Confectioner Deana Martin and the sugar magicians at Wildflour conjure daily-baked desserts from local ingredients, a craft they demonstrate to knowledge-hungry students. Couples or solo apprentices explore the process of creating chocolate treats that run the confectionary gamut from truffle fillings to tempered chocolate to cocoa-dust fog. While dipping and decorating the luxurious spheres, daring digits can indulge an experimental curiosity by coating other sweet treats in chocolate, such as fruit or bags of sugar. Classes run Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. and are limited to a maximum of 15 participants to prevent chocolate bunnies from being munched into extinction.
The caffeine connoisseurs at Boston Common Coffee Co. roast their own beans at a local facility for optimal freshness, pairing the sleep-shaking sips with a sumptuous spread of energizing eats. The in-house bakers and cooks whip up morning mouthfuls in the form of breakfast sandwiches ($3.23–$4.25), muffin tops ($1.85), and freshly baked bagels and croissants ($1.15+), crafted using local ingredients whenever possible to ensure quality. Sink into the eatery's plush leather couches while sinking teeth into the asparagus strata⎯a quiche-like entree made from bread, asparagus, tomatoes, and cheese ($4.25)—or the sourdough-ensconced Prince panini ($6.75–$6.95), a roasted turkey, cheddar, tomato, and dijon-mustard sandwich whose deliciousness can only be expressed as an unpronounceable symbol. Patrons can also opt to take a slice of the coffee pie home by purchasing Boston Common Coffee's flavored, fair traded, or varietal coffees by the pound ($10.25+).
Unless they’re drinking copious amounts of his namesake beer, tour goers along the Freedom Trail won’t likely catch a glimpse of famous revolutionary Sam Adams. But they will hear tales about his struggle for freedom from the British—the kind of struggle that made Boston a hotbed of revolutionary activity in the 1800s. Led by costume-clad tour guides, The Path to Independence tour takes visitors along the red brick path toward famed landmarks such as Boston Common, Old Granary Burying Ground, Old South Meeting House, and Old North Church. At each spot, they’ll learn about the site’s role in colonial Boston, from its founding years in the 1630s to the fight for American independence and the key players in the fight, including Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock.
With an arsenal of fresh ingredients and rich recipes, Hoff's Bakery has been bestowing gourmet goods on New Englanders for almost 30 years. Check out the sumptuous lineup of desserts, which include six-inch cakes (around $10.95), creamy cheesecakes ($19.95–$23.95), truffle bombs (around $12.95), and trifle cups. Many of Hoff's Bakery's baked goods are certified kosher. Patrons can also snag individual desserts such as mini and personal pastries (starting at $27.50 for 35 pieces), which can be easily concealed in mouths for transport over the border.
Butter, sugar, and flour. These three simple ingredients form the basis of each treat cooked up at Amanda Oakleaf Cakes. While the ingredients are straightforward, the cakes are anything but, as proven by head baker Amanda Oakleaf and the 4-foot-tall Dora the Explorer cake she constructed on the Food Network’s Cake Challenge. At her shop, Amanda and her team of artists, sculptors, and bakers create treats that run the gamut in flavor and function, from elegant tiers of red velvet to sugary cartoon figurines placed atop marshmallow fondant. Guests can dream up flavor combinations such as gingerbread cake slathered in white-chocolate buttercream or chocolate samoa layered in honey icing, or offer up a 3-D object for Amanda and her team to re-create in meticulous, edible detail. Regularly scheduled cake-decorating classes impart visitors with some of the team’s creative tricks of the trade, such as leveling cakes and keeping schoolchildren from swarming in through the doggy door at the sight of snickerdoodle cupcakes.
Short for Boston yogurt, Boyo cools cravings with a fresh selection of frozen treats. Its menu's main feature is the rotating selection of frozen yogurts ($2.75–$4.95), packed full of protein, calcium, and anti-antibiotic probiotics. Pair a portion with any of the more than 50 toppings, including fresh fruits, candies, sauces, and cereals. Boyo also scoops a selection of gelato ($2.99–$4.99), sorbet ($2.99–$4.99), and Brigham's ice cream ($2.75–$4.95), which can be swirled into smoothies ($4.75), sorbetto spritzers ($3.99), or scattered across a canvas and sold as modern art. Micromunchers seeking room-temperature temptations can get their fix at the bulk-candy bar, which amasses 48 bins of different candies to mix and match.
Located at 4 Somerset St. in Beacon Hill, Café Quattro is just around the corner from the State House and up the street from Suffolk Superior Court and Suffolk University. Its menu offers an impressive variety of quality pizzas, paninis, wraps, subs and sandwiches made from only the freshest ingredients, as well as all your favorite coffee drinks. Bite into the Chicken Pesto Panini (grilled chicken marinated in basil pesto, topped with roasted red peppers and mozzarella cheese) and you will exclaim “Mamma Mia!” so loudly that someone will almost certainly shush you (unless you sing the words a la Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” because everyone loves that song). If vegetarian is more your moda, try the Caprese Wrap: fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, baby salad greens, roasted red peppers, and red onion, drizzled with a tasty balsamic vinaigrette.