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All the Boston Food News That Mattered in March 2019: From Churros to Cheeseburgers

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

Churros stick out of a metal pail lined with paper, alongside a spicy chocolate dipping sauce, at Gustazo in Cambridge.
Churros at Gustazo
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

April is here, with its showers and early spring chill and sneak peeks of warmer days. True patio weather will arrive soon, but in the meantime, here’s a look back at what happened in Boston’s food scene in March, including the opening of a new Cuban restaurant in Cambridge, the debut of tea-infused cocktails inside the Boston Public Library, and the closures of some old standbys.

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

Two empanadas covered with poppyseeds and other seeds sit in a wooden bowl on a table with a surface that looks like newsprint. A thick orange dip sits next to the empanadas.
Empanadas at Gustazo
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston
  1. Drink Tea Cocktails Inside the Boston Public Library: In addition to the new tea lounge, the library’s courtyard dining area is getting a revamp.
  2. New England Dining News Beyond Massachusetts, Updated Weekly: Restaurant openings, closings, and other news in Portsmouth, Portland, Providence, and beyond.
  3. Night Shift Brewing Dives Into the Coffee Business With Expansion to Lovejoy Wharf: Night Shift Roasting launches along with the new brewery.
  4. Suburban Boston Dining News, Updated Weekly: A round-up of restaurant openings, closings, and other news outside of the immediate Boston vicinity.
  5. Blackbird Doughnuts Debuts Huge Brighton Space This Week: The new Brighton location will accommodate production as well as retail.
  6. D.C.-Based Falafel Chain Will Close Last Boston-Area Location After Seven Years: The Davis Square restaurant — the first to open locally, and the last to remain — will close at the end of the month.
  7. A Rooftop Restaurant Is Coming to a South Boston Hotel This Summer: Boston Nightlife Ventures (Wink & Nod, etc.) will open Six West at the Cambria Hotel.
  8. A Cuban Favorite From Waltham Expands to Cambridge With Finely Tuned Cocktails: Backbar’s Sam Treadway advised on the beverage menu.
  9. A Tall Ship Restaurant Will Dock in Charlestown: The floating restaurant comes from a familiar restaurant group.
  10. Nahita Is the ‘Perfect Place to Be Young and Fabulous,’ Says Critic: Plus, a look at Joe Sent Me in Cambridge.

Kimball Farm
Ice cream at Kimball Farm, whose seasonal reopening is one of the first signs of spring each year
Kimball Farm/Official Site
  1. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now, March 2019: Boston’s best new hotspots, updated monthly.
  2. A Guide to the Seasonal Reopenings of New England Classics: Fried seafood shacks, ice cream shops, and other signs of spring and summer.
  3. Boston Stalwarts: Recognizing the Restaurants and Bars That Stand the Test of Time: It’s not just the buzzy new hotspots that deserve diners’ attention.
  4. The 2019 Boston Restaurant Patio Tracker: Outdoor dining updates for spring, summer, and fall 2019.
  5. Boston’s Best Food and Drink Events, Updated Weekly: The local events you’ll actually want to attend.
  6. Boston’s Most Essential Irish Pubs: Where to drink on St. Patrick’s Day — or any day
  7. 19 of the Boston Area’s Most Kid-Friendly Dining Options: Where to eat with families around Greater Boston.
  8. Boston’s Best Monday Dining Specials: Fried chicken, noodles, and more.
  9. Ready-to-Eat Cookie Dough Invades Boston-Area Malls and Beyond: The sweet treat is increasingly easy to find outside of home kitchens.
  10. Where to Eat at Boston’s Biggest Attractions and Museums: Snacks and beer before a game at Fenway, cocktails inside the Boston Public Library, and more options for visitors and locals alike.

