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All the Boston Food News That Mattered in April 2019: From Fish-Shaped Ice Cream Cones to Food Halls

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

Two hands hold up two fish-shaped soft serve cones. The soft serve is pale green with rainbow sprinkles and golden unicorn horns and ears.
Taiyaki’s unicorn ice cream comes
Taiyaki/Official Site

May is underway, the weather is slowly but surely getting warmer, and Boston’s restaurant scene continues to ebb and flow. As spring starts to actually feel like spring, here’s a look back at what happened in Boston’s food world in April, from the debut of an Instagram-bait New York ice cream chain to the demise of yet another dive bar.

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

Cross-section of a stuffed chicken burrito. A wrapped starlight mint is on the side of the plate.
Villa Mexico’s chicken burrito
Dana Hatic/Eater
  1. Downtown Boston’s Forthcoming Food Hall Reveals Killer Chef Lineup: Tiffani Faison will have two restaurants at High Street Place, opening this fall.
  2. Fish-Shaped Ice Cream Cones Arrive in the Seaport District: Taiyaki NYC brings its fish cones and unicorn floats to Boston — and its wiggly, jiggly souffle pancakes will arrive a bit later.
  3. Suburban Boston Dining News, Updated Weekly: A round-up of restaurant openings, closings, and other news outside of the immediate Boston vicinity.
  4. Forthcoming Fenway Food Hall’s Lineup Becomes Even More Stacked: Time Out Market Boston will be full of local restaurateurs.
  5. Beer News From Boston and Beyond, Updated Weekly: Brewery openings, beer gardens, and more, with some cider, wine, and liquor news thrown in for good measure.
  6. New England Dining News Beyond Massachusetts, Updated Weekly: Restaurant openings, closings, and other news in Portsmouth, Portland, Providence, and beyond.
  7. Boston Is Getting More Nashville Hot Chicken: Hot Chix will bring fried chicken sandwiches to the city this summer.
  8. Dining News From the Cape & Islands, Updated Periodically: This new round-up tracks openings and other restaurant news from Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket; it’ll be updated most weeks throughout the spring, summer, and early fall.
  9. Meet the Restaurateurs Pushing Boston’s Mexican Food to New Territory: The founders of Chilacates, Tenoch, and El Centro feed the city tacos, tortas, and more.
  10. This Boston Mexican Food Standby Has Been Cranking Out Burritos and Mole for 20 Years: Four locations and two cities later, Villa Mexico Cafe still draws crowds.

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, a new Cuban restaurant in Cambridge
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston
  1. The 38 Essential Restaurants in Boston, Spring 2019: Boston’s greatest restaurants for any occasion, updated quarterly.
  2. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now, April 2019: Boston’s best new hotspots, updated monthly.
  3. The Hottest New Brunches in Boston Right Now, May 2019: Tired of your usual brunching routine?
  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. How to Dine Affordably at Fancy Boston Restaurants: These high-end restaurants have some options that are a bit easier on the wallet.
  7. Where to Eat Vegetarian and Vegan Food Around Boston: 25 of the area’s best meat-free options.
  8. 25 Outstanding Boston-Area Sushi Restaurants: From simple perfection to mountains of gold flakes and truffles.
  9. Outstanding Breakfast Sandwiches Around Boston: Behold, some of the Boston area’s most mouth-watering, all-in-one breakfasts: on croissants, on biscuits, on point.
  10. Where to Eat Cuban Food in and Around Boston: From Centre Street in Jamaica Plain to Cambridge’s Porter Square.

