Welcome back to Food Crawls, a series in which Eater Boston staffers guide you (virtually) on various food (and booze) crawls in the Boston area.
When we go out, we often find ourselves wanting to try more than one restaurant or bar 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.
There is a glut of excellent Asian food in Allston, highlighting cuisines from a number of different countries and regions. Craving dumplings of all kinds? Allston’s got dumplings. What about Korean food? Allston’s got a lot of Korean food, especially fried chicken. The drunken noodles dish at S&I Thai is one of the tastiest things in the city; the paradise mountain chicken at Shanghai Gate is worthy of its name; it’s hard to go wrong with the mapo tofu at Mala. In short: You get the point.
And yet, it’s not just the savory side of Asian cuisines that’s covered in Allston. After scarfing a dozen dumplings at Dumpling Kingdom or some fried chicken at Coreanos, an eater might be craving something sweet. That’s where these bakeries and dessert spots come into play. This crawl doesn’t cover the entirety of Allston’s large Asian dessert scene, but these five spots should be enough to get you started.
Stats for this food crawl:
- Total stops: Five
- Distance travelled: About half a mile
- Number of desserts consumed: At least five
- Number of durian desserts consumed: One, if you’d like
Mochi Ice Cream at Beard Papa’s
145 Brighton Ave., Allston, Boston
This Japanese chain is known for its cream puffs — which, the story goes, are meant to resemble the beard of the old baker in Osaka who developed the recipe — but it’s the mochi ice cream you’re after here. For the uninitiated: These treats are like sweet dumplings, where the ice cream acts as the filling and a sweet rice confection acts as the outer skin.
Mini Danish Pan Bread at Tous les Jours
152 Harvard Ave., Allston, Boston
Tous les Jours is a chain of bakeries that started in South Korea over 20 years ago and now exists in eight countries, including China and the United States. Its products are a fusion of Korean and continental European stylings. The Danish pan bread is compulsory. (The croissants are also quite good.)
Mango Kingdom at Sweet Kingdom
145 Harvard Ave., Allston, Boston
Sweet Kingdom’s menu is immense, and the fruit-covered waffles are worth trying. But the real order here is the mango kingdom — fresh mango, mango ice cream, mango puree, lait de coco, sago, and grapefruit. You might try the durian kingdom, too, showcasing a fruit that many find has an objectionable smell but a pleasant taste.
Red Bean and Egg Yolk Shortcake at Yi Soon Bakery
112 Brighton Ave., Allston, Boston
These delicate little pastry balls are filled with sweet red bean paste and brushed with egg yolk. They are criminally good. Also worth trying: Yi Soon’s red bean buns. Also criminally good.
Snowdae at C Fruit Life
171 Brighton Ave., Allston, Boston
C Fruit Life is best known for something it calls a snowdae: Fruit-flavored shaved ice, served with fresh fruit. Try the strawberry snowdae, which is adorned with slices of various mixed fruit.