Best of the South Shore 2017

The readers have spoken! Congratulations to all the winners of our 2017 Best of the South Shore reader survey. After poring through thousands of votes and tallying the totals, we’ve compiled a list of the latest and greatest businesses and services in the region. In addition, our Editors’ Picks spotlight a few unique categories. Join us as we celebrate the winners! —Maria Allen and Kelly Chase

Photography by Jack Foley, Kris Hughes and Kjeld Mahoney

EDITORS’ PICKS

Best Dockside Hangout

Erich’s Clam Shack at Roht Marine

 

By Kjeld Mahoney

Nothing says summer on the South Shore quite like the deck at Erich’s Clam Shack at Roht Marine. Grab a seat at one of the wooden tables and take in the view of the North River and the green marshes beyond. The casual eatery serves fried plates and other seafood classics, which pair perfectly with the salty breeze. There are dishes for those who aren’t seafood lovers, such as Famous Mary’s Hot Dog, Gerard Farm turkey sandwiches, flatbreads and salads. While dining, boats glide by—heading up the river or to The Spit, a popular sandbar hangout at low tide. Boaters can dock for a meal or pull up for take out and an ice cream cone. The “Coolers to Go” have sandwiches and drinks over ice. If, after lunch, you’d like to explore the waterway yourself, Roht Marine offers half- and full-day boat rentals. But many choose to just hang out on deck, because even midweek, the full bar and reggae music can transport you to a brief vacation. On Wednesday nights, stop by for live, local music al fresco. If possible, time your visit with the sunset; watching the waters of the North River reflect the pink sky is a great way to end any day.

2205 Main St., Marshfield, 781-837-2322


By Jack Foley

Best Tacos

California Underground

Located directly across from Nantasket Beach in Hull, California Underground specializes in creating fresh, flavorful tacos, just the way you like them. Owners Eo and Ozzy Martin created a menu that offers several taco styles and a wide range of proteins and delicious toppings. Customers can choose from corn or flour tortillas (all soft) and whether they want their taco served Americano-style, topped with blended cheese, lettuce and tomato, or Eo’s-style, with pico de gallo, fresco, shredded slaw, avocado, shredded cheese and cilantro. You can also skip the tortilla altogether and get your taco in a bowl. Don’t forget to select a savory sauce and your preferred heat level. The bartenders at the restaurant’s sleek copper bar will mix you up a tasty margarita to wash down your meal. Close your eyes, take a bite and prepare to be transported.

257 Nantasket Ave., Hull , 781-925-8749


Best Farm-Fresh Eatery

By Jack Foley

Rosa Farms

Fresh is what comes to mind with a visit to Rosa Farms, a specialty food hall serving gourmet coffee, handcrafted smoothies, homemade pizzas and savory sandwiches made with 100-percent organic produce. At the juice bar, choose your own veggies and fruits out of the “Pick’n Press” basket for a fresh-pressed taste on demand. There’s cold brew and house kombucha on tap as well. If you’re looking to pack the perfect picnic, Rosa Farms has you covered; at the deli, sandwiches are a delicious and inventive combination of ingredients. Take the Green Monster, for instance, which folds together fresh mozzarella, arugula, artichokes, eggplant, zucchini, roasted red peppers, yellow squash and pesto for a healthy and hearty meal. All sandwiches come with a side of potato salad, pasta salad or coleslaw.

956 Washington St., Hanover, 781-924-1156


By Jack Foley

Best Place to Throw Punches

Gloveup Boxing & Fitness

Inside this sun-filled exercise studio in Cohasset, trainers lead high-energy boxing workouts designed to promote fitness, not fighting. The group classes are 45 minutes long and incorporate shadow boxing, heavy bag work and bodyweight exercises. After warming up their muscles by jumping rope, participants pull on boxing gloves and line up behind a row of 14 red boxing bags that hang from the ceiling. Motivated by “Rocky”-themed Tabata music, the group goes through a series of 3-minute rounds that focus on technique that are followed by “burnout” speed rounds. In addition to working the core, boxing exercises are great for relieving stress. “It’s a whole-body workout,” says manager Carol Ann Murphy, who points out that the exercises are great for working the core and for relieving stress. “We let it all out on the bag.”

