I have been wanting to write this post for several weeks, but everything was changing so rapidly that each time I'd start to draft it, the information was out of date. Now that it's clear we're settling into social distancing for the long haul, many local businesses are starting to find a new rhythm.
I know we all feel helpless right now. My goal with today's post is to inspire you to take action. To choose to actively support these amazing restaurants, bakeries, bookstores and shops so they can survive this tumultuous time.
Below is a list of businesses I absolutely adore. Many of them are offering takeout, curbside pick up, delivery or national shipping. I have organized the list by category; I hope that makes it easy for you to find what you are looking for.
Bookmark this post and please revisit it often. Thank you in advance for the love I know you will show these owners and their teams!
Breakfast, Donuts & Pastries
Bagelsaurus (Cambridge, MA) - I have waited in line for 45 minutes for a Bagelsaurus bagel, that's how good they are.
Currently, they are offering "bagel bundle" pre-orders, which are available for pick up at their Cambridge, MA location on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The bagel bundle ($39 dollars) includes 13 assorted bagels, one 16 ounce cream cheese and a $5 dollar tip for staff.
Follow them on Instagram, @Bagelsaurus13, for real-time updates.
The Breakfast Club (Allston, MA) - Oh, how I have missed The Breakfast Club during this time! I have one of their mugs at home and whenever I long for brunch there, I make myself hot chocolate in that mug.
The good news is, they are open all seven days of the week right now. You can call them for curbside pick up or place an order via DoorDash or UberEats. They will even deliver their milkshakes!
Koko Bakery (Newton, MA) - Koko Bakery is right on the Watertown / Newton line and they make one of the best chocolate croissants I've ever had. Their mini chocolate donuts are also incredible.
They are located on a quiet street, where it is very easy to social distance in line. Right now they are open for pick up from 8:00am - 1:00pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Linda's Donuts (Belmont, MA) - If you have never had a donut from Linda's, you are in for a treat! Their signature honey dipped donut is like eating sugar coated air.
They are currently open from 7:00am - 12:30pm, Tuesday - Saturday.
Sofra Bakery (Cambridge, MA) - Before COVID-19, I was at Sofra at least once a week. Usually on Saturday or Sunday morning I would zip over there for a pastry and a Red Dragon ice tea.
They were closed for a few weeks, but they have re-opened for pick up, Wednesday - Sunday. You place your order online in advance (including selecting a pick up time) and then arrive at your designated time.
Keep an eye on their Instagram Stories, @sofrabakery, which is where they announce specials!
Tatte Bakery (Boston, MA) - My office is two blocks from a Tatte in Kendall Square in Cambridge and I am kicking myself right now for not eating there more often this winter. Little did I know all this would happen!
In my opinion, Tatte makes an incredible shakshuka. I also love their avocado tartine. And you can't go wrong with a chocolate rose pastry.
Get all of that (plus their Valrhona chocolate chunk cookie dough!) for pick up or delivery.
Uncommon Grounds (Watertown, MA) - I am lucky to live up the street from Uncommon Grounds, a fantastic breakfast and brunch spot. My go-to move is the "all green" scramble, which is eggs, cheese and every green vegetable. It's delicious.
When the COVID-19 crisis first hit, Uncommon Grounds closed. Last week they re-opened and they are now offering pick up and delivery, Wednesday - Sunday, 8:30am - 2:00pm. They have a large, free parking lot directly next to the cafe, so it couldn't be easier to pick up your order!
Union Square Donuts (Somerville, MA) - Union Square Donuts was also closed until last week when they started offering pre-orders from their location in Union Square in Somerville.
This is the link for pre-order and they have a $20 dollar minimum. I highly recommend the Boston Cream, the Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch and Toasted Coconut.
All Star Sandwich Bar (Cambridge, MA) - Kosta and Johnny Diamantopoulos are two of the nicest guys I know. They are brothers and co-owners of All Star Sandwich Bar and All Star Pizza Bar.
When I first graduated from college, I lived a 10 minute walk from All Star Sandwich Bar and was there very often. When I started working in Kendall Square five years ago, it was easy for me to zip down Cambridge Street to have lunch there or grab takeout to bring back to my desk.
You can get their amazing sandwiches, addictive French fries and creamy tomato soup right now by placing an order on DoorDash.
Branch Line (Watertown, MA) - Branch Line is my favorite restaurant in Watertown. Right now, as the weather is getting warmer, I am missing their outdoor patio so much.
