The $20 Challenge: Charles Street

In “The $20 Challenge,” we face the daunting task of eating three square meals in Boston’s most expensive areas for a mere Jackson. As always, we recommend drinking water and getting your meal to go to avoid the expense of a tip.

Oh, Charles Street. Where else can you find a picturesque 7 Eleven, enough antique stores to furnish a small mansion and an epicenter of the abolitionist movement, all within a few blocks? Although a “Make Way for Ducklings”-esque walk down Charles Street can feel like a trip back in time, the prices, sadly, are firmly rooted in the present. Is it possible to spend a day antiquing and eating for a mere $20? Sure! Behold, three very fine meals on Boston’s toniest street for a mere $18.00.

Breakfast: The Paramount strays from its cheap-eatin’ roots after breakfast, but in the morning it offers the kind of great breakfast deal we didn’t think was available outside of suburban diners anymore: two eggs, toast, homefries and coffee for $4.95. Perfect fuel for a morning spent looking at antiques and dreaming of the day you’ll be able to afford such niceties.

Lunch: Don’t get us wrong: we enjoy the haute pizza at The Upper Crust and Figs, but for value, nothing beats the humble cheese slice at Nino’s Pizza. Enjoy a slice of cheese ($1.60) and Moretti ($3.50) in an atmosphere that may not be bright and cheery but is one of the better reminders of a homier Charles Street past. After lunch, take off for a walk around Beacon Hill to check out the gorgeous Federal rowhouses.

Dinner: With almost ten dollars left, indulge in a cheap treat: Tom Yam noodles ($7.95) from King & I. Get the spicy dish to go and wander to the nearby Esplanade to people watch. Thai food, the sun setting over Cambridge and two extra dollars in your pocket: sounds like a pretty perfect Charles Street day to us.

The Paramount [Official Site]
The Upper Crust [Official Site]
Figs [Official Site]
Nino’s Pizza [Official Site]
King & I [Official Site]

[Photo: Celebrate Boston]

The $20 Challenge: Charles Street