The DJs at C-Zone Entertainment have spun records for Clint Eastwood, Lady Gaga, and the Red Sox, and they’ll drop the bass at your wedding, too. Armed with your curated “play” and “do not play” lists, these music mixers will seamlessly transition from your favorite soulful ballads to Grandma-approved party hits (and maybe a few Cardi B songs in between). And with a number of skilled DJs to choose from, you can be sure that you’ll find someone in tune with your musical taste. czonemusic.com.
Steep hillsides, storm-surge zones, and ill-placed parking areas are no problem for LeBlanc Jones, which relies on native plantings—not to mention a vast understanding of local terrain conditions—to create swoon-worthy gardens, terraces, and courtyards. Boston, MA leblancjones.com.
Take two snowboard enthusiasts, one a black-diamond shredder, the other a bunny-slope first-timer. Drop them off at Joe Jones and check back in an hour. Odds are, they'll both have found precisely what they were looking for. This place has boards, bindings, boots, skis, helmets, gloves, jackets, snowshoes, and everything else you could possibly need to fall down face-first in the snow—and look awesome doing it. 1048 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 2215, .
Despite draconian MBTA policy, the party continues until (or past) the witching hour at Lone Star, where chef Rian Wyllie slings tostadas and tacos until 1:30 a.m. Not only are his two taquerias the only places to catch a spaghetti western with a basket of freshly made chips and choriqueso, his grilled street corn—topped with cotija, cilantro, and chili-lime aioli—is also a surprisingly sound buffer for all the hooch that led you there in the first place. 635 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 857-285-6179; 479 Cambridge St, Allston, 617-782-8226. 635 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02141, lonestar-boston.com.
Some people, we want to raid their closets; others, their kitchens. If Hudson owner Jill Goldberg's home is anything like her domestic-décor mecca, though, we'd make off with the whole darn thing. From floor to ceiling her South End shop (there's another in Wellesley) is stuffed with big-ticket gorgeousness like brindle cowhide rugs and artsy chandeliers, as well as smaller accents with outsize personality, such as plates decoupaged with old French pharmacy labels. And in contrast with most other high-end home-design spots, there's zero attitude here. Note: When we say 'zero,' we mean well-mannered dogs are allowed inside. 12 Union Park St., Boston, MA 2118, hudsonboston.com.
Whether your bowl is brimming with coconut-curry-drenched cauliflower or eggplant topped with crispy chickpeas, one thing is clear: This is a sad-salad-free zone. Whole Heart explores the playful side of plant-based eating, turning out swoon-inducing veggie fare that’s anything but rabbit food. Multiple locations. 487 Cambridge St., Allston, MA 02134, wholeheartprovisions.com.
Yes, you'll want fries with—or without—that burger (Radius also took home the award for Best of Boston 2009 Burger). With one genius exception (minced fines herbes), chef Michael Schlow imposes none of his fancy French roots on these golden über-tubers. And thankfully, he's not stingy with the salt. 8 High St., Boston, MA 2110, radiusrestaurant.com.
Erica Feldmann’s spellbinding boutique blends the metaphysical (spell kits and tarot decks) with the sort of good taste even the devoutly unspiritual can appreciate (art by indie makers, naturally dyed meditation pillows). The shopkeeper draws on her background in design and feminist theory to help people spark some interior magic while encouraging self-care through reiki and tarot readings at the shop’s nearby “healing space”—this is Salem, after all. hauswitchstore.com/.
Serving up far more than just chai lattes, Home.stead has found a special place in our hearts for its selection of artisanal impulse buys, from Goga bags to Alexis Mattox Design cake toppers. 1448 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, MA 02122, dorchesterhomestead.com.
This cheerful shop in Back Bay offers a selection of creative, user-friendly items for the home—hand-painted furniture, small handmade gift items. The staff is particularly helpful, especially if you're trying to pick something up for that person who has everything. 216 Clarendon St., Boston, MA .
The Maids didn't so much clean our apartment as unleash a hellfire of spic-and-span. Wearing vacuums on their backs and armed with motorized bottles (seriously), the housecleaners left no corner, crack, or crevice undusted, unscrubbed, or unwashed. They even tackled that war zone underneath the couch cushions. 179 Boylston St., Jamaica Plain, MA 2130, maids.com.
Increasingly popular in commercial projects, green renovations are still relatively rare for private homes, which is odd, considering they cut utility costs, boost resale value, and, oh yeah, help keep the planet from dying. With more than 25 years' experience under his belt, Paul Marquis is doing his part to change that, as he takes homeowners through the entire project—from recommending eco-conscious architects and contractors to finding landfill alternatives for construction materials—with a thoroughness that any home consultant, green or otherwise, should aspire to. P.O. Box 164, Arlington, MA .
Bacon-wrapped and smothered in refried beans, crema, and chipotle mustard, Lone Star’s over-the-top Sonoran dog tastes best around midnight—wonder why that is? In fact, the Mexican spot’s full menu of satisfying snacks—including house-made chorizo tacos, piquant chili con queso, and crispy tostadas—is available until 1:30 a.m. every night at both the Allston and Cambridge locations. Pair them with a hydrating Topo Chico mineral water, and you’ll thank yourself in the morning. Multiple locations. 479 Cambridge St., Allston, MA 02134, deepellum-allston.com/lonestar.