Feature

25 New Restaurants to Try in Boston

By Scott Kearnan | April 1, 2015 By Scott Kearnan  |  April 1, 2015

We're constantly covering all the important new openings in and around Boston, but every now and then it helps to have a refresher course. (And you might need help answering that all-important question: "Where should we eat tonight?") Here's a roundup of the most notable recent openings and some handy links to our more in-depth looks. The restaurants are listed with the newest openings at the top of the slide show — and we'll continue to update this list periodically as additional eateries are unveiled. 

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  • Serafina

    Hospitality bigwig Seth Greenberg has rolled out the first of his several planned Boston-area locations of Serafina, a high-end Italian brand with over a dozen locations internationally. (Nearly all the stateside spots are in NYC.) The twist: Boston's Serafina looks nothing like the others — in fact, it's way more stylish — and features a number of menu items written exclusively for us by newly knighted corporate chef Brendan Burke, a  30 Under 30 honoree. For a look at the chic space and some of the Boston-specific plates, check out our full feature here

    10 High St.; 617-426-1234

  • Akinto at Wink & Nod

    Akinto is the new dining concept at South End restaurant and cocktail lounge Wink & Nod, where the kitchen has so far served as a "culinary incubator" that hosts rotating pop-ups. Akinto emphasizes Southeast Asian cuisine, culling flavors from the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, as well as other Asian styles from China and Japan. For a full look at the concept, head here

    3 Appleton St.; 617-482-0117

  • Loyal Nine

    Named for a contingent of Colonial-era patriots and protestors, and run by a motley crew of high-end-restaurant and pop-up vets, this rustic-chic East Cambridge eatery emphasizes "East Coast Revival" cookery, its hand-pottered small plates serving locally sourced shellfish, veggies and meats. The bar serves grower-produced wines, domestic beers and ciders, and a rum- and brandy-focused cocktail list, while a small cafe annex offers coffee and light bites starting at 8 AM. 

    660 Cambridge St., Cambridge; 617-945-2576

  • Amorino

    The popular European cafe and gelateria has arrived in New England with this 19-seat Back Bay outpost for fresh pastries, Italian coffee, chocolates and, of course, 23 flavors of gourmet gelato, made with organic ingredients and served in signature flower-shaped scoops. It's the beginning of a stateside expansion for the overseas chain, which recently opened locations in New York. For a full look, head here.

    249 Newbury St.; 617-585-3185

  • Griddler's Burgers & Dogs

    The burgeoning Boston burger and hot dog brand has relaunched with a new Boston Common-side flagship — and a new approach courtesy of chef Bill Brodsky, the inaugural culinary officer for hospitality group Boston Nightlife Ventures. The eatery now stresses regionally sourced meats heaped with housemade marmalades and other inventive accoutrements. The cheery new flagship has tabletop arcade games as a diversion, while the smaller West End location is still a good place for a grab-and-go ice cream shake. (For a deeper look at the new approach, head here.) 

    134 Boylston St.; 857-265-2054

  • Kane's Donuts

    The suburb of Saugus's retro neon-lit, donut-slinging institution spawned a (slightly pricier) sibling in Downtown Boston, where the tiny footprint belies big flavors of Maine blueberry, crème brûlée and other varieties that the 60-year-old, family-owned biz makes with local ingredients. There are assorted other pastries and Peet's Coffee, but the Hub location also boasts paper-wrapped "dowich" sandwiches, brioche donut bread stuffed with lobster salad, braised beef and more.

    90 Oliver St.; 857-317-2654

  • Shake Shack

    First came Chestnut Hill, then Harvard Square. Now Shake Shack has finally opened its first location in Boston — not the "Boston area." As of March, the cult fave turned burgeoning empire is now smack in the middle of Back Bay, and another suburban outpost in Dedham's Legacy Place development has opened at the same time. 

