clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

All the Boston Food News That Mattered in January 2019: From Pizza to Pretty Cakes

The month in openings, closings, top news, and more

The “American honey” pizza at &pizza
The “American honey” pizza at DC-based &pizza, now open in Harvard Square alongside NY-based Milk Bar
Sarah Storrer/Eater

The year kicked off with a flurry of activity in the local restaurant scene — lots of openings, but lots of closings as well. The Boston area welcomed a handful of new cafes, a hot new cocktail destination, several Italian restaurants, and more, but diners also had to say goodbye to some old-timers, including one restaurant that was close to 200 years old.

Read on for a summary of January 2019, including the most-read news stories and maps, the openings, and the closings.



Taiyaki cones
Taiyaki NYC is expanding to Boston with its Instagram-bait unicorn ice cream
Taiyaki NYC/Official Site
  1. Durgin-Park Closed After Nearly 200 Years: The Boston landmark had been operating since before the Civil War.
  2. Milk Bar Arrives in Harvard Square in a Blaze of Sugary Glory: And it’s sharing space with a popular DC-based pizzeria, &pizza. The duo officially opened on February 2.
  3. Suburban Boston Dining News, Updated Weekly: A round-up of restaurant openings, closings, and other news outside of the immediate Boston vicinity.
  4. Taco Bell Will Soon Live Más Right in Downtown Boston: It’s only the second location in Boston proper.
  5. Former Mamaleh’s Employee Files Lawsuit for Sexual Harassment and Discrimination: A longtime staffer at the Cambridge restaurant says members of the restaurant’s ownership and kitchen staff engaged in sexual harassment, homophobia, sexism, and racism.
  6. Tiffani Faison’s Not Done Growing Her Fenway Empire: The acclaimed chef has a new restaurant coming to the neighborhood this summer.
  7. Michael Scelfo’s New Bar Pairs Finger Food With History: Look inside the Longellow Bar at Alden & Harlow, now open.
  8. The Seaport District Is Getting Unicorn Ice Cream in Fish-Shaped Cones: Courtesy of a New York-based ice cream shop, Taiyaki NYC.
  9. Time Out Market Will Have a Star-Studded Lineup, Including Craigie Burger Variations: 2019’s food hall bonanza is getting underway.
  10. Cultivar Has Closed Its Doors After a Year and a Half: Chef and co-owner Mary Dumont was Eater Boston’s 2017 Chef of the Year.

Overhead view of a bowl of a Thai noodle soup with ground pork, bean sprouts, crispy wonton strips, fish balls, and more. The bowl is pink and white with a rooster painted on it, and it sits on a plain white background.
Tom yum noodle soup at Dakzen, a new addition to the Eater 38 in January
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater
  1. The 38 Essential Restaurants in Boston, Winter 2019: Boston’s greatest restaurants for any occasion, updated quarterly.
  2. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now, January 2019: Boston’s best new hotspots, updated monthly.
  3. 13 Top-Notch Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Around Boston: Gooey cheese and perfectly toasted bread are sure to satisfy.
  4. 16 Essential Boston-Area Coffee Shops: Start your caffeine adventure here.
  5. 25 Essential Boston-Area Burgers: A meaty to-do list.
  6. 26 Iconic Dishes Around Boston: Get to know the city and surrounding area with these essential eats.
  7. The Cocktail Heatmap: Where to Drink Right Now, Winter 2019: Spend the bitterly cold days of winter with a cocktail (or several) in hand — here are some hot new cocktail destinations to try this season.
  8. The Eater Boston Winter 2019 Dining Headquarters: What’s #OpenInBOS?: Bookmark this page for weather-related openings, closures, and specials all winter long.
  9. Where to Eat Pierogi Around Massachusetts: Plump Polish dumplings are a solid antidote to winter’s chill.
  10. These Restaurants Closed in 2019: An archive of closures.

