With a selection ranging from the latest bestsellers to indie up-and-comers, this Newbury Street institution pleases all manner of bookworm. Home to two stories of books, magazines, and quirky gifts, not to mention a full-service restaurant, it’s easy to spend an entire day lost among the shelves (and you can—the store is open until midnight seven days a week). 338 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02115, tridentbookscafe.com.
Last August, Hermès unveiled a new and improved Back Bay showroom, nearly doubling its fashionable footprint with more than 8,700 square feet over two stories. That’s given the très chic Parisian design house plenty of room to display its most covetable accessories: handbags and silk scarves, naturally, but also home décor, fragrances, and even the lusted-after equestrian line. 50 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, hermes.com.
If you think music sounds best through ear buds and films are meant to be watched on laptops, skip Goodwin’s. The guys here take high-end audio seriously: Before talking components, they’ll review your home’s blueprints or even make a house call to ensure that the speakers, amps, and digital equalizers they recommend will achieve mind-blowing sound. 899 Main St., Waltham, MA 2451, goodwinshighend.com.
Building the perfect gyro is a Herculean task. The pita must be warm and soft. The meat must be flavorful and tender. But the real key is the sauce holding it all together, the tzatziki. This is where so many good gyros go bad. At Esperia, the classic Greek cucumber-yogurt sauce is just the right combination of creamy and tart, making it the perfect complement to the juicy chicken or pork. 344 Washington St., Brighton, MA 2135, esperiagrill.com.
Can a person live on pasta alone? At this Somerville specialty shop, you could certainly tryand last for months without ever repeating your order, thanks to a massive roster of take-home, house-made pastas that includes ravioli (with fillings ranging from shrimp and fennel to pumpkin and smoked mozzarella), ribbons of handcut strands infused with everything from squid ink to saffron, and a slew of sauces to pair with them all. Laying off the carbs? Peruse the expert selection of gourmet cheeses, charcuterie, and vino instead. 81 Holland St., Somerville, MA 2144, davesfreshpasta.com.
At an authentic Japanese izakaya, the food is meant to serve as a supporting role to the endless flow of sake. But at this Brighton hangout, the infinitely snackable dishes—flame-licked yakitori-style skewered meats, crisp fried oysters, the noodle omelet hybrid known as omusoba—are just as much of a draw. Maximize your experience of the massive menu (and the hefty platters of pan-fried pork and kimchi) by indulging with friends. 1414 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 2135, .
It's the thoughtful details that make weddings so unforgettable. But who has time to sweat the small stuff? Leave it to Janie Haas. A 36-year industry veteran, Haas will coordinate vendors, secure rentals, review contracts, and make sure everything is picture-perfect for your walk down the aisle. She and her planners will give you plenty of face and phone time, making the whole process stress-free and—dare we say it?—fun. 125 Coachmans Ln., North Andover, MA janiehaasevents.com.
In case you've been in a beauty bubble for the past 15 years, Sephora is the adult version of Candyland. Nearly every brand of mascara, lip liner, and blush known to womankind is on display—and you can test all the colors before taking them home. After all, why buy the cheap drugstore foundation when there's a good chance it won't match your complexion? Prudential Center, Boston, MA sephora.com.
When it comes to outfitting our home, we want it all—high style, gorgeous fabrics, American-made pieces—at a fair price, of course. That's why we always make this Boston-area furniture chain our first stop. Whether we're placing a custom order or browsing higher-end brand knockoffs, we get the same white-glove service, without breaking the bank. 142 Berkeley St., Boston, MA 2116, mitchellgoldboston.com.
Special occasions call for spectacular jewelry, and this Boston institution's got it covered. Popping the question? Buy a Shreve Astral Cut diamond. Celebrating an anniversary? Look to designer collections by the likes of Marco Bicego and David Yurman. Getting a divorce? Take home something deliciously sparkly for yourself. A helpful, attentive staff and a wide range of choices—from estate pins to Mikimoto cultured pearls—guarantee you'll always walk out satisfied. 330 Boylston St., Boston, MA shrevecrumpandlow.com/.
From edgy and sometimes garish brands such as Gucci, Prada, and Gianni Versace to the conservative Cole Haan and J.P. Tod's, Saks has the biggest selection for the man willing to lay down the dough for quality and style. The end of the season sales are the best time to save lots on those $325 Gucci loafers you've been seeing around the office. Prudential Center, Boston, MA .
Anyone who's used inferior movers knows the torture of watching them slowly load a single box onto the truck. You won't need to stifle the urge to grab a handcart and goose the friendly Gentle Giant guys, who gather up as much as they can carry, unload, and literally sprint back for more. And that brawn doesn't come at the cost of finesse: Everything arrives at your new home unscathed. 29 Harding St., Somerville, MA 2116, gentlegiant.com.
Name the stain (ketchup, dirt, car oil—we tried it all); Ecoluxe can get it out. Quickly, flawlessly, without hurting a fiber of the fabric, and without using medically and environmentally harmful cleaning products. With convenient home delivery and pickup service, plus tailoring and alterations, Ecoluxe is not only the next wave in clothing care; it's the ultimate in clean living. One Harvard St., Brookline, MA .
Our poor, overloved clogs—not much left of the heel but a few pieces of chewed-up yellow foam. Bracing for a lecture on proper shoe care, we nervously carried them into Odessa. To our delight, the kindly proprietor lifted them up lovingly and assured us they would be fine. And a week later he delivered a perfectly handmade new heel for each, plus fresh soles and heels for several equally battered pairs of boots. 3 Center Plz., Boston, MA 2108, .
Hey, you—Human. I get that we can't be together all the time. But I have needs. When you're away, I still require cuddling and play time and the occasional "Who's a good boy?!"—not just someone to feed me and split. Heard of the Pooped Pooch? Those guys know how to treat us canines: from providing romps in their fenced-in park to spending quality time with us at home. 775 Columbia Rd., Dorchester, MA 2125, thepoopedpooch.com.