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Overhead view of a paella pan on a floor painted with a white and blue pattern. The pan is full of mussels and other shellfish over a coucous-like pasta.
Bar Volpe’s Sardinian paella.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The Hottest New Restaurants in Boston, January 2022

New restaurants to try in and around Boston, featuring southern Italian fare in South Boston, ramen from an Iron Chef in the West End, and more

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Bar Volpe’s Sardinian paella.
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

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 perfect bowl of pasta, spicy jerk chicken, birthday cake mini doughnuts, and more.

New to the map in the January 2022 update: Fresh Food Generation in Dorchester; Mex Taqueria & Bar and Wusong Road in Cambridge; Top Mix in Jamaica Plain; and Tradesman in Charlestown.

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; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. Note that as of January 15, 2022, restaurants in the city of Boston will be required to check for proof of vaccination for customers dining indoors. Non-Boston venues with their own vaccination proof requirements are noted as such on this map, as are Boston venues implementing policies prior to January 15.

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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; try the chirashi for a good sampling. 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. Dear Annie

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1741 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

New Cambridge wine bar Dear Annie is a collaboration between the teams from two popular Somerville venues: funky wine bar Rebel Rebel and lovely farm-to-table restaurant Field & Vine. At Dear Annie, service is casual — order at the counter, and find a place among the communal seating. (And you can bring your own records to play, if you’d like.) The menu is pescatarian and changes with the seasons; think Jonah crab toast, Arctic char tartare, and slices of pie.

Proof of vaccination or negative PCR test required for indoor seating (not required for the heated patio outdoors).

Four bottles of different wines are lined up on a white table in front of a wall covered with art.
Wines at Dear Annie.
Dear Annie

3. Tradesman Coffee Shop & Pizza Bar

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50 Hood Park Dr
Boston, MA 02129
(617) 337-5196
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Tradesman, a downtown Boston coffee shop and lounge that opened a few years back, has made a name for itself with over-the-top croissants, among other offerings. Now it has a Charlestown sibling, and the new location adds pizza to the mix, as well as mini doughnuts and more. Settle in with an espresso martini.

4. Wusong Road

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112 Mt Auburn St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 528-9125
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Eager diners will have to wait a little longer for the full Wusong Road experience — including the debut of the first-floor space, which will focus on roast duck — but the tiki bar upstairs has been operating with a limited menu since late December, already exciting early visitors with its potential. The dual-purpose venue is meant to be “a love story of American Chinese restaurants,” as co-owner Jason Doo, a Menton alum, previously told Eater. Keep a close eye on Instagram for updates.

Isolated on a white background, a mai tai is in a glass decorated with a red Chinese-style dragon. The drink is garnished with a lime — decorative slices made into its skin — and fresh mint leaves.
A Wusong Road mai tai.
Wusong Road

5. Geppetto

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100 N First St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 945-1349
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East Cambridge newcomer Geppetto, from the Puritan & Co. team, is part of the group’s trio of restaurants at the Cambridge Crossing development. The Italian-inspired restaurant is the type of place where one can eat dishes like black truffle and taleggio bread; tuna and lardo crudo; and pumpkin agnolotti with wild mushrooms. Oh, and there’s an amaro cart.

Proof of vaccination required.

A breaded pork chop sits on a white plate, garnished with round spirals of leeks.
Geppetto’s pork chop Milanese.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

6. Hub Hall

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80 Causeway St
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 263-8900
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There’s a little bit of something for everyone — locals and tourists alike — at Boston’s newest food hall, Hub Hall, located at the Hub on Causeway development right by TD Garden. There are 18 food and drink vendors, including a number of Boston classics, such as Mike’s Pastry, Monica’s Mercato, and Sullivan’s Castle Island, not to mention newer local groups like Smoke Shop BBQ, Cusser’s Roast Beef & Seafood, and Greco. All of the vendors are counter-service except for one, Momosan — a sit-down Japanese restaurant from Masaharu Morimoto of Iron Chef fame, featuring ramen and more.

Closeup shot of a bowl of ramen with ground pork, a thick yellow-orange broth, a runny egg, and other toppings.
Tan-tan ramen at Momosan.
Momosan

7. Mex Taqueria & Bar

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500 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 945-2503
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This new multi-story addition to Kendall Square is full of tacos, short rib empanadas, ceviche, and margaritas, as well as plenty of space for outdoor dining (including a roof deck with fire pits) and private events. It comes from the team behind a few other favorites in the neighborhood, Italian restaurants Sulmona and Amelia’s and a new-ish Mexican street food joint, Mexcito. Birria tacos, anyone?

8. Da LaPosta

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825 Washington St
Newton, MA 02460
(617) 964-2665
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Mario LaPosta is a veteran pizzaiolo who previously worked at the now-closed Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca in the Seaport, not to mention various pizzerias around Italy; now he has his own pizzeria and restaurant in Newton, Da LaPosta, serving wood-fired pizza, pasta, and a few other items, like suppli and salt cod croquettes. While LaPosta’s pizza skills are serious, he isn’t afraid to have a little fun with the menu: There’s a clam pizza inspired by New Haven, for example, not to mention a “buffalo e bufala” pizza topped with chicken, Buffalo sauce, buffalo mozzarella, and gorgonzola. 

