Orlea Miller ‘16
Because this is my third year living in Cambridge, I like to consider myself a Faneuil Hall expert. Every time I have a visitor at school, Faneuil Hall is one of our first stops on the trip: it is a place I know will always deliver the perfect taste of Boston, in more ways than one.
Faneuil Hall gives tourists the chance to try just about every cuisine (local and beyond) while also serving as the perfect haven for all the foodies out there.
I’ve heard of a few unfortunate Faneuil Hall experiences, typically involving a friend walking into the marketplace hungry, and selecting the first option they encounter. They then saunter through the rest of the food booths, barely able to walk as they regret their cursory decision to buy the first bagel pizza or Chinese dish they smelled. As they pass Boston Chowda, Pizzeria Regina, or the cannoli and cake slices from the North End Bakery, they cannot believe all of the opportunities they missed in their ravenous haste. When it comes to Faneuil Hall, this is biggest mistake you can make.
Foreseeing this problem, I typically advise my guests beforehand to be patient. Walk up and down, survey every Faneuil Hall food booth carefully before selecting anything; share two to four entrees with the rest of your party, so you can enjoy all that the marketplace has to offer. Most importantly, stop when you feel the slightest bit full so you can take advantage of the cakes, pastries, caramel apples, and gelato that you’ll have to choose at the end of the outing.
On my most recent visit, my aunt and I arrived on Friday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. Though I was admittedly starving, there were a few people and plenty of space to walk, so I was able to show her all that Faneuil Hall without feeling overwhelmed by the tourists that saturate the central aisle during lunchtime, and especially on the weekends.
Upon entering the Hall, we were greeted with sweet and savory choices at the booths displaying their fall offerings. First up, we eyed Sprinkles Ice Cream and Fudge Shop, showcasing its traditional fudge flavors alongside seasonal favorites.
As we moved two inches further, we smelled Boston Pretzel Bakery’s oven. As if the plain, salted, cinnamon sugar, a
nd Parmesan options weren’t enough, this pretzel shop was advertising its Boston Pretzel (pictured right): a mix of salt and sesame shaped like a “B”. As we neared the counter, the owner offered us a sample of her signature pretzel, which we immediately agreed was tastier than any pretzel we’d ever tried. The Boston pretzel wasn’t too salted or under flavored; it was the perfect combination of crispy and doughy. The owner also made sure to share that it was even all-natural!
Like I said, Faneuil Hall has something for everyone, even the meat-lovers out there! The next popular booth appeared to be the Prime Shoppe, serving up your traditional barbeque fare such as turkey, ribs, mashed potatoes, and corn.
We quickly spotted the second dessert option of the day, Carol Ann Bake Shop. While the windows weren’t totally stocked following the lunch crowd consumption, there was a little bit of everything left including Boston Crème Pie, German Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Mousse Cake, and Strawberry Shortcake; we were quickly able to tell what the popular choices were!
Before finding our lunch for the day, we were tempted by a few other sweet options: The North End Bakery’s mouth-watering cake slices (which always look and taste the best in my opinion) and Joey’s Gelateria, a reminder that the North End is really just down the street.
I tried the Chocolate Truffle Bomb (pictured below; middle of the top row) on a previous visit, and let me say it’s a necessity on one of your trips to Faneuil Hall (because there should be many!). A word of advice, it is best enjoyed when you have plenty of room after your meal.
The Berry Twist’s caramel apples, which are pictured in the header, provide yet another option for your second (or third or fourth) course. While the fall creations looked the tastiest, the Berry Twist had more than enough choices: chocolate covered strawberries, several ice cream and frozen yogurt flavors, and unique sundaes and smoothies.
As we passed the booth Boston Chowda, I knew my aunt wouldn’t be able to resist! From Maine Lobster Pie to Lobster Mac’ and Cheese to Atlantic Haddock Pie, the booth puts a spin on chicken pot pie that pleases both the New England and comfort food palate.
Sure enough, she went for Lobster Mac’ and Cheese, and thought it was one of the best things she’d ever tried. With huge pieces of lobster throughout, my aunt felt like she was getting a real bang for her buck, enjoying the traditional New England products smothered in cheese and perfectly cooked and crispy.
Pizzeria Regina is always a favorite in my family, and during our visit they cooked up a fall pie (below) along with the simple margherita pizza guaranteed to please little kids or any picky eaters out there.
Our trip couldn’t be complete without taking something for the road. Right outside the food booth halls stands Wicked Good Cupcakes (featured on Shark Tank) which lucky for us, provides just that. These are just any cupcakes — they are cupcakes created for mason jars. My aunt packed the simple Chocolate Cupcake to take home, but flavors below include(left to right) Coconut Calico, Black Cat, Dalmatian, Mocha Maine Coon Cat, and Marble Mutt.
So, if you haven’t ever been to Faneuil, it’s time to go! And if you’ve already been, there’s never been a more delicious time to go again.