In good news, you can order pick up or delivery on their website, Wednesday - Sunday, 4:00pm - 8:00pm. Just this week they also started offering Sunday brunch, 11:00am - 2:00pm.
They are known for their rotisserie chicken and snap pea salad, but I also love the Caesar salad and the cacio e pepe pasta.
Use promo code ALLCOOPEDUP for 15% off your pick up order.
Brighton Bodega (Brighton, MA) - When I lived in Oak Square, I was a regular at Brighton Bodega. Their menu changes constantly, but always serves up addicting appetizers, decadent entrees and unique desserts.
I was elated to learn they were doing pick up and delivery! You can place a delivery order via DoorDash or GrubHub. Keep an eye on their Instagram account, @bodega02135, for new menus.
Be sure to add the Korean fried cauliflower buns to your cart. You'll thank me!
Commonwealth (Cambridge, MA) - When I started working in Kendall Square, Commonwealth became the spot I went to for any work celebration - birthdays, promotions, send offs - we just love it there. It's home to what my team calls "cloud bread."
During the pandemic, Commonwealth was initially closed. Two weeks ago they opened for pick up and delivery and I couldn't be more thrilled! They are offering several of their signature salads and sandwiches.
Even better than that, they're offering 11 flavors of their house-made ice cream! I recommended the Malted Milk Chocolate, Mint Chip and Toasted Coconut.
You can also get chocolate chip cookies and M&Ms cookies (individual or six frozen). Start your order here.
Coppa (Boston, MA) - Coppa is a Boston staple, especially if you live in the South End. They were closed for many weeks, but have recently re-opened for takeout.
They're offering breakfast, brunch and dinner. Visit their website to place your pre-order. The arancini and Margherita pizza are musts!
Double Chin (Boston, MA) - I have been raving about Double Chin since my first meal there in December 2018. They have the most fun and creative menu I've ever seen.
Right now, you can order their food through DoorDash, GrubHub, Seamless or UberEats. They've also started a GoFundMe to help feed healthcare workers on the frontline.
Dumpling Daughter (Brookline, MA) - There are no words to describe how much I love Dumpling Daughter. Their first location was in Weston, then they opened in Cambridge and this past week, they opened in Brookline. Yes, people, during a pandemic!
Visit their website to order online from the Weston or Brookline locations. Cambridge is not yet available.
My menu favorites are: vegetable spring rolls, vegetable dumplings, scallion lo mein, spicy tofu rice bowl and vegetable ramen. Gosh, now I want all of that!
Fox & The Knife (Boston, MA) - I visited Fox & the Knife in South Boston for the first time in June 2019 and I haven't stopped thinking about that meal ever since. I dream about the taleggio-stuffed focaccia, the broccoli Caesar and the saffron spaghetti.
Not only were chef Karen Akunowicz and team nominated for a James Beard award for "Best New Restaurant," but when COVID-19 hit, they got right to work re-imagining how they could continue to feed the city of Boston. They were one of the very first restaurants to pivot to pick up and delivery.
They offer pick up from 4:00pm - 8:00pm, Wednesday - Sunday. You can also order delivery via Caviar.
Painted Burro (Somerville, MA) - My love for the Painted Burro is very well documented here on the blog and via my Instagram Stories. Their brunch menu is one of my all-time favorites.
Right now, they are offering a limited dinner menu for pick up or delivery through Caviar or DoorDash. They have a few appetizers, a few tacos and a few enchiladas.
I have been wishing and hoping they will make the brunch menu available too. If nothing else, I just need the horchata back in my life!
Posto (Somerville, MA) - Since the start of quarantine, I have already ordered delivery from Posto twice. It's one of my favorite Italian restaurants and I've learned through all this that their food actually travels really well.
I highly recommend the arancini, the fried eggplant pizza (heavenly!) and the tiramisu.
They are currently open Monday - Saturday, 4:00pm - 8:00pm. Follow their Instagram account, @postoboston, for specials!
Puritan & Co. (Cambridge, MA) - When the health crisis first hit Boston, Puritan & Co. decided to close temporarily. This past week they re-opened for pick up and delivery and the menu has a lot of customer favorites. You can get the Parker House rolls, the parmesan fries, the buffalo cauliflower and the famous carrots!
There are tons of delicious entree choices - short ribs, cod, salmon, chicken under a brick - plus pastry chef Brian Mercury's desserts.
