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Duck at Café du Pays
Duck at Cafe du Pays
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now, December 2017

So hot right now

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Duck at Cafe du Pays
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

More often than not, tipsters, readers, and friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, and where to get the latest seafood tower or poutine or loco moco.

While the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the "it" places of the moment. Thus, we offer the Eater Heatmap, which is updated monthly to always highlight where the crowds are flocking at the moment, focusing on restaurants that have been open for under six months.

The December 2017 update includes the addition of Citrus & Salt in Back Bay, Smoke Shop in Fort Point, and Fat Baby in South Boston. To see what used to be on the map, visit the archive.

For all the latest Boston dining intel, subscribe to Eater Boston's newsletter.

Please note that the map items are ordered geographically from north to south; they are not ranked.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Pammy's

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928 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 945-1761
Visit Website
Dubbing itself a "new American trattoria," this Italian-ish, fireplace-bedecked addition to the stretch of Massachusetts Avenue between Central and Harvard squares is full of warm hospitality, pastas made from flour milled in-house, irresistible desserts, and a fun bar scene. With a massive communal table right down the center of the dining room, decorated with bright flowers and crunchy breadsticks, Pammy's feels like an extension of owners Chris and Pam Willis' home.

Editor picks: lumache bolognese with gochujang; Arctic char with farro and strawberries; crostata with honey ice cream; In Other Words cocktail.

Read more: Pammy’s: A Pasta-Filled Home Away From Home

2. Café Du Pays

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233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 314-7297
Visit Website
A great cry went up when Hungry Mother closed two years ago, but now the team behind it (minus chef Barry Maiden, who departed prior to the closure) has revamped the space into something entirely new — and quite new for the Boston area in general, too. Café Du Pays serves French-Canadian cuisine, from "yes, we have poutine" to pork and venison meat pies to tarte au sucre, as well as a beer selection that emphasizes Canadian brews. It's the Eater Boston Restaurant of the Year for 2017.

Editor picks: poutine; ham and Dijon with house-made bread and butter; half duck with smoked leg and tomato salad.

Read more: Café du Pays Arrives Today With French-Canadian Food Galore

3. Yume Ga Arukara

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1815 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
Tsuyoshi Nishioka is at it again. This is his udon-filled sequel to the nearby Yume Wo Katare, a ramen shop of dreams. (No, really: Diners are encouraged to finish their giant bowls of ramen and then stand up and discuss their hopes and dreams out loud.) At Yume Ga Arukara, located within the Porter Exchange food court, the menu consists solely of niku udon, a beef and noodle dish with optional extra beef and/or extra noodles.

Read more: Yume Wo Katare Dreams up an Udon Sibling

Niku udon at Yume Ga Arukara/Facebook

4. Field & Vine

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9 Sanborn Ct
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 718-2333
Visit Website
Words like "sustainable," "seasonal," and "house-made" have perhaps become a tad overused in the restaurant world, but that's not fair to restaurants like Somerville's new Field & Vine, located in the former Journeyman space. There, those words truly form the basis for the restaurant's ethos. Sneak into this hidden space to experience the joy of grilled vegetables, ever-changing crudos, and a hearty Parisian gnocchi that'll get you through the coming winter.

Editor picks: focaccia with house-made butter; grilled beets; Parisian gnocchi; chocolate lavender pot de creme.

Read more: Field & Vine Opens Wednesday in Somerville’s Union Square

A spread of Field & Vine dishes/Facebook

5. Anoush'ella Saj Kitchen

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35 W Newton St
Boston, MA 02118
(857) 265-3195
Visit Website
Dubbing itself "fine casual," this new addition to the South End features Eastern Mediterranean food, particularly thin flatbreads (m'anoush) made on a convex griddle called a saj. Some of those flatbreads are even sweet, like the chocolate m'anoush, spread with Nutella, strawberry, banana, cinnamon, honey, and granola. Along the same lines, the restaurant's name means "may it be sweet" in Armenian.

Read more: Anoush’ella Saj Kitchen Opens in the South End

A spread of food at Anoush'ella/Provided

6. Momi Nonmi

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1128 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
Chris Chung — who formerly ran the acclaimed AKA Bistro out in Lincoln — is serving up a beautiful taste of Japan (with a hint of Hawaii) out of this cozy Inman Square space, from elaborate lunchtime bento boxes to late-night loco moco. Chung describes Momi Nonmi as a "modern izakaya" — think a gastropub, but in Japan — so the beverage program, courtesy of sommelier and sake enthusiast Stephen Connolly, is just as important as the food. And there's shochu, too.

Editor picks: Wagyu dumplings; Hien's special bronzini; rock shrimp tempura; edamame croquettes; duck confit onigiri.

Read more: Momi Nonmi Brings Sashimi and Sake to Cambridge This Week

Food at Momi Nonmi Hien Nguyen for Momi Nonmi

7. Better Bagels

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83 Seaport Blvd
Boston, MA 02210
Better Bagels is the latest successful pop-up to open a brick-and-mortar location (which seems to be an especially popular move in the bagel realm, from now-established spots like Bagelsaurus in Cambridge to the forthcoming Exodus in Roslindale and Rover up in Maine). At Better Bagels' new Seaport shop, open from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, find a variety of breakfast and lunch bagel sandwiches, not to mention a range of spreads, including lox, candied bacon cream cheese, and sweet basil butter.

Read more: Better Bagels Arrives in the Seaport District With a Sold-Out First Weekend

8. Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar

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253 Summer St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 369-0931
Visit Website
A Back Bay staple for tacos, tequila, and other Mexican-inspired fare has expanded over to Fort Point. The new location is a dark, sprawling space that features plenty of skulls, a swanky lounge area, and some striking murals and stained glass to round out the decor. Head to this Yvonne's and Ruka sibling for everything from a tequila flight to a guacamole trio, not to mention octopus ceviche, hot queso dip, and grilled street corn. It's the Eater Boston Design of the Year winner for 2017.

Read more: Lolita Debuts a Swanky Sequel in Fort Point

9. Eventide Fenway

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1321 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 545-1060
Visit Website
Perhaps the most hotly anticipated opening of the year, Eventide Fenway is the counter-service counterpart to the acclaimed Eventide Oyster Co. up in Portland, Maine. Rabid fans have been waiting anxiously to get their hands on Eventide's signature brown butter lobster roll down in Boston proper, and the day has finally arrived. Go all out with oysters, lobster rolls, high-end bubbles, and more; keep things more casual with house-made sodas, a fish sandwich or burger, and some soft-serve ice cream; or choose anything in between — the casual spot is meant to be a fit for a variety of dining experiences. It's the Eater Boston Fast-Casual Restaurant of the Year for 2017.

Editor picks: brown butter lobster roll; fries; green salad.

Read more: Eventide Fenway Brings the Best of Portland to Boston

Overhead view of a dozen oysters on ice on an elongated silver tray with sauces and a lemon wedge Sarah Storrer for Eater

10. The Smoke Shop

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343 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 261-7427
Visit Website
It's been a Kendall Square hit since opening last year, and now Andy Husbands's barbecue joint, the Smoke Shop, has taken over the former Tavern Road space in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood as well. Be sure to start with an order of the agave-glazed "best bar wings," and then consider a wide variety of meaty combos and sides. Brisket or burnt ends are always a solid bet. And whiskey, of course. So much whiskey.

Read more: The Smoke Shop Will Open in Fort Point Tomorrow

Two hands, wearing black gloves, hold a piece of barbecue meat above a wooden counter Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

11. Citrus & Salt

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142 Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02116
(833) 324-8787
Visit Website
Like Buttermilk & Bourbon? Its new sister restaurant, Citrus & Salt, has an analogous menu: Buttermilk has oyster chowder; Citrus has crab and cactus chowder. Buttermilk has bourbon ale steamed mussels with tasso ham; Citrus has tequila and chipotle steamed mussels with chorizo. Citrus & Salt, which veers Mexican, features a lovely renovation to the Back Bay Harry's space, crowd-pleasing cocktails, and boozy Dole Whips. Do not miss the biscuits.

Editor picks: warm agave-glazed blue cornmeal biscuits; duck confit flautas; Dole Whip with aged rum.

Read more: Citrus & Salt Opens Soon, and There Will Be Dole Whips

citrus & salt Sarah Storrer for Eater

12. Fat Baby

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118 Dorchester St
Boston, MA 02127
(617) 766-3450
Visit Website
Southie hotspot Loco Taqueria has given birth to a new sibling nearby. Fat Baby is serving up a menu that zooms around East Asia and beyond, offering everything from sushi to pork belly ramen to chicken banh mi bao. On the drink side, there's a mai tai, plenty of cocktails that include fruit purees, a sake sangria, and more. Eat some sushi, drink some sake, and take in the ambiance, from the giant murals throughout the dining room to the photographs of fat babies that are posted on the restroom wall.

