48 hours in Boston: Where to eat and drink this fall
When the leaves start changing colors, Boston stands out as one of the great cities to watch foliage turn from green to orange and gold. It's a sight best seen on foot, which means finding proper fuel is critical. Over the years, Cambridge and Boston have welcomed impressive new ventures from local chefs like Barbara Lynch, Joanne Chang and Matt Jennings, who've proven their skills at everything from concocting variations on traditional New England staples to building the city's reputation as a developing hub for creative cocktails. Catching foliage may be the reason for your visit, but there's nothing to ruin a good vacation like underwhelming meals and overpriced drinks. Here are the spots that won't let you down.
To kick off any weekend trip to Boston, head to Alden & Harlow (40 Brattle St, Cambridge) for dinner. It's tucked away in a basement off the bustling Brattle Square, but once you're inside, you'll want to settle in for a while. A&H owns the innovative-preparations-of-vegetables game; there are very few places in the world that will make you as excited about broccoli, which they char and pile on top of a butternut squash hummus with crispy cashews. Chef Michael Scelfo's famed raw sugar pumpkin salad changes every autumn, and past variations have included jalapeños and Cotija cheese. Don't miss the pickled Verrill Farm corn pancakes with maple and shishito, either. If all those veggies have you craving red meat, A&H's “secret" burger has a cult following—but make sure to order early in the evening, because they run out.
If you're staying around Harvard Square after dinner, you can't go wrong with Russell House Tavern (14 JFK St, Cambridge), beloved by Harvard faculty and of-age students alike. Their cocktail menu is expansive and ever-changing. For fall, try the 1836, which includes bourbon, rum and crème de cacao. Also, be warned: their fries are spectacular, and you might think you're ordering a plate to share, but you'll rethink that offer as soon as you dip into the tiny tub of aioli.
To venture further into Cambridge, hop on the Red Line just one stop to Central Square and check out Little Donkey (505 Mass Ave, Cambridge), which is always reassuringly packed. Order their rotating cocktail with tequila, St. Germain and Pacifico beer that comes served in a grapefruit, or the Bench Warmer, a tequila cocktail served in a pouch, Capri Sun-style. If you need some snacks to go with your drinks, Little Donkey rolls out a late-night eats menu between 11 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.; it includes edible cookie dough served on a beater with cacao chips.
Before a long day of admiring the scenery across Cambridge and Boston, fuel up with a world-class brunch at Mamaleh's Delicatessen (15 Hampshire St, Cambridge.) Although it's only been open for a year, Mamaleh's has quickly become the darling of Cambridge. The decor is lifted straight out of the coziest diner from the town you grew up in, and the menu is packed with Jewish comfort foods, including matzo ball soup, latkes and bagels and lox. The kreplach, triangular little wontons filled with brisket and doused in chicken jus, are heavenly. You'll have to order a side of latkes to mop up the jus; these are not the kinds of fluids to waste.
With its imposing cement structures and businesses-only vibe, downtown Boston isn't exactly the liveliest part of town, but swing by to grab lunch at Townsman (120 Kingston St, Boston) Chef Matt Jennings is a native Bostonian, and he proudly shows off his roots in the grilled rabe with honey, crispy garlic and fermented chilies, as well as the roasted duck breast with flannel hash, pear butter and seared livers, a dish that may very well be the plated personification of a New England fall. Townsman is also one of the many Boston establishments that serves offerings from Mem Tea (196 Elm St, Cambridge), a local tea importer; the baked gaba oolong is a doughy, almost savory blend that seals off any hearty lunch or dinner. If you fall in love with Townsman's menu, chef Jennings' new cookbook Homegrown (out October 17) has recipes that reinvent New England favorites from steamed clams to pot roast.
After a day of walking across the city, Saturday night dinner must be filling and exciting enough to look forward to all day. That's where UNI (370 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston) comes in. Izakaya might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think “fall," but with surprising dishes like the Shima Aji sashimi with smoked apple pie purée and pickled cranberries, and the barracuda nigiri with burnt ginger, pickled quince and pear ash, UNI is a stand-out for those looking to venture beyond the traditional definition of New England cuisine. Don't: miss the Korean rice cakes with kale oxtail, kimchee butter and gremolata. Do: let them make you a sake cocktail.
If you're craving a nightcap after UNI, hit up RUKA (505 Washington St, Boston), located in the heart of Downtown Crossing. Served in a champagne flute, the Peruvian Pearl includes shochu, bergamot and sparkling wine—it's so delicate and smooth that you'll suspect there's no alcohol in it, but there is … a lot. The salmon ceviche, with its layers of avocado, jalapeño potatoes and salmon (plus a convenient side of chips), is perfect for sharing with a group and soaking up all the cocktails you'll want to try once you've had the Peruvian Pearl. (The Sea and Smoke cocktail is brand new for fall: whiskey, yuzu, smoked tea and sake.)
For your final brunch in Boston, try Tatte Bakery (70 Charles St, Boston) Owner Tzurit Or has five locations across Boston, Brookline and Cambridge (with two more on the way), and all of her locations are still packed every weekend morning and most weekdays. With good reason, you'll find the shakshuka with lamb meatballs and labneh on every other table, and you can't leave town without sharing their pastry basket, which will change how you think about brioche forever.
From Tatte, head to Saltie Girl (281 Dartmouth St, Boston), a Back Bay favorite that does New England seafood in a refreshingly unpretentious way. The small space doesn't take reservations, which means you'll probably be waiting for a bit. If you're trying to fit in as many stops as possible, pass the time by taking a quick ten-minute walk to Terra (800 Boylston St, Boston), Eataly Boston's brand new restaurant and bar. The highlight of their delightful cocktail menu is the Paper Plane, made with bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino and lemon. When you get that call from Saltie Girl, rush back for the “salt and pepper" sweet bread nuggets with cauliflower and raisins, and add on the pan-roasted Nantucket Bay scallops served with pumpkin purée and pork jowl.
After sampling some of the best restaurants in Boston and their new offerings for fall, there's only one thing left to do: eat some excellent pasta. The North End is the city's most popular spot for Italian, and Pomodoro (351 Hanover St, Boston), with its warm service (by which we mean: complimentary crostini) and quaint atmosphere is a great finale to the weekend. Order the creamy mushroom rag with thick pappardelle, and remember to bring cash––they don't take cards.
Willing to travel even farther for the city's absolute best pasta? Giulia (1682 Mass Ave, Cambridge) between Harvard Square and Porter Square is worth the pilgrimage. The wild boar pappardelle and duck confit tortellini are impossible to choose between, so go with a friend and order both. The staff is so knowledgeable about wine pairings that you can't go wrong putting your fate in their hands. If you're thinking about burrata—of course you are—Giulia is the place to spring for that, too.
As a member in the tourism, travel and transportation industries, United offers a unique perspective into the economic and operational effects rippling across the U.S. To advocate United's efforts, and in anticipation of a bright future, New York/New Jersey President Jill Kaplan and California President Janet Lamkin have both been named to their states' respective governor's COVID-19 response task force committees.
Appointed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Jill joins the New Jersey Restart and Recovery Advisory Council — a group of business and municipal leaders tasked with planning to restart the state's economy.
"Serving on Governor Murphy's Restart & Advisory Council uniquely positions us in the epicenter of helping to restart state's economy by providing innovative ideas, sharing best practices and creative thinking to help ensure the rebuilding of New Jersey's economic vitality alongside notable business leaders," said Jill. "I'm honored to represent United Airlines and the transportation industry as a core building block to expediting the state's recovery."
United is the sixth largest company in the state and one of the largest essential businesses continuing to operate through this crisis, and as or advocate, Jill will share some of our best practices and lessons we're learning with the nine different committees through the customer and employee lens.
On the opposite coast, California Governor Gavin Newsom last month appointed Janet to his Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. Joining Janet at the table are former California governors, legislative leaders and CEOs and executives from numerous businesses with large stakes in the state, such as Apple and Disney. In addition to Janet's position on the task force, Janet is also serving on the Long-Term Jobs Recovery sub-committee and will advocate for industries suffering long-term ramifications of COVID-19 such as tourism, travel and entertainment.
"Being appointed to Governor Newsom's Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery ensures that United is part of the important conversation and part of the plan to help California pave the way toward a fast, safe recovery of jobs," said Janet. "It is an honor to represent the only transportation business on the task force, and I look forward to working alongside a group of very distinguished leaders and focusing on innovative ways to rebuild the economy for our 40 million residents. This work will build on our partnership with the Governor to provide free flights for medical volunteers and having our employees call to check in on isolated older adults as part of the Social Bridging Project."
Pre-COVID, we transported 38 million passengers to, from and within California each year, and directly and indirectly supported tens of thousands of jobs, so the health and well-being of the industry is vital to the prosperity of the state.
As the only airline represented among each of these groups, Jill and Janet are working hard to ensure that our voices, as a company and industry, are heard, valued and utilized as a new chapter dawns on the horizon.
At the airport
1Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
2Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
3Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
4Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
5Introducing touchless check-in for customers with bags
At the gate:
6Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
7Providing hand sanitizer and
8Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
9Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing
On our aircraft
1Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
2Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
3Temporarily removing onboard items like pillows, blankets and inflight magazines
4Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
5Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
6Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
7Applying social distancing to seating procedures when possible, including:
- Limiting middle seat selection
- Moving customers seated closely together
- De-planing in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
8Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft, to be completed on all flights by mid-June
9Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles
We're working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols for the safety of our employees and customers. Visit Cleveland Clinic's website to learn more about COVID-19.
Hello. I'm Scott Kirby, the new CEO of United Airlines. I'm a proud Air Force Academy graduate and have spent my entire career in and around aviation, including the last four years as President of United.
While I had planned for my first communication with you to be about the meaningful investments we were making to the travel experience and our continued growth across the U.S. and expansion to exciting new destinations around the world, today, the situation rendered to us by the COVID-19 pandemic leads me to a different type of message.
First, I graciously and humbly thank you for your business. Now, more than ever, our customers' loyalty is so deeply appreciated by every member of the United family.
As essential workers, the men and women of our airline have been hard at work over the past two months to transport vital medical supplies and critical goods to places that need them most, to provide free travel to healthcare professionals and to help thousands of individuals repatriate to their home countries.
Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it's our singular customer focus. We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of your mind when making travel decisions. We're not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to protect our customers and employees.
We are installing plexiglass in lobby and gate areas, we're using the same equipment used to clean hospitals to disinfect the interiors of our aircraft, all crew and customers on board are required to wear face mask coverings and we're taking the temperature of our employees before they start work.
But at United, we're not stopping there. We're teaming up with experts from Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to set a new standard for cleanliness and healthy flying that we are calling United CleanPlus℠.
Clorox is working closely with us to improve how we disinfect common surfaces and provide our customers with amenities that support a healthy and safe environment.
Physicians and scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, will advise us on new technologies and approaches, assist in training development and create a rigorous quality assurance program. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help us use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep our customers safe.
While we may not know when this pandemic will subside, what we do know is that travel is so deeply woven into the fabric of our global culture. We all desire to visit family, dance at a friend's wedding, hug parents…and see the wonders of this beautiful world. No matter how sharp the picture quality – or how strong the WiFi signal – there's simply no substitute for being there – in person – to collaborate, celebrate, explore. We are confident that travel will return. And when it does, United Airlines will be ready to serve you again in the friendly skies.
Thank you. Be well. And I look forward to seeing you on board.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, video conferencing tools that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
To use on Zoom:
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
- Start by downloading your favorite United image to your computer. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- C:\[insert your device user name here]\AppData\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
- If you're using a Mac copy the images to this folder on your computer:
- /users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- Once you start a Teams meeting, click the "…" in the menu bar and select "Show background effects" and your image should be there
Watch our most popular videos
This is why we fly.
20 UCSF Health workers, who voluntarily set aside their own lives to help save lives, are on their way to New York City.
We are humbled by your selfless sacrifice.
In celebration and appreciation of all first responders and essential workers. 👏🏻👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿
This is the story of Jason and Shantel. You see, Jason and Shantel love each other very much. They also love traveling and they love the classic Adam Sandler film, The Wedding Singer.
It all began when Jason reached out to United's social media team, hoping for assistance with his upcoming plan to propose. Some phone calls and one borrowed guitar later, the stage was set for Jason. Put all that together, mix in some helpful United employees and, voila, you have a truly memorable marriage proposal. Congratulations to this fun-loving and happy couple, and here's to many more years of making beautiful music together.
A big thank you to Chicago-based flight attendants Donna W., Marie M., Karen J. and Mark K. for making this proposal come to life.