Traversing Boston’s food scene can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. Thankfully, I got the opportunity to chat with Boston College alum Maddie Gatto of TwoTasteBuddiez, A TikTok account that makes navigating the food scene much more approachable and fun. The viral restaurant review page was created by Maddie and her high school friend Rachel Eng. Maddie, having grown up outside of New York, relied on popular restaurant review pages when looking for restaurants to go out to, but found these profiles to be exclusive to New York.
“When I got to Boston, there weren’t any accounts similar to the ones in NYC that were targeted toward college students,” Maddie remarked. With the aim of breaking the 'BC bubble' and exploring downtown Boston, Maddie, along with Eng, decided to start the review page that Boston lacked.
The account provides an integral guide for young Bostonians looking for delicious but cost-friendly restaurant options and has garnered a huge following on TikTok and Instagram with an audience of nearly 1 million people.
Diligently scouting out Boston's best eats, they developed their page into a fully formed guide of the city's food for people all over the area. With TikTok series specific to nearly every neighborhood in Boston, TwoTasteBuddiez’s demographic even extends to young professionals all over Boston, not just the college-heavy areas of the city.
Along with providing budget-friendly recommendations, the page also works to advertise smaller businesses and introduce different cuisines to the people of Boston. “I think a large part of our platform is also being able to educate and share diverse food with our followers, and maybe expose a lot of them to types of cuisine they’ve never tried before or didn’t know Boston offered.” Gatto described.
She also reflected on how the account has opened new doors for herself and Eng in their own food discovery journey.“Overall I think we both acknowledge that this is a continuous learning experience for us both, and we also always welcome any restaurant recommendations from our followers so we can continue to discover and share diverse spots across Boston!”
The majority of the reviewed restaurants are ones that the girls have reached out to or restaurants that have invited them. This close collaboration has allowed Gatto and Eng to create a solid network of restaurants in and around the Boston area.
“I love the relationships we have built with the members of the Boston community. I am in awe of the difference we have been able to make for so many restaurant owners’ businesses.” Maddie recalled. With Eng’s grandparents being restaurant owners themselves, TwoTasteBuddiez has remained committed to advocating for restaurants that were hit particularly hard by Covid.
Gatto described how Covid and this personal connection have “really motivated us to make sure we’re working with minority/queer-owned businesses and highlighting what really makes their food and restaurants special.”
TwoTasteBuddiez has evolved into more than two girls reviewing restaurants. The personal relationship the girls have formed with various restaurants in the area as well as their dedication to their followers and their recommendations has made the page a safe space for all Boston foodies. Their snappy editing and pop-culture references keep audiences engaged, entertained, and informed.
The best part about the page, however, is that at its very core, it is still about the connection forged between two girls with a shared love of trying and experiencing new foods. From their occasional vlogs to their infamous gooey syrup pours, the account is the perfect balance of food reviewers and best friends.
“I love all of the time I get to spend with my best friend Rachel, who I run the account with, and the cool experiences we share,” Maddie concluded. “But I will say, getting to meet and interview Gordon Ramsay about the opening of his restaurant in Boston was definitely a peak life moment.” There's no doubt that Maddie and Rachel have many more peaks to hit as they discover more and more about the Boston food scene.