of their many in-house dressings, and you can even add a “premium” item such as local cheeses, tofu, chicken, etc.). There are a dozen Sweetgreen locations in and around Boston.
Open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saltie Girl ($$$)
Saltie Girl Seafood Bar is the brainchild of Kathy Sidell, who wanted to create something different. She has certainly done that with this tiny gem of a restaurant (just 30 seats, 16 at tables and 12 at the bar). The menu offers a wide array of delicious, high-quality seafood dishes: cooked, fried, smoked, raw or tinned, both local and from around the world. The sumptuous lobster rolls come either hot with butter or cold with mayonnaise. The fried lobster and waffles with sweet corn butter and spicy maple syrup is a fabulous experience in itself. To order, each diner is given a sheet of paper and ticks what they want on it. Note: the restaurant does not take reservations and seating is provided on a first come, first served basis.
Open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays until 11 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Brunch served on weekends between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Better to reserve.
Grill 23 & Bar ($$$$)
Since it first opened in the early 1980, Grill 23 & Bar has consistently earned rewards and recognition for its fine food and outstanding service. This classic steakhouse serves top-quality tender Brandt beef steaks, ultra fresh New England seafood, seasonal produce, decadent desserts and a world-class wine list. It even offers a premium cigar service for guests following dinner service. Reservations recommended.
Open Monday-Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Better to reserve.
J.P. Licks ($)
Founded in Boston in 1981, J.P Licks is a homemade ice cream parlour chain with a mission to offer a premium product in a comfortable, friendly environment. All of the ice cream and frozen yogurts is flavored with ingredients found in the home, such as chocolate chips, cookies, all kinds of roasted nuts, seasonal fruits, vanilla extract and spices. The flavours are intense and sometimes complex, and you are sure to find something for every taste. They also serve smoothies as well as coffee that they roast themselves!
Open Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to midnight, Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Russell House Tavern ($$)
Located in the heart of Harvard Square, Russell House Tavern takes its name from one of the building's original occupants, Thomas Russell, a furniture dealer in the 1800s. You will find seasonally-inspired, classic dishes from New England and beyond, accompanied by a wide selection of cocktails, wines and local craft beers. The menu features salads and appetizers, a variety of small plates, pizzas, and entrees including fish, meat, pasta and fresh seafood dishes. There is a “brunch” menu on Saturday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a “tavern” menu for guests who like to eat late!
Open for brunch Monday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open for dinner Sunday-Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight. Special oysters in the evening on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
B & G Oysters ($$-$$$)
Since 2003, guests have been coming to B & G Oysters for their famous fresh East and West Coast oysters, as well as for their inspired seasonal seafood dishes and New England classics including the famous Maine Lobster Roll. On a hot summer day, the outdoor patio is the perfect place to be, a glass of chilled white wine in hand!
Open Wednesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday- Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m.
***The schedules may be subject to change.***
When to visit
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