The past two weeks of winter break have been those of exploration for me and a few other international students. Being away from home and trapped in a hotel in downtown Boston, we sought solace within our daily “hunts” for food. Here are some restaurants we visited that I would like to give my personal opinions upon: 

  1. Liuyishou Hot Pot: Located in Chinatown, this hot pot restaurant was a frequent visit of ours—not only because of its proximity, but also of the variety and quality of food offered at the restaurant. It’s a must-visit for hot pot lovers. The only downside is the long lines, and of course, safety concerns regarding its crowdedness. 
  2. Eataly: Upon entering, I was surprised to see a space consisting of both groceries and eateries. An Italian dining emporium, Eataly is conveniently located at Prudential Center, and offers dining options with its open-spaced eatery. I would say it’s a perfect place to go to for a quick yet decent meal. 
  3. Tora Ramen: The restaurant, with its cash-only policy and inconspicuous appearance, can be easily slept on; but it came to be one of my favorite ramen places in Chinatown. It offers a few kinds of appetizers and ramens; the dishes are simple, non-greasy, yet still flavorful—the definition of comfort food. 
  4. Gourmet Dumplings House: Because of its great reputation, I was disappointed to find the dishes fairly mediocre—the dumplings seemed even a tad undercooked, and the skin was too thick in my opinion. Definitely not one of our favorites. 
  5. Itadaki: A Japanese gastroclub located on Newbury Street, Itadaki offers small plates of traditional Japanese cuisine. Its environment is great, with gentle lighting, textured wooden tables, and soft armchairs. The food comes in small amounts and is all delicately made. I highly recommend Agedashi Tofu and Pork Katsu. 
  6. Contessa: Contessa was probably the best brunch place I’ve ever been to. Located on the rooftop of a building, the restaurant provides a beautiful view of Boston and equally good-quality food. Though personally, I think the lunch menu isn’t as impressive. It’s also a bit pricey and hard to get a reservation for.