A spread of food at Buttonwood
A spread of food at Buttonwood
Ezra Pollard
  • Aleppo Palace (25 Central Sq., Central Square, Cambridge): A renovation and rebranding of Moody’s Falafel Palace, a longtime late-night standby in Central Square.
  • Blackbird Doughnuts (100 Holton St., Brighton, Boston): This is the fourth location for the local doughnut chain, which is related to the Gallows and Banyan in the South End. This location includes retail space as well as production space.
  • Bruins Bar (Logan Airport — Terminal A, East Boston): Like Shōjō (below), this is part of a massive wave of new openings at the airport. As the name suggests, it’s a hockey-themed sports bar.
  • Buttonwood (51 Lincoln St., Newton): The Sycamore and Little Big Diner sibling first debuted at the beginning of 2018, quickly building a fanbase and snagging a good Globe review, when an electrical fire shut it down. Now, after nearly a year of renovations, it’s back, serving pork schnitzel, cheeseburgers, whole grilled branzino, and more.
  • Courtyard Tea Room and Map Room Tea Lounge (Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Back Bay, Boston): BPL dining (and drinking) has received an upgrade with a rebranding of the Courtyard Restaurant and the addition of a lounge serving tea-infused cocktails and snacks.
  • The Derby Restaurant (189 Washington St., Salem): The Tavern in the Square team rebranded the Salem location into the Derby Restaurant, which is meant to have more of a local feel and serves dishes like po’ boy tacos, steak tips, and more.
  • Falafel King (145 Tremont St., Downtown Boston): This is the third location for a group of fast-casual Mediterranean spots — and they’re all downtown. On the menu: falafel, shawarma, and the like.
  • Fiorella’s Express (575 Washington St., Wellesley): This casual Italian spot — part of a small local chain — took over the former Susu Bakery space.
  • Fomu (140 Brookline Ave., Fenway, Boston): This is the fourth permanent location for the local vegan ice cream chain.
  • The Grateful Dedham Diner (573 High St., Dedham Square, Dedham): This punnily named diner took over a former D’Angelo’s space and serves all-day breakfast.
  • Gustazo Cuban Kitchen & Bar (2067 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge): This Waltham favorite for Cuban food has expanded to the former Elephant Walk space in Cambridge and features a cocktail list by Backbar’s Sam Treadway.
  • Horse Thieves Tavern (585 High St., Dedham): This “modern interpretation on a traditional New England tavern,” as it describes itself, serves roasted cod, fried chicken sandwiches, loaded Hasselback potatoes, cast iron s’mores, and more.
  • In the Game (535 Lowell St., Peabody): This entertainment venue — which features laser tag, bowling, and other attractions — also has a bar and restaurant.
  • Kane’s Donuts (Essex Landing, Rte. 1, Saugus): This is the second Saugus location — and third overall — for the popular doughnut shop. This new one is on the site of a former mini golf course known for an orange dinosaur statue (which remains standing).
  • Lobstah on a Roll (135 Lafayette St., Salem): The seafood restaurant from Boston’s South End has expanded to the North Shore with its mega lobster rolls.
  • Masala Square (23 Union Sq., Union Square, Somerville): This family-run restaurant focuses on food from the northern Indian state of Punjab and offers plenty of gluten-free and vegan options as well as affordable lunch deals.
  • Night Shift Brewing at Lovejoy Wharf (1 Lovejoy Wharf, Suite 101, West End, Boston): The popular Everett-based brewery expanded to Boston proper with this giant new space — brewery, taproom, restaurant, cafe, and coffee roasting facility.
  • Pho Paris (906 Washington St., Braintree): Pho and other Vietnamese food in the former Pho Vietnam space.
  • Popover King (74 Canal St., West End, Boston): Popovers stuffed with a variety of sweet and savory fillings, plus other New England-y baked goods and more.
  • Purefections Chocolate (1348 Hancock St., Quincy): This is a relocation for the sweet shop, from South Quincy to Quincy Center.
  • Real (145 Lincoln Rd., Lincoln): Located in the former Lincoln Kitchen and Aka Bistro space, Real comes from co-owner and chef Tom Fosnot, who was the longtime executive chef at Groton’s acclaimed Gibbet Hill.
  • Sarcastic Swine BBQ Restaurant and Catering (988 Bedford St., Abington): Brisket, pulled pork, hush puppies, and more — not to mention burritos.
  • Shōjō (Logan Airport — Terminal C, East Boston): The Chinatown favorite has expanded to the airport with favorites like the shadowless fries and the Shojonator burger, as well as all-day congee, a full bar, and grab-and-go meals meant to be flight-friendly.
  • Tatte Bakery & Cafe (201 Washington St., Downtown Boston): The local bakery chain keeps expanding. This one makes a dozen (and it’s the second in downtown Boston).
  • Usushi Cafe (474 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington): Rice bowls, sushi rolls, and bubble tea.
  • Vaanga (102 Water St., Downtown Boston): This self-described “crazy Indian joint” comes from the Godavari team and serves samosa burgers, “desi tacos,” and “baerittos.”

A pita full of falafel at Amsterdam Falafelshop
A pita full of falafel at Amsterdam Falafelshop
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater
  • Amsterdam Falafelshop (248 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville): This had been the first local outpost of a small DC-based falafel chain — and the last remaining local one. (A Kenmore Square location opened and closed during the Somerville location’s lifespan.)
  • Cafe Jaffa (48 Gloucester St., Back Bay, Boston): This Middle Eastern restaurant had been open for close to 30 years, serving stuffed grape leaves, falafel, and more.
  • La Perle Caribbean Restaurant (41 Bow St., Everett): Owner Valery Joseph is actively working to find a new location for the Caribbean restaurant, which closed as a result of disruptive casino construction nearby.
  • Sassafras (668 Broadway, Ball Square, Somerville): This vegetarian reinvention of Eat at Jumbo’s may end up living on in some form, such as a meal delivery service, so stay tuned for updates.
  • Sorella’s (388 Centre St., Jamaica Plain): This neighborhood breakfast staple had been around for 36 years.