Here’s a list of 65 local places that have helped readers through the pandemic

"I have gone to Bagelsaurus in Porter Square weekly since it reopened," one reader wrote.

Hot smoked salmon on a poppy seed bagel from Bagelsaurus in Cambridge. Wendy Maeda

Related Links

During the past six months people have relied on local businesses in new ways, as the novel coronavirus disrupted daily routines, lessened crowds, and kept more inside to curb the spread.

Recently, we asked readers which businesses helped them through the pandemic, with services like curbside pickup, delivery, and new protocols in place with public safety in mind. We received recommendations from more than 70 readers who wrote in with 65 recommended spots including their favorite local restaurant, grocery store, pharmacy, kitschy independent bookstore, and more.

We also received votes for two food and restaurant chains based outside of New England: Trader Joe’s which may be headquartered in California, but has 19 locations across the Bay State. One reader wrote, “Back in March, the store assembled, for quick and easy no-guess shopping, end-of-aisle displays of critical supplies: Rice, beans, tea, hand sanitizer, cleanser, etc. Four months later, when I finally ventured out to shop on my own again, I found: a senior citizen shopping hour, a friendly outside greeter with hand sanitizer at the ready for you, clear directional arrows and waiting in line markers, a clear plastic shield and hand sanitizer at the cash register.” And the St. Louis-headquartered cafe chain, Panera, was also named a favorite. There are several locations, but one reader called out the 270 Franklin Village Drive spot and wrote, “Early and outstanding adaptation to limited-contact and contact-free pickup and delivery options, as well as supplemental grocery offerings.”


Here are the local businesses readers have relied on during the pandemic.

Some submissions were edited for length and clarity.


Big Daddy’s Pizza Steak Subs & Burgers, 436 Western Ave., Brighton

Green T Coffee Shop, 873 South St., Roslindale

Foodies Market South Boston, 230 W Broadway, Southie

Jae Hun Kim Taekwon-do Institute, 102 Brookline Ave. A reader wrote, “It is saving me spiritually, physically, and socially. Students of all ages and backgrounds. Everyone fits in. Safe in-person and remote classes. I am extra careful, so I take remote.”

Johnny’s Takeaway, 168 Spring St., West Roxbury

Monument Restaurant & Tavern, 251 Main St., Charlestown. “In the first days of the lockdown, their Taco Tuesdays literally was the thing I looked forward to the most each week. As their tacos always rotate, I couldn’t wait until 5:00 pm to go on line and find out what was this weeks selection. I have been loyally ordering every Taco Tuesday and one other day each week. Support Local!” wrote a reader named Andy.

Myers+Chang, 1145 Washington St., South End. “They set up takeout with curbside pick up early in the pandemic. It was the best of their menu and the pick up was easy and super, super friendly. They also had great bottles of wine and beer and cocktails available for pick up as well. The most important part is they communicated their top notch procedures for cleanliness and safety of their food and pickup.”


Porter Cafe, 1723 Centre St., West Roxbury

Trident Booksellers & Cafe, 338 Newbury St., Back Bay

Stoked Pizza, 1632 Beacon St, Brookline

Papercuts J.P., 60 South St., Jamaica Plain. “Papercuts JP is a woman-owned independent bookstore at 60 South St, Jamaica Plain. Papercuts has fully adapted to changing regulations and remained focused on customer and employee health and safety. They offer curbside pick-up, local delivery, and in-store shopping by appointment, making it easy to shop there again and again (and again). They have been my go-to source for anti-racism books, thoughtful gifts, and smart quarantine entertainment.”


Bagelsaurus, 1796 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. “I have gone to Bagelsaurus in Porter Square weekly since it reopened. I don’t know what I would do if they didn’t make it out of COVID-19 so I act accordingly. Also, top-notch bagels make being stuck at home a little less miserable.”

Gran Gusto, 90 Sherman St., Cambridge

One Ramen and Sushi, 1759 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Greater Boston and beyond

Alta Strada, 92 Central St., Wellesley

Baker’s Best Catering, 150 Gould St., Needham. “They started single meals with delivery. The meals are delicious. Look[s] very appetizing, staff is great to work with! They have pick up now, they are located in Needham. I have been ordering weekly since they started the single meals. Bravo, and thank you.”


Bikeeny caffe, 62 Summer St., Malden. “They used to offer curbside pickup and still have a fluent phone-order system + the door open when the weather allows. Excellent coffee and bikeenies, and most importantly, their resilient attitude and open-hearted staff make my day!”

