With Instagram-friendly candlepin lanes and lively, unfakeable old-school charm, the nearly 80-year-old Sacco's holds its own as the area's best. It's more than worth the hours'-long wait to play, especially if you come hungry (and thirsty): Flatbread Company mans two huge pizza ovens off to the side, complemented by an equally impressive beer selection. The crowds should thin—at least a little bit—when the pizza/bowling concept expands its good-time vibes to another location in Brighton this year. 45 Day St., Somerville, MA 02144, flatbreadcompany.com/sacco.
Despite draconian MBTA policy, the party continues until (or past) the witching hour at Lone Star, where chef Rian Wyllie slings tostadas and tacos until 1:30 a.m. Not only are his two taquerias the only places to catch a spaghetti western with a basket of freshly made chips and choriqueso, his grilled street corn—topped with cotija, cilantro, and chili-lime aioli—is also a surprisingly sound buffer for all the hooch that led you there in the first place. 635 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 857-285-6179; 479 Cambridge St, Allston, 617-782-8226. 635 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02141, lonestar-boston.com.
You might want to join this club for the parking alone. Where else can you pay $1 during peak hours for an indoor spot? New owners have done a complete rehab on the old Allston-Brighton Squash Club, which now pulls its weight with the other big-name clubs in town. To wit: acres of cardio machines, including the hot new elliptical walkers; brand new Cybex; free weights of every description; six squash courts; a huge aerobics studio (that doubles as a gym); and a dedicated spinning room with enough colored lights on the ceiling for a Broadway show. 15 Gorham St., Boston, MA .
Does your windowsill already resemble a jungle, but you still need one more hedgehog aloe? Is your sun porch incomplete without twin philodendrons flanking the entrance? Then you just might be the kind of urban gardener Niche caters to. Its two retail locations are all-in-one stops for plants, pots, soil, fertilizer, tools, and, yes, more plants, letting you indulge your green thumb without sacrificing your prime city real estate. 619 Tremont St., Boston, MA nicheplantshop.com.
The DJs at C-Zone Entertainment have spun records for Clint Eastwood, Lady Gaga, and the Red Sox, and they’ll drop the bass at your wedding, too. Armed with your curated “play” and “do not play” lists, these music mixers will seamlessly transition from your favorite soulful ballads to Grandma-approved party hits (and maybe a few Cardi B songs in between). And with a number of skilled DJs to choose from, you can be sure that you’ll find someone in tune with your musical taste. czonemusic.com.
Not to diminish the importance of knowing your Rhône from your Rheingau, but technical expertise is but a fraction of the wine steward’s craft. What separates wonky savant from sommelier superstar is, quite simply, knowing how to read your audience. Next time you dine upstairs, perk up your ears as Todd Lipman morphs seamlessly from patient Sancerre 101 ambassador to wily investment strategist, saving the whale at Table 8 a cool hundo with some lesser-known (but better-drinking) Bordeaux. 272 Boylston St., Boston, MA 2116, bistrodumidi.com.
We wish we had thought of this—a take-home-dinner kiosk in the middle of South Station. You can peruse the daily updated online menu (marchingandchowder.com) from the comfort of your office, then pick up your meal on your way to catch the train. This year-old business offers soups, salads, gourmet-style comfort foods, low-fat and vegetarian options—even sushi. We think you'll like it; if you don't, they'll give you back your money. South Station, Boston, MA .
Bring them your frizz, your layers, your tired locks yearning to breathe free. This high-tech, low-key salon will liberate them. 306 Washington St., Brookline, MA .
Ready for your Marie Kondo moment? Trust this formidable organizing firm to bring order to your jam-packed basement, help you downsize, or rethink your kitchen storage—no film crew required. posh-boston.com.
Just because your couch is now your office doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. The well-curated selection of soft, wearable tops at this Beacon Hill boutique includes colorful knit tees from Marni, flowy organic-cotton blouses from Apiece Apart, and collared button-downs from Acne Studios that look just as good on your Monday-morning Slack call as they do on your favorite restaurant patio come the weekend. 119 Charles St., Boston, MA 02114, frenchitalian.com.
Similar to having your hair cut or colored, investing in nail art has the potential to completely transform your look—especially at Tinailery, an adorable Japanese-style salon that creates tiny masterpieces for your digits. Thumb through its vast collection of options (gems, glitter, and painted butterflies, oh my!) while enjoying tea served in graceful china, then let your nail artist work her magic. 92 State St., Boston, MA tinailery.com.
The problem with wanderlust is that you never know exactly how you'll need to pack for your next expedition. Fortunately, Leather World has a bag for every journey, including a beach-getaway tote with just enough room for a suit and sarong; a chic Paris-shopping-spree suitcase with extra space for your scores; and a terrific camping pack that can handle your gear without destroying your back. 30 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 2138, shopleatherworld.com.
This is not your average athletic-shoe store. The staff will study your strut to determine whether your feet pronate or roll outward, and whether you need a wide shoe or a skinny one. Then they'll hold your hand and guide you through a sea of brands, sizes, and models until you find the perfect fit. Athletes swear their knees, heels, and other weak points improve after a proper fitting at Marathon. 255 Washington St., Wellesley, MA .
Boston is (as a running city should be) chock full of running shops. But none provides the level of personal attention offered at Marathon Sports, where the staff is rigorously trained to labor over every sale. Salespeople here will consider your budget, your running level, and—above all—your foot structure and stride (test runs included) before weeding out your ideal buy from the store's epic stock. 1654 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA marathonsports.com/.
With the real estate market showing few signs of slowing, the only way to find your dream home is to have a great broker by your side. Ellen Brockman specializes in Cambridge real estate—she knows every property, every building, every transaction that occurs. For buyers, she's a quick study on your likes and dislikes, and her instincts are dead-on when it comes time to make an offer. For sellers, she offers tried-and-true advice for showing your home at its best and getting the right potential buyers in the door. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA .