Winter has come and gone. COVID-19 numbers surged in Massachusetts and beyond earlier in the season but peaked and receded, bringing about the end, at least for now, to most local vaccine and mask mandates. But issues with the supply chain (a phrase some would like to see banished) continue. Labor shortages continue. Still, new restaurants are managing to open, and diners are eager to welcome the latest arrivals to the Boston-area dining scene.
Updated periodically throughout the season, this roundup highlights notable winter restaurant openings and reopenings in Boston and nearby; find the most recent updates at the top. (Know of a new restaurant that should be on Eater Boston’s radar? Get in touch here.)
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.
March 14, 2022: South Shore-style bar pizza arrives in Medford; a pop-up fisherman’s tavern is up and running in Cambridge; and more
ALLSTON, BOSTON — Lynn’s Yas Chicken has expanded to Allston (128 Brighton Ave.) as of March 11, serving fried chicken sandwiches, wings, tenders, chicken and waffles, and more — mostly fried treats, like tots, wonton mozzarella sticks, and gyoza. The Allston location also features a full bar.
CHARLESTOWN, BOSTON — Sullivan’s Public House is now open in the former space of Sullivan’s Pub (85 Main St.), with an Irish pub-style menu. It’s serving a bit of a Boston rarity, scotch eggs, as well as loaded potato soup, potato boxty, curry brick chicken, and more. To drink, there’s an affordable selection of wines and beers (including some local picks, like Night Shift and Notch), as well as a few cocktails, like an espresso martini and a black velvet (prosecco and Guinness).
CENTRAL SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE — “Pop-up fisherman’s tavern” McGuirk’s Folly is now up and running inside Middlesex Lounge (315 Massachusetts Ave.) for a limited run, with eventual hopes of finding a permanent space. The experimental restaurant is heavily focused on creating a sustainable, fair-wage business model. Local bartender Joe McGuirk (Highland Kitchen) and chef Pierce Kelley (Bondir) are behind the project, serving a pescatarian menu featuring local fish and vegetables. “It’s lighthearted, honest food and drink in a communal setting that honors the true meaning of community,” the team previously told Eater. Snag a reservation (required) before the pop-up runs its course in early April, and watch Instagram for updates on what comes next.
EAST CAMBRIDGE — At the Cambridge Crossing development across from Lechmere, a new Lamplighter Brewing Co. taproom is now open, Lamplighter CX (110 North First St.). There’s shuffleboard, local cheese and charcuterie boards, and a busy events calendar at the new space, which includes a blending and barrel-aging facility. See what’s currently on tap here.
HARVARD SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE — Local vegetarian chain Life Alive expanded to Harvard Square in March (its second Cambridge location, joining the 12-year-old Central Square spot). This is the first of two collaborations with Down Under School of Yoga, where customers can eat and drink Life Alive’s grain bowls, juices, and more while taking yoga, meditation, and other classes from Down Under under the same roof. A second such location will open in Boston’s South End in May.
BELMONT — The former Vicki Lee’s has reopened and rebranded as Ovenbird Café (105 Trapelo Rd.), following the sale of the cafe and bakery by Vicki Lee Boyajian to her longtime executive chef Jason Reed. Ovenbird will follow in Vicki Lee’s footsteps as a breakfast and lunch spot, “with throwbacks to some of Boyajian’s recipes” available at the bakery. Takeout is available now, with indoor dining starting on March 22.
MEDFORD — The former site of G.N.P. House of Pizza (51 High St.) is now home to another casual pizza shop, For Pizza, serving its own twist on South Shore-style bar pizza that includes a triple rise and a minimum of a two-day ferment. For Pizza’s pizza has that signature barely-there crust of a traditional bar pizza, noting that “crust is a waste of taste.” Several vegan options are available. Order takeout and delivery online.
SALEM — Lulu’s Bakery & Pantry (285 Derby St.) has opened in Salem after several years of pandemic-related challenges. Home to Fixx Chocolates, Lulu’s comes from industry vets Nikki and Jim Economides. Nikki, who founded Fixx almost a decade ago, is a longtime alum of the defunct Boston-area Finale dessert shops, where she served as corporate chef and director of restaurant operations. Jim is an alum of now-closed Cambridge landmarks East Coast Grill, the Blue Room, and the B-Side Lounge. Look for nods to Nikki’s native West Virginia, with snacks such as Mr. Bee Potato Chips, hot pepper butter, and pepperoni rolls on the menu.
