Best of Boston: Risa Edition
It's December 1st. Which means there's 16 days until I'll be on my way to New York City. It's a scary thought -- I haven't really stopped since I was 18. Shortly after graduating high school, I convinced my parents to let me go abroad to Japan. I was back to Vegas for a short period of time and then I packed up and moved across the country to a part of the country I've never even been to. I survived blizzards, humid summers, getting stuck on the T, and, most importantly, having to make a place for myself that I didn't really know if I belonged.
After being here for three years, I have to tell you, Boston, you have my heart. I don't think there's an experience that's equivalent to your first Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Or your first rolling rally after the Sox/B's win. Or your first blizzard. Or the first spring walk along the Charles River after a brutal winter. Or the feeling of randomly running into one of your favorite athlete just in the street. Boston melts even the coldest of hearts and will give you a new sense of hope in humanity.
Boston Magazine puts out a "Best of Boston" every year, detailing the top restaurants, salons, bars, etc. every year. As my time in this charismatic city is coming to an end, I wanted to share all of my favorites with everyone. So here it is, Best of Boston: Risa Edition.
BEST FITNESS Classes - Nike Run Club, HYL, Krav Maga
I wanted to make sure I gave some credit where credit is due for the fitness classes/run clubs/studios I love! I wrote a blog for Pact App a little while ago, and instead of rewriting everything, I'm sure you all wouldn't mind giving their link a little click and showing them some love! // Risa Xu Shares Her Favorite Spots in Boston to Get Fit!
Best GNO Spot - Lolita
271 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA 02116 // 617.369.5609 // Website
I love Lolita. I love it for dates, I love it for hanging out with my best friend, I love it for almost everything. The decor is absolutely gorgeous and the food is delicious. They're a tequila bar so you can't go wrong with one of their pitchers of their famous margaritas. I personally love some of their mojitos as well.
Food wise, I love that most of the food is easy to share, so whether you're with a small group or a big group, it's easy to have something for everyone. Some of my favorite things to munch on from Lolita are:
- Chorizo + Pineapple: cured spanish chorizo on toasted garlic crostini, pineapple jalapeno sweet relish
- Fried Chicken Tacos
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Churros!: warm cinnamon sugared mexican 'donuts' made to order; sweet milk almond sauce & hot fudge for dipping
At the end of your meal, you get some green apple cotton candy. Sprinkled with pop rocks. POP ROCKS! How awesome is that?! Like I said, I love Lolita.
Best Colorist - Megan Graham Beauty
115 Newbury Street #401, Boston, MA 02116 // 617.236.8100 // Website
Boston Magazine and I seem to agree on at least one of my favorites; Megan has been voted Best of Boston twice! And if you've ever even set foot inside her salon, you won't question why. I am absolutely obsessive about my hair and I mean it in the most extreme way. I'd probably rather be bald than have a bad haircut.
Not only does Megan's salon make you feel like you've stepped into Barbie's Dream Salon, she makes you feel pampered beyond all reason. She always has espresso, bottled water and light snacks around the waiting area. And there are always fresh cut flowers. Everything has a soft glow from the big bay windows and all the white decor. I usually have to spend a couple hours in there because my hair is so long but I don't mind.
If you're lucky, you'll even meet Teddy and Lola -- Megan's two yorkies who are absolutely adorable! So if you're looking for a new color, give Megan's salon a call to schedule a consultation. I've never had to tell her what I want -- she knows exactly what works for me. And that's what I need in a colorist.
Best Place to Watch July 4th Fireworks - Behind the Museum of Science
1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114
I realize this may be a weird "best of" but just hear me out. Boston usually does their July 4th fireworks over on the Esplanade. The Boston Pops perform over at the Hatch Shell and the fireworks are launched over the river. Okay, no big deal. Well... except one. People from all over the country travel to Boston (the city of America's birth) to spend July 4th here so getting a good spot to view the fireworks is tough; if you're not camped out at the Esplanade by 8am that morning and have shifts with your friends keeping your spot safe, tough luck.
Which is why this spot is so special to me. Just past the T-rex at the Museum of Science, around the corner, curving around the back, there's a little spot. It's not a huge space, but it does its job. People bring their kids, dogs, and families. From this vantage point, you can see the Prudential Center and as long as you get a decent spot, you get a clear view of the fireworks.
Now that I've shared my little secret with you, keep it between us okay? I hope to be able to come back here one day and see the fireworks from this spot. :)
Best Place to Waste a Couple of Hours - Museum of Science & NE Aquarium
Whenever I have a couple hours to kill, I love making trips to places like the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science.
The Museum of Science has some awesome exhibits that are forever on display. Every now and then, they'll also have really interesting exhibits, such as the Pixar exhibit that was getting set up when one of my best friends visited last year. My favorite, however, is the indoor lightning presentation! I'd show you a video, but I'd rather you go see it for yourself!
And the Aquarium will always have a spot in my heart. Even though it's not the biggest Aquarium out there, it's definitely somewhere I could spend an hour or two. From the giant tank in the middle of the building to the seals that you can see from outside without having to purchase a ticket, it's such a good place to forget the responsibilities of adulthood and just watch the cute animals do their thing.
Best Steakhouse - Mooo....
15 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108 // 617.670.2515 // Website
I've mentioned before, if I could eat something forever, it would be steak. I don't know what it is about it but it's just the perfect meal. Whether it's paired with mashed potatoes, french fries, mac & cheese or corn... I love it. No. I adore it.
So it's not surprise for special occasions, my amazing boyfriend has taken me to Mooo.... on multiple occasions.
Let's start with the bread -- I don't know what they do to it but it is to die for. I think on one of our visits to Mooo...., we consumed about four rolls each before the appetizer even made it onto the table.
The service has always been absolutely phenomenal; they remember us every time we go -- who doesn't like feeling like a VIP?
The food is out of this world. I actually don't have words to describe how amazing the steak is. They offer sauces but you really don't need it -- they marinate and spice all their steaks perfectly. And they serve two of my favorite wines: Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rose (pictured below) and various Sancerre (which is my favorite white!)
If you have the chance to, do yourself a favor and make a reservation at Mooo.... I promise you won't regret it!
And that's it for this post. There's definitely things I didn't put in this post but if you ever want to know something about visiting Boston, don't hesitate to email me, tweet me, find me on Instagram -- whatever is easier for you! :) I love hearing about people's travels and their personal experiences at places I love.
I have a couple more posts in me before the big move to NYC so keep your eyes peeled. But in the meantime, find me on social media if you need me!