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2016

Brewer’s Fork

Charlestown

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…Read More

2016 Best New Restaurant

Yvonne’s

Boston

How to eviscerate the specter of the late, lamented Locke-Ober? Enlist the best up-and-coming talent, overhaul the three-piece-suited firmament, and don’t skimp on the razzle-dazzle. Yvonne’s is a self-styled supper...Read More

2016 Best Restaurant, General Excellence

Alden & Harlow

Cambridge

Whether we’re looking for a place to entertain out-of-towners or just an impromptu night out on the town, Alden & Harlow has become our default dining destination. Even after two...Read More

2016 Best Day Spa

Mandarin Oriental

Boston

Close your eyes and imagine the sound of a gentle waterfall as you stroll into the Mandarin. A staffer discreetly delivers a hot towel and a cup of tea. The...Read More

2016 Best Music Venue

The Sinclair

Cambridge

What better way to take in the latest indie rock than with a side of chicken-liver mousse and steak tartare? That’s the kind of rock ’n’ roll lifestyle you can...Read More

2016 Best Designer, Clothing

Kate Brierley, Isoude

This Rhode Island–based designer crafts chic, timeless silhouettes for women looking for effortless style, but it’s her specialized wardrobe programs that set her apart. Brierley and her team offer three...Read More

2016 Best Pizzas, New School

Area Four

Cambridge

Hand-stretched and fermented for more than 30 hours, Area Four’s crispy, Campania-meets-New Haven crust confidently undergirds a cornucopia of toppings—from handmade mozz to sustainable seafood to house-smoked meats...Read More

2016 Best Sandwiches

Po Boy

Newton

Editor’s Note, July 1, 2 p.m.: After our 2016 Best of Boston issue was published in print and online, reports surfaced that Po Boy has closed, future unknown. Calls to the...Read More

2016 Best Dance Troupe

Boston Ballet

Boston

In its 53rd season, Boston Ballet has long since jetéd from unrivaled in New England to an internationally respected troupe. With veteran principal ballerinas such as Misa Kuranaga and Lia...Read More

2016 Best Clothing, Swimwear

Everything But Water

Natick

In a region with four distinct seasons, it can be near impossible to find a retailer that stocks bathing suits year round. Rather than resign yourself to hit-or-miss online shopping...Read More

2016 Best Makeup Artist

Katrina Hess

Boston

A stalwart of the Boston beauty scene, Katrina Hess has always been a go-to for special-occasion makeup. But she’ll also transform your daily makeup routine with private two-hour lessons at...Read More

2016 Best Fried Chicken

Moonshine 152

South Boston

To fry up the greatest golden bird in Boston, chef Asia Mei eschews thighs and breasts in favor of the lowly wing. Butchered in-house, dry-brined in a secret spice rub,...Read More

2016 Best Wine Bar

Spoke

Somerville

There’s a reason why chefs like Oleana’s Ana Sortun are regulars at this low-key industry favorite: Owner Felisha Foster has taken the pomp and predictability out of the wine-bar experience....Read More

2016 Best Hair Colorist

Amanda Johnson, Mario Russo

Boston

There are two kinds of colorists: those who will do your bidding, no matter how ill advised, and those who will save you from yourself. Mario Russo’s Amanda Johnson is...Read More

2016 Best Food Truck

Sheherazad

Call it meal-on-a-bun fatigue: Occasionally we grow weary of gyros, grilled cheeses, and Maggi-splattered bánh mì—no matter how good they are. Hence our obsession with this truck’s Iraqi and Middle...Read More

2016 Best Band

Palehound

Ellen Kempner’s vocal melodies have a tendency to shoot up high without warning, just like her hands on the fretboard of her guitar during bouts of frenzied rocking. It’s this...Read More

2016 Best Pizzas, Old School

Armando’s

Cambridge

The DiPaolo family’s metal-deck magicians continue to churn out crisp yet pliable New York–style pies, all blanketed with house-made red sauce. Grab a cold can of grape soda, bask under...Read More

2016 Best Neighborhood Diversion, Fort Point/Waterfront

Internal Matter

Boston

Whether you’re looking for a morning pick-me-up, a mellow night of live music, or a place to decompress after boxing at George Foreman III’s gym next door, this steampunk-chic café...Read More