They just started a few days ago, so be patient with them if there are some hiccups!
Sarma (Somerville, MA) - The dining experience at Sarma is truly unique. While you can't replicate the bustling dining room or the dim sum-style specials, you can dig in to all your favorite small plates from your couch.
Sarma is offering pick up Wednesday - Sunday, 4:00pm - 8:00pm each week. You can call to place your order beginning at 12:00pm.
Tony & Elaine's (Boston, MA) - This past September, I celebrated my 35th birthday with my best girls from work at Tony and Elaine's. The restaurant is just steps from the TD Garden and makes the best mozzarella sticks I've ever had in my life.
If you are craving red sauce Italian, you are in luck! They are offering pick up or delivery all seven days of the week, 4:00pm - 9:00pm. Click here to start your order.
Dessert (Mostly Ice Cream!)
Antoine's Pastry Shop (Newton, MA) - Growing up, we celebrated every special occasion with desserts from Antoine's. They make the best chocolate eclair I've ever had and my dad still dreams of their rum cake. Their M&M cookies are the size of a human head and they always have special seasonal cookies, bars, pies and cakes.
During COVID-19, they are open for pick up. You may have to wait in a bit of a socially distanced line for your turn to enter, but the smell of sugary goodness wafting out the front door will tide you over!
Cabot's Ice Cream (Newton, MA) - Whenever I'm feeling blue, I want a Cabot's hot fudge sundae. I grew up a few blocks from the restaurant and have continued to go back there long after I moved out of Newton.
During this time, Cabot's is accepting orders by phone for pick up (all those details here). You can order from the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, along with the ice cream menu.
Follow their Facebook page for deals and specials. They recently did a giveaway of an ice cream sundae kit.
The Cookie Monstah (Danvers, MA) - I got to know The Cookie Monstah as a food truck on the Greenway downtown. Their ice cream sandwiches are what dessert dreams are made of!
They now have brick and mortar locations in Danvers and Burlington. During this time, they are offering delivery, Wednesday - Saturday, in about 12 towns on the North Shore. Visit their website to see if you live in one of those lucky zip codes.
In addition to ordering their cookies, you can also add baking staples to your cart - milk, butter, eggs, flour and yeast. They're also selling Richardson's ice cream!
Eastleigh Farm Ice Cream (Framingham, MA) - Speaking of ice cream, my aunt introduced me to Eastleigh Farm in Framingham, who makes the creamiest ice cream on earth. I recently got to enjoy two of their flavors, Moose Tracks and Oreo.
Right now, they offer curbside pick up on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00pm - 7:00pm. While you're there, visit Avenue C next door, one of my favorite shops.
Follow @eastleigh_farm_ on Instagram for updates on new flavors.
EHChocolatier (Cambridge, MA) - I have been writing about EHChocolatier since 2012, when they launched their Chocolate CSC (like a CSA, but for chocolate instead of produce). Flash forward eight years and Elaine and Catharine have a beautiful shop in Cambridge.
Right now, you can order ahead for curbside pick up at the shop or you can place an order on their website to be shipped anywhere in the United States. My favorites are the Coconutty bar, the brown butter toffee and salted caramel bon bons.
Gracie's Ice Cream (Somerville, MA) - In January of this year, I made a New Year's resolution to take an ice cream-making class at Gracie's. While it seems unlikely that will be able to happen in 2020, my plan is to keep supporting Aaron and his team by ordering pints.
Each week, Gracie's posts a link for pint pre-orders. It sells out super quickly (usually in under two minutes). I attempted to score some two weeks in a row and couldn't type fast enough!
In week three, I was victorious! I got one pint of Salty Whiskey (excellent on top of a brownie) and one pint of Black Raspberry Chip. I took this picture (below) while waiting in a very respectful, socially distanced line.
Follow @icecreamgracies on Instagram for the pint pre-order announcements!
Flour Bakery & Cafe (Boston, MA) - If you have never had the homemade Oreo from Flour Bakery, you haven't lived. I also recommend the milk chocolate hazelnut cookie. If you are looking for a special dessert for an upcoming, at-home celebration, their pies are also incredible - chocolate cream, coconut cream or lemon meringue.
In addition to the sweets, Flour offers yummy breakfast items, sandwiches and salads.
You can order pick up or delivery (through Caviar). Flour is also collaborating with The Smoke Shop BBQ to offer joint meal boxes. Check that out here.
