Local Finds

Boston

Photo from a dinner of salads & sangria on Newbury Street in Boston.

Samplings from places, where I have lived, worked or traveled. I’d love to hear if you’ve been to these places and have others to add.

Hope you enjoy these ideas!


Florida

Fort Myers, FL

  • First Watch: I had a fresh, made-to-order Friday breakfast with my parents; loved the Morning Meditation Tonic, a juice made from citrus, turmeric, ginger & beets

Sanibel Island, FL


Illinois

Chicago, IL

  • The Whistler: I had the best Old Fashioned here — The Wildcat made with a chai-infused bourbon (see photo below)
    • Disclaimer: my cousin does own this bar, but doesn’t mean I can’t shamelessly promote what drinks I loved (and maybe ordered another . . .)

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Maine

Auburn, ME

  • Wallingford’s Orchards: known for their apple orchards & apple cider donuts; have an abundance of squash & pumpkins; make their own cider & jams (see header photo)

Lewiston, ME

  • Fuel: French Country inspired; use local farms, grass-fed & antibiotic/hormone-free meat; because the food is rich & heavy, it’s ideal for those cold-weather days
  • Marché: an extremely fresh way to have lunch; specialty salads, soups & sandwiches

Portland, ME

  • Miyake: sushi & Japanese cuisine; using ingredients from their own local farm; on the pricy side, but worth a try, especially the hamayaki — lobster, crab & scallops over sushi rice with truffle oil & spicy mayo
  • Pai Men Miyake: focus on ramen bowls; the “little sister” restaurant to Miyake with a more casual, less expensive vibe; I copied their daikon & carrot salad here
  • Portland Flatbread Company: organic, farm-to-table ingredients used creatively to make flatbread pizzas; views on the water
  • Portland Lobster Company: directly on the wharf, they use a fresh lemon juice base instead of mayo for their overly stuffed lobster rolls (not complaining at all!)

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  • The Holy Donut: all potato based donuts; may sound strange, but trust me, they’re gooooood
    • TIP: they make limited batches that sell out quick so head over early!
  • Street & Co.: some of the best mussels I’ve ever had; located in the quintessential cobblestone alleys of the Old Port
  • Vignola Cinque Terra: made with ingredients from their farm & local farms; the Formaggio (or cheese platter) is a perfect way to start

Massachusetts

Boston, MA

  • Boston Public Market: forty farmers, vendors & pop-up shops with food, coffee, flowers, spirits & artisanal goods
  • Clover Food Truck: I had lunch here working at BIDMC one summer; vegetarian; fresh ingredients, innovative (cinnamon lemonade or chickpea fritter) & deliciously different food
  • Figs: fantastic flatbreads & salads — need I say more?
  • Flour: a bakery with new takes on classics like pop tarts & Oreos; also delicious soups, sandwiches & quiche in savory combos; check out their cookbooks to bake with less sugar
  • Stephanie’s: this is strictly a brunch recommendation because while I think the food is a wee bit overpriced, they hands down have the best build-your-own Bloody Mary in Boston

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  • Sweetgreen: if you’ve ever been to any other of their locations in big cities, it feels nothing like a “chain”; you literally can’t go wrong with any salad or grain bowl

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  • Tatte: a popular Boston bakery; known for their breads & pastries; love the shakshuka, avocado tartine, green/nutty salad & any quiche
    • TIP: the croissants sell out daily & the lines start by 10 am on weekends (at least at their Beacon Hill location)
  • The Salty Pig: have yet to have a bad charcuterie board and/or pizza — knocking on wood as we speak . . .
  • The Tip Tap Room: so many beers on tap to accompany their many, unique tips of dishes; they serve a different type of “meat” daily — like the ostrich burger for dinner or sweet potato bison hash for brunch
  • Toro: Spanish tapas in the South End; you literally can’t go wrong with anything you order; this was the first time I had bone marrow & you won’t regret ordering it
    • TIP: since they’re first-come, first-serve, get there early and avoid the wait!
  • For more, see an early review of Boston here

Cambridge, MA

  • Alden & Harlow: the cocktails & unusually incorporated veggies plates are just amazing; try the ubiquitous kale salad; the burger special is first come, first serve & sells out daily

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Worcester, MA

  • Corner Grille: a Holy Cross hotspot from my undergrad days; specialty thin-crust “pies” & flatbreads; also BYOB but limited tables

New York

Ithaca, NY

  • Agava: fresh food & local ingredients to create fabulous Southwestern dishes; one of my favorites in Ithaca!
  • Argos: an inn with fabulous drinks, specializing in whiskey, gin & bourbon cocktails
    • See my write-up here
  • Ithaca Farmer’s Market: fresh produce, great meal options, pottery, baked goods, artisan crafts & everything you could wish for in one spot…
    • See my write-up here
  • Just A Taste: farm-to-table tapas with a menu that changes daily; one of my favorites in Ithaca!
  • Moosewood: one of the original vegetarian restaurants that started the plant-based movement; worth going just for their cookbooks

New York, NY

  • Gotham West Market: eight premiere artisanal food purveyors much like a gourmet food court; Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop (the ginger chicken donburi rice bowl with the sesame Brussels sprouts) & Blue Bottle Coffee (individually brewed coffee) were both excellent
    • See my Insta here

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

  • Reading Terminal Market: the famous indoor farmer’s market equipped with vendors, farm stands, bookstores & just about everything
  • V Street: an all vegan restaurant; would recommend the BBQ carrots (still somehow “meaty” & flavorful) along with Peruvian fries

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  • White Dog Cafe: a farm-to-table restaurant located next to Penn; each dining room has a different flair; sustainable & all around delicious food

Tennessee

Nashville, TN

  • Barista Parlor: artisanal coffee & espresso; bonus — each coffee bean can be paired with a complementary chocolate
  • Butcher & Bee: rotating seasonal menu using local ingredients; I can speak for brunch & highly recommend the shakshuka; we sat at the chef’s counter & literally watched every dish assembled before making a decision (which was so much harder than it sounds)

Virginia

Williamsburg, VA

  • Colonial Willaimsburg’s Taverns: using products from their own gardens; had one of the best salads (a “Chopped Salat” to be precise) with a fresh basil vinaigrette at the King’s Arms Tavern

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  • Dog Street Pub: food elevated from bar “basics” with perfectly picked beer pairings

 

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