nanner’s boston love list // a favorite guide to my favorite city.


This post first appeared on Hither and Thither for Ashley’s “5 Things” series. I loved writing this guide last year and frequently receive emails requesting a list of my favorite places around town. For this post, I have added a few lot more of my favorite city spots to make this truly my ultimate guide to Boston. :)


It’s no secret that Boston is my favorite city. I moved here after graduating college, almost 11 years ago to be exact (!), and I haven’t looked back since. Just 2 hours from Portland, Maine, and even less to parts of the Cape and Rhode Island, you could easily find yourself enjoying a day trip to the beach in the summer or hiking the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the fall. The city of Boston is known for being a walking city– most areas are completely accessible by foot or by train, and if you’re in a pinch, there’s always an Uber around, too. We’ve got great history, the best seafood, and without a doubt, charm and beauty around every corner if you know where to look.

Edited slightly from the original, this guide is divided into 5 sections, EAT, SHOP, STAY, PLAY & LOVE. Throughout I have covered all my favorite neighborhoods and the best things to see and do {in my humble} opinion. The final section, LOVE is a place for me to add those extra special spots that I don’t want you to miss!


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Neptune Oyster, 63 Salem Street, (617) 742-3474

When in Boston, eating seafood is a MUST. And oysters? The best! Try Neptune Oyster on Salem Street in the North End for the coziest, most delicious dinner on this side of the Charles River. With only a handful of tables and a guaranteed full bar, the wait for this place can certainly be significant, but worth it! Put your name in, walk around Hanover Street, get yourself a canolli (Modern Pastry is my personal favorite) or a drink at Bricco or Lucca, and then come back to Neptune when a seat opens up (they will call you on your cell). Once inside enjoy the warm light and a glass of wine, then decide which oysters to try or any other seafood that may strike your fancy. I highly recommend the buttermilk johnnycake and the hot Maine lobster roll. Oh, everything is just so good! You will love this place.


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Follain, 53 Dartmouth St, (857) 284-7078

My favorite place to shop is Boston’s South End, home to many local artisans, small shops, and vintage goods. I always make a stop at Follain when I’m in the area, picking up healthy skin care products in the most gorgeous light spattered space on Dartmouth Street. While you’re in the neighborhood you’ll also love SOWA Open and Vintage Markets, Olives and Grace, and Pioneer Goods. Grab a coffee and a cupcake at The Buttery if you’re around in the afternoon, Picco for a pizza, or a drink at The Beehive while you listen to some Jazz if it’s close to dinnertime. It won’t be hard to see why the South End is such a unique part of the city.


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Airbnb — My Boston Wishlist

If I had to choose I would choose to stay in Beacon Hill over any other neighborhood. It is one of the loveliest neighborhoods you’ll find in Boston, and one of the most historic, too. The above apartment interior is my friend Rachael’s, nestled right on Chestnut Street — a place we were lucky enough to stay at last summer while she and her family were out of town. In Beacon Hill you’ll find brick lined sidewalks, gas-lit street lamps, and some of the most gorgeous old brownstones in the city. While you’re there be sure to walk the length of Charles Street (find Acorn Street if you can!), eat a meal at The Paramount, and meander through the Public Garden and Boston Common ending your adventure at Brattle Book Shop, an outdoor book store that’s sure to make you smile.

Hotel Options // If staying in a hotel is more your style, try the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro or The Liberty Hotel for reasonably priced rates in Beacon Hill. Other well-priced hotels include The Chandler Inn Hotel, Chandler Studios, and The Lenox.

The Verb Hotel by Fenway Park is another option and a sweet one too! I’ve heard amazing things about both the hotel and their restaurant Hojoko. Two new to me places I hope to find myself visiting at some point in 2016!



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The Charles River Esplanade, Back Bay, on the banks of the Charles River

Skywalk Observatory, Prudential Center, 800 Boylston Street

Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street

There really are endless sights to see while you’re visiting Boston, but my favorite days are those spent walking or biking along the Charles River and a visit to the Boston Public Library. For the best, most stunning views of the city visit the top of the Prudential Tower where the Skywalk Observatory is open daily and can gives you a birds eye view of each neighborhood including Fenway Park and the famous CITGO sign. While you’re visiting the Skywalk stop for a drink in the lounge at the Top Of The Hub for a memory you won’t soon forget. If you do visit the library be sure to step into the Reading Room and if it’s a warm summer day, sitting out in the courtyard with a book is such a happy place to be.


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, BostonIsabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Bostoncharles riverchristian science poolTatte Lunch-14

There are so many favorite places I didn’t even yet list! Below are some additional stops to consider adding to your agenda. It’s sure to be a busy stay, and you’ll definitely have to pick and choose, but one thing I can promise is that you won’t regret seeing any of it.

Other Neighborhoods + Places of Note //

Charlestown {Freedom Trail!} | Cambridge {Harvard Square!} | Brookline {Brookline Booksmith!}

Christian Science Reflecting Pool | Fenway Park — Go Sox! | Rose Kennedy Greenway


Museums //

Isabella Steward Gardner Museum | The MFA | Harvard Museum of Natural History | ICA


Indoor/Outdoor Markets

Boston Public MarketCopley Farmer’s Market {Seasonal}


Favorite Restaurants //

Too many to name and too many I still need to try. Here is the latest BOSTON list, and below are some of my tried and true favorites:

Donuts! Union Square Donuts | Blackbird Doughnuts | Dunkin Donuts {yes! I love them!}

Breakfast: Cafe Luna | Tatte Bakery | Brookline Lunch {in Cambridge}

Lunch: Flour Bakery | Clover | Rifrullo Cafe | Sweet Green | Saus

Dinner: ToroIsland Creek Oysters | Loco | Gaslight Brasserie

Coffee, Hot Chocolate! Loyal Nine | L.A. Burdick | The Thinking Cup | Gracenote

duck pond copley square

Lastly, I have been keeping tabs with a hastag on instagram #nannersbostonlovelist, and I started a Pinterest Board {including the maps feature}. I will add to both as my weekends take me to new and fun places!


I hope I didn’t miss anything! I am so excited for you to visit.

And don’t forget your camera! There is so much beauty here! You will want to capture it all.


  1. Haha! Love that Dunkin Donuts made the list :)

  2. At least half of these are on my love list, and the rest are definitely now on my wish list! I’m also a huge fan of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Toscanini’s, Orinoco, and the biscuits at Sweet Cheeks.

  3. Toscanini’s! I knew I would forget something. I like Sweet Cheeks, too! I will have to add Orinoco to my list of places to try.

    And yes, the Coolidge Corner Theatre is fun. Add a little JP Licks in and you’ve got yourself the best date night.

    • I can’t say enough good things about Orinoco! If you like avocado, the Jardinera arepa is amazing, and the mojo sauce that comes with it (and lots of other things) is so addicting. The Brookline Village location has a great bar, too!

      And yes to the Coolidge/ice cream date night! (Have you tried the frozen nutella hot chocolate at Paris?!)

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