How to Watch the Boston Marathon

Dressing for the marathon sidelines may not require quite the science and aerodynamism as does dressing for the marathon itself. But that doesn’t mean it’s a no brainer. We present our favorite picks. Cheer in comfort, Boston!


The Boston Marathon isn’t only about the running (just mostly).  Fitness expos, prix fixe menus, award ceremonies and mini marathons are just a few of the options that make marathon week the ultimate Hub celebration. — Maggie Brooks

If there’s one way not to cheer the runners, it’s on an empty stomach. Why? Sure, waving, standing and shouting doesn’t amount to 26.2 miles-worth of caloric expenditures, but for a multi-hour event, it ain’t exactly an easy afternoon. Here, we’ve lined up our top choices for refueling stations along each key juncture of the marathon.

Beginning   The Hopkinton Gourmet sits right at the starting line of the Boston Marathon. Doors will be open by 6 a.m. that day, and the menu, classic for the cozy stop, offers a hot cup of coffee (from the nearby Red Barn Coffee Roasters), bagels, fruit and other items perfect for an on-the-go breakfast. 3 Main St, Hopkinton, 508-435-0435,

Middle   Wellesley residents camped out at the halfway point can wrap up their race day at one of the most famous Asian-inspired restaurants in eastern Mass, Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger. The stop won’t be open for lunch, but racers can trickle in when doors open for dinner that evening. 583 Washington Street, Wellesley, 781-283-5790,

Post-Heartbreak   Beyond the cruel climb of Heartbreak Hill, and just round the bend of Cleveland Circle, Athan’s will be serving up hot coffee (plus their killer hot chocolate), simple sandwiches and baklava as far as the eye can see from their classic European bakery in Washington Square. For spectators in the mood for more substantial fare, The Fireplace opens later that day to serve up dinner from just across the street. Athan’s: 1621 Beacon St, Brookline, 617-734-7028, Fireplace: 1634 beacon street, Brookline, 617-975-1900,

Finish    All but on top of the finish line, L’Espalier will offer up a special marathon deal for weary spectators with a three course prix-fixe menu of their extraordinary, artisanal cuisine (including a custom cocktail) for $50, plus a chef’s tasting menu for $60, and à la carte specials like the lobster BLT for $25. 774 Boylston Street, Boston, 617-262-3023,‎.

Marathon moments from 2010, by S. Fischer