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Sam and I LOVE a good event. In fact, we're planning to cram ourselves, our great dane dog, and any future family members into a tiny apartment right here in Camberville even if it means spending every penny we have on housing so we can always live near the city. And why do we torture ourselves with no space? Because of the INCREDIBLE events happening all the time nearby us and within walking distance (woo!) So we've chosen the 5 coolest Spring events to recommend to you -- events that are worth driving here for. Hope to see you at one of these soon, and of course on an upcoming food tour.
See you soon!
Our guides are truly great! Since our business is food and hospitality, we understand that our guests want to feel good about the people they are choosing to hang out with during the tour. The guide's job is to be entertaining, an expert, and to make it fun.
Our guide Rebecca has personality in spades! We know you'll be in great hands with Rebecca as your guide for our Harvard Square Food Tour. Smart, savvy, and passionate about all she does, Rebecca also have a love for dance, including training in Argentine Tango and Salsa. When you visit Orinoco on our tour, Rebecca will share her own perspective of Latin-American flavors, as her family is from Peru. In fact, we offer bilingual tours in Spanish and also all-Spanish tours for private groups of 5 or more guests!
To learn more about Rebecca and our other amazing guides, please visit our About Us section on the website. Look forward to meeting you soon off-the-beaten-path in Boston.
As we gear up for our first busy weekend of the summer with three brand new tours running, we couldn't be more thankful for the enthusiasm and commitment of our tour guides! We wouldn't be launching these new tours until we knew that we had incredible, passionate, and knowledgeable guides to take guests on the culinary walking journeys. We have profiled each of our guides in the About Us section of our site, so please check it out.
We are very excited to have Ellie on board as one of our Jamaica Plain tour guides! Ellie was raised on an organic farm in Wisconsin, so she definitely have a unique perspective on food that can't be matched. Ellie has spent months exploring her new home and also works with the Roslindale farmers market, which is legendary in the area. Besides being extremely active outdoors (Ellie typically bikes to our meetings), when she was in high school her parents had a limited amount of butter she could use each week because she loved to bake so much that she was going through crazy amounts of butter. And that must be a lot of butter given that she grew up surrounded by cows. We know you'll learn a lot from Ellie, and we cannot wait to welcome you on a food tour of JP.
Guest Feature: Kali Hawlk from "Going Beyond Wealth" Blog -- 8 South End Spots to Beat the Tourist Crowd
This week, we are lucky to feature Kali Hawlk from Going Beyond Wealth. Her blog is Boston-based and extremely well-written. Head there to check out strategies for mindful living through intentional spending all kinds of interesting advice and stories. We asked Kali to explore some "off the beaten path" finds in a neighborhood she loves, the South End. We were so excited to learn about these:
The first thing I do when traveling to a new place is some extensive Googling to find the best local blogs who profile the best restaurants their city has to offer -- that the tourists don’t know about.
My name is Kali Hawlk, I run a personal finance lifestyle blog called Going Beyond Wealth, and I may or may not have some hipster tendencies that lead me to want to run away from crowds and into the little-known cafes and secret spots in every town I visit.
And since I rely so heavily on local bloggers to help me figure out how to get off the beaten path when it comes to great food, I figured I should start paying it forward and do my own quick recap of some of my favorite stops in my own neighborhood: Boston’s South End.
There is no shortage of fantastic places to grab a bite in the South End -- and no shortage of food tours and Yelp reviews that will lead you to the same spots every time: The Buttery. Formaggio.
Don’t get me wrong: these spots are well-known and highly recommended for great reasons. The Buttery is the only place I know in New England that has legit biscuits -- and I’m from Atlanta; I should know. You could entertain yourself for days just gazing upon the cheese case at Formaggio.
(It doesn’t hurt that both Formaggio and The Buttery are within 2 blocks of my house, either.)
But still, if you’re looking to get off the beaten path…you’re gonna want to know about these South End spots that will let you skip the tourist crowds every time.
Get Your Caffeine Fix at Render or Wholy Grain
When I want excellent coffee, I head to Render. They brew both Tandem and Gracenote coffees, and frankly, Gracenote is the absolute best you can get in the city (although on some days, George Howell gives them a run for their money).
When you’re there, order a drip coffee, or, if you’re feeling extra-fancy, go for the pour over. Either way, don’t sully the complex and incredible flavors by adding dairy; this is one coffee you’ll want to drink black.
The pastry case is always stacked with incredibly delicious treats, too, and the Columbus Avenue location serves up hearty quiches and bagels all day long.
As great as Render is, first love in the South End was The Wholy Grain. There’s a special place in my heart for it. When I moved to Boston, I was there every single day. Make sure to go early and get a Jordan Marsh blueberry muffin before they run out (and ask for it warmed up with a side of butter).
