Real Food Travel Boston

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There are many opportunities to find locally-sourced, healthy food in Boston. The city is full of great restaurants and markets for locals and travelers to enjoy.

There are many opportunities to find locally-sourced, healthy food in Boston. The city is full of great restaurants and markets for locals and travelers to enjoy.

I love to travel with my family, and finding delicious, high-quality food is always on our agenda. I do research before traveling so we don’t have to settle for unhealthy restaurant options when we’re hungry at meal time. I’m writing a series to highlight family travel destinations that provide ample opportunity for travelers to enjoy healthy, locally-sourced food. The first stop is close to home for me: Boston, Massachusetts.

Healthy Food in Boston

There’s so much to do in Boston, you probably can’t fit it all in during one vacation here. With dozens of museums and historical landmarks, Boston is full of cultural and educational opportunities for the whole family.

There are many beautiful outdoor spaces to enjoy, including the Boston Common and Public Gardens, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the Harbor Islands, the Arnold Arboretum, and the Charles River. If you have sports fans in your family, there are professional teams playing year-round, and the spirited Boston fans make sporting events here quite an experience.

Red Sox hydration billboard

Healthy Restaurants in Boston

If you’re on vacation in Boston, you’ll have no problem finding wonderful restaurants. The problem will be deciding which ones to try. I’d like to highlight several restaurants in the Boston area that focus on locally-sourced food. I’ve eaten at some of these places, and the rest are on my list to try.

Henrietta’s Table (Cambridge): This is the premier farm-to-table restaurant in the Boston area. If I could pick just one nice restaurant to visit on a vacation to Boston, I’d probably pick this one.

The Farmhouse (Needham): This farm-to-table restaurant just west of Boston has a wonderful menu and casual atmosphere. I loved the vegetarian entrée, which is a sampling of four or five different vegetarian dishes that are prepared according to the chef’s whim. The white gazpacho was a highlight.

TW Food (Cambridge): This beautiful restaurant is great for a special night out. They focus on the purity of the ingredients, insuring that meat is raised humanely and vegetables are grown using traditional methods.

Rox Diner (Newton and West Roxbury): This diner uses bread from a local artisanal bakery and local, organic eggs. They focus on organic produce from area farms, and their meat is farm-raised and all-natural. Rox Diner gets their maple syrup from a farm in Vermont that dedicates an acre of its land to supplying syrup to the diner. No Mrs. Butterworth’s here!

The Fireplace (Brookline): The first Green Certified Restaurant in Boston, the Fireplace offers “hearty, clean food with integrity.” This New England grill received the best burger in Boston award last year, and they’re hoping for a repeat this year.

Flour Bakery + Café (4 Boston locations): This well-known local bakery serves delicious salads, sandwiches, and desserts. I can’t tell you that the desserts are healthy, but you’re on vacation, so indulge a little! Flour does carry multi-grain bread that’s made primarily with whole wheat and buckwheat flour.

If you’d like to see other high-quality restaurant options in different towns throughout the Boston area, Edible Boston Magazine has a great guide to restaurants that prioritize local ingredients.

Rox Diner is a great spot for healthy breakfast in Newton.

Food Markets and Food Trucks

There are over 30 farmers’ markets in the city of Boston, and it seems like every surrounding town has one too. If you’re visiting Brookline, the Coolidge Corner Farmers’ Market is conveniently located near the T, and there’s also plenty of parking available nearby. Don’t miss the Taza Chocolate table. Copley Square has a bustling market too, and there’s also a new mobile farmers’ market in Boston called Fresh Truck. Their vision is to give everyone access to fresh, local produce.

Food trucks are becoming a more and more popular way to find healthy food in Boston. Food truck festivals are the latest way for people to sample many unique types of cuisine all in one place. Because each food truck serves a small, specific menu, they tend to have fresh, local ingredients. Two trucks that focus on locally-sourced ingredients in Boston are Compliments and FUGU Truck (voted best food truck in New England). You can check their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to see where they’ll be parked.

Compliments food truck

Healthy Grocery Stores and Bakeries in Boston

If you’re planning a picnic or you want to grab some unprocessed food for snacks throughout the day, grocery stores are a great place to shop. Aside from the Boston area’s mainstream grocery stores, you’ll find several Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Markets. There’s also a wonderful market in Jamaica Plain called City Feed and Supply that focuses on local specialty foods. If you’re looking for whole wheat bread, you can find a Great Harvest in Newton and Lexington.

Healthy food at Boston's Whole Foods Market
The beautiful produce at Whole Foods Market

Food Festivals in Boston

Throughout the spring, summer, and fall, there’s always a festival going on somewhere around Boston. Area farms host strawberry festivals, apple picking events, pumpkin festivals, and berry picking extravaganzas. If you’re visiting in the fall, don’t miss the Boston Local Food Festival. This celebration of local New England food is the event of the year for locavores around here. Dozens of vendors offer samples and selling products for a reduced cost at the festival.

U Pick farms are plentiful in the Boston area

If you have other suggestions for where to eat real food during a Boston vacation, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Check out the other posts in my Real Food Travel series for more inspiration.

Healthy food in Boston

3 Comments

  1. Thanks, Annemarie for sharing such an inspirational post! I think that you can experience the place through the food!

  2. What a wonderful list of restaurants, food trucks and advice on how to eat locally and well! Of the Cambridge restaurants you mention, I’ve only been to Henrietta’s Table. I’ll have to check out the others. And of course, have to see if the food trucks you mention ever come anywhere close to where I work. Other than that, I’ll have to put the Boston Food Festival on my calendar, so that I don’t miss it.

    1. Thanks, Jolanta! Henrietta’s Table is one of my favorites. I hope you find some of the food trucks near where you work.

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