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Food and drink in Boston

Fancy a pint or two of world-class craft beer? Prefer expertly mixed cocktails in sophisticated surroundings? Or perhaps you’re hungry… tempted to sink your teeth into a rapturously good sticky bun, or try the Platonic ideal of clam chowder? The point is: Boston does a lot of things well… especially when it comes to food and drink. To assist you in your gastronomic quest, we’ve got a few key suggestions that are certain to get your palate salivating and stomach rumbling.

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Brewing in Boston

Boston has a special claim to craft beer fame. For starters, it’s home to the Boston Beer Company: you may know them for their flagship brand, Samuel Adams. Not only is the Boston Beer Company the second-largest craft brewery in the United States, it was also one of the first to ignite the craft beer movement back in the 1980s. But Boston is a hub for contemporary brewing culture, too. Take Trillium Brewing Company: they’ve inspired nation-wide fervour over their wickedly good IPAs and barrel-aged beers.

The brewery tour: Craft beer in Boston

Boston speakeasies

Some of Boston’s most delicious attractions aren’t visible from street level. Case in point: the city’s many speakeasy bars, where craft mixology is at the fore. Too-cool-for-school Brick & Mortar in Cambridge has been hailed by cocktail world greats like Dave Wondrich, while the Hawthorne trades in revamped classics. You may need to go on a recon mission before setting in for a tipple, but the drinks make a quest worth your while.

The best speakeasy bars in Boston

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Afternoon tea in Boston

Boston and tea haven’t always had the best relationship — it was here that the 1773 protest, known as the ‘Boston Tea Party,’ saw angry colonists dump hundreds of chests of tea into the harbour in protest at high taxes. Luckily, the city’s relationship with the beverage has markedly improved since. So much so that afternoon tea is a delicious ritual you can enjoy all over the city, from high-end hotels to the Boston Public Library.

Boston: Five places to enjoy afternoon tea

Boston bakeries

In case you were wondering whether Boston had a sweet tooth, just venture to Flour Bakery: chef Joanne Chang’s sticky buns are so good, they beat celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s recipe during a televised competition. On your bakery crawl of the city, begin with those buns before venturing to French patisseries, bread specialists, and hole-in-the-wall Chinatown bakeries.

Chef Joanne Chang’s best Boston bakeries

Traditional New England dishes

Not familiar with what constitutes traditional New England cuisine? Begin with Boston baked beans. They aren’t just a local staple; they’re the origin behind the city’s most popular nickname (that’d be Beantown, obviously). Given Boston’s maritime heritage, you can also expect super-fresh seafood, from lobsters to oysters. And if there’s one traditional dish you can’t leave without trying, it’s the city’s creamy clam chowder. 

Five places to sample traditional New England dishes

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