From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers? exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location?s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
Hailed as 1 of 11 coffee shops that “put Boston on the map,” according to the Boston Globe, Simon's Coffee Shop decided the only way to top itself was to literally put itself on the map again. Despite just opening, Simon’s Too looks a little more grown-up than its predecessor. Instead of playful orange walls, the coffee shop has exposed brick; instead of scrawling the menu items in multicolored chalk, the baristas print them carefully with white block letters. But Simon’s Too still has the same energy as the flagship location. And it still uses only local coffee, which is brewed from beans roasted in Arlington and Acton. Like a cartoon pie cooling on a windowsill, the coffee bean grinder entices guests with its deep aromas, luring patrons to the wooden counter to order one of the day’s available soups or a signature drink concocted by a La Marzocco espresso machine.
Harvest of India's modestly priced lunch buffet makes it a popular spot for students to stop for a meal between classes. Come dinnertime, though, it's on to entrees that span the whole of India, from South Indian dosas served with coconut chutney to Kashmiri goat meat marinated in tamarind and red chili.
“You can tell when somebody’s discovered [The Plough & Stars] for the first time. There’s this ‘glowing-ness’ about them.” Former Morphine saxophonist Dana Colley made this observation in a Boston Globe article, which chronicled the bar’s more-than-40-year history in Boston. Colley understands the magic of The Plough & Stars firsthand: he met his former bandmates here, and several other legends, such as Philip Roth and Bonnie Raitt, have passed through the pub. The tradition of live music continues with performances almost every night of the week. The staff provides their own accompaniment to these shows in the form of libations and food. Their menu covers lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Each dish—whether it’s a roasted half-chicken, baked mac 'n' cheese, or an Irish breakfast—comes from fresh, local produce, seafood, and meat. In the end, though, The Plough & Stars is much like a jewelry box that’s fired the dancer inside: it’s all about the music. Colley told the Globe, “It’s a pleasure to play here because everything you give the audience comes back, and that is the most important thing, as far as what this place means to me as a musician.”
Beantown Taqueria specializes in spicy dualities. One side of their chalkboard menu splits off into authentic territory, boasting tacos on homemade corn tortillas and tostadas that Thrillist Boston claims will satisfy "SoBo purists." The other side embraces crispy Tex-Mex classics such as burritos and chimichangas drizzled in sour cream and guacamole. Guests stroll up to a counter whose wooden slats evoke a street taco stand, placing orders until 11 p.m. from Sunday to Wednesday and until 4 a.m. on weekends.