Boston, the major city in the state of Massachusetts and most populous in the Region of New England. Situated on the East Coast on the Atlantic, Boston is famous for the red brick architecture, the famous institutes of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University as well an array of seafood cuisine including lobster rolls and clam chowder.
Lay of the Land
A great way to find your bearings and develop an understanding of the history of Boston is to walk or run along the “Freedom Trail” which stretches from Boston City Centre to the neighbourhood of Charlestown. The Freedom Trail is marked as a line on the sidewalk, mostly in brick, and amounts to approximately 8 km if all the loops are included. This trail brings you past 16 sites of historic significance, including the Massachusetts State House, USS Constitution, Benjamin Franklin Statue, Boston Massacre Site, Faneuil Hall and the Bunker Hill Monument. The Bunker Hill Monument was founded at the site of the Battle of Bunker Hill where the British fought against the Colonial forces.
Alternatively a common 5 mile running route in Boston is a loop of the Charles River, beginning and ending in Boston Common, which also happens to be close to the Massachusetts State House.
Restaurants and Travelling with Allergies
As previously said, the seafood is popular cuisine in the city and there are numerous restaurants and street food vendors that serve lobster rolls and clam chowder, though of course to be avoided for those of you travelling with a seafood / crustacean allergy. On this trip, the restaurant choices were chosen due to their proximity to Boston Common, as this is where both the popular run and the Freedom Trail finished.
The “Explorateur” restaurant is a diner with a separate brunch and dinner menu. Due to the time of day this was visited for brunch and the menu came with an excerpt to inform the server if a party member has a food allergy, and while nuts were used in the kitchen, the server was happy to consult with the chef and then inform me of the options.
Another restaurant visited was “Finagle a Bagel”, which unsurprisingly specialises in bagels. This was a popular fast food joint though the queue moved quickly enough. Upon reaching the counter and speaking about allergy requirements, it was evident the wait staff was knowledgeable about allergies and in my case I was advised that a non-toasted bagel would have a lower chance of allergen cross contamination. Here I was impressed by the familiarity the staff seemed to have with food allergies.
Another mention is the coffee shop Tatte, which has several branches in the city. While in my opinion this establishment serves great coffee, those travelling with a nut or peanut allergy should be aware that many of the pastries in store and on display are heavily nut focused.
In summary, Boston is a city with a fascinating history, which is easily accessible for tourists to understand the basics, by using the freedom trail. In terms of travelling with allergies: the waiting staff of the restaurants visited seemed unfazed and happy to assist with food allergy requirements, which is something I have now grown somewhat accustomed to in large US cities and makes travelling with allergies somewhat more comfortable.