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The Spring 2018 Restaurant Opening Guide: Cambridge and Somerville

Pierogi and macarons and empanadas, oh my

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A burger sits on a white plate, its top bun leaning up against it. It’s topped with a stack of five thick onion rings that are drenched in barbecue sauce.
Killer Bee burger at Boston Burger Company
Boston Burger Company/Official Site

Over the river from Boston, Cambridge and Somerville had a bit of a slow winter in terms of restaurant openings; there were a few highlights, from ceviche in Union Square to delivery-only fried chicken sandwiches coming out of Inman Square, but there weren’t very many openings overall. Spring might be another story, however. The big thing to look forward to is Bow Market in Somerville’s Union Square, which debuted on May 12 but is in the midst of a rolling open — it will ultimately feature around 30 vendors, many of them food-related but not yet open, aside from Remnant Brewing. Also new this season: a vegetarian option in Central Square, pizza bagels in Harvard Square, an Italian deli in Davis Square, and more.

Read on for the rundown of spring openings — those that have happened already and those that may happen later in the season — keeping in mind that opening timelines often change, sometimes drastically. This guide will be updated frequently throughout the season as new information becomes available, so feel free to reach out with any info that should be on our radar.

This guide was originally published on April 2, 2018; the date of the most recent update appears above.

Note: The clickable table of contents below may not display properly (or at all) on certain mobile platforms. For best results, view on a tablet or desktop.



Amorino Gelato
Amorino Gelato
Amorino Gelato/Facebook

Amorino

50 JFK St., Harvard Square, Cambridge

This international gelato chain known for its pretty rose-shaped scoops already has a Back Bay location; this’ll be the second in the area. It’s slated for the former Berk’s Shoes space. The franchisee behind the local Amorino outposts also operates a crepe kiosk at South Station that opened in early 2018, Crepe & More.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Black Sheep Bagel Cafe

56 JFK St., Harvard Square, Cambridge

Bagel sandwiches, pizza bagels, coffee, and more. The team includes an alum of Newton gastropub Central.
Projected opening: May 2018

Boston Burger Company

610 Main St., Kendall Square, Cambridge

This will be the fourth location for the local burger chain, which is known for its over-the-top burgers, frappes, and more. (The group is also opening a fifth Boston Burger Company, its first on the North Shore — 133 Washington St., Salem — as well as a Davis Square deli called Mortadella Head; see details on that one below.)
Projected opening: Early 2018

Gypsy Café and Juice Bar

90 Hampshire St., the Port, Cambridge

This 20-seat cafe and juice bar will open right across the street from Lord Hobo.
Projected opening: May 2018

Revival

Alewife, Cambridge

This will be the first to open of Steve “Nookie” Postal’s three forthcoming projects with Crema Cafe co-founder Liza Shirazi. As noted elsewhere on this page, there are two Revival cafes in the works, plus one beer hall called Mothership. Postal is documenting his restaurant-opening adventures every other week; follow along here.
Projected opening: Late May 2018 (followed by Revival Davis in the summer and Mothership in the fall)

Surya Indian Express [NOW OPEN]

Cambridgeside, 100 Cambridgeside Pl., East Cambridge

Surya Indian Kitchen N Catering opened in Cambridgeport two years ago, and now it has a sibling in the Cambridgeside food court, serving a menu of Indian food that is largely gluten-free, halal, nut-free, and/or dairy-free. Eat in the food court, do takeout, or order delivery.
Opened: April 2018

Talulla [NOW OPEN]

377 Walden St., Cambridge

Husband-and-wife duo Conor Dennehy and Danielle Ayer have purchased the former T.W. Food space — where Dennehy was chef de cuisine and Ayer was briefly wine director before becoming opening general manager at sibling restaurant Bronwyn — and have opened a 12-table restaurant named for their infant daughter. They’re serving a five-course prix fixe menu and a seven-course tasting menu drawing from French, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish cooking techniques. There are a la carte options as well. For drinks, diners will find low-ABV, aperitif-style cocktails as well as some classic cocktails, amari, and more, courtesy of Matthew Schrage, who has worked at or consulted for many bars in the Boston area.
Opened: April 20, 2018

Whole Heart Provisions [NOW OPEN]

298 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge

This Allston-based, fast-casual, meat-free restaurant — which shares a co-owner with Roxy’s Grilled Cheese — has expanded to the MIT edge of Central Square, right by Roxy’s. (It’ll also open at the Smith Campus Center at Harvard later in the year.)
Opened: April 25, 2018

Zambrero [NOW OPEN]

