With unfussy décor and a menu to match, Park Corner and its reasonably priced small plates are a welcome outlier in Oak Bluffs. Pair the Brie-and-apple tart or pan-seared tuna salad with a selection from the outstanding drink list, and relish the deliciously relaxed mood. 20 Kennebec Ave., Oak Bluffs, MA 2557, .
All the missing parts for your crumbling Victorian—unique moldings, and unusual size clapboards, plus a helpful staff to walk you through the choices. Diehl's also has everything you'd expect from a full-service lumberyard, from pressure-treated decking to two-by-fours and plywood. 180 Linden Street, Wellesley, MA .
Makeup artist Julie Michaud's devotees swear she can do more wonders for the face than all the Botox injections in the world. Her emphasis: clean, graceful lines and a sense of subtle shape and natural coloring that can transform even the least defined brows into aesthetic arcs of perfection. 297 Newbury St., Suite 21, Boston, MA .
Charm and meticulousness have earned this mixologist more than his fair share of props. But that's no reason to deny him this year's Best of Boston nod, especially as we anticipate his residence (and ours) at Drink, part of Barbara Lynch's coming gastronomic juggernaut in Fort Point Channel. 9 Park St., Boston, MA 2108, .
Few liquids can quench a thirst like lemonade. But making it—balancing the tart and puckering lemon juice with enough sugar, but not too much—is a tricky business. Baraka Café pulls it off, adding fragrant rose petals and crushed fresh mint leaves to create a perfect accompaniment to its assertively spiced North African menu. 80 1/2 Pearl St., Cambridge, MA barakacafe.com/.
Townies and visitors alike love this little Irish bar in the part of JP known as Hyde Square. The place to grab a Guinness on tap, catch up with friends, and, if you happen to be there on a Tuesday night, take in a little live Irish music. A perennial favorite. 378 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA .
Two acts ostensibly playing the same style, but each with a unique sound. The former's catchier doubletimes tunes rocket you from your seat; the latters more sluggish, sparse style digs a deep groove. Plus, you have to love the 'Stonians endearing tribal loyalty: "Living in Allston is the final word!"
Ann Fitzgerald at Angel Hair gets it, that "it" being the uncanny ability to cut, style, and color a variety of hair—long, short, curly, straight, light, or dark. Best of all, she's quick, which is vital whether you're a city slicker on holiday, part of the summer society crowd, or a year-round resident. 19 N. Beach St., Nantucket, MA .
Blood Oranges crosses many musical boundaries, which is part of its appeal. Vocalist/mandolinist Jimmy Ryan comments on the band's sound, "Country people think we play rock; rock people think we play country. To me, it has always been an intriguing combination." Intriguing indeed.
Stoner dads and undergrads alike loiter outside these vaunted doors, thanks to the ’Dise's reliably eclectic roster. The sense of égalité only continues once inside: Don't be surprised if you spot the opening act dancing in the crowd behind you. 967 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215, thedise.com.
With as many as 80 varieties of small-batch fromage available, this Southie shop is small on space but big on nutty, pungent flavor. Staffers are ready with recommendations and armed with anecdotes about the herd of Vermont goats that produced your selected wheel, making this a destination for turophiles citywide. 613 E. Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127, americanprovisions.com.
Here, talented staffers act like whatever garment you bring them is the most beautiful they’ve ever seen—and yet somehow they manage to make it even more beautiful, whether they’re hemming jeans or mending a torn handbag. 324B Newbury St., Boston, MA newburytailors.com.
Miggy Mason and Roisin Giese founded their home design store with a clear objective: Whenever possible, collect items that are made locally and sustainably. In their lofty space, the duo has created an urban dreamland that's equal parts industrial, romantic, and ethical. 319 A St., Boston, MA 2210, twelvechairsboston.com.
After a quick tête-à-tête, Brianna Coons shaped our unruly hair into something slick, taking into account our capacity for at-home styling (none). The best part? The chop grew out so evenly, it still looked fresh months later. 840 Summer St., South Boston, MA 2127, shagboston.com.
First-time visitors to Charlestown are invariably struck by the neighborhood's beauty and charm, a consequence in no small part of the efforts of the town's 29-year-old preservation society. This group, which works to preserve the town's landmarks and grade the neighborhood, supports its efforts with a delightful annual house tour—in the evening by candlelight, and during the day by trolley. P.O. Box 201, Charlestown, MA .