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Salt Bae doing his signature salt-dashing move over a sliced steak
Salt Bae
Jean Schwarzwalder/Eater

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Headline Predictions for 2020: Food Halls, Restaurants From TV and Internet Personalities, and More

Local food writers share what they think will happen in the food world next year

As is Eater’s annual tradition, we’re closing out 2019 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.

Check out the Year in Eater landing page for other stories in this series.

Up next: What are your headline predictions for 2020? (See the 2018 responses for 2019 here.)


MC Slim JB, restaurant critic at Boston.com:

“‘Contest between Guy Fieri and Salt Bae for Least-Talented Carpetbagging Chef in Boston Ends in a Tie.’ But seriously: more inertia (that is to say, continued lack of progress) on the same stubborn issues that were hurting the restaurant industry a year ago, including:

  • Too many job openings and not enough talent to fill it (exacerbated by Republican anti-immigration policies)
  • Expensive housing and inadequate public transportation continue to hurt industry workers
  • More locally owned, neighborhood indies close, including a few ancient, historic ones
  • Climate change makes beloved ingredients more expensive or completely unavailable (with seafood under particular pressure)
  • Sea-rise flooding destroys restaurants in the Seaport and other low-lying areas.”

Erin Kuschner, food writer for Boston.com:

“Natural Wine Bars Are the Only Kind of Wine Bars Now, Sorry to All the Other Wine Bars”

”Popeyes Makes a Fried Fish Sandwich; the Internet Loses Its Shit”


Marc Hurwitz, founder of Boston’s Hidden Restaurants and Boston Restaurant Talk, food writer for Dig Boston:

“Some of the formerly red-hot areas for dining will start to see some cracks in the armor as increasing rents make it nearly impossible for restaurants to remain. And on a happier note, fried chicken sandwiches will continue to be one of the hottest foods out there.”


Eric Twardzik, freelance writer and contributor to The Food Lens, Boston.com, and Dig Boston:

“Boston’s Newest Food Hall Opens Within an Existing Food Hall That Is Itself Encased in an Infinite Series of Food Halls.”


J.Q. Louise, lifestyle blogger behind http://jqlouise.com and food writer at the Boston Herald:

“More farm-to-table experiences, simpler menus, and more Instagrammable moments. Restaurant interiors are more elaborate and purposeful than ever; restaurateurs know that every guest is an Instagrammer or a Yelper or just a person with a smartphone, so looks count.”


Dana Hatic, former Eater Boston associate editor:

“XYZ Restaurant to Fill XYZ Neighborhood With So Much Fried Chicken”

“8,000 More Food Halls Want to Come to Boston”


Terrence B. Doyle, Eater Boston reporter:

“‘Mattapan Gets a Liquor License.’ Just kidding, the Boston bureaucracy is trash, and the moneyed restaurant power brokers are too afraid to open anything outside of Back Bay or the Seaport. And if you think I’m implying something more critical, you’re right.”


Rachel Leah Blumenthal, Eater Boston editor:

“Salt Bae and Guy Fieri Team Up to Open Juice and Poke Shop in New Boston Food Hall”

“The Seaport District Sinks Into the Sea Under the Weight of Its 20th Chain Steakhouse”

“Every Last Open Space in Boston Is Now a Beer Garden”

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