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The Food Influencers We Couldn’t Stop Watching in 2023

Clever restaurant reviewers, a great Portuguese grocer, and more

Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

To wrap up the year, Eater Boston polled both local journalists and readers of this site to get their thoughts on the past year in dining: the good, the bad, and the most exciting things to come in 2024. The results have been collected in the following series of posts. (Check out the full archive here.)

Below, we ask: Who was your favorite local food influencer to follow in 2023?

My favorite local influencer is probably Key aka @wannabestayathomedad, whom I follow on Instagram and talked to as a guest on The Common. His food reviews are very relatable and unpretentious.

— Darryl C. Murphy, host of WBUR’s daily news and culture podcast, The Common

I don’t know if they count as an influencer, but whoever is running the Instagram account for Portugalia Marketplace, the Portuguese specialty grocer in Fall River, is knocking it out of the park. They post a really fun mix of products, cultural events, and behind-the-scenes interviews with the folks behind the family-run business. And he’s not local, but their page introduced me to Harrison Weinfeld, AKA the Sardinfluencer, who’s based in LA. Fish puns and recipes using tinned fish was something I didn’t know I absolutely needed in my life.

— Nathan Tavares, freelance writer and Eater Boston contributor

Alexa Gagosz, who covers the Rhode Island food scene for the Globe. If you want to be informed about where to eat and what’s happening in the area, her Food & Dining newsletter is a must-subscribe.

— Devra First, restaurant critic for the Boston Globe

I’m kind of an anti-influencer who believes more in enjoying food and drink minus the selfies (though I do take lots of pictures of my meals). Having said that, I’m going to go with a wild card here, someone who is in the world of radio and is a bit outside of the area and posts dishes that encourage me to drive south time after time. Indeed, whenever I go on the social media page of Rob Hogan who is on Easy 99.1/WPLM-FM, I see what makes Rhode Island and the South Coast of Massachusetts one of the greatest regions in the country for food. Calamari? Check. Sheet pizza? Check. Fried scallops? Check. Stuffies? Check. Freshly-made pasta with broccoli? Check. I’m constantly asking Rob about places he goes to, mainly because his food photos are just so incredible, which, well, you know, maybe he IS an influencer in a way (just don’t tell him I said that).

— Marc Hurwitz, founder of Boston’s Hidden Restaurants and Boston Restaurant Talk, food/travel writer for NBC Boston/NECN

I really enjoy following recent Boston transplant Keonte Henson, @wannabestayathomedad, for his restaurant picks and grading system. He highlights a good spread of new and classic spots, and he’s just plain honest in the reviews. I’ll never forget when he tried the $27.99 cold lobster roll at James Hook + Co., shrugged, and was like, “$30 for this? I just don’t get it.”

I also cannot pull myself away from the chaotic, trauma-informed restaurant reviews from @chopstickmurphys. Just start here.

— Erika Adams, Eater Boston editor

Reader responses

Over 80 people took part in Eater Boston’s dining survey this year (thank you, all!). Below, find a sampling of local food influencers that readers loved to follow all year:

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The Biggest Surprises of 2016 Include the Still-Growing Restaurant and Craft Beer Bubbles

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