With toppings this terrific, it's hard to limit yourself to just one slice. The Slightly Pesto—white pizza splashed with pesto, garlic, and diced tomatoes—is our fave, but thin, chewy crusts beneath fresh ingredients such as seafood or Italian sausage, and local monikers like the MGH (spinach, broccoli, and feta), make any slice at the Upper Crust a cut above. 20 Charles St., Boston, MA theuppercrustpizzeria.com/.
Serving huge portions of flavorful curries and other Thai specialties at affordable prices, Brown Sugar is a perfect match for the tastes and budgets of the undergrads, musicians, and medical students who live in this neighborhood. In addition to less fiery offerings like "Siamese Twins" (shrimp and chicken in a sweet-and-sour sauce), there are such authentic dishes as laarb gai (minced chicken in a spicy lime sauce). Service is prompt but friendly, and the free parking—limited, but a rarity in these parts—means outsiders can enjoy one of the city's best pad thais, too. 129 Jersey St., Boston, MA brownsugarcafe.com/.
This refreshing addition to Chinatown has lots of blond wood, modern lighting, and great food. Start with the Penang Poh Piah (steamed spring roll) or Crispy Pork Intestines (you might enjoy this one more if you order in Malaysian). Vegetarian entrees—especially the bean curd—are terrific, as are the varied seafood selections. Late hours are a plus. 685-691 Washington St., Boston, MA .
Where else can you watch the Red Sox on more than 75 TVs (including one in each rest room), choose from 40 beers on tap and in bottles, eat a $9.99 Sunday brunch, banter with sports fans from all over the country, and do it all in a former railroad station with a replica Fenway scoreboard out front? Nowhere, actually, which makes the Sports Depot much less cursed than the Red Sox. 353 Cambridge St., Allston, MA .
At this clean, bright restaurant across from Boston College they've spent six years perfecting roll-up combinations with ingredients such as their own homemade roasted red-and-green-tomato-cilantro salsas, Haas avocados, premium breast-meat chicken salad. Specials include Asian, Mexican, deli, barbecue, and even seafood roll-up combos. And the frequent-eater program gets you one free wrap for every 10 you buy. 11 Commonwealth Ave., Newton, MA .
If it's possible for a Scandinavian apple pie to be better than an American one, Trudie's Swedish apple pie takes the cake. The secret: sweet, juicy apples, nuts to keep it crunchy, and a crust made with real butter. You can find Trudie's pie (and an assortment of other baked goods) at Arena Farms in Concord, Mahoney's in Winchester, and a number of other area farmstands.
Mark our words: Naples-born pastry chef Tonie Rapa is going places. And her Catalan version of a creme brulee is just one reason. It comes in a big, shallow soup plate (the usual mini gratin dish would be a frustrating tease), and you can eat a lot more because it seemingly has double the luscious, yolky vanilla flavor yet half the richness of its rivals. 70 Union Square, Somerville, MA .
Heralded as one of the 50 "most exciting" restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveler, this is the place where power brokers meet to wheel and deal over seared Arctic char, foie gras, and truffle-scented shrimp. Chef Michael Schlow and general manager Esti Benson have mastered the art of cuisine and flawless service—key factors when you're doing lunch under pressure. Oversized tables accommodate documents, and are far enough apart to ensure the utmost discretion. 8 High St., Boston, MA radiusrestaurant.com/.
Stripped down to its raw form, a martini is just a stiff belt of gin, which any jamoke can pull off a no-name bottle in an alley. So how to judge? Presentation and accouterments. The white-jacketed waiter at the plushy-not-stuffy Bristol pours each traditional martini tableside from its own chilled shaker with not one, not two, but three meaty olives. Utterly civilized. Keep in mind, while the martini is traditional, the $9 price tag is a tad nouveau. Four Seasons Hotel, 200 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
Take 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 1 fennel stalk with leaves, 6 sun-dried tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, 8 black Italian olives, 1 dry hot red Italian pepper, 1 small red and 1 small yellow sweet pepper, and infuse for one day in two quarts of Finlandia vodka. V-8 never tasted like this. Trattoria Il Panino Restaurant, 295 Franklin St., Boston, MA .
If you're ready to venture beyond traditional-red-sauce-and-mozzarella pizzas, Figs stands ready to offer some of the most innovative pies around. Try the famous Fig and Prosciutto, or the Portobello, with its al dente mushrooms, caramelized onions, and roasted tomatoes. And you don't even have to go to Charlestown anymore to score one. 67 Main St., Charlestown, MA .
At last, a treat we can enjoy without guilt. Finagle bagels have very little fat and most varieties have no cholesterol, and they are still fabulous. Of course, they're even better topped with one of the shop's cream-cheese spreads. Our sources say President Clinton orders up a batch of cinnamon raisin every time he's in town. Copley Square, MA .
After finding an honest mechanic, nothing seems to cause the average citizen as much angst as signing up a trustworthy electrician. Led by owner Jim Morrissey, the talented problem-solvers at Morrissey and Sons put that anxiety to rest with their mastery of projects large and small, and plenty of clear advice. It usually takes clients one job with the firm to decide they've discovered an electrician for life. 84 Summer St., Stoneham, MA 2180, .
As with so many scenes, Bill Murray puts this one over the top. Or his bowling ball does, anyway: The alley has the actor's translucent rose-in-the-middle Kingpin orb on display, along with a few other items from the Farrelly Brothers classic. Pumping music and a Rat Pack-chic lounge complete the glitzy packaging, but Kings' 16 lanes and $5 draft beers keep it firmly rooted in the throwback thrills that make rolling for strikes such a singularly good time. 10 Scotia St., Boston, MA 2115, kingsbackbay.com.
One of the few gay bars you can go to where your friends— male and female, gay and straight— can all have a good time. Whether in a group or with a friend this is the best bet for a good time. The weekend can turn into a meat market, but the atmosphere is friendly enough that you feel comfortable approaching that cute someone in the baseball hat. 209 Columbus Ave., Boston, MA .