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The State of Food around the BCEC, 2019

CabadrinCabadrin Boston, MARegistered User regular
edited February 21 in PAX East
I saw there wasn't a thread on this yet, and the Seaport area continues to change every day, so it's worth calling out some of the new options (and mourn a few of the old ones) for this year's PAX East. I work on Summer Street near Downtown Crossing, so I've tried most of these places myself and can vouch for their tastiness. Over the past few years the whole Seaport area has just exploded, and the number of quality restaurants and bars around there is incredible. Where it used to be a food desert, it's now a trendy and busy area of town with lots of options. As always, go by the Google reviews in the area, but if you want any suggestions, I've tried all of the below and can vouch for them.

Old standbys

Legal Harborside - Still the best Legal in the area. Down the street from the Renaissance.
Harpoon Brewery - Their food options are still limited to their great pretzels, but the beer selection is nice and the pretzels are tasty, plus the space is a ton of fun.
Flour - This is it chief. I love Flour almost as much as I love coffee and pastries. Sits down a side street off Congress St.
Blue Dragon - A fantastic fancier restaurant tucked off Summer St. American-style asian food, with lots of Chinese classics mixed in. Try the chicken feet!
Bon Me - A classic eatery with pork pate sandwiches and pickled veggies. Just a short walk from the BCEC.

New Entries

Smoke Shop BBQ - This is a great BBQ joint with a huge number of soul food standbys and a big whiskey menu. Very good BBQ and worth a trip, about 0.5mi from the BCEC.
Committee - If you want a nicer mediterranean dinner, this is the place.
Shake Shack - They opened one of these on Seaport Blvd, about 0.3mi from the BCEC. Good for some quick eats.
Tatte - About 0.5mi from the BCEC near South Station, it recently opened up and has a great selection of upscale cafe fare like egg tartines, fancy pastries, and entrees.
Amateras Ramen - Down in the leather district near South Station, this is a common lunch spot for me and serves pretty authentic ramen.
Sweetgreen - They opened one of these near Seaport Blvd, about 0.2mi from the BCEC. Upscale salads that are really nice, but expect a line at lunch.

There are so many other options in the area - Lolita, Row 34, Les Zygomates - but these should help you get around the immediate area around South Station and the BCEC.

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Cabadrin on
Streetlight345ishtra
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Posts

  • falknessfalkness Registered User regular
    Didn't Trillium just open a bigger location with food recently?

    I still remember my first East where food was pretty much limited to a BK way down D street.

    revengeanceful
  • std73std73 Extra Life Guild President Weymouth, MARegistered User regular
    If people want to venture a little ways, the North End is only a quick Uber/Lyft ride (or healthy walk, and I mean healthy.. ) to Hanover St, where there is a plethora of restaurants and bars in that area.

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  • Bunta_FujiwaraBunta_Fujiwara Albany, NYRegistered User regular
    falkness wrote: »
    Didn't Trillium just open a bigger location with food recently?

    I still remember my first East where food was pretty much limited to a BK way down D street.

    The Boston location is still just barely a closet as of last year. No on site sampling, growler/cans only. They have a Canton location (30min outside Boston) with drinks on site,much larger. No food to the best of my knowledge.

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  • CatalepticalCataleptical New JerseyRegistered User regular
    falkness wrote: »
    Didn't Trillium just open a bigger location with food recently?

    Yeah, looks like they opened a brewpub a few months ago about a block north of the old location!

  • Bunta_FujiwaraBunta_Fujiwara Albany, NYRegistered User regular
    Oh that's awesome! I guess a lot changes in a year!

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  • yutani sanyutani san MaineRegistered User regular
    Thanks for this! I realize you probably don't know this info but any suggestions for places to eat that are dog friendly? Im bringing my dog with me this year as the trip is half pax / half vacationing around Boston this year. March is sort of an awkward inbetween month in terms of patios. I am wondering if someplace like Harpoon would allow dogs (not a service dog, but a well behaved ESA with some good behavior certifications). Also, places that are keto-friendly (low carb). That bbq place sounds awesome, I would love to check it out. Any fancy coffee shops in the area? I will be staying at the element. Thanks for sharing your expertise :)

  • LoonyEclipseLoonyEclipse WWHRD? Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    RIP Whiskey Priest. Gone, and not mourned.