March 7, 2022: Gigantic cookies, Amazonian fish, “croffles,” popular burritos, and more
ALLSTON, BOSTON — Cafe Weekend, a brunch and dessert cafe that aims to make “every day feel like the weekend,” is now open at 120 Harvard Ave., serving croffles (croissant waffles), breakfast sandwiches, French toast, and more.
BACK BAY, BOSTON — A New York-based bakery chain known for its enormous cookies, Levain Bakery, has expanded to Boston (180 Newbury St.), serving the cookies and other baked goods — all made in-house, not shipped from New York — alongside cafe beverages featuring local coffee roaster Fazenda. Read more here.
BRIGHTON, BOSTON — Boston’s first dedicated sake bar, the Koji Club, opened in February at the new Speedway marketplace in Brighton (which itself is not yet fully open — stay tuned for more vendors to debut later in the year). Drink and learn about sake; snack on Japanese curry empanadas and other small bites. Read more here.
DORCHESTER, BOSTON — One of Dorchester’s best Vietnamese restaurants, Anh Hong, closed at the end of 2021 when it lost its space, but fortunately it has been quickly reborn: It’s now part of Pho Hoa, another Dorchester Vietnamese mainstay. Find its seven-course beef menu and more — not to mention familiar faces from the Anh Hong team — at Pho Hoa (1370 Dorchester Ave.). Read more here.
And one more update for Dorchester: Now that Singh’s Roti has moved down the road (see January 3 update below), a new restaurant called Side Chick has opened in its old space at 692 Columbia Rd. — right across the street from a KFC. Early visitors are loving the crispy chicken sandwiches and more. (There’s a huge selection of sides, too, including “life-changing cauliflower.”)
DOWNTOWN BOSTON — This is sort of 20 openings, not just one, but giant downtown food hall High Street Place (100 High St.) finally opened on March 2, about three and a half years after the project was first publicly announced. It features 19 local food and drink vendors and a convenience store, serving everything from old-school pizza and grinders to gelato-stuffed cannoli to Champagne from a fancy vending machine. There are snacks, meals, desserts, and booze galore. Read more here.
Also downtown, the extraordinarily popular burrito shop Villa Mexico Cafe reopens today, March 7, at 121 Water St. Current hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays only, and there’s a limited menu to start — burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and beverages.
EAST BOSTON — Cafe Iterum is now open in Maverick Square (11 Father Jacobbe Rd.) with aims of sustainability and living wages (there’s a no-tipping policy.) On the menu: sandwiches, toasts, baked goods, cafe beverages, and more, with lots of options for various diets (gluten-free, vegan, etc.)
FORT POINT, BOSTON — In an area full of out-of-town upscale steakhouse chains, at least there’s a local option now: Beacon Hill mainstay Mooo has expanded to Fort Point (49 Melcher St.), taking over the former Bastille Kitchen space and serving dinner Tuesday through Saturday. (Eat steak, of course, but start with the wagyu dumplings, and leave some room for the complimentary Parker House rolls.) Keep it in mind for holiday parties and other events — there are three private dining rooms. Mooo is part of the Columbus Hospitality Group (Mistral, Sorellina, etc.), which is also turning its Burlington restaurant — formerly L’Andana — into a third Mooo, opening spring 2022.
SEAPORT DISTRICT, BOSTON — Thazia, a tiny Asian fusion restaurant operating out of a shipping container at the Innovation and Design Building (21 Drydock Ave.), debuted on February 22, 2022. It comes from Dakzen founder Panupak Kraiwong (who has since left Dakzen) and serves ramen-based fusion dishes with inspiration from Thailand and beyond. Read more here.
AGASSIZ, CAMBRIDGE — The Little Crepe Cafe has reopened at 102 Oxford St., between Porter and Harvard squares, under new ownership following a bit of a hiatus. The name says it all; it’s a little cafe that focuses on crepes.
