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A huge part of life’s journey is celebrating all of big moments - from graduations to anniversaries to promotions. The key to a great celebration? Awesome #EEEEEATS, and the perfect restaurant for whatever life event you’re celebrating. We’re no strangers to that quest for quality - this website was started to help people find the ideal restaurant for their particular occasion.
That’s why we teamed up with American Express on this Guide To The Best Restaurants for Celebrations In Boston. We picked places we think are especially perfect for all those important celebrations in life that you want to do just right (and no, it’s not just when the Red Sox make it back to the playoffs). Another way to do those times right? By using the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express – it’s the card to use if you eat out anywhere near as much as we do. Follow this list, use that card and you’ll be golden.
Here’s to your celebration, and look out for our upcoming Celebrations Guides for our other cities.
Many of the photos in this feature have been taken by Brian Samuels. Check out more of his work here.
By this point in your relationship, you should be over the “ordering salads and grinding-for-that-six-pack phase.” It’s time to embrace the fact that you guys like things (including one another) that are better than a transcendent bowl of pasta. In other words: it’s time for you to hit up Giulia. Just make sure to book a table 30 days in advance, as reservations fill up as soon as they’re made available.
There might not be quite as much room as you’d like for a one-on-one conversation at Tasting Counter, as you’ll be sitting at a counter with strangers, but the restaurant is owned by a husband and wife duo, so clearly this place has good vibes for relationships. The only caveats are that you have no choice but to order the tasting menu and the night is definitely pricey. But for a special occasion, with tips, drinks and your S.O. included, it’s a pretty good deal.
O Ya is hard to justify. If you do it big, you’ll be spending hundreds of dollars per person for a meal that is only marginally better than some seriously cheaper alternatives. But you’ve just been promoted! And if you’re not going to go big for some insanely good bites of Japanese extravagance now, when will you? When you’re on getting AARP pamphlets in the mail? Hit up O Ya, order a tasting menu with beverage pairings, and check your bank account in the morning - you’ll have some incentive to work for that next promotion.
Alden & Harlow is the Hall of Fame relief pitcher of Boston restaurants: it’s too expensive to call on every day, but when you do, it never lets you down. Whether you’re getting the legendary secret burger (they usually run out by 7pm, so get there early) or the aptly named “ubiquitous kale salad,” the only regret you’ll have is that you didn’t have the chance to order everything. With a bright financial future in hand, you’ll feel free to bring along a few friends and pick up the check.
As excited as you are to graduate, you’re probably just as anxious about the prospect of having dinner with the whole family. It’s no easy task finding a restaurant that will please your high-maintenance grandma AND your cool uncle. But Sarma, an excellent Turkish restaurant with a wide range of small plates, might just do the trick. Between pork belly sandwiches, seven-layer hummus and sesame fried chicken, there’ll be something (awesome) for everybody.
If the only thing you knew about Harvest is its reputation as Julia Child’s favorite restaurant, you could probably sell your older family members on it in an instant. But, given that they also serve reliably delicious food and have a nice outdoor space, Harvest is a perfect fit for any family occasion. It’s pricey, especially if you do the tasting menu, but you probably aren’t graduating again for a long time.
Birthdays can be fun - this is a list about celebrating. But aging goes hand in hand with existential crises. So for your next bash, you should go somewhere that’ll make you feel young. Myers and Chang fits the bill. Order Korean Sloppy Joes and a pseudo Chicken and Waffles - you’ll feel like a kid again. It’s also the ideal place to bring even your pickiest friends, with its gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian and shellfish-free menus.
Given Trade’s home in the Financial District, you might not expect it to be on a list of places to celebrate. But there are few restaurants in Boston as committed to making sure diners are having a good time. With flavorful flatbreads, creative drinks and beautiful desserts, everything on the menu is both delicious and fun.
Meeting the parents
The first time you meet your significant other’s parents is almost undoubtedly going to be an awkward experience. So if the banter is going to be anxiety inducing, the food might as well be predictable and comforting. In comes Mooo. This isn’t a restaurant meant to wow you, but if you want to go somewhere that appeals to an older sensibility - a place that serves upscale throwbacks like Beef Wellington - this place is the one.
Meeting the parents is about one thing and one thing only: making it through the meal without messing up. And there’s nothing more mess-up proof than brunch at MET Back Bay, a meal that is basically as safe as it gets (how can you mess up avocado toast with burrata, prosciutto and an egg?). If playing it safe isn’t good enough, impress the group by ordering everyone at the table a “crafty mary.” There are endless permutations of these customizable bloodies, including various iterations with burgers, oysters and sriracha.
Glorified Chipotle by day, banging bar by weekend night: Felipe’s Taqueria is a great place to assemble the crew for a night of burrito-driven debauchery. Head to one of the two bars with frozen margaritas or counters where you can order amazing tacos, burritos and chimichangas. Felipe’s Roof can be rented out too, if you have a massive squad.
Here’s the deal: starting tomorrow, you are no longer just responsible for yourself; you’re responsible for helping take care of a family (let that sink in.), so it makes sense that you’d want to splurge. There are few places better for going all out than Uni, where you and your friends can slurp up uni spoons (filled with caviar, quail egg, and, of course, uni), eat a ton of sushi and top it off with upscale Klondike bars. If you stay late enough, you’ll see the place transform from an upscale Japanese restaurant into a ramen bar. And then you can start your meal all over again.
With a seemingly endless supply of wine, cocktails and “international small plates,” Guchi Guchi is the ideal spot gather your friends. Reserve the Chico ~Chica~ Boom LED dining table, order food from across the globe and down a few “vintage” cocktails. Featuring waitresses dressed in flapper attire, Cuchi Cuchi is the perfect place to celebrate your bachelorette party like it’s 1920.
Lolita is a restaurant and bar centered on making sure everyone who walks in the door has a great time. This is the kind of place that is swanky enough to make even nachos feel sexy, especially if you’ve sampled any number of the 175 different tequilas offered. It also doesn’t hurt that every margarita and sangria is sold in pitcher size.
moving away dinner
For your last night in Boston, come to a place that actually feels cooler than almost anywhere else in the city. Located behind a blow-dry bar, Yvonne’s is ridiculous in the best possible way: the sharing plates - or, as they call them, “social plates” - are great, the cocktail list is excellent and the tattooed portrait of JFK is adequately awesome.
Few things are more quintessentially Boston than seafood, so before peacing out, you should have one last love affair with the Fruit of the Atlantic. And there are few places better to do that than at Select Oyster Bar, where you and your friends can take down towers of seafood, plates of crudo and, naturally, dozens of oysters. The only downside is that a meal at Select will leave you with serious second thoughts about shipping out of Boston.
friends in town
In addition to incredible tapas and an awesome atmosphere, Toro is known for its legendary waits, especially since they don’t take reservations. But with friends in town, it’ll be more than worth it to spend some time catching up at a nearby bar before digging into small plates, ranging from grilled corn with aioli and cotija to churros.
An intimate, Peruvian-influenced wine bar might not be the first place you think of to take a bunch of friends, but BISq is practically built for getting the crew back together. Their “Whole Roast Dinner,” featuring an entire roasted animal of your choice (from pig to lamb to duck) in addition to three other savory courses, is an awesome way to show what Boston has to offer. Just be sure to book a few days in advance.