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Overhead view of a triangular hand pie stuffed with Brussels sprouts. On the side, there’s a small clear bowl with a scoop of a thick white sauce and a pickled garnish.
Littleburg’s fatayer with Brussels sprouts.
Littleburg

The Hottest New Restaurants in Boston, September 2021

New restaurants to try in and around Boston, featuring fancy seafood towers in Back Bay, inimitable vegan cuisine in Somerville, and more

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Littleburg’s fatayer with Brussels sprouts.
| Littleburg

More often than not, friends, family, and readers of Eater have a single burning question: Where should I eat right now? The Eater Heatmap, updated monthly, is where restaurant obsessives can find what's new and exciting — where to get the latest giant bowl of ramen, exquisite tiramisu, epic seafood tower, and more.

New to the map in the September 2021 update: Drifter’s Tale in Cambridge, Hunter’s Kitchen & Bar in South Boston, Littleburg in Somerville, and Ōmori Izakaya & Sushi in Malden.

To see restaurants from past versions of the Heatmap, visit the archive.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ōmori Izakaya and Sushi

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166 Eastern Ave
Malden, MA 02148
(781) 321-8600
Visit Website

It’s only been a couple years since Ōmori Izakaya debuted in Brookline Village, but the Japanese pub has already expanded to Malden, where its booze-friendly snacks, particularly yakitori and kushiyaki (skewers of grilled meats), are making a splash. There’s plenty of sushi, too. Keep an eye out for lunch specials and shochu-based cocktails.

Two wooden skewers of meat on a blue plate — one with pieces of Japanese sausage and one with bacon-wrapped scallops - with a side of greens and sliced cherry tomatoes.
Kurobuta sausage and bacon and scallop skewers at Ōmori Izakaya’s original Brookline location.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

2. Premiere on Broadway

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517 Broadway
Somerville, MA 02145
(617) 996-6838
Visit Website

Those who have followed chef Dan Bazzinotti’s career from Bisq to Eataly know that his charcuterie is a must. He’s at the helm of new Magoun Square restaurant and music venue Premiere on Broadway, showcasing a mix of house-made and imported charcuterie, local cheeses, and more on a big antipasti board alongside a menu of Italian-American hits. Longtime fans also know to seek out Bazzinotti’s Peruvian beef hearts; at Premiere, one can add them to the gnocchi dish, which is served with corn and smoked ricotta.

A round white dish is full of plump potato gnocchi with thin, charred pieces of beef on top. It sits on a black tabletop with a dark teal booth visible in the background.
Premiere on Broadway’s potato gnocchi with corn, butter, smoked ricotta, and Peruvian beef hearts.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

3. Littleburg

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5 Sanborn Ct
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 863-6652
Visit Website

Pop-up-turned-restaurant Littleburg is a tiny vegan takeout and meal delivery spot in a sort of hidden Somerville garage. If that doesn’t immediately sound like your thing, give it a chance anyway: Drawing inspiration from Mediterranean food, Littleburg serves vegan food unlike any you’ve tried before, the kind that’ll make even the most ardent carnivore happily forego meat for a meal.

Overhead view of a triangular hand pie stuffed with Brussels sprouts. On the side, there’s a small clear bowl with a scoop of a thick white sauce and a pickled garnish.
Littleburg’s fatayer with Brussels sprouts.
Littleburg

4. Drifter's Tale

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1281 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 714-5712
Visit Website

Inman Square’s new gastropub Drifter’s Tale aims to take diners around the world by way of global street foods, from Argentinian empanadas to moules frites to falafel bites. The dirty bird and seafood paella are proving to be popular hits among early visitors, too. (Note: Still trying to recover your mug from the mug club from Bukowski Tavern, which was previously located in this space? The Drifter’s Tale team is keeping it safe for you — stop by.)

Three small golden-brown empanadas are stacked on top of each other on a white creamy sauce, garnished with parsley, on a shiny black plate.
Empanadas at Drifter’s Tale.
Drifter’s Tale

5. Zuzu's Petals

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204 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 945-7749
Visit Website

Leave the cellphone at home: It’s not allowed at Zuzu’s Petals, a new wine and dessert bar in Inman Square that wants you to live in the moment, sipping a glass of something special while digging into irresistible versions of classic desserts like tiramisu and creme brulee. (Keep an eye out: Souffle might join the menu too.)

