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Metal trays filled with dumplings, egg sandwiches with scallion pancakes, and side salads, sitting on a wooden table in the sunlight.
Mei Mei’s crowd-favorite dumplings are back in Boston.
Mel Taing/Mei Mei

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Boston’s 8 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2023

It’s going to be an outstanding year for dining out across the city

While last year sparked a number of head-turning openings around Boston, from Hong Kong-style cafe Rubato in Quincy to the slick new Brighton bar Birds of Paradise, things are really kicking into gear in 2023. This year is shaping up to be one of rebirth — dumpling destination Mei Mei is back in play, as is Fenway icon Eastern Standard — plus expansions from the city’s major restaurant groups, and some highly anticipated new beginnings from talented independent restaurateurs. Read on to check out eight of Boston’s most exciting restaurant openings this year.


Mei Mei Dumpling Factory

Anticipated opening: January

Mei Mei, the fan-favorite dumpling destination that closed its restaurant doors amid the pandemic, is just about ready for its reintroduction. Mei Mei’s team has moved into an all-new, 4,000-square-foot factory and cafe in South Boston where they’ll be serving ready-to-eat food from a cafe, hosting dumpling-making classes, and packaging dumplings for wholesale customers. That means the sorely missed Double Awesome — two poached-and-fried eggs wrapped in a crispy scallion pancake — is coming back, along with piles and piles of dumplings. Heads up: The January 21 grand opening event is no longer accepting RSVPs, but the team will be welcoming in customers regularly starting on January 26. 58 Old Colony Avenue, within the Iron Works real estate development, South Boston


Comfort Kitchen

Anticipated opening: January

Good things come to those who wait: Comfort Kitchen, the highly anticipated cafe and restaurant from Biplaw Rai, Kwasi Kwaa, Nyacko Pearl Perry, and Rita Ferreira is just about ready to kick off service in Dorchester after a years-long road to opening. The restaurant spotlights global comfort food through the lens of the African diaspora — past pop-up menus have included jerk-roasted duck and za’atar brown butter trout — and it is located inside the historic Boston landmark Comfort Station at Upham’s Corner. 611 Columbia Road, near Stoughton Street, Dorchester


A man in a white chef’s coat and glasses stands smiling at the camera.
Chef Brendan Pelley.
Jimmy Pineapple/Xenia Greek Hospitality

Bar Vlaha

Anticipated opening: February

The restaurant group responsible for Boston’s hippest Greek restaurants and bars, including Krasi and Hecate in Back Bay, is turning their attention to Brookline for their next big opening. Bar Vlaha will be a rural Greek restaurant focused on the food of the Vlachs, an ethnic group of nomadic shepherds in Greece. Chef Brendan Pelley, the culinary director for the group, is leading the menu at the new spot, which will include hearty breads, pies, and spit-roasted meats. 1653 Beacon Street, between Winthrop Road and University Road, Brookline


Caveau

Anticipated opening: March

COJE, the restaurant group behind stylish, party-ready venues like Mexican restaurant Lolita and luxurious bar and restaurant Yvonne’s (in the iconic former Locke-Ober space) is aiming to engineer another hit with the opening of Caveau near Government Center. The group, which is no stranger to creating the type of place that straddles the line between restaurant and nightclub (they also own Cuban restaurant Mariel and its subterranean nightclub, Mariel Underground), is leaning more into the nightclub atmosphere at Caveau, where there will be a yet-to-be-announced dinner menu in a lounge setting. 1-3 Center Plaza, Downtown Boston


A close-up photo of brown chocolate chip cookies on a sheet of brown parchment paper.
Buckwheat chocolate chunk cookies from Michette.
Michette

Michette

Anticipated opening: March

Attorney-turned-baker Thomas Ferté is behind the upcoming East Somerville spot Michette, a French-style bakery that shows off Ferté’s previous training at Parisian bakeries Farine&O and Le Boulanger de la Tour. Don’t want to wait until March to try the goods? Ferté has been selling items like sourdough focaccia, salted caramel cannelés, and buckwheat chocolate chunk cookies for pick-up while the bakery is still under construction. 164 Broadway, near Cross Street, Somerville


A woman and a man stand smiling at the camera. The man has his arm around the woman’s shoulders.
Nia Grace and Big Night founder Ed Kane.
Grace by Nia

Grace by Nia

Anticipated opening: April

Overall opinions about the Seaport aside, Grace by Nia will be a fun catch for the developing neighborhood. Run by Darryl’s Corner Bar and Kitchen owner Nia Grace, in partnership with nightlife and restaurant hospitality group Big Night, the new spot will combine Southern soul food roots with New England fare — hush puppies, corn muffins, and lobsters are all fair game here — plus there will be a live music roster. (Grace’s other big upcoming project in Roxbury, Jazz Urbane Cafe, is slated for 2024, Grace says.) 60 Seaport Boulevard, between Sleeper Street and Fan Pier Boulevard, Seaport


The Eaves

Anticipated opening: Spring 2023

Vietnamese coffee shop sensation Cicada Coffee Bar in Cambridge is about to get a sibling in Somerville. Owners Vinh Le and Duong Huynh are in the thick of building out the Eaves, their forthcoming new restaurant in Somerville’s Bow Market. Details are light on the menu so far, but they’ve been publicizing some dish testing on Instagram, including a variety of duck preparations. 1 Bow Market Way, at Somerville Avenue, Somerville


A red awning depicting the Eastern Standard restaurant in Kenmore Square in Boston on June 11, 2020.
The former home of Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square.
Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Eastern Standard

Anticipated opening: Summer 2023

The legendary Boston brasserie, beloved by the public and industry insiders alike, is making a comeback in 2023. Restaurateur Garrett Harker is bringing back the rollicking restaurant along with three other venues — cocktail bar Equal Measure, led by the group’s former beverage director, Jackson Cannon, as well as two yet-to-be-announced spots, a cafe and an oyster bar — all within walking distance of where the original restaurant once stood. Each of the spots will be located inside the shiny new Bower apartment complex in Fenway. 771 Beacon Street, near Maitland Street, Fenway

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