Experience the Best of Boston right here in historic Harvard Square! From outstanding restaurants to trendy music venues, there’s something for everyone. Whether you want to enjoy some of Boston’s best live theater, dine at some of the best sea food and Italian restaurants, or simply get lost in a book store, Boston Magazine has rated many businesses as the Best of Boston!
Best Virtual Movie Theater
When cinemas were forced to shutter indefinitely this spring, the Brattle pivoted to a digital format faster than moviegoers could yell “Action!”, offering exclusive tickets to a variety of flicks, from regional premieres of documentaries to foreign films. The Harvard Square theater has also created a repertory series for kids and a weekly podcast in which staffers discuss films on the Brattle’s schedule. All you have to do is dim the lights and log on.
Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St. (617) 876-6837, harvardsquare.com/venue/brattle-theatre/brattlefilm.org
Best Dish and Best Dish We Can’t Wait to Eat Again
Charred Avacado Nigiri – Cafe Sushi
Precise applications of lemon, salt, truffle oil, and fire-breathing blowtorch yield a showstopper too delicate for takeout travel.
Cafe Sushi, 1105 Massachusetts Ave., (617) 492-0434, harvardsquare.com/venue/cafe-sushi/
Pastry Love – Joanne Chang – Flour Bakery + Cafe
Just before self-isolation drove all of us into home-baker mode, the sugar-speckled sage behind Boston’s Flour Bakery + Café empire released her latest tome (and with it, scored her most recent James Beard Award nomination). Its 125 recipes, accompanied by brief journal-like backstories, cover everything from caramel popcorn cookies to s’mores pie to orange-almond pudding cake. Each helped us experiment beyond simple sourdough and, during socially distant times, felt like a loving hug from a local dining legend. flourbakery.com/books.
Flour Bakery + Cafe, 114 Mt. Auburn St., (617) 714- 3205, harvardsquare.com/venue/flour-bakery-
You don’t mess with success. Legal’s classic formula—a creamy base, loads Handsome, flirty, and extremely supportive: No, we’re not talking about our latest flame, we’re talking about the underpinnings from this one-stop Cambridge shop. Situated outside the store, Forty Winks’ new walk-up bra bar is an easy, safe way to upgrade your lingerie drawer—or opt for a gratis 30-minute virtual fitting and browsing session with a sales associate and pick up curbside. 56 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge, MA 02138, shopfortywinks.com.
Forty Winks, 56 JFK St., (617) 492-9100, harvardsquare.com/forty-winks-lingerie
Best Virtual Author Series
Harvard Book Store
Miss seeing your favorite writers in living color? The good news is the beloved author talks at this bibliophile’s paradise are still happening as many as five times a week online, now with an added perk—celebrity moderators. Recent pairings include longtime Globe book critic Gail Caldwell discussing her deeply personal memoir with Gloria Steinem, and former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy chatting about his latest book on health with former First Daughter Barbara Bush.
Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., (617) 661-1515, harvardsquare.com/venue/harvard-book-store/
Best Family-Friendly Show
The Nutcracker, José Mateo Ballet Theatre
There’s no better way to embrace the holiday spirit than getting gussied up to see this company’s take on The Nutcracker, danced by professionals and a small army of children at the Strand in Dorchester
Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, 400 Harvard St., (617) 354-7467, harvardsquare.com/venue/jose-mateos-ballet-theatre/
“Jewelry is the oldest currency we have.” So says bling maker Rebekah Brooks, who combines classic grandeur with ethereal whimsy for both engagement and wedding rings. Her stunning sparklers run the gamut from vermeil bands inlaid with purple-magenta sapphires to yellow-gold scroll rings that look like waves on the sea—all totally on-point for an indie jeweler who crafts her pieces in artsy Northampton.
Rebekah Brooks, 17 Brattle St., (617) 864-1639, harvardsquare.com/venue/rebekah-brooks-jewelry/