One of the best things about Boston is that you can turn just one corner, and end up in a neighborhood you never knew existed. We remember this experience perfectly upon the discovery of Peterborough Street in the Fenway. As an 18 year old college freshman, the subway was our only understanding of how to get from point A to point B. But one day friends introduced us to Peterborough, tucked behind the fork of Brookline Avenue and Boylston Street. Many years later, we still get lost in the city on regular basis. But we also head back to Peterborough for the fabulous little restaurants and lively neighborhood atmosphere as well.
A few months ago, we wrote an entire post on Thornton’s Fenway Grill, our favorite restaurant to loiter in during college. While the clientele isn’t fancy and neither are the meals, the food is served in huge portions and cures hangovers like magic. Only three blocks from Fenway, it’s the perfect place to watch the Sox. However, if you’re planning on staying the length of a game, show up early enough to get a good seat. Chances are the rest of the neighborhood wants to drink beer and eat nachos as well on game day.
Next door to Thornton’s is heaven for pad Thai lovers. Rod-Dee Thai Cuisine is the sister location of Brookline’s Rod Dee, and for those who don’t mind skipping the no-frills atmosphere (Ordering at the counter, bussing your own table, etc) this is the perfect place for a great meal. We admit to not really deviating from the traditional tofu pad Thai, but that’s only because it’s so damn delicious we never want to try anything else.
Keep going door to door and you’ll land at Umi. We remember indulging in the delicious sushi rolls with our Japanese class (professor included!) on a mini field trip from school around the corner. Don’t expect a fancy Asian experience at Umi. The food is good and the staff are friendly, but there’s no ritzy atmosphere. Also note that there is an extremely expensive hair salon named Umi on Newbury St, so don’t accidentally schedule yourself highlights instead of a reservation.
Don’t get tired now, because we’re still going strong. Also still going strong is El Pelon Taqueria, one of Boston’s best little Mexican restaurants. The burritos are up there with Boston chain Anna’s Taqueria on the flavor scale, but El Pelon is a single-branch business. We’re also thrilled to see they rebuilt after a kitchen fire gutted the location last year.
Our last stop on the Peterborough food train is the lovely Canestaro, a comfortable Italian restaurant where the food is delicious, and the atmosphere is ideal for a family meal or a first date. Located further down Peterborough near the street’s beginning, Canestaro is a reasonably priced taste of Italia located in the heart of Fenway. Its somewhat secluded location away from the hustle of Yawkey Way and Lansdowne Street makes Canestaro’s the perfect place for pre or post-game feasting.
No matter what type of food you’re craving, head to the understated Fenway area for a variety of delicious little restaurants. While Peterborough may be a more visible strip, little streets within the neighborhood also provide other locations for a delicious bite.
[Photo: Rod Dee Thai]