Help with my 4th of July (and surrounding week) itinerary? (Boston)

A friend is visiting for the first week of July, and we’ll be able to get to 6-10 restaurants during that time, as long as they’re within 15 minutes from the T and not too pricey. (Simply because my friend is flying from London and only bringing a certain amount of dollars.)

My tentative list for food so far:

dinner near the airport- Rincon Limeno
brunch- not sure; would like to pick 1-2 from: Banyan, Loyal Nine, State Park, The Frogmore
Asian/Indian- Mala, S&I, Suvaai
Italian- Coppa, Antico Forno
late night- JM Curley or maybe Chinatown
Frank Pepe, Morano Gelato

Are these some of the best in their respective categories? I’ve been to most but not all of them, but it would be helpful to know if any of them have dropped off in quality lately, or if I’m missing any significant categories/restaurants that are more worthwhile, especially new openings. I’m also considering a few options that are farther away from subway stops, like Sarma.

We like Italian and Asian food, but can embrace any cuisine.

Also, as a graduating student, this will be my first time spending a summer in Boston, so I’m looking forward to the experience. We’ve both done most of the touristy stuff, but I was also wondering if there was anything fun to do during the summer in general or just around the 4th of July in particular.

road trip to Ipswich. Fried clams at the Clam Box and over to White Farms homemade ice cream for dessert. Tha’s summer.

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While I’ve not been, Tiffany Faison’s Tiger Mama in the Fenway area has been getting very good reviews.

http://www.tigermamaboston.com/

Go out to Sullivan’s on Castle Island for a lobster roll.

http://www.sullivanscastleisland.com/

As for Independence Day happenings - obviously, the Independence Day Fireworks on the Esplanade, but also Harborfest is going on:

No USS Constitution turn-around, as she’s in drydock this year, but lots of other things happening.

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[quote=“rosulate, post:1, topic:4866”]

Asian/Indian- Mala, S&I, Suvaai as your friend is from London, is Indian a good choice since (s)he probably has access to very good Indian back home? Perhaps Thai or Vietnamese are done less well in London (I’ve never had either when I’ve been in the UK). How about Myers and Chang?
late night- JM Curley or maybe Chinatown To keep it on the Asian tip, Shojo? Hojoko? Is Night Market any good?
Frank Pepe, Morano Gelato I’d go to Area 4 rather than heading out to the burbs for Pepe; B and I had a great-as-usual lunch there last week. Their clam pizza is even better than Pepe. You could walk to Toscanini’s or Christina’s for ice cream afterwards.[/quote]

PS Hubby and I travel A LOT internationally and we always take money out at foreign ATMs. Some fees, but your friend should not feel so restricted. As for fun summer food-related events in Boston, that begs for a thread of its own (and there are plenty of posts about that on “that other site” so mine that resource.

We’ve been to Area Four and really like it. But that part is there because I’ll be graduating from BC imminently, and I wanted a reason to be nearby again. It’s a beautiful campus, and I’d be leaving after just a few weeks of real spring.

As for Indian, I thought the same thing, but it was a craving we had the last time we were in a similar situation, so I thought I’d include an option. Likewise for Thai. I wasn’t aware of any standouts in the Vietnamese food here, but I’d love to learn of any there are. Overall, there really isn’t a ton here that one couldn’t find in London. Their Sichuan restaurants are amazing, for example.

As for the cash, it’s really more of a budgeting thing, I think. ATMs have definitely been used on previous visits, but I just feel like a more responsible host if the amount that will be spent is more or less already known, and within certain limits. Plus whatever I spend myself is coming out of my first real paycheck, ha!

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I’m not really an expert on downtown, so I can’t comment on a lot of your itinerary. I do note that you are considering a side trip to Sarma and can tell you it’s worth it! There is nothing else nearby, so you wouldn’t be able to stroll somewhere for shopping or sight-seeing afterwards- it would be a purely destination dinner, but I don’t think you would regret it. It’s probably a 7 minute uber ride from the Davis T stop, and although I’m sure others will chime in with bus line recs, I don’t think that would break the bank and would be my suggestion. You might combine it with a visit to Harvard Square, which is nice for sightseeing but not as good for eating in my opinion. (Except Alden & Harlow which I also love and which you could hit for drinks or dessert)

By T, you would actually be closer to Sarma arriving at either Sullivan Square [orange line] or Lechmere [green line.] There are busses that run along Highland from both stations, and down Broadway from Sullivan Square. The walk from the bus stations from Highland Ave involves a large hill downward, which means a hill back up. The walk from the Broadway bus stop is fairly flat for a town with 10 hills.

Four blocks away is a new ice cream spot, but I can’t find the name right now. It is located at 415 Medford St, Somerville, MA 02145. Nice typography on the sign… looks hipster-ish and modern. I have not tried them yet.

Tipping Cow. They’re new but have had pints at farmer’s markets for awhile. Unique flavors like Sweet Corn, Earl Grey & Lemon, and Strawberry Basil. Looking forward to trying them!

You’ll enjoy the Pizza at Area Four more than at Pepe’s. However Morano Gelato is the real deal. Made fresh daily, it has the correct mouth feel that true gelato gets from having the right amount of air mixed in, in addition to qulity ingredients. It’s less accessible by T than some of the other places on your list.

We do really like Area Four! But again, we’ll just be in Chestnut Hill for various reasons anyway.

sounds like you’re graduating from bc? (congratulations!) but you don’t say where home-base will be? iow, i wouldn’t want to be spending a lot of time on the t or bus when it’s super-hot like it can be in july, so plan your eats around what else you want to be doing that day or night.

rincon is a solid choice upon arrival and you may want to stop at santarpio’s before her flight out. undeniable local color and very cheap (cash only!).

what about dim sum for brunch or lunch? hei la moon or bubor cha cha? then a walk along the rose kennedy greenway to prowl around the north end? or walk from there to long wharf and take a harbor cruise? (one of my favorite things to do with out-of-towners.)

coppa and antico forno are essentially apples and oranges and you can skip the latter. babbo at the seaport is rock-solid and relatively inexpensive. if you go on a thursday, admission to the ica is free after 5.

jm curley is tiny, and a late-night for industry folks, so good luck, but you can do well at peach farm, hojoko, charlie’s kitchen, bukowski’s or eastern standard.

no interest in shellfish or seafood? if you can, get a zipcar and run up to essex/ipswich as a day trip for fried clams. or hit the daily catch in the north end or island creek or row 34.

if you’re downtown during the day check out gene’s chinese flatbread for the hand-pulled noodles.

another option would be pick up picnic-type foods from the boston public market and have lunch on the greenway.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold