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The best new restaurants in Boston

Stay on top of the Boston restaurant scene with our guide to the best new restaurants where you should eat right now

Tanám
Photograph: Courtesy Tanám Tanám
By Eric Grossman and Time Out Boston Staff |
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The Hub is emerging from its annual winter slumber, with a bunch of new, notable openings in the works for spring and summer. So now’s an ideal time to catch up with the city’s hottest new restaurants. With so many options, there’s never enough time to visit all the best restaurants in Boston or the best bars in Boston, much less keep track of all the great new restaurants that have popped up over the past year. You can stick with the Hub’s tried and true pizza joints, Boston burger spots, or the best Boston Italian restaurants, but when you’re looking for something new, our list of the hottest new restaurants in Boston will keep you in-the-know. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

The best in the city under one roof

Time Out Market Boston
Photograph: Eva Sakellarides
Restaurants

Time Out Market Boston

Fenway/Kenmore

Like some variety when you go out to eat? Time Out Market Boston has you covered. Boston's first contemporary culinary hub boasts 15 curated food offerings, two slick bars and lots more. There is plenty of seating—both indoors and on a lovely, buzzing patio—and some of the biggest culinary names in Boston are delivering a varied assortment of delicious dishes and killer bites.

Best new restaurants in Boston

1
Tanám
Photograph: Courtesy Tanám
Restaurants, Filipino

Tanám

Somerville

This tiny space in Somerville's Bow Market hosts some of Boston's most interesting meals. The changing Filipino menu is top notch, offering delicacies not often found anywhere else in the city. Wednesdays and Sundays feature a kamayan-style dinner: dishes are spread on top of banana leaves on the communal table and eaten with the hands. Fridays and Saturdays feature "Coursed Storytelling" in which Chef-owner Ellie Tiglao prepares a tasting menu for the communal table of Filipino dishes complemented by personal stories and histories of the food and culture.

2
Fox & the Knife
Photograph: Brian Samuels
Restaurants, Italian

Fox & the Knife

South Boston

Chef Karen Akunowicz (formerly of Myers & Chang) is behind this Southie restaurant, which was inspired by her time living and working in Modena, Italy. Akunowicz's goal has been to foster a sense of community, and—based on all the local couples who have been flocking in to enjoy a night of Italian food—she seems to have hit her mark. The extensive wine list has options from around the globe.

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3
Woods Hill Pier 4
Photograph: Courtesy Woods Hill Pier 4
Restaurants, American creative

Woods Hill Pier 4

Seaport District

Woods Hill Pier 4 brings farm-to-table dining to the Seaport, on the site where the iconic Anthony’s Pier 4 restaurant once sat. Kristin Canty and the team behind The Farm at Woods Hill create modern, seasonal dishes using ingredients that are organic, non-GMO, and come from local area purveyors. All meat comes from The Farm at Woods Hill and other local farms that raise animals ethically and feed from an organic grass-based diet.

4
Orfano
Photograph: JM Leach
Restaurants, Italian

Orfano

Fenway/Kenmore

From Tiffani Faison—who already brought Sweet Cheeks, Tiger Mama and Fool’s Errand to the Fenway—comes Orfano, an Italian-American joint that combines a glamorous, old-school setting with a fresh, modern approach. Tableside martinis, craft cocktails and an elegant wine list set the vibe, while handmade pastas and indulgent steaks are sure to satisfy. Don’t miss quirky culinary twists like the Pig Parmesan (with tonkatsu serving as the base), or pizza lasagne featuring a tasty “burnt cheese.”

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5
Tawakal
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Christine A.
Restaurants, Somali

Tawakal

East Boston

Tucked away in an otherwise quiet corner of East Boston’s Jeffries Point neighborhood, this Somali restaurant has been drawing national attention for its homestyle food and compelling backstory. Owner/Chef Yahya Noor’s family left after the country’s civil war; after spending time in a Kenyan refugee camp, they emigrated to the U.S. in 1997, and settled in Boston in 1998. Crowd favorites include sambusas (fried dough filled with spiced beef and onions) and goat biryani.

6
Black Lamb
Photograph: Courtesy Black Lamb/Reagan Byrne
Restaurants, American

Black Lamb

South End

From the culinary talent behind Bar Mezzana comes the modern American brasserie, Black Lamb, located in the buzzing South End. Open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Black Lamb dishes out comforting, yet elevated fare. Duck breast frites with orange bearnaise, prime rib with potato gratin and grilled tuna steak nicoise are just a few of the diverse menu options. Not to mention, Black Lamb doubles as a raw bar that offers countless fresh, local bivalves. If you’re looking for a chic spot to grab drinks, explore their extensive wine, cocktail and beer lists.

