Originally Posted by GuP
Had a quick question about parking. We decided on the Nine-Zero, which is at 90 tremont st.
They charge 40/day for valet...is there parking on the street around the area so I don't have to dish out this cash? I checked google maps and it is around intersection with Park street. Will I be able to find parking on the street around here and also is it safe to leave my car there overnight? Thank you...
First piece of advice: park your car in a garage or someplace where you don't have to move it, don't have to think about it, and don't have to see it again until you leave. Driving a car around Boston is like lumbering around with a giant metal anchor chained to your neck with rarely a spot to set it. This is a city for walking, riding the T, and taking cabs. Unless you're heading out to the far suburbs (not Brookline, Brighton, Cambridge, Newton, Malden, Revere, etc., which are all accessible by train), the last thing you want is a car.
First visit? Do the North End. A great neighborhood filled with wonderful - if pricey - restaurants, shops, bakeries, etc. I'd go to Neptune Oyster for lunch and Prezza for dinner. If you want the full white tablecloth treatment (for about the same $ as Prezza), go to Mamma Maria's. If you want romantic, see if Mamma Maria's has the "little room overlooking the square" available. Hardly a better seat in Boston, and great food (though I like the food at Prezza a bit better). After dinner, go on over to Mike's Pastries for cannoli, cookies, gelati, and the like. Modern Bakery is tastier, most of the coffee shops do some of these items better, but Mike's is an institution, and worth at least a quick drop-in. If you like wine, check out the Wine Bottega (like Mike's, on Hanover Street).
If you want to go cheaper in the North End, try Regina's Pizzeria for lunch and Giacomo's for dinner.
Another jaunt you should take is through the parks. Hit the Boston Common just steps from your hotel (check out the Granary Burial Grounds on your way over), and take a stroll all the way through to the Public Gardens... which are beautiful. Lunch and a stroll on Charles Street (Beacon Hill portion, not Theater District portion) would be nice here (Charles intersects the Common and the Public Gardens). I like breakfasts at Beacon Hill bistro on Charles, particularly the french toast and pancakes.
After you've finished your jaunt through the Commons/Gardens, head straight from the Public Gardens into the Back Bay. Stroll the mall on Commonwealth Ave, do window shopping on Newbury Street and Boylston. Lunch options: La Voile on Newbury for excellent French, Sel de La Terre on Boylston for new American (sorta French in execution), or just wherever you see a nice patio. Inexpensive in this area: Parish Cafe for sandwiches on the patio (Boylston St, right near the Public Gardens); or 1/2-price tapas AT THE BAR ONLY ON SATURDAY at Tapeo, Newbury Street (not the best tapas in town, but a nice place to drink away the afternoon).
I have to do some work now. I'll try to check back in later with some South End, etc., recommendations. The South End is also a must.