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A short, wide bowl filled with fish, vegetables, and a green broth.
Crudo from Pescador, now open in Kenmore Square.
Pescador

The Hottest New Restaurants in Boston, December 2022

New restaurants to try in and around Boston, including Sichuan hot pot in Quincy and a globe-trotting seafood spot in Kenmore Square

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Crudo from Pescador, now open in Kenmore Square.
| Pescador

More often than not, friends, family, and readers of Eater have a single burning question: Where should I eat right now? The Eater Boston Heatmap, updated monthly, is where restaurant obsessives can find what's new and exciting around the city — where to get the latest dumplings, canotto-style pizza, spicy hot pot, and more. (Looking for a drink? Check out the Eater Boston Cocktail Heatmap.)

New to the map in the December 2022 update: Chinese hot pot spot Wei Shu Wu in Quincy, and Pescador, the seafood-focused second act in NYC-based group Blue Ribbon’s three-restaurant takeover in Kenmore Square.

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Hot Chix Boston

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Nashville hot chicken pop-up Hot Chix finally opened a permanent location in Inman Square at the end of August. The small counter-service spot features the irresistible spicy fried chicken sandwiches, honey butter biscuits, and banana pudding fans loved during the pop-up days, while also adding a few new treats like fried oyster mushrooms, fried shrimp, waffle fries, and potato salad.

Batifol

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South End favorite Petit Robert Bistro has a new sibling in Kendall Square, where Batifol opened in October. Expect a similarly elegant experience at the new spot, with well-executed French classics from house-made croissants, a croque monsieur, and omelets at brunch to French onion soup and steak frites with green peppercorn sauce at lunch to beef bourguignon and escargots at dinner. Interesting wines and cocktails (both alcoholic and non) round things out.

Si Cara

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Central Square pizzeria Si Cara brought something a little new to Greater Boston’s vibrant pizza scene this summer: canotto-style pizza, an offshoot of Neapolitan that features an extra-puffy crust. (Chef Michael Lombardi says, “It’s essentially like eating a loaf of bread fresh out of the oven, with fresh toppings,” so be prepared for a lot of crust.) The vegetable-heavy menu is Italian-inspired, hence uncommon pizza toppings like mushrooms with kimchi as well as shrimp and zucchini with salsa verde. And while Si Cara has a full liquor license for cocktails like the Italian Ice — shaved ice flavored with gin, limoncello, and Lillet — the beverage focus is on natural wines.

A Neapolitan-ish pizza with an extra-puffy, charred crust sits on a plate on a wooden table, surrounding by glasses of wine; a platter of bread, meat, and cheese; and more.
Pizza, wine, and more at Si Cara in Cambridge.
C. McIntosh Photo/Si Cara

The Station — Artifact Cider Project

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Mimi’s Chūka Diner, a pop-up inspired by chūka ryori, or dishes with Chinese origins made in a Japanese style, is turning its temporary residency at Artifact Cider Project’s Central Square taproom into a permanent partnership called Mimi’s at the Station. That means you can continue to eat some of Boston’s best dumplings (and in-demand cider doughnuts drizzled with sea salt miso caramel) fresh alongside Massachusetts-made hard ciders, but it also means expanded offerings in the works, like seated multi-course dinners with limited-edition cider pairings.

A small bowl is filled with wontons in a spicy red oil, garnished with scallions, with a small bowl of red sauce to the side.
Sichuan chile wontons from Mimi’s Chūka Diner.
Jon Awerman/Mimi’s Chūka Diner

Mecha Noodle Bar

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Small Connecticut-based chain Mecha Noodle Bar recently arrived in Fort Point and aims to serve “some of Asia’s most comforting dishes,” which translates to a menu of Korean fried chicken bao, ramen, and pho — not to mention boozy bubble teas. (A location opened in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner earlier this year, too.) Expect a well-designed space, friendly service, and flavorful food. The restaurant also has a charitable arm, donating a portion of ramen sales to a rotating list of local causes, among other philanthropic initiatives.