Several fancy chocolates sit on an elaborate peacock plate. One chocolate is crown-shaped, several are garnished with candied ginger, and several are garnished with a camo-patterned sliver of chocolate.
Chocolates from Gâté Comme des Filles, a chocolate shop that is now open at Bow Market in Somerville
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater
  • 5 Spices House (546 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge): A new location for a Chinatown restaurant specializing in Sichuan-style dry pot. (There’s also a Malden location, but that one features hot pot and sushi.)
  • Beacon Hill Pub (149 Charles St., Beacon Hill, Boston): One of several classic dive bars to return from a hiatus under new ownership this month. (See also: the Tam, Sullivan’s Tap.)
  • Blake’s Kitchen & Bar (Hotel Indigo, 276 Friend St., West End, Boston): The New England-y menu includes a lobster roll, clam bake, steak tips, and more, while the ambiance is meant to feel like an English pub.
  • Brit Bakery (407 Concord Ave., Cambridge): Brit Bakery started as an Arlington-based online business and pop-up; now it has its own storefront in the former Violette space, selling cakes, pastries, coffee, and more. Brit emphasizes organic ingredients and avoidance of preservatives and artificial flavors.
  • Door No. 7 (165 Linden St., Wellesley): Raw bar items, roasted chicken, salmon, and more from the team behind the Cottage.
  • EHChocolatier (145 Huron Ave., Observatory Hill, Cambridge): This popular local chocolate company used to be hidden deep within a Somerville warehouse; now it has a public-facing storefront in the Observatory Hill neighborhood, selling chocolate bars, truffles, caramels, and more.
  • Elm Street Taproom (256 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville): Located in the former Joshua Tree space, Elm Street Taproom comes from the group behind Five Horses Tavern and Worden Hall and serves sandwiches and other comfort food. There’s also a mug club.
  • The Federal (1265 Main St., Waltham): A steakhouse in the former Flank space.
  • Gâté Comme des Filles (1 Bow Market Wy., Bow Market, Union Square, Somerville): A chocolate shop serving boxes of small-batch chocolates, hot chocolate, and more.
  • Hi-Rise Bread Company (Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St., Downtown Boston): The new Boston Public Market location is the third outpost for the Cambridge-based bakery. Market-goers can get sandwiches, soups, salads, breads, pastries, and jam.
  • Il Massimo (Legacy Place, 400 Legacy Pl., Dedham): Popular Providence Italian restaurant Massimo has expanded to the former Met Bar & Grill space in Dedham, serving dishes such as herb-stuffed porchetta, grilled pork chop with caramelized figs, and a variety of pasta options.
  • La Cucina Italian Eatery (400 Assembly Rw., Assembly Row, Somerville): From the owner of the now-defunct Carmen in the North End comes a new Italian restaurant that pays homage, design-wise, to the neighborhood’s car manufacturing history. On the menu: pasta, flatbreads, Lavazza coffee, and more.
  • Liuyishou Hotpot (702 Washington St., Chinatown, Boston): This is the first Boston location for the China-based chain, which features spicy Chongqing-style hot pot and displays its meats on a large wooden wheel.
  • The Longfellow Bar at Alden & Harlow (40 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge): Sibling to Waypoint and sibling/neighbor to Alden & Harlow, this bar occupies an attractive two-story space that was previously home to Cafe Algiers. Creative cocktails, fancy finger food.
  • Luce (1 Shepard St., between Porter and Harvard squares, Cambridge): Shepard closed in December, and the team quickly revamped the restaurant into a more casual Italian spot called Luce, featuring pasta, brick-oven pizza, and more.
  • No Relation (Shore Leave, 11 William E. Mullins Wy., South End, Boston): Located inside the recently opened Tiki spot Shore Leave, No Relation is an intimate sushi bar serving a 14-course tasting menu twice nightly.
  • Pho Viet’s (51 Langley Rd., Newton): An expansion of the popular banh mi staple at Super 88 market in Allston.
  • Revival Cafe & Kitchen (197 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville): This is the second location for Revival, a cafe from the team behind the now-defunct Crema in Harvard Square. The first Revival is in Alewife; this one is in the original Bertucci’s location (which was more recently a Subway).
  • Solid Ground Cafe (742 Huntington Ave., Mission Hill, Boston): The 18-seat cafe serves breakfast all day (and adds lunch items starting at 11 a.m.) and features Plymouth-based Speedwell Coffee.
  • Spice Delight (63 Concord Ave., Belmont): An Indian restaurant in the former Golden Garden space.
  • Sullivan’s Tap (168 Canal St., West End, Boston): After a brief closure, the dive bar is back with new owners but largely unchanged.
  • Sushi Momento (399 Chestnut Hill Ave., Cleveland Circle, Brookline): Sushi and other Japanese food from a Pabu alum, located in a hotel near the border of Boston’s Brighton neighborhood and Brookline.
  • Sweet Heart (386 Trapelo Rd., Belmont): Bubble tea, smoothies, ice cream, and other treats.
  • The Tam (222 Tremont St., Downtown Boston, Boston): The classic Theater District dive bar has returned under new ownership following a short hiatus, with barely any changes.
  • Tanám (1 Bow Market Wy., Bow Market, Union Square, Somerville): A Filipino restaurant featuring chibog (five-course dinners), kamayan (utensil-free feasts with 19+ components), and late-night bar snacks and cocktails.
  • Tatte Bakery & Cafe (125 Summer St., Downtown Boston): This is the first of two planned downtown locations for the ever-expanding local cafe chain.
  • Tradesman Coffee Shop & Lounge (Hilton, 89 Broad St., Downtown Boston): A coffee shop at a hotel. It’ll add alcohol to the menu soon.
  • Union Straw (8 Mechanic St., Foxborough): Flatbreads, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, and more, including a full bar.
  • The Westland (8 Westland Ave., Symphony, Boston): In the works since 2012, this restaurant is a sibling of Hopewell Bar & Kitchen, Corner Tavern, and more. It serves “international comfort food.”
  • Yassou (1323 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington Heights): Gyros, souvlaki, and other Greek cuisine, located in the former Capri space.

