Hottest Restaurants in Boston

From Sichuan-style cooking to modern Israeli cuisine
February 16, 2018
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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
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
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
Barbecue · $

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
Sandwich · 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.
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.
White Bull Tavern
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.
Yume Ga Arukara
Ramen · $

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.