Moody’s-sourced Jersey pork roll dripping with spicy ketchup and melted American cheese, vintage ’80s cartoons projected over the bar, and a crisp Centennial-hopped pilsner cooling in your palm: Welcome to bleary-eyed bliss. At this hair-of-the-dog miracle worker in Charlestown, toast the end of your weekend with co-owner Michael Cooney’s cache of craft-beer rarities and a menu of celestial breakfast hits ranging from sweet (banana-bread waffles) to savory (chilaquiles) to downright delicious (bacon-and-onion breakfast pizza). 7 Moulton St., Charlestown, MA 02129, brewersfork.com.
Known as the island’s top destination for coffee, brunch at this Secret Garden-meets-French-café oasis just off Edgartown’s tony main drag remains perpetually underrated. Studded with avocado, the fried egg BLT is a hearty eye-opener. And the shakshuka, spicy and served with plenty of toast for mopping up every last bite, is positively life-changing. Correction, July 1, 11 a.m.: An earlier version of this post stated that Behind the Bookstore serves house-made croissants. In fact, those are the only baked goods there that are not house-made. Also, the egg sandwiches are served on sourdough, not croissants. 46 Main St., Edgartown, MA 02539, btbmv.com.
Getting a weekly manicure is one of life’s little luxuries, and this local chainlet has the process down to a scienceliterally. The salon’s "Clean Lab" uses hospital-grade sterilization techniques to make sure your polish job doesn’t come with a side of someone else’s germs. Of course, manicures are also an art, and technicians here are experts in shaping, filing, and polishing nails to perfection. And with add-ons like an extended massage and warm-oil and paraffin treatments, your experience can be as luxeor as simpleas you’d like. 296 Newbury St., Boston; and other locations, miniluxe.com.
Despite all your preparations (and no thanks to the open bar) no one will recall the details until the photos arrive. And while shots of Uncle Leo's Electric Slide are always entertaining, you don't really need them in your album. The more crucial pics are of the day's poignant, fleeting moments. Scott Levine gets those—he gets everything—with the uncanny sense of timing and sharply trained eye that come from 20 years on the circuit. He posts photos online for six months, letting you browse and reorder the best of the bunch. 21 Fieldstone Drive, Stoneham, MA thestudiosl.com.
The folks at Barmakian know it's the engagement ring—ever the showstopping diva—that gets all the oohs and aahs, which is why they specialize in wedding bands that complement, rather than compete. The store offers hundreds of men's, women's, and unisex rings in white gold, yellow gold, and platinum, accented by any gem or engraved pattern imaginable. It'll also design a match for that heirloom engagement ring from your fiance's grandmother, making you and your sweetheart just one of two perfect pairs that will have everyone buzzing on the Big Day. 333 Washington St., Boston, MA barmakian.com.
Just because you're bringing home a bambino doesn't mean you have to turn the place into a romper room. This modern furniture store offers colorful French and Italian items that can make a nursery seem as hip as a South End loft. The goods aren't cheap, but they're long-lasting, and many pieces are designed to grow along with your kids. The DucDuc Dylan set, for example, begins as a crib and changing table, transforms into a toddler bed and dresser, and ends up a coffee table and bar your little nipper can take off to college. 82 Boylston St., Brookline, MA .
For a store hidden away on the upper floor of a sleepy Brookline mall, Grand Opening! is incredibly visible in the community. In the past year, brazen sex-priestess Kim Airs has hosted a night of amateur porn for HBO, handed out condoms at the gay pride parade, and pounded the pavement in support of National Masturbation Month. She brings the same mix of shamelessness and hilarity—minus the sleaziness of so many other shops—to her women-oriented sex store. Whether youre looking for lubes, vibes, clips, or plugs, the clerks will answer all of your questions without blushing—even if you're blushing as you ask them. 318 Harvard St., Suite 32, Brookline, MA .
Yeah, they're only shoes. And yeah, Kenyans run without 'em. But until you swap the Esplanade for the Savannah, you'd best take your jogging footwear seriously. The running savants at Marathon Sports know that the wrong pair might just be responsible for those niggling aches, and so guide you through the buying process with more attention—and less upselling—than you encountered when purchasing your last car. The smart selection of energy gels, water belts, and technical tees from Sugoi, Brooks, and other pro brands is proffered with condescension-free friendliness, regardless of whether you log five miles each week or 50. 671 Boylston St., Brookline, MA 2445, marathonsports.com.
