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Vote Now for Boston’s Most Beautiful Restaurant of the Year [POLL CLOSED]

What was the best-designed new restaurant this year?

design of the year Evening Standard/Stringer

Welcome to day three of the ninth annual Eater Awards, honoring the most talented restaurant and bar industry gurus in cities across the world. Here’s a refresher on how the Eater Awards work, in case you’re just tuning in: All 24 Eater cities and the national site will grant prizes in multiple categories, including but not limited to Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, and Design of the Year.

In each category, there will be an editors’ choice winner (chosen by the editorial staff of each Eater site) and a readers’ choice winner (chosen by poll) — all to be announced on December 5, 2018. The readers’ choice winners get unlimited bragging rights as Eater fan favorites. The editors’ choice winners will each receive an illustrious tomato can trophy, as is the tradition around here.

And that’s not all. Over the course of the coming year, stay tuned for features highlighting what makes each of the editors’ choice winners so great.

A few notes on nominee eligibility: As with all Eater Boston coverage, the Eater Awards cover not just Boston proper but Cambridge, Somerville, and a bit beyond. Secondly, the Awards focus solely on restaurants that opened in the past year (including openings from late 2017, after nominations closed for that year’s awards, which means that late 2018 openings will be considered next year). And thirdly, nominees are not repeated among the five awards categories, so if you’re wondering why your favorite restaurant isn’t included today, keep an eye out: It may appear in one of the other categories, which will all be announced over the course of this week.

Earlier this week, you voted on Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year. Today: Design of the Year. Which new restaurant is a stone-cold stunner?

Eater Boston’s 2018 nominees in the Design of the Year category feature luxurious leather and marble, festive Cuban vibes, calming Japanese decor, and lush greenery.

Take a peek inside each of today’s nominees before voting, if you’d like:

Boston Chops (Downtown Crossing)

This sequel to the five-year-old South End steakhouse by the same name is located in a grandiose space that once was a bank, just like its older sibling. Designed by Boston- and Salt Lake City-based StudioTYAK, Boston Chops DTX is a multilevel beast of a restaurant, boasting plenty of marble, leather, and high ceilings. Keep an eye out for cow-themed art by Joshua Wilmoth.

A wide shot of Boston Chops DTX, looking down the length of the restaurant and towards the front door, with elegant light fixtures and a long bar in view.

Casa Caña

Located inside the artsy Studio Allston hotel — a colorful rebirth for the decidedly not-artsy Days Hotel that used to stand in its place — Casa Caña brings a taste of Latin cuisine, with a focus on Cuba, to Allston. The decor features a green-blue color scheme (and a leafy mural), wicker light fixtures, and photographs of Cuba by Lucy Sargent Lyons, daughter of Lyons Group founder Patrick Lyons (who is behind the restaurant, in collaboration with Publico Street Bistro’s Jairo Dominguez, Teodora Bakardzhieva, and Theo Bougas). Boston-based architectural firm Dyer Brown worked on the space.

casa cana
casa cana Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater
Some of the Cuba photographs by Lucy Sargent Lyons that adorn the walls of Casa Caña

Gen Sou En Tea House

Located in Coolidge Corner, this Japanese tea house, restaurant, and sake bar — now focusing more on full-service lunch and dinner and less on the cafe service that was prominent when it first opened — is a soothing space, featuring a seven-foot tree growing towards a skylight, a platform area with Japanese tatami mats, striking paper light fixtures, and lots of curves. The 6,000-square-foot restaurant is the first of its kind for its parent company, the Japan-based Harada Tea & Foods, Inc., a century-old tea company that operates a tasting room in Tokyo but no other restaurants.

Gen Sou En


There are many design details to notice at Nahita, a Latin-American-meets-Asian restaurant in Back Bay: The towering columns, vaulted ceilings, and tropical greenery catch the eye first, but there’s also stately marble at the bar, lovely artwork, and — something too many restaurants overlook — extra-comfortable chairs. Nahita owner Doğuş Restaurant Entertainment and Management (d.ream), a Turkey-based company, got Istanbul- and London-based Zeynep Fadıllıoglu Design to design the space; the firm was also behind d.ream’s two Fenix restaurants in Turkey, which inspired Nahita.

Nahita Nahita/Instagram

Now, without any further ado, it’s time to vote for the readers’ choice winner in the Design of the Year category; come back each remaining day this week to vote in two more categories. Polls will be open for 24 hours (beginning at 10 a.m. each day) and will be strictly policed for funny business.

Cast your vote for Design of the Year now; the poll closes at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 29:

Note: If you cannot see the above poll, please try again in a different browser or on a different device; there is a known issue regarding the poll not showing up on AMP and Apple News platforms.