It's our fourth edition of Gothamist's travel content, Gothamist Getaways. A few times a year, we'll have a week of posts featuring looks at travel, food, products and tips—near and far—for making your trips more enjoyable. So sit back, dream of your next journey and let us know if you have any hints for us—email

Top Chef might be based there this season, but some of Boston's best grub isn't likely to be featured. If you find yourself in Boston this winter, dodge costly the costly tourist traps—instead, indulge in the delicious, down-to-earth, local fare offered on this carefully curated shortlist of Boston's most beloved institutions, proudly assembled for you by this "townie." It's not like you're going to sail into a seat at these many years-old legacy joints during prime chow time, but consider the abundance of Red Sox caps surrounding you as you wait for a table a voucher of their authenticity.

Kelly's Roast Beef (Bruce G./Foursquare)

Kelly's Roast Beef
Salivating as my dad's paneled station wagon rolled up to a spot on Revere Beach opposite the flagship location of this take-out joint, I anxiously counted the seconds until our number was called and I could rip into one of these giant roast beef sandwiches, topped with onions and slathered generously with mustard. Kick your carb concerns to the curb and scarf down a selection of the expertly fried specialties prepared at this seafood/sandwich hut, like french fries, onion rings and their (in)famous clam roll. A staple since 1951, Kelly's is now available at five spots in the Boston area, including a few dine-in locations.

(Ray M./Foursquare)

Santarpio's Pizza
Pronounced "Santahhhpios," or "Tahps" for short, the flagship location of this East Boston pizza joint practically abuts the Callahan Tunnel leading to Logan Airport. Open since 1903, it's considered by and large by natives to be the best pie in town. A classic hole-in-the-wall, the recently revamped room remains nondescript — a long wooden bar centers the room and surly servers slap down brick-oven cheesy pies made with sauce on the sweeter side, and a crust made with plenty of cornmeal for crunch. If you’re feeling more carnivorous, they make a mean sausage and peppers dish in the brick-oven and some serious steak-tips, too. Should you be stuck "up Nawth," score yourself a pie at their Peabody location.

Marianne P./Foursquare

Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage
A Cambridge staple for three generations, a burger from Mr. Bartley's is considered a Harvard Square meat-eaters right of passage. Hefty, juicy burgers blessed with cheeky monikers like "The Big Papi" and "The Viagra" comprise the menu cornerstone, but fans line up around the block at lunchtime for crispy sweet potato fries, frothy frappes (known in New York as "shakes") and tangy lime rickeys. This place couldn't get more casual, so dress to sop up your hard-earned ketchup stains.

Breakfast at Doyle's (Steve G./Foursquare)

Open everyday from breakfast until right before the T stops running, this legendary pub is adored for homemade New England classics like clam chowder, but in my opinion, the food kicks a little extra ass at brunch. A Jamaica Plain landmark since 1882, Doyle's made for great scenery in Boston-based films like Mystic River and The Brink's Job. It's a pretty big room, anchored by a dark wooden bar that offers a huge selection of beer. An alliance with Sam Adams Trolley Tours entices an ever-growing roster of tourists at lunch, but after the last trolley leaves at 3:30 it's just you and the locals.


Mike's Pastry
When a generous dinner guest totes a blue and white box from Mike's to your house, an extra pour of limoncello is in order. This Italian dessert mecca in the North End is a city stalwart, serving up the finest homemade old school Italian sweets, like pizzelle, torrone, biscotti, and some of the very best cannolis on the Eastern seaboard. If you're feeling more into an American treat, there's an abundance of cookies, pies, éclairs and tarts to sooth your sweet tooth. Their cakes (both cheese and not) are outstanding — suck down a slice with an espresso.

Vivian Manning-Schaffel is a journalist, copywriter and essayist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Find her on Twitter @SoapboxDirty.