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26 Boston Restaurant, Bar, and Café Openings We Can’t Wait for in 2024

There’s a lot to look forward to this year: All-you-can-eat wagyu shabu-shabu; “listening bars”; love letters to Greece, Portugal, and Thailand; and more.


Raw slices of scallop topped with delicate garnishes are plated carefully within the scallop shell on a slate plate.

XOXO Bar’s live Boston diver scallop. / Photo by Margaret Flynn

We’re a month into 2024, and it’s already been jam-packed with delicious new openings—Mexican in Somerville! Noodles times two in Cambridge! A café/plant shop on Mission Hill! A pepperoni Negroni-filled food hall downtown! Casual omakase in Charlestown! With 11 months of the year still to go, we’re looking forward to countless other openings, reopenings, and expansions—restaurants fancy and casual, bars, cafés—spanning a variety of cuisines and neighborhoods. Below, check out the details on 26 spots we’ve got an eye on, and stay tuned for more restaurant opening coverage throughout the year. Know of something that should be on our radar? Our inbox is open.


Althea

With lovable Italian restaurant Vialé going strong for nearly a decade now in Central Square, the husband-and-wife duo behind it, Greg Reeves and Shauna Reyburn, are opening a new restaurant right down the street. Althea, taking over the recently closed Dial space on Main Street, is aimed at “healing the soul with food, wine, and humans,” says Reyburn. She and Reeves describe the food as creative American with “thoughtfully sourced ingredients,” including local veggies that’ll get cooked up on an outdoor grill. “We know what the community wants and needs—and deserves,” says Reyburn. “Althea lets us do more of that with a new twist—but still growing from strong local roots.” Watch for live music and a raw bar on the spacious patio come warmer weather.

Anticipated opening: April 2024. 907 Main St., Central Square, Cambridge.

Two grilled whole fish sit in an oily, herby sauce on a white plate, accompanied by a charred lemon half.

Baleia’s grilled sardines with turmeric chermoula and preserved lemon. / Courtesy photo

Baleia

The Coda Group looks to Italy with its restaurants SRV, the Salty Pig, and 2023 newcomer Gufo, but the team is taking Boston diners on a trip to Portugal with its newest endeavor, Baleia (Portuguese for “whale”), opening soon at the Troy Boston apartment building. Executive chef Andrew Hebert will be serving a Portuguese-inspired menu heavy on seafood, featuring dishes such as cataplana (braised pork and seafood stew) and whole roasted black bass (charred lemon, presunto, and anchovy XO), not to mention non-fish options like piri-piri chicken and lamb shank tagine. The latter is a nod to North African cuisine; Baleia’s menu touches on not just Portugal but “port cities that have been heavily influenced by Portuguese cuisine,” per Coda partner and director of operations Ted Hawkins. The wine list will be entirely Portuguese, and the cocktails will be inspired by the region.

Anticipated opening: Early March 2024. 264 E Berkeley St., South End, Boston, baleiaboston.com.

BE Pasta Bar

Sometimes you just need a quick cup of on-the-go pasta, especially if you’re cramming for finals. This Boston University-area fast-casual restaurant, inspired by European pasta shops, will make its pasta in-house, sourcing ingredients from Greece and Italy.

Anticipated opening: February 2024. 1026 Commonwealth Ave., Brookline (on the Boston border).

A bowl of mussels in broth, accompanied by bread, sits on a counter with other seafood dishes and glasses of beer.

Bluefin’s mussels. / Photo by Carlie Febo

Bluefin

Lobster rolls, clam chowder, raw bar items, and more: A seafood shop and takeout restaurant at Somerville’s Bow Market is expanding into bigger digs in Jamaica Plain. The second location will similarly operate as a fresh fish market and seafood-focused takeout joint, but with a bit more space for customers—and for executive chef Manya Lulek to have fun with seasonal plates to complement the core menu of New England classics. The expansion also allows the Bluefin team, founded by lifelong fisherman Jason Tucker, to improve its farmers market program, bringing fresh seafood to more communities, and the plan is to launch a fresh fish subscription service, too (think seafood CSA).

