Beantown might traditionally be known for its “Chowda" and classic New England cuisine, but there are some big Latin bites wedging their way in between the lobsta rolls and Fenway Franks. Here, we take you on a culinary tour of the city with pit stops at a hotel, spa, salon, and more along the way. Get ready to pack your bags.
Latina’s Boston Travel Guide: Where to Eat, Drink, Sleep, and Play
If you've ever been to Boston, chances are you've visited the famed bar aptly named "The Tap" in Fanueil Hall at some point or another. Well, imagine this low-key dive getting the ultimate foodie makeover — it's now a gastro pub inspired by the nearby Freedom Trail. Regional craft beers are offered on 24 taps, in bottles, and in a selection of seasonal beer cocktails — try the Cold Apple Pie (Apple Pie Cordial, cinnamon, Bantam Wunderkind Cider). However, there are two more very valid reasons for making a reservation immediately: the blue crab nachos with avocado cream, smoked tomato salsa, cilantro, scallions, and farmers cheese and the Dock Square mini fired oyster tacos with bacon, spinach, mustard aioli, and pickled onions. We know our tacos and these are some of the best we've ever had in Boston. Oh, and the lobster roll is out of control good. This is one new favorite we can't stop thinking about.
Newer isn’t always better, but in the case of Boston’s downtown hotel scene, it 100% is. Only four years old, the W (located in the heart of the theater district) is the coolest place to stay. Modern decor, 235 spacious rooms (with seriously comfortable beds), unique room service selections (like lobster mac and cheese and slow cooked pork sliders), and above average amenities—thanks to a partnership with Bliss spa — make this Starwood property a must-visit destination. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you’ll feel right at home given the super friendly staff and relaxed vibe. Plus, the attached lounge-meets-nightclub, Tunnel, is the perfect spot to grab cocktails with friends.
Tico might just be one of the most buzzed about tapas restaurants in Boston right now. Not only is the Back Bay spot packed on any given night, but the food is good and we mean really good. Various ceviches, tacos, and small plates like Serrano ham with guava jam, grilled green beans with Queso Fresco, and roasted cauliflower with creamy chipotle make not ordering every single dish on the menu difficult. No wonder celebs like Mick Jagger and John Mayer are fans. Did we mention their celeb chef is Michael Schlow? You might remember the James Beard award winner from a little show called Top Chef Masters. #NBD
Latina ladies with curly locks can definitely benefit from the DevaCurl cuts and products offered at G2O Spa & Salon. Their Deva expert Dailin, will walk you through their system, leaving you with hydrated best-tressed coils and their spacious roof area serves as the ultimate space for throwing a birthday or bachelorette pampering party. Basically everything you could need from a salon or spa you can find at G2O.
Catus Club’s motto is “the best margarita in Boston” and they’re not kidding. Whether you go for dinner, or just hang in the side bar sipping margs, the Mexican hot spot on Boylston Street is not to be missed (and neither is the ‘Chipotle Pineapple Sidecar’).
Boston’s newest speakeasy is hands down one of the most alluring destinations the South End has to offer. Nestled on Appleton street, you’re greeted by a seemingly unmarked door and single light bulb overhead, before entering darkly lit, cozy rooms brimming with an eclectic crowd — this is definitely where all the cool kids are. After making your way throughout the bespoke cocktail menu (PS, there are tiki drinks served in Magnum PI Tiki Glasses!), switch to the food side; try the black pasta with baby octopus and duck meatballs with black garlic. For dessert, there are even homemade Twinkies finished filled with brown butter cream. COME ON.
If you’re looking for an old-school locale to people watch or sip a glass of wine, there’s no better place than the Four Seasons, and within this historic hotel — the Bristol Lounge. With unprecedented views of the garden and a major fireplace to boot, you’ll go with the intention of staying for an hour and end up making an afternoon of it. As for the menu, our favorite Latin-inspired dishes are the espresso rubbed tenderloin crostini with mango salsa and jalapeño aioli and the lobster tostones on crispy plantains with avocado and pico de gallo.
With two locations conveniently located on Newbury Street and Stuart Street, James Joseph is your go-to salon for hair on the run. Whether you have a last minute event or just in need of some overall de-frizzing and smoothing, you’ll be in and out (with amazing locks) in less than 30.
Three words: short rib tacos. Back bay’s best kept secret for brunch is definitely The Met, but their lunch, dinner, and restaurant week items are just as delicious. The aforementioned tacos feature cola and cocoa flavors and are topped with charred onions and jalapeño, and the pork carnitas cemita with avocado, shredded cabbage, cilantro, and jalapeño jam on a brioche bun are everything. Also noteworthy are ‘The Met Rivera’ cocktail (tequila, red jalapenos, ginger, fresh lime), grilled artichokes, and tres leche cake with grilled pineapple and toasted coconut — all of which you can enjoy in one of their many laid-back, yet chic, dining rooms.
Another great brunch option is Masa in the South End. This casual tapas spot has been around forever, but an ever-evolving menu and fun ambiance continue to make it a neighborhood favorite for both tourists and locals. Order the huevos rancheros with queso cotija, salsa ranchero, crispy tortillas and black beans topped with crema, or the 'Santa Fe Style' eggs benedict atop southwestern biscuits and avocado with green chile hollandaise and southwest home fries. They also do half-off tapas every Sunday-Thursday, from 5-7pm. PS — they're winning the Latina award for the best breakfast burrito in Boston at the moment...
Looking for something fun to do that’s not your typical Duck tour/Redsox game/Faneuil Hall excursion? Visit Boston’s Center for Adult Education or BCAE. They teach Latin-inspired cooking and dance classes, including their ever-popular couples series “Tonight We Dance” in the following forms: Salsa, Brazilian Forro, American-Style Tango, Bachata, and Samba.
This restaurant and bar located in the Langham hotel (which used to be the Federal Reserve Bank) is a great choice for after-work drinks or a date. The atmosphere alone makes Bond one of the most unique venues in the area, but their electric cocktail list elevates it to the next level. Try the ‘El Dinero’ (strawberry basil infused Avion Reposado, St. Germain, Liquor 43 and fresh lemon) or ‘The Layover’ (Corzo tequila, fresh kiwi and lime juice, agave nectar, and muddled strawberry).
No good vacation would be complete without a visit to the spa. Bliss Boston combines unique pampering treatments and a zen-like environment to transport you to a completely tranquil space. Choose from their following signature treatments, among others: Blissage75 (a tension relieving massage that targets your most troubled muscles), Triple Oxygen Treatment (their most popular all around complexion reviver), The Hot Milk and Almond Pedicure, and the Brazilian Bikini Wax (seriously painless). Then, take advantage of the sauna and steam rooms post service.
It just doesn't get much better than sipping cocktails in what used to be the old Charles Street Jail, while occasionally pausing to take selfies with Frank Sinatra, Hugh Grant, and Lindsay Lohan's mug shots. Order the 'Boggy Night' (silver tequila, cranberry liqueur, lime on the rocks, with a sugared rim).