Boston with a Teenager

I’ll be in Boston this weekend for a three-day weekend with my teenager (not a college touring trip). I’ve lived in Wellesley and Somerville, but it’s been about 25 years so I have no idea what’s what anymore. We’re staying near Downtown Crossing and may spend an afternoon in Weston/Wellesley. No car, I’m relying on the T and commuter trains.
This is a broad request, but any suggestions for lunch or dinner? Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville are all okay, as long as I can walk, ride the T, or call Lyft.

Oh my, broad is an understatement … I’m not the best to answer but I’ll get the ball rolling I guess. I’m thinking about what I would have found cool as a teenager …

You’re close to Chinatown and as a teenager I’d find that fun. Q hotpot is fun and different. SoJo has a cool vibe.

A dinner at Yvonne’s would be expensive but again a cool place and experience.

North end is still there - I might do Daily Catch because how often do you get to eat out of a fry pan?

Cambridge - anything around Harvard square I would have thought were cool. Even just a burger at shake shake.

Weston - dumpling daughter is good (hardly cool but good food).

Maybe a little more direction would be helpful.

Teenager? 13 or 19?

Are you picky eaters? Looking for something unusual? Looking for classic fried seafood? Burgers and fries? Molecular gastronomy?

Are you a cool hipster family? An ultra-preppy tablecloth and tea family?

Looking for places that require reservations or places to just drop in?

Also, male or female?

why is male or female at all important here?

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My teenage boy and his friends eat anywhere, as long as there is plenty of food. They appreciate ambience, but for the most part, it’s all the same to them.

My teenage nieces also eat a lot, but they enjoy going to places that have some ambiance, they appreciate it more at that age.

I’m generalizing here of course; I don’t know the personality or age of the teenager for whom the OP is seeking recommendations. I will be visiting Boston with my 15-yr. old teenage son soon, so I’m interested.

She’s 15 yo and has been exposed to a wide variety of cuisines. We live in Raleigh/Durham so we have our share of top flight chefs but most tend to cluster around modern Southern. I expect that Italian and seafood would be highly appreciated. She generally asks for Italian when we’re in NY. I think that the North End could be fun as we don’t have neighborhoods like that where we live, but I never knew where to eat in the North End even when I lived in the area.
Oddly enough, we have excellent traditional Sichuan and Taiwanese restaurants so Chinese wouldn’t be at the top of my list. I was thinking about tracking down a sushi burrito, though, as the kid loves sushi, the trend hasn’t hit here yet, and the novelty would probably really appeal to her.
I can take her anywhere from casual to fine dining, but I have a feeling we’re not going to be up for formal, extended meals.
I realize I just thew something out at the last moment, so I appreciate any thoughts you may have.

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Again others will know better but my 2 cents

North end - Neptune oyster house is always good for seafood. A little higher end. Can put your name on the list and walk around, they will text you. Or Daily catch - also seafood but more pasta focused. Small place and will have to wait (normally) in line for a table. More casual. Then go to both Mike’s and Modern pastry (across the street from each other essentially) and sample desserts.

I’d still put Yvonne’s on my list. Could get a spot at the bar and sample a few plates. A tapas style menu. Higher end/pricy but great food.

Even if you don’t want Asian, I’d walk around and get dessert at Beard Pappa’s - cream puffs.

You could walk down to Select Oyster Bar for oysters and seafood.

We just got an Eataly which is always packed but something unique I guess. Not the most Boston experience but kinda cool if not overwhelming with dining options inside.

You could also check out the new Boston Public Matket. 1/2 market 1/2 food stall places.

Lots of casual places around Harvard Square

Hope that helps a little.

very good restaurants in Cambridge/Somerville since you left 25 years ago (it’s very different now, of course) are the sister restaurants Oleana in Cambridge (walk from Central square subway) and Sarma in Somerville (Lyft). Sarma is all small plates Eastern med, Oleana is mostly Meze, Eastern Med, with a few main courses. Not inexpensive, check out the menus to see if it appeals. Reservations necessary. Grendel’s Den is still in Harvard Square…not great food, but fun ambiance. I’m from Raleigh and the North End is nothing like Raleigh, so I’d encourage a visit there. I love Neptune Oyster and haven’t been elsewhere there in a long time, but I’ve liked Daily Catch for decades (cash only). Could be quite cool weather so be prepared.

North End is very close to the Boston Public Market that someone else mentioned. Fun to walk around. It’s an upscale indoor market, but if you go on Saturday you can enjoy outdoor market right there, Haymarket, as a spectacle even if you aren’t buying.

I can’t say I’ve been to any of these places, but fwiw there was a list in Eater Boston this week for 9 places that have a sushi burrito. I think Pokeworks at least has gotten some love here.

Sushi burrito Boston map

Helps a lot. :slight_smile:


If you find yourself in Davis Square, Sacco’s Bowling is now also a pizza place. Teenagers seem to love this place. Not often you can find modern pizza and old-fashioned bowling at the same place.

Not worth a special trip, but fun and casual and just a block from the Davis Square Red Line stop.

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I am pretty sure there’s no candlepin bowling where you come from! Worth a look at Flatbread for a history lesson, in my opinion. Yes, Pokeworks is super close to the Davis T and I personally like their poke. They do have sushi burritos which I’ve not tried yet. The Rosebud is kind of a neat structure (with historical status) and the food is much better than the last time you were in the area.

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We like Flatbread Pizza and especially the salad there…the bowling is fun to watch. However, it is often completely overfilled on weekends at lunch with children’s birthday parties, lots of noise (with the bowling noise added) and can be a wait for a table. And an even longer wait if you want to bowl. I’ve never been around dinner time there, when I would guess it would be less crowded. You could call to inquire about wait times. It’s right at the Davis Sq. red line stop.

I like flatbread pizza too, although I have not eaten there recently. In the old days of kids parties, I’ve bowled there as well.

I wouldn’t say it’s quite “at” the Davis Square T stop, but very close to it. You would not see it as you come out of the stop or walk the streets immediately around the T stop. You’d have to get to Day street across Davis Square, and walk a block down it. From that direction, it’s on the right.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
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