Friday, April 4, 2014

Boston Neighborhoods: Fenway

The Red Sox home opener happens in a few hours, and to celebrate it, my friend Chelsea, blogger at bergen house and curator of the most amazing Etsy shop with the same name, is here today to share tips to enjoy Fenway as a local.

I was thrilled Ana asked me to share a little guide to the Fenway neighborhood. Ana and I connected as fellow Etsy sellers when we both were living in the South (me in Birmingham, AL and she in Atlanta, GA). Oddly enough, we both found out around the same time last year that we’d both be moving to Boston.

I’ve hardly lived here a year but will forever have a soft spot in my heart for this neighborhood. We were pretty thrilled we settled here (two blocks from Fenway Park) around the time last year when the Red Sox won their first World Series at home since 1918.

Queensberry Street

where to eat - I had to start with food.
Trattoria Toscana is a tiny but fantastic piece of Italy tucked away in Fenway. I urge you to give your North End taste buds a try here soon… you may not go back. We love it more every time we go; the service is personable and top-notch.

Ravioli at Trattoria Toscana

Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar is such a sexy place with spot-on cocktails and delicious seafood -- or if you’re up for it: a pig roast. It’s consistently excellent with a swanky ambiance.

Pimm's Coupe at the Oyster Bar

At the corner of Kilmarnock and Peterborough Street is Fenway’s Restaurant Row with Sushi, Thai, Persian, Greek, and Mexican (big El Pelon fan). There’s something for everyone here and lots of patio seating in the summer.

Neighborhoods Cafe is an adorable (but small) spot that serves up delicious crepes and George Howell coffee. It’s wonderful when it’s not busy -- which sadly means we try to avoid it on the weekends. Saturdays and Sundays we’re almost always found at Pavement Coffeehouse.

Neighborhoods Cafe

Other mentionables: BBQ at Sweet Cheeks, hamburgers at Tasty Burger, pre- or post-game food and drink at Baseball Tavern (their roof deck has views of Fenway Park), and the award-winning Eastern Standard.

what to see

Having The Museum of Fine Arts in our backyard is something I don’t take for granted. I’ve loved hopping over just to explore a wing or spend some time in their dark and calming Buddhist Temple Room. Tip: admission is by donation only after 4pm on Wednesdays. Otherwise, I can assure you it’s worth your afternoon and the $25 admission.

Outside the MFA

Don’t leave the MFA without stepping into the Tenshin-En Japanese Garden inspired by Zen temple gardens of 15-century Japan. Access is outside the museum and it’s open spring through early fall.

The Kelleher Rose Garden is easy to miss. It took me a couple months to stumble upon it, but nestled in Back Bay Fens (behind the MFA) is a rewarding walk through this circular courtyard to admire the bounty of roses.

Kelleher Rose Garden

Fenway Park is obviously a must see. Go for the Red Sox, the opposing team, the atmosphere, or just the history. One of my happiest moments was experiencing the Park and Yawkey Way two summers ago. The energy at Fenway is something else.

Yawkey Way

I can’t not mention The Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum. This statement from their website sums it up perfectly, “Visitors [...] are greeted by the visual splendor of the courtyard garden and surrounding galleries—a feast for the senses. The Museum was designed as a work of art in totality.” It is a three-story Venetian-style palace holding over three decades worth of art amassed by Isabella Stewart Gardner. Just go.

where to shop
While I love browsing our West Elm, if you’re looking for local boutiques I suggest you head to Newbury Street. It’s a short walk from Fenway and you’ll pass Pavement Coffeehouse on your way. Refuel with their Spanish Latte and you can thank me later.

Thank you, Chelsea! I'm glad some of these tips are already ticked off on my list, thanks to you, of course. I hope I get to see the roses this year!

For addresses and working hours, click on the names of restaurants and shops and check back soon for more insider's tips of Boston neighborhoods!

All images from Chelsea's Instagram feed.


  1. I've never really explored the area around the MFA and clearly I'm missing out. I can't wait for my first visit to the Isabella - let's do it soon!

  2. I used to live (quite literally) at the corner of Peterborough and Kilmarnock, and ate at that restaurant row most nights - those were the days! This makes me want to plan a trip back to the rose garden!

  3. This is great. So many beautiful things in that shop!

  4. I had no idea there was so much of Fenway that I haven't seen! NEED to visit that Rose Garden, and now I'm dying to try Neighborhoods Cafe!