Food and Drink

Everywhere You Need to Eat in Boston Right Now

Supper clubs, Portuguese fare, and more great restaurants for your next outing.

Photo courtesy of Grace by Nia
Photo courtesy of Grace by Nia

Photo courtesy of Grace by Nia

Boston’s restaurant scene is abuzz with countless openings across every imaginable cuisine. On the one hand, we refuse to apologize for our fervent love of chowder and lobster rolls, but the treasure trove of culinary delights goes much deeper than these low-hanging fruits of the sea.

We’re busy eating our way through the city, following our food moods from a tapas-style speakeasy to Mediterranean indulgences. Along the way, we’re planning old-school pizza hangs at a Food Network chef’s disco-vibed food hall opening and dabbling in destination-focused dining with deep dives into Lanzhou noodle bowls and the open-fire cuisine of Greece’s nomadic shepherds. Nestled in every nook and cranny of the city, here are Boston’s best new restaurants to check out right now.

Photo courtesy of Amar
Photo courtesy of Amar
Photo courtesy of Amar

Back Bay and Downtown Restaurants

Amar

Back Bay
Located on the 17th floor of Raffles Boston, the majestic view of the Charles River is just part of the allure of Amar, where Michelin-starred chef George Mendes dazzles guests with Portuguese fare. Originally a New Englander, Mendes honors his Portuguese heritage while collaborating with Boston’s farms and fishers like Wulf’s Fish and Brookline’s Allendale Farms. The menu also features a slow-roasted duck and Portuguese-sourced Carabinero Shrimp. Of course, the tableside trolley garners oohs and ahhs, offering rare Port and Madeira wines and adding to the refined rusticity.
How to book: Resy

Little Whale Oyster Bar

Back Bay
Chef Michael Serpa’s Little Whale on Newbury Street is intimate and downright charming. Obviously, the itty-bitty checklist-style oyster ordering adds to the vibe, but the main menu holds its own with local fried Ipswich Clams, Gloucester Swordfish, and Lobster Spaghetti. The seafood platters are perfect for date night or a seafood nosh with friends; grab the $125 Newbury with six local oysters, four shrimp, dressed lobster, ceviche, and salmon crudo. Pair it with bubbly, wine, or a craft beer like Maine Beer Company’s Little Whaleboat-because themes.
How to book: OpenTable

The Beacon at View Boston

Back Bay
High atop The Prudential Tower, View Boston is New England’s highest outdoor rooftop deck, and the 360-degree, 33-mile views are second to none. Their 22-seat bistro, The Beacon, rotates the menu seasonally and offers time-tested regional faves like lobster rolls and roast beef sandwiches with a jazzy BBQ-jalapeño aioli. You can also count on a few tastebud tempters like Goat Cheese Fritters. Those looking for some nightlife can get in on View Boston After Dark Thursday-Sunday when a $19.99 cover charge includes access to the bistro and the Stratus lounge.
How to book: OpenTable

Gordon Ramsay Burger

Downtown
Sauces simmered all day long? Slather it on, and give us more on the side, please. The highly focused menu at Gordon Ramsay Burger is a thing of beauty-burgers, shareables, and fries. A burger and fries will cost around $30, and they simmer fresh chipotle ketchup for hours each day, a good deal by all accounts. The roasted jalapeno Hell’s Kitchen Burger is a go-to, but you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. The buns are rich and fluffy, which shockingly applies to even the gluten-free buns, and the fries are top-notch.

Tenderoni’s at High Street Place

Downtown
It’s giving roller skating vibes. Tenderoni’s in High Street Place Food Hall is a funky old-school pizza joint with a sprinkle of magic ‘70s disco dust. It’s no surprise, coming from chef Tiffani Faison-known for Food Network’s Chopped-who is on the Board of Directors for Women Chefs and Restaurateurs in Boston, where she lives with her wife. Tenderoni subs? Classic colossal beauties, overstuffed with fillings like chicken parm and spicy sopresatta. The two-foot-long pizzas are framed with thick crust and plenty of charred cheesy bits along the edges. All this, plus the unbridled joy of pizza by the slice, starting at $7.
How to book: Walk-in and takeout service only

Zhi Wei Café

Downtown
Some days are just noodle days, and the inexplicable comfort of the noodle is a specialty at Zhi Wei Café, where China’s Lanzhou Noodles take center stage. The region is known for its beef noodle soup, with delicate, chewy, hand-stretched noodles, but the plump dumplings (steamed or pan-fried) are equally delicious. Beef and lamb are featured prominently, but you can’t go wrong with their vegetable noodles. They offer free delivery; just be sure to add the Redbean Pumpkin Cake dessert to your order for a top-to-bottom comfort food experience.
How to book: Walk-in and takeout service only

Photo courtesy of Grace by Nia
Photo courtesy of Grace by Nia
Photo courtesy of Grace by Nia

Seaport Restaurants

Grace by Nia

Seaport
Nia Grace, the restaurateur and co-founder of the Boston Black Hospitality Coalition launched her third food concept, Grace by Nia, a modern-day supper club where the atmosphere and food are imbued with feel-good vibes. The 5,000-square-foot space offers an intimate stage, impressive bar, and lounge area. In short, designer Peter Niemitz brought his A-game, intermingling the live jazz, R&B, soul, and hip-hop entertainment with Grace’s unique riff on the classic southern dining experience. Better yet, brunch is served every Sunday. Try the Carrot Cake Chicken & Waffle, Coconut Grits, and Creole Pasta.
How to book: SevenRooms

