While the food truck craze is now nothing new, the Boston Greenway (technically the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway), a public greenspace in the heart of the city. The Greenway in downtown Boston offers locals and visitors enjoying nearby attractions (such as the Aquarium, and Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market) a choice of over a dozen food trucks in numerous locations along a 1.5-mile long series of linked parks, walking paths, lawns, outdoor performance venues, and “dining areas” that sit over what was once lovingly referred to as the “Big Dig”.
If you are a lover of good and inventive food, the Greenway offers you the chance to indulge your taste buds without stretching your itinerary to the breaking point.
I walked most of its length in under an hour, between visits to the Old North Church and Boston Common, and later passed through for a sweet treat on my way to the Aquarium. The food trucks are judiciously spread out along the length of the Greenway, and are usually parked near intersections and convenient seating. To keep the offerings fresh, truck locations and the mix of foods offered at each stop rotate on a regular basis.
The Greenway food trucks don’t just serve travelers looking for a bite on the way to other things, they also do a brisk trade serving the employees of downtown businesses, making it easy to ask for local advice while waiting in line. And, as many of the trucks serve as outlets for local “brick and mortar” restaurants [such as Pennypackers (Italian soups, salads, and sandwiches), Bon Me (Vietnamese with a smattering of other Asian options), or Roxy’s Grilled Cheese (and Burgers)], this can be a great way to taste the goods before trekking across town for a sit down meal.
So if you are excited by the idea of a Calabrian salad of potatoes, eggplant, and roasted peppers turned into a sandwich (the “Enzo” at Clover Food Labs), or any of the other local specialties you find listed on Yelp or Trip Advisor, etc., the food trucks along Boston’s Greenway may let you try them out while on your way to/from a meeting or on a visit to the storied North End.
That said, some dining experiences [Northeast of the Border (Authentic Mexican), Cookie Monstah (Milk & Cookies)] are only available in truck form, so if you are dying for carne asada finished off with milk and cookies, it pays to check the “daily schedule” listing of food truck availability along the Boston Greenway.
But visiting the Greenway isn’t all about food. The non-profit Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, charged with managing, maintaining, and developing this ongoing project has done an excellent job of sculpting an integrated experience in the heart of the city. Amongst benches, tables and chairs (in a few key spots), and urban gardening displays, there are conspicuous acts of public art and reminders of local history.
And on a sunny day, the food trucks and open spaces along Boston’s Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway are the ideal spot to defrost one’s soul, whether you’re grabbing a quick bite, or have secretly put your phone on airplane mode.
The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is named after the mother of President John F. Kennedy and senators Robert and Edward (“Teddy”) Kennedy. Appropriate to the Greenway named in her honor, Mrs. Kennedy was born in the North End of Boston. She spent much of her life as a philanthropist working tirelessly in support of many worthy causes.
You can follow this link to read about my food tour through Boston’s historic North End.
text and photos by Glenn D. Kaufmann
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway
(runs through Boston’s Chinatown, Financial District, North End, and Harbor neighborhoods)
Food Truck Website
The author/editor is indebted to others for the content in this article. While the final product on this page is ours, and we claim full ownership and responsibility for same, what you read here is based on our research, which led us to the following sources of information:
1. Personal Interviews and experiences
2. Charlie McCabe and the staff at The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
3. Clover Food Lab
5. Bon Me
6. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum