For many Bostonians, summer is a savored moment wedged between the brutal bookends of the New England winter. For skiers, it's an interruption. They're already dreaming of the first snowstorm. Bob Smith's Wilderness House caters to these people—novices and experts alike—because the staff feels their pain. Völkl, Salomon, Rossignol: The employees here know them all and can discuss at length the merits of each brand (and the best slopes to break them in). Custom boot fitting puts the icing on the cake. 1048 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA .
Favored by some of the city's most discriminating boutique owners and clotheshorses, Dick Robasson is a stitch wizard straight out of another era. Holed up in his spartan Central Square space, with two sewing machines and a radio humming jazz in the background, the one-time Zegna staffer employs the same concentration when hemming pants as he does when whipping up a suit from scratch. 550 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 2116, lecouturierma.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, .
Name something they don't have (if you can) and they'll get it for you promptly. This is the only hobby store in the state we know of that carries a full line of "build from scratch" materials. 34 Franklin St., Worcester, MA .
Korean cuisine is about more than just barbecue. The signature dish at this tiny Allston joint is sundubu, a roiling crock of silken tofu stew that's enriched with a fresh egg and potent ingredients like briny oysters and funky kimchi. If you do happen to be in the mood for sizzling kalbi beef ribs, though, don't fret—they're on the menu, too. 58 Harvard Ave., Allston, MA kajutofuhouse.com.
For two decades, 1369 has embodied the Platonic ideal of a coffee house: marvelous brews, plentiful dessert and sandwich offerings, and ample seating for the cadre of boho Cantabrigians that seemingly come straight from central casting. Already addicted to the complex, fragrant cold-brewed iced coffee, we were thrilled to learn of 1369's new delivery service: True fanatics can now get a growler of the caffeinated elixir dropped off by bike to their door. 1369 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 1369coffeehouse.com.
Gives new meaning to feel the burn. Electrolysis is never a pleasant part of the grooming ritual, but this salon makes it easier with a relaxing ambience (and topical anesthetics). Your once-hirsute patch of skin may be tingling, but that's an improvement over the pain of more violent treatments. Since this delicate process takes time, it's especially comforting to find a competent, confidence-inspiring, and compassionate set of technicians. 224 Clarendon St., Suite 21, Boston, MA .
You have to walk through the Bristol Lounge to get to it, but the trip is worth it. Stalls measure 75 inches by 84.23 inches with individual marble sinks, Yardley liquid soap, and cloth hand towels. 200 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
They start up again in the fall, they're free, and the guides are straight out of Boston Brahmin Central Casting. Delightful. 10 1/2 Beacon St., Boston, MA .
Just as good for a boisterous brunch as it is for an evening gabfest over Moscow Mules, Russell House Tavern is an ideal spot for every social objective. There are late-night $1 oysters, a patio, a choice of two bars, and a welcoming basement dining room. Plus, the staff is remarkably child-friendly, even to infants. Oh, and the food? Executive chef Michael Scelfo offers the diverse menu you'd expect, from a sloppy pork-loin sandwich to a silky foie gras-Laphroaig terrine. 14 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge, MA 2138, russellhousecambridge.com.
The touristy trappings, like the gift shop off to the side, are a bit disconcerting. But a stool at the half-circle bar is still the best place in the city to slurp down a dozen fresh bivalves and a nice cold beer. 41 Union St., Boston, MA .
The secret ingredient in Carberry's Danish pastries: almond paste, kneaded into the buttery, flaky dough. They are oversize and come in several flavors, such as sour cherry, cheese, raspberry, and vanilla cream. 74-76 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA .
Lighter than pound cake, sweeter than brioche, this shop's kuchen—a slightly lemony cake studded with raisins—is a revelation when spread with a little butter while still warm. In good weather you can enjoy it on the bakery's patio. 56 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA .
Could be the largest cozy tavern in town. The Old Willy India Pale Ale is heavenly, especially when used to wash down the grilled sausage. 33 Dunster St., Cambridge, MA .
The semi-circular oyster bar has been in continuous operation since 1826, with the likes of Daniel Webster tossing back three dozen Blue Points at one sitting.Yes, it's on the Freedom Trail; yes, it's "America's Oldest Restaurant"; and yes, it's one of "Ye Olde" tourist magnets. But, all the hokum aside, it is simply the best place to get a dozen freshly cracked oysters. 41 Union St., Boston, MA .