This Best of Boston Hall of Famer clearly wears the crown for cool streetwear and footwear, but with the opening of its Los Angeles sibling this past year, the brand’s influence has officially gone bicoastal. The new Bodega may draw in A-listers such as Jamie Foxx, Maya Rudolph, and Cameron Diaz, but thankfully, the buzziest lifestyle launches from Adidas, Nike, and Karhu are still happening right here in our own backyard. 6 Clearway St., Boston, MA bdgastore.com.
Word to the wise: Arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment, because you’ll need extra time to choose from Bellacquer’s seemingly endless wall of colors—more than 1,500 hues, actually. Once you’ve picked your polish, it’s time to move on to the pampering, administered by technicians who wield a nail file and cuticle trimmer with particular precision. Salon connoisseurs will appreciate the blissful hot-stone massage that comes standard with each classic pedicure. 1389 Beacon St., Brookline, MA bellacquer.com.
Pike traffic is a proven romance killer. Which is why it's a good thing Newton has its own spot to sip, sup, and swoon. The dining room's billowy fabric sets the tone for a special evening, while the dishes from chef Michael Leviton—juicy Crystal Valley chicken; delicate Rhode Island striped bass with preserved lemon and mint—romance your palate. 1293 Washington St., West Newton, MA 2465, lumiererestaurant.com.
Weddings come—ideally—but once a lifetime. Cheryl Richards makes sure the memories will last. Richards and her equipment dissolve into the background only to emerge with stunning black and white photojournalist-style images capturing the poignancy, humor, and beauty of the Big Day. How good is she? Even if the wedding doesn't turn out to be as perfect as your fantasy nuptials, Richards manages to make it seem as if it were. 224 Clarendon St., Boston, MA cherylrichards.com/.
The praise doesn't get any higher: The late Liz Tilberis, editor in chief of Harper's Bazaar, once commented at a charity event in Boston on how elegant the women looked in their Akris suits. The suits are exquisitely crafted in fabrics like double-faced wool, cashmere, silk chiffon, linen, and cotton voile; even those of us who have to work for a living can appreciate that. 16 Newbury Street, Boston, MA akris.ch/.
Boston is (as a running city should be) chock full of running shops. But none provides the level of personal attention offered at Marathon Sports, where the staff is rigorously trained to labor over every sale. Salespeople here will consider your budget, your running level, and—above all—your foot structure and stride (test runs included) before weeding out your ideal buy from the store's epic stock. 1654 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA marathonsports.com/.
They say the proof is in the pudding, or, in this case, the carburetor: Paul Levin is the guy to fix your car. With a vast knowledge of foreign and domestic autos, plus a wicked sense of humor, Levin puts you to task with a thorough Q&A session while narrowing down a diagnosis for your ailing vehicle. Sensitive to tight budgets, he won't take you for a ride. Levin is also completely accommodating. He even offered to look through our car receipts to check the quality and pricing of repair work done in the past. 90 Windom Street, Allston, MA .
Fortunately for men seeking a haircut, Dirk Diegel of Vidal Sassoon styles and cuts like he was born with comb and scissors in hand. Trained in Hamburg, Germany, Diegel has done his thing at Vidal Sassoon for five years. He's been the manager for more than a year, but he still lavishes his talent on upwards of forty heads a week. If you're lucky enough, you'll let Dirk work his magic on your locks. 14 Newbury Street, Boston, MA sassoon.com.
Once the big chains got wise to the fact that people like to stay in quirky, independent places when they travel, the term "boutique hotel" started to get watered down: Suddenly, any place with a Louis Ghost chair or free cookies in the lobby was branding itself with the B-word. Columbus Hospitality Group's 63-room XV Beacon hotel, however, is the real deal—a locally owned gem that's straight luxe, from the cashmere throws to the complimentary car service. 15 Beacon St., Boston, MA 2108, xvbeacon.com.
Gentle Giant's elite squads take extra care with heavy furniture and breakables, without—if you can believe it—so much as scuffing the walls. What's more, they'll deliver anywhere in the United States and pay up to $500 for any damage done. Of course, a seamless relocation doesn't come cheap. But in this case, coughing up a little extra is a decidedly good move. 29 Harding St., Somerville, MA 2143, gentlegiant.com.
The Rizzo who clothed Robert Frost and John F. Kennedy is long gone, but his legacy lives on at this venerable Harvard Square haberdashery. Owner and native Calabrian Joseph Calautti walks his customers through three separate fittings as he transforms supple Italian fabric into bespoke garments with the classic kind of born in-it fit that never goes out of style. 66 Church St., Second Floor, Cambridge, MA .
It's sad, but true: Highlights take their toll on tired tresses, and dye jobs gone awry take months to grow out. Thankfully, Jagling is a pro at instantly erasing unseemly streaks and reversing regrettable color. Ladies who can't resist the lure of lightening their locks should keep him on speed dial. We do. Copley Place, Boston, MA grettacole.com/.
The first downtown outpost of the suburban Met chain provides a something-for-everyone experience with an expansive menu, excellent drinks, and just a bit of sparkle. The kitchen doesn't break many rules, gastronomically speaking, but delivers basics—clam chowder, mac and cheese—done well, along with a few twists (think cedar-miso salmon or Scituate-lobster-and-cheddar dip). And did we mention the ham and cheese bar? 279 Dartmouth St., Boston, MA 2116, metbackbay.com.
The best-loved burgers in Boston fall into two camps: the frills-free fast-food type (Flat Patties, Tasty Burger) and the oversize variety topped with high-end accoutrements (Radius, Craigie on Main). Bristol's version, though, stands alon—a layering of juicy beef with a hint of char, aged Vermont cheddar, cool lettuce, sweet tomato, and house-made pickles on a buttery bun. It's the basics done absolutely right—and worth every cent of the $21 it costs. 200 Boylston St., Boston, MA 2116, .
Like an antique wing chair done up in a sharp new print, Citizen's spin on the Manhattan hews to tradition while freshening things up. The cocktail starts with the classic recipe (Maker's Mark, sweet vermouth, Angostura), then amps it up with a touch of the unconventional (St. Germain, grapefruit bitters). The final effect? True to the original cocktail's spirit, but tastier. 1310 Boylston St., Boston, MA 2215, .