HARVARD SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE — Local vegetarian chain Life Alive has partnered with Down Under School of Yoga to open the first of two planned collaborative locations (22 JFK St.) — take a yoga class; grab a veggie-packed grain bowl and juice. Stay tuned for an inside look at the new Harvard Square location later this week.
KENDALL SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE — The casual chain Dig (formerly known as Dig Inn) expanded to Kendall Square (1 Broadway) in March. With locations around New York City, the Boston area, and Philadelphia, Dig emphasizes seasonal, sustainable sourcing of its ingredients and serves green and grain bowls that are meant to be vegetable-focused (although there’s some chicken, beef, and salmon on the menu as well). This location seats 40 indoors and will offer seasonal sidewalk seating. It’s open daily for lunch and dinner, with takeout and delivery available.
OBSERVATORY HILL, CAMBRIDGE — The team behind Somerville’s acclaimed Peruvian restaurant Celeste has opened a new (and bigger) restaurant in Cambridge, La Royal (221 Concord Ave.). Where Celeste features ceviche and more in the style of Lima home-cooking, La Royal travels around the country and dials into various regional specialties, from an Amazonian whole steamed and grilled fish dish to a seafood soup from southern Peru to a rice and duck dish from the north. Read more here.
ASSEMBLY ROW, SOMERVILLE — One of Greater Boston’s local doughnut chains, Union Square Donuts, opens its fifth location today, March 7, bringing it back to Somerville where it all began. The new spot is part of the Assembly Row development on the eastern edge of Somerville (457 Grand Blvd.), serving its full range of doughnut flavors alongside cold brew, drip coffee, and various espresso drinks. Online ordering and delivery will start very soon, but for now, just show up. (This location has a lot of parking options.) Other Union Square Donuts locations can be found in Somerville’s Union Square, Brookline, Time Out Market Boston in Fenway, and Boston Public Market downtown.
In other Assembly Row news, juice bar and cafe Juicygreens, which serves an entirely vegetarian menu, opened March 1 at 495 Foley St. It’s the third location for Juicygreens, which can also be found in Jamaica Plain and in the West End food hall Hub Hall. The growing local chain comes from co-owners Ammy Lowney, a Boston public school teacher, and Michael Lowney, a family medicine doctor. The cafe, open for breakfast through early dinner daily, features cold-pressed juices, smoothies, coffee and espresso drinks, bowls, arepas, toasts, and more. While there’s a bit of seating available, this location is built to easily handle takeout and catering orders.
CHESTNUT HILL — New England brunch-y chain the Friendly Toast, known for its massive menu and quirky decor, has expanded again, this time opening at 199 Boylston St. in Chestnut Hill, the former Besito space at the Shops at Chestnut Hill. The chain’s longtime Kendall Square location closed during the pandemic, but other Massachusetts locations remain open in Boston’s Back Bay, Burlington, Danvers, and North Andover.
REVERE BEACH — Waterfront restaurant Mission Beach House opened in February at SpringHill Suites (400 Ocean Ave.). The bright and cheery space comes from the team behind Mission Oak Grill and Steeple Hall in Newburyport, Mission on the Bay in Swampscott, and the forthcoming Mission Boat House in Beverly. Mission Beach House serves plenty of seafood dishes (think chilled and raw towers, lobster dumplings, swordfish skewers, and more), tacos, pasta, steak, and lots more.
MARINA BAY, QUINCY — Quincy’s got a brand new brewery and taproom: Break Rock Brewing is open at 534 Victory Rd., serving a varied lineup of beers, including New England IPAs, a nitro dry Irish stout, a golden ale, and more. Well-behaved dogs are welcome at the taproom, as are well-behaved children (prior to 7:30 p.m.). Stay tuned: There’ll be patio seating available from the beginning of May to the end of October, and the team also hopes to eventually host regular food pop-ups. (For now, there are some simple snacks available, such as chips and cheese and cracker boards. Customers can also order from local restaurants or bring other outside food in but must provide their own plates and cutlery.)
MEDFORD — Vietnamese restaurant Pho Town 7 opened in March at 4110 Mystic Valley Pkwy. In addition to a large selection of pho, there are some rice and noodle dishes, rolls (egg, spring, etc.), and more.
