The Boston Guide to a Marathon Day of Dining and Drinking
From a Red Sox pregaming breakfast in the Fenway, to ending Patriots' Day in Back Bay with replenishing pasta and gelato.
With the world’s oldest, consecutively run marathon, and the coinciding tradition of an early day game at Major League Baseball’s oldest ballpark, Patriots’ Day is one of the best days of the year in Boston. For the first time, the 122nd Boston Marathon—which is coming up on Monday, April 16, if you somehow didn’t know—and associated events are expected to add more than $200 million to the greater Boston economy, the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau reports.
That’s partially because nearly every bar and restaurant gets in on the fun. Whether you’re looking for a pregaming breakfast in Fenway, lunch in Back Bay, or drinks and dinner specials for Marathon finishers in the Seaport and South End—or if you’re planning to stay out of the fray on the Cambridge side of the river—here’s where to spend Patriots’ Day.
(Reservations are highly encouraged for sit-down service. Patios are typically weather-permitting affairs. All of the following events are on Monday, April 16, unless otherwise noted.)
Before the Sox Game:
Update, Monday, April 16, 10 a.m.: The Patriots’ Day Red Sox game has been postponed for the first time since 1984. Some of the following restaurants have updated their plans; the most recent information follows.
Back Bay Social Club
Secure a spot along the Marathon route at this all-day, cover-free party, which starts with brunch, giveaways, specialty cocktails, Sam Adams 26.2 Brew on draft, and more. There’s a patio if the weather cooperates, but the race will also be on a projector inside with sound.
7 a.m., 528 Commonwealth Avenue, Kenmore Square, Boston, 617-532-9100, easternstandardboston.com.
For their first Patriots’ Day in Boston, these James Beard Award-winning chefs are elevating the game day frank with a house-made knackwurst special. Topped with either sauerkraut and maple-mustard, or baked beans and kimchi relish, it pairs nicely with $3 Narragansett on draft.
11 a.m., 1321 Boylston, Boston, 617-545-1060, eventideoysterco.com.
Breakfast sandwiches are on from 9 a.m. until noon. The bloody Marys (and other drinks), food, and tunes continue as usual until last call, while the Marathon and Red Sox game will be on the big screen.
9 a.m., 1271 Boylston St., the Fenway, Boston, 617-670-0507, hojokoboston.com.
MET Back Bay
Monday brunch is on at this Copley Square bistro, so you can eat first and still get a good spot at the finish line. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
8 a.m.-4 p.m. (followed by regular service), 279 Dartmouth St., Back Bay, Boston, 617-267-0451, metbackbay.com.
Naco Taco Truck
Check out this food truck near the action for fare typically found in Cambridge; the Newbury Street vehicle is open extended hours on Monday. Mix-and-match tacos and sides, like chorizo with Yukon potatoes and cilantro; and a bright shaved vegetable salad. The meal is fast and portable in compostable containers.
10 a.m., 354 Newbury St., Boston, nacotaco.boston.
Have Patriots’ Day off, but want to stay far away from Fenway Park and the Marathon route? Catch the Sox on TV at this Kendall Square dive-ish, with a Michelada, a stack of buttermilk pancakes or a bacon-and-egg juicy Lucy burger, and more Monday brunch fare. Typical service resumes in the afternoon.
10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (followed by regular service), One Kendall Square, Bldg. 300 Lower Level, Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-848-4355, statepark.is.
Missed out on the first season of chef Tiffani Faison’s biscuit breakfast sandwiches? They return on Patriots’ Day morning, along with biscuits and white sausage gravy. and stone-ground grits with collard greens and a fried egg.
11 a.m. (followed by regular service), 1381 Boylston St., Boston, 617-266-1300, sweetcheeksq.com.
During the Marathon:
Alden & Harlow
Away from the hustle and bustle of the route, it’s likely to be a different kind of scene here, for the third annual Burger Marathon. Five members of chef Michael Scelfo’s team are creating their own takes on his famous “secret burger,” such as Lou’s Little Lamb Burger, with ground lamb, crispy sfela cheese, and harissa aioli on a pita bun; and Sam & Son’s Burger, with a latke, cured salmon, red onion jam, and herbed cream cheese on a potato bun. They’re available from 11 a.m. until sellout. There will also be a few small plates during lunch, along with a special highball cocktail menu by bar director Seth Freidus. Regular service resumes at 5 p.m.
11 a.m., 40 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-864-2100, aldenharlow.com.
A classic spot to post up on Patriots’ Day. Share plates like a grilled Moroccan lamb skewers, and chilled soba noodles with toasted sesame dressing, Mandarin oranges, snow peas, red cabbage, carrots, and peanuts; craft beer cans on the patio, and spring cocktails.