A swirl of tiramisu is in a glass stemmed bowl sitting on a decorative vintage plate. Two long spoons accompany it.
The tiramisu at Zuzu’s Petals, featuring Ethiopian laayyoo coffee infused into a whipped blend of cream and mascarpone, with scratch-made lady fingers.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

6. Menya Jiro

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57 John F. Kennedy St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 945-1002
Visit Website

The Boston area has plenty of ramen options, but diners are always eager to welcome one more. One of the newest additions is Menya Jiro, a Japan-based chain with a Brooklyn location and two more planned for the Boston area. Menya Jiro’s broth is made from both pork and chicken (although a miso vegetable base is also available), and chashu pork is a main ingredient. Diners can accompany their ramen with sides like pork belly buns and takoyaki.

Two hands hold a big white bowl full of ramen, with a mountain of pork belly and other toppings towering up over the top of the bowl
The chashu monster at Menya Jiro.
Menya Jiro

7. Cloud & Spirits

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795 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 945-1158
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Korean food meets New American food by chef Katie Cheung at this new Cambridge restaurant; Cheung’s training in French and Italian cuisines also plays into the menu, which includes dishes like a kimchi butter spaghetti and a steak tartare with pear, sesame, and gochujang. Creative cocktails round out the menu, like a miso-spiked soju and vodka drink.

A sliced rare ribeye is on a gray plate on a wooden table. Small plates of Korean-style side dishes are visible in the background.
Cloud & Spirits’s ribeye and seasonal banchan.
Mark Brennan

8. Nautilus Pier 4

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300 Pier 4 Blvd.
Boston, MA 02210
(857) 957-0998
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On Nantucket, the Nautilus has long been a coveted reservation; its seasonal menu, which draws from a wide net of Asian and Latin influences, is a hit, as are its cocktails. It now has a counterpart in Boston’s Seaport District, Nautilus Pier 4, featuring nautical vibes, waterfront views, and a familiar-but-not-identical selection of Nautilus top hits and new additions. There are shiso hand rolls with black bass tartare, for example, as well as spicy Sichuan-style dandan noodles, XO clam tagliatelle, and whole roasted Peking duck.

Grilled lamb chops topped with fava beans and various greens, placed on a brown ceramic plate
Grilled lamb chops at Nautilus Pier 4.
Jenna Skutnik/Nautilus

9. The Banks Fish House

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406 Stuart St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 399-0015
Visit Website

Whether one is looking to sip rosé at a bar and snack on chowder flatbread or have a fancy date night over a caviar-and-shellfish tower or host a seafood-filled private event, Back Bay newcomer the Banks Fish House wants to fill pretty much all seafood-related dining needs. Sibling to nearby steakhouse Grill 23, the Banks hits similar upscale notes (but don’t worry — there’s also some fried seafood for a real New England-y feel). And make note for the winter: There are multiple fireplaces.

A thick piece of halibut topped with a crispy breading sits in a yellow pool of sauce with asparagus, tomatoes, small round pasta bits, and mussels.
Bread crusted halibut at the Banks Fish House.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

10. Brasserie

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560 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 451-0560
Visit Website

South End brasserie Gaslight closed during the pandemic, but a new brasserie, appropriately dubbed Brasserie, has opened in its space. The ownership is partially the same — Jeff Gates recently departed from the Aquitaine Group, which included Gaslight, to form SoWa Dining Group, which includes Brasserie — but it’s not meant to be a straight-up reboot. Under executive chef Nick Intonti, an Aquitaine alum, Brasserie serves French classics as well as French twists on New England classics. Think bouillabaisse, escargot, and tartare alongside Maine lobster croissants.

Two croissants sit on a white oval plate, each split open to reveal lobster salad. There’s also a small frisee salad on the plate. The plate sits on a white marble countertop.
Lobster salad-filled croissants at Brasserie.
Joe Greene Photo

11. Hunter's Kitchen and Bar

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110 Dorchester St
Boston, MA 02127
(617) 221-4200
Visit Website

Hunter’s Kitchen & Bar is Boston’s newest spot where one can eat chicken and waffles, gumbo, and shrimp and grits among taxidermy, fireplaces, and other hunter’s lodge-inspired decor. Located in the former Junction space, it comes from the team behind Lincoln TavernLoco TaqueriaCapo, and Fat Baby, which basically owns all of South Boston at this point.

Fried chicken, garnished with sprigs of lavender, sits atop a waffle topped in buttermilk. Cocktails are visible in the background.
Chicken and waffles with habanero lavender honey at Hunter’s Kitchen & Bar.
Hunter’s Kitchen & Bar

12. Jinny's Pizzeria

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1231 Centre St
Newton, MA 02459
(617) 467-4764
Visit Website

This Newton Centre pizzeria comes from Lydia Reichert and the team behind Newton favorites ButtonwoodLittle Big Diner, and Sycamore. Jinny’s, which is named for Reichert’s grandmother, specializes in American-style, Neapolitan-inspired pizza. The pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven at 700 degrees Fahrenheit and have a charred outer crust and a pillowy interior. There’s a full liquor license, and there’s a good list of local beers.