February 14, 2022: A popular ramen shop returns, a poke shop expands downtown, and more
CHINATOWN, BOSTON — After a very long COVID hiatus, Shōjō’s sibling noodle shop Ruckus (5 Tyler St., Boston) reopened in February 2022. To start, the small, casual restaurant is serving a limited menu that focuses on tori miso ramen (spicy or not) with a 24-hour chicken and pork broth, noodles made in-house, grilled pork belly, soy marinated egg, ginger scallion oil, greens, butter, and togarashi. There are also a few ramen add-ons and sides available, such as Peking ravioli, and a concise selection of beer, sake, and soft drinks. Ruckus is open for lunch and dinner daily.
DOWNTOWN BOSTON — National poke chain Pokeworks added another Boston location at Faneuil Hall Marketplace on February 1, 2022; this location is under the same ownership as the ones in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, Cambridge’s Harvard Square, and Somerville’s Davis Square (plus a couple others in New England). Pokeworks serves customizable poke bowls, poke burritos, poke nachos, and such. The chain first arrived in the area in 2016 (the Somerville location), one of the first local spots to serve the now-ubiquitous Hawaiian seafood dish.
HARVARD SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE — Brighton’s popular Brato Brewhouse & Kitchen expanded to Cambridge in February 2022 by way of a partnership with music venue and restaurant the Sinclair (52 Church St., Cambridge), with the Brato team taking over kitchen operations at the restaurant. Fans of the original Brighton location will find similar offerings in Cambridge — such as hot chicken and Brato’s own bratwurst — but where the Brighton location features grilled cheese, Cambridge features South Shore-style bar pizzas. Read more here.
NORTH QUINCY — International Korean fried chicken chain BB.Q Chicken arrived at 60 Billings Rd., North Quincy, in February 2022, serving over a dozen flavors of chicken as wings, boneless tenders, or pieces of a whole chicken. A few variations on ddeok-bokki and some sides are also available. The chain also recently expanded to Lowell and has older locations in Boston’s Kenmore Square and Allston neighborhoods. A Malden outpost is coming soon.
February 9, 2022: Some favorite bars reopen, “casual fine dining” comes to South Boston, and more
ALLSTON, BOSTON — Taiwanese dessert chain Meet Fresh finally opened its long-planned Allston location (140 Brighton Ave., Boston), which is the first in Massachusetts, in late January 2022. Icy grass jelly and hot grass jelly options dominate the menu, and there are also some other desserts and a variety of hot and iced teas. Online ordering is available.
BACK BAY, BOSTON — Boston’s third location of Israeli chain Cafe Landwer opened in January 2022 at 653 Boylston St., Boston, connected to the Charlesmark Hotel. The all-day restaurant serves a broad Mediterranean menu that includes everything from shakshuka to babka to pasta to schnitzel, and there’s a grab-and-go market section and a full bar as well.
BEACON HILL, BOSTON — Teddy’s on the Hill (9 Bowdoin St., Boston) opened in late January 2022 in the space of the former Red Hat, which had operated for over a century. Teddy’s, per its website, “pays tribute to” the Red Hat and its history. The two-story bar serves comfort food like wings, Buffalo chicken dip, burgers, and quesadillas, and it’s featuring South Shore-style bar pizzas with a variety of toppings.
DOWNTOWN BOSTON — In the works since 2019, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse opened downtown in early 2022 (201 Washington St., Boston). The upscale chain, which has 20 locations around the United States and Asia, comes from a longtime Peter Luger Steak House alum, Wolfgang Zwiener. The menu, no surprise, mainly centers around steak, but there’s also a bit of seafood available. Reservations can be made online.
FENWAY, BOSTON — Juice alert: The Pressed chain opened at 148 Brookline Ave., Boston, in early February, its 100th store. (There are other local outposts in Harvard Square, Back Bay, and Wellesley.) Pressed sells juices, smoothies, and some vegan snacks and frozen desserts.
SOUTH BOSTON — Lenox Sophia (87 A St., Boston) opened in late January 2022 in the intimate space that was previously home to the original KO Pies location. Chef and owner Shi Mei, an alum of Asta and Mida, describes it as “casual fine dining” and always wanted to open a restaurant in a small space so diners could feel like they were eating in his home kitchen. Here’s a look at the current menu.
