The French Guide to Boston

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This post was created in collaboration with the team at Oui by Yoplait. As always, all opinions are my own.

Thanks to the visa process, I’m not allowed to travel internationally (womp womp), meaning I need to get creative about how I satisfy my need to be intrepid while staying in the U.S. In the last few weeks, I’ve been missing my time in Paris. Can you blame me? So, in collaboration with Oui by Yoplait, I put together a guide of all of my favorite places in Boston that remind me of France. I thought this would be tough, but remembering that Boston is the city that feels the most European to me, I knew I could channel my inner Parisienne and find inspiration from a few of my favorite spots that transport me back to France. Follow my guide for a French-inspired day in Boston, and head below to learn how you could win a trip to France to experience the real thing!

To any Bostonian, it will be no surprise to see Tatte Bakery on this list. What in particular transports me back to cafe culture in Paris? Well, if the round marble tables, intricate tile work, and subway tile don’t do it, their pastries will certainly get the job done. In particular, the Kouign-Amann takes my taste buds to a whole new place. The pastry itself originated in Brittany, France, and is a classic example of how the French just do it better.

If wine is more your style (like me), head into haley.henry Wine Bar. This James Beard 2019 Semi-Finalist for an Outstanding Wine Program features the tastiest natural/small production wines in the city. Want to feel like you’re at a vineyard tasting in France? This is the place to go in Boston. Don’t leave without trying its “Biggie Small Plates,” like Maine uni served with chips, or “Bone Thugs and Charcuterie.”

Prefer to take your dining experiences outside? Head to the docks on the Charles River Esplanade with your favorite fare and bottle of vin. I’ve been doing this regularly when weather permits since college, and it is one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday with friends or a date. If you’re lucky, in the summer there will be live music playing at the Hatch Shell. If not, enjoy the sunsets and eavesdropping on intellectual conversations happening all around you, thanks to the students from MIT, Harvard, BU, Northeastern, and more. How rive gauche!

I can’t think of Paris, in particular, without remembering just how many museums there are in the city! While there are a couple good options in Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has the most interesting history, and interiors that transport you to another place. Be sure to read a bit more about the history, and the unsolved art heist. Seeing the empty frames will make a little more sense with some context on the museum’s storied past.

Outside of flying, the only other way that I have traveled through France is by train. While our public transit system leaves something to be desired here in Boston, I can’t help but get romantic and a bit nostalgic every time I hop on a train, secretly hoping it will bring me back to Paris. The exterior of South Station reminds me of the picturesque architecture, and is it just me or do the entryways to the subway remind you of the Louvre?

It’s hard to talk about France in Boston without mentioning one of my favorite spots in the South End: Frenchie! Come here for the classics, and return for the friendly French service. Some of my favorite dishes include its brussels sprouts, drumstick coq au vin, and the duck magret. If you have room for a cheese course before dessert, take advantage of the knowledgeable staff, and entertain a wine pairing, or two. 

Last, but certainly not least, is a stop at Brattle Book Shop. One of my favorite activities, in Paris in particular, was perusing old book shops, and this outdoor bookshop in Boston feels très French to me, and you can even find a few French authors. Feeling really ambitious? This bookshop carries some French titles, allowing you to brush up on your (read: my) rusty French.

After you’ve had your French-inspired day in Boston, be sure to head to the grocery store, snag Oui by Yoplait, and enter its sweepstakes. With the “Say Oui to the French Way” sweepstakes you’ll have a chance to win a trip to the port city of Marseille, located in the Provence region, or some French-inspired cookware and other prizes. To enter:

  • Look for specially marked single serve pots or 4-packs of Oui by Yoplait with the gold lid, or visit www.SayOuiSweepstakes.com for an alternative method of entry.
  • Visit www.SayOuiSweepstakes.com to complete and submit the registration form, then follow the instructions to enter the code found under the label for a chance to win.
  • To find Oui by Yoplait in your area, a product locator is available at OuibyYoplait.com

Where are the places in Boston that remind you most of France?

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