Where To Eat When Your Family Comes To Town

Where to eat with any member of your family who comes to visit.
Where To Eat When Your Family Comes To Town image

photo credit: Natalie Schaefer

You may love your family, but that doesn’t mean you always love hosting them. If you’re lucky, they’ll get an Airbnb nearby, occupy themselves here and there so you can have some alone time, and happily go along with you to all of your favorite bars and restaurants. If you’re unlucky, they’ll stay on your couch, wonder if you have time to show them the Freedom Trail this afternoon, and read the menu of the restaurant where you made a dinner reservation, and say, “It seems a little loud.” No matter what type of family member is coming to town, here’s where to take them.

Your Dad Who Just Changed Into His Hawaiian Shirt



$$$$Perfect For:BrunchCasual Weeknight DinnerOutdoor/Patio Situation

Fun Dad always orders another round, makes bad food puns in front of the waiter, and talks about wanting to “close the place down” even though everyone knows he’s going to be back at the hotel by 9:00, and asleep on the bed in front of HGTV by 9:30. Take him to Lulu’s in Allston which not only has one of the best selections of craft beer in Boston (Fun Dad’s official drink of choice), but also a bocce court on the back patio where he can challenge any takers while waiting for his smash burger.

Parents Who Your Friends Think Are Actually Cooler Than You



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You’ve seen them stuck in traffic on the way to a waterpark, where absolutely no one comes off as cool, but your friends have been tricked because your dad knows enough to not wear socks with boat shoes and your mom has moved on from the can I speak to your manager haircut. Your parents actually know how to have a good time, so take them La Fabrica in Central Square. It’s a Latin place with fun drinks, a few dishes that are set on fire, and live music almost every night that makes it feel less like a restaurant and more like a club with good food.

Your Little Sibling Who’s Begging You for Your Old ID

So far the only bars your little sibling has been to have been the ones in their friends’ parents’ basement, so they’re probably not ready for a cocktail bar that serves 40 varieties of scotch, or a pub where regulars down light beer at 11am. But they’ll have a great time at A4Cade, a speakeasy bar filled with vintage arcade games that you enter through the freezer door at Roxy’s Grilled Cheese (which also offers the menu inside).

Your Cousin Who Lives in Portland Because the East Coast Just “Doesn’t Speak to Him”

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Your cousin who keeps telling you that Squarespace is totally interested in sponsoring his podcast just doesn’t think there’s anything quirky enough for him in a buttoned-up town like Boston. Everyone’s walking too fast, there’s no connection to nature, and he can just feel the careerism hanging in the air. Take him to Union Square (which is where he’d live if he lived here) for the Kamayan at Tanám. Every Wednesday night, this Bow Market Filipino place that consists of just a single 10-seat table hosts a communal meal where everyone eats pork and seafood with their hands off of a table covered in banana leaves. It won’t convince him to move here, but he’ll have a good time.

Your Second Cousin Whom You Haven’t Seen Since Leila’s Wedding During Bush’s Second Term

photo credit: Natalie Schaefer

You’ll have plenty of things to catch each other up on, but when you don’t actually know if you have anything in common with the person you’re going to dinner with, you need a restaurant that comes with ready-made conversation topics. Tres Gatos in JP is a tapas restaurant that’s also a bookstore and a record store. Split the chickpea fritters and some paella mixta and talk about whatever’s playing if you’ve already run out of family gossip.

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Suggested Reading

The First-Timer’s Guide To Eating And Drinking In Boston image

The First-Timer’s Guide To Eating And Drinking In Boston

Because an eating and drinking trail beats the Freedom Trail every time.

Plates of oysters, crab claws, and other seafood on the bar at Neptune Oyster.

Our guide to the 25 quintessential places that make eating in Boston what it is.

Where To Eat And Drink In Fenway And Kenmore Square

The best restaurants and bars in a neighborhood that offers a lot more than just a ballpark.

Where To Eat And Drink In The North End image

The 14 best bars and restaurants in the North End.

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