As one of the most popular attractions in Boston, Quincy Market is often seen as an attraction catering to the stereotypical SLR-toting, chowder-seeking, eyes-to-the-sky wanderer. Its central location and information kiosk-dotted plaza make it an appealing launch pad for tour groups and field trips. But truthfully speaking, the cobblestone walkways are way too knobby to navigate with a camera lens pointed at the Custom House Tower. In reality, travelers, visitors and locals co-mingle at this historic hot-spot on the daily. Faneuil Hall is a must-stop along the Freedom Trail (historians warmly refer to it as the Cradle of Liberty, citing it as the location of America’s first town meeting) while talented street performers are guaranteed to draw in curious crowds. Finding the highlights in the hubbub of Quincy Market means keeping an eye out for the little-known homegrown goods while having fun with the tourist traps.
Frost Ice Bar
This chilly cocktail lounge is kept at an even 21˚F to prevent your bar stool from melting. From the walls to the furniture to the “glass” you sip from, everything is hand carved out of ice, and drinks come with delightful city-inspired titles like “The Orange Line,” “Big Dig,” and “Red Sox Nation.” Each visit is limited to 45 minutes, and insulated capes and gloves are provided upon entry.
Designed by the clothier herself, Michal Negrin’s ethereal and romantic boutique is where semi-casual, modern style gets a Victorian touch. Window displays are adorned with intricately designed floor-length gowns, riding boots, and leather bags with floral embroidery and glittering accents. From floor to ceiling, the walls are covered with dazzling necklaces, rings and earrings, all made with Swarovski crystals and an unabashedly feminine aesthetic.
This historic restaurant was “established before you were born” and stands in Quincy Market as a Boston landmark. The menu is as authentic as it gets with classic New England cuisine that doesn’t stray far from the fare of our founding fathers: broiled Boston scrod, a littleneck clams on the half shell, baked Indian pudding, and Boston Baked Beans, homemade with salt pork, molasses, mustard, sugar, and onion.
The Stone Flower
This two-story, too-cute jewelry boutique is all frills, ruffles, and flounce. A transplant from New York, husband and wife team Michael and Apple opened their flagship Boston storefront in 2003, filling the ground floor with shimmering earrings, charms, bracelets, and rings. Scale the grand staircase to lacquered white racks of tea party dresses and flowery skirts. Go here to peruse a selection of hair accessories and choose from hundreds of sweet headbands, bows, and clips.
Zuma Tex-Mex Grill
A selection of more than 100 tequilas and mezcals, and a menu of hearty southwestern dishes that won’t leave a dent in your wallet has made Zuma a favorite neighborhood haunt. Don’t miss Taco Tuesday (an evening of $1 tacos in the bar) and its famed, seriously delicious $4 margaritas served all day, every day. Also try the hand-shredded pulled pork, Andouille sausages with jalapeno corn bread, and 12-hour brisket chimis in flour tortillas, wood-fired quesadillas, and classic nachos.