Though South Boston
isn't a destination restaurant neighborhood, good eats can be found throughout the area. Close to the waterfront, visitors find plenty of seafood options from modern eateries to lobster shacks, while locals enjoy their favorite diners and burger joints away from the crowds.
Since 1950, locals and tourists alike have come to the Yankee Lobster Fish Market for steamed lobster trays and baskets of fried clams, oysters and shrimp at affordable prices. Regulars love the rich, briny clam chowder and the mac and cheese served with massive, moist chunks of lobster meat. Customers must line up to order at the counter, but the tables both indoors and outside come equipped with shakers of Old Bay and bottles of malt vinegar for an authentic Boston experience.
For views of the bay and upscale bistro food, visitors come to Sam's At Louis. Patrons here sit on the modern, spacious second story balcony overlooking the water while biting into the signature burger, consisting of two flavorful beef patties flecked with black peppercorn. Other stand-outs include the mushroom-tofu burger and the weekend brunch fare, which includes spicy Bloody Marys and a boozy brunch punch.
Locals get nostalgic for the snap dogs at Sullivan's, a small burger and seafood joint on Castle Island that many youngsters in the area grow up with. The natural casing dogs get their nickname by being grilled till just plump enough to snap on the first bite, though the affordable lobster roll also has its loyal fans. The seasonal restaurant has no wait service, and the line at the counter snakes out the door during the meal-time rush, but the kitchen moves fast, making the wait reasonable on most days. The outdoor tables fill up quickly, so regulars recommend grabbing a blanket for a picnic in the surrounding park.
Visitors won't find dance beats or clubs in South Boston, where locals prefer a good old watering hole to watch the game and chat with friends. In the Seaport District, residents choose from several upscale lounges along the waterfront or low-key bars to the south, like William's Tavern, a neighborhood joint serving cheap brews and friendly chats with the owner. Though you won't find an impromptu jazz jam in the neighborhood, the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion hosts national tours at its large outdoor concert hall, where the ocean breeze cools down crowds who come for big music names such as Willie Nelson and Sting.
The most popular of the waterfront bars is Drink , a mixology-geared lounge that blends cocktails in a hip, modern atmosphere. The establishment makes patrons wait outside once the bar has reached its quota of customers, but a relaxed and lively evening awaits once you get inside. The warehouse-inspired bar room has no official drink menu, as the bartenders specalize in customized cocktails to suit your personal preference, including options such as fruity gin or sugar cookies. An evening here adds up, but regulars say the drinks top-notch drinks make the experience worthwhile, and a New American bar food menu makes some patrons reluctant to give up their tables.
Farther east, the Harpoon Brewery welcomes the public with affordable tours of their facilities, along with a spacious upstairs beer hall that serves a rotating selection of Harpoon on tap at the long communal tables, including many speciality brews and pretzels for the peckish.