In the late 1800's, SoWa—South of Washington—was among the grandest districts in Boston. Decades later, the area's warehouses and pre-war buildings have become sought-after addresses for shops and restaurants.
1 Vintage ads cover the walls of Bobby from Boston (19 Thayer St.; 617/423-9299); Nehru jackets and denim line the shelves. 2 The art space at 450 Harrison Avenue, home to galleries owned by Bernard Toale (617/482-2477), Clifford-Smith (617/695-0255), OHT (617/423-1677), and Allston Skirt (617/482-3652), is the nerve center for emerging New England artists. 3 Caffè Umbra (1395 Washington St.; 617/867-0707; dinner for two $70) turns out handmade pastas and hearty roasts. 4 Police lingo for "lunch break," Code 10 (1638 Washington St.; 617/375-6333; lunch for two $12) serves up hot dogs and PB&J's. 5 Stefano Zimei has garnered buzz at Gallia (1525 Washington St.; 617/247-4455; dinner for two $80) with his Mediterranean dishes—green-olive risotto—and views of Blackstone Square. 6 Flour Bakery & Café (1595 Washington St.; 617/267-4300; lunch for two $20) recasts edible Americana: snazzed-up B.L.T.'s, homemade Pop-Tarts. 7 Neighborhood dive meets French Algeria—think merguez sausages and preserved-lemon martinis—at Red Fez (1222 Washington St.; 617/338-6060; dinner for two $60).