What To Buy In Boston, Massachusetts

what to buy in boston

One of the oldest cities in the U.S, Boston, is the capital of Massachusetts and it played an important role in the American Revolution. Except for a key role in the revolution, Boston has been an important port as well, while it happens to have the first state school, along with the first public park and the subway. Many travelers are attracted by its rich history, its unique culture, the upscale shopping, and a number of interesting attractions, including some iconic swan boats. Thanks to all these, this city has plenty of souvenirs for visitors to take back home, but we have chosen the 10 best things to buy in Boston, thus saving you time and effort. Scroll down to find out more.

1. Red Sox ballcap

Boston Red Sox
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Arturo Pardavila III used under CC BY 2.0

As you may already imagine, Red Sox is a professional baseball team based in Boston. It has won several World Series championships, and naturally, Bostonians feel very proud of their local team. It goes without saying that almost everyone in Boston has a Red Sox ball cap (men and women too), while the caps come in multiple varieties, such as different colors. There are numerous places to buy these caps from, among them many sporting goods stores.

2. Bonnie’s Jams Nuts and Honey

Bonnie’s Jams Nuts in Honey
Source: Photo by Flickr user Didriks used under CC BY 2.0

Bonnie’s jams are very popular in Boston and there is a reason for that. These lovingly hand-made jams exist to remind people how fruits actually taste, and to achieve this, the producer uses fruits from the country’s rich agricultural areas, that are as pure as possible. The idea of nuts and honey jam came after a trip of the producer to Tuscan, where they seem to appreciate this divine combination. This specific jam is paired quite well with pecorino cheese or even a creamy Cashel blue; in general with a cheese platter. It won’t cost you a fortune, neither much space in your luggage, so make it a must item to bring home.

3. Walnut-wood koozie

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

In Boston, there are a lot of noteworthy wood shops, but this walnut wood koozie is truly their specialty. This popular beverage insulator is meant not only to protect your hands from freezing but mostly for keeping the beverage (or mostly a beer) at a desirable temperature. Bostonians also produce these insulators, but they make them out of walnut and they look really cool, and as you can imagine, they do make ones with their favorite baseball team, Red Sox. This one-of-a-kind gift is pretty practical except for good-looking.

4. Brownstone tea towel

Tea towels
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ina Sodersten used under CC BY 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

This quite beautiful tea towel is made of a light fabric, 100% cotton, and it has been used for generations. The fabric dries quickly, while it is advised to wash with phosphate-free detergent. The original towel features brownstone buildings, which is actually a Triassic-Jurassic sandstone, once a popular building material. Claudia Pearson is the artist behind it, while she makes also different designs, all equally pretty. This towel is a fabulous house-warming gift and compliments very well your kitchen, plus it’s super light to carry.

5. Hasbro Inc. toys

Learning Computer Robot Playskool Hasbro 1990
Source: Photo by Flickr user Mike Mozart used under CC BY 2.0

The largest toy maker in the world, Hasbro, is an American toy and board game company, which seems to be a favorite in Boston. Some of its iconic brands include Little Pony, Nerf, Monopoly, and Play-doh, and the company is committed to providing high play experience targeting a large audience. Take a Hasbro toy for your little loved ones, and rest assured they will highly appreciate it.

6. Drum cymbals

WTB Cymbals
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Cryptic C62 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Except for its obvious utility value, drum cymbals in Boston can be purchased also as a fine decoration gift. In this city, there is an abundance of music shops, and more particularly drum shops. From a historical point of view, it seems that Boston was the drum building capital of the world at the beginning of the 20th century, with numerous musical instrument manufacturers. We guess that you would love to buy cymbals from the city that gave birth to historic drum makers, wouldn’t you?

7. Toll House cookies

Toll House Cookies
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user slgckgc used under CC BY 2.0

For this sweet American delicacy, the credits undoubtedly go to the state of Massachusetts, where they were actually invented. These chocolate chip cookies are nowadays the most popular cookie in America, while it dates back to the 1930s. Back then, the dietician and food lecturer, Ruth Wakefield, had this brilliant idea to add bits of a Nestle semi-sweet chocolate into a butter drop cookie batter and, what else, bake it. The result was simply delicious. Over time, its popularity grew, and still, in our days, these cookies are a must-try and certainly a must-buy gift.

8. Boston vintage tokens

Boston MTA Token
Source: Photo by Flickr user slgckgc used under CC BY 2.0

Boston seems to have a long history in the public transportation system since it was the city that actually established the first subway in North America, back in 1897. Of course, at that time other tokens were used as a fare to ride, but the tokens used from 1987-2006 are quite popular and feature the letter ’T’ or a train picture from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. These tokens can be sold as they are, or you can find them in earrings, necklaces, or even cuff links, so it’s a nice gift for your loved ones.

9. Boston baked beans

Boston Baked Beans
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dave Parker used under CC BY 2.0

Not to be confused with the homonym legumes, these Boston baked beans are actually sugar-coated peanuts created by the Ferrara Pan Candy Company back in the 1930s. They are dyed red to resemble baked beans, while they are made using a cold panned candy process. The peanuts are tossed into pans and then they add color, flavor, and other candy ingredients. As a result of this process they end up being crunchy and sweet, and you can find them also in vending machines and bars.

10. Brick of tea commemorating the Boston Tea Party

Boston Tea Party Ship
Source: Photo by Flickr user Robert Linsdell used under CC BY 2.0

For those who are not aware of it, a piece of information: Boston Tea Party was a mercantile and political protest that occurred in Boston in 1773 against the British Parliament that decided not to impose taxes on the tea coming from China. As a result, the protesters destroyed a full shipment of tea. The so-called tea bricks (or compressed tea) are blocks of tea packed and pressed into a block form and are usually a safer way to ship them abroad. Nowadays, they do make for souvenirs, so Boston offers them as a way to commemorate that protest.

Historical and cultural souvenirs

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Riptor3000 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Almost all the above things to buy in Boston do have a historical connotation or they simply represent the Bostonian culture, so you can’t just ignore them. They are beautiful (or yummy!) pieces so look out for them when you visit Boston!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Curious to see the world and eager to learn, I grew up trying to find ways to escape my comfort zone. Starting from my home country, Greece, I went on to explore many European countries. Then, I...Read more

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