Owner Paul Niski culls the world for art and oddments seldom seen here in Boston, and consequently Good's inventory of goods—which run the gamut from furniture to linens to pure objets d'art—is almost continuously refreshed. Among the constants in this tiny, museumlike space: John Derian's eccentric découpage pieces, handcrafted jewelry from the likes of Melissa Joy Manning and Chan Luu, and pristine Japanese lacquerware by Morihata. Above all, there's Niski's own exquisite taste, which, if you're unsure of your gift recipient's style—or even your own—is quite a reliable one to adopt. 133 Charles St., Boston, MA 2114, shopatgood.com.
First she stares, then she brushes, then she cuts. Maria is an aesthetic genius who spends time studying the planes of your face and the way your hair curves and curls around it before she makes the first cut. The result: haircuts that work regardless of weather condition (ie. no more bad hair days). Spanish-born and very energetic, Maria's a delightful contrast to the laid-back, classical-music ambience of the salon. Snip snip, chat, chat— her topics of choice range from the problems of urban school systems to the nature of true friendship. Le Pli Salon & Day Spa, The Charles Hotel, 5 Bennett St., Cambridge, MA .
With Thai food on every corner and henna tattoos sold at the mall, the truly exotic is hard to find anymore. That's why this atmospheric Beacon Hill restaurant is the perfect getaway for you and your paramour. The mood is set immediately with orchid centerpieces, hanging tapestries, and sitar music. But it's the food that is truly transporting. Infused with saffron and pomegranate, the homemade dishes will send your tongue on its own magic carpet ride. And with dinner for two including wine and dessert coming in at under $100, it's the least expensive ticket to the Near East you'll find. 97 Mt. Vernon St., Boston, MA lalarokh.com.
Yet another example of why bigger isn't always better. Don't get us wrong: This burger is big. But it isn't so monstrous that you have to strategize a way to fit it into your mouth. With Audubon's burger, you get the appropriate ratio of bun, lettuce, tomato, cheese (cheddar, Swiss, or blue), and perfectly cooked meat in every mouthful. That means a bottom bun that's not saturated with grease. It also means you'll be able to eat most of it, along with the accompanying roasted potatoes, without feeling woefully overstuffed. Add pleasant service and a sleek, attractive setting, and Audubon is everything your typical burger joint is not. 838 Beacon St., Boston, MA auduboncircle.us/.
Housed in a glass atrium attached to the island's most exclusive inn (the Relais & Chateaux-affiliated Charlotte Inn), this restaurant continues to charm with its alluring mix of casual elegance, contemporary French cuisine, and good-natured, accommodating staff. Whether you're seated inside or under the stars on the adjacent open-air patio, L'Etoile will seduce you. And don't be surprised to see a proposal or two at the tables around you. Order up the house specialty, étouffée of lobster, let the learned sommelier guide you through the extensive wine list, and wait for the romance of the room to work its magic. 27 South Summer St., Edgartown, MA letoile.net/.
Nestled inside a former textile factory, this alluring Pioneer Valley venue offers everything you’ll need for a killer party: a talented catering team to prepare your wedding feast, access to scenic outdoor areas for endless photo ops, and a much-needed bridal suite for when you need a break from schmoozing with guests. Dress up either of the Boylston Rooms’ function spaces with your choice of décor, or simply let the celebration spots speak for themselves: Effortlessly cool with swaths of white-painted brick and oversize windows, the high-ceilinged rooms are already rich in character. 122 Pleasant St., Easthampton, MA boylstonroom.com.
Look like you’ve been to the tropics without leaving your living room: That’s the goal of Abby Reid’s mobile spray-tan unit. Step into her van (or a portable tent in your home) and let the glow master work her magic from head to toe with a hand-sprayed solution made of sugar, food coloring, and no preservatives. Having worked in the beauty industry for years, Reid will put you at ease while applying a wish-you-were-here tan that’s anything but orange. MA suntanvan.me.