Foie gras popsicles at Hush
Foie gras “popsicles” at Hush
Hush [Official Photo]
  • Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza (219 N. Main St., Natick): This pizza chain comes from South Florida and also serves wings, meatballs, salads, and more.
  • Bonchon (329 Moody St., Waltham): In the works since 2016, the Waltham location of Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon has finally opened. There are also Boston-area outposts in Allston, Cambridge, Lowell, and Salem.
  • Casarecce Ristorante (285 Hanover St., North End, Boston): Yet another Italian restaurant for the North End. This one features house-made pasta, including shapes like the titular casarecce.
  • C.F. McCarthy’s (614 Washington St., Canton): An Irish pub in the former Pete’s Place space from a couple of veterans of South Boston’s Boston Beer Garden.
  • The Groove at Hojoko (Verb Hotel, 1271 Boylston St., Fenway, Boston): Fenway hotspot Hojoko has added a new lounge for vinyl listening parties and snacks such as short rib katsu sandwiches, hamachi nachos, and caviar service.
  • Grove at Briar Barn Inn (101 Main St., Rowley): This all-day restaurant emphasizes local produce and serves dishes like fried oyster po’ boys, lemon ricotta agnolotti, and roasted pork chops.
  • Hush at Wink & Nod (3 Appleton St., South End, Boston): The latest pop-up resident at Wink & Nod is David Daniels, an alum of Aragosta and Saltie Girl, serving caviar panini, foie “popsicles,” black truffle chicken nuggets, and more.
  • La Pescheria (Eataly, Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St., Back Bay, Boston): Boston’s Italian megacomplex has a new sit-down restaurant inside that focuses on seafood, in the form of two- and three-course tasting menus and raw bar options.
  • Nine Bar Espresso (45 Bromfield St., Downtown Crossing, Boston): This is the second location for the cafe; the original is in Somerville’s Davis Square. It features Gracenote coffee and A&J King baked goods.
  • The Quiet Few (331 Sumner St., Jeffries Point, East Boston): With a focus on whiskey, East Boston’s newest bar and restaurant serves comfort food — and caviar.
  • Red White Japanese Vegan (294 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston): This new fast-casual spot is completely vegan and features Japanese-style grain-and-green bowls, smoothies, and tea.
  • Sweet Waffles & Boba (18 Hudson St., Chinatown, Boston): Located in the former Chatime space, Sweet Waffles & Boba features waffles dipped in a variety of toppings and served on thick popsicle sticks. There’s also bubble tea.
  • Taiyaki NYC (119 Seaport Blvd., Seaport District, Boston): This New York chain features soft serve in fish-shaped cones and other photogenic treats. Jiggly souffle pancakes will debut at the Boston location soon.
  • Track Zero Taproom (North Station, West End, Boston): Framingham-based Jack’s Abby has taken over a bar at North Station for at least the next two years, offering 10 draft lines of its own beers (and those of its sibling brand, Springdale).
  • Up to Me Thai Kitchen (547 Boston Post Rd., Marlborough): Curry, noodles, larb, and other Thai options.
  • Vinal Bakery (222 Somerville Ave., Union Square, Somerville): Formerly a pop-up, Vinal now has its own permanent space in Union, serving up English muffin breakfast sandwiches and more.
  • White’s Bakery (380 Washington St., Wellesley): The newest location for a small local chain of bakeries.
  • The Winnisimmet Lounge (73 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea): This new restaurant comes from the owners of Chelsea’s acclaimed Ciao pizzeria and its sister wine bar/market. The full-service restaurant features cocktails, Italian-leaning small plates, and more.

A spread of food at 1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza
A spread of food at 1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza
1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza/Official Site
  • 1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza (45 Court St., Downtown Boston): This was the only Massachusetts location of the fast-casual pizza chain.
  • Barrington Coffee (303 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston): Months after closing its Fort Point location, Barrington also closed its Back Bay cafe. There are no cafes left, but Barrington lives on as a roaster.
  • B.Good (137 Massachusetts Ave., Back Bay, Boston): The Boston-based burgers-and-more chain, which focuses on local sourcing, closed one of its Boston locations, but plenty more remain, not just locally but internationally.
  • KKatie’s Burger Bar (1440 Hancock St., Quincy): Part of a small local chain of burger-focused restaurants, the Quincy KKatie’s has closed. It opened in late 2016.
  • Moody’s Delicatessen (468 Moody St., Waltham): Acclaimed deli Moody’s — and its adjacent restaurant, the Backroom — are closed for now, following the departure of Moody’s founder Joshua Smith. The remaining team is in the process of straightening out its permit situation, as the existing permits were in Smith’s name, and plans to reopen as soon as possible. The Back Bay location remains open.
  • Night Market (75 Winthrop St., Harvard Square, Cambridge): Open since 2014, this subterranean Harvard Square gem served a menu inspired by Asian street food.
  • Stephi’s on Tremont (571 Tremont St., South End, Boston): After a decade, this Stephi’s location has closed, following the recent closure of Stephi’s in Southie. (Stephanie’s on Newbury remains open.) The Bar Mezzana and Shore Leave team will take over the Tremont space.
  • Tom English’s (957 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, Boston): Boston loses another longtime dive bar.
  • VO2 Vegan Cafe (1001 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge): The Cambridge cafe (and attached yoga studio) are now closed, but the business may live on in the form of a food truck and/or catering operation. Its sister yoga business in Somerville remains open.