SOUTH END, BOSTON — Dorchester restaurant El Barrio Mexican Grill expanded to the SoWa section of Boston’s South End in early 2022 (809 Harrison Ave., Boston). The new location features a stunning greenery-covered wall and a menu full of burritos, quesadillas, tacos, and more. (Birria lovers take note: There are birria tacos and tortas available.)
EAST CAMBRIDGE — Atwood’s Tavern (877 Cambridge St., Cambridge) has happily reopened following extensive renovations. The cozy music venue and bar — which has one of the best hidden patios around — returned in February 2022, serving pub fare with lots of local sourcing. The music calendar has begun to fill up for April 2022 and beyond. Proof of vaccination required for indoor dining; takeout is also available.
INMAN SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE — A bar called New Republik opened in early 2022 in the former home of the Rising (1172 Cambridge St., Cambridge). It’s a rebirth, of sorts, of the now-closed Cambridge bar the People’s Republik, which closed in early 2021 when its owner retired. The People’s Republik’s former manager Patrick Gallivan and co-worker Maxwell Green are behind the new venue, which offers a lot of the same vibes, staffers, and menu items. Yes, there are darts.
PORTER SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE — Popular music venue Toad (1912 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge) reopened in February 2022 after a long hiatus; here’s the entertainment calendar. The intimate 21+ bar never charges a cover. Proof of vaccination required.
WEST NEWTON — Bluebird Bar & Wood-Fired Grill (1293 Washington St., West Newton) opened late last year, a self-described “dimly lit neighborhood bar” (complete with vinyl records) with some serious resumes behind it. The owners have quite a background in Boston bars and the liquor world: Patrick Sullivan opened the famed Cambridge bar B-Side Lounge back in the day (may it rest in peace) and cofounded Brick & Mortar, also in Cambridge; David Sardella spent over two decades managing the New England region for Maker’s Mark and other spirits. Bar manager Jordan Runion is also an alum of quite a few acclaimed local cocktail spots, including Green Street and Blossom Bar, and chef Bobby Sisson has worked in kitchens such as Sportello and Row 34. All this to say: This is a spot to watch. And maybe see Conan O’Brien. Here’s the menu.
SOMERVILLE — A revamped Thirsty Scholar Pub (70 Beacon St., Somerville), an Irish pub popular among soccer-watching crowds, reopened in February 2022 under new ownership after being closed the better part of a year. It’s currently open daily from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., with food until 11 p.m. — a concise menu of wings, nachos, burgers, and a couple other items. (Update: This article previously noted that Greater Boston Bar Co. — which reopened several area bars, such as the Tam and Sullivan’s Tap — is also behind the new Thirsty Scholar Pub, but that is incorrect. Steve Whalen, Fred Starikov, and Alan Sharaf are the new owners of Thirsty Scholar; Whalen and Starikov are separately involved in Greater Boston Bar Co.)
January 24, 2022: Ramsay’s beef Wellington arrives, a Somerville cafe adds a sandwich shop, and more
BACK BAY, BOSTON — Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who can’t stop launching television series where he shouts about food but also finds time to open approximately a billion restaurants in the United States and beyond — has opened his first Boston restaurant. Ramsay’s Kitchen debuted January 24, 2022, at the Mandarin Oriental in Back Bay (776 Boylston St., Boston), formerly home to celebrity chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant Bar Boulud Boston, which closed in 2020. As previously reported, Ramsay’s famous beef Wellington is on the menu (for a wallet-busting $59), along with dishes such as a lobster and clam bouillabaisse; braised lamb shank; and lobster rolls, both hot and cold.
Given its location inside a hotel, Ramsay’s Kitchen will eventually be open all day long, but to start, there’s lunch and dinner daily, with breakfast coming later this year. The large space includes a bar and lounge, main dining room, two private dining areas, raw bar, and seasonal patio. Reserve online.
