New Restaurants to Try in Boston, March 2024

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New Restaurants to Try in Boston, March 2024

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New and exciting restaurants to check out, plus new reasons to visit older spots.

Baleia’s grilled piri-piri chicken with fries and roasted garlic aioli. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

March is here, the weather is confusing, and we’ve got one foot in our comfort-food season and one foot in is-it-too-early-to-eat-on-a-patio? season. Either way, there’s great food to be had, and we’re back with our monthly guide on where to eat around Greater Boston—a mix of new restaurants, old restaurants doing new things, a few particularly great meals Boston staffers have enjoyed lately, and a peek ahead at imminent openings. (Check out last month’s guide here.)

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Also check out our recently updated dining guides: French restaurants | Lobster rolls | Late-night food | Restaurants near TD Garden | Winter dining 

New Restaurants to Try This Month

Recent openings you’ve got to check out.

Two small buns sit next to each other, stuffed with grilled pork topped with mustard and peppers.

Baleia’s bifana rolls with marinated, grilled pork; yellow mustard; and piri-piri. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Baleia

This might just be the start of a madeira moment. The usually Italian-focused team behind SRV, Gufo, and the Salty Pig heads to Portugal with their latest spot, debuting March 6. Drawing inspiration from various Portuguese regions—as well as Portuguese-influenced port cities around the globe—Baleia serves a seafood-heavy menu in a big, breezy South End space, with plenty of fortified wines and plenty of pastéis de nata.

264 E. Berkeley St., South End, Boston, baleiaboston.com.

A cupcake with frosting in the shape of a succulent sits next to an actual succulent and a matcha latte on a white marble table.

Iced matcha latte and a succulent cupcake at the Green Haus. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

The Green Haus

A place to buy actual succulents and cupcakes decorated with frosting succulents—all while getting caffeinated? This gorgeous new Mission Hill café knows how to knock a few things off our to-do list. Here’s a peek inside the plant-filled space.

1520 Tremont St., Mission Hill, Boston, 617-821-0527, greenhaus.cafe.

Overhead view of a tray of smashburgers and crinkle-cut fries on tissue paper covered with smiley faces.

Burgers and fries from Big Grin at the Lineup food hall. / Photo by Brian Samuels

The Lineup

Downtown’s coming alive again thanks in part to chef-restaurateur John Fraser’s new food hall, which debuted in mid-January, serving up everything from pepperoni Negronis and smash-style burgers to Mexi-Cali bowls. It’s a bit different from other Boston food halls, which include a big mix of local vendors; this one is just five spots, and all from Fraser. But who needs 20 choices when one lovely Neapolitan-style pizza will do the trick? (Note: The Lineup is currently only open on weekdays, and only until 4 p.m.)

115 Federal St. (the Connector at Winthrop Center), Downtown Boston, lineupandeat.com.

Sugar Factory

Attention, wannabe influencers: This made-for-Instagram brasserie and candy shop has arrived in Faneuil Hall with decadent milkshakes, candy-garnished cocktails, and 24-karat-gold-dusted burgers.

101 S. Market St., Downtown Boston, 857-317-4793, sugarfactory.com.

A restaurant dining room features jungle wallpaper and a tree trunk with distinctive basket-like lights coming off of the top with fake leaves.

The back dining room at Tulum. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Tulum

If you can’t fly to Tulum this month, at least you can stop by this cozy new spot for Mexican, which has been drawing crowds since its January opening. Filled with lush greenery, the restaurant is the spot for ceviche, birria tacos, and dulce de leche-stuffed churros. A liquor license is in the works, and watch for outdoor seating once warmer weather arrives.

3 Washington St., East Somerville, 617-764-1608, tulumsomerville.com.

Wa Shin

Sky Zheng, an alum of New York’s Michelin-starred Sushi Nakazawa, has opened an elegant omakase restaurant in Boston’s tiny Bay Village, serving 18 delicately plated courses at a counter made of a Japanese Hinoki tree. (Table seating is coming soon, too.) Reservations required, and be sure to note your dietary restrictions in advance.

222 Stuart St., Bay Village, Boston, 857-289-9290, washinboston.com.

Washoku Renaissance

And another omakase option: Incredible omakase doesn’t have to be a fancy night out, so we’re thrilled that chef Youji Iwakura (of Downtown’s now-closed Kamakura) has found a casual home for his talents at the Foundation Kitchen food hall. Swing by for exceptional takeout, too.

32 Cambridge St. (Foundation Kitchen at the Graphic), Charlestown, Boston, washokurenaissance.com.

A black plastic takeout bowl is full of broth, thin rice noodles, a crispy wonton strip, and a giant pork meatball.

What a Soup’s pork ball boat noodle soup, via delivery. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

What a Soup

We love a Thai restaurant that’s laser-focused on one dish—it feels like Thailand! And that’s exactly what you’ll find at this newcomer near Central Square, which showcases several variations of aromatic boat noodle soup—including one with A5 wagyu for high rollers. (Ok, there are a few other dishes available, too, like barbecue pork belly skewers and giant shumai.)

