What Cuisine Is Boston Best Known For?

Boston is one of the most magical places in the United States. Even as it transforms into a more modern, forward-thinking city, it also manages to maintain its unique colonial vibe. When you’re walking its streets and exploring its various landmarks, you really do feel like you’re in a place where important history was made — in part because it’s the truth. But when you’re in Boston, there are other places to explore. Like eateries.  

Here are the foods that Boston is best known for:

  1. Beans. Sure, it’s not like Boston invented baked beans. But did you know one of the city’s nicknames is “Beantown”? That’s because of early influence by Native Americans, who would often serve beans that had been simmering in molasses for long periods of time. It’s why Boston was a big importer of molasses. It’s also why we have the iconic Boston baked beans we know and love today.
  2. Cannoli. Most people who have never visited this wonderful city don’t realize how much of a dessert mecca it really is. That’s why you might not recognize the Italian cannolis that Boston is so great at throwing together. Try Mike’s Pastry or Modern Pastry for a taste of heaven.
  3. Clam Chowder. A New England staple sure to persist for many years. No one likes or appreciates soupy clam chowder. The real thing should be thick and creamy. There are variations of chowders out there, but you can probably expect some combination of bacon, potatoes, and shellfish wherever you pick up a batch. Many establishments carry it in bulk, so don’t feel like you can’t bring some home.
  4. Boston Cream Pie. This vanilla custard delicacy is pure sponge cake — not pie. The finished product has a thick layer of chocolate to boot, so what’s not to love? History says that the first Boston cream pie was introduced by the Parker House Hotel (which later changed its name to the Omni Parker House Hotel) in 1856 by French chef Sanzian.

    On December 12, 1996, the Boston cream pie became the official dessert of Massachusetts through legislation that had been sponsored by a Norton High School class.
  5. Lobster Mac ‘N Cheese. This is another food item that’s more iconic in other places throughout New England, but you’ll see it on a lot of menus in Boston as well. That’s just a benefit of Boston Harbor, where lobster is easy to catch. And who doesn’t love mac n’ cheese? If you’ve never enjoyed the dish, we recommend visiting Chopps American Bar and Grill.