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Torched salmon belly from Saltie Girl
Saltie Girl/Facebook

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Holiday Shopping, Bloody Marys, and Lunch Around Newbury Street

Start with a damn fine cup of coffee, end with crab rangoons

Welcome back to Food Crawls, a series in which Eater Boston staffers guide you (virtually) on various food crawls in the Boston area.

When we go out, we often find ourselves wanting to try more than one restaurant at a time — a drink and a snack here, another drink and perhaps a dessert there — and want to share our favorite multi-stop combinations with you. These crawls are meant to be relatively walkable, and the amount of food and drink is meant to correspond roughly to a couple of average appetites (so bring a friend), although your mileage may vary. Email us if there’s a particular theme, specific dish or drink, or neighborhood you’d like to see covered in a future installment.

For locals who prefer to avoid hordes of tourists, a good rule of thumb for most of the year is to avoid Newbury Street and its environs. But during the holiday season, the energy generated by tourists carrying too many bags as they waltz up and down the street is redemptive and evidence that Newbury Street — and touristy Boston writ large — isn’t so bad after all.

To be sure, there’s no mistaking that to participate in this charade is to bow at the altar of late American capitalism. But it’s possible to see the excesses of Newbury Street for what they are — and to also guiltlessly enjoy some of those excesses, if only momentarily.

Should a handbag net a fashion house $4,500? Probably not. Should you drop 20 percent more money than you might in, say, Allston, on torched salmon belly? Yes, you probably should.

Head to Newbury Street, participate in the frenzy, and live deliciously as you do. Here’s what to drink and eat on and around Newbury Street during a morning shopping trip.

A Coffee and a Pastry at Thinking Cup

85 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston, MA 02116

thinking cup
A spread at Thinking Cup
Thinking Cup/Facebook

Thinking Cup serves Stumptown Coffee, so it’s already a cut above most coffee shops in the city. Start this Newbury Street crawl early, and start it with a cappuccino and a fruit tart.

A Ridiculously Excessive Bloody Mary at Met Back Bay

279 Dartmouth St., Back Bay, Boston, MA 02116

met back bay
America in one drink
Met Back Bay/Facebook

Does a bloody mary need to be garnished with a miniature burger on a skewer? No. Is it good that Met Back Bay does so? Yes. You’ve already had your coffee, so it’s completely fine to start drinking ridiculous drinks.

Torched Salmon Belly at Saltie Girl

281 Dartmouth St., Back Bay, Boston, MA 02116

Torched salmon belly at Saltie Girl
Torched salmon belly at Saltie Girl
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

No reservations, long lines, but it’s worth the wait. Go with friends, and share the torched salmon belly (and some oysters, and the fried clams, and a bottle of something crisp and white).

Crab Rangoons at Thai Basil

132 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston, MA 02116

thai basil
These are the best crab rangoons in the city
Thai Basil/Facebook

Crab rangoons are a dime a dozen, right? Wrong. While more food might not be necessary at this stage, no Newbury Street crawl would be complete without an order of crab rangoons from Thai Basil. They are the best in the city, and you should finish your day with a plate of them.

Thinking Cup (Newbury Street)

85 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116 (617) 247-3333 Visit Website

Saltie Girl

279 Dartmouth Street, , MA 02116 (617) 267-0691 Visit Website

Met Back Bay

279 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA 02116 617 267 0451 Visit Website

Thai Basil

937 North Damen Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 666-5996 Visit Website