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A white bowl on a white table is full of chunks of cooked beef, tossed with slices of red pepper and tomatoes. The dish is topped with green herbs.
Lomo saltado at Celeste, Eater Boston’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

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2018 in Review: Boston’s Year in Food

Catch up on the year’s happenings before we head into 2019

As 2018 nears its end, here’s a look back at the year in local restaurant openings and closings, top news stories, most-read maps and guides, and more.

Urban Axes
Urban Axes, Somerville’s first ax-throwing bar
Urban Axes/Facebook

From the arrival of an ax-throwing bar to the departure of a “breastaurant,” from meal-cooking robots to plenty of brewery updates, these are the stories that you read the most this year.

  1. Somerville Is Getting an Ax-Throwing Bar Because of Course It Is: Urban Axes ended up debuting near the end of the year in Union Square.
  2. Suburban Boston Dining News, Updated Weekly: A round-up of restaurant openings, closings, and other news outside of the immediate Boston vicinity. (This particular edition is the summer 2018 archive; there’s a new page each quarter. The fall 2018 archive was also a popular pick this year.)
  3. Tilted Kilt Shuts the Doors in Fenway: The Scottish-themed “breastaurant” has closed.
  4. Boston-Area Beer and Liquor News, Updated Weekly: A round-up of brewery openings and other booze news.
  5. Go to Downtown Crossing for a Meal Cooked by a Robot: Spyce brings its MIT innovation across the river.
  6. Downtown Boston Gets a Massive Food Hall Next Spring: High Street Place will span more than 18,000 square feet with 22 vendors, opening in mid-2019.
  7. Get Excited for These Spring 2018 Boston Restaurant Openings: A robotic restaurant, a champagne vending machine, so much bacon, and plenty of beer.
  8. Trillium’s Massive Fort Point Restaurant and Brewery Opens: A taproom, a restaurant, and a retail shop.
  9. The Most Anticipated Fall 2018 Restaurant Openings in Boston and Beyond: From dumplings to deli sandwiches, from fried chicken to Filipino food.
  10. Will Anyone Stand Up for Boston?: A local chef speaks out on the relationship among Boston restaurants, the media, and awards.

A zig-zag pattern of cannoli from Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry, arranged on a white background. Some are garnished with chocolate chips or pistachios.
Cannoli from Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry
Chris Coe/Eater

You liked brunch last year, and you continued to like brunch this year. These are the maps and guides you viewed the most in 2018.

  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 quarterly.
  4. 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, newness not required.
  5. Outstanding Boston-Area Sushi Restaurants: From simple perfection to mountains of gold flakes and truffles.
  6. 26 Iconic Dishes Around Boston: Get to know the city and surrounding area with these essential eats.
  7. Where to Eat Vegetarian and Vegan Food in Boston: The city has plenty of meat-free options.
  8. The Ultimate $1 Oyster Guide: Where to find dollar oyster deals in Boston and beyond.
  9. The Food Events Guide: All the local food and drink events you’ll actually want to attend, updated weekly.
  10. Essential Boston Coffee Shops: Start your caffeine adventure here.

A bowl of ramen with an egg, noodles, mushrooms, and more
Oisa Ramen’s smoky shoyu ramen with egg and pork add-ons
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Three significant restaurant openings and closings from each month of 2018. 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: Blossom Bar (Brookline), Buttonwood (Newton), Oisa Ramen (Downtown Boston)
  • Closings: Bistro Duet (Arlington), Diva Indian Bistro (Davis Square, Somerville), Sultan’s Kitchen (Downtown Boston)


  • Openings: Bootleg Special (South End, Boston), Exodus Bagels (Jamaica Plain, Boston), Gen Sou En Tea House (Brookline)
  • Closings: Beantowne Coffee House (Chinatown, Boston), the Hot Spot (Allston), Takusan Sushi (Brookline)


  • Openings: Celeste (Union Square, Somerville), Simjang (Worcester), Southern Proper (South End, Boston)
  • Closings: Bertucci’s (Kenmore Square, Boston and Wellesley), the Gate (Jamaica Plain, Boston), the Tap Trailhouse (Downtown Boston)


  • Openings: Pikaichi (Medford), Talulla (Cambridge), Tsurumen (Davis Square, Somerville)
  • Closings: Bertucci’s (15 more locations), Sonny Walker’s (Roxbury, Boston), Tremont 647 (South End, Boston)


  • Openings: Boston Chops (Downtown Crossing, Boston), Kimchipapi Kitchen (Allston), Spyce (Downtown Crossing, Boston)
  • Closings: Bus Stop Pub (Allston, Boston), Chilli Duck (Back Bay, Boston), Doretta Taverna (Back Bay, Boston)


  • Openings: Dakzen (Davis Square, Somerville), Life Alive (Brookline), the Wellington (Belmont)
  • Closings: Refuge Cafe (Allston, Boston), Ryles Jazz Club (Inman Square, Cambridge), Strip-T’s (Watertown)


  • Openings: Chickadee (Seaport District, Boston), Little Dipper (Jamaica Plain, Boston), Nathálie (Fenway, Boston)
  • Closings: Cappy’s Tavern (Hyde Park, Boston), Redd’s in Rozzie (Roslindale, Boston), Townsman (Downtown Boston)


  • Openings: Fool’s Errand (Fenway, Boston), Idle Hour (Quincy), Whaling in Oklahoma (South End, Boston)
  • Closings: Lala Rokh (Beacon Hill, Boston), Les Sablons (Harvard Square, Cambridge), Parish Cafe (South End, Boston)


  • Openings: Bar Lyon (South End, Boston), Hot Box (Union Square, Somerville), Nahita (Back Bay, Boston)
  • Closings: Certified Meatball Company (South End, Boston), KO Catering & Pies (South Boston), Oishii Sushi Bar (Newton)


  • Openings: Alcove (West End, Boston), Fuku (Seaport District, Boston), Trillium (Fort Point, Boston)
  • Closings: Brasserie Jo (Back Bay, Boston), the Regal Beagle (Coolidge Corner, Brookline), Tupelo (Inman Square, Cambridge)


  • Openings: Country Mile (Watertown), Kamakura (Downtown Boston), Shore Leave (South End, Boston)
  • Closings: B3 (Back Bay, Boston), Daily Catch (Seaport District, Boston), Snappy Sushi (Back Bay, Boston)


  • Openings: The Breakfast Spot (Grove Hall, Boston), Forcella (North End, Boston), Urban Axes (Union Square, Somerville)
  • Closings: Erbaluce (Bay Village, Boston), L’Espalier (Back Bay, Boston), Shepard (Cambridge)

Soup in a Thai-style bowl decorated with a rooster. There are pink barbecue pork slices in the soup, as well as an egg, ground pork, ground peanuts, crispy wonton strips, and more. The bowl sits on a metal tray.
Tom yum noodle soup at Dakzen
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston

Year-end content, including the results of a survey of local food writers.

Head over to the Year in Eater landing page for the full index of year-end stories, or skip to a few highlights: local food writers on their best meals of the year, restaurant standbys, and biggest dining surprises; a look at some of the most beautiful restaurants of the year; and the announcement of the 2018 Eater Award winners.