71 Mt. Auburn St., Harvard Square, Cambridge

The first United States locations for the Australia-based burrito chain Zambrero opened right at the start of spring in Cambridge’s Harvard Square as well as in Warwick, Rhode Island. The Cambridge one took over the space of one outpost of a local burrito chain, Boloco. In partnership with international hunger relief non-profit organization Rise Against Hunger, Zambrero donates a meal for every burrito or bowl sold; the goal is to donate one billion meals by 2025.
Opened: March 20, 2018


Cava bowl
A bowl from Cava
Cava [Official Photo]
  • &pizza X Milk Bar (1394 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge): This pizza and dessert collaboration between DC-based chain &pizza and NYC-based chain Milk Bar will take over the former Tory Row and Crimson Corner spaces in the heart of the square. While it was originally slated for spring 2018, a rep for the dual restaurant indicated in mid-May that an exact date isn’t set yet and it’ll likely be beyond spring. Projected opening: 2018
  • Blackbird Doughnuts (1350 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge): This Fenway and South End doughnut shop from the team behind the Gallows and Banyan might be opening a new location at the revamped Smith Campus Center, along with a bunch of other restaurants. Keep reading for details on the others. Projected opening: Fall 2018
  • Bon Me (1350 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge): Boston’s ever-expanding Bon Me truck and restaurant empire is bringing its Vietnamese-inspired fast-casual fare to Harvard’s renovated Smith Campus Center. Projected opening: Fall 2018
  • Breaktime (Unknown address in or near Harvard Square, Cambridge): A couple of Harvard undergrads are opening a cafe and doughnut shop (it’ll serve Union Square Donuts) with the goal of providing stable employment and vocational training to local homeless young adults. Projected opening: Fall 2018
  • Cava (88 Ames St., Kendall Square, Cambridge): This DC-based fast-casual Mediterranean chain opened its first Boston-area location in Fenway in January 2018, followed by Dedham in the early spring. Next it’ll spread to Boston’s Back Bay and Hingham in the summer, and Kendall Square after that. Projected opening: Fall 2018
  • Colette (Porter Square Hotel, 1924 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge): From the owners of Frenchie in the South End comes a new French restaurant to the ground floor of the fairly new Porter Square Hotel. It was originally slated to have a steakhouse, but that fell through. The forthcoming restaurant will seat around 150 inside and an additional 30 on a seasonal patio, and the menu may include steak frites, lobster ravioli, French onion soup, and more. Projected opening: Summer 2018
  • Dumpling Daughter (73 Ames St., Kendall Square, Cambridge): Dumpling Daughter is the second location for a Weston-based restaurant by Nadia Liu Spellman, whose mother, Sally Ling, was behind the now-defunct Sally Ling’s restaurant on Boston waterfront. Ling is Spellman’s consultant on the Dumpling Daughter menu, which includes dumplings, of course, but also rice bowls, scallion pancake and beef roll-ups, and more. It’s sharing the old Ames Street Deli and Study space with a forthcoming European-style cafe from Spellman’s sister, Nicole Liu. Projected opening: Summer 2018
  • Falafel Inc. (Yet-to-be-announced address in Kendall Square, Cambridge): Operating under the motto “food for good,” this potential chain originated in DC earlier in 2017 and has big expansion plans, including around the Boston area. A portion of proceeds are reportedly donated to help feed refugees. Projected opening: Unknown
  • Gustazo Cuban Restaurant & Cafe (2067 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge): In 2014, Gustazo opened in the former Elephant Walk space in Waltham. Now it’ll open in the former Elephant Walk space in Cambridge as well, serving dishes like empanadas, ropa vieja, and more. Projected opening: Unknown; it was in the “early stages” as of mid-March 2018
  • The Halal Guys (Unknown address in Porter Square, Cambridge): The New York City chain debuted in Boston’s Theatre District in late summer 2017. Next up: a location in Cambridge’s Porter Square (and four more in Boston proper). An exact address and opening timeline haven’t yet been announced. Projected opening: Unknown
  • The Longfellow Bar at Alden & Harlow (40 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge): The latest from Alden & Harlow and Waypoint’s Michael Scelfo, this will be located above Alden & Harlow, in the longtime Cafe Algiers space. Scelfo has been quiet on details since the initial announcement back in June 2017, but per the agenda for a licensing commission hearing, the new venue may have a dining area, bar, and seasonal patio on each of two floors. Projected opening: Summer 2018
