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: What restaurant debut are you most excited about in 2024?
I’ll be glad to have China Pearl back in Chinatown and see what Brian Moy (Shojo) has done with the place. I’m also excited for Gufo (and former SRV) chef Andrew Hebert’s modern take on Portuguese cuisine at Baleia.
More immediately, Mario’s Pizza, a hidden gem of a takeout and delivery place in Roxbury for a few years, is returning imminently with a new location in Jamaica Plain. Even though the new spot won’t have the full menu of Portuguese snacks from the former location (the cod fritters!!), my takeout rotation needs their New York-style pizza and I could not be more excited.
I’m curious to see what Chompon Boong Boonnak has in mind for his second act Merai, and how much it’ll differ from his award-winning Mahaniyom. I was also ecstatic when I heard my old haunt Jacob Wirth is staging a comeback. Though the food was less memorable, I remember the days when my coworkers and I would go for karaoke night, where we’d order beers by the stein and sit shoulder-to-shoulder at one of the communal tables with strangers. It wouldn’t matter if our singing was off-pitch, as the piano-playing and ambient noise would blanket our belting.
I’ve been really excited about Folio, the restaurant that’s attached to the Boston Athenaeum, to open sometime hopefully soon. And Small Victories, from the folks behind the Quiet Few, which is headed to Southie.
I’m very much looking forward to Merai, from the folks who run Thai favorite Mahaniyom. I’m also interested to see what the new vision is for Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen, an iconic space in Boston.
— Devra First, restaurant critic for the Boston Globe
The Donut Stand in Hopkinton. They currently have a weekend pop-up at the Vin Bin in Southborough, and I fill my belly there like I’m about to hibernate. I’m excited to see what they can do with their very own space.
— Matt Shearer, reporter for WBZ NewsRadio
What’s old is new again, and I cannot wait for Jacob Wirth to return to the Theater District next year. I’ve had so many great (and sometimes foggy) memories of the place, including the piano singalongs and the partaking of very strong German beers. And it sounds like they won’t mess with the original concept, which is good news indeed.
I can’t wait to see what the Mahaniyom team brings to their new concept Merai in Brookline. Every aspect of the Mahaniyom Thai menu is so well crafted, casting a wider net at Merai will bring exciting creative license.
I am really excited to see how cocktail expert Will Isaza (Blossom Bar, Birds of Paradise) translates his experience into coffee at Cafe Gloria, his first solo project in East Boston.
— Erika Adams, Eater Boston editor
— Rachel Leah Blumenthal, Boston Magazine food editor
Over 80 people took part in Eater Boston’s dining survey this year (thank you, all!). Below, find some of the top reader responses for most anticipated restaurant openings in the new year.