Read more: Fat Baby Is Born in Southie Tomorrow With Sake Sangria and Sushi

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1. Pammy's

928 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Dubbing itself a "new American trattoria," this Italian-ish, fireplace-bedecked addition to the stretch of Massachusetts Avenue between Central and Harvard squares is full of warm hospitality, pastas made from flour milled in-house, irresistible desserts, and a fun bar scene. With a massive communal table right down the center of the dining room, decorated with bright flowers and crunchy breadsticks, Pammy's feels like an extension of owners Chris and Pam Willis' home.

Editor picks: lumache bolognese with gochujang; Arctic char with farro and strawberries; crostata with honey ice cream; In Other Words cocktail.

Read more: Pammy’s: A Pasta-Filled Home Away From Home

928 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

2. Café Du Pays

233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave, Cambridge, MA 02141
A great cry went up when Hungry Mother closed two years ago, but now the team behind it (minus chef Barry Maiden, who departed prior to the closure) has revamped the space into something entirely new — and quite new for the Boston area in general, too. Café Du Pays serves French-Canadian cuisine, from "yes, we have poutine" to pork and venison meat pies to tarte au sucre, as well as a beer selection that emphasizes Canadian brews. It's the Eater Boston Restaurant of the Year for 2017.

Editor picks: poutine; ham and Dijon with house-made bread and butter; half duck with smoked leg and tomato salad.

Read more: Café du Pays Arrives Today With French-Canadian Food Galore

233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave
Cambridge, MA 02141

3. Yume Ga Arukara

1815 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140
Niku udon at Yume Ga Arukara/Facebook
Tsuyoshi Nishioka is at it again. This is his udon-filled sequel to the nearby Yume Wo Katare, a ramen shop of dreams. (No, really: Diners are encouraged to finish their giant bowls of ramen and then stand up and discuss their hopes and dreams out loud.) At Yume Ga Arukara, located within the Porter Exchange food court, the menu consists solely of niku udon, a beef and noodle dish with optional extra beef and/or extra noodles.

Read more: Yume Wo Katare Dreams up an Udon Sibling

1815 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

4. Field & Vine

9 Sanborn Ct, Somerville, MA 02143
A spread of Field & Vine dishes/Facebook
Words like "sustainable," "seasonal," and "house-made" have perhaps become a tad overused in the restaurant world, but that's not fair to restaurants like Somerville's new Field & Vine, located in the former Journeyman space. There, those words truly form the basis for the restaurant's ethos. Sneak into this hidden space to experience the joy of grilled vegetables, ever-changing crudos, and a hearty Parisian gnocchi that'll get you through the coming winter.

Editor picks: focaccia with house-made butter; grilled beets; Parisian gnocchi; chocolate lavender pot de creme.

Read more: Field & Vine Opens Wednesday in Somerville’s Union Square

9 Sanborn Ct
Somerville, MA 02143

5. Anoush'ella Saj Kitchen

35 W Newton St, Boston, MA 02118
A spread of food at Anoush'ella/Provided
Dubbing itself "fine casual," this new addition to the South End features Eastern Mediterranean food, particularly thin flatbreads (m'anoush) made on a convex griddle called a saj. Some of those flatbreads are even sweet, like the chocolate m'anoush, spread with Nutella, strawberry, banana, cinnamon, honey, and granola. Along the same lines, the restaurant's name means "may it be sweet" in Armenian.

Read more: Anoush’ella Saj Kitchen Opens in the South End

35 W Newton St
Boston, MA 02118

6. Momi Nonmi

1128 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Food at Momi Nonmi Hien Nguyen for Momi Nonmi
Chris Chung — who formerly ran the acclaimed AKA Bistro out in Lincoln — is serving up a beautiful taste of Japan (with a hint of Hawaii) out of this cozy Inman Square space, from elaborate lunchtime bento boxes to late-night loco moco. Chung describes Momi Nonmi as a "modern izakaya" — think a gastropub, but in Japan — so the beverage program, courtesy of sommelier and sake enthusiast Stephen Connolly, is just as important as the food. And there's shochu, too.

Editor picks: Wagyu dumplings; Hien's special bronzini; rock shrimp tempura; edamame croquettes; duck confit onigiri.