  • Mothership (Alewife, Cambridge): Commonwealth’s Steve “Nookie” Postal has a few projects in the works with Crema Cafe co-founder Liza Shirazi; see details on the other two projects under the Revival listings on this page. Mothership will be a beer hall with 10 taps, food, and plenty of games. Postal is documenting his restaurant-opening adventures every other week; follow along here. Projected opening: Mothership is slated for fall 2018, with the two Revival locations potentially opening in spring and summer 2018
  • Oggi Gourmet (1350 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge): An original tenant of the Harvard student center, Oggi moved elsewhere in the neighborhood to weather the massive construction, but it’ll open inside the Smith Campus Center once renovations are finally complete. Projected opening: Fall 2018
  • Patty Chen’s Dumpling Room (907 Main St., Central Square, Cambridge): Patty Chen’s closed in late October 2017, thanks to construction that will ultimately turn the building into a boutique hotel. The restaurant will eventually reopen in a larger space in the new building; the extra space will allow for the addition of a bar. (As for the other tenants in the building, Cinderella’s closed permanently, and Toscanini’s is temporarily closed but opened a new location nearby.) Projected opening: Summer 2018
  • Pavement Coffeehouse (1350 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge): This growing local cafe chain will expand to Harvard’s Smith Campus Center once its renovations are complete. (But first, it’ll open a new cafe, roasting facility, and commissary in Brighton.) The Smith Center location will sort of be two locations: coffee and bagels on the first floor; coffee and pastries on the second floor. No sandwiches as there will be plenty of other food vendors onsite. Projected opening: August 2018
  • Perillas (No location yet): A fast-casual Korean restaurant focused on bibimbap is in the works. There will be three main protein options — bulgogi beef, spicy chicken, and teriyaki tofu — and a variety of vegetables. The owners are hoping to find a place in a neighborhood like Kendall Square (or perhaps Assembly Row in Somerville). Projected opening: 2018
  • Pineapple Thai (1108 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge): A new sibling of a Brookline Thai restaurant. Projected opening: Unknown
  • Saloniki (1350 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge): This fast-casual Greek spot with locations in Central Square and Fenway is reportedly expanding to the forthcoming Smith Campus Center. Projected opening: Fall 2018
  • Sheger Cafe and Ethiopian Restaurant (2376 Massachusetts Ave., North Cambridge): A small Ethiopian restaurant from a nearby salon owner. There will be around a dozen seats inside and a small patio outside. Projected opening: Unknown
  • Stix Noodle Bar (93 Windsor St., Cambridge): Restaurant group New England Restaurant Concepts, which is behind a variety of restaurants in the Worcester area and beyond, opened a location of its cafe, Brew on the Grid, in this space but closed it after six months and potentially plans to open its ramen-centric Stix Noodle Bar here instead — but the signage mentioning Stix is currently accompanied by a “for lease” sign, so it’s not clear whether this is still happening. Projected opening: Unknown
  • Swissbakers (1350 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge): With existing locations in Reading and Allston, as well as at the Boston Public Market, this bakery will add a cafe within the Smith Campus Center. Projected opening: Fall 2018
  • Vester (73 Ames St., Kendall Square, Cambridge): As noted above, Nicole Liu is opening a European-style cafe called Vester in the former Ames St. Deli/Study space, splitting it with her sister Nadia Liu Spellman, who is opening a second location of her Weston restaurant Dumpling Daughter there. Vester will serve dishes such as a prosciutto di parma sandwich and a smoked salmon salad, not to mention a daily “splurge” special to complement the feel-good simplicity of the rest of the menu. Projected opening: Unknown, but as of May 1, Liu had already applied for her licenses to serve food as well as and wine and malt beverages
  • Whole Heart Provisions (1350 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge): As noted above, this vegan-friendly sibling of Roxy’s Grilled Cheese will open in the Smith Campus Center at Harvard (but first, there’ll be a new Central Square location.) Projected opening: Fall 2018