2016 Best Skin Care

Fresh

Boston

When Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg launched their Boston-based apothecary, they personally wrapped and labeled soaps by hand. More than 20 years later, the Fresh name is synonymous with natural...Read More

2016 Best Doughnuts

Blackbird Doughnuts

Boston

These raised specimens—in varieties like cookies and cream, “everything” bagel, and sesame sriracha—would be easy to dismiss as too hip for their own good. Except that they’re insanely delicious. And...Read More

2016 Best Fries

Shōjō

Boston

Shōjō’s “Shadowless” fries combine handcut Russets double-fried in duck fat, mapo tofu tinged with spicy chili, and nacho-cheese sauce built from a gochujang-kimchi base. The clincher? A splash of sriracha...Read More

2016 Best Playground

Thomas M. Menino Park

Charlestown

This play space perched at the edge of the Charlestown Navy Yard offers 38,000 square feet of universally accessible play structures, rubberized running surfaces, and gently rolling lawns for kids...Read More

2016 Best Hotel, General Excellence

The Liberty Hotel

Boston

The former site of the Charles Street Jail now has the city’s hotel and nightlife scene on lock. Guests can escape to Alibi, the prison’s old drunk tank, to sip...Read More

2016 Best Neighborhood Diversion, Central Square

City Hall Front Lawn

Cambridge

Only in the People’s Republic would the front lawn of City Hall be a fine place for some rest and relaxation. Leave your everyday worries behind at the city’s annual...Read More

2016 Best Cocktail Bar

Ames Street Deli

Cambridge

Editor’s Note, July 13, 1 p.m.: Ames Street—which merged with its neighbor Study for a combined concept called “Study at Ames” in late June, after press time for our Best of...Read More

2016 Best Empire Builder

Tasty Burger

Boston

A flagship restaurant on Boylston Street wasn’t enough for the Red Sox’s official burger joint; Tasty Burger had to open inside Fenway Park, too. In fact, the Franklin Restaurant Group...Read More

2016 Best Swimming Lessons, Kids

Goldfish Swim School

Needham

Bubbly young instructors have a way of making skill-boosting challenges in the pool seem like silly fun, and a spacious playroom makes class day feel like a party. Plus, every...Read More

2016 Best Classical Music Ensemble

Boston Philharmonic

Classical music can be inaccessible to the casual listener, maybe even intimidating. To remedy this, Boston Philharmonic conductor Benjamin Zander delivers illuminating pre-concert lectures, helping the audience better understand each...Read More

2016 Best Watches

Lux Bond & Green

Boston

The display cases in this Boylston Street showroom house brands that have literally stood the test of time—classics like Baume & Mercier and Patek Philippe. The shop also employs a...Read More

2016 Best Restaurant, General Excellence, South

The Quarry Restaurant and Lounge

Hingham

This spacious, sleek restaurant and lounge is ideal for a romantic dalliance, or just a night away from the kids: Executive Chef Greg Jordan’s spirited takes on American fare—crispy cider-glazed...Read More

2016 Best Women's Haircut

Chuck Bass, Pini Swissa Salon

Boston

We came to Bass with a three-month-old haircut on the fritz. His diagnosis? Too heavy, especially around the shoulders. Within 60 seconds the stylist had devised a surgical plan: longer...Read More

2016 Best Neighborhood Shopping, Central Square

Cheapo Records

Cambridge

For more than 60 years, the shop has amassed a vast collection of records—with genres from classical to Cajun, pop to punk, and everything in between. You never know what...Read More

2016 Best Comedian

Gary Petersen

Bespectacled, bearded punk-rock fan Gary Petersen has a knack for crafting absurd yet intelligent jokes in the same vein as Patton Oswalt or Jim Gaffigan: “I like food more than...Read More

2016 Best Music Store

In Your Ear

Boston

We know: Newbury Comics has basically become a streetwear boutique, while shops like Orpheus and Armageddon respectively focus on niche audiences for classical or punk and metal discs. For a...Read More

2016 Best Neighborhood Bar, Fort Point/Waterfront

Tavern Road

Boston

This bartenders’ bar takes its craft cocktails seriously. If there’s a better way to spend a Saturday than watching these mixologists work their magic, we haven’t found it yet. Plus,...Read More

