When friends and family visit Boston they always ask for restaurant recommendations in Back Bay, because that's usually where their hotel is. I have a hard time giving good recs in the Back Bay because many of the restaurants are overpriced, corporate and crowded. Not all of them of course, but it's definitely harder to find a consistently great place that delivers a unique Boston experience than it is in other neighborhoods.
Usually I try to convince them that Fenway and the South End are closer than they think and it's worth the extra $5 in cab fare, but sometimes they only have limited time and they're confined to the Back Bay for one reason or another. So, I am always on the lookout for great places in the Back Bay because even a short list of spots will come in handy pretty frequently. Lately I've been constantly recommending Oak Long Bar + Kitchen and The Salty Pig because of their amazing cheese and charcuterie boards. I guess that's what the Back Bay does really, really well. Even though these spots are best for lunch or a pre dinner bite, the dinner options are great too.
The LBK Board from Oak Long Bar is HUGE and will keep any group of people occupied for hours. Including the whole gamut of cheese and cured meats, it comes with Prosciutto Americano, Organic, La Quercia, Smoked Speck, Salumeria Biellese, Sopressata, Artisan Salame, Fra-Mani, Spicy Coppa, Salumeria Biellese, Porchetta, Berkshire Blue (raw cow cheese, MA), Landaff (cave aged, raw cow cheese, VT), and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (raw cow cheese, VT).
The a la carte cheese and meat boards from The Salty Pig are completely customizable. On this particular day I decided on Prosciutto and French goat cheese. You can add anything you want but in terms of meat, cheese and homemade condiments (like homemade fig jam pictured below) and the boards come standard with homemade pickles, whole grain mustard, and thinly sliced crostini.
What restaurants do you recommend in the Back Bay?
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About the authors
Michelle Zippelli is a Boston based hedonist who is committed to finding the best food that Boston has to offer. She has lived in Boston for 6 years and works in online marketing. Michelle loves meatballs, live music, exotic cheeses, Mexican food, spur of the moment dance parties, and all things pickled.
Jacki Morisi is a self-proclaimed bon vivant extraordinaire. A Boston native whose waking hours are exclusively focused on travel, music, food, and fare ... emphasis on food and fare. She's a firm believer that just because you're living on a young professional's budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste, and carries this mantra into each and every dining endeavor.