Read more: Momi Nonmi Brings Sashimi and Sake to Cambridge This Week

1128 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139

7. Better Bagels

83 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA 02210
Better Bagels is the latest successful pop-up to open a brick-and-mortar location (which seems to be an especially popular move in the bagel realm, from now-established spots like Bagelsaurus in Cambridge to the forthcoming Exodus in Roslindale and Rover up in Maine). At Better Bagels' new Seaport shop, open from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, find a variety of breakfast and lunch bagel sandwiches, not to mention a range of spreads, including lox, candied bacon cream cheese, and sweet basil butter.

Read more: Better Bagels Arrives in the Seaport District With a Sold-Out First Weekend

83 Seaport Blvd
Boston, MA 02210

8. Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar

253 Summer St, Boston, MA 02210
A Back Bay staple for tacos, tequila, and other Mexican-inspired fare has expanded over to Fort Point. The new location is a dark, sprawling space that features plenty of skulls, a swanky lounge area, and some striking murals and stained glass to round out the decor. Head to this Yvonne's and Ruka sibling for everything from a tequila flight to a guacamole trio, not to mention octopus ceviche, hot queso dip, and grilled street corn. It's the Eater Boston Design of the Year winner for 2017.

Read more: Lolita Debuts a Swanky Sequel in Fort Point

253 Summer St
Boston, MA 02210

9. Eventide Fenway

1321 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215
Overhead view of a dozen oysters on ice on an elongated silver tray with sauces and a lemon wedge Sarah Storrer for Eater
Perhaps the most hotly anticipated opening of the year, Eventide Fenway is the counter-service counterpart to the acclaimed Eventide Oyster Co. up in Portland, Maine. Rabid fans have been waiting anxiously to get their hands on Eventide's signature brown butter lobster roll down in Boston proper, and the day has finally arrived. Go all out with oysters, lobster rolls, high-end bubbles, and more; keep things more casual with house-made sodas, a fish sandwich or burger, and some soft-serve ice cream; or choose anything in between — the casual spot is meant to be a fit for a variety of dining experiences. It's the Eater Boston Fast-Casual Restaurant of the Year for 2017.

Editor picks: brown butter lobster roll; fries; green salad.

Read more: Eventide Fenway Brings the Best of Portland to Boston

1321 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215

10. The Smoke Shop

343 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210
Two hands, wearing black gloves, hold a piece of barbecue meat above a wooden counter Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater
It's been a Kendall Square hit since opening last year, and now Andy Husbands's barbecue joint, the Smoke Shop, has taken over the former Tavern Road space in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood as well. Be sure to start with an order of the agave-glazed "best bar wings," and then consider a wide variety of meaty combos and sides. Brisket or burnt ends are always a solid bet. And whiskey, of course. So much whiskey.

Read more: The Smoke Shop Will Open in Fort Point Tomorrow

343 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210

11. Citrus & Salt

142 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116
citrus & salt Sarah Storrer for Eater
Like Buttermilk & Bourbon? Its new sister restaurant, Citrus & Salt, has an analogous menu: Buttermilk has oyster chowder; Citrus has crab and cactus chowder. Buttermilk has bourbon ale steamed mussels with tasso ham; Citrus has tequila and chipotle steamed mussels with chorizo. Citrus & Salt, which veers Mexican, features a lovely renovation to the Back Bay Harry's space, crowd-pleasing cocktails, and boozy Dole Whips. Do not miss the biscuits.

Editor picks: warm agave-glazed blue cornmeal biscuits; duck confit flautas; Dole Whip with aged rum.

Read more: Citrus & Salt Opens Soon, and There Will Be Dole Whips

142 Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02116

12. Fat Baby

118 Dorchester St, Boston, MA 02127
Southie hotspot Loco Taqueria has given birth to a new sibling nearby. Fat Baby is serving up a menu that zooms around East Asia and beyond, offering everything from sushi to pork belly ramen to chicken banh mi bao. On the drink side, there's a mai tai, plenty of cocktails that include fruit purees, a sake sangria, and more. Eat some sushi, drink some sake, and take in the ambiance, from the giant murals throughout the dining room to the photographs of fat babies that are posted on the restroom wall.

Read more: Fat Baby Is Born in Southie Tomorrow With Sake Sangria and Sushi

118 Dorchester St
Boston, MA 02127

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