Spilling the Beans – Boston's Best Kept Secrets

(Background Image Above: Steve Dunwell for National Geographic)

(Outfit Above: How To Make An American Dress, Happy Feet T-Straps In Waverly, Deco To Go Bag, Sw-ean Pin, Sail Away Earrings)

If you’ve never been to Beantown, you’re missing out! Replete with universities, full of culture and monuments, Boston is revered as one of the United States’ most historic cities. So, next time you’re getting in your ‘cahr’ and taking the ‘pahrkway’ to some vacation destination, make it the Boston/Cambridge metropolis! And if you’re short on ideas of what to do, here’s a solution…

1. Like thrifting? Like Vintage? Like clothes? Then you can’t miss the Garment District. Despite its name, the Garment District is only a store. Oh, but what a store it is! Located in a funky pink and grey building, this two story establishment is a great place to find unique secondhand swag. The top floor is loaded with vintage and consignment, and the bottom floor is home to the store’s famous $1.50 a pound clothing emporium. Wade through the mountains of clothes, and see if you can’t find a fabulous bargain!

2. You enter a run-down-looking general store, filled with random knickknacks and bags of chips. You go to the Snapple machine in the corner. It magically slides aside to reveal, gasp, a swanky-looking shop! Affectionately called the “secret shoe store,” Bodega is a sight to see. Though you might not find anything among the menswear and Nike Dunks, you might find something for a friend. At the very least, you won’t want to miss seeing this surreal store!

3. Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe the Flour Bakery. Filled with buttery croissants, moist muffins, and savory sandwiches, the Flour Bakery is one of Boston’s best casual eateries. Go to the Farnsworth Street location so that you can get a great view of the harbor as you walk over the bridge from the South Station T stop.

4. Connecting Cambridge to Boston proper, the Mass Ave Bridge is a fun landmark. Crossing this bridge, you’ll be able to marvel at a noteworthy panorama of the city. If it’s nice out, you might even see a few sailboats out on the Charles. Be sure to look down when you walk, so you can measure your steps in Smoots, a measurement created when some MIT frat boys decided to use their friend as a ruler.

5. Far enough down River Street that you might think you’ve missed it, River Gods is a funky little local bar worth venturing to. Decorated with high-backed Gothic chairs, religious regalia, and hanging, colorful butterflies, River Gods is a mix of Renaissance meets 80s Madonna meets fairies. Be sure to look at their calendar to see if you can catch one of their nights of Guitar Hero or Wii competitions!

So, Bostonites and visitors, don’t keep us all in suspense; what are your favorite places in Boston?

Next up? Here’s a clue from They Might Be Giants: “Istanbul was Constantinople/Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople.” Was that clue to obvious?

Share:FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+tumblr

14 Responses to Spilling the Beans – Boston's Best Kept Secrets

  1. Maddi 09/17/2009 at 4:47 pm #

    I’m in school right now in Boston and I’m in love with the city! BU is right up by Coolidge Corner, which is full of funky shops.

  2. Cherish 09/17/2009 at 5:16 pm #

    I LOVE everything about this outfit!!!!!!!!!!

  3. rose 09/17/2009 at 6:50 pm #

    when i lived in boston, my absolute favorite restaurant was the other side cafe on newbury street. delicious and inexpensive.

  4. Amy 09/17/2009 at 7:54 pm #

    Thanks for this. Boston is on the top of my list of unvisited American cities I want to visit. It was also the place I wanted to settle down for quite a while. It’s still in the top five.

  5. rowena 09/17/2009 at 11:47 pm #

    wow now i HAVE to find the garment district.

  6. margaine 09/18/2009 at 12:18 am #

    Wish I’d had this list during my trip to Boston last spring!

  7. Hannah 09/18/2009 at 9:09 am #

    The Other Side Cafe is great, Rose! Funky, fun, and their Vegan dark chocolate mousse with fruit is a-mmm-azing.

  8. Sara C. 09/18/2009 at 7:31 pm #

    I love The Other Side too!

    Another must have — Toscanini’s for the best best best ice cream/sorbet (try the Guinness!) and cold-brewed coffee. Yummmmmmm!

  9. Hannah Elisabeth 09/19/2009 at 9:52 am #

    The North End is my recommendation! I love going there and just wandering around, everything there is so beautiful! Also Newbury street is a great place for shopping and enjoying pretty sights.

  10. Erin 09/19/2009 at 10:57 pm #

    Woo my home city! I too love The Other Side Cafe! I’m a vegetarian so it’s perfect for me. And I also adore the North End – best food ever. And Harvard Square and the Garment District. There’s nothing I don’t like actually.

  11. Katharine Ellis Tapley 09/20/2009 at 10:42 pm #

    Sara C., you took the words right out of my mouth! Also, Michael’s (North End) has great cannoli. When I worked in Fanueil Hall, I would walk to Michael’s after shifts for cannoli. Man, I miss that city.

  12. Julie O. 09/21/2009 at 10:11 am #

    yay Boston! thanks for this great post. These are all wonderful things to do in the city, but I recommend that visitors to our fair region venture beyond the confines of Baahhston and explore some prime locales in the surrounding areas. Allston is a hipster’s mecca with plenty of thrifting and vintage places. I highly recommend visiting Boomerangs in Jamaica Plain (JP) for MORE fabulous thrifting. and if you’re feeling extra adventurous head to Salem for museums and the fabulous Modern Millies vintage boutique!

  13. Annalisa 09/23/2009 at 5:36 pm #

    go to the improv asylum next time in the north end!
    it will never disappoint.

  14. Emily 10/04/2009 at 1:47 pm #

    Poor Little Rich Girl is a vintage shop with two locations- Newbury Street and Davis Square. I got an amazing dress there a few weeks ago!
    Also, go to Top of the Hub if you want a spectacular view of Boston. It’s a swanky (read: expensive) bar/restaurant on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Building right in the heart of the city.

Leave a Reply