I have lived in Boston now for almost four years and really thought that by now I had a good grasp on the food scene in the city. There's the ritzy financial district, trendy restaurants on Newbury Street, eclectic options in Allston, the list goes on and on. More food trucks are popping up everywhere, and I swear that I can see menus getting more creative by the second. But, I am ashamed to say that I only recently discovered where the best food in Boston actually is: the South End.
During my graduation weekend from Boston University, I was determined to go out of my comfort zone and try new restaurants that I always wanted to but couldn't afford. I booked reservations at several swanky restaurants in the South End, promising my family a weekend of great eats. Where did I go? Why I'm glad you asked! Let me tell you...
Myers + Chang - 1145 Washington St.
As a big fan of Flour bakery, I have always wanted to try Joanne Chang's other creation, Myers + Chang. This funky little Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese fusion restaurant is known for pushing the envelope with its unique tapas menu. Some of my favorite dishes were the traditional scallion pancakes (pictured), wok charred octopus + grilled corn, and lemony shrimp dumplings. I was additionally impressed with the housemade soda selection including creative flavors such as lychee-vanilla, aloe-yuzu, and cherry-ginger. I tried aloe-yuzu and was not disappointed. This was a great restaurant that I would recommend to anyone for a fun date or casual get-together, the only downside is that you need to be ready to drop some major dough. These scrumptious Asian treats come at steep price.
The Beehive - 541 Tremont St.
I can't say enough great things about this place. I had heard about The Beehive from numerous friends and decided I had to try it for myself. In my opinion, what makes The Beehive great is isn't just the food, it's the atmosphere. There's a distinct "speakeasy" feel to The Beehive, with old-fashioned cocktails, heavy drapes, dark lighting, and live performances nightly. But of course, it doesn't hurt that the food is fantastic. For an appetizer, I ordered lobster bisque with corn which was by far the best soup I've ever had in my life. As a main course, I ordered short rib, farmhouse cheddar & fontina grilled cheese. This was delicious, but huge and impossible to finish. I will definitely be coming back to The Beehive every chance I get!
Toro - 1704 Washington St.
Ever since studying in Spain, Spanish tapas have held a special place in my heart. There's something so magical about tiny dishes with big flavors and anything with chorizo. My friend Mara suggested we try Toro for dinner one night and I was surprised to hear that there was a tapas restaurant in Boston that I hadn't heard of. What wasn't a surprise was how amazing the food was. Sure, we had to wait an hour just to get a table, but the Maíz Asado con Alioli y Queso Cotija (Roasted Corn with Cheese Aioli) was totally worth it. I also tried the Jamon Serrano Redondo Iglesias (Premium cured Spanish ham) and churros with chocolate dipping sauce. All of the food was great and I would highly recommend Toro to anybody with lots of time and a generous budget (is it just me or are you seeing a trend?).
So there you have it. Boston is full of wonderful nooks and crannies, you just have to look! While it may be a little out of the way, the South End has so much to offer: great restaurants, the SOWA market on Sundays, Flour Bakery, and more. My only regret? Not figuring this out sooner.