You can't get any fresher than this Cambridge spot: On any given day, you'll spot employees hauling out huge whole fish and breaking them down as you look on. Vast and unrivaled elsewhere in the area, the seafood selection includes whole branzino, Spanish octopus, and fresh anchovies—not to mention everything you need to make your own maki and sashimi. 622 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02141, newdealfishmarket.com.
It's hard to remember lunch before Dig Inn—and judging by the perpetual crowds, we're not the only ones embracing the healthy fast-casual trend. From tricolor carrots with rosewater vinaigrette to cantaloupe and arugula with lime-leaf dressing, you'd be hard-pressed to choose a disappointing add-in for your grain bowl, salad, or noodle dish. Multiple locations. 557 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116, diginn.com.
Stuck in a rice-noodle rut, or just maxed out on coconut-y curries? Refresh your Thai-food game at Montien, where the kitchen has dug deep into the cuisine for more than 30 years. Stick to the "authentic" menu for slabs of chewy-crisp pork, raw shrimp bathed in fiery lime juice, and whole fish deep-fried so expertly that you'll crave the skin like cracklings. 63 Stuart St., Boston, MA 02116, montienthaiboston.com.
With a fragrant wood-burning fireplace, country-chic décor, and refreshingly casual vibes, dining at this Area 4 gem feels like sharing an intimate home-cooked meal—only with much, much better food. Chef Jason Bond's elegant six-course tasting menus—think roast duck with tare, and milk custard with green tea and honeycomb—give you plenty of time to linger with your beloved, especially when you splurge on wine pairings. 279A Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139, bondircambridge.com.
Become a regular here, and at some point you'll probably spot chef Carl Dooley leaning over the pass from his open kitchen to high-five his sous or a friend who just walked in. We'd plant a palm on his any day to praise the Table's seasonal, globe-trotting four-course prix-fixe menus, with a choice of two options—how about beef tartare amped up with Vietnamese flavors, or glazed hake emboldened with spiced almonds and chutney?—for each course. 2447 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02140, cambridgetable.com.
Renae Connolly's desserts are such exquisite works of refinement and balance, we've come to think of her as a real-life Sugar Plum Fairy. Whether you indulge in a wedge of classic torta al limon jazzed up with a bright-pink prickly-pear gel stencil on the plate, or a rustic elderflower granita elegantly surrounded by a sugar lace toile, its sweetness cut with tart poached rhubarb and bright basil meringue, the finale to your Italian feast will be on point. One Bennett St., Cambridge, MA 02138, benedettocambridge.com.
Wellcoin uses a time-tested strategy to encourage good behavior: bribery. By logging healthy activities—working out, eating right, walking the dog—users earn “Wellcoins” for tempting rewards, such as Whole Foods gift cards. Since the app is free, it’s a boost to your financial and physical health. Available for iOS and Android.
Saying “yes” to the most important dress you’ll ever wear is harder than it looks on TV. Thankfully, L’élite’s light-filled showroom makes the process painless, with both classic silhouettes and dramatic runway looks from such bridal-design powerhouses as Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, and Monique Lhuillier. Bonus: L’élite keeps on-site tailors and even designers on staff, should you wish to create your gown from scratch. 14 Newbury St., Boston, MA lelite.com.
Never danced a step in your life? No problem. This Central Square club holds $12 salsa lessons every Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m., plus bachata lessons on Mondays at 8 p.m. You’ll look like a pro by the time the real party begins, with more than 300 dancers burning up the floor from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. 288 Green St., Cambridge, MA 02139, havanaclubsalsa.com.
Mediterranean, Asian, classic American—this Union Square caterer will happily hop from cuisine to cuisine for your wedding spread, incorporating vegan and gluten-free menus with ease. Chefs Dennis Tourse and Jamie Rogers are tight with local farmers, which translates to personalized menus featuring natively sourced ingredients whenever possible. Top requests include avocado beggars' purses and fava-bean crostini with wild mushrooms. 5 Sanborn Ct., Somerville, MA 02143, forkliftcatering.com.
This petite third-floor boutique offers a who's who of designers (Amsale, Watters, and Monique Lhuillier) that are sure to please your discerning ladies. Some lines even allow for mix-and-match necklines, styles, and fabrics to ensure pretty little ’maids, all in a row. An added perk: refreshing honesty. If a look doesn't fit, the staff won't force it. 14 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, lelite.com.
You're buzzed in the front door like it's a speakeasy, quickly greeted hello, and then given merciful room to roam. From Petrol-leather zip boots by Carol Christian Poell to handcrafted Italian cap-toe sneakers, Alan Bilzerian has your inner foot fetishist in mind when he curates his selection of stylish hoof art. 34 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, alanbilzerian.com.
Imagine a boozy amuse-bouche of scotch, inhaled as a plume of smoke. Or a mai tai that actually grows stronger thanks to rum-soaked banana leaves lining the walls of your tiki glass. Armed with gadgets like a centrifuge and Le Whaf, an invention that turns liquids into vapors, Todd Maul has created a cocktail program that’s as much kitchen chemistry as it is adult playground. 650 E. Kendall St., Cambridge, MA 02142, cafeartscience.com.
When Dana Masterpolo and Michelle da Silva introduced Wunderkind to Boston drinkers four years ago, the dry, fruit-forward drink helped usher in a New England cider revival. These days, the small but mighty outfit reliably offers at least seven different ferments on draft every weekend in its taproom, and three year-round blends are available in cans, including in new markets such as New York and Chicago. 40 Merriam St., Somerville, MA 02143, bantamcider.com.
It’s worth a trip to the ’burbs for chef Mario Capone’s towering lunchtime burger, a study in pure, beefy excess. Made with a high percentage of prime chuck, each juicy 8-ounce patty is sandwiched between a just-squishy-enough brioche bun and complemented by crispy fried onion strings, house-made ketchup, and a mantle of molten Vermont cave-aged cheddar. 15 3rd Ave., Burlington, MA 01803, the-bancroft.com.