City Style: Neighborhood Watch
One-of-a-kind boutiques and haute restaurants are helping to rejuvenate Charlestown’s historic streets. From breakfast on Monument Avenue to browsing for antiques on Main Street, plan a stroll through this ’hood for a look at its dramatic past and burgeoning present.
>>9:00 A.M. Charlestown may be small—just one square mile—but walking its streets requires some serious stamina, so make your first stop Sorelle bakery and café (One Monument Ave., 617-242-2125). Belly up to the counter for a mouth-watering bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich, a homemade lemon-blueberry muffin, and a chat with the café’s amiable flock of faithful regulars.
>>11:00 A.M. Next, take time to explore your colonial heritage. Climb the 294 steps of the Bunker Hill Monument’s staircase and be rewarded with a bird’s-eye view of Boston. Duck inside the adjacent Bunker Hill Lodge, where models depict epic American Revolution battles (617-242-5641). Later, visit the Navy Yard for a tour of “Old Ironsides,” the 208-year-old Navy ship USS Constitution (617-242-5671).
>>1:30 P.M. Sore and starved? Check out Charlestown’s contemporary revolution: one marked by an explosion of eateries. Soak in the city skyline at the newly overhauled Tavern on the Water while munching on fire-roasted oysters and lobster ravioli (One Pier 6, on Eighth Street, 617-242-8040). Or head to resident favorite Chow Thai Café, a friendly spot that whips up a rainbow of curry dishes (187 Main St., 617-242-5232).
>>3:00 P.M. Far from Newbury Street, browsers dig for hidden treasures in just a handful of retail shops. At Bunker Hill Relics, a store crammed with mostly pre-1900 wares, pick up porcelain vases, oil paintings, and antique clocks (207 Main St., 617-666-1779). Nearby, the Joy of Old is an emporium of vintage gems, jewelry, and crafts such as barrettes and candles. (85 Warren St., 617-242-6066).
>>7:00 P.M. After all this Americana, sample the area’s foreign flair with triple-layered tuna tartare and red snapper tagra at the colorfully seductive, Moroccan-themed Tangierino (83 Main St., 617-242-6009). Or head to stylish Greek eatery Mezé Estiatorio and pair one of the many Greek wines with spanakopita and oregano-dusted wood-grilled lamb chops (100 City Square, 617-242-6393).
>>9:00 P.M. What’s more historic than knocking back a pint where Paul Revere and Washington once did? Finish up the day at the low-ceilinged Warren Tavern, one of the country’s oldest watering holes that still creates a stir with live music on Wednesday and Thursday nights (2 Pleasant St., 617-241-8142). Or slip onto a barstool, order a draft, and toast with the locals at Sullivan’s Pub (85 Main St., 617-242-9515).