    My pin lanyard
    PSN: L00nyEclip
    Steam: Loony Eclipse
    Twitter: @Loonyeclipse

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    smorggieGhostDan
  • Bunta_FujiwaraBunta_Fujiwara Albany, NYRegistered User regular
    City Tap House is awesome is well. Right near the Seaport, excellent craft beer selection, decent food.

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    LoonyEclipseCabadrin
  • RyosukeRyosuke Registered User regular
    I've been to Pax for many years and glad we have a post about places to eat near BCEC. There's also a sandwich shop nearby, Jimmy John's. About .04 miles on D street that is reasonably close so you can get back to BCEC quickly. One thing I do often is order in at night and have a night out or 2 to go out to eat. There are a few places that deliver and some that cut off delivery around 10. This should be added to what people recommend to order in after a long day of walking.

    Karoneth
  • Jacobus52999Jacobus52999 Registered User new member
    Can confirm Trillium have opened up a new 2 floor + roof deck restaurant. Great food, great beer, can get busy on weekends with queues out the door though. The chain BarTaco just opened up on Thomson Place, very nice. One I haven’t seen mentioned is Aceituna Grill, serves Mediterranean pitas and plates. Great for a quick lunch or even one on the go. @yutani san Barington Coffee closed recently which was our “fancy coffee” place. Flour (as mentioned above) is my regular caffeine fix (and a cheeky cake).

    ishtra
  • falknessfalkness Registered User regular
    Does anyone know of any supermarkets within walking distance of the Element? We drove to a Whole Foods last year, but something closer would be nice.

  • MephistoN7MephistoN7 Sexual Tyrannosaurus Keene, NHRegistered User regular
    falkness wrote: »
    Does anyone know of any supermarkets within walking distance of the Element? We drove to a Whole Foods last year, but something closer would be nice.

    Foodies on W. Broadway is about a 10-12 min walk from the Seaport. Tends to be on the pricier side, but should have what you're looking for in a supermarket close to you.

    Personally, I tend to bring groceries with me to save money. But completely understand those who are unable to or don't want to risk it with fresh/perishable foods like produce and refrigerated. The go-to for most PAX goers seems to be to raid the 7-Eleven next door to Element and Aloft. Sometimes, it just hits the spot.

    Hope that helps!

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    falkness
  • falknessfalkness Registered User regular
    Yes thank you! I plan to bring snacks and drinks ahead of time, but last year we loved making stuff like burgers in the room, so knowing close places where we can buy frozen/refrigerated foods helps.

    MephistoN7
  • LoonyEclipseLoonyEclipse WWHRD? Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    edited February 25
    City Tap House is awesome is well. Right near the Seaport, excellent craft beer selection, decent food.

    Yeah, my friends and I went last year. Great beer, good food, service was excellent. A pit pricey for what you get, but I can't recommend the place enough.

    LoonyEclipse on
    My pin lanyard
    PSN: L00nyEclip
    Steam: Loony Eclipse
    Twitter: @Loonyeclipse

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  • CabadrinCabadrin Boston, MARegistered User regular
    yutani san wrote: »
    Thanks for this! I realize you probably don't know this info but any suggestions for places to eat that are dog friendly? Im bringing my dog with me this year as the trip is half pax / half vacationing around Boston this year. March is sort of an awkward inbetween month in terms of patios. I am wondering if someplace like Harpoon would allow dogs (not a service dog, but a well behaved ESA with some good behavior certifications). Also, places that are keto-friendly (low carb). That bbq place sounds awesome, I would love to check it out. Any fancy coffee shops in the area? I will be staying at the element. Thanks for sharing your expertise :)

    I'm not sure about dog-friendliness - if there's an outside area it tends to be okay, but I don't know how many places will have their outdoor patios open at the end of March (usually not many).

