Best of Boston 2009

After months of dining, shopping, and advice-seeking our way across the Hub, it's here: your annual guide to the finest our city has to offer.

| Boston Magazine |

Illustration by Alex Camlin

Illustration by Alex Camlin

North End to South Shore, East Boston to MetroWest. We made a lot of stops in our hunt for the finest of everything the Hub has to offer, an annual quest that we took in a whole new direction this year (see below). And now, 12 months, hundreds of miles, and about a gazillion calories later, our Best of Boston journey has finally ended. Yours, however, is just getting started.


Haven’t heard the word “transparency” enough this year? Good— because that’s what this edition of the Best of Boston is all about. Our team of expert judges selected winners based on months of browsing, buying, primping, gorging, and partying (it’s research, people!); as proof, in the pages ahead you’ll find more analysis and evidence of our pavement-pounding than ever before. In another enlightenment-boosting move, we’re calling out both runners-ip and previous honorees for the first time. And this year, city limits are no boundary to the best: If a place is outside Boston serves up, say, the most blazingly tasty Szechwan in the land, it earned a place on our honor roll.

The Winners List »


Contributors: J. Kenji Alt, Alison Arnett, Matthew Reed Baker, Rachel Baker, Elizabeth Bomze, Jamie Coelho, Annie B. Copps, Geoffrey Gagnon, Donna Garlough, Sascha de Gersdorff, Alyssa Giacobbe, Jolyon Helterman, Brittany Jasnoff, J.L. Johnson, Charles Kelsey, Paul Kix, Rachel Levitt, Wyndham Lewis, Erin Byers Murray, Jeremy Savlen, Jason Schwartz, Francis Storrs, Brigid Sweeney, Amy Traverso

Frequently Asked Questions »

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to win a Best of Boston award?
Nothing! To be clear: We give awards to the best of Boston, period. No advantage is granted to anyone—not advertisers, not friends, not even strangers with candy.

What makes you qualified to judge the best?
Knowing this city inside and out is not only our job, but also our passion. We wore out shoe leather and burned through expense accounts, with some of gaining considerable weight along the way (you try eating 25 hamburgers in two weeks), all for your benefit.

So it’s not a vote?
Correct. Though we believe in transparency, this is no democracy.

How come no one has tried out my restaurant/store/salon/nightclub?
Says you—chance are, we have! Our judges make every attempt to remain anonymous during testing.

How do I nominate my hairstylist/ferret trainer/kidney pie vendor?
Visit and fill out the online nomination form. (This may not be a democracy, but we’re still open-minded.)

Why do some categories have the same winners year after year?
Because they’re still the best! Would you want us to send you to a mediocre restaurant for the sake of variety? Glad we agree.


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