UNION SQUARE, SOMERVILLE — Vinal Bakery, a local cafe known especially for its house-made English muffins, has added a sandwich-and-more shop next door, Vinal General Store (220 Somerville Ave.). To start, Vinal General Store is serving a takeout-only menu of six sandwiches, a salad, and iced coffee. Wine (“nice wine, no fuss”) and beer (“your favorite cans and bottles — cold!) are coming soon, as is a bit of seating. There are also a variety of local goods (yep, there’s Fluff) and merch available, because this is a general store after all. Current hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; watch Instagram for updates.
MEDFORD — Longtime Somerville pizza shop Pini’s Pizzeria has completed its move to a new location next door in Medford, the former Espresso Pizza space near Tufts (336 Boston Ave., Medford). Call (617) 628-8668 to order or stop by. (Somerville fans: You’re still in delivery range.)
HINGHAM — Brian Moy has expanded his popular Chinatown destination Shōjō out to Hingham with the debut of sibling spot Nomai, located at the Derby Street Shops (94 Derby St., Hingham). The Nomai team includes culinary director Jason Hua and executive chef Bradley Yard. Take a peek inside here; it’s a much larger, brighter space than Shōjō, which has more of an intimate but energy-packed nightlife vibe. Nomai, named for the crimson Japanese maple tree, serves new American food with Asian flavors, including dishes like Japanese crab risotto with black truffle; koji fried chicken with ginger-green scallion sauce, rainbow slaw, and Hainanese rice; and sea scallop with bacon jam, shishito pepper, yam, and kumquat. The restaurant is open for dinner daily; reserve online.
January 20, 2022: Gelato in the North End, ramen in the Leather District, a hard-to-find Mongolian dish in Waltham, and more
LEATHER DISTRICT, BOSTON — Fans of downtown ramen shop Amateras, known for its busy lunchtime crowds and ultra-spicy ramen options, feared it was closed permanently when it went on a long pandemic hiatus, promising an early 2021 reopening that didn’t materialize and then going radio silent for a while. Good news, though: It finally did return in late 2021. Find the latest menu on its website, including a spicy green monster ramen, “painful spicy” miso ramen, and more. Currently open for lunch and dinner, with a break in between, Monday through Thursday.
NORTH END, BOSTON — The prix fixe, family-style Italian restaurant Table and its sibling market Table Mercato now have a third sibling (and neighbor): Table Caffe opened in January at 396 Hanover St., Boston, serving Italian sweets, coffee, and gelato (with over a dozen flavors available, not to mention gelato sandwiches), along with a variety of packaged cookies and other treats imported from Italy. Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
THEATRE DISTRICT, BOSTON — Abby Lane replacement Nash Bar & Stage is now officially open at 253 Tremont St., Boston; see more details below in the January 3 update.
ARLINGTON — Japanese restaurant Toraya was forced to close unexpectedly at 890 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, in mid-2020 when its Arlington Center location was slated for demolition and redevelopment. As of the end of December 2021, owner Shinji Muraki has reopened the local sushi favorite nearby at 795 Massachusetts Ave., the former Retro Burger & Ice Cream location. (Retro Burger closed in late 2020.) The new Toraya is currently serving lunch Tuesday through Friday and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Check out the lunch, dinner, and a la carte sushi takeout menus online. Note: Hon wasabi — the good stuff — is available.
In other Arlington news, a casual Mediterranean restaurant called Fattoush is now open at 142 Massachusetts Ave., near the Capitol Theatre; early visitors have noted that there are ample options on the menu for vegetarian and vegan diners.
BROOKLINE VILLAGE — Village Social Club opened in January in the downstairs space at the Garrison House (6 Harvard Sq., Brookline). Billed as a music and cocktail lounge, it’ll start hosting live music soon, but for now, it’s open on weekend nights for food and drink — mac and cheese, poutine, and such. Both Village Social Club and the Garrison House are part of Hawkeye Hospitality Group, which also includes Five Horses Tavern in Somerville and Boston’s South End, Worden Hall in South Boston, and Elm Street Taproom in Somerville.
WALTHAM — A Lee 88 Chinese Restaurant opened at 922 Main St., Waltham, the former Jiang Nan space, late last year, reports Tatsu Ikeda on the Hungry Onion food forum. There’s Sichuan cuisine, but Ikeda notes that the thing to get is the Mongolian lamb shumai, an extremely hard-to-find dish that resembles large xiaolongbao but with a much thinner skin and with a flower petal-like embellishment at the top. Order delivery online via Chowbus or takeout directly.