Closeup on a Margherita pizza with a slightly charred, wood-fired crust and a fresh basil topping.
Pizza at Da LaPosta.
Da LaPosta

9. Café Sauvage

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25 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, MA 02115
(857) 277-0075
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Parisian bistro Café Sauvage, from wife-and-husband duo Anaïs and Antoine Lambert, is meant to pay homage to the multicultural influences on the Paris food scene, from Vietnam to Ethiopia: “There is more to Parisian food than just beef bourguignon and escargots,” as Anaïs Lambert previously told Eater. So there’s steak frites and a croque madame, yes, but there’s also a banh mi, injera crepes, and roasted chicken that’s served with jollof rice and fried plantains. The intimate restaurant, located in the former Hsin Hsin Cafe space in Back Bay, features a striking accent wall with tropical wallpaper.

Thin slices of ham are sandwiched on a baguette, topped with mini pickles. It all sits on a black plate on a white counter.
Café Sauvage’s jambon-beurre, a French ham and butter sandwich.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

10. Bar Volpe

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170 W Broadway
Boston, MA 02127
(617) 865-7100
Visit Website

From chef Karen Akunowicz of the acclaimed Fox & the Knife comes a second Italian restaurant in South Boston, Bar Volpe. While its big sibling up the street focuses on northern Italy, Bar Volpe — which is also a pasta shop — focuses on the south, with dishes like culurgiones, a Sardinian stuffed pasta; fritti misti, inspired by Sicily (with a hint of Rhode Island); and rotisserie chicken stuffed with black truffle mayo.

Proof of vaccination required (prior to the January 15 mandate).

Four plump dumplings topped with parsley sprigs sit atop a pool of tomato sauce on a round white plate on a concrete surface.
Bar Volpe’s culurgiones.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

11. Top Mix Bar & Kitchen

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365 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 477-3593
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Looking for a bar with a lively soundtrack, a fusion of American and Caribbean cuisines, and “big ass cocktails for two”? The new Jamaica Plain location of Top Mix Bar & Kitchen is your spot; it expanded from Roxbury in late 2021, serving everything from plantain lasagna and mofongo to boba martinis.

12. Fresh Food Generation

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185 Talbot Ave
Dorchester, MA 02124
(617) 602-7185
Visit Website

Fresh Food Generation isn’t a total newcomer: It’s been operating as a popular food truck and catering business for more than half a decade. But now the farm-to-table Caribbean American business has its own restaurant space, too, and visitors to the new Dorchester restaurant are loving dishes like the Jamaican jerk chicken rice plate and the kale salad with roasted butternut squash, which the menu promises turns “non-kale eaters into believers.”

Charred pieces of chicken garnished with chopped scallions and hot yellow peppers sit on a small bamboo plate
Fresh Food Generation’s jerk chicken.
Fresh Food Generation

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; try the chirashi for a good sampling. Keep an eye out for lunch specials and shochu-based cocktails.

166 Eastern Ave
Malden, MA 02148

2. Dear Annie

1741 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140
Four bottles of different wines are lined up on a white table in front of a wall covered with art.
Wines at Dear Annie.
Dear Annie

New Cambridge wine bar Dear Annie is a collaboration between the teams from two popular Somerville venues: funky wine bar Rebel Rebel and lovely farm-to-table restaurant Field & Vine. At Dear Annie, service is casual — order at the counter, and find a place among the communal seating. (And you can bring your own records to play, if you’d like.) The menu is pescatarian and changes with the seasons; think Jonah crab toast, Arctic char tartare, and slices of pie.

Proof of vaccination or negative PCR test required for indoor seating (not required for the heated patio outdoors).

1741 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

3. Tradesman Coffee Shop & Pizza Bar

50 Hood Park Dr, Boston, MA 02129

Tradesman, a downtown Boston coffee shop and lounge that opened a few years back, has made a name for itself with over-the-top croissants, among other offerings. Now it has a Charlestown sibling, and the new location adds pizza to the mix, as well as mini doughnuts and more. Settle in with an espresso martini.

50 Hood Park Dr
Boston, MA 02129

4. Wusong Road

112 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Isolated on a white background, a mai tai is in a glass decorated with a red Chinese-style dragon. The drink is garnished with a lime — decorative slices made into its skin — and fresh mint leaves.
A Wusong Road mai tai.
Wusong Road

Eager diners will have to wait a little longer for the full Wusong Road experience — including the debut of the first-floor space, which will focus on roast duck — but the tiki bar upstairs has been operating with a limited menu since late December, already exciting early visitors with its potential. The dual-purpose venue is meant to be “a love story of American Chinese restaurants,” as co-owner Jason Doo, a Menton alum, previously told Eater. Keep a close eye on Instagram for updates.

