Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lunches Downtown

After working at the Schrafft's Building in Charlestown for nearly 7 years, I had the good fortune of transitioning to a project within my company that moved us to an office in Downtown Crossing. Working in the city is much more exciting than being on the outskirts, for the lunch options alone. It has been over a year now, so sharing some of my favorite lunchtime eats is long overdue. (Additionally, a lot of my favorite spots are in Chinatown, which will come in a separate post.) 

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe - 86 Bedford Street 
I always get the #4 - Hand Pulled Noodle ($6) with a Cumin Lamb Skewer ($1.50), a green tea juice box, and if I'm there early enough, a small table to watch the chefs "Biang Biang" noodle-making in action and the place fill up with regulars. These thick and wide noodles coated in garlic and chili paste, generously spiced with chili powder and accented with scallions and cilantro are jealousy inducing good, as in, if you haven't tried them yet, I guarantee you are looking at that photo, itching to slurp some up right this very moment. Eating here kind of feels like you are part of a secret lunch club. 
Gene Wu's hole-in-the-wall establishment is cash only and open from 11am - 4pm.
 Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe on Urbanspoon
Yes, their tacos are excellent, but have you tried their Tortas? A torta is a toasted Mexican sandwich with white onions, pickled jalapenos, avocado crema and black bean spread. Pictured is the Carnitas Michoacan Torta ($6.50) which in addition to the above contains slow braised sweet pork and fresh cilantro. Mexican street food in the form of Tortas, for the win. 

One of the first food trucks to hit the streets of Boston, and still one of the best. Their gourmet Grilled cheeses are classic comfort with a twist. On this day I enjoyed the Green Muenster Melt ($6) made with muenster cheese, applewood smoked bacon and homeade guacamole, the Roasted Tomato Soup ($3) and a Blueberry Mintade ($3)
 Roxy's Grilled Cheese on Urbanspoon

Avery Provision - 571 Washington Street
They have plethora of lunch options here, but the sushi counter for a Maki-Rito ($9.95) is where it's at. Spicy tuna, crunchy tempura flakes, crisp english cucumber and creamy avocado are wrapped tightly in sticky white rice and nori and instead of slicing up the roll, it is left whole to enjoy burrito style. It's a fun take on sushi. Of course, you could always stick to regular maki, though, they tend to be a splurge compared to the options next door in Chinatown. I like the Shrimp Tempura Roll ($11).

Avery Provision Company on Urbanspoon 

 Captain Marden's Seafood Truck
This Crab Cake Sandwich, best enjoyed in the summer time when the Cod Squad truck is out and about, is phenomenal. It comes on a lightly toasted bun with crisp lettuce, onions and tomatoes. On the side some equally amazing hand cut french fries and a scoop of zesty coleslaw. 
Captain Marden's Seafoods on Urbanspoon

The lunch options in Downtown Crossing and the Financial District are endless, especially with the consistent presence of food trucks in Dewey Square, Government Center and Post Office Square. The City of Boston Food Truck schedule can be found here


  1. Gene's must be in the old Burritos Express space, judging from that picture. Burritos Express was really good and super cheap, but I think Chipotle having moved in around the corner killed them off, which is a true shame.

  2. Dont forget the Hungry Traveler, Koren/American food.

  3. I am embarrassed to say I've never tried Roxy's Grilled Cheese, but have been dying to. I've also heard so many good things about Gene's!

  4. Yes I am definitely jealous and wishing I had a bowl of spicy noodles right now!

  5. So jealous of all the options! Gene's flatbread looks amazing! Having the food trucks local is so much fun. Over in Brookline Village we have a couple of great options, but after 4 years it gets a bit tiring ;)

  6. a maki-rito!? i must try this and ASAP!

  7. Mmmmm everything looks SO good! We get free lunch in the caf at work, so I tend to eat there :)

  8. Those noodles! I must try that. And a green tea juice box? That is too cute. The Taco Truck is a huge favorite at my office and of course, Roxy's. Thanks for sharing all these great lunch options!

  9. You have so many great lunch options! I would love to be able to get hand-pulled noodles for lunch!

  10. Thanks for all the work you're putting in the site, the data as well are good. Keep posting!