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2018 in One Word: ‘Instagrammable, Loud, Gobsnacked’

Local food writers sum up the restaurant world’s year in one word

As is Eater’s annual tradition, we’re closing out 2018 by surveying local food writers (including our own staff and contributors) on various restaurant-related topics, and we’re publishing their responses in these final days of the year. Readers, please feel free to chime in with your own thoughts in the comment section below, or hop into our Facebook group to discuss — we’ll post a thread for each survey question.

Keep an eye on the Year in Eater archive page for other stories in this series.

Up next: How would you describe the 2018 Boston restaurant world in one word? (See the 2017 responses here.)

MC Slim JB, restaurant critic for The Improper Bostonian:

“Instagrammable. The pressure to make food that is as pretty as it is delicious was a not-always-welcome trend this year, especially when pretty won out over delicious. But given the power that social media platforms now have in building and sustaining restaurant followings, with Instagram being especially important to the coveted Millennial set, the trend now seems like it was inevitable. Maybe every restaurant should follow the lead of the new Boston Chops in DTX by installing a specially-lit table for food-photography obsessives. I’ll be on the other side of the room, taking pictures not for broadcast but just for my review notes, and noting that many of the most delicious dishes I had in 2018 weren’t especially photogenic.”

Jacqueline Cain, deputy food editor at Boston magazine:


Jolyon Helterman, contributing editor/food writer at Boston magazine:


Eric Twardzik, contributor to The Food Lens,, and more:


Marc Hurwitz, founder of Boston’s Hidden Restaurants and Boston Restaurant Talk, restaurant critic for Dig Boston, and more:

“Lease (as in, ‘Your lease is up, and we’re going to charge you so much that your restaurant won’t be able to stay.’)”

Sam Hiersteiner, contributor to the Boston Globe and more:


Dana Hatic, associate editor of Eater Boston:


Terrence B. Doyle, reporter for Eater Boston:


Rachel Leah Blumenthal, editor of Eater Boston:

“Fast-casual. So many notable openings this year were not full-service, sit-down restaurants. I think this will dovetail right into 2019, which is looking to be the year of the food hall.”