Boston Primer for Incoming College Freshman and Parents

Many families are dropping their kids off this week at colleges across the US. If you happen to be hitting Boston, here’s a tip sheet I originally wrote for The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine.
In Harvard Square, the Charles Hotel (800-882-1818; is within easy walking distance to the campus. Upstairs, renowned Boston chef Jody Adams is working her magic at Rialto (617-661-5050;, while across the hallway at Henrietta’s Table (617-661-5005;, Peter Davis is known for his love of local produce, cheese, fish, and microbrews. 
Closer to the M.I.T. campus, the boutique Kendall Hotel (866-566-1300; was built within the shell of a former firehouse. Down Mass Ave, Miracle of Science (617-868-ATOM; offers large burgers and tasty veggie skewers. Cornmeal fried oysters, pecan-studded catfish, and other tantalizing southern treats can be found within cozy confines of Hungry Mother (617-499-0090; 
Hyatt Place in Medford (781-395-8500; has discounted rates for families visiting Tufts. Tu Y Yo (617-623-5411; serves authentic Mexican fare like chicken in a mole sauce in neighboring Somerville. 
A central hub for Boston University students is Kenmore Square. Stay at the Hotel Commonwealth (617-933-5000; and then head downstairs to dine at one of the best seafood restaurants in town, Island Creek Oyster Bar (617-532-5300; BU students also like UBurger (617-536-0488;, with two locations nearby. 
Prospective Boston College students and their families can stay in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner at the Courtyard by Marriott (617-734-1393; There are a slew of restaurants in walking distance, including the deli, Zaftigs (617-975-0075;, and Vietnamese food at Pho Lemongrass (617-731-8600;  
Hotel Indigo (617-969-5300; and the Sheraton Needham (781-444-1110;, both off Route 128, are good places to stay if you’re visiting Brandeis, Wellesley, and Babson. Ming Tsai wows the suburban crowds with his pan-Asian fare at Blue Ginger (781-283-5790; in Wellesley. Several blocks away, Café Mangal (781-235-5322; is known for their mega-sized salads. Within walking distance of the Sheraton Needham, Spiga (781-449-5600; serves excellent pastas, thin pizzas, and other Italian fare. 
If you’re visiting other colleges in the Northeast this fall like Williams, Wesleyan, and Cornell, please consult the original article