Eat, Drink, and Be Married

The best spots for your pre- and post-wedding fetes, from the engagement party to the rehearsal dinner to the morning-after brunch.

The Bridal Shower


Upstairs on the Square; Photograph by David Carmack

The proper shower spot, one that lands somewhere between girly and sophisticated, isn’t easy to find. It should be pretty enough to charm a range of ages, but not too cutesy. Cambridge’s UPSTAIRS ON THE SQUARE, with its whimsical yet formal décor and pink-on-pink palette, remains the go-to spot for bridal and baby parties, but the Boston area is also home to several terrific, lesser-known places.

For brides more about urban minimalism than frilly opulence, the South End’s STELLA offers a hip, relaxed vibe and a streamlined interior. Ask for the private dining room and arrange a prix fixe Sunday brunch menu—chef Evan Deluty makes an outstanding eggs Benedict with prosciutto and spicy hollandaise.

If seasonal fare (think spring parsnip and celeriac soup, or a lentil and farro burger with a radish and pea green salad) is more appealing, make haste to the BEACON HILL BISTRO. Local foodies looking for a little taste of Paris are regulars in the restaurant’s wood-paneled dining room. (Tip: After the meal, walk up Charles Street to some of the city’s best mani-pedi salons.)

Upstairs on the Square, $28–$35 per person, 91 Winthrop St., Cambridge, 617-864-1933,; Stella, price upon request, 1525 Washington St., Boston, 617-247-7747,; Beacon Hill Bistro, $55 per person, 25 Charles St., Boston, 617-723-7575,