Table Of Contents (all h2's added automatically)
It was a busy spring in Boston proper, with openings especially concentrated in Back Bay, Jamaica Plain, and the South End. Many were fast-casual, and a lot of new coffee options sprung up. While we expected to see the arrival of a few out-of-town brands — Dig Inn, Lady M, By Chloe — those are now aiming for summer openings. But we did say hello to some new siblings of existing Boston-area restaurants, including Casa Verde (sibling to Tres Gatos and Centre Street Cafe), a new Clover, a third FoMu, and a second Grass Fed. Allston got two restaurants that serve Korean-Mexican fusion (think tacos with Korean-inspired fillings) — Coreanos and OliToki. A handful of new pubs opened around town, including The Ginger Man near Faneuil Hall and Lower Mills Tavern in Dorchester. And some temporarily closed restaurants reopened — JM Curley and Cafe Madeleine in their original locations, and Crispy Crepes Cafe in a new spot. Get all the details >>>
Image credit: Fried lobster and waffles with sweet corn butter and spicy maple syrup at Saltie Girl/Facebook
Commune Kitchen opened on June 15, 2016 at 203A Broadway, the former Zocalo space. The cafe offers "fast casual, artisan fare" with a particular focus on pizzas and tartines. There's also poutine. Co-owner Justin Demers worked at Clear Flour Bread and is making Commune Kitchen's bread and pizza dough in-house.
Looking ahead to summer and beyond, Otto Pizza is taking over the former Comella's space at 202 Massachusetts Ave. in East Arlington and might open before the end of June. Flora will close on June 30, to be replaced by a French restaurant called Financier around September 2016. And Evelyn & Angel's — a candy shop previously located near Porter Square — is moving to Arlington, but the timeline is unknown.
Image credit: Cheese pizza at Commune Kitchen/Facebook
It was a quiet season for restaurant openings in Brookline, but a popular food truck put down roots, an Irish pub group added a new sibling, and a duo of taquerias became a trio. Plus, a pizzeria moved and a juice bar chain opened its first Massachusetts location. Get all the details >>>
Image credit: A pizza at Stoked Pizza/Instagram
Three chains expanded to Burlington: The Upper Crust Pizzeria chain opened a new location at Burlington Marketplace, while the Burlington Mall got a fast-casual burger chain from Connecticut, Wayback Burgers, and Sichuan Gourmet expanded to the Burlington Square shopping center.
Image credit: A burger at Wayback Burgers/Facebook
Lots of hotly anticipated openings and reopenings were on their way to Cambridge this season, but most got delayed until summer. We did see the opening of a few Cambridge restaurants this spring, though, from a full-service burger restaurant with boozy milkshakes in Inman Square to a farm-to-table restaurant in the former Ten Tables Cambridge space from the former Ten Tables JP general manager. Get all the details >>>
Image credit: A boozy milkshake at WuBurger/Instagram
Newburyport's Andiamo Restaurant + Bar expanded to Chelmsford (18 Boston Rd.) on May 31, 2016. The Italian restaurant has an open kitchen and a wood-fired oven.
Image credit: Meatballs at Andiamo in Newburyport/Facebook
Anthony Caturano, owner of Prezza in Boston's North End, opened a restaurant called Tonno on June 17, 2016 at 2 Main St.; it's a coastal Italian seafood concept. The 4,000-square-foot space, which features "partial ocean views," includes a dining room, cocktail bar, lounge, raw bar, and space for private events. And at 23 E. Main St., Chuck and AJ Gianakakis opened a casual seafood restaurant, AJ's at the Harbor, but it closed a couple months later.
Image credit: Pre-opening practice at Tonno/Facebook
The Comella's chain of Italian restaurants expanded to Hingham this spring, opening at 221 Lincoln St. in mid-May.
Image credit: A sandwich at Comella's/Facebook
Jules' Kitchen, a casual counter-service spot, is now open inside White Farms Homemade Ice Cream at 330 High St., serving soups, sandwiches, and more.
Image credit: Pulled pork sandwich with avocado at Jules' Kitchen/Facebook
A fast-casual restaurant called Fresco's Roast Beef & Seafood opened at 775 Eastern Ave. (formerly home to a yogurt shop called Zinga) in early May 2016, followed by the long-awaited Sillari's Pizza at 97 Medford St. in late May, which serves up a simple menu of brick-oven pizza, chicken fingers, fries, and soft drink, currently takeout only. And Ibasaw, "wasabi" spelled backwards, opened this spring at 95 Middlesex St. with sushi, hot pot, and more. Looking ahead, Idle Hands Craft Ales, originally located in Everett, had to find a new home once casino construction gobbled up its space. The brewing company's new (larger) location is under construction at 89 Commercial St. in Malden, slated for an early summer opening.