2016 Best Outerwear

M. Miller

Boston

For many, wintertime means dragging out that lumpy black down jacket. But if we’re forced to face the elements, we might as well do it in style. Enter husband-and-wife team...Read More

2016 Best Custom Suits

Blank Label

Boston

You could easily drop a few grand on a bespoke model from a name-brand designer. But if you want to save thousands and strut away looking just as dapper, pay...Read More

2016 Best Pop-up

Kaki Lima

When she immigrated to North America, Jakarta native Retno Pratiwi was hard-pressed to find any Indonesian fare. So she took matters into her own hands. Alongside her husband, Peter Gelling,...Read More

2016 Best Casual Restaurant, South

The Fat Cat

Quincy

Neil Kiley’s friendly spot is a true local hangout, with regulars bellying up to the long bar or sitting in the narrow dining area night after night, feasting on comfort...Read More

2016 Best Brewery

Jack’s Abby

Framingham

With its growing canned line, 175-seat restaurant serving everything from wood-fired pizzas to beer-braised mussels, and charming new Framingham facility capable of producing 100,000 barrels a year, Jack’s Abby epitomizes...Read More

2016 Best Greek Restaurant, New School

Pelekasis

Boston

Brendan Pelley’s pop-up, now in temporary residence at the South End’s Wink & Nod, struts with sophistication and self-assuredness: Mom’s recipe for layered spanakopita anchors peerlessly cool, contemporary dishes like...Read More

2016 Best Jewelry, Everyday

Alexis Bittar

Boston

Finding that perfect piece of jewelry is kind of like finding a soul mate: You want it to be the ideal everyday companion, but also give you a boost when...Read More

2016 Best Neighborhood Bar, Central Square

River Gods

Cambridge

Editor’s Note, July 11, 5 p.m.: River Gods has announced that they are permanently closed.  It’s not the fine pour of Guinness or the cocktail list. It’s not the wooden thrones or...Read More

2016 Best Barbershop

Razors Barbershop

Somerville

In a time of disposable blades and unisex salons, you’d be forgiven for thinking the straight razor shave had gone the way of Brylcreem and wooden teeth. But practitioners of...Read More

2016 Best Restaurant, General Excellence, West

Artistry on the Green

Lexington

This hideaway within the Inn at Hastings Park combines proper New England ambiance with inventive, locally sourced food. Lunch and dinner bring dressed-up takes on buckwheat crêpes and rich tagliatelle...Read More

2016 Best Neighborhood Restaurant

Pastoral

Boston

In an area overflowing with new eateries, Pastoral flies under the radar. Strange, given its creative menu (those wood-burning-oven-blistered Neapolitan-style pies are just the beginning), formidable beer roster, and conveniently...Read More

2016 Best Afterschool Tutoring

Evolve Tutoring

Belmont

Evolve takes a holistic approach to developing students: Tutors make house calls to bond with your child, and they teach students stress-reduction techniques and organizational skills along with math tips...Read More

2016 Best Luggage

London Harness

Wellesley

London Harness might be the oldest luggage retailer in the country, but its stylish selection is anything but dated. The Wellesley boutique carries chic Bric folding duffels and Lipault rolling...Read More

2016 Best Women's Boutique, North

Nine Streets

Newburyport

New York transplant and former magazine editor Esther de Hollander curates an on-trend, off-the-beaten-path selection of clothing and accessories with just the right amount of wearable New England charm: classically...Read More

2016 Best Restaurant, General Excellence, Martha's Vineyard

State Road

West Tisbury

There’s a magic moment that happens after a meal at State Road, the rustically elegant West Tisbury restaurant favored by presidents and locals alike: Walking out, you remember, as if...Read More

    Most Viewed Winners of Restaurants & Food

    • Brewer’s Fork, 2016 Best Brunch
    • Yvonne’s, 2016 Best New Restaurant
    • Alden & Harlow, 2016 Best Restaurant, General Excellence

    Most Viewed Winners

    • Ostra, 2016 Best Seafood Restaurant
    • Neptune Oyster, 2015 Best Seafood Restaurant
    • Yankee Lobster Company, 2012 Best Seafood Restaurant, Casual