It’s great fun whiling away a night with friends at this charmingly quirky Quincy newcomer. Sip on a well-curated lineup of craft beers and creative cocktails—such as the Count Dracula, smoky mezcal with Campari, raspberry cacao, and mole bitters—while sharing bites of chef Ashley Gaboriault’s globally inspired comfort food: say, a crispy fried-chicken sandwich topped with kimchi, and not-quite-mozzarella sticks stuffed with Cajun risotto. idlehourquincy.com.
Take your guests on a grand tour at the Harvard Art Museums, where European allure and venue options are in no short supply. Swap vows in the ivy-adorned courtyard of Adolphus Busch Hall, then head to the museum’s galleries to peruse paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, including masterpieces from the Impressionist era, during cocktail hour. Afterward, you’ll make your official debut in Calderwood Courtyard, the museum’s Renzo Piano–designed atrium. Its glass roof suspends a massive mobile composed of oversize musical triangles—a harmonious backdrop for a dance floor. 32 Quincy St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, harvardartmuseums.org.
The selection of coveted craft brews has long been the main attraction here. But it’s a good thing that dry, fruity Belgian-style ales—the backbone of owner David Ciccolo’s beer list—also pair so well with food: New chef Joe Cooke has upped the ante on the Publick House’s culinary program big time, sourcing whole pigs and sustainable seafood for menu upgrades such as house-cured bacon and frequently changing crudo. 1648 Beacon St., Brookline, MA publickhousebrookline.com.
A GA ticket to House of Blues means A) you’re seeing one of your favorite acts, and B) you’re about to move. We love House of Blues for the energy on the floor, whether you’re dropping it low with Lizzo, moshing with August Burns Red, or crying as you hold an iPhone in flashlight mode aloft with Jenny Lewis. Hey, however the music moves you is cool with us. 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, MA houseofblues.com/boston.
Keri Ketterer Walter at Always Yours Events excels in design, dreaming up fairy-tale fetes with bespoke details, luxe rentals, and (of course) a cohesive color scheme to pull it all together. alwaysyoursevents.com.
Every fairy-tale wedding needs a fairy godmother, and for you, that person might just be Malinda Macari at Your Dream Bridal. Her singular goal? To make each and every bride who sets foot inside her inviting Sudbury boutique feel special. Before meeting with you, Macari will review your wedding details and even your Pinterest board to get a sense of your vision. Then, she’ll work her magic in a private (and pressure-free) appointment, pulling from a curated collection of covetable dresses by Truvelle, Lea-Ann Belter, Laudae, and more—no magic wand required. 730 Boston Post Rd., Sudbury, MA yourdreambridal.com.
Like the city’s options for Sichuan fare, this repeat winner just keeps getting better—and bigger. Last winter, the Chinatown original spawned a sibling kitchen in Central Square that instantly warmed the Scoville-loving hearts (and mouths) of Cantabrigians with its palate-igniting cauldron of “Scalding Fish Fillet” and thin-skinned dumplings drenched in beguiling hot sauce. (The puckery, vinegary stuff—like pork with pickled cabbage soup—is tempting, too.) Here’s hoping the fire continues to spread. 58 Beach St. , Boston, MA 5spiceshouse.com .
Sign up your four-legged friend for 30-to-60-minute walks that avoid toxic ice melt in the winter and hot pavement in the summer; off-leash pup playgroups; or daycare, where they’ll enjoy lounging on couches and playing with toys. Your dog will come home tired but happy and ready to snuggle. thedailystrollllc.com.
WanderLush’s boozy beverages seem too pretty to drink—until you taste them, that is. Founder Crystal Mills and her team create custom craft cocktails, sweetened with house-made syrups and punched up with liquor from local distilleries. Treat guests to an unexpectedly delicious combination of bourbon, green tea, peach purée, and lemon juice or sip on Palomas garnished with fresh grapefruit. Shaken or stirred to your heart’s desire, the picture-perfect drinks will have you dreaming of your tropical honeymoon. wanderlushboston.com.
No surprise that chef Barbara Lynch’s restaurants continue to compile stunning lists, thanks to renowned grape-juice expert Cat Silirie. What is surprising? The fact that the best wine lists can be found at Lynch’s most accessible property, an intimate homage to European boucheries where the glass pours showcase classics and Old World gems alongside small producers and innovative newbies. Fancy sherry with your salumi? Something pink with your pâté? This spot has you covered. 552 Tremont St. , Boston, MA thebutchershopboston.com.
If we thought Ayanna Pressley had nerves of steel for challenging and taking down one of our longest-serving Democratic congressmen, it was only because we hadn’t yet seen her take on the Trump administration. In her first speech on the floor of the House in January, she delivered a scathing rebuke of President Donald Trump and the government shutdown. More recently, in an exchange that went viral, she scolded Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson for interrupting her and evading her questions. As a result, Pressley’s take-no-prisoners approach has made her a star on the national political stage. Read more
Signature seollongtang beef soup is the heavenly house special that keeps this Allston eatery humming. The dish is presented with Dickensian austerity—chalk-white broth hiding slices of boiled brisket and slippery vermicelli—but once you season your bowl with the supplied sea salt, scallions, properly fermented banchan, and exceptionally good (tender, chewy, clumpy) steamed rice, it’s one of the most soul-satisfying meals around. As for the bulgogi and bibimbap? Things of beauty, both. 1245 Commonwealth Ave., Allston, MA seoulsoulongtang.com.
Shopping at NETA’s Brookline outpost is as far from buying pot off your cousin’s dog walker in a 7-Eleven parking lot as you can get. The vast selection of buds, pre-rolled joints, vape pens, and gummies is housed behind wood-trimmed glass cases in a historical bank complete with a well-styled mini lounge to wait in. And unlike in dubious parking-lot rendezvous, you can be sure that whatever you buy, the product will be top-tier, thanks to NETA’s state-of-the-art indoor cultivation center in Franklin. 160 Washington St., Brookline, MA netacare.org.
Offering both titanium and carbon-titanium hybrid builds, this boutique shop spends hours refining each bike’s design before producing a ride made just for you. 117 Boston St., Dorchester, MA fireflybicycles.com.
In a city that sleeps early, this 24/7 spot is a beacon of light in the middle of a sweets-hankering night. That said, the crunchy, Florentine cannoli and huge, flaky lobster tails are among the best reasons to visit the North End, no matter the hour. 134 Salem St., Boston, MA bovabakeryboston.net.