Image credit: A range of pizzas at Sillari's/Instagram
A franchise of fast-casual chain Jersey Mike's Subs opened on April 6 at 42 Boston Post Road West. It's the first location for Central Massachusetts, and the same franchise owners — Mohegan Holding Company, LLC of the Mohegan Tribe — also plan to bring the brand to the southern section of Worcester County. Plus, Chill Kitchen and Bar opened at 416 Boston Post Road East, serving up pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and more, along with cocktails, wine, and beer.
Image credit: A crab cake sandwich at Chill Kitchen and Bar/Facebook
Josh Foley, an alum of Harvest (Cambridge) and Zuni Cafe (San Francisco), opened a rustic New England restaurant called Avenue at 445 Main St., a historic building. The space features a "tavern" area and a dining room, as well as an open kitchen with a wood-fired oven. It opened on May 31, 2016.
Image credit: Wood-grilled yellowfin tuna/Facebook
Sura BBQ, a Korean barbecue restaurant with two Rhode Island locations, opened at 27 Riverside Ave. in June, serving hot pot, all-you-can-eat barbecue, and more.
Image credit: Hot pot at Sura in Rhode Island/Official Site
Giacomo's (of Boston's North and South Ends) opened this spring at 454 Main St., formerly home to Absolutely Fabulous. Looking ahead, T'ahpas 529 could open in July.
Image credit: Zuppa de pesce for two at Giacomo's/Facebook
Fresh juice came to Chestnut Hill, fast-casual pasta expanded from Coolidge Corner to Newton Centre, and Moldovan food arrived in Nonantum this spring. Get all the details >>>
Image credit: Cușma lui Guguță at Moldova Restaurant/Facebook
Florida-based chain Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza has been expanding around the area with locations in Reading and Westwood. It opened in Northborough on May 2, 2016, and Littleton and Newton locations are slated to open later in the year. Looking forward, Northborough's also getting one of the first Massachusetts locations of Texas-based fast-casual chain Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes (as is Jamaica Plain), but a timeline hasn't been announced.
Image credit: Pizza at Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza/Facebook
Former Babycakes owner Kerri Lynch-Delaney opened 16C at 16 Cottage Ave., the former Granite Rail Tavern space, in mid-April 2016. Lynch-Delaney's aunt, Boston restaurateur Barbara Lynch, collaborated with her to develop the menu, which includes pizzas, steak tips, and other American-style dishes.
Looking forward, Pho Pasteur's Quincy expansion is getting close. A new addition to the growing Fuji family, Fuji at West of Chestnut, could happen in September 2016, and Plymouth-based KKatie's Burger Bar is also expected to open that month at the same development. Meanwhile, The Townshend team is working on a second project, Belfry Hall, slated to open in the fall at 35 Washington St.
Plus, the reopening of Unchained Pizza is now slated for September or October 2016, and the former Beachcomber space will eventually become a new higher-end restaurant, also called Beachcomber.
Image credit: Pizza at 16C/Facebook
August 2016 saw the addition of drive-in chain Sonic at 707 Grand Army Hwy with neon-colored slushes, double cheeseburgers, and more.
Image credit: Grape slush with rainbow candy at Sonic/Official Site
Somerville's spring openings covered a wide variety of neighborhoods and genres, from a brewery/taproom/cafe in Winter Hill to fast-casual pizza in Davis Square and hot pot in Union. Get all the details >>>
Image credit: A potential dish at Southern Kin/Facebook
Mission on the Bay, from Vinny T's founder Martin Bloom, opened at 141 Humphrey St. (formerly Red Rock Bistro) in mid-May 2016.
Image credit: Ice cream at Mission on the Bay/Facebook
The Westin Waltham-Boston got a location of the small Relish Burger Bistro chain in early April 2016. The hotel restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a focus on burgers.
Image credit: Watch City burger at Relish Burger Bistro/Facebook
Worcester got a bacon-centric gastropub this season, as well as a popular pizza joint from Amherst, a new restaurant from a couple of Strip-T's/Ribelle alum, and more. Get all the details >>>
Image credit: Bacon at The Hangover Pub/Instagram via @kshaffermedia
Photo: Boston skyline/Marcio Jose Bastos Silva on Shutterstock