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All the Boston Food News That Mattered in August 2019: From Cannoli to Comfort Food

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

A cannolo from Maria’s Pastry Shop in Boston’s North End, garnished with powdered sugar and stuffed with ricotta, sits on tissue paper on an outdoor table.
A cannolo from Maria’s Pastry, closing in September
Katie Chudy/Eater

August was a slower month in the Boston restaurant world than July, but a few high-profile new spots did debut, including a glamorous Italian-American restaurant in Fenway, an all-day rotisserie in Kendall Square, and a den of comfort food downtown. On the closure side, some long-timers bid farewell, including a 32-year-old Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown and a 26-year-old coffee shop in Cambridge.

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

Three burgers with buns colored green, yellow, and orange resemble Pokémon characters
PokéBar burgers, coming to Boston for a pop-up next year
The pop-up formerly known as PokéBar [Official Photo]
  1. A Beloved North End Pastry Shop Is Closing Its Doors in September: Maria’s Pastry Shop will serve its last cannoli later this summer.
  2. Suburban Boston Dining News, Updated Weekly: A round-up of restaurant openings, closings, and other news outside of the immediate Boston vicinity.
  3. NYC’s Famed Katz’s Deli Stops in Boston on Grand Pastrami Tour: The deli’s signature sandwich will briefly appear on Uber Eats in Boston in a collaboration with local sandwich shop Mike & Patty’s.
  4. Gotta Catch This Pokémon-Themed Pop-Up Bar in Boston Next Year: The so-called PokéBar will bring Pikachu burgers to Boston in May 2020.
  5. A Giant Den of ‘Redefined Comfort Food’ Opens in Downtown Boston: Here’s a look inside Lulu’s Allston alum Sarah Wade’s new restaurant, Stillwater.
  6. Eat So Much Chicken Right Now in Kendall Square: Shy Bird is now open in Cambridge, and sibling Branch Line’s sugar snap pea salad is on the menu.
  7. Tiffani Faison’s Italian-American Restaurant Debuts in Fenway: Orfano opened with house-made pastas and a mobile martini cart.
  8. Wild Ice Cream Flavors Come to Chestnut Hill: NYC’s OddFellows opened Friday, August 9, with banana splits, and later this year it’ll serve boozy ice cream floats.
  9. Cocktails Meet Art at Intimate New Somerville Bar: Create Gallery & Cocktail Lounge is now open at Bow Market in Union Square.
  10. Taco Bell Opens in Downtown Boston Soon: Get ready for Crunchwrap Supremes.

A paper plate of fried clams, fries, and onion rings sits in a cardboard tray on a red-and-white-checkered tablecloth
Chubby’s original fried clam plate at Woodman’s of Essex, an iconic Boston-area dish
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater
  1. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now: Boston’s best new hot spots, updated monthly.
  2. Boston’s Tourist Trap Restaurants That Are Actually Good: If you’re going to be obvious, do so in the best way possible.
  3. 26 Iconic Dishes Around Boston: Get to know the city and surrounding area with these essential eats.
  4. Boston’s Best Food and Drink Events: The local events you’ll actually want to attend, updated weekly.
  5. 16 Vital Brunch Spots to Know in and Around Boston: Whether you’re up for a classic dish, dim sum, or something with a little Southern flare, here are some essential Boston-area brunches that’ll knock your socks off.
  6. Summer Fridays: Food-Filled Day Trips Outside of Boston: Where to eat and drink on the Cape, in Portland, and elsewhere in New England.
  7. 17 Essential Boston Steakhouses: Where to eat steaks, chops, and creamed spinach in Boston.
  8. Dinner and a [Blank]: A series of recommendations for dinner dates centered around specific activities, such as ax-throwing or star-gazing.
  9. Where to Get a Drink on Nantucket: Spritzes and sunset views; cocktails under a tree; palomas and quesadillas.
  10. Where to Drink at the Movies in and Around Boston: Movie theaters that also double as bars are the best date spots.