    For great coffee, my daily is Kohi in 125 Summer St (right near South Station), but there's also The Well inside South Station itself (non-profit, coffee is fine not great), La Columbe / Caffe Nero / Starbucks all within an easy walk of the BCEC. If you want to take a slightly longer trip, my holy trinity of coffee places near Downtown Crossing are: Kohi at 125 Summer, Blue Bottle at 100 Federal St., and George Howell at the Godfrey Hotel.

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  • CabadrinCabadrin Boston, MARegistered User regular
    falkness wrote: »
    Yes thank you! I plan to bring snacks and drinks ahead of time, but last year we loved making stuff like burgers in the room, so knowing close places where we can buy frozen/refrigerated foods helps.

    There's also Roche Bros. up in Downtown Crossing, about a mile from your hotel. You'd walk up Summer St. towards downtown, then walk near the Macy's / Primark and it's under the Primark. It's a nice supermarket but probably not any closer than Foodies.

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    MephistoN7Sleep
  • harleyquinn228harleyquinn228 Registered User regular
    Lucky's Lounge is a quick walk from the convention center (corner of A St and Congress-about a block away from Flour) Good food, good drinks, neat atmosphere (have been there for lunch a few times now)

    Don't be put out though, it looks kind of sketchy lol. It's on the corner of the road, no giant sign outside, and you have to walk down below street level to get there, but it's a nice place to rest your feet and grab a cocktail away from the bustle of the con.

    Also, during con hours when you don't really want to leave the vicinity, I will always recommend the food trucks outside the building over what they have inside. A bunch line up by D street in the grassy area, as well as out front. The lines get very long right at lunch time, but the food will be way better quality, with a lot of variety. I look forward to that grilled cheese truck with the truffle tots all year!

  • MephistoN7MephistoN7 Sexual Tyrannosaurus Keene, NHRegistered User regular
    Also, during con hours when you don't really want to leave the vicinity, I will always recommend the food trucks outside the building over what they have inside. A bunch line up by D street in the grassy area, as well as out front. The lines get very long right at lunch time, but the food will be way better quality, with a lot of variety. I look forward to that grilled cheese truck with the truffle tots all year!

    Excuse me? Grilled cheese truck?

    You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.

    mhnaaxmxvyb1.png
  • harleyquinn228harleyquinn228 Registered User regular
    edited February 26
    MephistoN7 wrote: »
    Also, during con hours when you don't really want to leave the vicinity, I will always recommend the food trucks outside the building over what they have inside. A bunch line up by D street in the grassy area, as well as out front. The lines get very long right at lunch time, but the food will be way better quality, with a lot of variety. I look forward to that grilled cheese truck with the truffle tots all year!

    Excuse me? Grilled cheese truck?

    You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.
    In past year's it's been Roxy's Grilled Cheese Truck. I hope they never leave

    harleyquinn228 on
    MephistoN7GONG-00
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    I gotta throw a shout to my every workday breakfast joint on south st called the kitchen cafe. It'll only be open thursday and friday 7 to 3, but if you can check it out I highly recommend it.

    https://thekitchencafeboston.com

    ishtraCabadrin
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    MephistoN7 wrote: »
    Also, during con hours when you don't really want to leave the vicinity, I will always recommend the food trucks outside the building over what they have inside. A bunch line up by D street in the grassy area, as well as out front. The lines get very long right at lunch time, but the food will be way better quality, with a lot of variety. I look forward to that grilled cheese truck with the truffle tots all year!

    Excuse me? Grilled cheese truck?

    You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.
    In past year's it's been Roxy's Grilled Cheese Truck. I hope they never leave
    Yes, this is a good place!

    GhostDan
  • ishtraishtra Long IslandRegistered User regular
    Omg
    Now I’m hooked on the idea of going out for nice breakfast on a day we don’t have badges. Any other favorites? We’re bringing food to cook for our other meals but might be fun to splurge one morning.