Overhead view of a wood-fired pizza topped with ample arugula. The pizza is on a metal tray on a wooden tabletop.
Pizza from Jinny’s.
Jinny’s Pizzeria

1. Ōmori Izakaya and Sushi

166 Eastern Ave, Malden, MA 02148
Two wooden skewers of meat on a blue plate — one with pieces of Japanese sausage and one with bacon-wrapped scallops - with a side of greens and sliced cherry tomatoes.
Kurobuta sausage and bacon and scallop skewers at Ōmori Izakaya’s original Brookline location.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

It’s only been a couple years since Ōmori Izakaya debuted in Brookline Village, but the Japanese pub has already expanded to Malden, where its booze-friendly snacks, particularly yakitori and kushiyaki (skewers of grilled meats), are making a splash. There’s plenty of sushi, too. Keep an eye out for lunch specials and shochu-based cocktails.

166 Eastern Ave
Malden, MA 02148

2. Premiere on Broadway

517 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145
A round white dish is full of plump potato gnocchi with thin, charred pieces of beef on top. It sits on a black tabletop with a dark teal booth visible in the background.
Premiere on Broadway’s potato gnocchi with corn, butter, smoked ricotta, and Peruvian beef hearts.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Those who have followed chef Dan Bazzinotti’s career from Bisq to Eataly know that his charcuterie is a must. He’s at the helm of new Magoun Square restaurant and music venue Premiere on Broadway, showcasing a mix of house-made and imported charcuterie, local cheeses, and more on a big antipasti board alongside a menu of Italian-American hits. Longtime fans also know to seek out Bazzinotti’s Peruvian beef hearts; at Premiere, one can add them to the gnocchi dish, which is served with corn and smoked ricotta.

517 Broadway
Somerville, MA 02145

3. Littleburg

5 Sanborn Ct, Somerville, MA 02143
Overhead view of a triangular hand pie stuffed with Brussels sprouts. On the side, there’s a small clear bowl with a scoop of a thick white sauce and a pickled garnish.
Littleburg’s fatayer with Brussels sprouts.
Littleburg

Pop-up-turned-restaurant Littleburg is a tiny vegan takeout and meal delivery spot in a sort of hidden Somerville garage. If that doesn’t immediately sound like your thing, give it a chance anyway: Drawing inspiration from Mediterranean food, Littleburg serves vegan food unlike any you’ve tried before, the kind that’ll make even the most ardent carnivore happily forego meat for a meal.

5 Sanborn Ct
Somerville, MA 02143

4. Drifter's Tale

1281 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Three small golden-brown empanadas are stacked on top of each other on a white creamy sauce, garnished with parsley, on a shiny black plate.
Empanadas at Drifter’s Tale.
Drifter’s Tale

Inman Square’s new gastropub Drifter’s Tale aims to take diners around the world by way of global street foods, from Argentinian empanadas to moules frites to falafel bites. The dirty bird and seafood paella are proving to be popular hits among early visitors, too. (Note: Still trying to recover your mug from the mug club from Bukowski Tavern, which was previously located in this space? The Drifter’s Tale team is keeping it safe for you — stop by.)

1281 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139

5. Zuzu's Petals

204 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139
A swirl of tiramisu is in a glass stemmed bowl sitting on a decorative vintage plate. Two long spoons accompany it.
The tiramisu at Zuzu’s Petals, featuring Ethiopian laayyoo coffee infused into a whipped blend of cream and mascarpone, with scratch-made lady fingers.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Leave the cellphone at home: It’s not allowed at Zuzu’s Petals, a new wine and dessert bar in Inman Square that wants you to live in the moment, sipping a glass of something special while digging into irresistible versions of classic desserts like tiramisu and creme brulee. (Keep an eye out: Souffle might join the menu too.)

204 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA 02139

6. Menya Jiro

57 John F. Kennedy St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Two hands hold a big white bowl full of ramen, with a mountain of pork belly and other toppings towering up over the top of the bowl
The chashu monster at Menya Jiro.
Menya Jiro

The Boston area has plenty of ramen options, but diners are always eager to welcome one more. One of the newest additions is Menya Jiro, a Japan-based chain with a Brooklyn location and two more planned for the Boston area. Menya Jiro’s broth is made from both pork and chicken (although a miso vegetable base is also available), and chashu pork is a main ingredient. Diners can accompany their ramen with sides like pork belly buns and takoyaki.