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7
Mariel
Photograph: Courtesy Mariel
Restaurants, Cuban

Mariel

Downtown

This lavish Cuban restaurant from the team behind Yvonne's has emerged as a must-selfie spot, with flaming rum drinks and drunken monkey wallpaper. But the food lives up to the flare, with an impressive list of snacks (pork empanadas, yuca cheese puffs), small plates (fufu gnocchi, congri rice and beans), cuban pizzas and a few hearty mains (steak fritas, lechon asado). The cocktail list is excellent as well.

8
Grand Tour
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Tina D.
Restaurants, French

Grand Tour

Back Bay

This narrow, bistro-style space comes from Michael Serpa, whose Select Oyster Bar is located just steps away. The Parisian-inspired environs compliment the luxurious menu, which features a pair of steak frites options, each sourced from Savenor’s, plus escargot pot pie, steak tartare (made with hand cut prime filet mignon), New England cheeses (curated with Formaggio Kitchen), and more.

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9
Chalawan
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Nina E.
Restaurants, Pan-Asian

Chalawan

Porter Sq

At Porter Square’s Chalawan, Chef Palm Amatawate — who has cooked throughout Southeast Asia — preps a broad range of cuisines, with culinary touches from Indonesia, Singapore and Myanmar. Try out dishes that are rarely seen locally, such as Indonesian corn cakes, Sri Lankan beetroot curry, and Javanese lamb. The menu is full of interesting ingredients and dishes that will likely require explaining from the friendly staff.

10
Rochambeau
Photograph: Courtesy Rochambeau
Restaurants, French

Rochambeau

Back Bay

This sprawling, airy brasserie features contemporary French fare in spirited environs. The upstairs restaurant is open for lunch and dinner as well as weekend brunch. Enjoy classics like steak frites and rotisserie chicken. The downstairs cafe is open daily for a quick sandwich or indulgent house-made croissants and other pastries. The seasonal outdoor patio is sure to be popular in warmer weather.

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11
Shy Bird
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Christina Y.
Restaurants, American creative

Shy Bird

Kendall Sq

Fans of Branch Line’s rotisserie chicken are flocking to sibling restaurant Shy Bird, hidden away near Kendall Square. The casual cafe is open from breakfast through dinner, offering counter service and comfortable seating. The rotisserie chicken stars on all three menus; if you’re hungry, go for a whole or half bird with your choice of sauce. Other highlights include a cauliflower melt, sugar snap pea salad, brisket, and rosemary-black pepper fries.

12
Bar ’Cino
Photograph: Courtesy Bar ’Cino
Restaurants, Italian

Bar ’Cino

In the St. Mary’s neighborhood of Brookline, Bar ’Cino serves thin-crust, grilled pizzas, cut table-side with scissors (as made famous by the Providence restaurant Al Forno). Hailing from Newport, RI, the restaurant — part of the employee-owned Newport Restaurant Group — features a large, social bar, perfect for enjoying Italian-accented plates and aperitivo-inspired cocktails. Other menu highlights: farro risotto, spaghetti cacio y pepe with RI clams, and a whole roasted lemon-scented chicken.

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13
Zuma Boston
Photograph: Courtesy Zuma Boston
Restaurants, Japanese

Zuma

Fenway/Kenmore

Located inside the snazzy Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, the Boston outpost of the renowned globe-spanning Japanese izakaya serves sophisticated plays on sushi, robata skewers and tempura. Enjoy pristine nigiri and top-shelf sake in classy environs.

14
Peregrine
Photograph: Brian Samuels
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Peregrine

Beacon Hill

Peregrine offers a tasty celebration of underrepresented cuisines from breezy coastal European cities like Sardinia, Sicily, Corsica and Catalonia. Travel to faraway lands through a plate full of ricotta-studded pappardelle and imported wines—all without leaving the new 66-room Whitney Hotel.

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15
Yellow Door
Photograph: Courtesy Yellow Door
Restaurants, Mexican

Yellow Door Taqueria

South End

Yellow Door Taqueria, the Cali-Mex inspired restaurant in Dorchester’s Lower Mills neighborhood, offers its first Boston location on the edge of the South End. The menu is focused on creative tacos, which range from the familiar (carne asada, confit port carnitas) to the creative (fried scallop, celery root and apple). There’s also fresh ceviche and crudo, plus other Mexican crowd-pleasers. Creative cocktails jockey for attention with the lengthy list of margarita flavors, including hibiscus, coconut, and lime leaf and ginger.

16
Cósmica
Photograph: Courtesy Cósmica
Restaurants, Mexican

Cósmica

South End

The team behind The Beehive and Beat Brew Hall have partnered with The Revolution Hotel to open Cósmica, a Mexican eatery and bar. The colorful decor pairs well with the beverage program, which features elevated takes on vacation cocktails, plus an extensive collection of tequilas and mezcals. The menu offers creative interpretations of classic Mexican street food dishes, plus crab tostadas, duck carnitas and chili roasted brisket.

See more of Boston’s best restaurants
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