January 3, 2022: The return of an ice cream icon in Cambridge’s Central Square, the debut of a three-story Mexican restaurant and tequila bar in Kendall Square, and more
DORCHESTER, BOSTON — Longtime Trinidadian gem Singh’s Roti Shop has moved down the road to a slightly larger space. It reopened in December at 554 Columbia Rd., right across from the Strand Theatre. In addition to roti, the doubles and the house-made hot sauce are a must. Online ordering is available.
THEATRE DISTRICT, BOSTON — Abby Lane has completed its transformation into Nashville-themed restaurant, bar, and music venue Nash Bar & Stage (253 Tremont St., Boston); the same team as Abby Lane, including chef and restaurateur Jason Santos (Buttermilk & Bourbon, Citrus & Salt), is behind it. Nash Bar & Stage held some preview events in December and a party on New Year’s Eve, but it’s not quite open for regular service yet; January 17 is the target date. More info to come when it opens fully, but for now, keep an eye on social media for updates, and get ready to eat “nashty” nachos, a crunchy chicken skin BLT, and pulled pork sliders with boozy cake shakes and cotton candy mimosas.
CENTRAL SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE — In Central Square’s Lafayette Square, ice cream icon Toscanini’s has made its triumphant return to its original space at 899 Main St. after four years, following the redevelopment of the building into the boutique hotel 907 Main. “Same beloved space, same small-batch ice cream,” says the popular shop, “but this time with a selfie wall!” It’s currently operating from noon to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The nearby location that opened in the meantime — 159 First St. in East Cambridge, near the mall — will remain in operation as well. Find hours and other information about each location on Toscanini’s website, and note that online ordering for pickup is available at the First Street location only.
Also in Central Square, bubble tea chain Möge Tee opened in December at 605 Massachusetts Ave. With nearly 400 locations worldwide, Möge serves cheese foam teas and other teas, with some locations also offering desserts like dorayaki and souffles. Keep up with the Cambridge location on social media. Elsewhere in Massachusetts, there are Möge outposts in Allston, Quincy, Lynnfield, Dedham, and Amherst.
HARVARD SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE — Wusong Road (112 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge) has begun to open in the former Les Sablons space with a limited menu, but expect a fuller opening later this winter. For now, the tiki bar portion of the restaurant is partially operating, with the roast duck portion still to come — watch the restaurant’s Instagram account for updates on hours and other details, and stay tuned here on Eater for an inside look at the new restaurant, coming soon. Wusong Road comes from Menton alum Jason Doo and Thomas Brush of Felipe’s Taqueria, and as Doo previously told Eater, it’s “essentially a love story of American Chinese restaurants.” (Doo’s family owned a Chinese restaurant in Malden, and he grew up in Cambridge.)
KENDALL SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE — With three floors full of tacos and margaritas — and one of those floors includes a roof deck with fire pits — Mex Taqueria & Bar (500 Technology Sq., Cambridge) opened in Kendall Square in late December. Eric Quadrino and Delio Susi, part of the team behind the new Mexican restaurant, are also behind two Kendall Square Italian restaurants, Sulmona and Amelia’s, With David Zimel, they opened Mexcito, a Mexican street food joint, in 2020 (also in Kendall Square), and now the trio is bringing tacos and more to the neighborhood on a larger scale at Mex, which is currently open for dinner Monday through Saturday — and tailor-made for private events in its various spaces. On the menu: plenty of tacos, including lamb barbacoa, octopus chorizo, and birria; charred street corn on or off the cob; spicy short rib empanadas; ceviche; and more; not to mention an extensive tequila list.
DAVIS SQUARE, SOMERVILLE — In the works since summer 2018, a poke bar called Waikiki is finally up and running at the former Johnny D’s site in Davis Square (17 Holland St., Somerville). Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, the new restaurant serves fruit teas and slushes, milk teas, juices and smoothies, and a variety of poke and salad bowls as well as sushi rolls. Online ordering is available.