Maca macarons
Maca macarons
Maca/Facebook

Buenas

1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville

Rotating empanada options (heated up to eat there or frozen to bring home) and Chilean sauces at the forthcoming Bow Market.
Projected opening: Mid-June 2018

Gâté Comme Des Filles

1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville

The Somerville chocolatier will have a space at the forthcoming Bow Market, serving chocolate mousse in chocolate cones, hot chocolates with flavored whipped creams, and more.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Godavari Mini [NOW OPEN]

23 Union Sq., Union Square, Somerville

Part of a national chain of South Indian restaurants that also has local-ish outposts in Woburn and Framingham, Godavari Mini has replaced Union Square’s longtime spot for North Indian and Punjabi food, India Palace. Godavari Mini features a daily lunch buffet and lots of dosas, among other things.
Opened: April 2018

Health Club [NOW OPEN]

278a Highland Ave., Spring Hill, Somerville

This brightly colored sibling and neighbor to Spring Hill cafe 3 Little Figs focuses on grain bowls, salads, smoothies, and “sparklers,” fruity carbonated drinks. The cozy space has seating for about eight, with a few seasonal sidewalk tables outside.
Opened: March 23, 2018

Hooked Fish Shop

1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville

This Bow Market vendor will serve street food-inspired dishes that incorporate fresh seafood from Red’s Best and smoked seafood from Boston Smoked Fish Company. Expect dishes such as Iggy’s bagels with smoked fish, some soups and chowders, poke bowls, fish tacos, seafood banh mi, and scallion pancake wraps.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

In Season Food Shop

1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville

Salads, bowls, and more, featuring local produce, at the forthcoming Bow Market.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Jaju Pierogi

1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville

Pierogi from a pair of sisters. They’ve been popping up around the Boston area for a few years; this location — within the forthcoming Bow Market — will be Jaju’s first permanent home. The duo also recently built a large kitchen in Lynn and is working on expanding wholesale distribution.
Projected opening: Early 2018

Lucky Strike Social [NOW OPEN]

325 Revolution Dr., Assembly Row, Somerville

This growing chain offers bowling, other games, and comfort food. In Boston’s Fenway neighborhood, Jillian’s recently rebranded into a Lucky Strike social, and there are also locations in Albany and Honolulu. The Somerville location takes up two floors, with a kitchen and bar on the first floor and bowling, shuffleboard, and more upstairs.
Opened: Mid-April 2018

Maca

1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville

This local macaron company will open its first brick-and-mortar location at Bow Market, selling adorable macarons in fun flavors.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Mortadella Head

20 College Ave., Davis Square, Somerville

The team behind Boston Burger Company is not just opening new BBC locations in Kendall Square and up in Salem; they’re also working on an Italian quick-serve restaurant with a focus on sandwiches and pizza. Mortadella Head will be in the former Deli-icious space.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Nibble Kitchen

1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville

Located at Bow Market, Nibble Kitchen will showcase a rotating array of food entrepreneurs from the Somerville Arts Council’s Nibble Entrepreneurship Program, which helps people from Somerville’s immigrant communities develop food businesses.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Hot Box

1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville

A North Shore versus South Shore restaurant from the team behind Mike & Patty’s, coming to Bow Market. It’ll feature roast beef sandwiches (North Shore) and bar pizza (South Shore).
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Remnant Brewing [NOW OPEN]

2 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville

This brewery takes up a large portion of Union Square’s Bow Market, which will soon be packed full of food vendors and more. The brewery includes an all-day cafe, serving Barrington Coffee products, and an outdoor beer garden, and the beer line-up has everything from sours to session beers, New England-style IPAs, and more.
Opened: May 11, 2018

Sassafras

688 Broadway, Ball Square, Somerville

Eat at Jumbo’s is undergoing renovations and a rebranding into Sassafras, a fully vegetarian (and vegan-friendly) restaurant. Jumbo’s already offered substantial meatless options, and this evolution will completely remove meat from the restaurant. It remains open during the changeover. Jumbo’s owner Grover Taylor is moving into the role of creative director (managing financing, site development, etc.), while Christopher Silvia is joining the team to head up day-to-day operations.
Projected opening: After Memorial Day weekend 2018

Saus

1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville

Popular downtown fries-and-more spot Saus will open a vegetarian sequel at the forthcoming Bow Market, snagging one of the largest spots at the under-construction space. Expect poutine, salads, sandwiches, beer, and cider — but no meat.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Somerville Brewing Company’s Assembly Row Beer Garden

Assembly Row, Somerville

Somerville Brewing Company, aka Slumbrew, has a brewery and taproom outside of Union Square and a brewpub in Assembly Row. It also had an outdoor beer garden in Assembly Row for nearly three years. It was shut down to make way for construction, but it came back for spring and summer 2018 since construction got delayed. No tent this time — just open air, bocce, music, beer, and more.
Opened: May 2, 2018

Tanám

1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville

This Bow Market spot will be a 10-seat Filipino restaurant — a continuation of the Pamangan pop-up series that has previously hosted events around the Boston area. There will be ticketed dining experiences that include art and music components, and every Wednesday, there will be a utensils-free, kamayan-style Filipino meal. Pending the appropriate permitting, there may also be an outdoor cocktail bar with boozy boba tea, snacks, and more.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Tsurumen [NOW OPEN]

