When planning out your Boston vacation, it’s likely you’ll have a long list of historic sites and attractions on your itinerary. As expected, the city is marked by the many dramatic and telling events that helped shape our nation. But in addition to walking the Freedom Trail, touring through the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, viewing the site of the Boston Massacre and the many other significant sites, don’t forget to include some of the city’s most historic restaurants, many of which hold a fascinating and enticing story of their own. As you may imagine, there are many restaurants in Boston that date back as far as the city itself; and as you dine in these establishments, it’s incredible to imagine that you’re sitting in some of the same places that once hosted our Founding Fathers, the Sons of Liberty and other American visionaries.
It’s the oldest restaurant in the city, so it’s no wonder that many flock to discover the Union Oyster House on Union Street. This charming restaurant opened its doors in 1826 and still resides in the same location. In fact, once inside, you’ll be amazed that much of the original building is still intact, providing a feeling that you’ve been transported back to the days of the Revolutionary War. Indulge in traditional Boston fish chowder, fresh oysters and an array of succulent seafood as you imagine what life might have been like for the very first patrons of this establishment.
Located within the historic Omni Parker House Hotel, this 19th century jewel is famous for being the birthplace of the first Boston crème pie. But the storied past of the restaurant as well as the hotel itself is what draws in guests from all over the world. Dine in the same establishment that once hosted many of the world’s best-known literary talents including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Henry David Thoreau and others. Enjoy a cocktail and a bite where Emeril Lagasse, Lydia Shire and Jasper White got their start in the culinary industry and where Malcom X once worked as a busboy during the 1940s. Fine dining at its best, the Parker serves breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch, dinner and pre-theater dinner.
Enjoy the warm welcome you’ll receive from your server who’s donning the garb of Colonial Boston and serving up a delicious cup of tea. At Abigail’s Tea Room, located within the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, you’ll have the opportunity to satisfy your hunger for everything from paninis, clam chowder, a variety of sandwiches and even Boston’s own Harpoon Beer. The ambience, which exudes a simpler time in history, coupled with beautiful waterfront views, provides the perfect spot for relaxing after a day of sightseeing.
The second oldest restaurant in Boston, Jacob Wirth’s first opened its doors in 1868 and is known for its authentic German cuisine. Located in the Theater District, this historic eatery serves a variety of German and European specialties as well as beer, wine and cocktails at its ancient mahogany bar. In addition to serving as the setting for several movies, Jacob Wirth has also hosted many celebrities through the years including Liza Minnelli, Al Pacino, Mickey Rooney, Jackie Gleason, Tip O’Neil, Peter Faulk and many more. You just never know who you may meet while dining at this historic restaurant.
Located at 340 Faneuil Hall Marketplace in downtown Boston, Durgin-Park got its start in 1742 when Peter Faneuil built a large market house near the waterfront. In those days, it served as a dining hall for merchants, fishermen and businessmen. In 1827, Eldridge Park bought the place with his partners, John Durgin and John Chandler, and gave the restaurant its official name, which has stood the test of time and through numerous owners throughout its history.
As one of the oldest continuously running restaurants in the USA, this iconic eatery is where generations of Bostonians have enjoyed classic New England fare and hearty comfort foods like clam chowder and prime rib.
In South Boston, there’s likely no local that hasn’t heard of or dined at Amrheins. Located on West Broadway for more than a century, this classic Southie spot features the oldest hand-carved bar in the country and was the usual dining choice for politicians and families in the area. Although it’s evolved into a more upscale, trendy spot over the years, Amrheins still exudes a warm persona and serves up traditional style dishes like chicken pot pie, New York sirloin, meatloaf and pan seared scallops.
A stop into this centuries-old restaurant will take you back to the days of the American Revolution—while treating you to a delicious meal. Known as the “Headquarters of the Revolution”, this is the place where the Sons of Liberty met to plan the Boston Tea party and where Paul Revere stopped in for a pint before his famous midnight ride. Patronized by patriots, colonists and hungry travelers, the Green Dragon is where you can feed your appetite with delicious Irish stew, clam chowder and a variety of burgers (named for famed Bostonians like John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin and Sam Adams), salads, sandwiches and more.
Established in 1780, this historic eatery is where George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere enjoyed cold brews and hearty meals while discussing the future of America. Walk through the doors and experience a feeling that you’ve traveled back in time. Today, guests can savor delectable cuisine in the form of onion soup, sliders, crab cakes, Shepherd’s pie, lobster mac and cheese, fish and chips and more.
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