clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Spring 2018 Restaurant Opening Guide: Greater Boston

Seafood, steak, and...axes?

Smith & Wollensky sliders, coming to Wellesley this spring
Smith & Wollensky sliders, coming to Wellesley this spring
Brian Samuels/Smith & Wollensky

From an ax-throwing bar in Everett to several exciting restaurant expansions slated for Medford, the Greater Boston area has a lot of interesting drinking and dining destinations on the verge of opening. This guide tracks spring 2018 (and beyond) openings throughout the Greater Boston area, including any suburbs that don’t fall under the umbrella of our other regional guides (North Shore, South Shore/South Coast/Southeastern Massachusetts, Cambridge/Somerville, MetroWest/Central Massachusetts/Western Massachusetts, Cape and Islands, and Boston proper.)

Restaurant opening timelines change frequently; as such, we’ll be updating this guide all season long as new information comes in. Know of an upcoming restaurant that should be on our radar? Let us know.

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.

Ice cream cake at Abilyn’s Frozen Bakery
Ice cream cake at Abilyn’s Frozen Bakery
Abilyn’s Frozen Bakery/Facebook

Abilyn’s Frozen Bakery [NOW OPEN]

451 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington

The Chilly Cow briefly closed and underwent some changes, including the name. The new place serves ice cream, frappes, ice cream cakes, and more.
Opened: March 24, 2018

Arlington openings beyond spring 2018

Steps from the Minuteman Bikeway, a restaurant called Lobstah on a Roll (or maybe 478 Mass. Ave.) — self-dubbed “the biggest little restaurant in America” — will eventually open in the former Elton’s Roast Beef & Pizza space at 478 Massachusetts Ave. in Arlington Center, possibly serving “crazy” breakfast, seafood-centric lunch and dinner, and a smattering of Korean cuisine, per earlier reports. There’s room for 16 seats inside, although it might be taking over the adjacent space as well, adding more seating. (Another location, primarily takeout-focused, opened in fall 2017 in Boston’s South End and serves gigantic lobster rolls.)

Nothing on our radar for spring 2018 in Belmont. Know of something? Let us know.

Belmont openings beyond spring 2018

In early summer 2018, brothers Dante, Damian, and Filippo de Magistris — who are behind Dante in Cambridge and Il Casale in Belmont and Lexington — are opening the Wellington in the former Macy’s space in Belmont (75 Leonard St.), right near Il Casale. The 135-seat restaurant will be more casual than their others, focusing on American food, including burgers and more.

A wooden bowl filled with Cajun-seasoned seafood
Shrimp from Shaking Crab in Cambridge
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Bab Korean Bistro [NOW OPEN]

1374 Beacon St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline

This new Korean restaurant took over the former Shanghai Jade space (which was home to Zenna Noodle Bar before that) and serves a large menu of bibimbap, Korean barbecue, soups, and more.
Opened: March 28, 2018


1366 Beacon St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline

Taking over the former Yasu space — the one that was originally going to be home to the Friendly Toast — is Hamilton, which will seat around 150 and serve “good, simple, seasonal food, rooted in classic cooking,” as chef Nick Davidovich (West Bridge, Salts, 80 Thoreau) told Boston Restaurant Talk. In a job posting, the team describes the food as “inspired by the spirit of the ‘bistronomy’ movement, globally influenced European cooking.” The cocktail menu will highlight drinks beloved by the country’s founding fathers, and yes, the name is a reference to the Hamilton you’re singing about in your head right now.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Porto Maltese [NOW OPEN]

1634 Beacon St., Washington Square, Brookline

This Mediterranean seafood restaurant took over the longtime home of the Fireplace. The menu includes a wide range of fish that can be prepared in several different ways, and if you don’t find a preparation method that you like, you can bring in your own recipe to force upon the kitchen.
Opened: March 20, 2018

Shaking Crab

250 Harvard St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline

The ever-expanding Cajun seafood boil chain will take over the Khao Sarn space in Coolidge Corner (250 Harvard St.) next. Most recently, it also opened locations by Boston Common and in Cambridge’s Porter Square.
Projected opening: June 2018

Brookline openings beyond spring 2018

The expansion of Somerville’s Veggie Crust — a vegetarian- and vegan-friendly pizzeria — to Brookline is also still in the works, despite some construction delays. It should open fairly soon at 8 Cypress St., formerly Grano Neapolitan Pizza. The restaurant also serves “nice cream,” a vegan ice cream substitute with a coconut milk base.

