Patriot’s Day, or Marathon Monday as most people call it, is easily one of the most energized days in greater Boston. The air is buzzing with the excitement of more than 30,000 runners hungry to reach the finish line in Copley Square. But they’re not the only ones who will be hungry along the way. Spectators need fuel too! Whether you’re following your favorite runner friend along the course or choosing a spot to cheer for the day, keep this list handy and you’ll be prepared wherever hunger strikes.


Hopkinton will be mayhem on Monday, so if you plan on following the progress of your favorite runner along the course, consider starting your day in Natick where the runners will hit the 10-mile mark and the field will spread out a little bit.

Casey's Diner exterior.
Casey's Diner is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the oldest operating diners in Massachusetts.
Courtesy of Casey's Diner

Natick, MA - Casey’s Diner

For a treat even more historic than the marathon itself, check out Casey’s Diner. This is the 120th running of the Boston Marathon and the Casey family has been serving their classic burgers and dogs for even longer. But for the first time this year you can get breakfast there too.

The Good Morning Burger ($5.50) topped with bacon, egg and cheese on an English muffin or bagel, is the perfect way to sample one of Casey’s classics for breakfast, and Pat’s French Toast (pictured below, $4.50) made with 3 hearty slices of potato bread is sure to fill you up for a morning of cheering on the runners.

Pat's French Toast at Casey's Diner.
Pat's French Toast, a hearty serving of griddled potato bread, is one of the many new breakfast offerings at Casey's Diner.
Courtesy of Casey's Diner

Just one block off the course, this petite cash-only diner has a walk-up window for to-go orders, but if you can wrangle a stool at the counter inside, be sure to check out the photo of Pat’s great grandfather with “the original food truck” – a horse-drawn wagon circa 1890. Pat Casey, the fourth generation Casey to run the diner, is gearing up for his 32nd consecutive Marathon Monday behind the counter, and this year he just might break his grandfather’s 1986 record of 1400 hot dogs served in about three and a half hours.

Casey’s Diner – 36 South Ave., Natick, 508-655-3761,

Special cookies in honor of Marathon Monday, at Bakery on the Common.
In addition to their regular selection of goodies, Bakery on the Common is baking up special cookies in honor of Marathon Monday.
Danielle DeSiato

Natick, MA - Bakery on the Common

If you’re looking for some baked goods to start your day, or a box of treats for the road, stop into Bakery on the Common. Just steps from the race course, this is also a great spot to sit and have breakfast before you claim your spectating spot out on Central Street, or take a break for lunch. But I strongly recommend you stock up on cupcakes, cannoli, and their special marathon-themed runner cookies before you continue on down the course.

Bakery on the Common - 9 South Main St., Natick, 508-655-9992,

If you need to recover from an experience at the Wellesley Scream Tunnel, or just have time to kill in the middle of the day and want to treat yourself to a gourmet lunch along the route, consider stopping in Wellesley or Newton.

The Local Burger at The Local in Wellesley or Newton.
Whether you dine in Wellesley or Newton, The Local Burger is a good choice for a hearty meal between stops on the marathon course.
Courtesy of The Local

Wellesley, MA and Newton, MA - The Local

The Local has locations in both towns. In Wellesley, it's right on the marathon route, so try to grab a table early. If you need a break from the chaos before getting back to cheering, try their Newton location, which is less than a mile off the course. The Warm Potato Chips with French onion dip ($5) and The Local Burger ($13) will give you plenty to chew on while you wait for the runners to head east.

The Local Wellesley - 11 Forest St., Wellesley, 781-694-1210 / 1391 Washington St., West Newton, 617-340-2160,


After your suburban adventure (or instead of it) make your way to the south side of Beacon Street, where runners are powering through their last 4.2 miles. The celebratory feeling along this stretch of the course is intense, with jam-packed sidewalks stretching from Cleveland Circle to Coolidge Corner.

