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Toro brings Barcelona-style tapas to Boston’s South End. Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette have crafted a menu of traditional and modern Spanish-style small platters from sustainable and locally sourced ingredients. The paella is one of the stars, but be prepared to wait for it. Toro 1704 Washington St., Boston, MA 02118; (617) 536-4300

The Hawthorne

The Hawthorne pairs craft cocktails with hospitality, comfort and a chic atmosphere. Its extensive menu invites guests to rediscover old gems, find a new favorite, or sample one of their daily creations. The Hawthorne 500 A Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215; (617) 532-9150


Coppa serves up a unique take on Italian cuisine with its local, seasonal ingredients and inventive menu. Acclaimed chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette have created an exciting repertoire of Italian-inspired small plates, salumi, pizza, and pasta. Coppa 253 Shawmut Ave., Boston, MA, 02118; (617) 391-0902

Armenian Market and Bakery

Armenian Market and Bakery brings a unique dining and shopping experience to Watertown (incidentally, the nation’s 3rd largest Armenian population). You can explore their traditional grocery items, fresh produce and baked goods or enjoy their homemade baklava, shaved to order shawarma, and Lahmajun (Armenian pizza) in their eat-in cafe. Armenian Market and Bakery 23 Elm … Continued

Banh Mi Ba Le

Tucked away in Dorchester, outside Boston proper, you might ask if Banh Mi Ba Le is worth the trip. The answer is a resounding yes. Their fresh ingredients and proprietary artisan baguette have earned them the distinction of being the #1 Vietnamese sandwich in Boston. And how much for this king of Vietnamese sandwiches you … Continued

Island Creek Oyster Bar

A hybrid of traditional New England shore food and creative, seasonally influenced seafood makes Island Creek Oyster Bar stand out from the crowd of Boston seafood restaurants. With fish selections and oyster lists changing daily based on what’s coming out of the water, it could only be fresher if you caught it yourself. The namesake … Continued


Sportello serves up a  sleek, modern take on the classic Italian dinner with its fresh, trattoria-inspired dishes designed by award-winning chef Barbara Lynch. One of my favorite, all-time affogatos served here. Also, the Bolognese is off-the-charts. Sportello 348 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210; (617) 737-1234