    234 Newbury St.; 617-933-5050

  • Brewer's Fork

    We just declared it one of the Hottest Beer Bars in Boston, but this Charlestown newcomer is much more than that. From two industry faves, former Les Zygomates chef John Paine and beverage guru Michael Cooney (last of the stellar beer bar The Publick House), comes a casual eatery for wood-fired eats, from skillet-served meatballs to inventive pizzas, and craft beers. Head here for a deeper look at the space and menu.

    7 Moulton St., Charlestown; 617-337-5703

  • Townsman

    One of the year's most highly anticipated new restaurants is finally open. Chef Matt Jennings, a four-time James Beard Award nominee for Best Chef Northeast, brings the fresh-and-local American sensibility of his late, heralded Providence restaurant, Farmstead Inc., to this newcomer at the intersection of Downtown and Chinatown. The sleek space, a city-chic spin on a country home, harnesses the nose-to-tail guru's knack for accessibly sophisticated preparations of locally sourced lamb, pork and more, with plenty of spreads of seafood and charcuterie. The all-star team includes past 30 Under 30 honoree Brian Young (most recently of Post 390) and Menton alum Meredith Gallagher as general manager and wine director, among others. Head here for a deeper look at the place, people and plates.

    120 Kingston St.; 617-993-0750

  • Moonshine 152

    "East Coast cuisine" and street food collide at this Southie newcomer, one of the Hottest Restaurants of the moment, where chef Asia Mei (ex Sam's and the late, venerable Hamersley's Bistro) turns out tantalizing snacks like Hurricane Popcorn with pork fat and nori, starters like whole grilled pig's ear, and mains like boar shoulder stroganoff. True to its name, Moonshine's kitchen blazes into the night, offering a rare-for-the-area late-night menu from 10 PM to 1:30 AM. 

    152 Dorchester Ave., South Boston; 617-752-4191

  • Santouka Ramen

    Ramen fans need only travel to Harvard Square, rather than Hong Kong, to find the first Boston-area outpost of this successful Japan-based chain. The relatively spare, modern dining room is a spot to slurp bowls with broths based in salt, soy sauce, pork cheek and more. (Need more ramen in your life? Check out our look at some new, must-try creative spins around town.) 

    1 Bow St., Cambridge;  617-945-1460

  • Rosso B

    A Sicilian chef brings pizzas and other Italian cafe specialties to this casual joint by Faneuil Hall, where the aforementioned pies are topped with everything from basil pesto to grilled eggplant, caramelized onions to proscuitto. A variety of pasta dishes, panini, and apps like béchamel-ham arancini round out the menu, designed for grab-and-go noshing near this tourist-heavy locale. 

    120 Blackstone St.; 857-991-1270

  • Meju

    Allston Korean restaurant Bibim has spawned this Davis Square sibling, importing some of the same traditional dishes, like stone pots of beef bibimbop, while adding more modern plates like meat-filled steamed buns with gochujang aïoli and dukboki, spicy rice cakes, made with mozzarella. The interior is simple and sleek with unadorned woods, exposed brick and a small bar for swilling soju carafes. 

    243 Elm St., Somerville; 617-764-3053

  • Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar

    This week the team behind South Boston's Lincoln Tavern opened this inventive eatery across the street, featuring fresh flavors, funky ideas (like oysters topped with flavored ice) and culinary finesse under chef Nick Dixon. The Baja-skewing menu, comprised largely of inventive tacos and apps, highlights light, bright fruit and citrus flavors, with here-and-there hints of rich smokiness thanks to charring on wood-fired and coal grills. (Not to mention a hefty selection of mezcal.) Things even get Pan-Latin with the Brazilian seafood stew, a heaping assortment of littleneck clams, Nantucket bay scallops, lobster, tuna and more served with a tomato-coconut milk broth for tableside pouring. Want more? Here's 7 Things to Know about the restaurant. 

    412 W. Broadway, South Boston; 617-917-5626

  • Tony C's Sports Bar and Grill

    The owners of sports grill Jerry Remy's have rolled out another restaurant named in honor of a Boston-rooted athlete. Red Sox legend Tony Conigliaro is the namesake for this large new entry in Somerville's Assembly Row development, hence the massive number "25" marquee that spans the dining room ceiling. Its centerpiece is a four-sided bar with tons of taps and a huge "jumbotron" display. (There are about 90 TVs throughout the space in all.) From the baseball-themed dining room to an outdoor patio, fans can nosh on regionally inspired tavern fare, from New Orleans shrimp with a spicy Creole sauce to Philly cheesesteak wontons. 