Anticipated opening: Mid-March 2024. 660B Centre St., Jamaica Plain, Boston, bluefinrawbar.com.

Café Gloria

Local industry vet Will Isaza is best-known for his bartending skills, most recently as director of bar operations for cocktail gems Blossom Bar, Ivory Pearl, and Birds of Paradise. But the East Boston native will soon be bringing a different drink to his old neighborhood with his first solo project: coffee. Café Gloria, which he’s describing as a neighborhood coffee and espresso bar, will highlight Colombian coffee beans, as well as a co-branded roast with Cambridge-based Broadsheet Coffee Roasters. There’ll be a variety of coffee-shop beverages and canned cold brew, not to mention a nonalcoholic version of Isaza’s award-winning coffee-and-passionfruit “Gloria” cocktail. Also on the menu: the Colombian rice bowls of his childhood, plus other snack-y recipes from his mother (Gloria!).

Anticipated opening: Late spring 2024. 287 Maverick St., East Boston, cafegloriaeastie.com.

A quartet of leopard-spotted pizzas with various toppings sits on a table.

A selection of Ciao Somerville pizzas. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Ciao Somerville

The tiny original location of Ciao! Pizza and Pasta in Chelsea gets loads of acclaim for its irresistible Neapolitan-style pizzas. This Somerville expansion—taking over the former Eat at Jumbo’s space in Ball Square—will allow fans to enjoy the pies more easily with a bit more seating, plus new menu items. For one, the original location’s popular salsiccia pizza (house-made fennel sausage with pickled cherry peppers) will be a little bit different on the Somerville menu; plus, look for new pasta dishes, more salads, and various bruschetta options.

Anticipated opening: Imminent. 688 Broadway, Ball Square, Somerville, ciaopizzaandpasta.com.

Four ears of corn are slathered in bright-red dust and crumbled cheese.

Citrus & Salt’s grilled street corn with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos crumbs, smoked mayonnaise, and cotija. / Courtesy photo

Citrus & Salt

After a little over six years, Jason Santos is moving his coastal Mexican-inspired Back Bay restaurant—awash in pastels, Dole Whips, and pitchers of margaritas—to a larger space in Fort Point. It’ll be open for lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, and late-night service, with a mix of old favorites and new dishes. Local firm Assembly Designs is working on the space, which will be decorated with flamingos, flowers, and sugar skulls galore. Compared to the original location, which closes with a big party on February 23 (watch the restaurant’s social media for ticket info), it’ll have a larger dining room, more space for private events, and a big patio. (Santos is also opening his previously announced fast-casual, all-day restaurant Butterbird at Arsenal Yards in Watertown around July 2024, showcasing biscuits, fried chicken, and beignets.)

Anticipated opening: March 2024. 319 A St., Fort Point, Boston, citrusandsaltboston.com.

Crush Pizza

Downtown Boston lost an excellent source for casual, Neapolitan-style pizzas—cooked fast and hot in wood-fired ovens—at the end of 2020, when Crush’s State Street location shut down after seven years. A Quincy location, open since 2019, has been going strong since then, but at the time of the downtown closure, chef and owner Tony Naser expressed hope to open another location somewhere in Boston at some point. It’s finally coming to pass: Crush will debut soon in East Boston. “It will have that same vibrant, industrial feel that our Quincy location has,” per a spokesperson, “but still a touch of old-school vibe that we love.” The Italian-imported ovens are different this time, conveyor-style gas/electric hybrids meant for consistency and perfect for Crush’s current Italian-meets-New-York style. Also on the menu: sandwiches, salads, wings, and other fun stuff, like loaded fries in various styles.

Anticipated opening: Early spring 2024. 975 Saratoga St., East Boston, crushpizza.com. 

Desnuda Cocina e Bar

Part restaurant, part music-focused “listening bar”—that’s a phrase you’ll see again below—Desnuda “will take traditional Mexican, Peruvian, and Asian cuisine and strip it bare,” courtesy of executive chef Jesus Preciado, per a spokesperson for MAZI Food Group (also behind Kava Neo-Taverna, Ilona, and Gigi). Preciado will draw inspiration from his own Colombian roots as well as travels around Latin America and Asia. Expect an emphasis on cocktails and music, too, with the overall concept aiming to “capture the fiery, Latin heartbeat.”