5 Stagecoach Way, Cohasset, 781-923-6119


Best Throwback Record Shop

Inclusion Records

 

By Jack Foley

Tucked beneath Technical Skateshop in Norwell, Inclusion Records is quite literally a hidden musical gem. With its walls spray-painted with colorful graffiti and album covers prominently displayed like artwork, the shop looks and feels like it’s been around for decades, but it’s actually relatively new. “I wanted the shop to look like the record stores that I went to when I was a kid,” says John Nichols, who owns the shop with his business partner Bobby Depesa. Since opening in 2015, Inclusion Records has developed a local following and occasionally hosts live music events and special vinyl promotions. Listed on the The Vinyl District app, serious music collectors will travel great distances on to purchase limited-release albums. Customers can peruse an assortment of new and vintage albums (they’ve even got a listening station set up in the corner), but they won’t find the music organized by genres–and that’s just the way Nichols and Depesa like it. “People sometimes look a little lost at first,” says Nichols, “but it encourages people to check out different kinds of music and they usually end up loving it.”

340 Washington St., Norwell , 781-659-8887


Best Irish Specialty Shop

O’Donovan’s of Plymouth

 

By Jack Foley

The shelves at O’Donovan’s of Plymouth are lined with rows of newsboy and scally caps, colorful scarves, woven bow ties and traditional Irish wool sweaters–the most popular items in the store. Despite being one of the biggest importers of Irish and Scottish clothing in New England, the shop manages to keep a low profile. Shoppers can expect to find high-quality Irish blankets, silver jewelry and Inis Irish fragrances. A few items are made in other countries, such as the kangaroo leather hats that come from Australia. Designed to be similar to the sort of store you might find in Ireland, the owners built a snug little bakery at the back of the shop that serves homemade Irish scones and fair trade nitro cold-brew coffee that foams just like Guinness.

30 Main St., Plymouth, 508-747-7717


Best Showstopper Cakes

By Jack Foley

Montilio’s Baking Company

The air smells sweet inside the Montilio’s Baking Company Brockton headquarters, where cake-making magic happens. Behind the retail cases stocked with cupcakes and other confections are production rooms bustling with skilled bakers and decorators hard at work on custom orders. Capable of fulfilling some 60-80 cake orders on a busy summer weekend, the team must be quick and precise. Frosting is applied to cakes as they spin atop turntables before delicate flowers and frosting patterns are piped on. Whether it’s an order of cute cupcakes or a stunning wedding cake, each order can be customized. The bakery is known for making magnificent and sometimes over-the-top occasion cakes (including President JFK’s wedding cake) but that’s not all they do. Several retail locations offer sandwiches, pizza and other tasty treats. The latest addition is the Montilio’s Mobile Wood Fired Pizza Oven & Food Truck, which brings the pizza, desserts and coffee directly to the consumer.

Braintree, Brockton, Quincy, Weymouth 508-894-8855


Best Reclaimed Woodwork

The Over Again Company

 

By Kris Hughes

Since 2012, Over Again Company owner Scot Brine has been building and designing one-of-a-kind furniture pieces for homes on the South Shore and beyond. Brine, an artist and finish carpenter with a deep passion for historical preservation and fine craftsmanship, uses reclaimed wood for his creations. “Farmhouse style with a modern twist” is how Brine describes his work, which includes coffee tables, kitchen tables and islands and more. “I try to make pieces that are functional that also have a unique look to them,” says Brine. “Whether I’m mixing different materials, different types of wood or there are slight differences in the craftsmanship.” No factory here, all of the pieces are made one at a time—just Brine and his tools. While he doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar location, interested customers can invite him into their homes where he’ll start sketching ideas for your next wooden work of art.

180 Main St., Kingston, 781-424-0566


Best All-day Breakfast

Will & Co. Café

By Maria Allen

We love restaurants where you can order breakfast at any time of the day. Such is the case at the newly opened Will & Co. Café in Plymouth. They have an inventive menu that is anything but boring. Why settle for ordinary bacon and eggs when you could have Night Man’s Nachos that consists of tortilla chips topped with scrambled eggs, melted cheese, bacon, tomato and jalapeno that is served with salsa and sour cream. Other breakfast favorites include the monster-sized Wildflower pancake served with the fixings of your choice, and a breakfast salad made with fresh baby spinach and topped with poached eggs, bacon and vegetables. They also have build-your-own breakfast sandwiches for those days when you’re on the run, and lunch, if you’re so inclined. Rumor has it that the restaurant may soon be serving a late night breakfast as well.