125 River St., near Central Square, Cambridge, 617-395-3187, whatasoup.net.

Raw slices of scallop topped with delicate garnishes are plated carefully within the scallop shell on a slate plate.

XOXO Sushi Bar’s live Boston diver scallop. / Photo by Margaret Flynn

XOXO Sushi Bar

Opening March 8, this American-Japanese restaurant will serve omakase as well as à la carte sushi and robatayaki dishes, plus creative cocktails with dramatic flourishes. Uni and Fat Baby alum Kegan Stritchko leads the kitchen, sending out artistic plates that are sure to quickly draw crowds to the sleek Chestnut Hill digs.

1154 Boylston St. (across from the Shoppes at Chestnut Hill), Chestnut Hill, xoxosushi.com.

Overhead view of two bowls of udon, each featuring thick noodles, thinly sliced beef, scallions, crispy tempura flakes, and other toppings.

Yume Ga Arukara’s cold niku udon (spicy on the left, not spicy on the right). / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Yume Ga Arukara

Noodle alert: Beloved Cambridge udon spot Yume Ga Arukara has debuted its long-awaited Seaport expansion. To start, the hours and menu are limited, but once things really get going, the new location will have a larger menu than its older sibling—including beer, wine, and sake; small plates; more udon variations; and even dessert (cheesecake from Modern Pastry). Try to snag a counter seat for a front-row view of the noodle-making process.

70 Pier 4 Blvd. (The Superette), Seaport District, Boston, yumegaarukara.com.

Older Restaurants Doing New Things

Interesting menu changes, special events, new chefs. 

Beard Papa’s

Not so much an older restaurant doing a new thing but a previous spot making a comeback: Japan-based chain Beard Papa’s has returned to Boston. Known for its cream puffs, the bakery chain used to have a handful of local outposts that closed in the past few years, but Boston fans can once again enjoy the fresh-baked, light-as-air pastries stuffed with decadent cream. Here’s a peek inside.

232 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston, 857-449-9156, beardpapas.com/boston.

Committee

Lamb frites and shrimp saganaki, anyone? The Seaport District Greek restaurant and cocktail bar is getting a boost from a new menu, the return of lunch, and a (sort of) new executive chef. Luis Figueroa is now at the helm of the kitchen, but he was actually on Committee’s opening team back in 2015. (In the interim, he’s cooked at a few other places, including Greek restaurant Kosmos in Walpole.) The revamped lunch service includes a convenient mix of salads, sandwiches, and customizable bowls.

50 Northern Ave., Seaport District, Boston, 617-737-5051, committeeboston.com.

A green and white bowl holds noodles, crawfish, and salmon roe.

Lê Madeline’s Việt Cajun crawfish noodles: garlic noodles, basil-buttered crawfish, parmesan, salmon roe. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Lê Madeline

After 10 years, Quincy’s Pho Linh, a traditional Vietnamese noodle shop, has transformed into Lê Madeline, showcasing modern Vietnamese with a twist (not to mention a ridiculously good lobster roll and some killer cocktails). Executive chef Peter Nguyen, a Boston native who was most recently cooking down in Houston, draws some inspiration from the south, like in his Việt Cajun crawfish noodles dish (pictured above). You can still get the old Pho Linh menu at lunch, but head in for dinner for the full revamped Lê Madeline experience.

409 Hancock St., Quincy, lemadeline.com.

Phinista

As of the beginning of February, this French-Vietnamese café in the Fenway is under new ownership. Now, the daytime crêpe-and-bánh-mì-focused menu eases into dinner entrees in the evening, including Thai dishes like khao man gai (chicken and rice with garlic and ginger) and guay tiew neau toon (stewed beef with noodles). Watch social media for other updates.

96 Peterborough St., Fenway, Boston, 617-262-7700, phinista.com.

Thickly sliced steak sits on a plate with lots of fries and a small silver cup of pan sauce.

Steak frites at Rochambeau. / Courtesy photo

Rochambeau

This French stunner has been going strong since 2019, but now there’s a fresh reason to stop by: The downstairs dining area has been transformed into “The Steak Room,” a prix fixe steak frites heaven—with endless frites!—for lunch and dinner.

900 Boylston St., Back Bay, Boston, 617-247-0400, rochambeauboston.com.

Sullivan’s Castle Island

Not exactly a new thing—just Boston’s first sign of spring! Sullivan’s reopens its original Castle Island location on March 2 after its annual winter break. Hot dogs, burgers, fried fish, and ice cream await.

2080 William J. Day Blvd., South Boston, 617-268-5685, sullivanscastleisland.com.

Wink & Nod

By design, this South End cocktail bar’s culinary program rotates from time to time—and the time has come for the latest switch-up. Chef Louis DiBiccari’s Mediterranean-inspired pop-up, SubRosa, bid farewell in February, and now chef Brad Druckenbroad is onboard with Cenetta, “a contemporary approach to Italian classics.” You’ll find dishes such as tuna crudo cannoli, baked cod puttanesca, and limoncello cheesecake.