    669 Assembly Row, Somerville; 617-666-8282

  • Blackbird Doughnuts

    The team behind South End gastropub The Gallows is behind this tiny takeaway spot for sweet and savory raised donuts in unique flavors like sesame Sriracha, salted toffee and blackberry lavender. A local roaster supplies a custom coffee blend, and the subway tile-lined space features a glass wall with views of the kitchen, so guests can watch the treat-slinging team crank out their inventive baked goods. Want to take a closer look? Here are 5 Things to Know

    492 Tremont St., Boston; 617-425-0200

  • Photo by: Joel Benjamin

    Bukowski Tavern

    Now under the helm of playful chef Brian Poe, this Inman Square favorite boasts a modernized, industrial-chic interior and elevated menu with an eye toward inventive pub fare, particularly a slew of burgers, incorporating unusual meats like camel, emu and alligator. Unchanged is its commitment to beer and its "Dead Authors Club" that lets regulars secure a displayed personal mug by sampling the full suds selection. Want to check out the new interior and menu items? Here's our First Look at the reconceptualized restaurant

    1281 Cambridge St., Cambridge; 617-497-7077

  • Photo by: Brian Samuels

    Koy

    Grab a purple leather seat at this Faneuil Hall eatery, where bright-violet walls adorned with splashy Asian Pop Art appropriately preview the playfulness of the Korean-fusion fare. KFC, as in Korean Fried Chicken, shares menu space with whole fried fish, crab udon, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, glasses of soju sangria and other inventive reprieves from the ho-hum fare found in this heavy tourist zone. 

    16 North St.; 857-991-1483

  • Photo by: Joel Benjamin

    Night Market

    You may now descend into a bright mural-covered, subterranean den of Asian street food. Your agenda includes creative sake slushies and tasty bites like the Chinese Fish Fry, pictured, a tin can of salty dace seared with shallots and chile, served on a bed of rice with wilted mustard greens. Head here for our closer look

    48 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge

  • Photo by: Troy Lilly

    Barcelona Wine Bar

    Massachusetts receives its second location of the 10-location tapas brand (six of which are in Connecticut). Taking over the South End space that formerly belonged to Sibling Rivalry, Barcelona is a wood-filled retreat for meat and cheese boards, Spanish small plates, and paellas like the Mariscos, with squid, prawns, clams and mussels. Bonus: an expansive beer and wine list. 

    525 Tremont St.; 617.266.2600

  • Study

    Opening just a couple weeks after its sibling-neighbor, Ames Street Deli, Study takes an approach more immediately similar to that of its parent restaurant, Journeyman. Though à la carte ordering is permitted, the emphasis is on four- and thirteen-course tasting menus ($59 and $125) of inventive American, like ink gnocchi (pictured) with squid and mango, duck heart and monkfish with lobster roe and grapefruit. The beverage menu, meanwhile, includes cool flights of vermouths and sherries.  

    73 Ames St., Cambridge; 617-374-0700
     

  • American Fresh

    Depending on where you look, this brick-and-mortar outpost from Somerville craft-beer makers Slumbrew alternatively refers to itself as a "taproom," "beer garden" and "brewhouse." Call it whatever you want. We'll just call it what it is: an outdoor restaurant (protected by a heated tent in winter) for beer and bites, including cheddar ale soup, a Fluffernutter sandwich with almond butter, and (compostable!) charcuterie plates with locally sourced meats, cheeses, and jams. 