11:30 a.m., 838 Beacon St., Boston, 617-421-1910, audubonboston.com.
The “distraction” from this regular Back Bay tasting menu is back for the occasion, as well as on Saturday, April 14.
12-3 p.m., 47 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 617-585 9575, astaboston.com, Instagram.
This taqueria around Mile 23 is firing up the grill for street corn and chorizo sausages on the patio. Inside, there’s a streamlined menu—and of course, margaritas. All. Day.
City Tap House
Sam Adams is heading there on Monday for a 26.2 Brew pint party on the fire pit-lined, cornhole-outfitted patio.
Feeling just a little fancy this Marathon Monday? A sophisticated yet approachable lunch service is on at Boston’s newest Forbes four-star restaurant, with a la carte options including a lobster roll, a burger, and poutine.
11 a.m.-4 p.m., 371 Commonwealth Ave., Back Bay, 617-517-5915, deuxave.com.
In Copley Square, the Prudential Center, and Downtown Crossing, swing by for $2.62 mac and cheese. Runners who show their medal can pop in for the rest of the week for a free bowl.
10:30 a.m., 557 Boylston St., Back Bay, 617-904-3711; Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St., Back Bay, 617-276-1001; 277 Washington St., Downtown Crossing, Boston, 617-276-1000, diginn.com.
With large concentrations of runners and their entourages filling the hotels in the Back Bay and Seaport, these dining and entertainment spaces (read: fancy bowling alleys) will make for prime group hanging during the day’s events. Dozens of screens will play the action throughout the venue, to accompany rounds of bowling, gaming, eating, and drinking.
11 a.m., 50 Dalton St., Back Bay, 617-266-2695; 60 Seaport Blvd., Suite 255, Boston, 617-401-0025, kings-de.com.
This glorious Copley-adjacent patio and outdoor bar will have $1 Island Creek oysters, shucked right off the boat; plus boozy snow cones, all of the rosé, and other drink specials. For dinner all weekend long, find $1 oyster deals, and lasagna on special for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
No, it’s not a Mile 25-induced mirage: chef Tony Messina is hosting a rare lunch service at the Eliot Hotel restaurant. The casual, a la carte menu will have a few specials that pair well with tiki drinks, like foie gras bratwurst with Japanese mustard, kimchi, and pickled apple; and scallion pancake pizza with Thai basil and mozzarella. The restaurant reopens at 5:30 p.m. for dinner.
11:30 a.m-2 p.m. (bar until 3 p.m.), 370 Commonwealth Ave., Back Bay, Boston, 617-536-7200, uni-boston.com.
After the Race:
75 on Courthouse Square
The newest Kershaw Group restaurant is offering $10 off to all Marathon runners who show their 2018 jackets.
60 Seaport Blvd., Boston, 617-728-4701, 75oncourthousesquare.com.
Step off the beaten path into the South End, where this spot hosts its fifth annual, jazzy fundraiser for the Gillian Reny Center for Trauma Innovation. There’s no cover while you enjoy the live jazz performances, and all sales of festive fare by chef James Lyons, like crispy duck tacos, short rib beignets, and spring vegetable curry; and beer specials from Jack’s Abby support the organization’s mission. The Reny and Epstein families founded the center in honor of doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who saved their 18-year-old daughter’s life and limbs from wounds incurred during the 2013 marathon bombing.
3 p.m.-midnight, 541 Tremont St., South End, Boston, 617-423-0069, beehiveboston.com.
Just a few blocks down Mass. Ave. from the Marathon route, chef Douglass Williams is offering his typical all-you-can-eat pasta menu, Mangia Monday, during lunch on Patriots’ Day, too. But it continues into the night, and anyone who finished the race will be treated to a complimentary scoop of gelato.
Lunch noon-3 p.m., dinner 5-11 p.m., 782 Tremont St., 617-936-3490, midaboston.com.
This downtown steakhouse has a $20 prime cheeseburger-and-bourbon deal for bibbed guests. The sandwich has Tillamook cheddar, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickle relish, and fresh-cut fries on the side; and the whiskey is Maker’s Mark, 2018 Marathoner and general manager Nick Foley’s choice.
140 Seaport Blvd., Boston, 617-670-1345, ocean-prime.com.
From Friday, April 13 through race day, bring in your Marathon registration (showing it on the app works) for a complimentary dish of chef and owner Joe Faro’s spagettini pomodoro with grilled chicken and roasted broccolini; tagliatelle bolognese; or ricotta gnocchi with San Marzano tomato, pesto, and garlic spinach.
64 Seaport Blvd., Boston, 617-303-7300, tuscanbrands.com.