When friends from out of state come to visit they all want to see the historic places. They want to eat in the places they’ve read about or seen in the movies or TV. You can’t blame them. We all do it. Before you acknowledge their request with an eye roll, consider their list. Here are 9 Touristy Boston restaurants that are genuinely good, according to Eater Boston.

I don’t know about you, but I actually love doing some of the touristy things with family and friends who visit. Whether it’s the Duck Boats, a stroll along the Charles, or the Freedom Trail. I’m all in. But when it comes to restaurants, I’m a lot more picky. That’s why I was happy to come across Eater Boston’s list of Boston’s tourist trap restaurants that are actually good.

Living Up To The Hype

Tourists love to come to Boston for our history and our food. Afterall, how good could the seafood be in Ohio? But if you live in New England and have shied away from places like Mike’s Pastry in the North End because of the lines. You may want to reconsider? If you are wondering if it’s worth it,  Eater Boston says it is. They are a great source for finding the best places to eat in the Boston area.

Tourist traps, in general, are notorious for sub-par cuisine and cocktails. You don’t want to spend your hard earned money on mediocre. This list of 9 Boston restaurants that tourists love and live up to the hype should help. Next time you head into Boston, don’t be afraid of places like the Barking Crab.

Keep this list handy for the next time you have visitors. Any of these places should not disappoint. I’ve been to the majority of them and can tell you from personal experience that they are worth the wait in line. And yes, they do live up to the hype. Thanks to Eater Boston for sharing these gems. Here, in alphabetical order, are 9 touristy Boston restaurants that are genuinely good.

  • 1. The Barking Crab

    88 Sleeper St. Boston

    As Eater Boston says, “few things come with a better view than this summer-friendly waterfront spot that almost feels like you’re on the coast of Maine or the Cape.” Ok, there is nothing fancy here. Just delicious. You may find the Barking Crab to be over priced for a place so not fancy, but isn’t everything overpriced?






  • 2. Mike's Pastry

    300 Hanover St. Boston (North End)

    There will forever be the discussion among natives and visitors of which North End pastry place is better, Mike’s or Modern. The answer is yes. Both live up to the hype! You can’t visit the North End without a stop at Mike’s and a cannoli in hand. They are also famous for their lobster tails (no, not that real thing. It’s a puff cream filled pastry that resembles a lobster).


    Home - Mike's Pastry

    Founded in 1946, Mike's Pastry is located in Boston's historic North End on Hanover Street. Michael Mercogliano (the "Mike" behind the famed Mike's Pastry) created the one-of-a-kind cannoli that keeps loyal Bostonians and tourists coming from around the world to enjoy. Going to Mike's has become a Boston tradition when in town whether visiting family, [...]

  • 3. Modern Pastry

    257 & 263 Hanover St. Boston (North End)

    Since 1930, Modern Pastry has been rolling the dough and rolling in it. Eater Boston says, Modern”has hands down the best sfogliatella in Boston. These flaky, orange-flavored, ricotta-filled pastries hail from Napoli, and Modern’s version will (if you close your eyes on a warm day) take you on a little trip to the city of their origin.” And of course, their store front sign has become a Boston icon.

    Modern Pastry Shop | Boston's Italian Family Owned Bakery

    Nestled in the North End (Little Italy) and Medford. We are one of Boston's favorite Italian bakery. Family owned and operated for over 80 years. Offering Italian, American, and other European desserts for all occasions. From cakes, cannoli, cookies, pastries, and more!

  • 4. Neptune Oyster

    63 Salem St. Boston (North End)

    Full disclosure, this is the one spot on the list I haven’t been to. But according to Eater Boston, they have a “near perfect lobster roll.” They also warn that you will have to wait, even at off times. It’s just how they roll. Yes, they are famous for their oysters as well as their fried Ipswich clams.


    Neptune Oyster

    No Description

  • 5. Oak Long Bar + Kitchen

    138 Saint James Ave. Boston (Back Bay) 

    Lovely. loungy, luxurious. Three words to describe this iconic space in Boston’s Back Bay. The Oak Long Bar was named Best Hotel Bar by Boston Common last year, and this year they are the OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award 2023 winner! Serious sips, total swanky vibe, and spectacular bites, it never disappoints. You’ll find it at the historic Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel.

    Oak Long Bar + Kitchen | Contemporary Restaurant in Boston, MA

    OAK Long Bar + Kitchen, Back Bay's newest drinking and dining destination. Sip a hand crafted cocktail. Sample a farm to table American menu featuring local ingredients and purveyors

  • 6. Santarpio's Pizza

    111 Chelsea Street, East Boston

    When I finally made it to this no nonsense Eastie pizza joint, I did I did have a wait a while. But the pizza was worth the wait. Santarpio’s is a beloved place that always on a “best of” list. A favorite spot near the airport, it’s perfect for weary travelers, tourists and anyone who appreciates hand crafted pizza.

    Santarpio's Pizza

    No Description

  • 7. Sullivan's Castle Island

    2080 William J Day Blvd. South Boston 

    I know, I know, it’s hard to screw up hot dogs and hamburgers. But Sullivan’s has mastered both and offers much more. Eater Boston raved “Waterfront dining on the cheap is the name of the game at Sullivan’s, where dining on very nice lobster roll for under $30 is still possible.”

    Sullivan's Castle Island | Classic American Fare in Massachusetts

    Sullivan's Castle Island has been a Boston landmark offering quality food at reasonable prices for four generations.

  • 8. Union Oyster House

    41 Union St. Boston 

    A solid spot in the heart of the Faneuil Hall area of Boston. It’s perfect for grabbing some chowder and oysters before a game at the Garden. The Union Oyster has also has the distinction of being America’s oldest restaurant. The building dates back to Pre-Revolutionary days. But they started serving food in 1826 and never stopped. It was good enough for Daniel Webster, who was said to be a regular.

    Union Oyster House, Boston, MA :: Seafood and History at America's Oldest Restaurant

    Visit Boston's oldest restaurant, serving seafood and New England specialties in a historic setting on the Freedom Trail.

  • 9. Warren Tavern

    2 Pleasant St. Charlestown

    When you’ve been in business as long as Warren Tavern, you MUST be doing something right. They’ve been doing it right since 1780! One of the oldest restaurants in the United States, the Warren Tavern still keeps it pretty traditional with their menu. Hey, why mess with success. Plus, it’s such a charming atmosphere. And you can devour the history while you devour fish & chips, a bowl of chowder and a cold Sam Adams.


    2 Pleasant Street - Charlestown, MA 02129 617-241-8142 The Warren Tavern is one of the most historic taverns in America. It is the oldest tavern in Massachusetts and was visited by many famous individuals including George Washington and Paul Revere. The Warren Tavern was first erected in 1780 in Charlestown, MA.

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