3 Appleton St., South End, Boston, 781-435-0394, winkandnod.com.

Staff Recommendations

Just a few places we’ve enjoyed recently that we think you’ll love too.

A bowl of French onion soup with charred cheese dripping over the sides of the bowl and thinly sliced chives on top.

Deuxave’s French onion soup. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Deuxave

Every plate that comes out of Deuxave’s modern French kitchen is a work of art; go ahead and browse the restaurant’s Instagram account for a minute, and we’ll be here when you get back. But the French onion soup—well, we were pleased to find that the team deviated from swooshes and perfect plating here, instead opting for the rustic delight of molten Comté cheese baked to the sides of the bowl, the way French onion soup should be. And this one just so happens to be one of the tastiest around, thanks to the fantastic depth of the nine-hour beef broth. The rest of the meal was delicious, but it’s the soup we’re still dreaming about a week later.

371 Commonwealth Ave., Back Bay, Boston, 617-517-5915, deuxave.com.

A tall slice of bread pudding sits in a pool of caramel and is topped with a melty scoop of ice cream.

Eastern Standard’s butterscotch bread pudding. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Eastern Standard

Eastern Standard is back; the baked rigatoni with lamb sausage is back; all is right in the world. Get the rigatoni, plus the luxurious butterscotch bread pudding with praline ice cream and salted butter caramel for dessert—and perhaps start or end at sibling cocktail bar next door, Equal Measure, for a cocktail.

775 Beacon St. (in the Bower), Fenway/Kenmore, Boston, 617-530-1590, easternstandardboston.com.

Three small tacos sit on a plate, topped with shredded pork, cilantro, and onions.

La Brasa’s cochinita tacos. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

La Brasa

The smell of the wood fire and the beautifully designed wooden interior will catch your attention first when you enter this East Somerville mainstay: It feels like the type of place that could be your comfortable neighborhood hang or your wedding venue. (Conveniently, the restaurant does host a lot of weddings!) You’ll want to make sure part of your meal includes tortillas, which are made in-house completely from scratch, starting with the nixtamalization of the corn. Might we suggest the fan-favorite cochinita tacos, made with chile de árbol, salsa verde, cilantro, and onion? We could eat a dozen of these—but then we wouldn’t have room for the expertly prepared entrees. Go for whichever version of duck or chuleta is currently on the menu.

124 Broadway, East Somerville, 617-764-1412, labrasasomerville.com.

A bowl of ramen features charred pieces of pork, red onion, egg, and corn.

Tora Ramen’s black garlic tonkotsu ramen. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Tora Ramen

No-frills but friendly, this cash-only Chinatown spot will get you in and out quickly on your lunch break. Choose from around 10 ramen options and an assortment of small plates (takoyaki, gyoza, etc.) We love the black garlic tonkotsu ramen, a hearty, umami-packed pick that stars torched pork belly and corn in a rich broth that takes about two days to make.

99 Harrison Ave., Chinatown, Boston, 857-233-4680, toraboston.com.

Looking Ahead

We’ve got an eye out for these soon-to-open spots. (Find our full list of 2024 anticipated openings here.)

A margherita pizza with a leopard-spotted crust sits on a rustic dark wood countertop in front of a white brick wall.

Ciao Somerville’s margherita pizza (San Marzano tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil, Parmigiano Reggiano). / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Ciao Somerville

Love the wood-fired pizzas from Chelsea’s acclaimed Ciao, but hate trying to find a seat? You’re in luck: The tiny eatery is expanding to Somerville’s Ball Square, steps from the Green Line, any day now. This location has a bit more room—and a bigger menu, from bruschetta with seasonal toppings to larger selections of pastas and salads than at the original. Watch social media for updates on an imminent opening-day announcement.

688 Broadway, Ball Square, Somerville.

A rendering of an elegant seafood restaurant has a very nautical feel, with light wooden beams, blue tiling, and ivory archways over rounded blue banquettes.

A rendering of Seamark Seafood & Cocktails. / Courtesy image

Seamark Seafood & Cocktails / Old Wives’ Tale

Seafood towers, lobster rolls, creative cocktails: It’s all on deck at Encore Boston Harbor’s forthcoming seafood spot (and speakeasy-style hidden cocktail bar, Old Wives’ Tale), set to open in April just off of the glamorous main lobby of the hotel and resort. Restaurateur Michael Schlow has signed on as chef-partner, collaborating with Vegas-based Carver Road Hospitality (which is run by Boston native Sean Christie). If you’re a longtime Bostonian, you’ll recognize Schlow from his past restaurants Radius, Via Matta, and more. And yep, that famous Radius burger will be on the menu at Seamark.

1 Broadway (Encore Boston Harbor), Everett, seamarkencore.com.

A version of this guide first appeared in the print edition of the March 2024 issue with the headline, “Hot List.”