Cheap Eats Boston

Mar 5th, 2009, 10:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 55
Cheap Eats Boston

My daughter and I will be in Boston to visit college campuses in mid-April. Any recommendations on cheap eats, anything from breakfast to burgers to sushi, etc.?
Also looking for the best NE clam chowder. Any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
GDKSS is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,116
Sushi is not that cheap here in Boston.

Lots of cheap eats in Chinatown, with all sorts of Asian cuisine. I like Xinh Xinh for Vietnamese, Gourmet Dumpling House for Taiwanese, Hong Kong Eatery for Cantonese, Penang for Malaysian.

Will you have a car? The Allston neigborhood has LOTS of ethnic restuarants that are very affordable. See this recent Boston Globe article:

Which campuses are you visiting? Are you looking for cheap eats places near the campuses or near your hotel/place of lodging?

Don't forget to stop at Mr. Bartley's for a burger if you're in Harvard Sq:
yk is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 12:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 528

Here's some options for Clam Chowder:

Also, here's some websites below that have listings for "cheap eats" in and around Boston. If you're headed to Tufts in Somerville, you should try Redbones: (Davis Sq off the Red Line).

I hope this helps!

ILUVPARIS is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,871
which schools and neighborhoods might be helpful

try posting on
gyppielou is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 01:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,829
Agreed with gyppielou, Chowhound's the best place for this.

Also, you don't need a car for most of Allston's good ethnic eateries. Most are off the B-line Green Line subway, with the Harvard Street stop a good central place to get off. Many are within a couple blocks of there.

And I'll agree, cheap sushi isn't an option in Boston, especially if you want it to be fresh. And Chinatown's a great cheap eats area locally. If you want a super cheap Southern Italian lunch, Galleria Umberto is a great way to go in the North End.

Re chowder. There are two sub-types of New England clam chowder you'll find in restaurants in Boston, the thick, gloppy kind that you can stand a spoon up in but is normally pretty low on flavor (the best place for this arguably is Legal Seafood) and the less thickened kind that actually tastes like clams (good places for this would include Neptune Oyster and B&G Oysters). The Citysearch poll cited above has chowder from places I wouldn't send my worst enemy to, including Union Oyster House, Summer Shack, Boston Sail Loft, Tommy Doyle's, and Barking Crab -- from that list, I'd personally suggest only Legal Seafoods and Great Bay (neither of which I prefer to Neptune Oyster), while Grill 23 and Capital Grille are respectively excellent and good steakhouses which I normally wouldn't associate with excellent chowder.

The "Cheap Eats" list is all over the place in quality, with horror shows like Mike's next to excellent spots like Muqueca. Use with care.

The City's Best AOL list is another popularity contest vote, and unfortunately two of their best spots are gone: B-Side Lounge has closed and a big Fenway fire wiped out several area restaurants including El Pelon Taqueria. Same with Citysearch's cheap eats list, with good spots like Kelly's Roast Beef next to dogs like Border Cafe.

The Yelp list is probably the most useful of these "best of" compilations above.

And while Redbones is indeed good BBQ for up here, if you're from the South, I'd skip the 'cue places in Boston -- you'll probably be disappointed.
bachslunch is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,132
When many people think Boston, they think seafood. There is no cheap seafood in Boston (or anywhere else for that matter) that is fresh and decent - fish is expensive.

If school is in session, you can learn a lot by eating in the school cafeteria or other dining option. On occasion, the Admission Office will get you a deal on a meal there. For snacking, if it is a weekend, wander thru Haymarket (near Faneuil Hall) and buy some fresh produce or bread from the pushcart vendors. You could also walk thru Quincy Market and get some less-than-authentic but sometimes OK food from the shops and take-out places.

mid-April? Keep some dates in mind. Monday 4/20 is a uniquely MA holiday "Patriots Day" - it's a Paul Revere thing and now most famous as the date of the Boston Marathon. If you do not already have hotel reservations, you are probably out of luck. That week is also public school vacation week for most schools in MA.

And Easter is the weekend before.
gail is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,932
the Paramount on Charles street is great for any meal- breakfast lunch or dinner. If you get to cambridge, check out Four Burgers-- really really good burgers and fries.
emcash is offline  
Mar 6th, 2009, 07:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 55
Thanks for all your suggestions! I will definitely check out the websites listed above. We are going the week before patriots day. We will be visiting BU and Northeastern before going to UMASS at Amherst. I don't know exactly where we are staying yet, but we will have a car. Four Burgers or Hartley's for burgers? Probably can't go wrong with either one. Thanks again
GDKSS is offline  
Mar 6th, 2009, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 298
Without a doubt, The Daily Catch should be on your list. It's a tiny hole in the wall, but the food is better than the best seafood restaurants around Boston. The calamari there is to die for. The chowder is also darn good.
mdn is online now  
Mar 6th, 2009, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,528
Pizzeria Regina in the North End is always reliable. As a matter of fact I most likely will be eating there Saturday.

Fire and Ice is another option in Cambridge and the Back Bay.
bennnie is offline  
Mar 6th, 2009, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,446
Have you been to any of these places?
pat is online now  
Mar 6th, 2009, 08:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,446
Sorry, wrong thread!
pat is online now  
Mar 6th, 2009, 02:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,116
Since you're visiting BU, the places in Allston are very close by. It's the Boston Globe article I linked above.
yk is offline  
Mar 7th, 2009, 05:09 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,932
Four burgers is a very casual place in cambridge-- but the burgers are very high quality all natural meat. It has gotten great reviews and personally I thought it was fantastic. Love the fries too.
emcash is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:53 AM.