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Duck at Café du Pays
Duck at Café du Pays, Eater Boston’s Restaurant of the Year for 2017
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

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2017 in Review: Boston’s Year in Food

Catch up on the year’s happenings before we head into 2018

As 2017 draws to a close, here’s a look back at the year in restaurant openings and closings, top news stories, most-read maps and guides, and more.

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A bartender holds a pink scorpion bowl in a giant glass. It has two straws coming out of it.
A scorpion bowl at Scorpion Bar
Scorpion Bar/Facebook

From breaking news of a college bar closure to the debuts of a variety of novelty venues, these are the stories that you read the most this year.

  1. Boston Restaurants Standing in Solidarity With ‘A Day Without Immigrants’ Strike: A list of restaurants that closed on February 16 and messages of support from others.
  2. Sunset Grill & Tap and Patron’s Have Closed: But Sunset Cantina remains open for business.
  3. Les Sablons Debuts in Harvard Square: Look inside Island Creek Oyster Bar’s brand new Cambridge sibling.
  4. Cowabunga! A4cade and Roxy’s Central Are Here to Fill Your Life With Joy: Sneak a peek inside the best collaboration ever — and then go play.
  5. A Christmas-Themed Bar Pops up in Boston This Fall: “Miracle on the Charles River” almost has the same ring to it, right?
  6. Cannonball: A Caddyshack-Themed Bar Just Opened in Downtown Boston: “Gambling is illegal at Bushwood, sir.”
  7. Two Big Clubs Open in the Seaport Next Week, and There Will Be Scorpion Bowls: Big Night Entertainment Group’s Scorpion Bar and the Grand are about to arrive.
  8. Lookout Rooftop & Bar at Seaport’s Envoy Hotel Will Become an Igloo Wonderland: Drink cocktails outside in protective bubbles of warmth.
  9. Boston’s Eater Awards Winners 2017: The restaurants, chefs, and taprooms that made the city run wild this year.
  10. Buttermilk & Bourbon Fills Back Bay With Fried Chicken and Beignets Starting Today: Chef Jason Santos draws inspiration from New Orleans.

A pile of tater tots sits on a white plate, smothered in braised short ribs, eggs, and scallions
“White trash hash” at Lulu's Allston, a vital brunch spot
Katie Chudy/Eater

You all really like brunch, don’t you? These are the maps you viewed the most in 2017.

  1. The 38 Essential Restaurants in Boston: This map is aimed at answering any question that begins, “Can you recommend a restaurant?” Updated quarterly.
  2. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now: This map highlights a dozen hot new dining destinations to check out, focusing on places that have been open for under six months. Updated monthly.
  3. The Hottest Brunches in Boston Right Now: Shake up your brunching routine with the newest options in town — a mix of brand new restaurants and older restaurants that are newly serving brunch. Updated seasonally.
  4. Where to Eat at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS): The best meal of your entire life: It probably wasn't in an airport. However, if that's where you need to be, here's where you should eat.
  5. The Fall 2017 Restaurant Opening Guide: Boston Proper: It was a delicious season. Here’s everything that opened.
  6. The Ultimate $1 Oyster Guide: Where to find dollar oyster deals in Boston and beyond.
  7. Vital Brunch Spots to Know in Boston: Whether you're up for a classic dish, dim sum, or something with a little Southern flare, here are some essential Boston-area brunches that'll knock your socks off.
  8. Where to Eat Vegetarian and Vegan Food in Boston: The city has plenty of meat-free options.
  9. The Cocktail Heatmap: Where to Drink Right Now: Hot new places to drink a cocktail or three. Updated seasonally.
  10. Essential Boston Coffee Shops: Start your caffeine adventure here.

North Square Oyster
Oysters from North Square Oyster, a significant opening in May 2017
Sarah Storrer for Eater

Three significant restaurant openings and closings from each month of 2017. Click on any month’s name to be taken to an in-depth summary of that month’s openings, closings, and most-read news stories, maps, and guides.