Surf and turf at Black & Blue Steak and Crab
Surf and turf at Black & Blue Steak and Crab
Black & Blue/Facebook

Black & Blue Steak and Crab

400 District Ave., Marriott Residence Inn Hotel, Burlington

With locations in Rochester, Buffalo, and Albany, New York, Black & Blue will make its first Massachusetts entry inside a hotel at the District Burlington development, which is already home to Island Creek Oyster Bar, Tuscan Kitchen, and more. The restaurant focuses on steak and seafood, as the name suggests, and its website announces a potential spring opening.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Blaze Pizza [NOW OPEN]

91 Middlesex Tpke., Burlington

This is the fifth Boston-area location for the Chipotle-style casual pizza chain that was founded in California and counts NBA star LeBron James and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner among its investors. Blaze serves customizable pizzas (with gluten-free and vegan options available), as well as salads and some desserts, including a s’more pie. This location is near the Burlington Mall.
Opened: March 22, 2018

Burlington Beer Works

34 Cambridge St., Burlington Crossroads, Burlington

In the works since at least late 2015, Burlington Beer Works — part of a small local chain of brewpubs — might finally open its doors soon in the former Outback Steakhouse space in a shopping plaza. The licensing board is reportedly not thrilled at the delays.
Projected opening: June 2018

Burlington openings beyond spring 2018

Feng Shui (2400 District Ave., Burlington) is set to join the forthcoming Black & Blue (see details above) and other restaurants at the District Burlington development around summer 2018, serving sushi and Chinese food. There are existing locations in Chelmsford, Waltham, Cohasset, and Tyngsborough, and it’s also expanding to Brighton.

Later, possibly by the end of 2018, Capital Grille sibling Eddie V’s is opening at 50 South Ave., on the site of the former Romano’s Macaroni Grill (which will be torn down to make way for a new building). The national seafood chain also has a location in the works in the former P.F. Chang’s space at Boston’s Prudential Center.

And on a yet-to-be-announced timeline, New Haven-based Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana could make Burlington its second Massachusetts target (it’s currently open in Chestnut Hill) with a Burlington Mall location (75 Middlesex Tpke.).

Nothing on our radar for spring 2018 in Chelsea. Know of something? Let us know.

Chelsea openings beyond spring 2018

The tiny, popular Ciao! Pizza & Pasta and its associated Ciao! Market could get a new sibling, Winnisimmet Lounge, around late summer or early fall 2018 at 73 Winnisimmet St., serving Italian small plates and a full bar.

Also potentially on the horizon for Chelsea, as of late 2017, Yahya Noor was seeking a lease in either Chelsea or East Boston to revive his shuttered Somali restaurant, Tawakal Halal Cuisine, which used to be located above the Victory Pub, which is now Renegade’s Pub, in Eastie’s Orient Heights. Watch Facebook for updates.

Plus, El Potro Mexican Grill (Somerville, Lowell, Malden) is set to expand to Chelsea, taking over the Dockside Restaurant space at 170 Everett Ave. Dockside closed in April 2018; El Potro hasn’t yet announced an opening timeline for its new location.