Honeycomb Creamery (Cambridge, MA) - The team at Honeycomb Creamery has had quite the 2020. First, they were closed for several weeks for renovations that were intended to make more room in the shop for more customers to sit and enjoy. Then, after they were open for a week or two, COVID-19 hit.
Now, they are offering curbside pick up and delivery (if you live within in a four-mile radius).
Follow them on Instagram, @honeycombcreamery, for real-time updates. They have been experimenting with different pre-order days / times, so keep an eye out.
My favorite flavors are Cold Brew Coffee Chip and Chocolate Pecan Penuche.
New City Microcreamery (Cambridge, MA) - I fell in love with New City Microcreamery back in September 2015 when I visited their first location in Hudson, MA. When they announced they were opening in Cambridge, I flipped!
Now you can get ice cream from their Cambridge shop by popping in for pick up or ordering on DoorDash or UberEats. I highly recommend the Cake Batter, Chocolate Almond Croissant and Vanilla Bourbon.
They also kicked off a new initiative called Scoops for Heroes where you can donate pints of ice cream to healthcare workers on the frontline.
Pizzi Farm (Waltham, MA) - I worked in Waltham for three years, and during that time whenever the sun was out, we'd head to Pizzi to have lunch outside. They make incredible sandwiches at their deli counter, but the real star of the show is the ice cream.
Just this past weekend they opened up the ice cream windows for the season. Head there for all your favorite flavors, including soft serve!
The Queen's Cups (Worcester, MA) - Renee and her team are some of the hardest working people I have ever met! During COVID-19 they have continued to serve up delectable treats, plus special occasion cakes for birthdays, anniversaries and graduations.
They even make cupcakes for dogs!
Right now, The Queen's Cups posts a new menu every Wednesday morning. You place your order and then you pick it up the following Saturday or Sunday. Pick ups are only on the weekends, but you can order cookies to be shipped anywhere in the country!
Honestly, I would drive to Worcester to pick up these treats and then turn around and drive back home. They are that good.
Crush Boutique (Boston, MA) - When COVID-19 hit, the co-owners of Crush Boutique did not have an e-commerce option on their website. They had always relied on in-store shopping. Like the badass business women they are, they quickly pivoted and moved all of their inventory online so their loyal customers could continue to shop.
Crush carries so many awesome brands - BB Dakota, Cupcakes & Cashmere, Rebecca Minkoff and more. They also have a beautiful collection of jewelry and headbands to help you jazz up your Zoom look.
Greentail Table (Newton, MA) - I have been shopping at Greentail Table since March 2017 and it's become my go-to for cards, bridal shower gifts, baby shower gifts and housewarming presents. Linda, the owner, has such a great eye.
During COVID-19, you can shop everything in the store online. Linda and her team will ship it or, if you live locally, they will deliver to Belmont, Cambridge, Newton, Watertown and Waltham.
Recently, I ordered myself two of these bowls and I have been using them for everything! Chips, soup, salad, ice cream - basically around the clock.
Mint Julep (Cambridge, MA) - Mint Julep in Harvard Square is where I go if I want to treat myself. They have stunning clothes, chic bags, fun scarves and sparkly jewelry. It's also where I discovered Verrier cards, which I'm obsessed with.
Like Crush Boutique, Mint Julep has moved everything online. I've also been enjoying the videos they're sharing on Instagram Stories, styling different clothing pieces. Follow them @shopmintjulep.
Olives & Grace (Boston, MA) - If you don't already follow Sofi, the owner of Olives & Grace, on Instagram, do that right now. The account is @olivesandgrace. I feel like we're friends, even though we've only met once. She has the most kind, generous and thoughtful account, as evidenced by her 31,000 followers from around the world.
During this time, Sofi has completely flipped her business on its head. Instead of people being allowed to browse in the shop, the business is currently 100 percent online (due to restrictions in the city of Boston).
On the website you can find cards, candles, puzzles, cozy blankets, jewelry, glassware and more. If you want to put together a custom gift package, simply let her know in the comment box with your online order. She will even hand write a note for you in the card!
Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA) - One of the places I miss most right now is Porter Square Books. I used to go there every other weekend to browse new books and pick out cards for upcoming birthdays.
During COVID-19, the store allows you to order books online and have them shipped. If you live locally, you can also choose the curbside pick up option.
Porter Square Books also has tons of puzzles and games, so check those out too! All the details on their current procedures are here.