There’s a lot of good lunch food to be found near Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace. The Boston Public Market is right down the street at Haymarket, and the North End’s Hanover and Salem streets are a quick walk across the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. So why would anyone ever eat inside a tourist trap like Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall’s ever-crowded food court?
Tourist traps exist for one reason: to trap the more underprepared and inexperienced among us into buying overpriced, mediocre meals in the vicinity of famous sites we want to see. Quincy Market, which describes itself as America’s first food hall, falls squarely in that category.
While Quincy Market may be historical — by all means, walk through and take a picture — it should not be the first or fifth or even seventieth spot on anyone’s “must go” Boston food list. That said, there are some decent options inside this glorified mall food court. Although, let us reiterate: Instead of going to the “North End Bakery,” the actual name of a pizza and pastry vendor inside the market, remember that you can exit the premises and walk for about eight minutes to get cannoli from an actual North End bakery.
But, if you’re set on eating inside Quincy Market, start here.
The Monster at the Dog House
Hot dogs are never a bad idea, and the Dog House offers a long list of tasty variations. It also hawks Italian sausages and Polish kielbasa, but go for the “Monster” — it’s made with a Fenway Frank, and you can feel like you’re at a Sox game even if it’s not on the tourist itinerary.
Clam chowder bread bowl at Boston Chowda Co.
Ignore the kitschy phonetic spelling and try the clam chowder because Boston Chowda Co. actually does a very good version. For the more adventurous eater: Try the clam chowder-filled bread bowl. It’s decadent and kind of dumb, but the hollowed-out round loaf functions as one giant oyster cracker. Perhaps avoid eating the entire bowl if you plan to continue on to the next stop of this food crawl.
A lobster roll from Wicked Lobstah
It may not surprise you to learn that Wicked Lobstah is owned by the same kitschy phonetic spellers behind Boston Chowda Co. If you must have a lobster roll in Quincy Market (instead of a number of excellent options elsewhere), this is the place to do it.
Korean corn dogs from Kong Dog
Remember how hot dogs are never a bad idea? That’s why Kong Dog made this list, too. The Korean corn dog purveyor is a new vendor in the market and is worth checking out, especially for the zany, fun toppings. Don’t know where to start? Order the dog rolled in instant ramen noodle bits.
Ice cream treats from Fomu
Ah, Fomu. The beloved local vegan ice cream chainlet is a welcome respite from the caricatures of Boston foodstuffs lining the bustling hall. If you’re a tourist reading this list, know that Bostonians do actually go to Fomu, and you should too. Anything from the case will be good, but if you want more direct guidance, start with the sturdy ice cream sandwiches.