Tender Greens
Food from Tender Greens
Tender Greens/Facebook


33 Boylston St., the Street, Chestnut Hill

Now with two locations in Boston’s Jamaica Plain and another on the way to Mission Hill, popular taqueria Chilacates is also headed for Chestnut Hill’s the Street development.
Projected opening: April 2018

Legal Sea Foods

55 Boylston St., the Street, Chestnut Hill

Legal Sea Foods is moving its longtime Chestnut Hill location from 43 Boylston St. to 55 Boylston St. (the old one, which opened in 1975, will remain open until the new one is ready.) The new location will span nearly 11,000 square feet, with a fish market on the first floor and the restaurant on the second, as well as a nice view of Hammond Pond.
Projected opening: May 2018

Tender Greens [NOW OPEN]

49 Boylston St., the Street, Chestnut Hill

And yet another spring newcomer to the Street is Tender Greens, a California-based chain that has been expanding across the country with help from an investment by Shake Shack head honcho Danny Meyer. (It’s also set to open in Boston’s Back Bay later in the year, possibly over the summer.) As Eater NY describes Tender Greens, it’s “kind of a blend between Sweetgreen and Dig Inn,” serving salads and more while highlighting seasonal, local sourcing. The Chestnut Hill location serves lunch and dinner, and there will be seasonal outdoor seating available.
Opened: April 9, 2018

Nothing on our radar for spring 2018 in Concord. Know of something? Let us know.

Concord openings beyond spring 2018

Rapscallion Kitchen & Bar (sibling to Rapscallion’s Sturbridge brewery and taproom and Acton restaurant and taproom) is opening imminently at 208 Fitchburg Tpke. — perhaps it will be spring, but Rapscallion hasn’t announced a date yet. Expect “signature Rapscallion artisanal comfort fare with an emphasis on seafood in a vibrant open space.”

Caffe Nero — the London-based coffeehouse chain that is rapidly expanding around the Boston area — could eventually open in Concord at 55-57 Main St., although there has been some opposition from residents. The planning board will meet in late April 2018 to discuss whether to allow the cafe to move forward; it’d have to get approval from the zoning board next.

Nothing on our radar for spring 2018 in Dedham. Know of something? Let us know.

Dedham openings beyond spring 2018

El Centro — a Mexican restaurant with sister locations in Boston’s South End, Brookline, and Belmont — has been in the works at 350 Washington St. in Dedham Square for a while now. It was originally slated for a fall 2017 opening; stay tuned for updates.

Also in the works in Dedham Square is Horse Thieves Tavern (585 High St.), “a modern interpretation on a traditional New England tavern...a place where locals and travelers mix in a warm and inviting atmosphere that serves hearty and healthy regional food and drinks.”

Three of Revolution’s four founders on their first ax-throwing trip to Montreal: Greg DiLullo, Chris Greeno, and Dan Doran (from left to right).
Three of Revolution’s four founders on their first ax-throwing trip to Montreal: Greg DiLullo, Chris Greeno, and Dan Doran (from left to right)
Revolution Axe Throwing [Official Photo]

Revolution Axe Throwing

69 Norman St., Everett

One of several ax-throwing bars opening in the Boston area this year, Revolution will allow patrons to purchase beer and wine while throwing axes at targets. It’ll be located right near Night Shift, Bone Up, and Short Path, for those seeking more booze after some ax-filled fun. There are no plans to serve food, at least not at the start.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Richie’s Slush [NOW OPEN]

2084 Revere Beach Pkwy.

The Everett location of the decades-old slush brand temporarily closed in 2015 and again in 2017; now it’s back, serving cheesesteaks, fried dough pizza, and of course, slush.
Opened: April 14, 2018

Everett openings beyond spring 2018

The forthcoming Wynn casino in Everett — aka Wynn Boston Harbor, or maybe not, due to sexual harassment and assault allegations that have come to light against founder Steve Wynn — is slated to open around June 2019. As far as dining goes, the resort’s website promises “outstanding steaks, authentic Italian cuisine, mouth-watering Asian fare, and other delectable dishes in spectacular settings.” The Italian restaurant will reportedly have a Frank Sinatra theme (including Sinatra’s Emmy, Grammy, and Academy awards on display); here’s what that looks like at Wynn Las Vegas. There will be 13 restaurants total.