Brown Dog Restaurant, 14 Central St., Ipswich

Buff’s Pub, 317 Washington St., Newton

Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd., Shirley

Cedar Hill Dairy Joy, 331 North Ave., Weston

Cabot’s Ice Cream & Restaurant, 743 Washington St., Newton

Depot Street Tavern, 45 Depot St., Milford

Elia’s Country Store, 381 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington

Goldilox Bagels, 186 Winthrop St., Medford. “They really kept our spirits up!”

Good Health Natural Foods, 1630 Hancock St., Quincy

La Qchara, 506 Franklin St., Melrose

Lord Hobo Brewing Company, 5 Draper St., Woburn

Lorenzo’s, 500 W Grove St., Middleborough

Lucci’s Supermarket, 211H Lowell St., Wilmington

Merchants Liquor Mart, 88 High St., Danvers. “Talk with Jason, he’s the best!”

Morse Tavern, 85 E Central St., Natick

Petrillos, 15 Depot St., Freeport, M.E.

Pikaichi, 123 Boston Ave., Medford

Poopsie’s, 243 Church St., Pembroke

Russo’s, 560 Pleasant St., Watertown

Shubie’s Marketplace, 16 Atlantic Ave., Marblehead

Sophia’s Greek Pantry, 265 Belmont St., Belmont

Tryst, 689 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington

Vitamin Sea Brewing, 30 Moore Rd., Weymouth

West Concord Wine & Spirits, 1216 Main St., Concord

Wilson Farm, 10 Pleasant St., Lexington

Wilson’s Diner, 507 Main St., Waltham


7Ate9 Bakery, 199C Highland Ave., Somerville. “They never closed, even in the darkest, earliest days of the pandemic. They put out groceries and supplies which were hard to come by like fresh eggs, flour, and toilet paper. Every morning I walked in for fresh bagels. Their cheerful, intrepid staff have been there throughout. This is we why we live in the city. 7Ate9 is a true pillar of our neighborhood community.”


Ball Square Cafe, 708 Broadway, Somerville

Bow Market, 1 Bow Market Way, Somerville

Dave’s Fresh Pasta, 81 Holland St., Somerville. “Outstanding curbside service from the very start of the pandemic. Provided essentials like pantry items, prepared foods, and produce. Excellent COVID awareness. DFP was glue in a neighborhood during the early days of COVID.”

Davis Squared, 409 Highland Ave. #2516, Somerville

Forge Baking Company, 626 Somerville Ave., Somerville. “Curbside pickups at Forge have been a silver lining during this terrible year. Great bread, bagels, breakfast and lunch, homemade pizza kits, coffee, ice cream. The online ordering works well and pickup is reliable and efficient. There’s even parking. We look forward to it every week. Great job Forge!”

Highland Kitchen, 150 Highland Ave., Somerville

Kor Tor More, 24 College Ave., Somerville

Momo N’ Curry, 431 Somerville Ave., Somerville

Trina’s Starlight Lounge, 3 Beacon St., Somerville

Multiple Locations

CVS, three readers wrote in with the retail chain headquartered in Woonsocket, R.I. and multiple locations across the U.S.

Dunkin’, multiple locations and everywhere

Flour Bakery + Cafe, multiple locations across Boston and Cambridge. “The bake along kits from Flour bakery have been wonderful, I’ve done 4, bread, cookies, pop tarts and a cake. A chance to make something out of my comfort zone, and to support a business I love.”

Formaggio Kitchen, three locations in Cambridge and Boston. “Classes over Zoom were a great way to socialize at a distance and share in some great wine and cheese. Curbside pick[up], phone ahead orders, and excellent crowd control make this small place a safe destination in trying times. While classes about imported wines and cheese aren’t essential during a pandemic, they provided a great distraction keeping with the spirit of social distancing.”


J&B Butcher, three locations in Tewksbury, Stoneham, and East Hampstead, N.H.

Market Basket, six readers wrote in naming the local grocery store chain with store locations across the region

The Scoop N’ Scootery, locations in Allston and Arlington. “Sundae delivery until 2 am. Really creative flavors too!”

Star Market, two readers named this Mass. grocery chain headquartered in West Bridgewater with 21 locations across the state.

Stop & Shop, four readers named the grocery chain headquartered in Quincy with many locations across the region as their go-to spot. Beth Budner from Auburndale suggested the Allston location for Peapod delivery at 60 Everett St.

Trillium Brewing Co.the local brewery has multiple locations in Canton, Fenway, Fort Point, and a seasonal beer garden in Boston.

Did we miss one of your favorite spots? Let us know in the comments below. 


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on