Hook + Line

Seaport
Perhaps chef Mark Cina has seawater coursing through his veins. He trained at Michelin-starred restaurants out west, but Cina’s a Massachusetts guy who grew up between the Cape and Needham. He cooked on Nantucket too, but now he’s at the helm of the waterfront newbie Hook + Line. Cina brings his brine to shell philosophy to the menu, which includes Stuffies and Whole Roasted Branzino, with riffs on cherished New England classics like Grilled Kayem Hot Dogs with caviar. In a hurry? Pop into their adjacent H + L Market and grab some fried clams, gluten-free chowder, or fresh fish.
How to book: OpenTable

Limani Grille

Seaport
Coming through with a nod to the shores of Cyprus and Greece, Limani Grille is all about that authentic olive oil life. Bangladeshi executive chef M.J. Alam’s menu reflects a jubilant parade of the health benefits and pure yumminess of the Mediterranean diet. With that, the menu is veg and seafood forward and includes plenty of fresh hummus and Avgolemono Soup, a traditional Greek soup of chicken and lemon. Steaks and lamb hold their own, but the menu’s ultra mojo is in its dedicated whole fish offerings-from Dover Sole to Lavraki, a Mediterranean Sea Bass.
How to book: OpenTable

Boqueria

Seaport
Hell ya, we’re down for a new speakeasy tapas hideaway. At quick glance, Boqueria is a tasty takeout joint, but hidden behind the freezer door, a super chic Spanish-style restaurant awaits. Prepare for tapas euphoria with nearly two dozen small plate options, from roasted broccoli with Marcona almonds and raisins to sizzling lamb skewers. Treat yourself to the Cerdo Ibérico-a ham from Andalusia pigs that forage for (and gorge themselves on) acorns. The vibe is sultry but approachable, with a cozy hidden-away, cave-ish ambiance and a Sangria for every mood.
How to book: Resy

Restaurants across Boston

Gigi

South End
Whether it’s the cozy ambiance (emerald green velvet, say no more!) or the hand-made pasta, Italian spot Gigi woos its guests with both style and substance. Linger the night away with small plate pastas or go big with the fresh tomato Rigatoni alla Vodka. Either way, the wine list reads like a romance novel with all its swoony sips, organized by the glass, bottle, and region. Brunch includes all the pasta options (of course), plus Ricotta Pancakes, Eggs in Purgatory, and a Milanese Sandwich with tomato jam.
How to book: Resy

Bar Vlaha

Brookline
The warmth of the decor at Bar Vlaha is more than just a chic aesthetic (cue the cozy textiles). The food, space, and philosophies are an homage to the Vlach people, nomadic shepherds from the rural mountain and lake villages of Central and Northern Greece. At the heart of it all lies the art of hospitality, and Bar Vlaha delivers with traditional nomadic cooking techniques of charcoal and open-fire methods. You’ll feel like family as you gather for executive chef Kathryn McCoart’s rustic sheep’s milk sourdough bread (Horiatiko Psomi) and Karydokeftedes, scrumptious walnut potato fritters.
How to book: OpenTable

Umbria

North End
Restaurateur Frank DePasquale and Boston’s North End are as synonymous as pasta and wine. The Italian innovator has seven dining concepts and oodles more culinary-centric ventures. His three-floor restaurant, Umbria, is a feastable steakhouse celebration of the famed Italian region. Chef Nello Caccioppoli, born and raised on the Amalfi Coast, oversees the cuisine and offers the best of Umbria’s artisanal pasta goodness and high-end steaks like the popular 36-ounce Prime Tomahawk Rib Eye for two. Then again, the wild boar Gnocchetti Al Cinghiale is the richly flavored dish to quell your opulence-meets-comfort cravings.
How to book: OpenTable

Mountain House Boston

Allston
The vibe at Mountain House is Tao in spirit, with a soothing fishpond and elegant ceramic ware. Boasting four locations, the Sichuan food nook-named one of the 100 Best Restaurants of 2023 by The New York Times-arrived in Boston in December 2023. Serving up cuisine traditional to the Sichuan Province of China, Mountain House delivers the numbing (yes, numbing) heat and spice of the region in their signature dishes like LaZi Chicken and the veg-heavy Spicy Frog Lover, made with tender frog meat.
How to book: Resy

MIDA

East Boston
Known for his extraordinary hospitality, doling out as many hugs and handshakes as entrees, chef-owner Douglass Williams embodies the essence of the communal nature of the food experience. The antipasti platters are spilling over with salumi, cheese, and dried fruits-just right for a little sharing and sipping sesh. But even his sides are noteworthy; the Roasted Carrots with sumac yogurt are reason enough to stop by. One of Boston’s only Black fine-dining chef-owners, Williams isn’t afraid to put high-end short rib lasagna side-by-side on the menu with house-made pizzas like his white sauce Bianco with shaved onions and mushrooms.
How to book: OpenTable

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Melanie Carden is a Boston-based freelance writer and former chef focusing on travel, food, and immersive adventure.

Food and Drink

Red Rooster Is Serving Free Chicken and Piping Hot Cash This Christmas in July

Get your early dose of festive cheer.

Red Rooster Christmas in July
Instagram / @redrooster_au

The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.

From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.

Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.

Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.

Terms and conditions apply. Visit Red Rooster’s Christmas in July to see all the deals.

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