Top Ten: Boston

Galleria Umberto.  Is this the best?  Yes.  Square slices, inviting room, consistent over decades.

Santarpio’s.  Truly wonderful pies and the big guy in the back in black and white checkered pants presiding over the two other guys at the Blodgett is the best.

Tropical Foods.  Hands down, the best big market in town.  Always good music playing, customers who fill baskets with fruits and vegetables, everything you need to stock a pantry with spices and oils and sauces to convert your North American kitchen into one with soul.

Arax.  Friendly and perfect for Middle Eastern goods with dates from Iran and pickles from Israel and spices from Lebanon, etc.  You can’t go wrong with all the foods that Hagop prepares on site.

Pepe’s.  Back to pizza.  No question about it, the best in the country.  What crusts!  What tomato sauces!  What depth of flavor! This satellite of the epic New Haven joint has pies that make all other pies contextual.

Santouka.  Cold noodles in the summer, broths and noodles and spice in the winter.

H-Mart.  Another great market.  In Central Square, Cambridge, this is part of a national franchise stocked with products from Korea, China, and Japan.  The Sun noodles to use to make dishes at home have great texture.

Clear Flour.  An unusually wonderful bakery in the sense that it has terrific breads, excelling at German and Swiss styles, as well as delicious tarts.

Pabu.  The one and only restaurant where the food, ambience, and service are great value.  It’s a range of small dishes, each well prepared and thoughtfully, and no better place to go to before a Celtics game.  Now if they could only do something about the music.

THE CELTICS.  Pretty much the best reason this town is worth living in.

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