It's not essential that the people at a frame shop remember your name and your artwork on only your second visit. Or that the shop's employees occasionally volunteer cheaper, do-it-yourself alternatives. But it's precisely that kind of attention that bodes well when you're talking about a service in which a sixteenth of an inch can make all the difference. Rest assured, too, that Back Bay Framery doesn't cut corners when cutting the corners. Its cheery and attentive staff takes on the most demanding custom jobs, with a selection of tabletop and custom frames that looks like it could put the Louvre to shame. 303 Newbury St., Boston, MA backbayframery.com/.
Order a burger at the Black Cow, and you may never fire up your Weber again. These handpacked 10-ounce patties are so juicy and flavorful, any attempt to imitate them on your own home grill is sure to come up short. It's hard to believe such flame-broiled babies are only 7 bucks ($8 with cheese), accompanied as they are by mountains of crisp, golden, diet-busting French fries. For maximum enjoyment, pair one with a cold Black Cow Blond Ale, then sit back to feel your iron count rise. 16 Bay Rd., South Hamilton, MA blackcowrestaurants.com/.
Designed to resemble a Nantucket cottage, this boarding facility boasts attentive round-the-clock care, indoor and outdoor play areas, and your pup’s choice of rooms with beds. And no need to arrange Fido’s travel in addition to your own: Transportation is provided to Melrose, with pickup spots in Beacon Hill and the Back Bay. 20 Tremont St., Melrose, MA 02176, dogwoodcottage.org.
Your wallet will like the vintage clothing, hard-to-find books, and furniture on display. Your conscious may like that all proceeds go to the nonprofit group AIDS Action, which owns and operates this and three other local thrift shops. 1870 Centre St., West Roxbury, MA shopboomerangs.org.
They may not be traditional, but Alanna Perry’s barre classes incorporating mini trampolines, dancing, and even weighted pom-poms sure are a blast. The former New England Patriots cheerleader will have you jumping 360s and throwing your hands in the air before it’s even time for your first water break. 52 Province St., Boston, MA barregroove.com.
Robert Charlton uses a vintage letterpress to produce classic handset type on textured card stock. His invitations, stationery, and note cards will impress party guests and future employers. And his willingness to work on the fly means that while your wedding might be shotgun, your invitations won't give you away. 460 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 2118, goosefishpress.com.
Regardless of your spectacle tendencies—quirky or clean—Brookline's Vizio Optic will identify the most flattering frames for your face, then present you with options: Chanel, Beausoleil, and Ray-Ban are just a few of the brands carried. An optician on site guarantees that you'll soon be seeing—and looking—much better. 11 Harvard St., Brookline, MA viziooptic.com.
The perfect excuse to 'forget' to pack enough clothing for your island getaway, Gypsy is fully stocked with big names like Céline, Isabel Marant, and Rick Owens. And if your current vacation plans don't require a $2,500 Lanvin cocktail dress, remember: Plans can change. 20 Federal St., Nantucket, MA 2554, gypsyusa.com.
This tiny beauty oasis focuses solely on the eyes—reassuring when it comes to the fastidious work of lash extensions. Combining patience and precision, the LuxLash pros will fill out your fringe with semipermanent synthetic lashes or your choice of colored and exotic styles. The result? A come-hither look that'll have everyone aflutter. 232 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, luxlash.com.
At Longfellow, childcare does not mean dumping your toddler in a playpen. The club offers day caps (ages 5 to 12) where elementary-age children can play ball games, run, or read. In addition the club specializes in birthday parties. Your kids might decide to join without you. 203 Oak St., Natick, MA .
Fabulous chicken (the piccata is especially wonderful), great veggie pizzas and calzones, and some of the best Caesar salad we've ever had. They'll even cater your weekend party, or—chicken soup to shank bone—your Passover Seder. 27 Lincoln St., Newton Highlands, MA .
Dock your boat, park your dinghy at no extra charge, fish for striped bass around the corner, and best of all, swim in Constitution Marina's new outdoor pool. One added perk that makes this the best deal in town—free parking for boat-owners. 28 Constitution Road, Charlestown, MA .
Even if your home garden is a window box of salad greens, Niche is your local source for the seeds, planters, and garden tools that you’ll need to keep them thriving. 619 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02118, nicheboston.com.
A recent expansion of this gem has shortened wait times, bringing your little ones that much closer to pancakes shaped with Mickey Mouse ears (upon request); your bloody mary and Irish Bennies will be close behind. 1881 Centre St., West Roxbury, MA .
Thrown into the State House breech created by the defection to the Globe of the semilegendary Frank Phillips last year, Wells regularly whacks the veteran along with the rest of the Gray Lady's somnolent State House bureau.