Bucatini piled onto a decorative plate and topped with herbs at Orfano in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood
Bucatini at Orfano, now open in Fenway
JM Leach
  • Boba Me (1520 Tremont St., Mission Hill, Boston): Bubble tea, smoothies, flaming hot cheese fries, and more, right near the Roxbury Crossing T stop.
  • Carolicious (Inside Aeronaut Brewing, 14 Tyler St., Somerville): From founders Carolina Garcia and Carolina Salinas, Carolicious serves arepas and other Venezuelan snacks inside Aeronaut.
  • Chef Mike’s (73 Highland Ave., Needham): From Cutthroat Kitchen winner Mike Fucci, Chef Mike’s is a casual Italian joint, serving lasagna, meatballs, chicken piccata, sandwiches, and more.
  • Cosi (75 Middlesex Tpke., Burlington Mall, Burlington): The fast-casual chain — which filed for bankruptcy several years ago — has opened a new mall location, serving flatbreads, sandwiches, and more.
  • Create Gallery & Cocktail Lounge (1 Bow Market Wy., Bow Market, Union Square, Somerville): This space from Louis DiBiccari (Tavern Road) is a permanent take on his Create event series. There are cocktails on tap (the recipes are from top local bartenders) and art to look at and buy.
  • Dolce (272 Hanover St., North End, Boston): Gigi Gelateria, still under the same ownership, is now Dolce, serving sandwiches and other cafe fare, sheet pizzas, baked goods from its big sibling Bricco, and more.
  • Dugu (26 Park St., Medfield): West African fusion takeout and delivery business, sharing space with Sethji’s (see below.)
  • Ebisuya Noodle House (64 Summer St., Malden): A cash-only ramen joint from the owners of Ebisuya Market in Medford.
  • Kung Fu Tea and TKK Fried Chicken (1 Beale St., Quincy): This is the first Massachusetts location for Taiwanese fried chicken chain TKK; as with some of its other locations, it’s sharing space with bubble tea chain Kung Fu Tea.
  • OddFellows Ice Cream Co. (33 Boylston St., the Street, Chestnut Hill): This ice cream shop is a New York City export and specializes in funky flavors. Later this year, it’ll add booze on its own and in desserts, such as boozy floats.
  • Orfano (1391 Boylston St., Fenway, Boston): Italian-American food in a glitzy ambiance from Fenway empire builders Tiffani Faison and Kelly Walsh (Sweet Cheeks, Tiger Mama, Fool’s Errand).
  • Pai Kin Kao (80 River St., Central Square, Cambridge): Chick Chick Boom has been revamped into a Thai restaurant; ramen is also on the menu.
  • Pizzing’s Pizza & Wings (134 S Franklin St., Holbrook): Pizza, wings, calzones, burgers, quesadillas, and more.
  • Sethji’s (26 Park St., Medfield): South Indian takeout business, sharing space with Dugu (see above.)
  • Shy Bird (1 Broadway, Kendall Square, Cambridge): This Branch Line sibling offers similar food — rotisserie chicken, that sugar snap pea salad — but a more casual service model and all-day dining.
  • Stillwater (120 Kingston St., Downtown Boston): Chopped champion Sarah Wade — previously chef at Lulu’s Allston — is now serving “redefined comfort food” in her own giant space (the former Townsman address).
  • Taqueria el Barrio (1022 Commonwealth Ave., Brookline): Located near BU, this taco shop comes from Bisq’s Servio García and Alex Sáenz, who also just recently opened a new Bisq outpost at Time Out Market Boston.
  • Woops (South Shore Plaza, 250 Granite St., Braintree): This mall kiosk — part of a growing New York-based chain that also has several other Massachusetts locations — serves macarons in a variety of fun flavors, along with some other treats.
  • Yoi Sushi & Chinese Restaurant (16 Bow St., Union Square, Somerville): Chinese and Japanese food in the former Yuki Shabu space.
  • Zinneken’s (MarketStreet Lynnfield, 850 Market St., Lynnfield): This Cambridge-based shop serves “Belgian waffles made by actual Belgians.”

A bright restaurant space features light blue walls, wooden tables, and chairs with white metal bases
Tapestry’s Expo Kitchen side
Jared Kuzia/Dyer Brown Architects
  • Beantowne Coffee House (1 Kendall Sq., Kendall Square, Cambridge): Open for 26 years, this cafe was one of several 1 Kendall Sq. businesses affected by a 2015 fire but reopened the following year. The Hampstead, New Hampshire, location remains in operation.
  • Burger Dive (702 Grand Union Blvd., Assembly Row, Somerville): This casual Papagayo sibling had been serving burgers and boozy shakes to Assembly Row for seven years. A catering arm remains in operation, and a new Burger Dive, either full-service or fast-casual, may eventually open elsewhere — the team is looking around downtown Boston and the Seaport District in particular.
  • Common Ground (85 Harvard Ave., Allston, Boston): The neighborhood staple was known for its brunches and themed dance nights.
  • Jerusalem Pita (10 Pleasant St., Brookline): The Mediterranean and Israeli restaurant had been open for over a decade in Coolidge Corner before closing in mid-August.
  • Navy Yard Bistro (1 6th St., Charlestown, Boston): The Charlestown restaurant had been serving new American cuisine and wine since 2004. The lease is up, the landlord was looking for a change, and Navy Yard Bistro could reopen in some form or another elsewhere.
  • New Dong Khanh (83 Harrison Ave., Chinatown, Boston): This Vietnamese restaurant was open for over 30 years. It may be reborn in some way; stay tuned for updates.
  • Tapestry (69 Kilmarnock St., Fenway, Boston): This dual-concept restaurant featured the Expo Kitchen, a casual spot with Neapolitan-style pizza, bar snacks, and more, and the fancier Club Room. Its building is being redeveloped.
  • Zambrero (71 Mt. Auburn St., Harvard Square, Cambridge): This Australian-based casual Mexican food chain partnered with an international hunger relief non-profit to donate one meal for every meal sold. It had been open a little over a year and was the only New England location aside from one in Warwick, Rhode Island, which remains open.