Wayside Inn -
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Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Mass., Offers a Memorable
Traditional New England Dining Experience
Wayside Inn, Sudbury, Mass.
by Eric Hurwitz. Page updated on 3/01/22
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The Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Mass.,
is the ultimate historic New England restaurant.
The Wayside Inn -- not too far from Boston -- is old, charming,
imperfect and historic, filled with
rustic rooms, cozy firelight, and New England personalities in
period-clothing, circa 1716, intent on serving the best Yankee pot
roast and other New England fare known to humankind.
Successfully able to please the grandmother, placate the stressed out
urban professional and make the family feel at home, the Wayside Inn
creates a special memory for everyone looking for a traditional piece
of the New England pie. It's sort of like Currier and Ives, Norman
Rockwell and Thomas Kincaide all rolled into one.
Originally known as Howe's Tavern from 1716 to 1861, this beloved
landmark attracted international attention as the setting for a group
of fictitious characters gathering at the tavern in Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow's renowned 1862 book of poems, "Tales of a Wayside Inn."
Howe's Tavern soon changed its name to Longfellow's Wayside Inn and the
rest is history -- legendary dining and lodging, a place on the
National Register of Historic Places, tours of the inn as well as the
on-site Wayside Gristmill and Redstone School, built by automobile icon
Henry Ford (who bought the inn in 1923).
Sudbury Grist Mill.
The Sudbury Grist Mill stands as a replica of a 1740s grist mill built in 1929 by Henry Ford. The water powered stone mill still produces corn meal and wheat flower. The Redstone Schoolhouse -- also known as Mary's Little Lamb Schoolhouse -- is reportedly where Mary and her lamb in the poem attended school. It, was used by Sudbury to teach the employees of Henry Ford's own school for boys near that location.
Sudbury Grist Mill).
From the moment one enters through the old, red colonial wooden
structure, there's a feeling of place at this one-of-a-kind restaurant.
The floors and walls may have occasional imperfections that would ruin
the bold, paisley world of an HGTV interior designer, but, ultimately,
the upstairs and downstairs wooden-beamed, carpeted and wood-floor
dining rooms offer true New England perfection. Some rooms are large,
creating a communal type of feeling, while others are tiny, creaky and
set to the glow of romantic candlelight. Function rooms also provide a
wonderful setting for a family, wedding party or corporate event.
There's also the rustic "Old Bar Room," which reads like a colonial
version of "Cheers," full of New England personality and personalities.
The aforementioned Yankee Pot Roast and other New England lunch and
dinner offerings like New England clam chowder, Boston schrod, lobster
pie, slow-roasted prime rib, homemade bread and deep-dish apple pie
result in the apex of New England-flavored dining. Each dish offers the
kind of mouthwatering regional dishes expected when dreaming of a New
England meal. The Wayside Inn also offers an impressive wine list, sure
to please the connoisseur as well as the person who pronounces the "t"
Longfellow's Wayside Inn could charge a small fortune to take advantage
of diners looking for the epitome of New England dining, but its honest
Yankee roots will have nothing of the kind. The Wayside Inn is actually
a bargain when compared to other traditional New England restaurants.
The "American Heritage" menu offers reasonably-priced complete dinners,
Monday through Friday, including appetizer, entree and dessert. Of
course, in the best New England traditional, the package also includes
cheese and crackers, choice of potato and vegetable (very fresh), and
the "Gristmill Bakery" basket, which has incredible varieties of
After dining, a view of the old buildings, the wide open fields and the
feeling of being in another century will confirm this New England
landmark's regional greatness. Longfellow's Wayside Inn's greatest New
England hits will play in your mind long after your visit, as it is the
definitive place to experience an authentic New England way of life.
72 Wayside Inn Rd.
Tel: (978) 443-1776
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