Washington Square Tavern's street grill.
Washington Square Tavern's street grill adds to the celebratory feel at this popular stop on the marathon course.
Courtesy of Washington Square Tavern

Brookline, MA - Washington Square Tavern

Smack in the middle of the action is the veritable street party in Washington Square, led by the special grill set-up outside the Washington Square Tavern. The smell of grilling sausages fills the air across the entire square, with burgers, dogs, and sausages ($4 to $7) continuously served up from 11am to 4:30pm. Inside the restaurant, the bar is open and the beer is flowing. They also have special race-day bloody Mary and mimosa bars starting at 11 o’clock.

A Bloody Mary at Washington Square Tavern.
You can relax and enjoy a bloody Mary or mimosa while you wait for the runners to pass through Washington Square.
Courtesy of Washington Square Tavern

The restaurant kitchen is closed during the day, but returns with a limited menu in the evening, and the Tavern also happens to be one of the best post-marathon places to celebrate. Owner, Gerry Finnegan, says that this is the best time of the year in Boston, and encourages people to "be nice to the police officers. There’s a lot of them working that day and they’re under a lot of stress."

Washington Square Tavern - Washington St., Brookline, 617-232-8989,

Brookline, MA - Emack & Bolio’s

If you’ve had your fill of burgers and beer, and you’re looking for something sweet, head up the hill to Emack & Bolio’s for a scoop of their Beantown Buzz ice cream, since buzzing is exactly what Beantown will be doing on Marathon Monday.

Emack & Bolio’s - 1663 Beacon St, Brookline, 617-731-6256,

*A note about Beacon St. and the T: Pedestrian crossings will be available at the intersections of Beacon Street and Tappan Street (near Washington Square) and Beacon Street and Webster Street (near Coolidge Corner). The stops at Kent Street and St. Mary's Street will be closed from approximately 10am to 6pm, and the Copley Station will be closed all day.


After you’ve had your fill in Washington Square, make your way down to Back Bay to cheer your runner toward the finish line, then take them out to celebrate their accomplishment and replenish all those burned calories.

A bacon-topped grilled cheese sandwich at the Parish Cafe.
What could be better than a bacon-topped grilled cheese sandwich and a cold beer to cap off one of the greatest days in Boston?
Courtesy of Parish Cafe

Boston, MA - Parish Café

This will undoubtedly be a very popular place on Marathon Monday given its location just past Copley Square. But if you can get in, their beer selection and sandwiches are well worth it! And nothing tastes better than cold beer and a giant sandwich after a long run, or a long day watching runners. For those who want to get a little further away from the crowds, they have a second location on Mass Ave. in the South End.

Go for the Big Cheese ($12.95), created by Parish owner Peter Culpo himself, loaded with Fontina cheese, applewood smoked bacon and sliced tomato on grilled French Pullman bread, with a side of classic Cape Cod potato chips. And to really treat yourself, get the crispy, salty Bowl-O-Rings ($10.25) to share (maybe).

Parish Café – 361 Boylston St., Boston, 617-247-4777 / 493 Massachusetts Ave, 617-391-0501,

Giacomo's butternut squash ravioli.
You'll have no problem finishing off every last bite of the savory-sweet-salty-creamy goodness that is Giacomo's butternut squash ravioli.
Jeffrey Chang

Boston, MA - Giacomo’s South End

If beer isn’t your thing, but pasta is, head over to Giacomo’s on Columbus Ave. This South End outpost of the famous North End restaurant is just as authentic, but a lot closer to the finish line. Their butternut squash ravioli with diced asparagus, prosciutto, and mascarpone cream ($16) is heaven on a plate, and their House Seafood Specialties ($15 to $20) pack all the protein and carbs a racer could possibly want, doused in your choice of sauce. Unlike the North End, this location does take reservations, but just like its sister location it is also cash only.

Giacomo's - 431 Columbus Ave., Boston, 617-536-5723,

From a diner tradition older than the marathon itself, to post-race beers in Copley Square, follow this path for Marathon Monday dining adventures: