Boston is one of the most unique places in the United States. Set on water and steeped in history, particularly of the Revolutionary War era, Boston has its own accent and language, spawning words like “wicked pissa” instead of “good” and “water bubbler” instead of “water fountain.”[find-an-apartment]
A city so distinct also has regional cuisine that sets it apart from other parts of the country, although it does share similarities with its New England counterparts. To find the most unique local eats in Boston besides clam chowder and baked beans, check out the places below.
Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches
You can get roast beef sandwiches anywhere, but in Boston they serve them hot with sweet barbecue sauce on an onion roll, which may just be a match made in heaven. Get them big, bigger and even bigger than that at Liberty Bell Roast Beef, where they’re slightly messy from the mayonnaise and barbecue sauce combination, but oh-so-good.
Where: 170 W. Broadway St., Boston, MA 02127
American Chop Suey
Don’t confuse American chop suey with its similarly named Chinese-American counterpart; American Chop Suey is actually called “goulash” in other parts of the country and features macaroni and ground beef in a tomato sauce. Occasionally, Billy’s Sub Shop serves a pile of American chop suey with a side salad as a special, and it’s classic comfort food at its best.
Where: 57 Berkeley St.. Boston, MA 02116
As fun to eat as it is to say, whoopie pie began as two “cookies” made from chocolate cake and filled with buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Over the years, other variations of whoopie pies have hit bakery menus, including a gingerbread version and a pumpkin one, based on seasonality. Find all kinds at Quebrada Baking Co. in Arlington, Mass.
Where: 208 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA 02474
Boston Crème Pie
Last Hurrah, located inside the Omni Parker House, is where Boston Crème Pie was born, and it still does it well (even though it’s technically cake, not pie). Two layers of yellow cake are filled with vanilla custard and topped with chocolate ganache, making the dessert both light-feeling and indulgent at the same time.
Where: 60 School St., Boston, MA 02108
Even though the food is native to New England, Indian pudding is increasingly hard to find. Fortunately, Durgin-Park, a 180-year-old restaurant that’s changed hands quite a bit over the years, still offers baked Indian pudding. It’s mushy and brown but it tastes good, with milk, butter, cornmeal, flour, molasses, eggs and spices baked together.
Where: 340 Faneuil Hall Market Place, Boston, MA 02109
Red Flannel Hash
It’s no secret that Boston has deep Irish roots, and its signature breakfast dish, red flannel hash, is no exception. Comprised of ingredients that largely use boiled dinner or corned beef and cabbage leftovers, red flannel hash is richly hued red from beets, and downright delicious from the butter, onion, corned beef, potatoes and Worcestershire sauce that accompany those beets. Find mouthwatering red flannel hash – and top it with two poached eggs – at Henrietta’s Table, which serves the dish at breakfast each day.
Where: 1 Bennett St., Cambridge, MA 02138
Originally from Rockport, Mass., Anadama bread can be found throughout New England and is rumored to be named after a disgruntled fisherman cursed at his wife, Anna, following a less-than-stellar meal. Regardless of its name origins, Anadama bread is traditionally made with white flour, cornmeal, molasses and rye flour. In Boston, try the multi-grain Anadama, which is loaded with organic grains and has a chewy cornmeal crust, at When Pigs Fly.
Where: 378 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA 02144
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Stephanie Frey