clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2022 at Boston-Area Restaurants

Takeout, delivery, and dine-in options, from sticky rice-stuffed duck to longevity noodles

A whole roasted duck is displayed on a table, with a rice and sausage filling tumbling out of it and ingredients scattered on the table around it.
Pagu is featuring a takeout feast centered around this sticky rice-stuffed duck.
Tracy Chang/Pagu

The Lunar New Year starts on February 1 this year, celebrated by millions worldwide. It’s an important and festive holiday for numerous East Asian and Southeast Asian communities, and while traditions differ from one to the next, there are common themes of good fortune, prosperity, and other hopes for the new year — and there are plenty of special foods to eat, of course.

Below, find a sampling of special dishes and menus at restaurants and bakeries in and around Boston, with many of the offerings available from late January into early February.

It’s also a great time to give Boston’s Chinatown restaurants some extra support; the neighborhood took a major financial hit earlier than most in the first weeks of the pandemic thanks to a combination of travel bans, misinformation, and racism. A year later, businesses were still suffering; last year’s Lunar New Year saw a much quieter neighborhood than usual. Hopefully 2022 will be the year that everything turns back around. Of course, pandemic challenges continue to plague restaurants citywide (and beyond), but takeout and delivery are widely available for those who aren’t dining indoors yet. Here are some excellent restaurants to visit in Chinatown, and here are some of the neighborhood’s best bakeries.

Beyond food, stop by the Chinese New Year flower market in Chinatown through January 31 to pick up flowers and other celebratory accoutrements for the New Year; it runs 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at 681-683 Washington St., Boston. Plus, there’s the annual Chinese New Year parade, which starts at 11 a.m. on February 13 in Phillips Square (1 Harrison Ave., Boston) in Chinatown. Stick around for the Chinese New Year cultural village following the parade; it’ll be up and running until 3 p.m. by the China Trade Building (2 Boylston St., Boston) with lantern-making, dancing, and other crafts and entertainment.

Boston’s other major Lunar New Year celebration is Tết in Boston, taking place on February 6 at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal (1 Black Falcon Ave., Boston) in the Seaport District. It’s the annual Vietnamese Lunar New Year festival and includes food vendors, performances, and more. Buy a ticket online for $1 or pay $2 at the door (cash only).


Takeout Options

District Kitchen
2 Florence St., Malden

From January 30 through February 6, District Kitchen is featuring a special Lunar New Year menu with dishes such as crispy sea bass, slow-cooked pork shoulder, assorted dumplings, twin lobsters, braised pork meatballs, and more. Find online ordering links for takeout and delivery on the restaurant’s website, as well as a reservation link.

Gong Cha
Multiple Boston-area locations

The international bubble tea chain — which has local stores in Dorchester, Allston, Malden, Quincy, and beyond — is distributing traditional Chinese red envelopes to customers with purchase of any three drinks from January 30 through February 1. Some of the envelopes, which represent prosperity and good luck, contain offers such as discounts on drinks or free toppings, and there’s a chance to win a year of free Gong Cha.

Maca
Bow Market, 1 Bow Market Way, Somerville

The macaron shop had a Lunar New Year box presale earlier in the month, but a few individual macarons remain; find them in the characters section of the online store for local pickup, delivery, and shipping. As of press time, lucky kitties (black sesame), red lanterns (sweet red bean), and tigers (pandan) remain in stock.

Mei Mei and Small & Sweet Bake Pop-Up at Arc’teryx
352 Newbury St., Boston

Pre-order Mei Mei dumplings, Small & Sweet cupcakes, or both to pick up at outdoor gear store Arc’teryx’s Lunar New Year celebration on January 30. (There’ll be “other surprises in store,” too.) Mei Mei will be onsite from noon to 6 p.m. and Small & Sweet will be there from 1 to 3 p.m.

Mimi’s Chūka Diner at Artifact Cider Project
438 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Mimi’s, the dumpling-and-more pop-up that is currently in residency at Artifact’s Cambridge taproom, has a Lunar New Year meal kit available for preorder and pickup at Artifact on February 1, starting at 4:30 p.m. The three-course meal — available for two people ($61) or four ($116) — is ready in about 30 minutes, with minimal prep. On the menu: shiitake and scallion longevity noodles; mochiko lemon pepper half chicken; and butter mochi with matcha creme anglaise. And there’s Artifact cider included, too — a mixed four-pack of limited release Groove Steady and Red Field. Pre-order online.