A dish at Cultivar
A dish at Cultivar
Huge Galdones/Cultivar
  • Barrington Coffee (346 Congress St., Fort Point, Boston): Open since 2011, this was the older of two Barrington cafes. A bank is rumored to be taking over the space.
  • Cultivar (Ames Boston Hotel, 1 Court St., Downtown Boston): From longtime Harvest alum Mary Dumont — who was Eater Boston’s 2017 Chef of the Year — Cultivar served upscale New England cuisine, featuring seasonal produce, foraged items, and the like.
  • Dough (20 Maverick St., East Boston): The pizza and sandwich shop had been around for 13 years.
  • Durgin-Park (340 Faneuil Hall Market Pl., Downtown Boston): End of an era. Durgin-Park was nearly 200 years old.
  • Fat Biscuit (MarketStreet, 335 Market St., Lynnfield): The Southern restaurant had opened in 2017; it had an older sibling in New Hampshire, which has also closed.
  • Griddler’s Burgers & Dogs (134 Boylston St., Downtown Boston): The building was sold to Emerson College, and Boston Nightlife Ventures decided retired its Griddler’s fast-casual burger brand in an effort to focus on its bigger projects.
  • Haley House Bakery Cafe (12 Dade St., Roxbury, Boston): The bakery arm of a decades-old community non-profit organization is closed, at least for now, but the organization hopes to figure out a way to reopen it with a more sustainable business plan.
  • The Living Room (101 Atlantic Ave., Waterfront, Boston): The waterfront restaurant and nightclub had been around for 15 years, featuring couches and a packed events calendar.
  • Manoa (300 Beacon St., Somerville): One of the first poke shops to open in the Boston area.
  • Peet’s Coffee & Tea (285 Harvard St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline): A number of Peet’s locations have been closing around the Boston area.
  • Petsi Pies (31 Putnam Ave., Cambridge): The original Petsi location remains open in Somerville, but the Putnam Avenue location has been replaced by a fourth Darwin’s Ltd., a switch that has been planned since 2012.
  • Sweet Bakery (0 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge): A wave of Harvard closures continues with this outpost of a small local cupcake chain, which had been in the neighborhood for about a decade. It may return to Harvard Square at a later date.
  • Towne Stove & Spirits (900 Boylston St., Back Bay, Boston): The Lyons Group, which was behind Towne, plans to open a new restaurant in its place this spring, believing that the market has shifted away from a “higher ticket experience.”