New England’s Hottest Destination For Brews, Booze, And Barbecue
When it comes to Northeast dining, Massachusetts has a particularly impressive portfolio. This storied Commonwealth has mastered the art of succulent seafood, from lobster rolls to clam chowder, and even serves as the birthplace of the chocolate chip cookie — but one of the Bay State’s most cherished centers of fine drinking and dining tends to stay under the radar with tourists.
Bordering Boston, the North Shore stretches from northern Suffolk County to the New Hampshire border and is known for its high concentration of beautiful beaches and charming seaside towns — and if you want to unwind with a fresh camp after a long day in the surf and Sand, there is no better place.
In Beverly, Coastal Mass. Brewing has perfected the art of Bay State beer, even earning a spot on USA Today’s 2019 list of the best new breweries. Despite its small size, this cozy brewery packs an overwhelming amount of flavor into its products and offers a diverse range of beers to choose from. Sours are another specialty here, from cranberry-loaded to piña colada, and there’s ample opportunity for porters and IPA fans, too.
If you prefer to stay closer to Boston, the Bent Water Brewing Company is just under half an hour north of the city. This brewery has garnered acclaim across Massachusetts for its dazzling can art and hoppy brews, with the popular Sluice Juice NEIPA and Super Sluice DIPA being two particular must-try tries. Further north, the True North Ale Company is a master of all crafts, serving beer from 20 taps. Whether you opt for a refreshing Mexican lager or a succulent DIPA, be sure to take advantage of the massive facility, a space fully stocked with board games, soft pretzels, and regular live music.
If you’re not a big beer fan, don’t worry – the North Shore also offers a superb spirits experience with Deacon Giles. Gin, vodka and absinthe are on the menu here, while there’s ample opportunity for rum lovers to find a new bottle favourite, with Solera-aged amber, vanilla-laden spices and traditional varieties to try. Prefer to sip your spirits in a cocktail? Don’t worry – the in-house Speakeasy Lab offers all the complex concoctions you’ve been dreaming of.
Of course, after a top-shelf Juniper Point Dry Gin, you need a hearty meal, and luckily, the region is full of incredible restaurants. It’s a bit far from the coast, but Byfield’s Rusty Can is a must-visit for grill lovers who want decadent brisket, St. Louis pork ribs, and the best spicy fried chicken sandwich with mayo foam in the Bay State — and the most incredible food doesn’t stop here.
Located on the Merrimack River, The Modern Butcher has become an Essex County favorite thanks to its incredible selection of fresh grass-fed beef sourced from nearby New England farms. Beef tenderloin, pork roast and a large selection of hearty sausages are all available, but don’t miss the daily sandwich special either. Absolutely packed with fresh meat, produce and sauces, these massive meals offer a wide variety of flavors that are hard to find elsewhere in the region, including previous iterations including Korean Reubens and Chicken Adobo.
If you’re more of a seafood fanatic, Nightshade Noodle Bar offers a spectacular tasting menu that changes daily, with each dish infused with superb Franco-Vietnamese culinary flair. While there’s no guarantee as to which specific items will make the list each day, Wild Mushroom Preserved Clay Pot, Bay Leaf Scallop Noodle Soup, and Bone Marrow Bánh Mì are just a few all-stars that have popped up in the past, with no shortage of Top wine and cocktails to combine them.
While most visitors to Boston spend their time in the heart of the city, the North Shore is a particularly idyllic destination for a day trip or weekend getaway. Whether you want to stroll some of the Bay State’s most beautiful beaches, find a new favorite IPA, or stuff your face with succulent Show-Me State barbecue, this region is sure to leave you with many lasting memories.