On weekends, Johnny's teems with families. But step in for any pre-workday fuel-up and you'll encounter an entirely different feel. The retro red vinyl booths and bright checkerboard floor are still there, of course, but the chaos is gone. Patrons linger over porridge with apples and cranberries, and plates heaped with feather-light buttermilk pancakes. Splurge on the oversized servings of cheese blintzes or catch one of the breakfast specials for $4 or less. It's all so good, you may just find yourself craving French toast come dinnertime. 1105 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA johnnysluncheonette.com/.
Back in 1971, Dave Rowinsky's pièce de résistance was called Mustard Kup cheesecake, after the Cambridge deli where he worked and baked. The name was unappetizing, but the cheesecake was sublime; Rowinsky's fans once picketed a deli that employed him but wouldn't let him bake cake. Now he has his own shop, selling the all-natural cheesecakes in twenty flavors and as many sizes (one to 150 pounds). Other establishments he supplies include Papillon, Bette's Rolls Royce, and the Harvard Business School. Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA .
Relocated from its former home on Boylston Street, Looney Tunes remains as packed with vinyl—and as busy slinging it—as ever.
Home chic from the traditional to the avant-garde, including a notable selection of streamlined European pieces. 133 Lewis Wharf, Boston, MA .
More than twenty styles of boots, plain old Levi's, and a whole lot more no-nonsense outdoor clothing. 292 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
An old-fashioned shop with polish—literally. When they do sole and heel work, they polish your shoes at no extra charge. 239 Faneuil Street, Brighton, MA .
Far enough out of town so you won't get caught. Close enough to get home for dinner. Sheraton Rolling Green, North Andover, MA .
Charlie, the resident Tibetan terrier, will keep you company as you browse a thoughtfully curated collection of home accents and accessories that includes J.P.-themed silkscreened pillows, artisan jewelry, and elegant leather goods by Hobo. 676 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130, oncentrejp.com.
Curated by design duo John Ross and Don Carney, this eclectic home décor and accessories shop is chock-full of treasures, from Miriam Haskell’s beetle-inspired brooches to whimsical Astier de Villatte serveware. 46 Waltham St., Boston, MA 02118, patchnyc.com.
Is it even an art class if they don’t come home with paint all over their arms and legs? This airy SoWa space is a haven for pint-size makers as young as 18 months. 71 Thayer St., Boston, MA 02118, minni.space.
There's no place like home, especially for a pet. But when a kennel stay is inevitable, Land of Pawz in North Weymouth is a close second. A veritable Emerald City of doggie delights, the complex offers training, grooming, a retail center, and transportation. 204 Bridge St., Weymouth, MA 2191, landofpawz.com.
Whole or sliced, and fried to a deep, golden brown, Farnham's clams are soft and juicy on the inside, salty and even nutty on the outside. The homemade tartar sauce is just a happy bonus. 88 Eastern Ave. (Rte. 133), Essex, MA .
Great salads, delicious entrees, and terrific desserts make this our favorite stop on the way home from work when the day's been a dud and only a Chinese chicken salad and a Tarte Tatin will make it better. 190 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Day in and day out, all year round, the most dependable source for high-quality fresh flappers and crustaceans. And the frozen fish stock is excellent for making your own soups at home.
As everyone knows, Everett is the home of the American sub, and Angelina's is the place that sub-lovers come to. The Jumbo feeds three Bruins or six normal human beings, and comes in a variety of octanesyou get to pick how many peppers. 696 Broadway, Everett, MA .