Anticipated opening: Summer 2024. 647 Tremont St., South End, Boston.

Four buns are stuffed with cheese and ham, served with a fruit preserve on the side.

Folio’s manchego gougères with Serrano ham and quince-apricot mostarda. / Photo by Samantha Barracca Photography

Folio

Beacon Hill’s gorgeous membership-based library, the Boston Athenaeum, is undergoing a massive renovation—and that includes the addition of an open-to-the-public restaurant run by the Catered Affair, the team behind food and beverage offerings at other local libraries, museums, and beyond. (See also: the Map Room Tea Lounge at Boston Public Library.) At Folio, expect French and Mediterranean fare, served breakfast through dinner, alongside a French-leaning wine list. The team is describing the cuisine as “bistronomy,” a portmanteau of bistro and gastronomy.

Anticipated opening: 2024. 14A Beacon St., Beacon Hill, Boston, thecateredaffair.com/folio.

Jacob Wirth

Steeped in history, German restaurant and beer hall Jacob Wirth (home to decades of piano singalongs!) operated from 1868 until its closure following a 2018 fire. It had actually been put up for sale earlier that year—and now, finally, new owners are working on reopening it. (Its interior is designated as a Landmark, which adds some challenges to renovations, but construction is ongoing, and the team’s been having a fun time stumbling on lots of old safes in the walls—disappointingly empty.) The revamp is a collaboration between City Realty and Royale Entertainment Group, and a lot will be the same, but with an accessible entrance, a roomier bathroom for women, televisions, and—the team and we say this lovingly—improved food. “The guts, the history, the bones are still there,” says Jamison La Guardia, vice president of sales and operations for Royale Entertainment Group. “We’re just contemporizing it.” The piano, of course, will be back, and the team’s even considering adding a second piano for occasional dueling piano nights, but plans are still fluid. The menu, too, won’t be finalized for a while, but the team does plan to bring back some nostalgic dishes from the most recent incarnation as well as historical menus they’ve found from the 1950s-60s. “We’re definitely keeping the German elements,” says La Guardia.

Anticipated opening: Late spring 2024. 31 Stuart St., Downtown Boston. 

Kaia

Xenia Greek Hospitality—the team behind 2023 showstopper Bar Vlaha (not to mention Greek wine bar Krasi, mysterious cocktail bar Hecate, and growing fast-casual chain Greco)—is opening “an homage to the Aegean Coast” in the South End. The Xenia crew isn’t sharing many details yet but asserts that Kaia will continue the group’s “dedication to making Boston home to one of the most exciting Greek dining scenes in the country.” (Meanwhile, they’re also opening a new Greco location at the Burlington Mall in April.)

Anticipated opening: Summer 2024. 380 Harrison Ave., South End, Boston, xeniagreekhospitality.com.

Rendering of a glamorous bar with dark brown wood accents and white marble tables.

The ground-level bar at La Padrona at Raffles. / Rendering by AvroKO

La Padrona

Raffles Boston, the glitzy Back Bay hotel that debuted last year, already has a few dining and drinking options up and running, like upscale Portuguese destination Amar. Joining the lineup in 2024: La Padrona, an Italian restaurant from A Street Hospitality, the group behind Trade, Porto, and more. The team includes James Beard award-winning chef Jody Adams as Chief Culinary Officer, as well as Eric Papachristos as CEO and Jon Mendez as COO. At La Padrona, Adams and executive chef Amarilys Colón will highlight a variety of Italian regional cuisines with lots of fresh seafood and house-made pastas. The glamorous two-story space—with design inspired by late Italian post-war architect Gae Aulenti, among other sources—will include a bar and lounge on the ground floor with the main dining area on the second.

Anticipated opening: April 2024. 40 Trinity Pl. (Raffles Boston), Back Bay, Boston, raffles.com/boston.

Overhead view of a bowl of thin, straight noodles topped with whole shrimp, thinly sliced green onions, and roe.

