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Best Boston "Local Secrets"

Best Boston “Local Secrets”
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Boston and its surrounding cities offer hundreds of tourist attractions, from Fenway Park to the Union Oyster House, but like any city or town, it also has plenty of hidden gems and local secrets for those that seek them out.

Check out our nods for Best Boston Local Secrets from our Editors’ Picks List for 2012 — including a visit to Somerville’s Taza Chocolate Factory Store, where the round discs of chocolate are as delicious as they are fun to break and eat — then hop on the T and act like a local!

BEST RISING STARS
Berklee Performance Center – Boston
Berklee College of Music student shows run the gamut from recitals to musical revues. Pay a pittance now to see the up-and-coming talent, or pay a small fortune to see them later at a stadium near you.
136 Massachusetts Ave. 617-747-2261 (box office); berkleebpc.com

BEST LOCAL DESIGN
Massart Made – Boston
Massachusetts College of Art & Design is a beehive of creativity, and this small shop serves as a showcase for alumni and faculty: jewelry, accessories, household design and decor, children’s books, T-shirts, and much more.
625 Huntington Ave. 617-879-7407; massartmade.com

BEST INDULGENCE
Taza Chocolate Factory Store – Somerville
This small shop carries the full line of Taza’s stone-ground organic chocolate, complete with generous samples. Reserve ahead for an hour-long tour that explains the entire process, from roasting to grinding to the final bar. Trial flavors sometimes offered.
561 Windsor St. 617-623-0804; tazachocolate.com

BEST BLEU-PLATE SPECIAL
Technique – Cambridge
The laboratory restaurant for the Cambridge branch of the French cooking school Le Cordon Bleu offers three-course dinners for $10, four-course dinners for $15. Service can be slightly halting, but the food is terrific. Wine is extra, but reasonable.
215 First St. 617-218-8088; techniquerestaurant.com

BEST TOUR & DUMPLINGS
Boston Chinatown Market Tour – Boston
Tour guide Jim Becker speaks fluent Mandarin and Cantonese and has a long history as a chef and restaurateur. His enthusiasm for Chinese food is infectious. Learn to differentiate galangal root from ginger; figure out how to use dried shrimp; discern the differences among several Chinese greens. The 150-minute tour is followed by a dim-sum lunch.
617-523-6032; bostonfoodtours.com/chinatown

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