6 Must-Book Restaurants in Boston Right Now

Olive oil cake with caviar at The Winsor House at Island Creek Oyster Farm | Credit: Morgan Ione Yeager

Sample the globe in Boston and its ’burbs. New restaurants — ranging from a sprawling, three-story taqueria to a Chinatown-inspired bar and dining room — reinterpret the classic flavors of Asia, Mexico, Italy, and more, turning winter dining in Boston and beyond into an exciting, global affair.


Open now

Nash Bar & Stage (Theater District)

Credit: Nash Bar & Stage

Broadway has always played a role in Boston’s Theater District, but this time it’s the energy, style, and cuisine of Nashville’s hopping Broadway Street that stars in this dynamic neighborhood spot, which opened in January. Chef-owner and Hell’s Kitchen alum Jason Santos is no stranger to a stage of sorts himself, and he brings the heat with jalapeño cheddar sliders, hot Nashville-style fried chicken, and a rotating-flavor milkshake of the month to cool it all down. Work off those calories by kicking up your heels with line dancing on Thursday nights, or tap your toes to live music on two separate stages every Friday and Saturday night. Boston’s not exactly renowned for its late-night options, so those who like to burn the midnight oil can rejoice: The kitchen closes at 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, with bar service on those days until 2am.

Garrison House (Brookline)

Modern craft brews and cocktails are served from a historical, early 1920s-era bar top at Garrison House, a restaurant that debuted in early December 2021, where old meets new in the best possible ways. The sparkling new interiors pay homage to classic Boston pubs, accented by a fun selection of modern art, while pub food gets multiple makeovers (filet mignon and wagyu beef meatballs are offered in addition to a burger topped with housemade bacon tomato marmalade). Beer fans will delight in the Garrison House mug club, where membership is earned after sampling what’s in all 30 of the restaurant’s rotating draft lines, as well as another 30 bottles or cans. 

Tradesman (Charlestown)

It’s all about creature comforts at Tradesman, a spot that opened doors in December 2021, where the fire from a roaring pizza oven illuminates a cozy, open-concept dining room and coffee shop. Beans from Massachusetts-based Barrington Coffee Roasting Company are roasted daily, as is the hand-rolled dough for pies. Locally made sausage with cherry peppers and flaky pecorino atop a thin and crunchy crust is a crowd favorite. For a real comfort food classic, nosh on the Thanksgiving sandwich, stuffed with sage dressing, roasted turkey, and cranberry chipotle aioli.

Mex Taqueria & Bar (Kendall Square)

Mex Taqueria & Bar | Credit: Eric Luciano

The owners of Sulmona and Amelia’s Trattoria expanded their local — and global — footprint in Kendall Square in December 2021 with Mex Taqueria & Bar, swapping pasta and pizza for tacos and tequila. Like their other ventures, Mex is a feast for the eyes and the stomach. The three floors each have a different vibe, with a 50-seat open-air terrace on the first, the “Viper Lounge” and its leather booths and snakeskin-patterned walls on the second, and a rooftop deck boasting a fire pit and couches on the third. The menu marries traditional dishes, such as classic carnitas, with creative twists like sushi tacos. An extensive tequila list makes for an ideal way to toast the end of a long workday — or celebrate a raucous weekend — in this technology hub.

New England

Open now

The Winsor House at Island Creek Oyster Farm (Duxbury, Massachusetts)

Credit: Morgan Ione Yeager

Island Creek is a household name for any New England oyster fan – but the supplier has now opened its own fish house, just steps from its renowned shellfish farm. The building was once home to a sea captain and was then converted into a restaurant in 1932. Today the property’s complete facelift has blue hues that evoke the nearby bay, and enhanced natural light lets diners admire what’s on their plate. The flavors, colors, and textures in tuna and beef tartare toast (featuring pumpkin seeds, chimichurri, and marinated beets) all pop, as do the fried oyster sliders with chipotle cocktail sauce. Those who want to indulge in more ways than one should save room for the olive oil cake – studded with caviar, it runs $45. 

Nomai (Hingham, Massachusetts)

The team behind foodie favorites Shōjō and Ruckus ventured outside Boston for the first time with their foray into Hingham this January. Owner Brian Moy was influenced by the smells, sights, and tastes at his father’s Chinatown restaurants, and he’s since blazed his own trail with contemporary Asian small plates and a fast-casual pan-Asian noodle bar. While some dishes on his newest menu reach for the same approach (the crispy chile calamari here is perfect for sharing or snacking), larger offerings, such as lemongrass filet mignon, as well as a sumptuous setting, will make you want to linger. Nomai is named for a rare red Japanese maple tree, and several preside over the 6,000-square-foot space, transporting diners to a magical garden. 

Tried them all? Check out other options here.