January is off to a good start, especially on the edge of Central Square by MIT: Pagu officially opened, Roxy’s Central/A4cade is slated to open later this month, and now popular Fenway fast-casual Greek spot Saloniki is open as well. Take a peek inside the new Saloniki location in the gallery above, and then head over to the Novartis building at 181 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge to eat bowls, salads, and pitas stuffed full of loukaniko (a Greek pork sausage), spicy lamb meatballs, zucchini-feta fritters, and more. Important: Opt for the “secret sauce” topping, a preserved lemon condiment that takes everything on the menu to the next level.
Saloniki’s original location showed up in March 2016 at 4 Kilmarnock St., right by Fenway Park. Some familiar faces are behind it: Trade and Porto’s Jody Adams and Eric Papachristos, along with Jonathan Mendez, who was on Trade’s opening team. Saloniki’s menu and name are inspired by Papachristos’ hometown in Greece — Thessaloniki.
The team had thoughts of expansion early on, and this Cambridge location was announced just a few months ago. Like the Fenway location, Saloniki Cambridge features giant photographs of Greece by Adams’ husband, Ken Rivard, and the space has a bright white-and-blue color scheme. Unique to the new location, there’s a partnership with Barrington Coffee Roasters. Plus, students can show their school IDs at the Cambridge location to get a complimentary order of Greek fries with purchase of an entree or sandwich.
The design of the Cambridge location, which seats 38, is meant to make it easy to order online (coming soon, via the restaurant’s website and mobile app) and pick up the order via a separate line. Also coming in the future: sidewalk seating (likely debuting this spring) and a selection of beer and wine (later this year). For now, drink options include Greece’s signature drink, the frappé (sweetened iced coffee topped with foam); Greek iced tea; lemonade; and Spindrift sodas.
Both Saloniki locations are open for lunch and dinner daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.