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Helpful tips every Bostonian should know

Vows Bridal Outlet in Newton. (Globe photo / Suzanne Kreiter) Vows Bridal Outlet in Newton.
By Elizabeth Gehrman
Boston Globe / September 30, 2010

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Where to get the best local foods Boston cream pie: The Oak Room at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston (617-267-5300, http://www.theoakroom.com)

Lobster roll: Kelly’s Roast Beef, multiple locations (781-233-5700, http://www.kellysroastbeef.com)

Lobster bisque: Turner’s Seafood in Melrose and Gloucester (781-662-0700 and 978-281-7172, http://www.turners-seafood.com)

New England clam chowder: Legal Sea Foods, multiple locations (617-530-9000, http://www.legalseafoods.com)

Boston baked beans: Durgin-Park at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston (617-227-2038, http://www.arkrestaurants.com/durgin_park.html)

Indian pudding: Locke-Ober in Downtown Crossing, Boston (617-542-1340, http://www.lockeober.com)

How to know if you’re in the right If you’re having a dispute with your neighbor or landlord – or anyone else, for that matter – you can find out what the law says about the matter at the online Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries (http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us).

Where to save money while breaking a sweat Free public ice skating is offered at Boston-area Department of Conservation and Recreation rinks all winter long. See http://www.mass.gov/dcr/recreate/skating.htm for details.

Take advantage of free yoga classes on Boston’s Esplanade on Wednesday evenings in summer. Check http://www.esplanadeassociation.org for information.

Where to get low-cost or free health care The Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston offers dental care by students, supervised by faculty dentists, costing approximately 25 percent to 50 percent less than a private practice. Call 617-636-6828 or go to http://www.dental.tufts.edu.

Project Trust at the Boston Medical Center in Boston offers free screening for HIV, hepatitis C, and sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, with no appointment necessary. Call 617-414-4495 or go to http://www.bmc.org/hiv-aids/services/testingandcounseling.htm.

Brookline Community Acupuncture in Brighton offers free treatment for first-time patients every Thursday. Call 617-879-9992 or go to http://www.brookline-community-acupuncture.lattiss.com.

Where to do business after hours

The US Post Office at Boston’s Fort Point is open 6 a.m. to 11:58 p.m. seven days a week (617-654-5302, usps.com). And there are more than a dozen automated postal centers in Greater Boston that are open 24-seven; here you can buy stamps, weigh packages, renew post office boxes, and more. Find them at http://www.usps.whitepages.com/post_office.

FedEx offices at the following locations are always open: 2 Center Plaza, Government Center; 187 Dartmouth Street, Back Bay; 1 Mifflin Place, Cambridge; and 1244 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill (800-463-3339, http://www.fedex.com).

Where to score a bargain for your home Boston Design Center in South Boston has one or two tag sales a year that are open to the public; the next one is scheduled for the spring (617-449-5514, http://www.bostondesign.com).

Buddy’s Budget Tile in Norwood offers 30 percent to 50 percent off retail on mostly discontinued ceramic and porcelain tiles from all over the world (781-440-0604, http://www.buddysbudgettile.com).

The Carpet Workroom in Needham sells remnants and bound area rugs at about a quarter to a third of what you might pay retail (781-844-4912, http://www.site.thecarpetworkroom.net).

Harvard University gives away surplus furniture, supplies, and equipment every Thursday (except holidays) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 175 North Harvard Street in Allston.

Where to grab a bite 24 hours a day Bova’s Bakery in the North End offers Italian pastries, sandwiches, pizzas, calzones, and more for those with the late-night munchies (617-523-5601, http://www.northendboston.com/bovabakery).

South Street Diner near Boston’s South Station serves classics – burgers, Reubens, omelets, shakes – round-the-clock (617-350-0028, http://www.southstreetdiner.com).

Victoria’s Diner in Boston is open all night on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (617-442-5965, http://www.victoriasdiner.com).

Craving pancakes at 2 a.m.? Two IHOPs are open all the time, in Revere (781-289-6012) and Brighton (617-787-0533, http://www.ihop.com).

North Shore residents can find an all-hours Denny’s in Danvers (978-774-1897, http://www.dennys.com).

Where to get a deal on women’s clothing Whereas items in outlet malls are often specifically manufactured for those locations, Talbot’s outlet stores in Hingham (781-740-1840) and Woburn (781-933-4705, http://www.talbots.com) have merchandise from the company’s full-price stores on clearance.

Eileen Fisher has a company store in Burlington that is stocked with discounted merchandise once sold at full price; sign up at the store for notification of sample sales (781-685-9962, http://www.eileenfisher.com).

Building 19 stores in Weymouth (781-337-1935) and Natick (508-653-1900) sell high-end clothing samples; in Burlington (781-272-1919, http://www.building19.com), samples are older and on clearance.

Designers Circus in Allston offers boutique designer goods at 40 percent to 90 percent below retail prices. It’s only open during its seven sales a year; check the website for dates, or sign up to be notified. The next sale is Wednesday through Saturday (617-254-3505, http://www.designerscircus.com).

Zia Clothing Outlet in Belmont has samples and overstock at up to 75 percent off (617-484-5525, http://www.ziaclothing.com).

Vows Bridal Outlet in Watertown has samples and overstock at deep discounts (866-843-4696; http://www.bridepower.com).

Where to get a food bargain Belly up to the bar at Rialto in Harvard Square for oysters for $1 each from 5:30 p.m. every Monday (617-661-5050, http://www.rialto-restaurant.com).

A breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and Swedish potatoes is just 99 cents from 9:30 to 11 a.m. daily at IKEA in Stoughton (781-344-4532, http://www.ikea.com).

J.P. Licks in Dedham’s Legacy Place has a two-for-one ice cream happy hour from 10 p.m. to midnight daily (781-329-9100, http://www.jplicks.com).

Bin Ends in Braintree sells closeout and last-of-vintage wines at discounts of 20 percent to 50 percent (781-817-1212, http://www.binendswine.com).

Elizabeth Gehrman, a frequent contributor to the Globe Magazine, is a freelance writer in East Boston. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.

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