    Attendee: PAX East 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, Unplugged 2017
    Ryosuke
  • CabadrinCabadrin Boston, MARegistered User regular
    ishtra wrote: »
    Omg
    Now I’m hooked on the idea of going out for nice breakfast on a day we don’t have badges. Any other favorites? We’re bringing food to cook for our other meals but might be fun to splurge one morning.

    The Friendly Toast (two locations, one close by in Back Bay and another in Kendall Square) is my go-to for breakfast in the city. Great plates and a solid breakfast choice. Otherwise the Kitchen Cafe is a great option as well!

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  • ishtraishtra Long IslandRegistered User regular
    The Friendly Toast looks like what I’m hankering for. Looking for something heavier than a breakfast sandwich. Thanks @Cabadrin

    Attendee: PAX East 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, Unplugged 2017
  • Bunta_FujiwaraBunta_Fujiwara Albany, NYRegistered User regular
    I LOVE the Westin's breakfast buffet, even though it's like 30 bucks, they have everything and it's really good stuff.

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    MephistoN7ishtracasstronautCobalt Blue
  • GanybytesGanybytes Registered User regular
    yutani san wrote: »
    Thanks for this! I realize you probably don't know this info but any suggestions for places to eat that are dog friendly? Im bringing my dog with me this year as the trip is half pax / half vacationing around Boston this year. March is sort of an awkward inbetween month in terms of patios. I am wondering if someplace like Harpoon would allow dogs (not a service dog, but a well behaved ESA with some good behavior certifications). Also, places that are keto-friendly (low carb). That bbq place sounds awesome, I would love to check it out. Any fancy coffee shops in the area? I will be staying at the element. Thanks for sharing your expertise :)

    You can try out Bring Fido website to see where you might, but even then I would call ahead to be sure. It is against health codes for pets of any kind (other than service animals) in restaurants in Boston. In the summer you can find a lot of restaurants with outdoor space that allow dogs on a patio or sidewalk seating, but even those are sometimes changed by a single complaint since they technically need a permit even for that. Call ahead. Harpoon will definitely not let you inside with a dog that is not a service animal. Do not expect any place with an active brewery to allow animals inside.

    Sleep
  • draedrae Registered User regular
    I work in the Financial District. Couple notes:

    1. There are food trucks outside South Station (Dewey Square) weekdays at lunch. The Spring schedule isn't out yet, but look for Mo'Rockin' Fusion, or Northeast of the Border, or the Shuck Truck, especially.
    2. If you have never had a sandwich at Al's, you absolutely need to get a sandwich at Al's. 9 bucks gets you a sub the size of your forearm, chips, and a soda.
    3. If you go to Tatte, order online and pick up. google it. (It's the Summer Street location.)
    4. The closest, most reliably good, unpretentious lobster roll downtown is at Luke's. It's a walk but it's worth it. It's also next to a Chicken and Rice Guys storefront.
    5. For breakfast, the best bacon, egg, and cheese in town is at Wheelhouse. Their burgers at lunch are also phenomenal.

    In general: Keep in mind that downtown Boston slows down A LOT outside business hours. Check the hours for places before you go.

    Any Q's, let me know.

    --drae

    MephistoN7SleepElzemere
  • MephistoN7MephistoN7 Sexual Tyrannosaurus Keene, NHRegistered User regular
    drae wrote: »
    2. If you have never had a sandwich at Al's, you absolutely need to get a sandwich at Al's. 9 bucks gets you a sub the size of your forearm, chips, and a soda.

    I stumbled upon Al's two years ago, and man I don't regret it at all. Nicest guy ever who could clearly see I was undecided on what to get. He hooked me up with a roast beef sub that was indescribable.

    Cannot second this recommendation strongly enough.

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  • draedrae Registered User regular
    MephistoN7 wrote: »
    drae wrote: »
    2. If you have never had a sandwich at Al's, you absolutely need to get a sandwich at Al's. 9 bucks gets you a sub the size of your forearm, chips, and a soda.

