Boston Favorites 2018

Going through my credit card statements for the whole year this year was somewhat horrifying. BUT, it did remind me of some amazing eats, drinks, and sweats from 2018. So here they are! 

Eat

  • Terra (Back Bay): Italian – tons of options, amazing ambiance – plants and greenery everywhere, and right above EATALY. what I got: we split mushrooms, zucchini pasta, roasted Brussels sprouts and a bottle of wine that was superb. The wine is called “Centonze -Frappato” and has a pink label. Highly, highly recommend. 
  • Saltie Girl (Back Bay): Seafood – tons of fresh oysters and seafood. Apparently the burger is famed. My boyfriend got it and said it most certainly lived up to the hype. I got some oysters from different local regions, the Boston lettuce salad, and charred octopus. 
  • Nahita (Back Bay): some Sashimi, some Latin flavors – lots of vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy free options. Great cocktails too!
  • Cultivar (Downtown Crossing) – so fresh, so good. lots of locally sourced items, veggie options, and meat options. what we got: cultivar grown salad (from their garden!!), heirloom pumpkin toast, roasted chicken for two. they even have a kombucha cocktail! 
  • Chickadee (Seaport): Mediterranean. lots and lots of veggie options + meat stuff too. what we got: chickpea fries, grilled carrot salad, crispy hen of the woods, feather brook farm chicken.
  • Toro (South End): Spanish tapas – They don’t take reservations so go put your name in and grab a drink at a nearby place. We got: marinated olives, bone marrow, scallop crud0, mushrooms, and grilled corn.
  • Mamaleh’s (Cambridge): breakfast / brunch delicatessen style restaurant – think bagels, lox, kugel, babka, and smoked fish. I went with the hummus sandwich and a side of pickles. My boyfriend got the smoked sturgeon and also loved it.
  • Moona (Cambridge): Mediterranean – love, love, love all the small plates here to split. Plus, the bread comes with a homemade honey butter. Mic drop. what I got: octopus, Brussels sprouts, fattoush, charred baby carrots, dips pickles and olives. They also deliver!!
  • Waypoint (Cambridge): American. Every time I get: smoked mackerel (this may be my favorite dish in Boston. I never would have though to order it but it came recommended to us once and now I must get it every. single. time I go), raw and pickled vegetables (this is actually a salad, not just pickled vegetables), and a pizza to split. 
  • Oat shop (Somerville): breakfast – went here for breakfast one day and the options were absurd! All so yummy and filling for a cold winter morning.
  • Field and Vine (Somerville): Americanish? idk. but – my absolute favorite ambience in Boston. So much greenery everywhere, fresh flowers on your table, and tons of natural wood. The menu features lots of veggies options, and is always fresh and local. Could hold the spot for my favorite find this year. I got: scallop ceviche, marinated olives, rainbow carrots, roasted cauliflower, and pan roasted Brussels sprouts. Lots of non-veggie options too so it’s a perfect compromise for all pallets. 
  • Spoke wine bar (Somerville): I actually went here in the summertime, sat outside, soaked up the sun in the later afternoon with a glass (or three) of wine, and it was a memory I will cherish for a long while. Their wine list is extensive and their food list is YUM. We got: marinated olives, smoked butter bean dip, grilled radicchio, vegetable pave, and fluke. 
  • Gangko Ittetsu Ramen (Coolidge corner, Brookline): not gluten free and enough sodium to fill your monthly quota, but man oh man easily in my top 5 list of favorite things about Boston. There’s usually a very long wait, so go early, put your name in and then grab a drink at a nearby bar. A friend once told me you can put your name in via Yelp, but I’ve never figured out how to do that. Going on two Master’s degrees and can’t finesse the intricacies of Yelp. Things are going well…
  • Live Alive (Brookline): new location = new menu. Totally expanded and chef Leah got so incredibly creative. They now have tonics, different flavored lattes, broths, and even breakfast. And you can order online. My go-tos: green goddess (the classic), Thai peanut sutra, living caesar with a scoop of hummus, and go green juice. And if I’m craving something sweet: the maca melt. Absolutely insane. Like a chocolate milkshake but better if that’s even possible.  

