Best of Boston | 2023 Summer Travel Guide

With an eye on what’s new for 2023, Yankee’s editors round up the best attractions, eateries, and hotels in Boston, Massachusetts.

By Yankee Editors

Apr 29 2023

Best of Boston 2023

Best of Boston 2023

Photo Credit : ond Forbes LLC/Stocksy

Looking for fun things to do in Boston this summer? With an eye on what’s new for 2023, Yankee’s editors have rounded up the best things to do, the best places to eat, and the best places to stay in Boston, Massachusetts. For more of our Massachusetts picks, check out our spotlight guide to Worcester or our comprehensive Best of Massachusetts 2023 guide.

Best African Diaspora Cuisine in Boston | Comfort Kitchen, Dorchester

The mission of Comfort Kitchen is far more ambitious than “merely” serving delicious food, though one bite of the jerk-roasted duck or the Basque cheesecake will check that box. The Dorchester restaurant weaves a narrative of the global spice trade, demonstrating on each plate how the cuisines of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and beyond informed and influenced one another. During the day, Comfort Kitchen is a cozy café serving overnight oats with Nutella and gorgeous sandwiches; at night, the real storytelling begins.

Best Budget-Chic Hotel in Boston | CitizenM Boston North Station, Boston

The 272-room hotel stacked atop TD Garden and North Station prides itself on “affordable luxury for the people.” And at about 183 square feet apiece, CitizenM’s rooms deliver sleek, smart spaces that make use of every inch. King-size beds and slumber-inducing duvets cozy up the experience, while the hotel lobby features a self-service check-in and grab-and-go food options that won’t hold you back from exploring the city.

Can’t-Miss Museum in Boston | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The MFA has been the beating heart of the Boston art scene since 1870, presenting its collection in ways intended to foster a deeper understanding of our past, present, and future. Case in point: the ongoing multigallery exhibit “Stories Artists Tell,” in which each gallery has a theme that both stands on its own and complements its companion galleries in creating an unforgettable visual anthology.

Best Chinese Restaurant in Boston | Yunnan Kitchen, Boston

The Yunnan province of China, located in the far southwest on the Laos border, boasts a cuisine rich in aromatic ingredients like chilies, citrus, pineapples, mushrooms, and pickles. Yisha Siu brought this underrepresented cuisine to Boston’s South End last spring after a successful run in Brighton. Try the crispy Yunnan pancake (think giant latke, but more flavorful), the fried mushroom starter, or the stir-fried beef with fresh mint.

Best Food Hall in Boston | High Street Place, Boston

If Boston’s financial district workers are reluctant to return to in-person work, lunch at High Street Place will sweeten the deal considerably. This jam-packed food hall features some of Boston’s top eateries: Blackbird Doughnuts, Gracenote Coffee, Mamaleh’s Deli, Hayley Jane’s Fried Chicken. The crowning Jewel: Chef Tiffani Faison’s trio of restaurants, with Tenderoni’s excellent pizza, the Bubble Bath champagne and wine bar, and Dive Bar, home of Boston’s best lobster roll.

Foodie Find: Best Food Market in Boston | EBO & Co. Grocery, East Boston

Spun off from owner Alexis Cervasio’s cult-favoriteoyster popup, EBO & Co. Grocery turns a trip to the market in East Boston into a full-blown gourmet experience. Bursting with color and worthy of an Instagram check-in, Cervasio’s merchandise covers every category, from elusive wines and her own caviar line to Iggy’s Bread croissants and Parlor Ice Cream. There’s even an entire wall dedicated to hot sauce.

Best Ghost Tour in Boston | Ghosts and Gravestones, Boston

Travel back in time by trolley to Victorian-era Boston as you navigate the city’s spookiest historic sites. Costumed guides cloaked in capes and corsets lead guests through winding graveyards while relaying bone-chilling tales of ghastly figures and ghostly phenomena. While tours lean heavily into a kitschy vibe, their creepy tales will satisfy both history buffs and paranormal enthusiasts of all kinds.

In-Town Glamping in Boston | Backstage at The Verb Hotel, Boston

One of Boston’s most unusual overnight stays comes complete with a heavy dose of nostalgia and luxe accessories. Curated artwork and rare music collectibles adorn each of Backstage’s glammed-up trailers, while plush king-size beds and high-end linens amp up the experience (as do turntables with access to The Verb’s vinyl library). The hotel’s heated pool invites you to take a dip, and Fenway concerts are so close that you won’t even need to buy a ticket to hear it all.

Best Luxury Suite in Boston | John Adams Presidential Suite at Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston

Arrive by land or sea, duck into your private elevator, and foil the paparazzi. Boston’s most exclusive suite—a 4,800-square-foot, natural-light-kissed designer’s dream inside Boston Harbor Hotel’s iconic rotunda—comes with unmatched amenities including a stocked bar and theater-caliber media room, plus personalized chef and dedicated concierge services. Through a window wall 20 feet tall or from your 1,000-square-foot heated, open-air terrace, the historic harbor is ever in view.

Best New Hotel in Boston | Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences, Boston

If it’s anything like the original in Singapore, Raffles’s first North American hotel will find its way into literary works, mixology history, and vacation memories steeped in the allure of a world-class city. The 35-story, reflective-glass tower is an instant landmark. Book the moment that reservations open this summer, and be among the first to sip drinks in the Sky Bar, pose on the Grand Stair, and put Raffles butlers’ legendary service to the test.

Best New Boston Restaurant | Faccia a Faccia, Boston

Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette are such seasoned restaurateurs that they make opening an award-winning eatery on Newbury Street (land of outrageous rents, no parking, and so-so lunch spots) look effortless. Come for a post-shopping dinner, stay for agnolotti with lobster, sunchokes, and almond or crispy chicken Milanese with shaved artichokes and truffles. Start with the crudos, end with baked Sorrentina (like baked Alaska, but with gelato and yuzu cream).

Best Pizza in Boston | Si Cara, Cambridge

Neapolitan canotto-style pizza is remarkable for an extra-puffy crust that takes up about a quarter of the pie’s diameter. It’s crisp, chewy, and tangy from the sourdough starter. And no one in New England does it better than Si Cara, Michael Lombardi’s new pizzeria and wine bar. In summer, we love the classic Margherita. In fall, the winter squash pie with Marcona almonds and prosciutto is the ultimate slice.

Check out our full 2023 Best of New England Summer Travel Guide to find our current editors’ picks in all six New England states.