57 John F. Kennedy St
Cambridge, MA 02138

7. Cloud & Spirits

795 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02139
A sliced rare ribeye is on a gray plate on a wooden table. Small plates of Korean-style side dishes are visible in the background.
Cloud & Spirits’s ribeye and seasonal banchan.
Mark Brennan

Korean food meets New American food by chef Katie Cheung at this new Cambridge restaurant; Cheung’s training in French and Italian cuisines also plays into the menu, which includes dishes like a kimchi butter spaghetti and a steak tartare with pear, sesame, and gochujang. Creative cocktails round out the menu, like a miso-spiked soju and vodka drink.

795 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139

8. Nautilus Pier 4

300 Pier 4 Blvd., Boston, MA 02210
Grilled lamb chops topped with fava beans and various greens, placed on a brown ceramic plate
Grilled lamb chops at Nautilus Pier 4.
Jenna Skutnik/Nautilus

On Nantucket, the Nautilus has long been a coveted reservation; its seasonal menu, which draws from a wide net of Asian and Latin influences, is a hit, as are its cocktails. It now has a counterpart in Boston’s Seaport District, Nautilus Pier 4, featuring nautical vibes, waterfront views, and a familiar-but-not-identical selection of Nautilus top hits and new additions. There are shiso hand rolls with black bass tartare, for example, as well as spicy Sichuan-style dandan noodles, XO clam tagliatelle, and whole roasted Peking duck.

300 Pier 4 Blvd.
Boston, MA 02210

9. The Banks Fish House

406 Stuart St, Boston, MA 02116
A thick piece of halibut topped with a crispy breading sits in a yellow pool of sauce with asparagus, tomatoes, small round pasta bits, and mussels.
Bread crusted halibut at the Banks Fish House.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Whether one is looking to sip rosé at a bar and snack on chowder flatbread or have a fancy date night over a caviar-and-shellfish tower or host a seafood-filled private event, Back Bay newcomer the Banks Fish House wants to fill pretty much all seafood-related dining needs. Sibling to nearby steakhouse Grill 23, the Banks hits similar upscale notes (but don’t worry — there’s also some fried seafood for a real New England-y feel). And make note for the winter: There are multiple fireplaces.

406 Stuart St
Boston, MA 02116

10. Brasserie

560 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118
Two croissants sit on a white oval plate, each split open to reveal lobster salad. There’s also a small frisee salad on the plate. The plate sits on a white marble countertop.
Lobster salad-filled croissants at Brasserie.
Joe Greene Photo

South End brasserie Gaslight closed during the pandemic, but a new brasserie, appropriately dubbed Brasserie, has opened in its space. The ownership is partially the same — Jeff Gates recently departed from the Aquitaine Group, which included Gaslight, to form SoWa Dining Group, which includes Brasserie — but it’s not meant to be a straight-up reboot. Under executive chef Nick Intonti, an Aquitaine alum, Brasserie serves French classics as well as French twists on New England classics. Think bouillabaisse, escargot, and tartare alongside Maine lobster croissants.

560 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02118

11. Hunter's Kitchen and Bar

110 Dorchester St, Boston, MA 02127
Fried chicken, garnished with sprigs of lavender, sits atop a waffle topped in buttermilk. Cocktails are visible in the background.
Chicken and waffles with habanero lavender honey at Hunter’s Kitchen & Bar.
Hunter’s Kitchen & Bar

Hunter’s Kitchen & Bar is Boston’s newest spot where one can eat chicken and waffles, gumbo, and shrimp and grits among taxidermy, fireplaces, and other hunter’s lodge-inspired decor. Located in the former Junction space, it comes from the team behind Lincoln TavernLoco TaqueriaCapo, and Fat Baby, which basically owns all of South Boston at this point.

110 Dorchester St
Boston, MA 02127

12. Jinny's Pizzeria

1231 Centre St, Newton, MA 02459
Overhead view of a wood-fired pizza topped with ample arugula. The pizza is on a metal tray on a wooden tabletop.
Pizza from Jinny’s.
Jinny’s Pizzeria

This Newton Centre pizzeria comes from Lydia Reichert and the team behind Newton favorites ButtonwoodLittle Big Diner, and Sycamore. Jinny’s, which is named for Reichert’s grandmother, specializes in American-style, Neapolitan-inspired pizza. The pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven at 700 degrees Fahrenheit and have a charred outer crust and a pillowy interior. There’s a full liquor license, and there’s a good list of local beers.

1231 Centre St
Newton, MA 02459

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