Abbott’s Frozen Custard
Abbott’s Frozen Custard
Abbott’s Frozen Custard/Facebook

Abbott’s Frozen Custard [NOW OPEN]

1853 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington

This old-timey Rochester, New York-based frozen custard chain has opened a new franchise in Lexington, the third in Massachusetts — it’s also in Brighton and Needham. Abbott’s serves frozen custard in cones, cups, sundaes, flurries (with mix-ins), and various other desserts, and the signature item is the turtle: vanilla or chocolate custard with chocolate sauce and nuts, dipped in chocolate and served on a stick
Opened: April 16, 2018


25 Depot Sq., Lexington Center

The former Yangtze River space will soon be home to Chinese-Japanese restaurant Sanyo, which is from the same owner as Bamboo in Dedham, Westford, Hyannis, and Bedford, as well as Mandarin in Westborough, Milford, and Reading. Sanyo will maintain some aspects of Yangtze River, including American-Chinese dishes, dim sum, and a lunch buffet, adding on Bamboo’s Sichuan dishes, sushi and sashimi, udon dishes, and more.
Projected opening: April 2018

Nothing on our radar for spring 2018 in Malden. Know of something? Let us know.

Malden openings beyond spring 2018

Lots of beer is on the way: Chelsea’s Mystic Brewery is adding a Malden brewery and taproom at 11 Charles St., formerly a bowling alley. It’ll have indoor and outdoor seating, space for food trucks, and possible a cheese counter — think cheese plates, charcuterie, and grilled cheese. (A couple of Mystic employees are Formaggio Kitchen alums, so they really know their cheese.) Plus, a brewpub called Faces is coming to 50 Pleasant St., courtesy of the Martignetti family, who were behind Lanes & Games in Cambridge — as well as the old Faces nightclub by Lanes & Games.

In other Malden dining news, the Ferry Street Food and Drink space at 118 Ferry St. will be taken over by a Caribbean restaurant called the Island. A February update from the restaurant promised a late February opening date, which didn’t happen, but it’ll probably be soon. It’ll serve “a true taste of traditional Caribbean cuisine while inspiring you to experience blends of European, Indian, and African flare.”

Malden might also get a location of Hulun Beir, an international Mongolian barbecue and hot pot chain with a location in Beacon Hill and another on the way to Somerville’s Davis Square.

Pikaichi Ramen
Ramen from Pikaichi

Baity [NOW OPEN]

84 Spring St., Medford

One of the only Egyptian restaurants in the area, Baity features dishes such as koshary, hawawshi, and fateer, as well as food from the wider Mediterranean region. It’s located in a small strip of businesses in a mostly residential area, about a mile from Fellsway Plaza and Station Landing.
Opened: Early April 2018


123-125 Boston Ave., Medford

Pikaichi was a popular ramen joint at Allston’s Super 88 that closed at the end of 2017 after a seven-year run, thanks to rising rent, but it’ll get a second life in Medford, opening in the former Emiliano’z Mexican Grill space. At its original location, Pikaichi served several styles of ramen, as well as curry dishes and donburi rice bowls.
Projected opening: April 18, 2018

Medford openings beyond spring 2018

The Porch, a Southern restaurant in Wakefield, will expand to Medford this summer (100 Rivers Edge Dr.) with a larger location than the original, possibly around July. Chef and owner Jonathan Post plans to have a seasonal patio, a large bar and lounge area, a pool table or two, a market space stocking American-made products, and live music, “heavy on blues, blues rock, rockabilly, some alt country, bluegrass, and Americana,” he previously told Eater. “This will not be some goofy caricature of Southern culture, so don’t expect any mainstream country music, or similar garbage.”

Another potential summer 2018 debut: Tusk (“Trust Us Kitchen”) will open in Medford Square, serving small plates and family-style platters from longtime Grill 23 chef Jay Murray. He hopes to make the restaurant a cocktail destination as well.

Also coming up later this year, the team behind Tenoch — a popular local group of fast-casual restaurants and food trucks known especially for tortas — will open a sit-down restaurant and tequila bar, El Tacuba, at 35 Salem St. in Medford Square (steps from an existing Tenoch location).

And one more: A restaurant called Chimichurri’s Mexican is reportedly taking over the Depot Square Grille space at 478 High St. in West Medford.

