Top New Restaurants in Boston 2016

From South End indie-Indian fusion to hipster Jewish deli in Kendall, presenting our road-tested, thoroughly vetted, highly subjective guide to the 25 new tables most deserving of reserving right now.

best new restaurants boston uni omakase

Scenes from the omakase chef’s-tasting menu at Uni. / Photographs by Nina Gallant

Two…neighborhoods…away. That was the mantra our team of testers kept in mind as we set about whittling this year’s bumper crop of restaurant newbies down to an elite 25. Meaning: Would we send a discerning foodie not one but two neighborhoods away to eat there?

While it took strength of conviction to let sparkling new neighborhood gems fall away in the same curatorial purge as the fledgling messes, even tougher was ranking the ones still standing. Defining “new” as opening between September 1, 2015, and September 1, 2016, meant pitting seasoned one-year-olds like Yvonne’s against gurgling newborns like Waypoint. How to be fair but, more important, how to be useful ?

To that end, we took a page out of the pro-sports playbook, approaching the rookies the way a scout might size up draft prospects—in our case, numerical scores assigned to food, drink, service, and ambiance. But we also factored in a host of intangibles, from staffing pedigree to how well the player might fill gaps in our city’s diningscape for the upcoming season.

Is there a chance we got it wrong? You bet. Even the sharpest scout can leave a Brady languishing in the sixth round. But if we had to guess which new eateries have the X-factor to take it all the way to the playoffs (i.e., Best of Boston 2017), these are the 25 we’d put our money on.

Edited by Jolyon Helterman
Photographs by Nina Gallant
With additional reporting by Elizabeth Bomze, Jacqueline Cain, and Brittany Jasnoff

See the List »


menu 1

2016: The Year of the…?
Five trends that took the city by storm this year.


menu 2

Addicted to Lobe
We’re calling it: This season’s ‘it’ ingredient is…sea urchin.

menu 3

A Sense of Plates
Three sets of beautiful dishes that caught our eye.


menu 4

Moony Side Up
It’s 8 p.m. Do you know where your omelets are?

menu 5

How Tiger Mama Reversed the Curse
Tiffani Faison took a risk on Boylston at Kilmarnock.


menu 6-2

Nine Eye-Catching Drinks from Mamaleh’s
This is not your bubbe’s soda fountain.

menu 7

All Over the Map
Xinjiang noodles, Moldova tortes, Sapporo ramen… Mmm…


menu 8

The Splice Is Right
Matzo-ball ramen, Indian-Belgian frites, and more.