112 Mt Auburn St
Cambridge, MA 02138

5. Geppetto

100 N First St, Cambridge, MA 02141
A breaded pork chop sits on a white plate, garnished with round spirals of leeks.
Geppetto’s pork chop Milanese.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

East Cambridge newcomer Geppetto, from the Puritan & Co. team, is part of the group’s trio of restaurants at the Cambridge Crossing development. The Italian-inspired restaurant is the type of place where one can eat dishes like black truffle and taleggio bread; tuna and lardo crudo; and pumpkin agnolotti with wild mushrooms. Oh, and there’s an amaro cart.

Proof of vaccination required.

100 N First St
Cambridge, MA 02141

6. Hub Hall

80 Causeway St, Boston, MA 02114
Closeup shot of a bowl of ramen with ground pork, a thick yellow-orange broth, a runny egg, and other toppings.
Tan-tan ramen at Momosan.
Momosan

There’s a little bit of something for everyone — locals and tourists alike — at Boston’s newest food hall, Hub Hall, located at the Hub on Causeway development right by TD Garden. There are 18 food and drink vendors, including a number of Boston classics, such as Mike’s Pastry, Monica’s Mercato, and Sullivan’s Castle Island, not to mention newer local groups like Smoke Shop BBQ, Cusser’s Roast Beef & Seafood, and Greco. All of the vendors are counter-service except for one, Momosan — a sit-down Japanese restaurant from Masaharu Morimoto of Iron Chef fame, featuring ramen and more.

80 Causeway St
Boston, MA 02114

7. Mex Taqueria & Bar

500 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139

This new multi-story addition to Kendall Square is full of tacos, short rib empanadas, ceviche, and margaritas, as well as plenty of space for outdoor dining (including a roof deck with fire pits) and private events. It comes from the team behind a few other favorites in the neighborhood, Italian restaurants Sulmona and Amelia’s and a new-ish Mexican street food joint, Mexcito. Birria tacos, anyone?

500 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139

8. Da LaPosta

825 Washington St, Newton, MA 02460
Closeup on a Margherita pizza with a slightly charred, wood-fired crust and a fresh basil topping.
Pizza at Da LaPosta.
Da LaPosta

Mario LaPosta is a veteran pizzaiolo who previously worked at the now-closed Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca in the Seaport, not to mention various pizzerias around Italy; now he has his own pizzeria and restaurant in Newton, Da LaPosta, serving wood-fired pizza, pasta, and a few other items, like suppli and salt cod croquettes. While LaPosta’s pizza skills are serious, he isn’t afraid to have a little fun with the menu: There’s a clam pizza inspired by New Haven, for example, not to mention a “buffalo e bufala” pizza topped with chicken, Buffalo sauce, buffalo mozzarella, and gorgonzola. 

825 Washington St
Newton, MA 02460

9. Café Sauvage

25 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Thin slices of ham are sandwiched on a baguette, topped with mini pickles. It all sits on a black plate on a white counter.
Café Sauvage’s jambon-beurre, a French ham and butter sandwich.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Parisian bistro Café Sauvage, from wife-and-husband duo Anaïs and Antoine Lambert, is meant to pay homage to the multicultural influences on the Paris food scene, from Vietnam to Ethiopia: “There is more to Parisian food than just beef bourguignon and escargots,” as Anaïs Lambert previously told Eater. So there’s steak frites and a croque madame, yes, but there’s also a banh mi, injera crepes, and roasted chicken that’s served with jollof rice and fried plantains. The intimate restaurant, located in the former Hsin Hsin Cafe space in Back Bay, features a striking accent wall with tropical wallpaper.

25 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, MA 02115

10. Bar Volpe

170 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127
Four plump dumplings topped with parsley sprigs sit atop a pool of tomato sauce on a round white plate on a concrete surface.
Bar Volpe’s culurgiones.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

From chef Karen Akunowicz of the acclaimed Fox & the Knife comes a second Italian restaurant in South Boston, Bar Volpe. While its big sibling up the street focuses on northern Italy, Bar Volpe — which is also a pasta shop — focuses on the south, with dishes like culurgiones, a Sardinian stuffed pasta; fritti misti, inspired by Sicily (with a hint of Rhode Island); and rotisserie chicken stuffed with black truffle mayo.

Proof of vaccination required (prior to the January 15 mandate).

170 W Broadway
Boston, MA 02127

11. Top Mix Bar & Kitchen

365 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Looking for a bar with a lively soundtrack, a fusion of American and Caribbean cuisines, and “big ass cocktails for two”? The new Jamaica Plain location of Top Mix Bar & Kitchen is your spot; it expanded from Roxbury in late 2021, serving everything from plantain lasagna and mofongo to boba martinis.

365 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

12. Fresh Food Generation

185 Talbot Ave, Dorchester, MA 02124
Charred pieces of chicken garnished with chopped scallions and hot yellow peppers sit on a small bamboo plate
Fresh Food Generation’s jerk chicken.
Fresh Food Generation

Fresh Food Generation isn’t a total newcomer: It’s been operating as a popular food truck and catering business for more than half a decade. But now the farm-to-table Caribbean American business has its own restaurant space, too, and visitors to the new Dorchester restaurant are loving dishes like the Jamaican jerk chicken rice plate and the kale salad with roasted butternut squash, which the menu promises turns “non-kale eaters into believers.”

185 Talbot Ave
Dorchester, MA 02124

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