West of Boston’s trusty (and slightly run-down) South Station, one of the city’s liveliest, most authentic and food-centric neighborhoods has been a bastion of East Asian culture for over a century. While historic Chinatowns throughout New England have largely ceased to exist in modern times, Boston’s Chinatown remains strong today, serving as one of the largest of its kind in the United States.
Although this neighborhood has seen countless changes over the past century, one thing has remained constant: a truly spectacular dining scene. Business has come and gone over the decades, but today the neighborhood is home to a variety of popular restaurants — some of which were founded and operated at the behest of Brian Moy, a Massachusetts native and veteran restaurateur with deep connections to the area.
“I didn’t physically grow up in Chinatown, but my family always did business in Chinatown growing up,” says Moy. “About two years before I was born, my family had their first restaurant in Chinatown called Ho Yuen Ting. It was a neighborhood staple and a real family restaurant – my dad was in the kitchen, my grandparents were in the kitchen, my aunts and uncles were in the service area, so all my early special occasions and holiday memories are at this restaurant.”
Moy made his restaurant debut with LBR (Little Best Restaurant) in 2016, and although the restaurant ceased operations in December 2019, Moy’s legacy is strong to this day. From Shōjō, an elegant eatery with colorful murals, modern Asian cuisine and complex cocktails, to Nomai, a New American eatery that debuted in Hingham just this month. With a life in the area under his belt and the palate of an expert in premier Asian cuisine, we tapped into Moy for his recommendations for the ultimate guide to the best restaurants, bakeries and markets in Boston’s Chinatown.