Tropical Cocktails in South Boston, Tacos on Mission Hill, and More Local Food News

Plus, fun things to do in the coming weeks—and a few local gifts to buy for the holidays.

Interior shot of an empty, brightly lit bar with a large beach mural featuring a surfboard and a Jeep, plus light wood accents, shelves of liquor bottles, and a green plant wall with neon signage reading Fresh.

Sip cocktails at Fresh, South Boston’s new Nantucket import. / Photo courtesy of Fresh Boston

Welcome to our weekly news roundup, keeping you up to date on tidbits of Boston-area restaurant news. Got info that should be on our radar? Send an email.

Catch up on last week’s news

Still craving turkey? Last week, we rounded up some of Greater Boston’s tastiest Thanksgiving-themed sandwiches, many of which are available all year long. We also took a look at special holiday lunches happening at local restaurants throughout December, and stay tuned, because this list will be getting longer. And we dove into the “big disco energy” vibes at Tiffani Faison’s new Fenway restaurant, a full-blown version of the Tenderoni’s concept she introduced at downtown food hall High Street Place earlier this year.

What else is going on?

First, some restaurant openings!

  • Bustling Mexican restaurant Yellow Door Taqueria made it a trio, adding a Mission Hill location to its roster (joining outposts in the South End and Dorchester’s Lower Mills). Find the taco- and margarita-packed menu here.
  • Fresh—a Nantucket-based deli, bar, and liquor store that opened back in 2008—has expanded to South Boston, serving sandwiches, bagels, cheese and charcuterie, tropical cocktails, and more. Find hours, menus, and more info here, along with some very cute merch.
  • Local pop-up Sandwich Boy Company has opened a brick-and-mortar location in the food court at CambridgeSide, specializing in fried chicken sandwiches and crispy chicken bites.
  • Need some caffeine and perhaps a baklava trio while getting your motorcycle fixed? Roxbury’s Madhouse Motors has opened a gorgeous café onsite, Madhouse Café. Sneak a peek at the menu here, and considering swinging by even if you don’t have a bike.
  • Taiyaki NYC, a soft-serve chain with a location in Boston’s Seaport, has opened a second Massachusetts outpost: Find it in Harvard Square serving up colorful twists of ice cream in adorable fish-shaped cones—alongside another new spot, the Dough Club, Taiyaki’s sibling mochi doughnut shop.

And some other odds and ends.

  • Here is a 700-pound Mickey Mouse statue that looks like a lobster, back in Boston after a long hiatus. It’s obviously known as Lobsta Mickey. How many lobster rolls could someone make out of this thing?
  • Darwin’s Ltd.—a longtime Cambridge quartet of cafés featuring sandwiches, coffee, wine, and more—recently announced the upcoming closure of all its locations. Its original location on Mt. Auburn St. is now officially closed after nearly 30 years in business. The remaining three locations will be wrapping up operations on December 22, so you still have a few weeks to enjoy one last Tempeh Tantrum sandwich or avocado toast.
  • A coming attraction: A two-story restaurant, bar, and live-music space called Hue is set to open at the Copley Square Hotel later this year, serving what the team describes as “American comfort foods with Asian accents.” Upstairs, think crispy chicken wings with sweet chili sauce; slow-roasted pork ribs with spicy tamarind glaze; and an Impossible burger with spicy Thai tomato jam. Downstairs? DJs and live music and a menu with dishes such as escargot with XO butter and whole fried fish with sweet and sour sauce. There’ll be bars on each level—including a speakeasy-style backroom highlighting special wine and champagne picks—and bottle service.

Things to do

Be sure to check out our weekly roundup of great events in and around the city, from music and theater to festivals and art exhibits. Here are a few upcoming food events that’ve caught our eye; follow the links for pricing, timing, and other pertinent info:

  • Quick: Snag a $5 virtual ticket to tune into a discussion with renowned chef Jacques Pépin about his new book, Art of the Chicken: A Master Chef’s Recipes and Stories of the Humble Bird. It’s tonight (November 29) at 6:30 p.m. (In-person tickets for the event, taking place at WBUR’s CitySpace, are sold out.)
  • Lamplighter Brewing Co. has a busy events calendar at both of its Cambridge locations, full of food pop-ups, trivia, and more. There’s lots to enjoy in the upcoming weeks, including a burger pop-up from the team behind Curio Coffee, the excellent little coffee shop and wine bar near Lechmere. Catch them at Lamplighter’s Broadway location on December 3, showcasing several smash burgers and a couple other treats. (Vegetarian options available.)
  • Boston Harbor Hotel’s Boston Food & Wine Festival returns in 2023 for its 34th year, with a variety of wine dinners, brunches, and other events taking place from January through March. Find the calendar of events and links to purchase tickets here.

Things to buy

The holiday season is in full swing, so we’re adding a new section to our weekly roundup: Here are a few local food or food-adjacent products to consider gifting your food-loving friends this year.

  • Comfort Kitchen—a Dorchester restaurant highlighting flavors of the African diaspora—is still working toward an opening date, but in the meantime, you can buy this snazzy holiday gift box full of Nepali chiya mix, a suya spice blend, suya cookies, and a Comfort Kitchen mug. Available for pickup—and get a sneak peek of the almost-finished restaurant!—December 21 to 23; preorder online.
  • This fall, Duxbury-based Island Creek Oysters launched a line of single-origin tinned shellfish in partnership with Conservas Mariscadora from Galicia, Spain, which means that you can give your seafood-loving friends razor clams in oil, cockles in brine, and more, all boxed in very giftable packaging. Check out the options—and more tinned fish from other sources, too—at Island Creek’s website, available for shipping.
  • We’re in love with local artist Sarah Dudek’s prints, ornaments, and more, many of which are food-themed, including some Boston-area favorites. Check out Dudek’s Etsy shop here for a whole lot of Fluff-related art, for example.