View:
Choose a category below to view the winners.
  • Food & Drink

    Union Square Donuts
    Photo Credit: Dan Watkins

    Donut

    Union Square Donuts

    It’s fitting that Union Square Donuts opened its doors this past Valentine’s Day: It’s been seducing local sweet-tooths (and breaking hearts when the goods sell out) ever since. Plump and fluffy, these donuts tantalize from the inside out, reaching an apogee whether glazed with a tangy berry burst of cherry hibiscus or lightly robed in sea-salted bourbon caramel. We don’t even want to tell you about the maple bacon, lest you beat us to it in line.

    16 Bow St., Somerville, 617-209-2257
  • Bars & Clubs

    Harpoon Beer Hall
    Photo Credit Nicole Popma

    New Addition

    Harpoon Beer Hall

    For those who love a cold one, Harpoon’s South Boston brewery looks like Willy Wonka’s factory—and after waiting in lines that can stretch to the street on weekends, customers certainly feel like they’ve won a golden ticket once they enter. The Boston-based brewer’s new on-site beer hall is serious about its craft, offering 19 Harpoon varieties on tap (including exclusive pilot batches), huge pretzels with a variety of tasty dipping sauces and a TV-free atmosphere that’s all about the suds. 

    306 Northern Ave., Boston, 617-456-2322, harpoonbrewery.com
  • Arts & Entertainment

    The Sinclair
    Photo Credit: Michael Young Photography

    Rock Club

    The Sinclair

    A gift from the music gods, Harvard Square’s newest rock club supplies a dependable string of primarily indie bands that you can actually see—the sight lines at the Sinclair’s subway-style space are killer. With a standing-room mezzanine, a seating area that drops over the crowd below and a stage that’s just four feet high, you can make goo-goo eyes at the musicians who make you quiver all night long. And it’s just a door away from the attached restaurant and patio, where you can carbo-load and sober up—or continue to enjoy the post-show euphoria.

    52 Church St., Cambridge, 617-547-5200, sinclaircambridge.com
  • Goods & Services

    Durty Harry’s
    Photo Credit: Gretchen Devine

    Pet Boutique

    Durty Harry’s

    A Labrador named Harry (and his love of mud puddles) inspired this self-service grooming center and store. Durty Harry’s ergonomic tubs are open to walk-in customers looking to give their pooch a scrub for no more than $20. Don’t have time to tackle the task yourself? Fuller service is available, include fetching and returning your newly prettied pet. But if you do find yourself in the store, be sure to browse the array of organic kibble and treats, plush and plastic toys and more. 

    287 Main St., Charlestown, 617-242-3647; 417 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-860-6154; durtyharry.com
  • Fashion

    Frye
    Photo credit: Nicole Popma

    Welcome Addition

    Frye

    Shoe gluttons, rejoice! Where once sat a dark and forgotten saloon now exists a haven of leather and sunwashed nubuck: Boots, pumps, oxfords, mules, belts and handbags all reside in the 11,000-square-foot space. The flagship store boasts a lounge for events and vintage trunk shows along with fit specialists to help customers and personalize boots. With an unrivaled inventory, it’s our one-stop shop for all things footwear.

    284 Newbury St., Boston, 617-247-3793, thefryecompany.com
  • Beauty & Health

    Birchbox
    Photo Credit: Dan Watkins

    Way to Stay on Trend While Staying at Home

    Birchbox

    With Birchbox, busy moms and trendsetting 20-somethings are discovering how addictive try-it-before-you-buy-it can be. Just register on the website (monthly membership fees are $10 for women, $20 for men) and fill out a beauty profile, and Birchbox will send you a customized box of samples every month. Like what you try? Buy the full-size version of your perfume, makeup or skin-care selection, and you’ll earn points toward future purchases. It’s like going to a makeup counter in your pajamas. 

  • Bridal

    Alex and Ani
    Photo Credit: Dan Watkins

    Bridesmaid Gift

    Alex and Ani

    With Alex and Ani, brides can make their wedding day an unforgettable occasion for their hardworking bridesmaids, too. Available in Russian gold or silver finishes, bangles can be customized with sparkling birthstones, initials or something unique that the bridesmaids share. (A passion for the Red Sox? Check. A sorority? In stock. Irish heritage? Covered by Claddagh charms.) They also provide the perfect excuse for bridesmaids to gather for a post-nuptial trip to the narrow Newbury Street store (or any of the Rhode Island–based company’s 30 shops across the country) to add more fun charms.

    115 Newbury St., Boston, 617-421-0777, alexandani.com

Contributing writers: Ezra Dyer (People & Places, Sports), Nancy Gaines (Bars & Clubs), Kim Girard (Beauty & Health, Bridal), Cassandra Landry (Food & Drink), Matt Martinelli (Bars & Clubs), Amanda Morrison (Food & Drink), Tamara Omazic (Goods & Services), Michael Persson (Arts & Entertainment), Lindsay Tucker (Fashion)

Follow The Improper

Nominate Your Favorite Bartender, Bachelor/ette or Stylish Bostonian.

Unrequited crush? Bad hair? Send us your messages of love and spleen. They might appear in The Improper Bostonian.