The name really ought to be No. 10, because chef Barbara Lynch's Beacon Hill institution offers perfection every time. Foodies find inspired pairings of seasonal delicacies like cardoon gratin with black truffle tartine; people-watchers get a chance to see the créme of Boston society; and big spenders love the chance to show off with hard-to-find bottles—and still get their money's worth. No matter which you're after, you'll get attentive, expert service that always satisfies. 9 Park St., Boston, MA 2108, no9park.com.
The décor is worn; the waiters, crusty. The low-priced seafood, on the other hand, couldn't be fresher, and the kitchen knows what to do with it, displaying considerable finesse with battered fried clams, seared scallops, and buttery chowder made with leftovers from the catches of the day. While some people may be put off by the No Name's unfussy shtick—the restaurant famously serves water by the pitcher in tiny paper cups—regulars know it's part of what amounts to one of the tastiest bargains in Boston. 15 1/2 Fish Pier, Boston, MA nonamerestaurant.com.
The burgeoning SOWA (South of Washington) district is now a must-see destination, thanks in no small part to Bernie Toale. Toale's gallery has been a showcase for everything from the sculpture of Roxy Paine to the intricate, layered drawings of ICA Artist Prize-winner Ambreen Butt to the portraits of photographer David Hilliard. The gallery's Boston Drawing Project also provides a much-needed home for other local artists and for worthy smaller projects that might otherwise be overlooked. 450 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA .
Few Boston galleries can claim to have an international following, but this small fourth-floor boutique on Newbury Street is a big-league player. When Robert Klein founded his gallery more than 30 years ago, he was one of the first to exhibit works by Diane Arbus, Annie Leibovitz, and Sally Mann. Throughout the years, his unerring eye for photography's best has resulted in a collection that rivals any in the world. 38 Newbury St. #402, Boston, MA 2116, robertkleingallery.com.
Unlike the Boston Children's Museum over in Fort Point, the Museum of Science offers parking—a not-insignificant bonus to the many family-friendly charms of this 230,000-square-foot institution. For preschoolers, there's the Discovery Center, full of stuffed animals, things to crawl on and fidget with, knobs to turn, and levers to tug. For older kids, there are exhibits about dinosaurs, lasers, and other gee-whiz subjects. And for parents? The profound joy of nobody whining about being bored. 1 1 Science Park, Boston, MA 2114, mos.org.
Morris' yearly appearances in Boston have become an eagerly awaited tradition, but this year Yo-Yo Ma and his cello joined the dancers on stage at the Wang Center for a dazzling series of duets. The great Baryshnikov also danced, briefly but memorably, still showing more sheer expressiveness in a single gesture than most dancers do in their entire career.
After losing half the band last year, longtime critical darling Come is down to two members—Thalia Zedek and Chris Brokaw. But Come will live on—after all, Zedek and Brokaw have been on the scene in Boston and New York for a decade now, and Come has just released its third CD, titled Near Life Experience
We first fell in love with Paopao when she was the bubbly sommelier at Oleana, in Cambridge—and then, as is often the case with talented hospitality folks, she split for New York, for a prestigious gig as the sommelier for David Chang's Momofuku group. But early this year, Paopao returned to consult for Ken Oringer's impending Toro New York concept, and decided to stick around Boston. And now? She's the one responsible for the wines at Ribelle, her pal Tim Maslow's new Washington Square eatery. 1665 Beacon St., Brookline, MA .
One of the first places in Boston to offer pour-over and cold-brew coffees, Pavement goes well beyond crafting lattes and cappuccinos (although these are fantastic here, too). From the quality Counter Culture beans and complimentary soy milk at the bar to the strong WiFi connection and inviting tufted couches, this is a true coffeehouse experience, one that both java aficionados and on-the-go professionals will savor. 1096 Boylston St., Boston, MA 2115, pavementcoffeehouse.com.
Sadly, the deli is seriously endangered in this country. Thankfully here in Boston, or in Brookline anyway, at least one shining outpost exists, an homage to a time when eating a sandwich piled high with corned beef, pastrami, coleslaw, and Russian dressing didn't make you think, Oh my God, my arteries just froze. That place is Rubin's and that sandwich is called "The Gramercy Park." It is a monster. Provided that you've got health insurance, please, go and order it. 500 Harvard St., Brookline, MA 2446, rubinsboston.com.
We didn't need last year's Food & Wine accolades to tell us that Jamie Bissonnette rocks. The famously inked chef drives the two hottest spots in town—Toro and Coppa (co-owned with Ken Oringer)—which launched our obsession with charcuterie and offal. And while it will pain us to share his skills with New York when a Toro location opens there later this year, we're proud he'll be showing that city what Boston is made of (hint: a whole lotta pork). 253 Shawmut Ave., Boston, MA 2116, coppaboston.com.
From eggs, home fries, and pancakes to the turkey club piled with crispy bacon, the 24-hour South Street Diner nails the classics, then ups the ante with plates like chocolatey French toast and fried pickles (not together, thankfully). With Nitzer Ebb and Passion Pit on the jukebox and mimosas available until 1 a.m., we love South Street for the same reason we love Boston: It's steeped in tradition, but never short on quirk. 178 Kneeland St., Boston, MA 2111, southstreetdiner.com.
Boston is full of places to grab a beer, a greasy burger, or wings on the cheap. But for a brew and tasty bites that won't cause a morning-after food hangover, sidle up to a barstool—or cozy banquette—at Audubon Circle. The crispy duck salad with sage vinaigrette, the pork schnitzel with pickled onion, the chévre cheesecake—this is the kind of inspired fare that convinces you to sit back and order another Fisherman's Ale...and another. 838 Beacon St., Boston, MA 2115, audubocircle.com.
Leave it to Louis Boston to install a cafe that outdoes most of the local stand-alone restaurants. What keeps us coming back to Cafe Louis, even when we don't want to shop. is chef David Reynoso's incredible pizza margherita. It's thin-crusted, with fresh fontina and basil leaves, and so authentic a Neapolitan experience that you'll forget your chic environs and lick your fingers afterward. 234 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA louisboston.com.