Pagu
310 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Pagu is featuring a big takeout feast that feeds four ($299) for pickup at the restaurant on January 30, between 2 and 5 p.m.; there’s also a Lexington pickup option on January 29, between 2 and 3 p.m. A second pickup date (at Pagu or in Newton) is on February 5. The star of the show is the whole Pekin duck stuffed with sticky rice with Taiwanese sausage, but there’s also Taiwanese beef noodle soup, grandma’s Taiwanese-style rice cakes, umami XO green beans, and adzuki mochi a la plantxa. Pre-order online.

Pon de Joy
1 Brighton Ave., Allston

The mochi doughnut sibling of Allston’s popular Kimchipapi Kitchen is featuring a special doughnut, white tiger, in celebration of Lunar New Year — white chocolate with gold leaf. Find it at the shop (which is located inside the Super 88) from January 29 through February 1.

Sumiao Hunan Kitchen
270 Third St., Cambridge

From January 31 through February 15, Sumiao is celebrating Chinese New Year with a variety of specials, available for dine-in and takeout, and each diner will receive a red envelope. Special dishes include duck yolk breaded gold pumpkin, globe steamed pork, holiday family steak tip, steamed whole tilapia, and more. Find reservation, takeout, and delivery links on the restaurant’s website.

Viet Citron
47 Middlesex Tpke., Burlington

“It’s a tradition during Tết to serve Chè Trôi Nước, warm mung bean mochi in coconut and ginger sugar,” notes the Burlington Vietnamese restaurant on Instagram. “It brings good luck and prosperity. Our family would like to share this tradition with our guests.” It will be available at the restaurant from February 2 through 4.

Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea
215 Newbury St., Boston

Show this Facebook post to the cashier to get 10% off any purchase on February 1. The shop serves fruit teas, brown sugar pearl lattes, and other tea-based beverages.


In-Person Dining

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. Note that as of January 15, 2022, restaurants in the city of Boston are required to check for proof of vaccination for customers dining indoors.

District Kitchen
2 Florence St., Malden

See details in the takeout section above.

Myers & Chang
1145 Washington St., Boston

The South End restaurant is featuring a special Lunar New Year menu from January 31 through February 2, including dishes such as longevity noodles with shrimp; steamed whole fish; tiger-striped shishito peppers; and more. It’s all available a la carte, or feed two for $100 with one of each special (five dishes) and white or brown rice. Reserve online.

Red 8
Encore Boston Harbor, 1 Broadway, Everett

From January 31 through February 6, the casino restaurant is offering a prix fixe Lunar New Year menu (in addition to its regular menu) for two ($180), four ($360), or six ($540). The menu starts with a variety of appetizers, including sliced five-spice duck; crispy shrimp and taro roll; braised, sliced beef shank; and more. Then there’s braised fish maw soup with wolf berries, followed by several entrees, including braised pork knuckles with sea moss and golden oysters; steamed fresh loup de mer with ginger, scallion, and soya broth; and more. And dessert includes several dishes, too, such as chrysanthemum jelly cake. Reserve online.

Sumiao Hunan Kitchen
270 Third St., Cambridge

See details in the takeout section above.

Urban Hearth
2263 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Hosted by Urban Hearth staff members Ali Garvin and Tong Lee, who celebrate Lunar New Year with their families, this February 1 dinner is a family-style menu inspired by traditional holiday recipes from China, Korea, and Vietnam, including a 10-vegetable pickle amuse, various dumplings, Korean short ribs, and more, as well as special cocktails. Customers will leave with traditional red envelopes as well as a staff-made zine that includes recipes, descriptions of holiday traditions, and more. $65/person; reserve online (indoor and outdoor options available).

Viet Citron

47 Middlesex Turnpike, , MA 01803 (781) 739-3655 Visit Website

Mei Mei (Boston)

506 Park Dr., Boston, MA 02215 (857) 250-4959 Visit Website

Sumiao Hunan Kitchen

270 Third Street, , MA 02142 (617) 945-0907 Visit Website

Kimchipapi Korndogs and Pon De Joy

1 Brighton Ave., Allston, MA 02134

Pagu

310 Massachusetts Avenue, , MA 02139 (617) 945-9290 Visit Website

maca at Bow Market

1 Bow Market Way, , MA 02143 (617) 539-6227 Visit Website

Urban Hearth

2263 Massachusetts Avenue, , MA 02140 (617) 682-7295 Visit Website

Myers+Chang

1145 Washington Street, , MA 02118 (617) 542-5200 Visit Website

Artifact Cider Project

438 Massachusetts Avenue, , MA 02139 (617) 714-4076 Visit Website

Bow Market

1 Bow Market Way, , MA 02143 Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Boston newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter.