It may be about as far from Hollywood as you can get without leaving the country, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have A-list experiences in Boston. This epicenter of academia, tech, and innovation caters to residents and visitors seeking a luxurious lifestyle. From tea rooms and Colonial mansions that harken back to elite old-world roots, to fancy restaurants plating world-class seafood, the city offers plenty of options for when you want to treat yourself or just feel a little fancy. Here’s your definitive guide to traveling like a celebrity — Boston style.
You’ll feel like a VIP as you breeze past the faux-hair-salon entrance of this hidden “supper club” into a sprawling subterranean den of gilded surfaces, ornamental plaster, chandeliers, and even a library room. Yvonne’s is a place to celebrate. Cocktails arrive, often aflame, in giant chalices that serve up to eight people. Go all out and order from the “feasts” section of the menu; the umami-laden grilled “viper” chop — a lengthy plate of pork short ribs atop kimchi fried rice, sprinkled with fried shallots — steals the show.
Silver Dove Afternoon Tea
Back in the day — like, way back — Boston’s celebs were most certainly whiling away their afternoons at “high tea.” Silver Dove Afternoon Tea is a nod to the city’s British roots, but it’s no time capsule; opened in 2023, it’s helmed by two alums of Drink, a legendary local cocktail bar. The delightful set tasting menu includes teatime classics like tiny sandwiches and currant scones with clotted cream and jam. Feel like an old-fashioned A-lister while sipping your cup of fancy tea or a cocktail alongside haute afternoon snacks.
The Baldwin & Sons Trading Co.
If you’re a fan of unusual, off-the-beaten-path locales that most tourists will never find, consider a night out in the ’burbs at Baldwin & Sons. It’s strange enough that the Baldwin House, a sprawling Colonial mansion from 1661 featured on the National Register of Historic Places, is now a Sichuan restaurant — but the speakeasy-style bar hiding upstairs is even more surprising. Award-winning bartender Ran Duan opened this cocktail mecca in a wood-lined room above his parents’ Chinese restaurant. You never thought you’d travel to Woburn, but where else can you recline on a leather couch in an actual historic mansion while sipping some of the city’s most celebrated cocktails?
Canopy by Hilton Boston Downtown
This hotel is the perfect retreat after a long day of shops, sights, and spas. It’s within walking distance of many of the city’s top attractions, including the historic North End, bustling food mecca Boston Public Market, and the verdant Rose Kennedy Greenway park. (You can also sightsee via bicycle with the help of the hotel’s complimentary Canopy bikes.) The brand-new hotel even has its own celeb connections; it houses Gordon Ramsay Burger, where burgers and milkshakes are reimagined in inventive ways by the Michelin-starred chef.
When it comes to dining on Newbury Street, Boston’s high-end shopping mecca, there is no shortage of tourist traps. But this is not one of them. Tucked away from the designer shops on a side street, Saltie Girl is a sweet little seafood oasis. Stop in for a cocktail and oysters, a “girl dinner” of haute tinned fish and accouterments, or an indulgent weekend brunch of fried lobster and waffles served with sweet corn butter.
There’s not a single maki on the menu at this classy, Zen-like sushi spot; instead, O Ya is the place to indulge in a 20-course omakase dinner. Expect each meticulously crafted bite to expose layers of texture and flavor, with components like buttery Kobe strip loin, Kumamoto oyster, foie gras, and slices of black truffle. Make sure to reserve online ahead of time, and opt for the sake pairing for the full experience.
EBO & Co. Grocery
This is not your average bodega. It’s helmed by a team that threw secret popup oyster and caviar parties around town before opening a brick-and-mortar spot in East Boston in 2021. The colorful store now slings locally sourced oysters, fancy caviar, gourmet cheeses, and natural wines alongside a few grocery staples. It may be pint-sized, but EBO has all the ingredients you need for a swanky picnic, aperitif, or full-fledged fête.
Balans Organic Spa
There’s a reason this spot has held Boston Magazine’s “Best Facial” title for several years. The city’s first all-organic spa, Balans uses Swedish plant-based products in its treatments. Take a break from your Newbury Street shopping spree to indulge in an organic facial; make it a luxe experience with add-ons like a healing white chocolate treatment, CBD massage, or a flotation therapy session.
With a storefront in brick-lined Beacon Hill, Boston’s most photogenic neighborhood, this high-end boutique sources clothes, jewelry, and wares from far and wide. You’ll feel like an A-lister roaming the cobblestone streets holding shopping bags full of posh wares you never knew you needed, like zodiac glass ornaments, “wall trays” with quirky animal portraits, or chunky black leather boots.
Set midway between the MIT and Harvard campuses in Cambridge, this neighborhood restaurant is well worth the trip across the river. You don’t need an Ivy League degree to indulge in a prix fixe menu here, but narrowing down the list of tempting, pretty-as-a-painting dishes to three choices does require some mental fortitude. The lumache pasta with gochujang-spiked Bolognese is always a reliable choice, while the on-draft negroni is as good as any you’ll find on either side of the river.
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