Hottest Restaurants in Boston

From Sichuan-style cooking to modern Israeli cuisine
February 16, 2018
by Zagat Staff

We're constantly covering the most important openings in the Boston area, but every now and then it helps to assess the best and buzziest — the places most worth your time. From Sichuan cuisine with killer cocktails in Brookline to a transporting tiki bar in the middle of downtown Boston, here's what to order at the 10 hottest newcomers in town. 

Blossom Bar
Cocktail Bar · $$

Nationally lauded cocktail guru Ran Duan, who turned Woburn's The Baldwin Bar into a suburban drinks destination, brings his touch to Brookline, reinventing his family's decades-spanning Chinese restaurant into a hipper lounge, awash in sea-foam green and palm frond accents, serving Sichuan-style cuisine and cool, inventive cocktails that marry Asian and Latin influences.
Citrus & Salt Boston
Mexican · Back Bay · $$

Hell's Kitchen" runner-up and Boston-based star chef Jason Santos (Abby Lane, Buttermilk & Bourbon) goes for creative Mexican cuisine at this Back Bay joint that veers toward Baja Coast-style plates with funky twists, augmented by over 100 tequilas (including nitro cold-brew coffee with chocolate tequila, served on tap), in a breezy, beach-y dining room complemented by a blacklight-lit rear lounge.
Fat Baby Sushi & Cocktails
Sushi · South Boston · $$

East Asian cuisines converge at this stylish South Boston spot serving not-too-traditional takes on everything from ramen to sushi, plus exotic-feeling cocktails and a strong sake selection, in a hip and spacious spot with rustic woods, an eye-catching copper bar and colorful geisha murals - plus bathroom walls humorously wallpapered with (you guessed it!) fat baby photos.
Highland Fried
Soul Food · $

The team behind Highland Kitchen spun off this Inman Square concept, Americana cooking that centers their famous fried chicken (a longstanding Monday-night special at Kitchen), now available as a whole bird or in selected parts, and rounds it out with barbecue plates, Southern-style sides and a creative cocktail program that reflects the eatery's Tiki-inspired interior design.
Momi Nonmi
Japanese · $

An alum of several well-received Asian-inspired restaurants has opened this intimate and stylishly minimalist Inman Square spot, a modern Japanese izakaya that adds Hawaiian flourish to a creative but accessible menu, including plenty of sashimi, that is almost entirely gluten-free. Sake, shochu and Japanese whiskey dominate the drink list at the four-seat bar.
Moody's Delicatessen & Provisions - Back Bay
Back Bay · $

This Back Bay spinoff of Moody's Delicatessen & Provisions in Waltham, a major foodie fave for its in-demand cured meats produced under the New England Charcuterie label, expands on the original concept by offering a breakfast-through-lunch counter-service setup with deli & cafe eats, Nitro cold brew coffee on draft, grab-and-go charcuterie & other small-batch foodstuffs.
Our Fathers
Bar · Allston · $$

A dual-purpose takeout-friendly deli and full-service restaurant specializing in modern Jewish cuisine, this Allston outfit from the team behind the upscale Franklin restaurants and fun Tasty Burger chain culls Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors in a sleek, midcentury-modern setting with a gin-oriented bar program (over 85 varieties of the spirit) offering many non-alcoholic options like house made shrubs, sodas and egg creams.
The White Bull Tavern
Bar · Downtown · $$

A portrait of William Blackstone, regarded as Boston's first colonial settler (who supposedly rode a white bull into the city), presides over the antique- and curio-stuffed dining room at this two-floor modern tavern steps from Downtown's historic Faneuil Hall, where nearly all the gastropub eats touch the gold-foiled oven, from steaming skillets full of appetizers to custom pizzas. It's all washed down by two-dozen beers on draft and interesting cocktails served in unorthodox vessels like vintage briefcases.
Tiki Rock
Financial District · $

Downtown types gather for after-work drinks in a luau-style setting at this fun, island-inspired tiki bar, the kind of place where Polynesian-style cocktails might be bedecked with miniature umbrellas, and where the tropical libations and kitsch environs come with an array of pan-Asian eats, from sushi rolls to pu-pu platters.
Yume Ga Arukara
Japanese · $

The team behind Yume Wo Katare, a popular Porter Square ramen joint, is behind this nearby counter-service spot serving udon, bowls of thick wheat flour noodles, to a small handful of seats at a kitchen-front counter and communal table.