Best of Boston

2009 Best Back Bay Restaurant, Neighborhood

Parish Cafe

This perpetually crowded spot sits comfortably at the top of the Boylston bar heap, an elevation earned by its killer sandwich list—a sort of gastronomic group project showcasing recipes from Ming Tsai, Susan Regis, and similarly revered local chefs—and a prime location mere steps from the Public Garden. Winning a seat on the patio makes neophytes feel lucky; the good-natured bustle and sophisticated grub make Back Bay regulars feel right at home.

361 Boylston St., Boston, 617-247-4777,