Is it weird to talk about this? Or is it weird not to? Needless to say, we’ve all found the need to pee outside our homes at some point. Which is to say, we’ve all said our prayers to the Public Porcelain Gods and taken the plunge. But not all restrooms are made alike -- not even close. So we’ve rounded up all of our favorite WC's in Boston and broken them down by neighborhood. Behold, the most wicked pissah pissers.
Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar (address and info)
Whatever genius decided to put a Notorious B.I.G. quote in these bathrooms ("To all the ladies in the place with style and grace"), we applaud you. Although something from "Ten Crack Commandments" might have worked better.
Henrietta’s Table (address and info)
Because the restaurant is inside Harvard Square’s landmark Charles Hotel, the bathroom has upped its game with spa-like amenities. Two words: cloth towels. You’ll always have us at cloth towels.
Runner-up: Harvard Coop, if only for the nostalgia of using the most sought-after public bathroom in Harvard Square.
The Salty Pig (address and info)
Bathroom reading is crucial, and Salty Pig has all others beat. Far Side comics wallpaper the entire space, so you’ll be tempted to extend your stay luxuriating among the pigs, dogs, and cows who argue with the scientists and cowboys. Beware of Doug, and don’t read so long your feet fall asleep.
Runner-up: The Gallows
Bleacher Bar (address and info): Men's
This place has a couple things going for it: 1) it's literally inside the bowels of Fenway Park just beyond the outfield, and 2) the view from the men’s room is incredible (but unnerving). Forget reading the sports page; you can actually look out over center field while you do your thing. It gives new meaning to the term "dribbler up the middle."
Runner-up: Hotel Commonwealth
The Taj (address and info)
This is a tough one. The area is replete with gems (I mean, the Saks' bathroom has a freakin’ lounge chair). But the Taj bathroom, inside the city’s original Ritz-Carlton, is just old-timey glorious. This isn’t a bathroom; it’s a bona-fide powder room, harkening back to a day when going to the restroom was a more genteel affair.
Runner-up: Four Seasons & L’Espalier (tie)
KO at the Shipyard (address and info)
It’s about the journey, not the destination. Specifically, the graffitied wall directions that point you upstairs, along with many variations on the word "bathroom": potty, baños, toilet, and loo, to name but four. And once you get there, the destination has more terrific reading material (translation: anti-alcoholism ads in Russian). Did we mention the view of the Boston Harbor? It may rival the scatalogical Soviet propaganda.
Ocean Prime (address and info): Women's
We can’t speak to the opulence of the men’s bathroom, but OP’s ladies WC is the lavatory of our dreams: complimentary perfumes, hair elastics, and, yes, feminine products, along with soy candles and an overall sanguine air. This is nicer than your entire first apartment after college. And unremarkably, it also smells better.
Puritan & Company (address and info)
A danger of the single stall is having to wait while people wash hands, groom themselves, and take endless selfies in the mirror. Puritan has a fine solution: a nearby communal hallway sink, which features water-filtering rocks that also look pretty glorious.
Runner-up: Dare we say the line at Starbucks, where diehard Squarers protested the area’s Starbucksification? No? OK, Loyal Nine then.
Yvonne’s (address and info)
If you need design inspiration for your next lavatory overhaul, this is a good place to start. Black subway tiles laid out on a criss cross-style, gothic wallpaper, and plush paper towels displayed in a silver tray remind you that a one-holer needn’t be such a bare-boneser.
Runner-up: Boston Common (only because it’s public)
Liberty Hotel (address and info)
We’ve never been to the slammer, but we’ve watched Shawshank Redemption enough times to know prison bathrooms are dire affairs. But not so when jail has evolved into a fabulous hotel and restaurant. Liberty’s crapper is modern and gigantic, plus it’s tricked out head-to-pedi in the same Molton Brown as its rooms. You’ll want to spend 30 to life here.
Runner-up: Bin 26
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1. Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar412 West Broadway, Boston
2. Henrietta's Table1 Bennett St, Cambridge
3. The Salty Pig130 Dartmouth St, Boston
4. Taj Boston15 Arlington St, Boston
5. KO at the Shipyard256 Marginal St, East Boston
6. The Regal Beagle308 Harvard St , Brookline
7. Ocean Prime140 Seaport Blvd, Boston
8. Puritan & Company1166 Cambridge St, Cambridge
9. Yvonne's Supper Club2 Winter Place, Boston
10. The Liberty Hotel215 Charles St, Boston
The Baja menu at this Southie spot emphasizes bright and summery tacos and inventive oyster dishes. Loco's fried fish taco has a tropical edge thanks to a topping of pineapple aioli, while oysters -- when not served cold over flavored ice -- are grilled over charcoal with red pepper butter and ash salsa. More than 40 tequilas and mezcals are available, either straight or in zesty cocktails like the wicked hot Little Devil.
Henrietta’s Table is your classic farmhouse kitchen nestled inside Harvard Square's Charles Hotel -- but don't let the fact that it's in a hotel deter you. Known for its hearty, New England farm-to-table fare and local ingredients, HT serves up burly breakfast plates like cream chipped beef on buttermilk biscuits and sirloin with eggs, not to mention its popular red flannel hash with poached eggs and malted waffle with homemade apple butter.
As the name implies, this South End spot is big into pork-centric cured meats. With local charcuterie, artisanal cheese selections, and stone-grilled pizza pies, the Salty Pig is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. An Old World wine list and quirkily named cocktail menu put the finishing touches on the bold flavors that abound here, and the doodle-decorated chalkboard walls make for a decidedly fun ambience.
Much like its accommodations, the Taj Hotel chain doesn't skimp on luxury when it comes to food. Its Boston location offers quality American fare that can match any of the Hub's fine-dining spots, including a decadent brunch which features charcuterie, fresh pastas, a raw bar, and a roasted ribeye carving station.
If you’re looking for some grub from the Down Under, head to KO at the Shipyard. This cozy counter service spot offers authentic Australian comfort food such as savory meat and curried vegetable pies, as well as hard to find pantry goods like Vegemite, Milo, and Tim Tams. Outdoor seating overlooking the harbor is available when the weather’s nice, but don’t fret—there’s an inviting nook of communal high-top tables indoors when winter’s in full swing.
Spawned by the Three's Company fans behind Church, RB aims to give off the same upscale "neighborhood joint" vibe the Beagle gave Jack, Chrissy, and Janet, slinging creative American comfort food and "inspired" cocktails.
Ocean Prime brings a bit of extra class to Seaport thanks to its elegant decor and top-notch surf & turf menu. It's an outpost of a national chain, but its sophisticated feel and excellent service are anything but cookie-cutter. The waitstaff show careful attention to detail, as do refined dishes like blackened snapper with corn spoon bread and jalapeño tartar, yellowfin tuna, and filet mignon. The dining room is accented with wood and modern light fixtures, and the granite bar at the center slings craft cocktails and wines by the glass.
Puritan & Co. plates modern American grub with emphasis on a classic New England style, in an attractive, well-lit location that used to be home to the historic Puritan Cake Company.
This restaurant and bar in Downtown Crossing features a grand collection of chandeliers, Victorian patterned wallpaper, plush velvet and polished leather booths that will have you weak in the knees. And that's before the food even arrives at your table, which you'll want to pack with your entire entourage because sharing's the name of the game at Yvonne's. You can split a plate of grilled octopus, beef matambre, or quinoa meatballs, but that doesn't mean you'll have to share your handcrafted cocktail (that is, unless you spring for a spiked punch bowl).
Built in 1851 (and run until 1990) as the Charles Street Jail, this massive granite- and brick-structure situated off the Charles River at the foot of Beacon Hill now boasts 298 guest rooms, an "I'm totally staying in a prison" historical vibe, and five different spots where you can dine and imbibe.