The Fenway neighborhood—named after the park thoroughfare designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in the 1890s and synonymous with the Boston Red Sox—is endlessly rewarding for newbie Boston explorers and locals alike. Packed with world-class museums, outstanding restaurants and tucked-away shops that are well worth discovering, Fenway delivers far more than the core of baseball around which everything revolves. Astronomical telescopes, rare whiskies, cutting-edge fusion cuisine, vinyl collectibles, a superlative cocktail called Under the Volcano...you find all these things and more.
Many Bostonians rate Eastern Standard among their favorite of all the city’s restaurants, and the ballpark-adjacent location at the heart of Kenmore Square is a golden bonus. Owned by Garrett Harker—whose name often comes up when great Boston restaurants are mentioned, for example No. 9 Park, Row 34 and Island Creek Oyster Bar—the bustling, brasserie-style eatery never fails to hit metaphorical homers in all departments. Nearby, Audubon is the very definition of a friendly neighborhood favorite—their veggie burger comes with a mean chipotle aioli—and Hojoko does a stellar crispy local cod with bonito malt vinegar.
Fans of vinyl and other throwback media from the pre-digital era, look no further than Nuggets Records—one of Boston’s greatest used and gloriously analog music stores.
Our last visit netted a typical haul of esoteric gems, including a long-player of birdsong, some classic reggae and the spoken-word memoir of a long-forgotten Hollywood actor.
For those who like to explore the city on two wheels, Giant Cycling World Boston plays host to innovative online bicycle store, Crimson Bikes, but in this brick-and-mortar location at Fenway Triangle, you'll find everything you need to get pedaling.
We’ve hung out with the outstanding bar staff at Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar—believe us, they really know their stuff, especially when it comes to small-batch whiskey. In Boston's gastro-pub universe, Citizen's star shines brightly. The Bleacher Bar is slotted neatly under the stands at Fenway Park and has a center field view of all the Red Sox action on game day—if you're one of the early birds and manage to snag a prime position. The Hawthorne’s menu of cocktails is terrific: we're especially fond of Under the Volcano, a drink named after the cult Malcolm Lowry novel: It packs a notable mezcal kick.
Head over to the Coit Observatory at Boston University where Open Nights are held most Wednesdays, provided the cloud cover is negligible or non-existent. If Boston is to justify its Hub of the Universe nickname, a decent view of the cosmos is mandatory. At Jillian’s/ Lucky Strike entertainment complex you can roll a load of bowling balls, play some billiards, eat a very good grilled cheese sandwich and bust a move or two on the dance floor. If you prefer to exercise your imagination and your gray matter, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum must not be missed.