The Hub's restaurant scene is expanding almost as fast as the Bostonians enjoying the fruits (and also the meats) of said scene. But it's Summer, so no time to slow down! We've got the 18 best new spots that opened during the Spring and are ready to meet your drinking and dining needs.
Bastille Kitchen (address and info)
You’ll storm the gates of Bastille Kitchen (actually, there's a regular door) as industry vet Seth Greenberg (Mistral, etc.) and Executive Chef Adam Kube (Ritz-Carlton) bring modern Parisian brasserie fare (with some local twists) to Boston’s Fort Point district. Treat yourself to Frisee Aux Lardons (duck confit, poached egg, Sherry vinaigrette, duck lardons), Vanilla Butter-Poached Lobster (braised fennel & sweet potato hash), or the Beef Short Rib Wellington (foie gras, glazed carrots, pommes fondant). Sommelier (and GM) Michael Adkins has hand selected varietals from small French village vineyards and added old world-style American and Italian wines to round out the cellar. And you.
Lulu’s (address and info)
Restaurateur Peter Culpo (The Hill Tavern, Woody’s Grill & Tap, Parish Café) looks to dominate another neighborhood with his spacious/industrial new American eatery in Allston. Chef Sarah Wade focuses on from-scratch comfort food while 50-ish craft beers also await your consumption. And the brews are often incorporated into the gastronomy. Fill your belly with Smokin’ Blonde Beer Cheese Soup (smoked Gouda, IPA, ripped baguette), mussels steamed in saison with local linguica, and stout-braised short rib mac and cheese. Oh, and then there's the Bad Ass Burger -- natural beef with herbs & butter, the aforementioned short ribs, and a runny egg that's topped with the beer cheese soup and served with chili cheese fries, all of which will indeed render your ass unpleasant to look at.
Audubon Boston (address and info)
Regulars of the now-defunct Audubon Circle didn’t have to cry for long, as Audubon Boston quickly re-opened in its place… keeping some of the old and adding some of the new (not sure about borrowed and blue). The brain trust of Beau Sturm, Jay Bellao, and Josh Childs (Trina’s Starlite Lounge, Parlor Sports) stepped in to retool this neighborhood haven with energized drinks and eats such as Pork Muffaletta and Corn Husk Flounder (grilled corn, edamame, red bell pepper, sticky brown rice, arugula, cherry pepper chimichurri sauce). The amped up cocktails (channeling a bit of Trina’s) include The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail (aged rum, orange liqueur, Velvet Falernum, lime) and the Shaddock (Genever, Casoni, elderflower liqueur, lemon).
The Taco Truck (address and info)
This local fave taqueria-on-wheels found a permanent home in Harvard Square (the former Felipe’s) so you won’t have to chase after them for seconds... or thirds. In the taco department, fire down the Barbacoa de Costilla (braised beef, onion, cilantro, roasted red salsa) and the Pescado (crispy catfish, red cabbage, pico de gallo, tartar, chipotle salsa). As for tortas, you should have the braised sweet pork Carnitas loaded with avocado, crema, and black beans. Wash all that down with a Jarritos or Mexican Coke. And a churro, because, why not?
Bostonia Public House (address and info)
Bostonia Public House takes you back with an old-school classic Boston-meeting-place vibe in the historic Board of Trade Building (RIP Kitty O’Shea’s). Try the likes of tater tot poutine, braised lamb pasta (asparagus, mushrooms, pappardelle, Parmesan), and house-made ricotta dumplings with lobster and crispy prosciutto cracker. Beverage-wise, look for 45 wines by the glass and cocktails like the J. Grady (Angel’s Envy rye, blood orange, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, sugar, bitters). Fun fact: TV’s Taniya Nayak (HGTV, Food Network) designed the venue.
Parla (address and info)
You won’t have to know any secret knock to access this Italian speakeasy, and that makes it sooo much easier to get to the molto buono refreshments from Chef Eric Buonagurio (a Jason Santos protege). Make new friends while enjoying a Dillinger Sidecar (rye, Solerno Blood Orange, fresh lemon), and slide into a booth for elevated antipasti (burrata fritta), pasti (squid ink gnocchi), piatti piccoli (roasted bone marrow), and principale (monkfish osso buco). If you want to get even more indulgent, there's lobster and uni ravioli with house-made ricotta, lemon cream, and fava beans. Then indulge in a nap. Try to get yourself home first, though.
