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Best Bargains in Greater Boston | 2014 Editors' Choice Awards

Best Bargains in Greater Boston | 2014 Editors’ Choice Awards
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Pinching pennies never felt so good! Check out our picks for the best bargains in Greater Boston for 2014.

BEST RECORD SHOP:
ARMAGEDDON RECORD SHOP, Cambridge

It might look like a dentist’s office outside, but down a narrow flight of stairs is a fluorescent-lit cave that looks straight out of the 1970s. Prowl rows of vinyl featuring everything from Herman’s Hermits to Sinatra to a mammoth assemblage of discount punk, plus stacks of cassettes (remember those?). 12 Eliot St. 617-492-1235; armageddonshop.com

BEST FREE GUIDED TOUR:
HARVARD UNIVERSITY STUDENT-LED TOURS, Cambridge

The university allows public tours; you’ll get a candid glimpse at Ivy lore without having to fret over an application. It’s free and lasts an hour, focusing on Harvard Yard—the school’s oldest section and the hub for freshman dorms—and Widener Library, Harvard’s largest. Tours run Monday through Saturday. Smith Campus Center, 1350 Massachusetts Ave. 617-495-1573; harvard.edu/visitors/tours

BEST DOWNTOWN LUNCH:
Gene’s Chinese Flatbread Café, Boston

Chatty Gene Wu serves his Xi’an hand-pulled noodles in burbling chili oil deep in the heart of Downtown Crossing. Don’t let the teensy storefront dissuade; his spicy, tingly, garlic-rich broth is worth jostling for. Grab a plastic tray and slurp in house, or grab a $4 flatbread sandwich to go. Weekdays. 86 Bedford St. 617-482-1888; genescafe.com

BEST CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES:
HABIT, South Boston

On a busy Southie block, this cheerful indie boutique is the stuff of rom-com shopping outings and happy Sundays. Service is friendly, prices are fair (marked-down leggings and $25 costume jewelry are in abundance), and there’s a thoughtful mix of men’s and women’s work attire, couch attire, and Hudson jeans. 703 East Broadway. 617-269-1998; habitshop.com

BEST ROMANTIC NIGHT OUT:
T. W. FOOD’S PRIX FIXE, Cambridge

Tim Wiechmann glides beneath the radar, creating sublime food in his tiny Huron Village Shangri-La. This warm French restaurant feels like a discovery—and it’s a deal. On Tuesdays, get four courses with wine for $55; other nights, enjoy three courses for the same. Generous choices such as foie gras with monkfish liver delight tweedy profs and couples. 377 Walden St. 617-864-4745; twfoodrestaurant.com

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