6b Court St., Plymouth, 774-773-9732


Reader Picks

DINING

Ambience
Solstice
Kingston

Appetizers
Galley Kitchen & Bar
Scituate

Bagels
Gunther Tooties
Hanover, Plymouth

Bakery
White’s Bakery
Hingham and Brockton

Bartenders
AVA Cucina
Cohasset

Beer Selection (Liquor Store)
Curtis Liquors
Cohasset, Weymouth

Beer Selection (Restaurant or Pub)
New World Tavern
Plymouth

Breakfast
The Blueberry Muffin
Kingston, Plymouth

Burgers
KKatie’s Burger Bar
Marshfield, Plymouth, Quincy

Chef
Taylor Naples at Terra
Plymouth

Chinese Restaurant
Tsang’s
Duxbury, Hanover

Chowder
Schooner’s Restaurant
Hull

Cocktail Bar
The Tasty
Plymouth

Coffee Shop
Coffee Break Café
Quincy, Milton

Cupcake Shop
Cupcake Charlie’s
Plymouth

Date Spot
The Tasty
Plymouth

Deli
D’Orazio’s Italian Marketplace
Duxbury

Dessert
French Memories
Cohasset, Duxbury

Doughnuts
The Coffee Shack
Marshfield, Pembroke

Family Restaurant
Schooner’s Restaurant
Hull

Fish ‘n Chips
Polcari’s Bridgwaye Inn
Marshfield

Fried Clams
Wood’s Seafood
Plymouth

Hot Wings
Speedwell Tavern
Plymouth

Ice Cream
Nona’s Homemade
Hingham, Scituate

Irish Pub
The Tinker’s Son
Norwell

Italian Restaurant
Terra
Plymouth

Juice Bar
Vela Juice Bar
Plymouth

Ladies Night Out
Rinato Bistro
Hull

Late-night Hangout
Galley Kitchen & Bar
Scituate

Lobster Roll
Green Harbor Lobster Pound
Marshfield

Lunch Spot
Dillon’s Local
Plymouth

Margaritas
Trident Galley & Raw Bar
Hingham

Martinis
Martini’s Bar & Grill
Plymouth

Men’s Night Out
Hull’s Kitchen
Hull

Mexican Restaurant
El Sarape
Braintree

Outdoor Dining
East Bay Grille
Plymouth

Pizza
Peel Pizza Company
Hingham and Duxbury

Raw Bar
The Oysterman
Duxbury

Barbecue
The Rivershed
Scituate

Sandwich Shop
The Plate
Milton

Scenic View While Dining
Polcari’s Bridgwaye Inn
Marshfield

Seafood Restaurant
Jake’s Seafood
Hull

Soups
The Plate
Milton

Sports Bar
Cask ‘n’ Flagon
Marshfield

Steak
Stockholders Steakhouse
Weymouth

Sunday Brunch
The Tinker’s Son
Norwell

Sushi Restaurant
Sushi Joy
Plymouth

Tapas
Hola Restaurant
Marshfield

Thai Restaurant
Star of Siam
Plymouth

Wait Staff
AVA Cucina
Cohasset

Wine List
Tosca
Hingham

Health and Beauty

Acupuncture
Mary Egan Acupuncture
Hanover

Chiropractor
Koenig Family Chiropractic
Plymouth

Cosmetic Surgery Office
Coastal Plastic Surgery
Hingham

Dance Studio
Shoestrings Studio
Hanover

Day Spa
Mirbeau Inn & Spa
Plymouth

Eyebrow Shaping
Tryst Studio
Hingham

Eyelash Salon
The Lash Bar
Norwell

Facial
Alda Aesthetics
Hanover

Fitness Center/Gym
A Healthy Balance
Quincy and Hanover

Golf Course (private)
Black Rock Country Club
Hingham

Golf Course (public)
Widow’s Walk
Scituate

Hair Colorist
Charles David Salon
Hanover, Plymouth

Haircut (men)
Verde Salon
Braintree

Haircut (women)
Charles David Salon
Hanover, Plymouth

Makeup Selection
Sephora
Hingham

Manicure
Luxy Nails Bar
Pembroke

Martial Arts Studio
Juniko
Hanover

Massage
Bodywork Day Spa
Hull

Orthodontist
Dr. Mazzocco, Hanover Orthodontics
Hanover

Pedicure
Michelle Nails
Duxbury

Pilates Studio
Balance Studio
Cohasset

Wax
Spa-tique Day Spa
Marshfield

Yoga Studio
Open Doors
Multiple Locations

Shops & Services

Art Gallery
Kjeld Mahoney Photography
Scituate

Beachwear
Bloom Lingerie & Swim Boutique
Cohasset

Bike Store
Cycle Lodge
Pembroke

Bookstore
Westwinds Bookshop
