Living the Influencer Life with @bostonfoodlist

Meet Marwa Osman, the brains behind @bostonfoodlist. She initially started her Instagram with a focus on the area’s best Bloody Marys, now she’s covering her foodie adventures all around town, treating her followers to curated lists of what to do, see, and eat in Boston. Read on to hear about her go-to spots, see who she loves to follow on the ‘gram, and glean some tips for creating (and maintaining!) a must-follow feed.

Tell us a little about yourself. How’d you end up in Boston, and what inspired you to create your Instagram account?

I grew up in Burlington and went to college at UMass Dartmouth. During my senior year, I was an intern at a PR and Marketing firm in Boston and got to work with many restaurants. This is where I started learning about the restaurant scene. Sometime after I left that job, I started a page called @bostonbloodies where I was on a quest to find the best Bloody Mary in Boston. It was a small account that I wasn’t taking too seriously. Friends and family always asked for recommendations on dining and events around Boston. I realized I could do much more with my account than just Bloody Marys. I had that account for seven years before switching it over to Boston Food List. 

What makes the Boston restaurant scene special?

People really get behind and support restaurants that they love. Bostonians are loyal, which is why classic restaurants live on. At the same time, Bostonians are looking for new places to put on their list of favorites. 

Name the top five dishes on your Boston food bucket list

  1. 100-layer lasagna from Bar Enza
  2. Popcorn Chicken from Hunter’s
  3. Kunafa from Moona
  4. JM Crunchwrap from jm Curley 
  5. Brasato at Carmelina’s 

What do your friends and family think of your life as an influencer?

It’s been interesting jumping into this in my thirties when most people start out much younger. I often have to explain what I do, but everyone is so supportive. Plus, it comes with perks! They love coming with me to try out new restaurants and food. I love that I get to experience these restaurants and spots with the people I love.

What’s your food photography/videography philosophy, and can you share your top tips for taking awesome food photos or videos? Do you use any fun tools or equipment for snapping the best ‘gram worthy content? 

First step: Clean your phone lens. This is the biggest thing. Next, I would either get a nice light from Amazon or make sure your friends know you’ll be using their flashlights at dinner. Check the background and make sure the scene is set. Take a ton of content, and move slowly if you’re taking videos. Don’t be afraid to get up and move around. 

What advice would you give someone just starting out as an influencer?

Be yourself and let that show. Don’t be afraid of trial and error. I would recommend creating a TikTok account and experimenting there. Figure out what type of content will resonate with your audience and what content feels easy and fun to make. Then replicate it! 

Which Boston restaurants and chefs are nailing it on social?

Little Donkey does a Spill the Sauce series with Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer, and it’s so great! Blossom Bar’s cocktails are picture-perfect. Sullivan’s Castle Island really shows the heart and stories of their guests and the people who work there.

Beyond chefs, what are your top three favorite food Instagram accounts to follow?

  • @atasteofkoko makes me want to take a trip to texas.
  • @bunsandbites does a fantastic job covering Rhode Island restaurants. She is the real deal.
  • @briancantstopeating is the reason why I have a super long list of NYC restaurants I need to try.

Favorite spot that everyone should try once: Sarma

Favorite place to splurge: Zuma

Favorite brunch spot: Committee

Favorite pizza joint: Santarpio’s or Town Spa for South Shore Style

Favorite neighborhood for food: South End

Favorite spot to take visitors from out of town: Crossing Nines at Granite Links – such a cool view of Boston.

Favorite foodie book or movie: Ratatouille

Meet The Tastemakers is a monthly column that shares the stories of those contributing to the conversation on Boston’s food scene.

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