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Dinner before symphony concert in Boston


Michael M
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Hey there Bostonians from a Chicago eGulleter. I've got tickets to a BSO concert on a Saturday in October and want some options about pre-concert dinners. We're staying at Nine Zero or something like that, and will do all traveling on foot/public transportation.

In the immediate vicinity of the concert hall in Chicago are the type of restaurants that seem to cater to suburbanites coming in to the city, and I'd like to avoid that if possible in Boston. We prefer a chef-driven place, someone into seasonal produce given that it will still be a good time for harvests. Trendy is not necessary (but not always avoided, either) and good service and well-designed space go a long way. We don't mind walking! Any ideas pop out? Thanks.

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Hello Chicago, one of my favorite cities for food, architecture, other urban adventures.

Nine Zero is on the edge of the Financial District and adjacent to the Boston Common. Nice location generally but not restaurant central.

My first recommendation would be No. 9 Park. It's just a few blocks and a lovely walk from your hotel and is excellent by any measure. Chef Barbara Lynch has several restaurants in the city but this is inarguably her best. Great space too, whether you eat at the bar or in the main dining area. There are many comments on this board about this restaurant, and all are superlative.

Closer to Symphony Hall is tougher. While there are some decent places in the area, most are geared towards the student populations from nearby colleges. But Symphony is adjacent to both the South End and the Back Bay neighborhoods, both with plenty of resturants, but a nod to the SE for better options. Maybe others have specific recommendations.

One issue to consider is whether you want dinner before or after your concert. Boston is not known for late-night fine dining, so check ahead for hours.

Though I am a proud Bostonian, many of my favorite restaurants are in Cambridge: Oleana, Harvest, Craigie Street Bistro, Central Kitchen. Your hotel is convenient to the red line (subway) so quick to any of these, but they probably wouldn't work with a symphony schedule.

Boston is a small city compared to Chicago, so walking/taxi distances are very short no matter where you decide to go.


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Cambridge isn't far or difficult to get to either by tax or public transit from your hotel, but it will take additional time, so you'd be a little less rushed by sticking to Boston if you want to eat before the concert. It also depends on whether you want to pay for taxis or take the subway (we call it the "T").

No. 9 Park is very close to your hotel, but from there to Symphony Hall would be a long walk, a nice one but not if you're pressed for time. The Park Street T station is close by, from there take the Green line "E" train to Symphony.

If you end up in the South End, there's no direct subway connection to the Symphony area, but it's closer so walkable.

If you decide you want to go to Cambridge, the Red line also runs from Park Street. Go to Central Square for Craigie or Central Kitchen, Harvard for Harvest. Oleana would require a taxi.


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