Drink

  • Nathalie (Fenway): the sister to my OG favorite (Haley Henry) – lots of wine options and appetizers, amazing ambiance and music. they also have little nibbles like olives and a cheese plate.
  • Haley Henry (Downtown Crossing): wine bar, cutest ambiance, best music, wine is amazing, they also specialize in “tinned” fish. Which means carefully curated sardines from around the world. As well as ceviche, crude, charcuterie, and cheese. really cool concept and love the vibe in there.  
  • Brick and Mortar (Cambridge): loud / crowded on Friday nights but a nice spot on week nights. also a cool spot on weekends. awesome drinks. exposed brick. dim lighting. cool music. what more could a millennial want!?
  • Cafe Artscience (Cambridge): food is amazing but so so so so so expensive. so I like to go for one drink, pretend I’m fancy, and then bounce. floor length fur coat optional. 
  • A4cade (Cambridge): ugh, just the best. you can go and play arcade games while sipping on beer, wine, cocktail etc. SO fun.
  • Backbar (Somerville): right next to Field and Vine (above), kind of a speakeasy vibe, hard to locate door kind of thing. AMAZING cocktails. kind people. not pretentious. just an all around amazing spot. definitely holds the title of favorite cocktail bar in Boston. a must go.

Be sweaty 

  • Saturdays with Sweat or Regret (Cambridge): FREE!!!! you run half the Harvard stadium steps and then hit the turf for body weight workouts that change every week. a great, great, great community. awesome peoples. awesome sweat.
  • Yoga (Cambridge): What used to be Prana Power Yoga is now Corepower. I truthfully have not noted any changes. Lisa’s class I my favorite and every time I feel wow-ered and empowered. And very, very sweaty. She fills you with badassery, flexibility, and always emphasizes the importance of community. All to the soundtrack of T-Pain, Kendrick Lamar, Andra Day, acoustic Baby Bash, or French Montana. I also LOVE Ray Mucci’s class at the same studio! 
  • Everybody Fights (Financial District, Seaport): It’s absolutely not surprise how much I love this gym. I got into boxing because of it and I’m slowly starting to feel more punch, and less front stroke swim because of it. Kelly’s classes are my favorite. She is the best, and a beast. Like will walk on her hands in a handstand on the treadmill kind of beast….yeah….If I can get to them I also LOVE Eliza’s bagxbeats class. I’m a dancer so I love having the music to guide my punches, rather than just randomly pawing into the air. Feels more organized and choreographed. And also Carlos. Honestly no words. He must’ve been made in a Petri dish because I think he is superhuman. His trainxstrength classes have me sore for upwards of 4-5 days afterwards.
  • Barry’s Bootcamp (Financial District, Back Bay, Chestnut Hill): What can I say about Barry’s. Got me out of a really tough place. I took my first class when I first started PA school and hadn’t exercised for a month because I told myself I was too busy for it. Enter intense anxiety, restlessness, poor sleep, poor mood here. First and foremost I needed emotional therapy (hence finding a therapist), but I also needed movement therapy and I found that through Barry. Mooch is a spitfire powerhouse who’s always offering words of motivation, Kelly is a real-life gazelle who will turn any non-runner (hello, me) into someone who starts looking forward to the treadmill, and Brian will have you laughing all class with his absurd dance moves / yelling “tits up!!!!” Those are just three instructors, but I can promise you I have never, never, NEVER taken a bad class.
  • Booty by Brabants (Back Bay): high intensity dance workout to the BEST music. But with burpees. So incredibly difficult and this remains the workout that makes me the most sore, even after doing it for awhile. The class is held at the BFX lounge (part of BSC) in Back Bay and there are classes Tuesday nights 6:30-7:30pm and Friday 12-12:50pm, Saturday 11-11:50AM. Kelly (instructor / founder) also makes some of the best booty popping workout leggings in the game.

For more of my favorite Boston spots, click here for things to do or here for a city guide with more eateries.

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