SA PA Modern Vietnamese (address and info)
Owner Ky Nguyen (Kingston Station) just opened SA PA in DX in February, and he’s already introducing his fast-casual über-fresh Vietnamese vittles to Cleveland Circle. Family recipes/preparations keep it real, from the pho broth that simmers all day, to 72-hour sake-cured salmon, to mom’s home-made egg rolls. Of course you’re slurping some pho studded with braised beef in a rich and equally beefy broth. Or get more adventurous with the cross-cultural Banh Mi Burrito. Decisions! While you’re pondering, guzzle a spicy/sweet Chili Mint Limeade, an original recipe from Kingston’s Eric Pierce.
Brass Union Restaurant & Bar (address and info)
Brass Union (the old Precinct) evokes a retro NYC tavern style with Chesterfield banquettes, dark wood, and antique frosted mirrors up front that lead to the funk/soul lounge in back, which boasts vintage table-top video games, board games, life-size Connect Four, and a 14-foot shuffleboard court. Executive Chef Jonathan Kopacz (Chez Henri) honors his Wisconsin roots with American small plates that will evolve with what’s coming from the farms. Look for everything from bites like mackerel crudo and cod cakes to house-made cavatelli studded with Spring veggies. Don't miss the shareable plate of homemade cookies at dessert time. Fine, maybe miss the sharing part. Bonus: they have cocktails on draft and house-made sodas from seasoned mixologist Paulo Pereira (Vine Brook Tavern, Lansdowne Pub).
BurgerFi (address and info)
Allston/Brighton fringe, near BU
BurgerFi's the latest entry into Boston's patty-slinging scene, with all-natural free-range Angus beef (no additives or chemicals) and an environmentally conscious modus operandi (e.g. the chairs are made from recycled Coke bottles). Beyond the burgers (Brisket Burger!), look for dogs (one is 100% Wagyu Kobe Beef), fries (with six different topping combos), o-rings, frozen custards & concretes, and beer & wine if your sugar buzz wasn't sufficient. There's also a "secret" menu (conveniently revealed on their website) for the cool kids. Be “in-the-know” with the Supreme Burger (grilled mushrooms, hickory bacon, American cheese) and Alternative Style Fries (smothered with grilled diced onions, American cheese, mustard, BurgerFi sauce).
Loretta’s Last Call (address and info)
The Lyons Group (Lucky’s, Harvard Gardens, and about 23 more) took over La Verdad’s former shell and transformed it into a true country/blue grass/roots honky tonk on Lansdowne St. The album- and photo-bedazzled walls barely contain the boot-stompin’-cowboy hat-wearin’ good times featuring live music and cold beer. And ‘Merican bourbons and whiskeys, of course. The Southern/soul food catalog has all the respectable fixin’s (fried catfish, hushpuppies, okra, etc.), but the highlight is the spicy and crunchy fried chicken. They’ll also be pouring some moonshine.
Scissors & Pie (address and info)
The Great Pizza War continues to rage in Boston, and Scissors & Pie on Newbury St has entered the delectable fray. They’ve loaded their ovens with meticulously prepped dough and traditional Italian toppings for maximum ‘za power. The pies come in half and full trays, or by the scissor-cut (a ha!) petzo, cut from a sheet and sold by weight. Try the literal and figurative mouthful that is the Salmone Affumicato e Gamberi (fresh mozz, plump local cherry tomatoes, sautéed shrimp, smoked salmon, parsley, EVOO, fresh arugula, sliced lemons, drizzled house-made garlic sauce). There’s a multitude of interesting combos, necessitating many trips.
The Abbey (address and info)
For a few years The Abbey has rocked Washington Square, and now they’re crossing the river to do the same in Porter Square. Ease into your evening with one of many excellent scotches (30+) or another potables from their extensive list of deluxe spirits (70+). The cuisine happily mirrors the high-end beverage program. Reach for Lamb Lollipops (goat cheese brûlée, mint oil, aged balsamic) before crushing some Bison Bolognese with Romano and fresh linguini. Explore some cocktails after supper… perhaps The Fearless King (muddled basil, Irish Whiskey, grapefruit juice) or the Bells of St. Mary’s Martini (gin, triple sec, apricot brandy, lemon juice).
Merrill & Co. (address and info)
Get Southern comfortable at this sleek drinking man’s diner named for the late Merrill “Pop” Lieberman, a “brandy and cigars”-type character and founder of Connecticut’s Merrill Industries. Transport yourself back to simpler times with phosphates and egg cream sodas from the fountain, or cool off with a Pimm's Cup slushie before diving into accentuated Americana from pork rinds to a four-piece fried chicken dinner with slaw and biscuits. Sunday Fundays are in full effect with "Hair of the Dog" specials and karaoke from 3-6pm.