    I stumbled upon Al's two years ago, and man I don't regret it at all. Nicest guy ever who could clearly see I was undecided on what to get. He hooked me up with a roast beef sub that was indescribable.

    Cannot second this recommendation strongly enough.

    My goto al's hot sub is the Bellini (steak with onions and peppers and american cheese). I add ketchup.

    For cold, their chicken salad is out of this world good - chicken salad, swiss, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and black pepper is a really epic sandwich.

    I have min-maxed the hell out of Al's, take my word for this.

  • draedrae Registered User regular
    drae wrote: »
    MephistoN7 wrote: »
    drae wrote: »
    2. If you have never had a sandwich at Al's, you absolutely need to get a sandwich at Al's. 9 bucks gets you a sub the size of your forearm, chips, and a soda.

    I stumbled upon Al's two years ago, and man I don't regret it at all. Nicest guy ever who could clearly see I was undecided on what to get. He hooked me up with a roast beef sub that was indescribable.

    Cannot second this recommendation strongly enough.

    My goto al's hot sub is the Bellini (steak with onions and peppers and american cheese). I add ketchup.

    For cold, their chicken salad is out of this world good - chicken salad, swiss, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and black pepper is a really epic sandwich.

    I have min-maxed the hell out of Al's, take my word for this.

    Aw man. I'm totally going to Al's for lunch tomorrow aren't I?

    MephistoN7
  • MephistoN7MephistoN7 Sexual Tyrannosaurus Keene, NHRegistered User regular
    drae wrote: »
    Aw man. I'm totally going to Al's for lunch tomorrow aren't I?

    Yes. Yes you are.

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  • DominoDomino Keizen Mikazuki New York, NYRegistered User regular
    Pretty much just live off of Jimmy John's and the liquor store near the Element. Been to other places but don't know the names because friends took me there and paid for me. If anything, a restaurant on the wharf is nice and relaxing and I remember going to one one year. Had to leave though because of the Red Sox fans... There's also a clam chowder/lobster bisque 'hole in the wall' I've been to a few times near the port, but it's pretty expensive. Good lobster bisque though.

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  • draedrae Registered User regular
    Domino wrote: »
    Pretty much just live off of Jimmy John's and the liquor store near the Element. Been to other places but don't know the names because friends took me there and paid for me. If anything, a restaurant on the wharf is nice and relaxing and I remember going to one one year. Had to leave though because of the Red Sox fans... There's also a clam chowder/lobster bisque 'hole in the wall' I've been to a few times near the port, but it's pretty expensive. Good lobster bisque though.

    You talking about Yankee Lobster?

    https://www.yelp.com/biz/yankee-lobster-boston

    20 bucks for a lobster roll and fries is a pretty average price, fwiw.

    Sleep
  • RyosukeRyosuke Registered User regular
    Lucky's Lounge is a quick walk from the convention center (corner of A St and Congress-about a block away from Flour) Good food, good drinks, neat atmosphere (have been there for lunch a few times now)

    Don't be put out though, it looks kind of sketchy lol. It's on the corner of the road, no giant sign outside, and you have to walk down below street level to get there, but it's a nice place to rest your feet and grab a cocktail away from the bustle of the con.

    Also, during con hours when you don't really want to leave the vicinity, I will always recommend the food trucks outside the building over what they have inside. A bunch line up by D street in the grassy area, as well as out front. The lines get very long right at lunch time, but the food will be way better quality, with a lot of variety. I look forward to that grilled cheese truck with the truffle tots all year!

    I remember a place not too far from the Expo where it was on a corner of some street that I can't remember now. Was about 3 or 4 years back, was fairly small but had great hot subs. It's like a chicken shack but for Boston I guess. Not sure if it's still there. Also, I do look forward for those food trucks but have to be patient just like Jimmy Johns.