Bowls of ramen, pho, and edamame are spread across a wooden restaurant table alongside colorful cocktails.
A spread of dishes at Mecha Noodle Bar, now open in Fort Point as well as Brookline.
Mecha Noodle Bar

Gopchang Story

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Korean barbecue chain Gopchang Story has finally arrived in Boston, several years after the expansion was announced. It’s a love letter to offal, particularly cow intestines, which are served in a variety of ways, including marinated and grilled or in a casserole with shrimp, octopus, and vegetables. The restaurant’s drink list emphasizes the Korean spirit soju.

Faccia a Faccia

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Fans of Boston classics Toro and Coppa (and their younger sibling in Cambridge, Little Donkey) have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the newest installment from restaurateurs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, and now it’s here. Formerly known as Faccia Brutta, Faccia a Faccia — Italian for “face to face” — opened in May in a prime Newbury Street location, drawing inspiration from coastal Italian cuisines with dishes like pansotti, a filled Ligurian pasta, with brown butter and fiddleheads; a grilled half lobster with clams, fregola, and chile butter; and a generous selection of crudos. A sibling spot downstairs, Bar Pallino, focuses on natural wines.

Overhead view of a half lobster sitting in a small pool of reddish broth and topped with small, round dots of pasta, herbs, and small clams.
Faccia Brutta’s grilled, chile-basted half lobster.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston

Pescador

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Yes, it’s another seafood restaurant in a town already full of them, but Pescador is aiming to carve out a niche by going broad with a globe-trotting menu of coastal seafood dishes, including various interpretations of crudo, aquachile, ceviche, and paella. The bar is stocked with over 70 mezcals and tequilas from Mexican producers, and the cocktail lineup includes Brazilian caipirinhas, margaritas, and build-your-own palomas. The restaurant is one of three new Kenmore Square spots from NYC-based restaurant group Blue Ribbon. (The first, Blue Ribbon Sushi, opened in June, and the last, a brasserie, is forthcoming.)

Little Whale Oyster Bar

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Restaurateur Michael Serpa — no stranger to seafood with his restaurants Select Oyster Bar and Atlántico — closed Back Bay’s Paris-inspired bistro Grand Tour in early September and replaced it with Little Whale Oyster Bar days later. It’s an upscale ode to clam shacks, emphasizing traditional New England seafood like fried clams and oysters, clam chowder, and lobster rolls, cold or warm, complemented by a drink list focused on light, crisp, seafood-friendly wines.

A hand dips a fried clam into a cup of tartar sauce, surrounded by more pieces of fried clam and a lemon wedge.
Fried clams from Little Whale Oyster Bar.
Little Whale Oyster Bar

The Haven

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The Haven — Boston’s only Scottish restaurant and bar — has been open for a dozen years, but it recently bid adieu to its Perkins Street space and moved elsewhere in Jamaica Plain, opening in the much larger former Bella Luna & the Milky Way space at the Brewery complex. Much of its old menu (and charm) remains, but now there’s pizza, too, and the events calendar is quickly ramping up: Expect dram nights, comedy shows, and lots more.

At anticipated Italian restaurant Tonino, you’ll find Philadelphia-inspired tomato pie and pizza bianca with ricotta and hot honey; house-made pastas like cappelletti and chitarra with clams; and snacks like roasted squid. There’s also an eclectic assortment of drinks, from the expected (wine and amaro-centric cocktails) to the unexpected (sake, thanks to co-owner Claire Makley’s work helping open Boston’s first sake bar, the Koji Club.) The Jamaica Plain restaurant is seeking to become a neighborhood fixture like the cozy bars and restaurants that surround the center of Rome.

An overhead image of five white plate-bowls, filled with different pasta dishes, on a white tablecloth, along with a couple glasses of wine and a couple candles.
A spread of pastas from Tonino.
Brian Samuels Photography/Tonino

Wei Shu Wu Hot Pot 味蜀吾火锅

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Wei Shu Wu has brought bubbling bowls of spicy Sichuan hot pot to North Quincy just in time to thaw everyone’s insides as temperatures dropped. There’s nearly endless options of meat, seafood, and veggies to dunk here, including skewers of duck gizzards, lobster meat, oysters, thin slices of marinated beef, and more. Bring a group and gather around the restaurant’s wide wooden tabletops, or sidle up to the bar where smaller hot pots are installed. The restaurant is an expansion of an international chain; this is its first location in the Boston area.

