Words can't even describe how much of a crazy year 2020 has been.  However, I do think it made me reflect on little things I took for granted prior to the pandemic, many (or most) of them from my second home, Boston, and the amazing things it has to offer.  Many of them, of course, being food-related. Although winters can be brutal and summers can be burning, little did I know how much I would miss the swift walks to Pavement or spontaneous midnight Bartaco runs in the beautiful Seaport District.

1) Cute Cafes 

Like most big cities, Boston has an endless variety of cute cafes.  I always found cafes really interesting because you would see people studying, chatting, eating a delicious-looking pastry or fancy latte, while each cafe had such a distinct vibe to it.  I also loved exploring the variety of items on their menu like their seasonal items for fall and winter.

2) Options at Northeastern University

I do think the restaurant options surrounding the perimeter of the Northeastern campus makes it easy for students to stop by after or before class for a quick bite, while allowing us to choose from a bunch of options (also credits to places like Amelia's and Dumpling Palace for accommodating those late night study sessions after midnight, for real though).

3) Dunkin'

I miss seeing empty or half-filled Dunkin coffee cups in my class, as well as the cartons of hot coffee (AND hot chocolate) and munchkins that professors would bring in for the last day of class.  Seeing a Dunkin Donuts at an airport always reminds me of the long lines you'd see at Shillman, Hayden or even at Ruggles before 8am in the morning.  Also their hot chocolate will warm up your brutal Boston winters for sure- my favorite is their mint flavor!

4) Walking/Biking 

Boston is such a pretty college town, with areas like the North End, Seaport, Harvard Square, Acorn Street and little hidden gems scattered around the city.  The good thing is, it is small enough to walk or bike everywhere, from Harvard Square to Northeastern, from Seaport to the North End, from Allston to the Prudential, among other endless routes.  One of my favorite routs was from my first co-op commute from Seaport to Northeastern and back!

5) Foodie Friends

Of course, Spoon University has given me the wonderful opportunity to meet so many lovely foodies at my school, who have become some of my closest friends.  The food scene in Boston is so vast, venturing out to a new cafe or restaurant on the weekends is always a fun way to pass the day and get to know new people over a delicious dish. 

Jenny Tungsubutra

6) Healthy Options

How many times have you seen a Sweetgreen salad on someone's Instagram story?  Well those posts definitely made me miss the occasional Sweetgreen days, but also those Dig Inn, Life Alive, Sprout, Pressed Juicery ones, among other the healthy options to choose from in Boston. 

7) Accessibility To Other Cities 

One of my favorite long weekend activities to do is take a trip to NYC.  With New England states and other cute towns in Massachusetts being so tight knit to each other, it makes it easier to take quick trips (for food, but other things too).  There are definitely some hidden gems scattered on the surrounding towns of Boston! 

8) Vibes at Different T Stops

I loved sitting by Harvard Square, Davis Square, or by the Boston Public Garden or just exploring the scene in a different part of the Greater Boston Area in general. Although there are many delicious chains such as Pressed Juicery, Jaho, FoMu, Flour Bakery among others, it is nice to have a change of scenery every now and then.  Boston may seem like a small town, but there really a lot to explore among it.

9) The North End & Fanueil Hall in Winter

Jenny Tungsubutra

I know it can be brutal during that time of year when the temperatures begin to drop and it becomes super chilly and windy, but at the same time, it is a magical time.  The lights are up, and the North End feels like a scene in Beauty and the Beast.  I miss warm Italian food in the North End, or at other delicious restaurants like Koy Boston (one of my favorite Asian fusion restaurants).  I also miss walking to the giant Christmas tree by Fanueil Hall with my friends, and seeing the decorations make the place filled with so much warmth and life.  I have yet to celebrate a Christmas/New Years by that area, but that sure is on my bucket list!

10) Endless Bucket List 

In addition to the classic Bostonian chains, I have been using this time to expand my detailed and extensive Boston food bucket list on my very detailed Excel spreadsheet.  The multicultural and international atmosphere in Boston provides such a wide variety of food from classic American brunch places to every cuisine you can literally imagine, from Latinx to Asian to Middle Eastern to the classic New England cuisine, from cute coffee shops to colorful food trucks, the list is endless.  

11) 21+ Scene 

Being a summer-born baby (Go Cancers!) at the end of June and turning the magical and legal age of 21 during the pandemic made me a bit sad, but at the same time super excited, knowing that a little something would be different by the time I returned to Boston-  experiencing the 21+ scene.  With so many cool bars around the town, I can't wait to do (post-covid, of course) outings with my closest friends!

My genuine appreciation of food has definitely helped get through this quarantine period, and I simply cannot wait to be enjoying more good food and all the other good things I miss about it within a few months time in Boston.

12) Just Doing College Things

In general, I have dearly missed my life as a college student at Northeastern and the small but serious satisfactions of grabbing Amelia's or Insomnia Cookies after midnight, ordering sushi on the weekends, finally receiving my hot Dunkin' drink after being in the cold for so long, being full but not for dessert and above all, sharing my enthusiasm for food with other fellow foodies. 


On another note, I have been using this 1 year away to initiate some projects related to #supportinglocalbusinesses in Massachusetts.  To name a few, reaching out to local New England Chefs regarding the Massachusetts Seafood Series, then sharing their content on Instagram Pages such as Boston Local Food, which I also post content for as I continue to earn more about the Local Food Scene in Massachusetts from a plethora of Farmer's Markets, Farms, Restaurants and Food Businesses.  Stay tuned to see what fun projects I have planned for Spoon Northeastern in 2021 here!

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