Forget About the North End for Italian: Cinquecento Is Where It’s At
There’s nothing certain except death, taxes -- and recommendations to eat in the North End if out-of-towners ask where they should go for dinner when they’re in Boston.
And sure, the North End is an experience worth having. But if you want to feel like a local in the know rather than just one in a herd of tourists, you want the other End. Head south and try Cinquecento.
It’s the site of one of the best meals I’ve ever had in Boston and it’s brunch ain’t bad, either. Ask your server about the specials and if venison is ever on the menu, get it -- along with a recommendation on a wine to pair it with (you’ll want to skip the cocktails here, but I’ll tell you where to go for those next).
Drink Up at Gallows or Masa
Gallows has a very simple but very strong drink list that anyone who appreciates a straightforward, booze-heavy cocktail will enjoy. The Wildfire is my favorite choice, but you really can’t go wrong here.
If you decide to do more than drink at Gallows, you must order the only dessert on the menu: Stoner’s Delight. It’s one of the best treats I’ve ever had (and no, you don’t need to munchies to crave this dish days after you try it for the first time).
If you’re a fan of tequila and/or mezcal, Masa will have you covered. They have arguably one of the top three mezcal inventories in the city. But don’t let that scare you off if you’re not into that deliciously smokey taste: their Naked and Famous cocktail will suit even tamer palettes.
And here’s a bonus spot for you: The Beehive. It shouldn’t really be on this list because it’s one of the best-known South End spots… but if we’re talking excellent drinks in cool places, it deserves a shoutout.
With live music every night and a solid cocktail list, you won’t regret hanging out at the very large, spacious basement bar for an hour or two.
Go for a Dive at Delux Cafe, or Feel Like a Regular at the Franklin Cafe
If a divey spot is more what you have in mind, check out the tiny Delux on Clarendon. Just be sure to bring cash with you, as they don’t accept anything else.
Less of a dive but very much a neighborhood joint is The Franklin Cafe -- which happens to be nestled between Formaggio and The Buttery. Strike up a convo with the bartender or your fellow patrons and you’ll feel like you’re right at home.
Be the First in the Doors at Bootleg Special
Finally, if you’re one of those “I tried it before it was cool” people (it’s okay, I can relate), here’s one for you: Bootleg Special just opened up on the corner of Tremont and Herald Streets, and it seems like word hasn’t spread quite yet.
Fans seafood boils and NOLA style eats, need to go immediately and check it out. Bring a crowd and get a boil -- or go with a smaller party and don’t miss the po’boys, which are as good as any I’ve had in Louisiana.
You won’t need to worry about too big of a crowd at any of these places, and even better, you’ll have some great new recommendations to share with your friends and family to make you look like a true South End regular.
It's true. Most tour companies don't launch five tours in their first year of business. But with all the incredible concepts and history and delicious eats in the area, we honestly can't help ourselves. Our list of neighborhoods we'd like to tour together is miles long, and we also have many plans for special events that you'll have to stay tuned for!
That said, we wouldn't be launching these new tours until we knew that we had incredible, passionate, and knowledgeable guides to take guests on the culinary walking journeys. We have profiled each of our guides in the About Us section of our site, so please check it out.
When Sammy first wrote to us, she was all about chocolate! In fact, she called herself a "chocolate fanatic." Her parents used to think she would be a food critic based on the way she would talk about food and especially every dessert she would eat. We are lucky to have her as one of our Harvard Square Chocolate Tour guides. We know you're in good hands on your next chocolate tour adventure with Sammy.
Sam and I love living in Camberville, and we certainly don't have immediate plans of leaving the area, but if there was one area of town that we wished was much MUCH closer to us, it would be Jamaica Plain, which is located in the City of Boston near Brookline and Fenway Park. It can take us over an hour to drive to Jamaica Plain on a busy traffic day, and so when we do go there we tend to make it "count" by hitting up multiple restaurants and shops in one day. In fact, we've been known to get there for breakfast and not leave until after dinner, finding things to do and eat along the way.
There are lots of similarities between Jamaica Plain -- called "JP" by the locals -- and Somerville. Although Somerville has double the number of residents as JP, both cities' cultural impact locally is significant. One notable similarity is that both communities love Porch Fest where residents jam out on the open air patios of neighbors and attendees walk or bike from stop to stop. They both have residents who want to keep things "neighborly" and also have significant biking cultures, a DIY scene, and most notably a unique and diverse and delicious food scene!
Over the past few months, we have spent lots of time not only researching the history of the local food establishments but also the history of JP itself. Did you know there are over six theories of how JP got its name? We are in the final stages of launching our new Jamaica Plain food tour, on which you'll be able to taste everything from Lebanese food that uses family recipes from over 100 years ago -- to locally brewed kombucha tea -- to the freshest tacos you could ever eat -- to a beer made with ingredients all from Massachusetts. Won't you join us?