Food & dining
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    Popular spots

    Backbar, at Union Square in Somerville, is a popular spot with young professionals.
    Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff
    Backbar, at Union Square in Somerville, is a popular spot with young professionals.

    Here are some popular spots around town. By the second
    visit, they’ll probably recognize you.

    Backbar

    9 Sanborn Court, Somerville (Union Square), 617-718-0249, www.backbarunion.com.

    Ambiance: Postmodern
    speakeasy-style bar.

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    Regulars: Young professionals, scene setters.

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    Menu: Comfort food such as pork buns, spicy caramel popcorn, ice cream sandwiches.

    If you like it here, you’ll also like: Belly, Brick & Mortar , Stoddard’s Fine Food & Ale.

    JJ Foley’s Cafe

    117 East Berkeley St., Boston (South End), 617-728-9101, www.jjfoleyscafe.com.

    Ambiance: Olde Boston
    homey.

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    Regulars: Journalists,
    Guinness fans.

    Menu: Shepherd’s pie, truffle mac and cheese, burger,
    milkshake.

    If you like it here, you’ll also like: 21st Amendment ,
    Beantown Pub.

    JM Curley

    21 Temple Place, Boston (Downtown Crossing),
    617-338-5333,
    www.jmcurleyboston.com.

    Ambiance: Old Testament (“Thou shalt not covet...”) meets Nouveau Chic.

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    Regulars: Local chefs,
    bartenders, wait staffers.

    Menu: Designer burgers,
    specialty desserts.

    If you like it here, you’ll also like: Silvertone Bar & Grill ,
    The Franklin Cafe.

    Meadhall

    4 Cambridge Center,
    Cambridge (Kendall Square), 617-714-4372,
    www.themeadhall.com.

    Ambiance: Industrial-size brewpub.

    Regulars: Techie mecca.

    Menu: Meatloaf, fish and chips, veggie burger.

    If you like it here, you’ll also like: Lord Hobo , Drink , Area Four.

    Oak Long Bar + Kitchen

    138 St. James Ave., Boston (Fairmont Copley Plaza),
    617-585-7222,

    www.oaklongbarkitchen.com.

    Ambiance: Swanky hotel bar.

    Regulars: Young professionals, Back Bay residents.

    Menu: charcuterie, flatbread pizza, pork chop.

    If you like it here, you’ll also like: Nubar (Sheraton
    Commander), Mini
    bar (Copley Square Hotel), The Hawthorne (Commonwealth Hotel), Rowes Wharf Bar (Boston Harbor
    Hotel).

    The Banshee

    934 Dorchester Ave.,
    Dorchester, 617-436-9747, www.bansheeboston.com.

    Ambiance: Irish sports pub.

    Regulars: Soccer/rugby/Gaelic football fans.

    Menu: Irish cocktail sausages, bangers and mash, Gaelic burger.

    If you like it here, you’ll also like: The Green Briar , The Druid

    JOSEPH P. KAHN and SWATI SHARMA