The Best of Boston: Where to Eat, Drink, and Stay Right Now

F&W Sommelier of the Year Haley Fortier shares her highly opinionated guide to the best restaurants, bars, and hotels in Boston.

Boston, MA
Photo: Andrey Denisyuk / Getty Images

Haley Fortier is the owner and operator of two of the city's most thrilling wine bars — Haley.Henry and Náthalie — which specialize in responsibly sourced, small production wines. Here the 2019 F&W Sommelier of the Year shares her highly opinionated guide to Boston.

Breakfast Banter

There's a tiny hole-in-the-wall in Winthrop (about 10 minutes outside the city) called Hi-Tide. They have hands down the best corned beef hash and eggs you'll ever find. The chef has been there for over 30 years and loves the Yankees (I know!), and when you walk in, you feel like you're in someone's kitchen rather than a restaurant. It's worth the trip for the food alone, and the community banter you'll overhear is enough to fill a book.

Thirst Quenchers

Café Sauvage on Massachusetts Avenue is complete and total heaven. The owners bring two different heritages to the table, French and African, and you can feel it in every little touch that they've created. And although they make the perfect espresso, don't miss out on the bissap; it's a traditional Senegalese drink that is full of mint, hibiscus, and lemon and so, so refreshing.

On a Roll

I imagine that it's sacrilegious to come to Boston and not have a lobster roll, am I right?! Neptune Oyster in the North End is still the No. 1 stunner of lobster rolls. It's always worth the wait. And the kicker is that you can have it your way: They serve it either cold with mayo or hot with butter. In an era of tumultuous chaos in the world, it's good to have choices.

A Rocking Good Time

The Stockyard in Brighton is a ringer for a fun night out with friends. There's nothing better than an old-school bartender behind a mahogany bar mixing up a dirty martini and throwing a plate of steak in front of me. It's truly the way to my heart. (I'm not a fine dining kind of gal; I'm a little more rock and roll.)

Good For the Soul

Coppa in the South End is my go-to spot for everything. It's dark and cozy. The staff is incredibly thoughtful. The pizza and pasta are unbelievably good and always consistent. My favorite pizza is the Fisherman's, loaded with fried calamari and pickled peppers, and the tagliatelle with Bolognese is enough to mend even the hardest of days.

Under the Radar

Rincon Limeño in East Boston has some of the best Peruvian food in the city. Now this is my way of eating. First, start with a pisco sour, and then let the food flow: mixed ceviche, fried whole red snapper, fish escabeche with peppers, and lots of rice and fried yuca. Wash it all down with Aguila, a Colombian beer, and you're on cloud nine.

Whit a View

Nautilus Pier 4 in the Seaport District is right on the waterfront, so you can see all the action—people watching at its best! Do not miss the blue crab fried rice and the Peking-inspired duck. Bring your appetite.

To Market

I think if you took a scan of my body, you'd find that 95% of it is cheese. Formaggio Kitchen in the South End is responsible. It's an incredible shop that also carries a lot of fun wine, sandwiches, sausage, tinned fish, chocolate, coffee, breads, and anything else you need for entertaining on a Saturday night. The staff is always so helpful, and if you're hungry going in there, have them toast you up a ham and butter sandwich while you're shopping around; you'll thank me later.

Checkin In

I tell visitors to stay at The Verb Hotel in Fenway; what's better than a remodeled Howard Johnson Inn? Fun vibe with a musically hip theme that's literally right behind Fenway Park. They've got a great pool and a fun bar called Hojoko that serves tropical cocktails, and you're right in the middle of all the action.

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