Side Trips from Boston Restaurants

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Side Trips from Boston - browse our top choices for Restaurants during your stay.

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  • 1. Clam Box of Ipswich

    $$

    Shaped like a giant fried-clam box, this small roadside stand is the best place in the region to sample Ipswich's famous bivalves. Since 1935 locals and tourists have been lining up in droves for clams, oysters, scallops, and onion rings.

    246 High St. (Rte. 1A), Boston, Massachusetts, 01938, USA
    978-356–9707

    Known For

    • Fried seafood
    • Friendly service
    • Long lines

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed late Nov.–Feb., $10 credit card minimum, Reservations not accepted
  • 2. Woodman's of Essex

    $$

    According to local legend, this is where Lawrence "Chubby" Woodman invented the first fried clam back in 1916. Today this sprawling wooden shack with indoor booths and outdoor picnic tables is the place for seafood in the rough. Though it's in Essex, it's a quick drive from Gloucester and worth getting a to-go order to take to the beach. For fun, you can get into a lively discussion with a local over whether clam bellies or strips are the better choice.

    121 Main St. (Rte. 133), Boston, Massachusetts, 01929, USA
    978-768–2559

    Known For

    • Fried clams
    • Open year-round
    • The popular "down-river" lobster combo plate
  • 3. 80 Thoreau

    $$$

    This fine-dining restaurant, located in the Concord Depot, offers New American cuisine, with much of the food on the plate coming from nearby local farms. Friendly and knowledgeable servers can help you navigate the menu, which changes with the seasons, along with what’s available at the time.

    80 Thoreau St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01742, USA
    978-318–0008

    Known For

    • New England ingredients
    • Creative cocktails
    • Excellent service

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.
  • 4. Bedford Farms Ice Cream

    $

    The Concord outpost of the long-running Bedford Farms Ice Cream shop offers just as many tasty, locally made ice creams. "Always Making" flavors include chunky chocolate pudding, green monster, and black raspberry, but there is also a list of "Sometimes Making" flavors, sorbets, and sherbets. You can also order custom ice cream cakes and pies with advance notice.

    68 Thoreau St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01742, USA
    978-341–0000

    Known For

    • More than 60 flavors
    • Large portions
    • Friendly staff
  • 5. Brackett's Oceanview Restaurant

    $$ | Coffee

    Enormous windows in this quiet, homey restaurant offer excellent views across Sandy Bay, along with plenty of chowder, fish cakes, lobster, and other seafood dishes. While the restaurant is only open seasonally, next door is Brackett's café, Brother's Brew Coffee Shop, which is open year-round and serves breakfast.

    25 Main St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01966, USA
    978-546–2797

    Known For

    • Local seafood
    • Every table has a waterfront view
    • Great downtown location

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Columbus Day–mid-Apr.
  • Recommended Fodor’s Video

  • 6. Finz Seafood & Grill

    $$$

    This contemporary seafood restaurant on Salem Harbor treats patrons to prime canal views. There is an extensive sushi and sashimi menu, plus lots of other seafood favorites, including sesame-crusted tuna and steamed lobster. Burgers and steaks are also available for meat eaters. Nab a seat on the outdoor deck when the weather's fine and eat practically among the boats.

    76 Wharf St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01970, USA
    978-744–8485

    Known For

    • Outdoor seating
    • Classic New England seafood
    • Large sushi menu
  • 7. Haute Coffee

    $

    Stop in for freshly brewed coffee and homemade baked goods, like banana bread, granola bars, and cinnamon buns, at this cozy spot. At lunch, enjoy the soup du jour and a selection of sandwiches. In nice weather, enjoy your food outside on the patio.

    12 Walden St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01742, USA
    978-369–9900

    Known For

    • Creative pastries
    • Coffee ground and brewed to order
    • Gluten-free and vegan options

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 8. Ledger Restaurant & Bar

    $$$

    Housed in a 200-year-old building that was once a bank—Ledger takes its name from the massive amount of banking ledgers found in the building—today diners enjoy a modern-day spin on traditional 19th-century dishes, especially live-fire cooking. Grab a cocktail while checking out the multitude of original features incorporated into the restaurant, including deposit boxes and a huge safe that serves as the restaurant’s walk-in refrigerator. Grab a peek of the private dining room, where the wooden chair rails are sourced from pews in an old church near Boston Common.

    125 Washington St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01970, USA
    978-594–1908

    Known For

    • Historic digs
    • New England cuisine
    • Live music once a month

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues.
  • 9. Main Streets Market & Cafe

    $$

    Cyclists, families, and sightseers pack into this brick building, which was used to store munitions during the Revolutionary War. Wood floors and blackboard menus add a touch of nostalgia, but the extensive menu includes many classic dishes, including mac and cheese, fish and chips, and steamed mussels. Breakfast offerings, served all day, include a variety of eggs Benedicts, a breakfast burrito, and omelets. At lunch, try the house-made chili or a variety of salads.

