If you’re new to Boston, there’s sure to be some local staples you’ll want to knock off your list. Look past the hype and try this list of spots that locals enjoy. Next
Not all Americans run on Dunkin. For a comfortable coffee-powered study session, head to The Thinking Cup (Downtown) or Pavement (Back Bay). Exposed brick, hipsteresque artwork, and plush armchairs will have you feeling studious in no time. At The Thinking Cup, try a hazlenut latte, made with freshly roasted hazelnut paste, and some sweet macaroons. Pavement’s “tequila sunrise,” a bagel with egg, cheese, bacon, and jalepeno cream cheese, claims quite the following.
The Thinking Cup
165 Tremont St.
Pavement Coffee House
Best view of the game
When the game comes on, don’t sit on your couch – get out and socialize! Located directly underneath the bleachers of Fenway Park, Bleacher Bar will give you one of the best views you can find without having purchased tickets for a game. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy Bleacher Bar, though – you can watch your Bruins and Pats games here as well.
Next door, Game On has more than 90 HD TVs for viewing games at any and every spot in the bar. They also do ticket giveaways to various professional sporting events in the Greater Boston area.
82A Lansdowne St.
82 Lansdowne St.
Sushi on a budget
On a student budget, finding reasonably priced sushi that doesn’t lack quality can be difficult. The price of grocery store sushi may be tempting, but you can do better than that. Try the lunch special at Douzo for quality at a fraction of the cost. Don’t feel like leaving your dorm? Get something delivered from Avana. On the sushi-spectrum, Avana is cheap but praised for it’s freshness. An in-house visit may be difficult, though — Avana is hidden in a Chinatown cellphone store, and there are only 10 seats.
131 Dartmouth St.
42 Beach St.
A bookstore with charm
Barnes and Nobles is a trusted go-to when you have a specific book in mind. But on those autumn days that you feel like casually browsing the bookshelves, try Trident Booksellers Cafe instead. Located on Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay, the shop is a hybrid bookstore and cafe with a long menu of cozy foods and a colorful array of books. Staff favorites line the front walls to lend you a hand when you’re feeling indecisive.
Trident Booksellers Cafe
338 Newbury St.
Catch a cooler flick
The location and grandeur of Loews cinaplex downtown is tempting, yes, but the Coolidge Corner Theater may have more to offer. The independent theater runs flicks both new and old, commercial and indie. In addition, their monthly programs offer an alternative to a typical night at the movies: high-definition broadcasts from London’s National Theatre and Europe’s Grand Operas; Big Screen Classics; Midnite cult films and sing-alongs; weekend kids’ variety shows; and sneak previews and discussion of upcoming films as part of Talk Cinema.
The Brattle Theater in Harvard square is another hidden gem. Chic and cozy, the Brattle boasts old school charm and a selection of films not typically found at commercial theaters. They offer a good selection of local beers and there’s real butter on the popcorn — can’t get much better than that!
Coolidge Corner Theater
290 Harvard St., Brookline
40 Brattle St., Cambridge
Find your zen
Sunny days spent at the Common are a Boston classic, but for a greener day in the park, head to Arnold Arboretum. America’s oldest public arboretum, its 265 acres of lush green lawn and trees. Avoid Newbury Street shoppers, pretzel stands, and “rowdy youth” in favor a quiet and peaceful place to take a stroll.
125 Arborway, Boston
Ramen done right
Ramen is an icon of student living. Don’t get the microwaveable stuff, though – call Boston Ramen Noodle Company, Boston’s first and only ramen noodle delivery service.
While your other friends are sipping limp store-bought noodles, you could be chowing down on Chinese five-spice pork, Kobe beef and butter-poached lobster ramen. If you live somewhere in Fenway, the South End or the Back Bay, you’re in range for delivery – any time, day or night.
Boston Ramen Noodle Company is “first come, first serve” because of high demand.
Boston Ramen Nooodle Company
Eat fresh for less
Groceries are a wallet-drainer. Whole foods will lure you in with the promise of fresh, healthy foods, but always at a high cost. For fresh, local, organic produce at a fraction of the price, head to Haymarket or SoWa Open Market, where vendors set up shop to provide everything from fruits and veggies to meats and cheeses. You may even find fresh honey and handmade pasta.
Haymarket Farmers’ Market
Blackstone Street between North and Hanover streets.
SoWa Open Market
460 Harrison Ave.
Be an intellectual
Although the MFA is a must-visit, the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum should not be given any less praise. This Fenway museum houses Gardener’s art collection, amassed over a lifetime of traveling and philanthropy. Gardener designed the museum’s layout as an intimate setting to for visitors to purvey her collection of paintings, furniture, textiles, and objects from different cultures.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
280 The Fenway
Seafood that won’t break the bank
You can’t go wrong at Legal Sea Foods, providing you’re willing to splurge. If you’re on a tight budget, however, try No Name Restaurant. Select from a long list of seafood — broiled, fried, on a bun, or in a chowder — at a restaurant that’s been open for almost a century. A typical entree will run you around $10-$17.
No Name Restaurant
15 Fish Pier St. W, South Boston
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