A hot pot table with dishes of beef, noodles, bok choy, rice cakes, duck gizzard skewers, and more laid out around the center bowl filled with two hot broths.
A feast at Wei Shu Wu.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Hot Chix Boston

Nashville hot chicken pop-up Hot Chix finally opened a permanent location in Inman Square at the end of August. The small counter-service spot features the irresistible spicy fried chicken sandwiches, honey butter biscuits, and banana pudding fans loved during the pop-up days, while also adding a few new treats like fried oyster mushrooms, fried shrimp, waffle fries, and potato salad.

Batifol

South End favorite Petit Robert Bistro has a new sibling in Kendall Square, where Batifol opened in October. Expect a similarly elegant experience at the new spot, with well-executed French classics from house-made croissants, a croque monsieur, and omelets at brunch to French onion soup and steak frites with green peppercorn sauce at lunch to beef bourguignon and escargots at dinner. Interesting wines and cocktails (both alcoholic and non) round things out.

Si Cara

Central Square pizzeria Si Cara brought something a little new to Greater Boston’s vibrant pizza scene this summer: canotto-style pizza, an offshoot of Neapolitan that features an extra-puffy crust. (Chef Michael Lombardi says, “It’s essentially like eating a loaf of bread fresh out of the oven, with fresh toppings,” so be prepared for a lot of crust.) The vegetable-heavy menu is Italian-inspired, hence uncommon pizza toppings like mushrooms with kimchi as well as shrimp and zucchini with salsa verde. And while Si Cara has a full liquor license for cocktails like the Italian Ice — shaved ice flavored with gin, limoncello, and Lillet — the beverage focus is on natural wines.

A Neapolitan-ish pizza with an extra-puffy, charred crust sits on a plate on a wooden table, surrounding by glasses of wine; a platter of bread, meat, and cheese; and more.
Pizza, wine, and more at Si Cara in Cambridge.
C. McIntosh Photo/Si Cara

The Station — Artifact Cider Project

Mimi’s Chūka Diner, a pop-up inspired by chūka ryori, or dishes with Chinese origins made in a Japanese style, is turning its temporary residency at Artifact Cider Project’s Central Square taproom into a permanent partnership called Mimi’s at the Station. That means you can continue to eat some of Boston’s best dumplings (and in-demand cider doughnuts drizzled with sea salt miso caramel) fresh alongside Massachusetts-made hard ciders, but it also means expanded offerings in the works, like seated multi-course dinners with limited-edition cider pairings.

A small bowl is filled with wontons in a spicy red oil, garnished with scallions, with a small bowl of red sauce to the side.
Sichuan chile wontons from Mimi’s Chūka Diner.
Jon Awerman/Mimi’s Chūka Diner

Mecha Noodle Bar

Small Connecticut-based chain Mecha Noodle Bar recently arrived in Fort Point and aims to serve “some of Asia’s most comforting dishes,” which translates to a menu of Korean fried chicken bao, ramen, and pho — not to mention boozy bubble teas. (A location opened in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner earlier this year, too.) Expect a well-designed space, friendly service, and flavorful food. The restaurant also has a charitable arm, donating a portion of ramen sales to a rotating list of local causes, among other philanthropic initiatives.

Bowls of ramen, pho, and edamame are spread across a wooden restaurant table alongside colorful cocktails.
A spread of dishes at Mecha Noodle Bar, now open in Fort Point as well as Brookline.
Mecha Noodle Bar

Gopchang Story

Korean barbecue chain Gopchang Story has finally arrived in Boston, several years after the expansion was announced. It’s a love letter to offal, particularly cow intestines, which are served in a variety of ways, including marinated and grilled or in a casserole with shrimp, octopus, and vegetables. The restaurant’s drink list emphasizes the Korean spirit soju.