  • Openings: Roxy’s Central/A4cade (Central Square, Cambridge), Frenchie (South End, Boston), Pagu (Central Square, Cambridge)
  • Closings: The Elephant Walk (Porter Square, Cambridge), Soulfire (Mission Hill and Allston, Boston), Tequila Rain (Fenway, Boston)


  • Openings: By Chloe (Seaport District, Boston), Buttermilk & Bourbon (Back Bay, Boston), Publico Street Bistro & Garden (South Boston)
  • Closings: Boston Beer Garden (South Boston), T.W. Food (Cambridge), Aurum Pies (Jamaica Plain, Boston)


  • Openings: Back Bay Beats (aka B3) (Back Bay, Boston), Kokeshi (Salem), Troquet on South (Leather District, Boston)
  • Closings: Crossroads Irish Pub (Back Bay, Boston), Baja Betty’s (Brookline Village), J&M Diner (Framingham) — but it has since reopened in a new location


  • Openings: Bess’s Cafe (Brookline), Laughing Monk Cafe (Mission Hill, Boston), Les Sablons (Harvard Square, Cambridge)
  • Closings: Chau Chow City (Chinatown, Boston), East Ocean City (Chinatown, Boston), Inna’s Kitchen (Newton) — but it remains open in a stall at the Boston Public Market


  • Openings: North Square Oyster (North End, Boston), Num Pang (Back Bay, Boston), Spoke Wine Bar (Davis Square, Somerville)
  • Closings: Bondir (Concord) — but it remains open in Cambridge, Panera Bread (BU), Prince Postale (North End, Boston)


  • Openings: Cultivar (Downtown Boston), Cunard Tavern (East Boston), Ledger (Salem)
  • Closings: Blue Ginger (Wellesley), Journeyman (Union Square, Somerville), Seven Star Street Bistro (Roslindale, Boston)


  • Openings: Cafe du Pays (Kendall Square, Cambridge), Pammy’s (Between Central and Harvard squares, Cambridge), Ruckus (Chinatown, Boston)
  • Closings: Belly Wine Bar (Kendall Square, Cambridge), The Blue Room (Kendall Square, Cambridge), Khao Sarn (Coolidge Corner, Brookline)


  • Openings: Best Burger Bar (Brookline Village), Kummerspeck (Worcester), Milkweed (Mission Hill, Boston)
  • Closings: The Fireplace (Washington Square, Brookline), Lanes & Games (Cambridge), Tavern Road (Fort Point, Boston)


  • Openings: Field & Vine (Union Square, Somerville), Prairie Fire (Coolidge Corner, Brookline), Yume Ga Arukara (Porter Square, Cambridge)
  • Closings: Back Bay Harry’s (Back Bay, Boston), Hops Test Kitchen & Raw Bar (Inman Square, Cambridge), Some ‘Ting Nice Caribbean Restaurant (East Somerville)


  • Openings: Eventide Fenway (Fenway, Boston), Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar (Fort Point, Boston), Momi Nonmi (Inman Square, Cambridge)
  • Closings: Atlantic Beer Garden (Seaport District, Boston), Cinderella’s (Central Square, Cambridge), Grub (Mission Hill, Boston)


  • Openings: Citrus & Salt (Back Bay, Boston), The Smoke Shop (Fort Point, Boston), Zia Gianna (Dorchester, Boston)
  • Closings: Bottega Fiorentina (Newton) — but the Brookline location remains open, Jamie’s Grille & Pub (North Scituate), Self Portrait (Cambridge)


  • Openings: Fat Baby (South Boston), Moody’s Delicatessen (Back Bay, Boston), Our Fathers (Lower Allston, Boston)
  • Closings: East Coast Grill (Inman Square, Cambridge), Pikaichi (Allston, Boston), Sunset Grill & Tap (Allston, Boston)

Four bao are on a long, narrow tray. The two in the forefront are black and made of squid ink. Bright pink pickled onions are visible inside.
Bao at Pagu, one of the year’s top restaurant newcomers
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

An index of all of our year-end content, including the results of a survey of local food writers.

Overhead view of a cruller with a white glaze. It sits on white tissue paper on the surface of an aged picnic table.
Cruller at Lil’s Cafe in Kittery
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

A few favorite stories, maps, and guides from the year.

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Year in Eater

The Best Meals of 2016, From Short Rib to Charred Avocado

Year in Eater

The Saddest Restaurant Closures of 2016 Include Spoke Wine Bar, Johnny D’s, and Rubin’s Delicatessen

Year in Eater

The Biggest Surprises of 2016 Include the Still-Growing Restaurant and Craft Beer Bubbles

View all stories in Year in Eater