To wrap up the year, Eater Boston polled both local journalists and readers of this site to get their thoughts on the past year in hospitality: the good, the bad, and the most exciting things to come in 2023. The results have been collected in the following series of articles. (Check out the full archive here.)
Below we ask: What was your first takeout or home delivery order this year?
Marc Hurwitz, Founder of Boston’s Hidden Restaurants and Boston Restaurant Talk, Food/Travel Writer for Dig Boston and NBC Boston/NECN:
“Either BoonNoon Market in East Arlington or New London Pizza in Concord. The former offers great Thai food at reasonable prices, while the latter has really tasty New London pizza (which is basically Greek pizza).”
Valerie Li Stack, Eater Boston contributor:
“Shanghai Fresh: I’ll always be a little girl from Shanghai at heart. When it comes to takeout, I naturally gravitate towards traditional, umami-oriented Shanghainese food, which gives me the most comfort when I’m just too busy or too tired (or both) to even turn on the stove. And Shanghai Fresh does just that. Some of my favorites include minced pork wrapped in tofu leaves floating in a cloudy broth with pork bones, stir-fried edamame with pickled mustard greens, and red braised pork belly, one of my all-time favorites.”
James Bennett II, WGBH Arts and Culture Reporter:
“Dora Taqueria, no question. When you’re still imagining your new kitchen, a constant situation with leftover tacos/burritos is like finding a $50 bill in a pair of pants you haven’t worn in months.”
Matt Shearer, reporter for WBZ NewsRadio:
“The Doogy Deluxe by Hot Doogy in Natick. It’s a hot dog with bacon, mashed potatoes, corn, vinaigrette salsa, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, potato sticks, homemade tomato sauce, catupiry cream cheese, special green mayo, and ketchup. (Yes I copied and pasted that from their website) So messy yet so delicious. I feel like this place is a hidden gem because it’s always so quiet, but they are in the process of opening a new location, literally right across the street in Natick Mall. It’s basically Dunkin’ business model, but for hot dogs.”
MC Slim JB, Boston Magazine Food Critic:
“I don’t do a lot of takeout, but I’ve had good luck with the new Yunnan Kitchen in my South End neighborhood. It serves Southwest China’s Dian cuisine, which is new to me, with its Sichuan, Hunan, and Uyghur flavors, as well as dishes of its own. I love the plates that bring the mala warmth with fresh chilies and Sichuan peppercorns, like simmered pork in chili oil: a monster portion (big enough for three) loaded with raw garlic, hot mala, and novel spices. It’s stunning in all the right ways.”
Devra First, Boston Globe food critic:
“I don’t do a lot of takeout/delivery, but I love the vermicelli bowl with crusty buns and lemongrass seitan at Banh Mi Oi in West Roxbury and the veggie combo from Ethiopian Cafe in JP. Sometimes on pizza night we order from A&N House of Pizza in Roslindale just so I can order avgolemono and spanakopita on the side.”
Rachel Leah Blumenthal, Boston Magazine Food Editor:
“I moved to Medford from Somerville – almost on the Malden border – about a year and a half ago, so I’ve had a blast figuring out my new delivery clips in the Medford/Malden/Everett range. I absolutely adore the pizza at Square Deli in Everett (and the pasta I swiped off my toddler’s plate the other day is awesome too!) We also order a lot of Chinese – mainly Chili Garden in Medford or Bun’s House in Everett for Sichuan, District Kitchen in Malden for dumplings, and Asian Taste in Medford for old-school Chinese-American, like these pork-filled egg rolls with the perfect bubbly shell and solid combo plate from General Gao. Also pops up frequently in my inbox when I search for packing slips (ouch, that was a tedious search!): Poke from Waikiki in Somerville; Ramen from Zuru Zuru in Malden; Vietnamese, mostly bun dac biet, from Saigon NV in Malden; the 50/50 sub (half chicken, half meatballs!) from Bob’s Italian in Medford; and fried chicken sandwiches from Neighborhood Kitchen in Medford.”
Nearly 100 people took part in the Eater Boston restaurant survey this year (thanks everyone!). Below are the top ten reader responses for takeout and delivery locations this year.
These answers have been slightly condensed and edited for clarity.