Duxbury

Candy Store
Fedele’s Chocolates
Plymouth, Pembroke

Children’s Clothing
Olivia Rose Children’s Boutique
Marshfield

Cleaning Services
The Clean Team
Kingston

Concierge/Property Management
Eldredge Property Services
Duxbury

Consignment Shop
Fiddleheads Fine Home Consignment
Canton

Cookware Shop
Williams Sonoma
Hingham

Daycare
Magic Dragon Preschool and Children’s Center
Duxbury

Doggy Daycare
Just Around the Corner
Plymouth

Fish Market
Wood’s Seafood
Plymouth

Fitness Wear
Lululemon
Hingham

Framer
Frame Center
Hanover

Gift Shop
Oropa
Duxbury

Golf Store
Sandbaggers Golf Shop & Range
Pembroke

Gourmet Food Shop
Bloomy Rind
Hingham

Jewelry Store
Toodie’s Fine Jewelry
Quincy

Lingerie
Bloom Lingerie & Swim Boutique
Cohasset

Marine Supplies
West Marine
Braintree

Men’s Clothing
Pilgrim’s Progress Clothing
Plymouth

Music Store
The Music Box
Plymouth

Nutrition Store
Healthy Appetites Natural Foods
Plymouth

Organic Grocer
Whole Foods Market
Hingham

Outdoor Adventure
REI
Hingham

Pet Specialty Store
Maggie’s Dog House
Hingham

Prepared Meals-To-Go
Depot Street Market
Duxbury

Produce Selection
Fruit Center Marketplace
Hingham

Real Estate Agency
Molisse Realty Group
Marshfield

Shopping Center
Derby Street Shoppes
Hingham

Sporting Goods
Dick’s Sporting Goods
Hanover

Stationery Shop
Celebrations Etc.
Duxbury

Travel Agency
Susan Peavey Travel
Marshfield

Toy Store
Rock Paper Scissors
Duxbury

Wine Shop
Snug Harbor Wine
Duxbury

Women’s Clothing
kloTH
Hingham

Women’s Specialty Store
Talbots
Hingham

Winter Gear
Sportworks
Duxbury

Appliance Store
George Washington Toma
Weymouth, Brockton

Antique Shop
Something For Your Dust
Plymouth

Architect
Campbell Smith Architects
Duxbury

Builder
Bethoney Builders
Duxbury

Carpet/Flooring
The Rug Merchant
Rockland

Furniture Store
Boston Interiors
Hanover

Garden Shop
Morrison’s Home & Garden
Plymouth

Home Accessories
Hingham Furniture & Design
Hingham

Interior Designer
Hingham Furniture & Design
Hingham

Kitchen Accessories
Williams Sonoma
Hingham

Kitchen Designer
Roomscapes
Rockland

Landscape Services
LindScaping
Scituate

Lighting Shop
Fleming’s of Cohasset Village
Cohasset

Local Hardware Store
Nantasket Paint and Hardware
Hull

Outdoor Furnishings
Hingham Furniture & Design
Hingham

Outdoor Grills
Hingham Lumber Company
Cohasset

Pool and Hot Tub Store
Aquaknot Pools
Weymouth

Tile Store
Snug Harbor Tile
Norwell

Weddings, Entertainment, & Accomodations

Bed & Breakfast/Inn
Winsor House Inn
Duxbury

Caterer
Kate’s Table
Hingham

Concert Venue
The Spire
Plymouth

Florist
Consider the Lilies
Duxbury

Hotel
Mirbeau Inn & Spa
Plymouth

Invitations
Celebrations Etc.
Duxbury

Limo Service
Pro Limo
South Shore

Occasion Cakes
Veronica’s Sweetcakes
Marshfield

Place for Kids’ Parties
Fashion Focus
Pembroke

Local Radio Personality
John Shea
WATD 95.9

Radio Station- AM
WBZ 1030
Boston

Radio Station- FM
WATD 95.9
Marshfield

Reception Venue (large)
The Barker Tavern
Scituate

Reception Venue (intimate)
Duxbury Bay Maritime School
Duxbury

Resort
Mirbeau Inn & Spa
Plymouth

Theater
Loring Hall Cinema
Hingham

Tux Shop
Domenic’s Tux
Plymouth

Wedding Dress Shop
Maria’s of Italy
Plymouth

Voting for the 2017 Best of the South Shore will begin in January 2017.

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