La Brasa (address and info)
After a long wait and tons of buzz, La Brasa has finally opened in Somerville with Chefs Daniel Bojorquez (L’Espalier, Sel de la Terre) and Frank McClelland (also L’Espalier) at the helm. Their flavors come from the melting pot that is East Somerville, with Mexican, Peruvian, and Middle Eastern influences. The secret is in the name (a la brasa = barbecued/grilled) and the wood that fuels their kitchen… both becoming not-so-secret with aromatic dishes like Smoked Bone-In Pork Milanese (with mushy peas), Lamb Shank Pozole (red chili broth, homemade hominy with cabbage), and Barbecued Beef Brisket (charred green tomatillo barbecue sauce). Bonus: it’s also a market that sells local goods so you can amp up your home kitchen.
Liquid Art House (address and info)
Liquid Art House is the sum of its diverse parts: restaurant, gallery, showroom, lounge, and online platform... equaling something totally different on the Boston scene. Owner Ruta Laukien’s vision fuses her love of fine food and funky art to create a mashup with installations, art-cuisine pairings, curated pop-ups, and a menu from award-wining Chef Rachel F. Klein (OM). Inventive offerings include handmade dumplings with duck cracklings, Brussels sprouts, aged Gouda, and Asian pear, or try some Maple Planked Arctic Char (baby potatoes, quail eggs, dill pickles, sour cream, roe). They also have a giant rotisserie named "Lulu" capable of handling a whole communal roast (with a 72-hour advance notice). Can’t wait that long? Get the Colorado Lamb Loin, with potato puree, green olive & mint gremolata, roasted grapes, and Parmigiano Romano.
Besito Mexican (address and info)
Burlington has become the new restaurant hot spot, and Besito (“little kiss”) heats things up with traditional/authentic Mexican from Executive Chef Carlos Arellano. From table-side Guacamole en Molcajete service to revved up ‘ritas, this warm hacienda will take care of your South-of-the-border cravings. Start with the Ceviche del Dia (rotating; with plantains and tortilla chips), then stuff yourself with Filete de Res al Chipotle (Negro Modelo-marinated filet mignon, chipotle quemado salsa, queso Chihuahua, nopales, plantains, queso fresco). For tequila connoisseurs, flights are available to showcase a range from un-aged blancos to extra anejos. The real stars of the bar are the margaritas, such as the smoky sweet Margarita de Tamarindo with Herradura blanco tequila, Cointreau, tamarind puree, passion fruit puree, agave nectar, fresh-squeezed lime, and a chipotle salted rim.
Del Frisco’s Grille (address and info)
Following their success in Chestnut Hill, Del Frisco’s Grille just landed in Burlington (see?) with their next-level meat lover’s fare. Become immediately addicted to the Corn Chowder (crabmeat, smoked bacon bits, fingerling potato chips, basil & garlic aioli). For lunch, wrap your mitts around a Shaved Prime Steak Sandwich (4-hour braised prime, horseradish sauce, au jus, frites, pickle). What’s for dinner? Their signature salt & pepper-crusted 12oz Filet Mignon, that's what. In addition to their 300 wines, there will be cocktails like the Kilt Lifter (Hendrick’s Gin, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, splash of Tobasco, squeeze of lemon), as well as local brews on tap. If you still have room (you’ll make some), top everything off with Lemon Doberge Cake -- six layers of sweetness encased in lemon buttercream icing and lemon glaze.
The Bancroft (address and info)
Burlington again (remember… we talked about this)! The Webber Restaurant Group (Gibbet Hill Farm/Grill, Scarlett Oak Tavern) extends their farm-to-table reach much closer to the city with this posh, chef-driven chophouse and craft cocktail lounge. Once you’re done gawking at the space, you need to think about steak. Your steak. How about 28-day prime aged rib eye (14oz)? Or Wagyu top sirloin (8oz, with twice-fried green beans, miso mustard sauce). OR, if you really want to impress that special someone, share the 40oz (yes) Butcher Cut Salt + Pepper Tomahawk Rib Steak. Delicate starters and salads, a killer raw bar (with Yellowtail Hamachi Crudo), and other thoughtfully sourced meats add the finishing touches to Chef Mario Capone’s dramatic menu.
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1. Bastille Kitchen49 Melcher St, Boston
2. Lulu's421 Cambridge St, Boston
3. Audubon Boston838 Beacon St, Boston
4. The Taco Truck83 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge
5. Bostonia Public House131 State St, Boston
6. Parla230 Hanover St, Boston
7. SA PA Modern Vietnamese1952 Beacon St, Boston
8. Brass Union70 Union Square, Somerville
9. BurgerFi961 Commonwealth Ave, Boston
10. Loretta's Last Call1 Lansdowne St, Boston
11. Scissors & Pie225 Newbury St, Boston
12. The Abbey1755 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
13. Merrill & Co.1 Appleton St, Boston
14. La Brasa124 Broadway, Somerville
15. Liquid Art House100 Arlington St, Boston
16. Besito Mexican75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington
17. Del Frisco's Grille - Burlington92 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington
18. The Bancroft15 Third Ave, Burlington
Fancy eats like Frisée Aux Lardons, Vanilla Butter-Poached Lobster, and Beef Short Rib Wellington are complemented by a deftly assembled wine list at Bastille Kitchen.
