Agree, disagree, or have another favorite that The Improper didn’t nominate? Tell us!
TRIDENT BOOKSELLERS AND CAFE - BOSTON, MA
Here, breakfast is an all-day, every-day affair, and we certainly wish we could start (or end) each day with a freshly-squeezed juice blend alongside an apple-brie omelet, potato chuckwagon or Trident’s crowning glory: the zesty, lemon-ricotta stuffed French toast, drizzled with blueberry sauce. Its griddle-kissed challah is as thick as the novel you can pluck from the shelves while you wait—leisurely reading counterside with a Viennese espresso, or at a cozy table gazing out the windows overlooking Newbury Street.
ANNA’S TAQUERIA - BOSTON, MA
Oh, Anna’s—it’s almost unfair. Once again, their Mission-style missiles reign supreme. Rigorous cross-sectional analysis confirms their composition’s supremacy: a blissful equilibrium of rice, beans and brawn, like saucy carnitas or spicy slow-cooked chicken. Bounding all that goodness is a steamed, stretchy tortilla, rolled into a taut torpedo and snugly sheathed in foil. This savvy structure ensures that fillings stay put, so every morsel lands right in the tank instead of your shirt.
BEST COFFEE SHOP
THE THINKING CUP - BOSTON, MA
Coffee lovers who have graduated from pedestrian Dunks and Starbucks can choose from a growing range of small, independently owned Boston cafes, none better than this mini chain with three in-town locations. One of a handful of local outlets for coffees from legendary Oregon sourcer and roaster Stumptown, Thinking Cup offers superb renditions of drip, espresso and pour-over coffees, does proper teas and an amazing hot chocolate and offers a creditable selection of pastries and sandwiches.
INDIA QUALITY - BOSTON, MA
While we’re grateful that Boston’s traditional sub-continental restaurants offer more regional variety than ever—nice to see you, Indo-Chinese—this unimposing, long-running Kenmore Square venue continues to deliver the old-school goods: a comprehensive menu of familiar Punjabi and Mughal standards leavened with very good breads and the odd vindaloo or two. What keeps us coming back are its consistency, bargain-priced set-menu thalis, a nicer-than-usual selection of Indian and Western desserts and, above all, the sweet-natured hospitality of its veteran hosts.
BEST NEIGHBORHOOD PASTRY
MODERN PASTRY SHOP - MEDFORD, MA
There’s nothing better on a hot summer night than a stroll down Hanover Street, following your nose into Modern Pastry for a creamy, cool dessert. Plain and chocolate-dipped cannoli are made to order, piped with fresh, mild ricotta, for results that are delicate, never soggy. If you prefer a nightcap, reach for a spongy, rum-soaked baba. And their handmade, crispy shells filled with custardy “lobster tail cream” blow rivals out of the water.