Relocated from its former home on Boylston Street, Looney Tunes remains as packed with vinyl—and as busy slinging it—as ever.
The Allston outpost of Peter Wang’s dumpling emporium never disappoints. Order the pork-and-crab mini juicy buns and let that glorious broth dribble where it will. 137 Harvard Ave., Allston, MA
The egalité at Great Scott is hard to beat: Snag face time with artists while photo-opping at the merch table, flagging down the bartender, or even crowding around the bathroom mirror.
Neighborly vibes and standout food—what more could you ask for in a hometown joint? Start with “trainwreck French fries” with fixings like jack cheese and pickled jalapeño, and end with the famed sticky toffee pudding. 555 Talbot Ave., Dorchester, MA
Come summer, live music emanates from this collection of tents in Peabody Square, where vendors peddle produce, baked goods, crafts, and more.
When office towers empty, rolled-up shirtsleeves reach for tequila and tasty tacos—say, sesame-crusted avocado with string cheese and “special sauce”—at chef Jason Santos’s Mexican-inspired crossroads. 142 Berkeley St., Boston, MA
From its historical digs on Mass. Ave., the BSO manages to cater to both Liszt fans and those who just want to hear what the Star Wars theme sounds like live.
At chef Barbara Lynch’s Italian eatery, gloriously fatty rillettes come on thick-sliced crostini, gnocchi is coated in silken mushroom ragu, and a new aperitivo bar awaits for post-work negronis. 348 Congress St., Boston, MA
Sure, it’s dominated by rowdy little ones most days, but keep an eye out for nights when the place rebrands as the “Grown-Ups Museum” and the spiked slushies start flowing.
With two floors filled floor to ceiling with new and used titles, bestsellers, and staff picks, we dare you to leave Harvard Square’s book mecca empty-handed.
A giant burrito, a knock-you-flat frozen marg, and a killer roof deck: Felipe’s knows exactly what its patrons want, and delivers it with perfection. 21 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA
Part storied dramaturgical institution and part experimental funhouse, ART delivers on its mission to bring cutting-edge theater to Cambridge.
The smorgasbord of locally made jewelry, wood-topped Paddywax candles, and cheeky Blue Q novelty socks at this airy gift shop (pictured) never fails to impress.
This pop-up turned restaurant excels at globally inspired comfort food (lobster-dashi udon, anyone?) and laid-back ambiance—a winning combination if we’ve ever seen one. 3710 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, MA
Gone are the days when Sam Adams was J.P.’s only claim to brewery fame. Opened in 2017, Turtle Swamp serves IPAs, porters, sours, and ales all made with local ingredients.
Three decades in, this reggae- and R & B-focused music shop on Blue Hill Ave. is still playing the role of cultural hub, hangout, and icon of the neighborhood’s vibrant Caribbean community.
This zero-frills Trinidadian counter-service joint offers up gargantuan portions of spicy, succulent meats, slaw, and starch nestled in soft roti bread. The oxtail and goat are especially excellent. 1188 Blue Ave., Mattapan, MA
A summer camp for kids and a natural oasis for everyone else, this 67-acre property boasts miles of trails and boardwalks, as well as the Clark-Cooper Community Gardens.
Step inside and transport yourself into a world of collectibles, antiques, and oddities, including a century-old Kodak camera and a Happy Days lunchbox.
Chef Tim Wiechmann’s stalwart den of German and Central European cuisine is the go-to place for wursts and Apfelstrudel washed down with Doppelbock and schnapps. 255 Washington St., Somerville, MA
Feeling tense? Make your way to Urban Axes, where resident “axperts” will lead you in throwing honest-to-God weapons at a wall. Stress relief just got edgier.
Marathon Sports’ Brookline outpost stocks shoes galore, from old standbys to coveted limited releases. Not sure where to start? Let a staffer diagnose your stride.
Come the weekend, folks line the sidewalk to snag Stoked’s crazy-good, charred-crust pies. And you know what? The wait is always worth it. 1632 Beacon St., Brookline, MA
A couple of blocks down Beacon Street lies an urban paradise complete with a playground, baseball diamond, tennis courts, and lawn space for kiddos and canines to enjoy.
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
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