420 Highland Ave., Davis Square, Somerville

This Osaka-style ramen shop took over the former Snappy Ramen space. (Snappy recently moved across the neighborhood, expanded its menu, and changed its name to Snappy Kitchen.) Keep an eye on the active Instagram account for updates: To start, the restaurant has limited hours and limited supply, and it’s currently only accepting cash.
Opened: April 12, 2018


Two hands, wearing black gloves, hold a piece of barbecue meat above a wooden counter
Andy Husbands prepping meat at Smoke Shop’s original Cambridge location
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater
  • Dakzen (195 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville): This forthcoming Thai restaurant will specialize in noodle soups, including boat noodles and yen ta fo. Projected opening: Summer 2018
  • Hulun Beir (5 Holland St., Davis Square, Somerville): This Mongolian hot pot and barbecue chain has a Beacon Hill location as well; that one was the company’s first foray into North America. It might expand to Malden as well. Projected opening: Unknown
  • Rebel Rebel (1 Bow Market Way, Somerville): This natural wine bar will open at Bow Market, courtesy of former Eater Boston freelancer and wine expert Lauren Friel. Expect some small snacks — and the ability to bring in snacks from elsewhere in the market. Projected opening: Summer 2018
  • Revival (197 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville): As noted above, this is one of several forthcoming projects from Liza Shirazi (Crema) and Steve “Nookie” Postal (Commonwealth). The Davis location was home to the original Bertucci’s and later a Subway. Postal is documenting his restaurant-opening adventures every other week; follow along here. Projected opening: Summer 2018 (after Revival Alewife, due to open in the spring, and before Mothership, slated for fall)
  • The Smoke Shop BBQ (Assembly Row, Somerville): Andy Husbands’ barbecue joint — with locations in Cambridge’s Kendall Square and Boston’s Fort Point — will expand to Somerville’s Assembly Row next. This location will have two patios. Projected opening: 2018
  • Urban Axes (2 Union Sq., Union Square, Somerville): One of Massachusetts’ growing collection of ax-throwing venues that also happen to serve booze. Projected opening: Summer 2018
  • Unnamed new project from the team that was previously going to open Carmen’s Trattoria & Italian Pub (Assembly Row, Somerville): Popular North End restaurant Carmen Trattoria closed in mid-2016 with the promise to return, and it later announced that it would open at 521 Assembly Row in Somerville — a larger space with a menu featuring a mix of old favorites and new additions, including Italian-inspired pub fare. But now — confirmed by a rep in April 2018 — the team is opening something different instead, and it’s in an even larger space at Assembly Row. Stay tuned for more details. (It may be called La Cucina Italian Eatery.) Projected opening: Unknown

Nibble Kitchen at Bow Market

337-341 Somerville Ave., Somerville, MA 02143 Visit Website

Tanám at Bow Market

1 Bow Market Wy., Suite 17, Somerville, MA 02143 (617) 669-2144 Visit Website

Zambrero

71 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, MA 02138 Visit Website

Health Club

278a Highland Ave., Somerville, MA 02143 Visit Website

Godavari Mini

23 Union Sq., Somerville, MA 02143 (617) 666-9770 Visit Website

Remnant Brewing

2 Bow Market Way, , MA 02143 (617) 764-0641 Visit Website

Boston Burger Company (Kendall Square)

610 Main St., Camrbridge, MA 02139 Visit Website

maca at Bow Market

1 Bow Market Way, , MA 02143 (617) 539-6227 Visit Website

Hot Box

1 Bow Market Way, , MA 02143 (617) 284-9600 Visit Website

Whole Heart Provisions (Central Square)

298 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139 Visit Website

Lucky Strike Social (Assembly Row)

325 Revolution Dr., Somerville, MA 02145 Visit Website

Sassafras Somerville

688 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144 Visit Website

Tsurumen

420 Highland Avenue, , MA 02144 (617) 764-0588 Visit Website

Saus at Bow Market

1 Bow Market Way, , MA 02143 Visit Website

Hooked Fish Shop at Bow Market

337-341 Somerville Ave., Somerville, MA 02143 Visit Website

Amorino (Harvard Square)

50 JFK St., Cambridge, MA 02138 Visit Website

Revival (Alewife)

125 Cambridgepark Dr., Cambridge, MA 02140 Visit Website

In Season Food Shop at Bow Market

337-341 Somerville Ave., Somerville, MA 02143 Visit Website

Gypsy Cafe and Juice Bar

90 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139 Visit Website

Black Sheep Bagel Cafe

56 JFK St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Mortadella Head

20 College Avenue, , MA 02144 (617) 996-6680 Visit Website

Talulla

377 Walden Street, , MA 02138 (617) 714-5584 Visit Website

Bow Market

1 Bow Market Way, , MA 02143 Visit Website

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