    301 Canal St. at Assembly Row, Somerville

  • Bao Nation

    Originally slated to open in May, Bao Nation finally planted its flag in Central Square in November, claiming fast-casual turf dedicated to Asian bun sandwiches and dumplings. Feast your eyes on some very cool wall art, then feast upon steamed bun varieties like the Chinatown Bao, filled with crispy-fried duck, honey teriyaki, crushed peanuts and rice-vinegar-soaked radish, or the JP Bao with veggie tempura, spicy pickled onion and cilantro. (It's a tribute to Bao Nation's sister Indian restaurant, Bukhara, in Jamaica Plain.)

    571 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; 617-547-0295

  • Ames Street Deli

    The team behind the haute American tasting menus at Journeyman delivered Ames Street Deli at the end of November, offering "irreverent sandwiches" like rabbit on carrot bread and char with nori dust and kelp (pictured). Open breakfast through dinner, it's a Kendall Square spot where laptop warriors work over coffee and scrambled-egg donuts in the morning, while evening hours attract chatter over beer, wine, and creative mocktails. 

    73 Ames St.; 617-374-0701

  • Centre Street Cafe

    Following major renovations and with a new approach, this Jamaica Plain favorite has reopened under the same ownership as nearby tapas haven Tres Gatos. Chef Brian Rae, an alum of Jody Adams' Rialto, brings Italian- and Mediterranean-influenced small plates (think roasted figs and grapes and swordfish belly with sunchokes) and housemade pastas like linguini with littlenecks and bucatini with stracciatelle. 

    669 Centre St.; 617-524-9217

Places Mentioned

Grill 23 & Bar

SteakhouseBay Village
Food27 Decor25 Service26 Cost$67

Rialto Restaurant

ItalianCambridge
Food25 Decor24 Service24 Cost$58

Foundry On Elm

Somerville
Food21 Decor22 Service20 Cost$32

Journeyman

AmericanSomerville
Food27 Decor23 Service25 Cost$90

Centre Street Cafe

ItalianJamaica Plain
Food- Decor- Service- CostM

Tres Gatos

Tapas BarJamaica Plain
Food23 Decor20 Service21 Cost$28

Bukhara Indian Bistro

IndianJamaica Plain
Food22 Decor21 Service19 Cost$20

Rosso B.

PizzaDowntown
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

Meju

KoreanSomerville
Food- Decor- Service- CostM

Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant

AmericanSouth Boston
Food- Decor- Service- CostM

Tony C's Sports Bar and Grill

AmericanSomerville
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

The Gallows

South End
Food24 Decor24 Service23 Cost$34

Jerry Remy's

BarFenway/Kenmore
Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostE

Jerry Remy's Seaport

Seaport District
Food19 Decor22 Service19 Cost$24

Ames Street Deli

Cambridge
Food- Decor- Service- CostM

Bao Nation

AsianCambridge
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

American Fresh Taproom

BrewpubSomerville
Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostI

Study

AmericanCambridge
Food- Decor- Service- CostE

Barcelona Wine Bar South End

SpanishSouth End
Food- Decor- Service- CostM

Night Market

AsianCambridge
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

Shake Shack

Back Bay
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

Brewer's Fork

PizzaCharlestown
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

Townsman

New EnglandChinatown
Food- Decor- Service- CostE

Santouka Hokkaido Ramen

JapaneseCambridge
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

Menton

FrenchSeaport District
Food28 Decor27 Service29 Cost$141

Post 390

AmericanBack Bay
Food22 Decor25 Service22 Cost$41

Sam's

Seaport District
Food25 Decor25 Service23 Cost$38

Les Zygomates

FrenchLeather District
Food23 Decor22 Service23 Cost$47

The Publick House

AmericanBrookline
Food25 Decor24 Service22 Cost$26

Shake Shack

Fast FoodCambridge
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

Shake Shack

Dedham
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

Shake Shack

Fast FoodNewton
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

Griddler's Burgers & Dogs

BurgerTheater District
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

Griddler's

BurgerBeacon Hill
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

Loyal Nine

Boston
Food- Decor- Service- CostM

Amorino Boston

Ice Cream ShopBack Bay
Food- Decor- Service- CostI

Wink & Nod

South End
Food- Decor- Service- CostM

Recommended on Zagat

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