Where to Find Boston Cream Pie Around Town
Not every state gets to celebrate its official dessert with a national day of recognition. But not every state can boast a sweet treat so iconic it’s named for its capital city. Enter the Boston cream pie, which varies in form but never truly resembles pie as we think of it today. October 23 is National Boston Cream Pie Day, and whether it is sponge cake layered with pastry cream; booze- or coffee-soaked; a filled cupcake; or riffed on as a doughnut, the honorary treat features rich chocolate and a rich heritage. Here are 11 places to find it around the Hub.
ArtBar and Studio Café at the Royal Sonesta Hotel
A popular rotating special, pastry chef Christina Allen-Flores’ Boston cream pie is often available at both the Royal Sonesta’s sit-down ArtBar restaurant and from its carryout Studio coffeeshop. Call ahead to make sure, though, if it’s what you’re craving.
40 Edwin H. Land Blvd., Cambridge; 617-806-4122, artbarcambridge.com.
Biltmore Bar & Grille
Pastry chef Joanna Cabral adapted one of her own recipes for a featured dessert at this former speakeasy in Newton Upper Falls. A warmed milk yellow cupcake is socked in a rum syrup, filled with silky vanilla bean pastry cream, and topped with milk chocolate ganache. It debuts today and is available all week.
$7, 1205 Chestnut St., Newton; 617-527-2550, thebilmoregrill.com.
This South End pastry shop is focusing on its fall seasonal varieties like apple cider, pumpkin pie, and honey chai these days, but its Boston cream is a classic favorite that will likely return this winter.
$3, 492 Tremont St., Boston; 617-482-9000, www.blackbirddoughnuts.com.
James Beard Foundation Award-nominated pastry chef Joanne Chang’s Boston-area bakeries take cookies, tarts, and cakes quite seriously. That includes a best-seller, coffee-soaked sponge cake with vanilla cream and chocolate ganache. Flour’s Boston cream pie is available by the slice, but also in 6-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch, and half-sheet sizes to satisfy your whole crew.
$6 a slice, Flour Bakery + Café, 1595 Washington St., Boston, and other locations; 617-267-4300, flourbakery.com.
Legal Sea Foods, Legal on the Mystic, and Legal Harborside
Of course this iconic group of local seafood restaurants offers Boston’s classic dessert. Legal Sea Foods restaurants and Legal on the Mystic add rum caramel sauce and toffee almond crunch to their Boston cream pie for $8.50 a piece, and on the first floor of the Seaport’s Legal Harborside, the cake is soaked in chocolate sauce for $6.95.
Legal Sea Foods, 100 Huntington Ave., Boston, and other locations; 617-266-7775; legalseafoods.com. Legal on the Mystic, 301 Great River Rd., Somerville; 617-337-4088. Legal Harborside, 270 Northern Ave., Liberty Wharf, Boston, 617-477-2900.
Parker’s Restaurant at Omni Parker House
The French-inspired sponge cake-and-chocolate dessert that is synonymous with Boston owes its heritage to this downtown hotel kitchen. The Parker House Hotel’s inaugural chef is credited with creating the Boston cream pie recipe in 1856. The original features marbled dark and white chocolate, as well as crunchy toasted almonds on the exterior.
$9, 60 School St., Boston; 617-725-1600, omnihotels.com.
Puritan & Co.
One of our favorite brunches around has Boston cream doughnuts every Sunday. Pastry chef Marissa Rossi’s $3 treat is a plump, filled round covered in rich chocolate.
Sundays from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., 1166 Cambridge St., Cambridge; 617-615-6195, puritancambridge.com.
The Tap Trailhouse
The Colonial-inspired Tap Trailhouse, which opened just over a year ago right off the Freedom Trail, always offers an individually-portioned Boston cream pie. Executive chef Matt Barre’s trifle is topped with a boozy cherry.
$8, 19 Union St., Boston; 617-367-0033, thetaptrailhouse.com.
One of the area’s top vegetarian restaurants has an old-school diner vibe, complete with a tantalizing case of freshly-baked cakes and pies. Behold a vegan spin on Boston cream pie, with vanilla bean pastry cream sandwiched between two layers of yellow cake layers, and glazed a dark Taza chocolate ganache. It’s $5.50 a slice, or take home a 9-inch, double-layer cake for $36.
Veggie Galaxy, 450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; 617-497-1513, veggiegalaxy.com.
Union Square Donuts
This bustling shop boasts the best doughnut in Boston. Available every day Union Square Donuts is open, the Boston cream offering has a vanilla-kissed filling and is topped with Belgian dark chocolate. The decadent treat doesn’t travel well, though, so don’t get your hopes up if you find the doughnut shop at one of its regular farmers markets or at the Boston Public Market.
20 Bow St., Somerville; 617-209-2257, unionsquaredonuts.com.