Twelve rolls into our research, it seemed there was no escaping the Bun Situation: perfectly sweet meat marred by stale, soggy, cold, dinky, or too-hearty bread. Then we tried Belle Isle's roll. The buttery, griddle-crisped hot dog bun brilliantly holds its own against the tender tail, knuckle, and claw meat stuffed inside. One Main St., Winthrop, MA 2128, belleisleseafood.com.
What separates a smaller shop like American Provisions from a typical grocery store is its personality, from the handwritten signs suggesting wines to match each cheese to the handcarved bottle openers (crafted by a customer) for sale. And then there's the quality—grocers here carefully select all of the wines, olive oils, and cured meats on offer, so there's never a doubt that what you're bringing home is top-notch. 613 E. Broadway, South Boston, MA americanprovisions.com.
You can't call yourself a Bostonian until you've whiled away a Sunday morning nibbling a sticky bun at Flour. Regulars know to arrive early, before the hopeful hordes of sugar babies queue up for owner Joanne Chang's homemade Oreo cookies and berry bread pudding. Daily specials keep the counter lineup feeling fresh and for those after-dinner cravings, the South End location sells sweets until 9 p.m. 1595 Washington St., Boston, MA 2118, flourbakery.com.
Rolling furniture, textured wood-grain walls, Kobe burgers: Few spots in bookish Cambridge offer West Coast atmosphere like the Middlesex. What burst onto the scene with a flurry of red-roped parties last fall has slipped into the role of a comfortably hip nightspot frequented by artsy, playful types willing to form their own semicircles of gray faux-suede seats. 315 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA middlesexlounge.us/.
Do not order your own entrée here—the portions are enormous. Not in the mood to share? Well, don't say we didn't warn you. Heavy on garlic and olive oil and served still in the pan, Jimmy's pastas—linguine ;puttanesca, frutti del mare—are so good you might just eat the whole thing yourself. And that might hurt. Owner Jimmy Cippola doesn't take reservations, so expect to wait in line (even if you're Bill Clinton). 32 Kennebec Ave, Oak Bluffs, MA 2557, .
If you're investing in a three-months'-income heirloom, you want to work with someone who understands your vision—and your budget. Cynthia Pischdotchian ditched an engineering career to pursue her bejeweled dreams and bring precision to a timeless art form. Today she works out of a Gothically appointed Newbury Street studio, designing one-of-a-kind jewelry both modern and art deco-inspired. She'll also repurpose existing pieces, transforming Grandmother's diamond clip-ons into your newest wardrobe staple. 45 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, cynthiabritt.com.
Sure, we’d all love to have the Hope Diamond in our jewelry box, but it’s those pieces we wear every day that become part of who we are — and nobody understands that better than M. Flynn founders and sisters Moria and Megan Flynn. Their impeccable taste, refined over more than a decade in business, is what keeps their loyal fan base coming back for bold, statement earrings, colorful bracelets, and everything in between. 40 Waltham St, Boston, MA 02118, mflynnjewelry.com.
Mauro Henrique made his name on This Old House; now he makes sure homes across the area are camera-ready through his Somerville-based business, Mauro’s Painting. With a focus on restoration and a background in carpentry, he’s a dream combination of handyman and artisan, with a calm demeanor and attention to detail to match. Also, unlike many painters, Henrique doesn’t use subcontractors, which means you’ll get consistent quality in every space he and his team transform. maurospainting.com.
We’ve all experienced it: the unmistakable squeak from inside a wall, those dreaded droppings on the kitchen counter, or — worse — a face-to-face encounter with an eight-legged or winged intruder. When bats, rats, spiders, termites, or other pests worm their way into your humble abode, call this fearless team pronto. Not only will they safely trap and remove the uninvited guests, they’ll also repair minor damage, decontaminate the site, and seal up potential reentry points to ensure your home remains trespasser-free. ultrasafepest.com.
Chakras out of whack? Crick in your back? Can’t seem to focus? Laura Corrigan is on the case. Offering appointments on Mondays at Ardan Medspa + Salon in Wellesley and the rest of the week from her home office in Newton, the well-trained healer is adept in a range of wellness modalities, including acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, reiki, and energy work. Whatever cocktail of services she cooks up, you’ll leave feeling relaxed, refreshed — and wondering why you didn’t start seeing her sooner. laurelwellness.com.
Back Bay residents have long entrusted the Rivas family with their most precious items of clothing — and with decades of experience under their collective belts hemming, mending, and stitching, it’s no wonder. Bonus: The second-floor atelier is open five days a week from Tuesday to Saturday, which means you can pop in for a quick lunch-hour button repair or come by for a longer weekend wedding-dress fitting — or have them come to you for an in-home appointment. 324B Newbury St., Boston, MA 02115, newburytailors.com.
Husband-and-wife team TJ and Hadley Douglas wrote the book (literally) on Progressive Shelving, their innovative, palate-broadening system that organizes wines by body rather than region or grape. The shop’s whole culture, really, is forward-thinking—see: its Clink Progressively education series, which hosted a virtual Juneteenth panel about issues facing Black winemakers, or its new Wine Studies Award for Students of Color, which will send ambitious oenophiles through wine school and connect them to paid internships. 303 Columbus Ave., Boston, MA 02116, theurbangrape.com.
It’s great fun whiling away a night with friends at this charmingly quirky Quincy newcomer. Sip on a well-curated lineup of craft beers and creative cocktails—such as the Count Dracula, smoky mezcal with Campari, raspberry cacao, and mole bitters—while sharing bites of chef Ashley Gaboriault’s globally inspired comfort food: say, a crispy fried-chicken sandwich topped with kimchi, and not-quite-mozzarella sticks stuffed with Cajun risotto. idlehourquincy.com.
The perpetually overwhelmed will find relief in the care of the errand-vanquishing team at Fini. Need your car detailed, your trip to Reykjavik arranged, and the cable guy dealt with, but have more pressing things eating up your day? Hoping to deck out your stoop with the neighborhood’s spookiest Halloween decorations but don’t have the time (or the eye for artificial cobwebs)? The pros at Fini, who’ve been doing this for 15 years now, have your back. 665 Beacon St., Boston, MA finiconcierge.com.
Rather than fill your Instagram feed with impossible-to-achieve abs and “detoxifying” weight-loss teas, why not fill it with news you can actually use in the gym or at home? Somerville gym Achieve Fitness’s social community of almost 500,000 followers get valuable advice on living a healthy lifestyle. And if you still have questions, they’ll answer them via their story for the benefit of all. 42 Merriam St., Somerville, MA achievefitnessboston.com.