  • RyosukeRyosuke Registered User regular
    ishtra wrote: »
    The Friendly Toast looks like what I’m hankering for. Looking for something heavier than a breakfast sandwich. Thanks @Cabadrin

    For breakfast is rough to make it in time and head to the convention but a heavier meal to hold me out for some time is what I need instead of going to Dunkin on my way to the Expo. Either way, I usually have a good amount of snacks but not too much to weigh me down.

  • ElzemereElzemere BostonRegistered User regular
    falkness wrote: »
    Does anyone know of any supermarkets within walking distance of the Element? We drove to a Whole Foods last year, but something closer would be nice.

    Unfortunately Boston doesn't really do supermarkets. Your best bet for walking distance would be Roche Bros. at Downtown Crossing about a 5 minute walk north of South Station. Aside form that there's a Stop & Shop supermarket if you follow Summer St south, cross the reserve channel to the City Point area and its on East Broadway.

    You'll have better luck with finding a CVS (one at south Station and one a block south of Shake Shack by the ICA).


    drae wrote: »
    I work in the Financial District.

    Hey what's up fellow FD worker! :)
    Some other options/info for people in that area.

    1. Kane's Donuts - Over the top, sugar bomb donuts. Kinda expensive, but worth it as a treat. If you get a (non-mini) coffee roll it'll feed about six people.
    2. Max's Deli - Great breakfast and lunch options. Friday mornings they have a pancake special. Similar energy to Al's except they kinda do everything a diner would. If you LOVE bacon, get a BLT, they aren't stingy.
    3. Villa Mexico Cafe - Authentic Mexican food. Go for the house recipe salsa and return because Mama makes you feel like family.
    4. If you're looking for food trucks not at the BCEC on Thurs or Fri, check https://rosekennedygreenway.org/visit/food/full-mobile-eats-calendar/ for what is supposed to be offering service. If an individual truck has piqued your interest, check their social media for any changes/specials.

    drae
  • ishtraishtra Long IslandRegistered User regular
    Ryosuke wrote: »

    For breakfast is rough to make it in time and head to the convention but a heavier meal to hold me out for some time is what I need instead of going to Dunkin on my way to the Expo. Either way, I usually have a good amount of snacks but not too much to weigh me down.

    We’re not going to the convention one day and would use that day for a nice sleep in and breakfast.

    Attendee: PAX East 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, Unplugged 2017
  • designfemmedesignfemme Registered User new member
    Also worth noting in the Seaport area:

    Fuku - delicious fried chicken (strips, sandwiches, and salads). Started by David Chang of Momofuku/Milk Bar bakery fame. Watch out — the portions are HUGE! Expect long lines around noon on weekdays.
    menu
    map

    By Chloe - vegan stuff. Started by Chloe Coscarelli of Cupcake Wars fame. I am not even vegan, but I was impressed by this place. It's a little pricey considering it's casual take-out, however. Order for pickup as it gets busy around noon during weekdays and seating is limited.
    menu
    map

  • deestardeestar [E]nforcer PAXEast Vermont Registered User regular
    edited March 3
    No Name Restaurant is a good go to for seafood-- it's not to expensive- its not a long walk from BCEC

    La Famiglia Giorgio- awesome Italian food especially their homemade pasta

    Wagamama - Japanese mainly udon and ramen- British chain- excellent service- not to expensive - while there are better noodle houses/ramen shops in Boston this one is relatively close to BCEC

    deestar on
    designfemme
  • GhostDanGhostDan Registered User regular
    Elzemere wrote: »
    falkness wrote: »
    Does anyone know of any supermarkets within walking distance of the Element? We drove to a Whole Foods last year, but something closer would be nice.

    Unfortunately Boston doesn't really do supermarkets. Your best bet for walking distance would be Roche Bros. at Downtown Crossing about a 5 minute walk north of South Station. Aside form that there's a Stop & Shop supermarket if you follow Summer St south, cross the reserve channel to the City Point area and its on East Broadway.

    You'll have better luck with finding a CVS (one at south Station and one a block south of Shake Shack by the ICA).

    7-11 by the Seaport has a surprising amount of items, as does Seaport Wine and Spirits over on D street.


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