A preview of potential Blue Dalia menu items
A preview of potential Blue Dalia menu items
Blue Dalia/Facebook


23 Washington St., Natick Center

The Italian restaurant, which opened in 1982, suffered major damage due to a burst pipe back in January 2018 and has been closed for repairs ever since, but it’s almost ready to make its return.
Projected opening: May/June 2018

Blue Dalia at Wegmans

1245 Worcester St., Natick Mall, Worcester

A new Wegmans supermarket is coming to town, opening a location at the Natick Mall that will include a full-service Mexican restaurant and tequila bar from Roberto Santibañez of Fonda in New York City. “The menu speaks about all the regions in my country,” Santibañez previously told Eater. “We’ll showcase things from all over the country, and that’s what I like to do.”
Projected opening: Blue Dalia is slated to open on May 4, following the April 29 opening of Wegmans


13 West Central St., Natick

Dora Tavel-Sanchez Luz and Gabriel Sanchez, the owners of the Farmhouse in Needham, are opening Buttercup this spring, where they’ll serve farm-to-table American food. The restaurant will seat 100, and it’ll have a full bar and patio.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Natick openings beyond spring 2018

The Natick Mall (1245 Worcester St.) could also eventually get a Dave & Buster’s, which aims to take over a section of the current Sears, which is downsizing.

The Cappella exterior
The Cappella exterior


45 Chapel St.

Taking over the longtime Petit Robert Bistro space, Cappella is opening soon from Rob Picardi, the chef at Prezza in Boston’s North End for the better part of a decade. At a recent guest chef dinner at Prezza sibling Tonno, Picardi served dishes such as octopus a la plancha, fig raviolini, and grilled lamb tagliata. Per Cappella’s Instagram bio, “We just want to be your neighborhood restaurant.”
Projected opening: Spring 2018

District 118 Kitchen + Bar [NOW OPEN]

118 Needham St., Newton

The former Mick Morgan’s space — which, more recently, was briefly Grande Kitchen + Bar under the same ownership as Mick Morgan’s — recently became District 118 Kitchen + Bar, serving “elevated comfort food where guests discover a local blend of America’s favorites.”
Opened: April 12, 2018

House of Tandoor

81 Union St., Newton Centre

The owners of Himalayan Bistro, a Nepalese restaurant that has been open since 2006 in West Roxbury, will open House of Tandoor in Newton next.
Projected opening: Late April/early May 2018

Newton openings beyond spring 2018

La Tate Mexican Restaurant is reportedly opening in the Shing Yee space at 1255 Washington St. in West Newton. Plus, Inna’s Kitchen — which closed its Pelham Street location in mid-2017 — will open a new Newton location at 547 Commonwealth Ave. The takeout- and catering-oriented spot won’t have seating. It’ll be under kosher supervision and will offer frozen entrees, latkes, soups, stuffed cabbage, and more.

Howling Wolf Taqueria Express burrito
Howling Wolf Taqueria Express burrito
Howling Wolf/Facebook

Howling Wolf Taqueria Express [NOW OPEN]

550 Turnpike St., North Andover

Salem’s Howling Wolf Taqueria, which has an “express” fast-casual location in Marblehead, will open a second express spot in North Andover. This one will have a full liquor license, and customers can order food in person, on the phone, or online.
Opened: April 10, 2018

The Stones, Stoneham
The Stones Common House & Kitchen
The Stones/Instagram

The Stones Common House & Kitchen [NOW OPEN]

380 Main St., Stoneham

Patrick Campbell — an alum of fine-dining spots No. 9 Park and Cafe Artscience, in Boston and Cambridge respectively — wanted to open something more laid back in his hometown, and the result is the Stones Common House & Kitchen, a “casual American bar and restaurant” with classic cocktails and dishes such as smoked chicken poutine; warm roasted beet salad; squid ink spaghetti with lobster and baby clams; lamb stew; whole roasted chicken; and more.
Opened: Late March 2018

Hakata Ramen
Hakata Ramen
Hakata Ramen/Facebook

Hakata Ramen

895 Main St., Waltham

With locations in Quincy and Boston, Hakata Ramen will expand to Waltham next, serving ramen and sushi. If the Waltham location’s menu is similar to that of the Quincy location, it might include sushi burritos and sushi burgers.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Waltham openings beyond spring 2018

Around fall 2018, contract brewery Might Squirrel Brewing Co. will open its own 23,000-square-foot brewery and taproom at 411 Waverley Oaks Rd., by the Beaver Brook Reservation. It’ll include two patios, a second taproom (for overflow and private events), and a 30-barrel system, plus an extra five-barrel system for experiments. Mighty Squirrel brews include a milk stout, a hazy IPA, and a Belgian white ale.

