Boston is a city of neighborhoods. The city’s character changes from block-to-block and section-to-section, as unique communities have formed and evolved over the course of generations. From Back Bay’s stately brownstones to the West End’s eclectic architecture to Beacon Hill’s peaceful cobblestone lanes, each of Boston’s classic neighborhoods gives visitors a glimpse of a unique slice of the city.

West End

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What’s the neighborhood known for?

Cultural institutions and major attractions, adjacency to Downtown and Boston’s most charming residential areas.

Where to eat and drink in the West End:

  • Finch Restaurant — An American restaurant in the shadow of TD Garden, serving traditional favorites and a full drink menu.
  • Harvard Gardens — This is a corporate-traveler friendly restaurant just steps from Mass General Hospital and the Boxer Boston.
  • West End Johnnie’s — Johnnie’s caters to the crowds coming to and going from TD Garden. The bar and restaurant serves a menu of sports bar signatures and a menu of locally and internationally sourced beers.

What to see and do in the West End:

  • TD Garden — This arena is the home of the Boston Celtics, the Boston Bruins, and countless high-profile concerts, events and stage shows.
  • Old West Church — One of Boston’s stately historic churches, the Old West Church has stood at 131 Cambridge Street since 1806.
  • Bulfinch Triangle Historic District — This triangular swath of buildings is one of the last remaining vestiges of the original West End, much of which was razed during redevelopment efforts in the 1950s.

North End

Boston buildings

What’s the neighborhood known for?

Authentic Italian food, narrow lanes, historic churches, and a close-knit aura of community.

Where to eat and drink in the North End:

  • Mike’s Pastry — If ever there were a quintessentially ‘Boston’ restaurant, Mike’s Pastry is it. This North End institution is a generations-old sweets shop known for its cannoli and cakes.
  • Regina Pizzeria — It wouldn’t be an Italian neighborhood without a perfect pizzeria, and the North End has pizza aplenty. Regina, going strong since 1926, serves one of the city’s best pies (try the Original North End Recipe pizza, emphasizing quality mozzarella and red sauce).
  • Mare Oyster Bar — This upscale spot is a departure from the North End’s Italian identity, but it carries on another New England tradition in style: fresh seafood.

What to see and do in the North End:

  • Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park — This recently revitalized park offers access to the Boston Harbor. It’s where locals and visitors convene for waterfront relaxation and events.
  • Paul Revere House — When Paul Revere set out on his fabled midnight ride, he left from this house in the heart of Boston’s North End. The house is still standing as the oldest remaining building in Boston.
  • Copp’s Hill Burying Ground — Dating back to 1659, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground is the permanent home of many famous colonial citizens and historic figures.

Beacon Hill

beacon hill

What’s the neighborhood known for?

Scenic gaslit streets, cobblestone sidewalks, quaint boutiques and restaurants, and a serene setting.

Where to eat and drink in Beacon Hill:

  • The Paramount — Known as one of Boston’s best brunch spots, the Paramount is known for its pancakes, affordability, charm…and long wait times on the weekends. Arrive early.
  • Beacon Hill Pub — This watering hole diverges from its upscale surroundings to stand as one of the best dive bars in Boston. Play classic arcade games, drink an American beer, and watch the city pass by outside.
  • 75 Chestnut – This American restaurant distills the essence of Beacon Hill into a charming dining room and refined brunch and dinner menus. 75 Chestnut keeps things fresh with its inventive salads and traditional entrees.

What to see and do in Beacon Hill:

  • Boston Common – The Common is one of America’s classic public spaces. Located in the heart of the city between Beacon Hill, Back Bay and Downtown, the Common is home to historic monuments, beautiful green space, and key community events.
  • North River Outfitter — This shop is among the top places to snare high-end prep apparel in the heart of Ivy League country. The shop is home to pastels for every season.
  • Holiday Boutique — This small Charles Street boutique stocks women’s apparel that matches the upscale nature of its Beacon Hill surroundings, including a signature collection of hand-made dresses, skirts and tops.

Back Bay

Back Bay

What’s the neighborhood known for?

Victorian brownstones, tree-lined lanes, and Newbury Street: Boston’s top shopping destination.

Where to eat and drink in Back Bay:

  • Deuxave — High-end Boston dining at its best, Deuxave is a French food destination just off of the main Newbury Street strip. Start with a melange of heirloom beets, move to a pan-seared Maine hake, and finish with creme brulee and a port wine.
  • Atlantic Fish Company — This Boylston Street restaurant is among Boston’s most prominent seafood restaurants, serving regional favorites like chowder, North Atlantic salmon, and Atlantic cod.
  • Mei Mei — Expensive eateries are a dime a dozen in Back Bay — it’s cheap eats finds that are harder to come by, and Mei Mei Street Kitchen is among the best. Billed as “creative Chinese-American food,” Mei Mei serves pierogi dumplings, charred cabbage salad, honey walnut shrimp, and more.

What to see and do in Back Bay:

  • Ball and Buck — Cosmopolitan outdoorsmen will find lots to love at Ball and Buck, a favorite Back Bay menswear boutique. High-end grooming accessories, American-made apparel, and practical goods bring New England’s finest coiffed lads to Ball and Buck.
  • Trident Booksellers & Cafe — Stop in for a cup, a bite, and a book at Trident, a Newbury Street classic in operation since 1984. Newbury Street’s last remaining independent bookstore serves a full breakfast menu and some of Boston’s best French toast.
  • Copley Square — It’s more than Boston’s major urban gathering spot, it’s home to the city’s top farmer’s market and an array of events.

South End

The financial district of Boston

What’s the neighborhood known for?

Quaint parks tucked into residential blocks, a diverse population of residents, and a healthy collection of restaurants and bars.

Where to eat and drink in the South End:

  • Toro — This Boston-bred tapas spot has expanded to New York City, but the original South End location is still serving unexpected small plates in a beautiful space.
  • Myers+Chang — This hip spot incorporates the flavors of China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the American Northeast in wok-roasted shiitake omelets, lemony shrimp dumplings, and wok-charred udon noodles in a relaxed diner-style atmosphere.
  • Tremont 647 — Tremont 647 does New American cuisine better than almost any of the many restaurants offering takes on this style. Comfort food, cocktails and spirits sit as the centerpieces of this 19-year-old South End establishment.

What to see and do in the South End:

  • Boston Center for the Arts — The BCA is what you make it. Take in ahead-of-the-curve visual arts exhibitions, works from emerging theatre companies, interpretive dance performances, and more at the Boylston Street center.
  • The Shops at Prudential Center — One of Boston’s best shopping centers includes Free People, Lacoste, Lord & Taylor, and Mizuno, among other stores.
  • Northeastern University — One of Boston’s many notable universities, Northeastern sits on the edge of Back Bay and the South End. The vibrant area around the campus is worth visiting, and Matthews Arena is a hockey fan’s dream.