Boston, United States
Lauren, 33
Interior Designer & Amateur Cook
see her Boston city guide

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gastropub japanese food wine bar museums cocktail bars picnic spots brewery

What do you do and why do you do it?

I am an interior designer at an architecture firm that specializes in retail, hospitality, and academic spaces. I started out wanting to go into architecture, but life led me to getting a degree in traditional woodblock printing and architectural studies... what to do with this background in art and design? I decided to get my masters in interior architecture and now I'm here! I love the process of design and there is nothing better than seeing a happy client when the space meets their needs and turns out great.

What are the best TV shows of all time?

Of all time?! I'm not a huge TV watcher, but I did enjoy The West Wing, Downton Abbey, Sherlock Homes (hello Benedict Cumberbatch), and The Man in the High Castle. I LOVED the old Star Trek series. I have actually seen every episode of every Star Trek series ever... I think that makes me a nerd. Now if I watch TV it is usually something food or travel related - Chef's Table, Mind of a Chef, The Great British Baking Show, and Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown are my favorites!

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

Visit the Museum of Fine Art. I love museums and the MFA is a particularly great one, but it's on the opposite side of the city from me so I have to try hard to make it a priority. Look ahead to see what special exhibitions are going on at the museum and make sure you take a walk through the Japanese Garden for some tranquility in the city.

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Boston and where did you get it?

I know it's a burger, but it's the most decadent burger! The Neptune Burger at Neptune Oyster has everything an over-the-top burger would want: cheddar, garlic mayo, and the most important part - fried oysters in a perfectly crunchy batter. It's more food then you need and yet you can't help but eat every last bite.

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Boston that you particularly like?

BackBar in Sommerville is a classic for a reason - hidden behind an unmarked door, this is the best place to go if you're a total cocktail nerd. The drinks are inventive and fun, and the decor is the perfect amount of funky while feeling welcoming. Get the drink of the week - you won't regret it!

Where can you get the best cocktail in Boston? Which one do you like?

Drink in the Fort Point neighborhood is one of my favorite places to take out of town guests for a serious cocktail. The bar is basement level hidden away from the busy street and the bartenders are some of the best in the city who are truly dedicated to the craft. There's a drink menu, but it's way more interesting (and delicious!) to tell the bartenders what flavors you like and they will make you a special drink creation. The best part is that the drinks are not overly expensive, so you can experiment without feeling like you're buying the whole bar. Their snacks are also outstanding! I highly recommend the fries with malt vinegar ailoi.

Where would you take your partner in Boston if you wanted to really pamper them?

A massage at Exhale Spa (there are three Boston locations, all great) and dinner at Row34 with a few dozen oysters, the smoked fish of the day, and numerous bottles of wine.

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Boston?

East Boston is a gentrifying area of the city, but it still has wonderful character. Take the Blue Line train to the Maverick stop and walk over to Piers Park for an amazing view of Downton Boston. If you keep walking past the park you will hit Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina which has a ton of funky public art displayed between the warehouses and ship storage - it is also the location of Downeast Cider House for some of the best cider in New England and KO Pies for some serious Australian meat and veggie pies. Make an afternoon of it and stay for the sunset at the park.

What are the Boston spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

The great thing about Boston is how walkable it is. You really can see most of the downtown core in a day or two. Start at Fenway Park, walk up to Newbury Street, walk through the Public Garden and Boston Common, hit Downtown Crossing, speed through Fanuiel Hall, and end in the North End! That may seem like a long walk, but it's the best way to get the vibe of the city.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

I have not traveled to nearly enough places to give a comprehensive answer, but I loved all of the cities I visited in Portugal. Porto and Sintra where definite highlights and the FOOD is OUTSTANDING. I could live on grilled sardines with potatoes if you let me.

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Michaela Menard