Food from Ginger Exchange
Food from Ginger Exchange
Ginger Exchange/Facebook

Ginger Exchange

98 Main St., Watertown

Ginger Exchange, which has locations in Cambridge’s Inman Square and Boston’s Symphony area, will expand to the former home of J. Dee Asian Bistro soon. Connected to Mission Sushi & Wok as well as the delivery-only Wow Wings, Ginger Exchange serves a large menu that mixes Japanese, Korean, and Thai food.
Projected opening: Spring 2018

Watertown openings beyond spring 2018

Coming up later this year, Matt and Nancy Sargent — who operated a Vermont pop-up dinner series that turned into a food truck and restaurant before they moved to the Boston area to help open Brewer’s Tap & Table in Waltham — are opening Country Mile at 136 Belmont St., probably around the late summer or early fall 2018. Expect healthy food but not “health food” — vegetables, grains, some local seafood, etc. And “no goddamn flowers on my plates,” said Matt Sargent, who instead “embrace[s] a kind of minimalist, random, almost anarchistic style of presentation.”

Plus, Brighton’s Joyful Garden, a Chinese restaurant that closed in 2017, is set to reopen inside the former Old Country Buffet space at the Watertown Mall (550 Arsenal St.)

Smith & Wollensky steak
Smith & Wollensky steak
Smith & Wollensky/Facebook

Smith & Wollensky

583 Washington St., Wellesley

National steakhouse chain Smith & Wollensky will take over the longtime Blue Ginger space soon; here’s a peek inside the space.
Projected opening: Mid-May 2018

Wellesley openings beyond spring 2018

Around August 2018, the owners of the Cottage will open Door No. 7 at 165 Linden St., aiming for it to be a bit more “adult” and “sophisticated” than the Cottage. It will feature small plates, an oyster bar, and an open kitchen.

Food at Casa Blanca, the older sibling to Pancho’s Cantina
Food at Casa Blanca, the older sibling to Pancho’s Cantina
Casa Blanca/Facebook

Pancho’s Cantina

206 Ballardvale St., Wilmington

This forthcoming Mexican restaurant — coming to an area that doesn’t have many full-service restaurants — shares an owner with Casa Blanca in Andover and North Andover. It’ll serve Cal-Mex food, including tacos, burritos, and fajitas, as well as cocktails.
Projected opening: April 27, 2018

Nothing on our radar for spring 2018 in Woburn. Know of something? Let us know.

Woburn openings beyond spring 2018

110 Grill, a growing local chain which has a bunch of locations in the works in and around Massachusetts, will come to Woburn in late 2018. Most of the locations feature large bars, substantial outdoor dining space, and menus that cater to a variety of dietary restrictions.

Tender Greens (Chestnut Hill)

49 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 Visit Website

Shaking Crab (Brookline)

250 Harvard St., Brookline, MA 02446


84 Spring St., Medford, MA 02155 (781) 391-9000 Visit Website

Revolution Axe Throwing

73 Norman St., Everett, MA 02149 Visit Website

Bab Korean Bistro

1374 Beacon Street, , MA 02446 (617) 383-5575 Visit Website

Porto Maltese

1634 Beacon St., Brookline, MA 02446

Legal Sea Foods - Chestnut Hill & Market

43 Boylston St, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 (617) 277-7300 Visit Website


1366 Beacon St., Brookline, MA 02446


123 Boston Avenue, , MA 02155 (781) 777-2555 Visit Website

Chilacates (Chestnut Hill)

33 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 Visit Website