Sixteen Simple, Succulent Reasons We're Thankful to Live Right Here

Shrimp noodle gratitude.

'Tis the season to give thanks, and before we tuck into our turkey and stuffing, a shout-out to some of our favorite reasons to dine out right here in Boston, from the simple to the sublime. This list isn't about the flashiest places or the splashiest openings — just the simple pleasures that make eating out in our fair city so wonderful. What are you thankful for, culinarily speaking? Let us know in the comments. Happy Thanksgiving!

1. Love him or hate him, an open-minded mayor who isn't afraid to speak his mind.

2. Awesome oyster pancakes at Gourmet Dumpling House in Chinatown.

3. And, while we're in the neighborhood, killer cart-free dim sum at Winsor.

4. Tteokbokki at Bon Chon. Yeah, the chicken's great, but we can't stop eating this mountain of cheese and spicy sauce.

5. A Flour Bakery coming to Back Bay.

6. The rapidly expanding food scene in Kendall Square. (We still need to get to West Bridge.)

7. Insane ramen in Porter Square.

8. The simple fact that T.W. Food exists in all its unpretentious charm, and that Tim Wiechmann will open europub Bronwyn in Union Square next month.

9. Also, the fact that one of Boston's best restaurants is actually in Watertown, run by a humble guy who's been there for decades, plus his son, who worked with David Chang.

10. Cumin lamb at Golden Garden in Belmont, of all places.

11. Russell House and Park, two restaurants that have elevated Harvard Square's casual dining scene into something reliably delicious.

12. The purchase of Locke-Ober by Jay Hajj from Mike's City Diner, who will hopefully turn the space into something worthy of its address.

13. The success of hardworking, very-young-to-be-this-talented Chris Coombs, who has the guts to open Boston Chops, a new twist on a steakhouse, at a gorgeous address that's seen plenty of failures.

14. The happy fact that Union Square is turning into an excellent place to eat and imbibe, from newer places like Casa B and Backbar to the ever-reliable, lovable Cantina la Mexicana.

15. Innovative, amazing food from the hardy souls who run Boston's food trucks, despite all the red tape.

16. Last but not least: a vibrant community of chefs who band together when things get tough.