This spacious, industrial-looking American eatery is filled with over 50 craft beers and delicious comfort food like the Bad Ass Burger -- natural beef with herbs & butter, short ribs, and a runny egg that's topped with beer cheese soup and served with chili cheese fries.
Audubon Boston has a standout cocktail menu, including the A.B.’retto Sour with Lazzaroni amaretto, Overproof Plantation rum, lemon, and sugar egg white. Or try the Mis Suenos, boosted by Dulce Vida reposado, Punt e Mes, and smoked ginger syrup. For brew-hounds, they also dispense eight craft drafts that'll help wash down their honey jalapeño wings. The Pork Muffaletta and Corn Husk Flounder are also standouts.
The long-awaited brick-and-mortar version of the local favorite taco truck, this joint is dishing up classics like the Barbacoa de Costilla (braised beef, onion, cilantro, roasted red salsa) and the Pescado (crispy catfish, red cabbage, pico de gallo, tartar, chipotle salsa).
Bostonia Public House presents an old-school classic Boston-meeting-place vibe in the historic Board of Trade Building -- show up and try some tater tot poutine, braised lamb pasta, and house-made ricotta dumplings.
Parla's an Italian speakeasy with classy cocktails like the Dillinger Sidecar (rye, Solerno Blood Orange, fresh lemon). Get cozy with some fancy cuisine, too, like their squid ink gnocchi or roasted bone marrow.
Fast-casual Vietnamese cuisine finds a home in SA PA, but they keep it real with everything from pho broth that simmers all day, to 72-hour sake-cured salmon, to mom’s home-made egg rolls.
At Brass Union, the front, tavern-style setting gives way to a funk/soul lounge in back, which boasts vintage table-top video games, board games, life-size Connect Four, and a 14-foot shuffleboard court.
BurgerFi has landed in Boston! Guilt-free(ish) offerings are made from all-natural free-range Angus beef (no additives or chemicals) and an environmentally conscious modus operandi. Get yourself a brisket burger, a 100% Wagyu Kobe Beef hot dog, and some fries (with six different topping combos).
Loretta's Last Call is a rare treasure in Fenway, featuring live country/blue grass/roots honky tonk on Lansdowne St. Beer, bourbon, and whiskey will pair with fried chicken and other Southern fare to keep your good times going.
The name can't get much more literal than this. Walk into this Back Bay pizza joint and order a petzo -- a square of pizza cut by scissors and weighed out for you on the spot.
With a list of 30+ Scotches and 70+ other deluxe spirits, The Abbey will easily coax you into trying some of their equally high-end cuisine (not that you needed any prodding). Get down on Lamb Lollipops and Bison Bolognese before you leave.
Come to Merril for something between comfort food and fine dining -- you might grab some of their delicious catfish, you might grab some of their tender BBQ ribs, you might just grab something from their craft cocktail menu -- but you will definitely not regret stopping by.
Enjoy some pumped-up Mexican flavors from Daniel Bojorquez and Frank McClelland -- dishes like Smoked Bone-In Pork Milanese, Lamb Shank Pozole, and Barbecued Beef Brisket will keep you coming back.
This grand experiment is equal parts restaurant, gallery, showroom, lounge, and online platform. The food is just about as artistic as the pieces they're showing off on the walls: handmade dumplings with duck cracklings, Brussels sprouts, aged Gouda, and Asian pear; or Maple Planked Arctic Char with baby potatoes, quail eggs, dill pickles, sour cream, and roe.
Besito ("little kiss") Mexican is heating things up with traditional/authentic Mexican from Executive Chef Carlos Arellano in Burlington.
The meaty mecca's Burlington installation promises classics like their salt & pepper-crusted 12oz Filet Mignon, and even lunch items like a Shaved Prime Steak Sandwich (4-hour braised prime, horseradish sauce, au jus, frites, pickle).
This cavernous suburban restaurant has all the delicious and mood-setting frills to make sure Burlington is worth the drive. From the house made flavored salts that season the cuts, the tomahawk steak presented tableside, then brought back to the kitchen for carving, to the polenta cakes shaped like little cows that accompany each steak. As far as setting, Bancroft's modern iron and glass decor is a refreshing detour from the standard dark wood and brass, and both the cocktail and wine programs demand you designate someone else to drive home.