Faccia a Faccia

Fans of Boston classics Toro and Coppa (and their younger sibling in Cambridge, Little Donkey) have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the newest installment from restaurateurs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, and now it’s here. Formerly known as Faccia Brutta, Faccia a Faccia — Italian for “face to face” — opened in May in a prime Newbury Street location, drawing inspiration from coastal Italian cuisines with dishes like pansotti, a filled Ligurian pasta, with brown butter and fiddleheads; a grilled half lobster with clams, fregola, and chile butter; and a generous selection of crudos. A sibling spot downstairs, Bar Pallino, focuses on natural wines.

Overhead view of a half lobster sitting in a small pool of reddish broth and topped with small, round dots of pasta, herbs, and small clams.
Faccia Brutta’s grilled, chile-basted half lobster.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston

Pescador

Yes, it’s another seafood restaurant in a town already full of them, but Pescador is aiming to carve out a niche by going broad with a globe-trotting menu of coastal seafood dishes, including various interpretations of crudo, aquachile, ceviche, and paella. The bar is stocked with over 70 mezcals and tequilas from Mexican producers, and the cocktail lineup includes Brazilian caipirinhas, margaritas, and build-your-own palomas. The restaurant is one of three new Kenmore Square spots from NYC-based restaurant group Blue Ribbon. (The first, Blue Ribbon Sushi, opened in June, and the last, a brasserie, is forthcoming.)

Little Whale Oyster Bar

Restaurateur Michael Serpa — no stranger to seafood with his restaurants Select Oyster Bar and Atlántico — closed Back Bay’s Paris-inspired bistro Grand Tour in early September and replaced it with Little Whale Oyster Bar days later. It’s an upscale ode to clam shacks, emphasizing traditional New England seafood like fried clams and oysters, clam chowder, and lobster rolls, cold or warm, complemented by a drink list focused on light, crisp, seafood-friendly wines.

A hand dips a fried clam into a cup of tartar sauce, surrounded by more pieces of fried clam and a lemon wedge.
Fried clams from Little Whale Oyster Bar.
Little Whale Oyster Bar

The Haven

The Haven — Boston’s only Scottish restaurant and bar — has been open for a dozen years, but it recently bid adieu to its Perkins Street space and moved elsewhere in Jamaica Plain, opening in the much larger former Bella Luna & the Milky Way space at the Brewery complex. Much of its old menu (and charm) remains, but now there’s pizza, too, and the events calendar is quickly ramping up: Expect dram nights, comedy shows, and lots more.

Tonino

At anticipated Italian restaurant Tonino, you’ll find Philadelphia-inspired tomato pie and pizza bianca with ricotta and hot honey; house-made pastas like cappelletti and chitarra with clams; and snacks like roasted squid. There’s also an eclectic assortment of drinks, from the expected (wine and amaro-centric cocktails) to the unexpected (sake, thanks to co-owner Claire Makley’s work helping open Boston’s first sake bar, the Koji Club.) The Jamaica Plain restaurant is seeking to become a neighborhood fixture like the cozy bars and restaurants that surround the center of Rome.

An overhead image of five white plate-bowls, filled with different pasta dishes, on a white tablecloth, along with a couple glasses of wine and a couple candles.
A spread of pastas from Tonino.
Brian Samuels Photography/Tonino

Wei Shu Wu Hot Pot 味蜀吾火锅

Wei Shu Wu has brought bubbling bowls of spicy Sichuan hot pot to North Quincy just in time to thaw everyone’s insides as temperatures dropped. There’s nearly endless options of meat, seafood, and veggies to dunk here, including skewers of duck gizzards, lobster meat, oysters, thin slices of marinated beef, and more. Bring a group and gather around the restaurant’s wide wooden tabletops, or sidle up to the bar where smaller hot pots are installed. The restaurant is an expansion of an international chain; this is its first location in the Boston area.

A hot pot table with dishes of beef, noodles, bok choy, rice cakes, duck gizzard skewers, and more laid out around the center bowl filled with two hot broths.
A feast at Wei Shu Wu.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

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