Boston Walking Tour
Our recommended book
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri walks us through the streets of the Boston area. Short stories told from different perspectives ask us to see the city through many different perspectives. Boston as a city acts as an additional character in the narrative, making it an easy pick. The way Lahiri writes about Boston and and the experiences within this city, recall feelings I had as a child growing up in the area. As the daughter of immigrant parents, the narratives are deeply relatable, even if my parents came from Latin America and not India. As I now live away from Boston, reading this book brought me a bit closer to the city I call home. I can’t wait to take you through one of my favorite cities.
Start your day off by visiting Harvard Yard and Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, just a stone throw from downtown Boston. You can still visit Cardullo’s in Harvard Square and grab a few cool food items. It’s breakfast time and you’re probably looking for a bite to eat and a great coffee to perk up with. Flour Bakery is a great place to check out. Although there are several locations throughout the city, it remains a local bakery through and through. They’re famous for their Sticky Buns which have won awards throughout the country. They also have great breakfast sandwiches for the savorier-side of breakfast options. Personally, I’m a sucker for their sticky bun bread pudding. But you really can’t go wrong here.
After fueling up for breakfast, we’d recommend you head down Mass. Ave. towards Central Square. Mass. Ave. is a central avenue through Cambridge that connects most of the hubs. Each hub along Mass Ave has a Red Line subway stop, so if the weather isn’t cooperating, you could either take the 1 Bus, which takes you above ground along Mass Ave, or you could take the Red Line, which takes you below ground (but is significantly more reliable). As you enter Central Square, you’ll be greeted by Cambridge City Hall on your left and the YMCA and Post Office on your right.
Keep walking down Massachusetts Avenue and you’ll walk into MIT’s campus, and further along, you’ll reach a bridge connecting Cambridge to Boston. This Bridge is the Mass Avenue Bridge.
At this point, you’ve arrived to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA). The MFA is one of the most comprehensive museums in the United States with over 450,000 works in its collection. This is an incredible museum that has works from all over the world, which is also reflected in their many international film festivals.
After a stop at the MFA, it’s probably wise to keep moving. Atlantic Fish Co. isn’t too far away and is home to some of the best Clam Chowder in all of Boston. Grab a cup or if you’re feeling ravenous, grab it in a bread bowl for the full experience. If you can handle it, try to stick with the Clam Chowder here and leave some space for Chinatown.
Once you’re in Chinatown, there are way too many places to list out. My personal favorite is Taiwan Cafe. Get the Soup Dumplings, the cucumber salad, and really anything else that looks good on another table.
As you’re walking around towards the Boston Garden and Boston Common, you might see a red line painted on the sidewalks. That line, right under your feet is in fact the Freedom Trail.
If you continue walking in, towards downtown, you’ll run into what used to be Filene’s and Filene’s Basement. The sign might still be up if you’re lucky. I remember growing up in Boston and the trips here. Now it’s turned into a Macy’s.
As the day comes to an end, you close in on the most central and historic part of Boston proper. You’ll reach Haymarket, which on a normal day looks like any other part of the city, but on Saturday mornings, it comes alive with a huge bustle of produce and people. If you’re visiting on another day, pop into Boston Public Market which is just next to this area. Inside you can see an array of local food producers and farm stands.
Continue on as you meander through the streets of Beacon Hill. This hilly neighborhood is home to some of the most picturesque spots in Boston.
Of course, at this point you’ve just walked through all of Boston so you can easily justify a great dinner. The Boston-area has an incredible diversity of food options. If you’re in the mood for some great Indian food, head on over to Punjabi Dhaba. If some Nepalese Momos are more your vibe, Momo N Curry is one of my all time favorite spots (I’ve got a thing for dumplings, what can I say). If you want some iconic pizza, head on over to Pinocchio’s in Harvard Square - everyone from high schoolers to celebrities stops through. If you’re looking for a classic seafood feast, then head on over to Neptune Oyster, B&G Oysters, or Row 34 - all excellent options.
Loved the book? Walk your way through the narrative and discover some of Boston’s best places. If you’d like to see the map to your phone, simply click on the icon all the way on the right of the map (it looks like it has the four corners of a rectangle) and the walking tour will open inside the google maps application.
Looking for a little bit more?
City notes has a few fun facts that might enhance your understanding of Boston.