The Do-Good, Taste-Good Nonprofit: Haley House Bakery Cafe
Even without its interesting backstory, the Roxbury bakery and lunch spot would earn its status as a neighborhood gem from its tasty salads, sandwiches and pastries alone. But even better is its innovative approach to staffing: the cafe is an extension of Haley House, a South End-based shelter, soup kitchen and multiservice nonprofit helping the economically disadvantaged. To that end, the cafe is staffed through the organization's transitional employment program, providing skill-building employment for those struggling to reenter the workforce. Plus, sales account for about 90% of Haley House's budget, so you can feel good about splurging on an extra cookie. Or three.
What to order: The muffins and scones steal the show, but for a hot lunch we're partial to the spicy Jamaican jerk chicken plate with cornbread and a choice of sides. Go for the ginger slaw, one of the very many vegetarian/vegan options on the menu.