    42 Main St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01742, USA
    978-369–9948

    Known For

    • Open early for breakfast
    • Dog-friendly patio
    • Full bar

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No dinner Sun.–Wed.
  • 10. Passports

    $$$

    In the heart of downtown Gloucester, Passports serves a modern take on classic New England seafood. Whether you sit at the bar or a table, you'll be served delicious complimentary popovers to start. The house haddock is a favorite here, with other options like lobster and paella on offer. There's always local art hanging on the walls for patrons to buy.

    110 Main St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01930, USA
    978-281–3680

    Known For

    • Lively atmosphere
    • House haddock
    • Great, central location
  • 11. The Blue-Eyed Crab

    $$$

    Grab a seat on the outside deck overlooking the water at this friendly, somewhat funky (plastic fish dangling from the ceiling), Caribbean-inspired eatery. Enjoy fruity cocktails on the patio, or hang out in the colorful dining room. Start with thick crab bisque full of hunks of floating crabmeat or coconut shrimp with green mango chutney. Dinner entrées include Caribbean fish stew, jerk chicken, and the Cajun mahi fish tacos.

    170 Water St., Boston, Massachusetts, 02360, USA
    508-747–6776

    Known For

    • Views of the water
    • Funky decor
    • Tropical cocktails
  • 12. The Franklin Cape Ann

    $$$

    This contemporary restaurant offers bistro-style chicken, roast cod, and steak frites, perfect for the late-night crowd (it's open until midnight during the summer). There is usually live music on Thursday evening. There is also a raw bar and sushi selection. Look for the signature martini glass over the door.

    118 Main St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01930, USA
    978-283–7888

    Known For

    • Sushi available Tuesday through Saturday
    • Friendly vibe
    • Good service

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch
  • 13. The Landing

    $

    Decorated in nautical blues and whites, this pleasant restaurant sits right on Marblehead harbor, with a deck that's nearly in the water. The restaurant offers classic New England fare like clam chowder and broiled scrod, and serves brunch on Sunday. The pub area has a lighter menu and a local feel.

    81 Front St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01945, USA
    781-639–1266

    Known For

    • Waterside dining
    • Classic New England menu
    • Local feel
  • 14. Virgilio's Italian Bakery

    $

    Since 1961, this bustling Italian bakery and deli has been making fresh breads and rolls, serving some of the tastiest sandwiches around. One of the shop's claims to fame is the now-famous Saint Joseph Sandwich, made with their Italian rolls stuffed with Italian deli meats, olive oil, and oregano. Pick up one (or two), along with other grocery items, before heading to the beach for a picnic.

    29 Main St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01930, USA
    978-283–5295

    Known For

    • Family-owned
    • Tasty prepared foods
    • Busy in summer

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 15. 43 Church

    $$$
    Closed Permanently

    OMIT CLOSED Formerly the Lyceum, the new name of this long-established restaurant came with a changing of the guard: the second generation of the Harrington family has taken the helm of this well-established and much-loved dining spot. Always a hit for classy fare, the restaurant takes advantage of its historic building, where Alexander Graham Bell made the first long-distance phone call. Steaks are the house specialty here, but local seafood is given fine treatment as well. There's a nice brunch served on weekends.

    43 Church St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01970, USA
    978-745–7665
  • 16. Davy's Locker

    $$
    Closed Permanently

    A huge seafood menu is the main draw at this spot overlooking Buzzards Bay. Choose from more than a dozen shrimp preparations, or a choice of healthful entrées—dishes prepared with olive oil, vegetables, garlic, and herbs. For landlubbers, chicken, steak, ribs, and the like are also available.

    1480 E. Rodney French Blvd., Boston, Massachusetts, 02740, USA
    508-992–7359
  • 17. Stone Soup Café

    $
    Closed Permanently

    This cheery café provides consistently good food. Excellent breakfasts include omelets, French toast, and assorted pancakes; lunch features chowders, pot roast, or delicious Cuban sandwiches. Its clam chowder took home the town's annual prize six years in a row. Dinner can include lobster bisque, porcini ravioli, or whatever contemporary fare the chef is inspired to cook from the day's farm-stand finds.

    141 High St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01938, USA
    978-356–4222

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No credit cards, Closed Mon.–Tues.
  • 18. The Greenery Restaurant and Café

    $$
    Closed Permanently

    This spot has become a local institution – it's been serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three decades—because it is one of Rockport's only restaurants open year-round. In-season, the second floor opens to accommodate the boom of tourists. Stop in for a sandwich or pastry from the bakery or dine in the back room surrounded by bay windows overlooking the harbor. Breakfast is served daily until 4 pm.

    15 Dock Sq., Boston, Massachusetts, 01966, USA
    978-546–9593
  • 19. Walden Grille

    $$
    Closed Permanently

    OMIT CLOSED Chowders, salads, and sandwiches are typical fare at this old brick firehouse-turned-dining room. Start with the Philly spring rolls or crispy fried oysters. Sandwiches include burgers and BLTs, plus more creative options like the chicken curry roll-up or croque monsieur. Entrées run the gamut from braised short ribs to rock shrimp risotto.

    24 Walden St., Boston, Massachusetts, 01742, USA
    978-371–2233

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