The Back Bay is one of Boston’s oldest and most culturally rich neighborhoods. But the Boston nightlife and choosing your favorite Back Bay Restaurant in particular are known by locals and tourists alike to be a ‘wicked’ good time. If you are looking to shop, eat, or just enjoy the sights, the Back Bay is a great place to be. The 16th century Brownstones homes overlooking the bay make for a beautiful stroll as the original architecture has been wonderfully preserved throughout the years. Furthermore, there is a pedestrian, tree-lined thoroughfare called the Commonwealth Avenue Mall that adds to the beauty of the area. For those who are inclined to shop, Back Bay is home to Boston’s most famous shopping area: Newbury Street. Lined with the highest quality shops in town, from Armani to Gucci, Newbury street is the where the best of the best go to shop and where I go to window shop. Some of the best Back Bay Restaurants can be found on Newbury Street, including Stephanie’s and Sonsie.
Another landmark in the area is the John Hancock Building: This skyscraper is known for a few things. First is its size. The John Hancock Building is the tallest building in Boston. Second, is its restaurant and bar “Top of the Hub” which is on the top floor and provides a stunning vista of the city of Boston. While I have heard that the food here is not great, it is more than made up for by the outstanding view. The third thing, which brings tourists and locals alike to this towering building, is its shopping mall. Although the mall provides some options that are less expensive than Newbury Street, it mirrors the upscale theme of the area around it with many expensive retail options.
The Copley Square area, a section of Back Bay contains a number of historic buildings including the John Hancock, Trinity Church and the sprawling, Boston Public Library. The Trinity Church is known for its outstanding architecture and has been called “One of the ten most significant buildings in the United States” by the American Institute of Architects. Its antiquated spires and arches are most certainly worth a look for those inclined towards architecture or anyone who appreciates a beautiful building.
In additions to its historic sites and shopping options, Back Bay is also home to some great food (other than the stuff I mentioned on Newbury Street). One particularly good Back Bay Restaurant, sitting on the corner of Berkeley Street and St. James Avenue, is Fire and Ice. This unique, fun and delicious restaurant is truly an experience to behold. Fire and Ice allows its diners to go pick their own ingredients from a buffet style market. The market contains everything from salmon, to burgers and even vegetarian options like tofu. Next, the diner brings their food to a huge grill in the center of the restaurant where their meal is cooked before their eyes. The whole Fire and ice event, from the creation of the meal to the excitement of watching your food get cooked with your friends, is an experience that you will remember for some time.
Paul Marino has been writing about the restaurant industry for over 20 years. He recommends FiRE and iCE as the best Back Bay Restaurant for a unique and memorable dining experience.