A version of Lê Madeline’s Viet Cajun noodles during menu testing: garlic noodles, butter basil shrimp, salmon roe, parmesan. (The updated dish features crawfish instead of shrimp.) / Photo by Ken Rivard

Lê Madeline

After a decade-long run, restaurateur Tam Le is converting his Quincy restaurant Pho Linh, which served traditional Vietnamese fare, into Lê Madeline. The new concept, which Le tested as a pop-up at Pho Linh over the last few months, showcases creative Vietnamese fare—mixing in some global flavors and techniques—by executive chef Peter Nguyen, a Dorchester native whose resume includes stints at Cambridge’s Little Donkey and Houston’s Riel. While the classic Pho Linh menu will remain available at lunch, Nguyen’s new dishes will come out to play at dinner, from Viet Cajun crawfish noodles (inspired by his time down south) to gỏi vịt, pan-seared duck breast salad. Also: fun, Vietnamese-inspired cocktails from industry vet Allan Yee, such as the Second Wind, an espresso martini with Vietnamese coffee and fig vodka.

Anticipated opening: February 8, 2024. (Pho Linh closed January 31.) 409 Hancock St., Quincy, lemadeline.com.

Merai

Here at Boston, we’re just a tad obsessed with Brookline’s Thai hotspot Mahaniyom, so we’ve been eagerly awaiting its forthcoming sibling, Merai, where the team will “celebrate and cherish the diversity in food with what we know best: Thai flavors,” as managing partner Chompon Boonnak previously put it. Now that the menu is almost complete, he teases a few dishes, such as khao soi fettuccine and hung lay bao bun. The bar (with a full liquor license) will be a focus, too—merai, after all, is a Thai word referring to alcohol.

Anticipated opening: Early 2024. 14 Harvard St., Brookline Village, instagram.com/merai.bar. 

Mikiya Wagyu Shabu House

Restaurateur Kevin Liu (of Matsunori Handroll Bar, among other ventures) might be one of the busiest folks around. In addition to a handful of restaurants in operation, he and his partners have around a dozen new projects in the works in various cities, including quite a few in Greater Boston. Currently under construction with an estimated month or two left to go: a Chinatown location of Mikiya, a growing all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu chain showcasing—like many of Liu’s restaurants—wagyu. (Conveniently, he owns a wagyu ranch in Miyazaki, Japan.) The vibes are luxurious. Stay tuned for details on other intriguing restaurants coming down the pipeline, too.

Anticipated opening: Early 2024. 21 Hudson St., Unit 101, Chinatown, Boston, mikiyashabu.com.

A cheeseburger, cut in half with one half stacked atop the other, features a thin bun, American cheese, and bright orange sauce.

Nowon’s “legendary cheeseburger” with roasted kimchi, kimchi special sauce, American cheese, pickles, and onion. / Photo by Young Skeletons

Nowon

The team from New York City-based Nowon, a Korean-American pocha (gastropub), is “very excited” to expand to Boston’s Seaport District, says chef and proprietor Jae Lee. The restaurant, with current locations in New York’s East Village and Bushwick, is named for Lee’s South Korean hometown. The “legendary cheeseburger” gets top billing, a smashed double burger with kimchi special sauce, roasted kimchi, American cheese, pickles, and onion (although we’re already eyeing “Jae’s chicken bun,” with double-fried chicken thigh, soy-pickled jalapeño, parmesan, peanut, and cabbage slaw). Tasting menus are available for the groups who want to try a little bit of everything. Open seven days a week (lunch, brunch, and dinner), the Boston restaurant will feature seasonal outdoor seating and a full liquor license.

Anticipated opening: Late summer 2024. 117 Seaport Blvd., Seaport District, Boston, nowonusa.com.

A bowl of dark brown broth is full of crispy chashu pork, meatballs, and herbs.

Menu testing for Ricen: crispy chashu boat noodles with stewed pork, pork ball, and pork rinds, with Thai chili oil and fermented chili on the side. / Photo by Panupak Kraiwong

Ricen

The long-empty Rod Dee space in Porter Square will finally get new life—as another Thai restaurant! Panupak Kraiwong, who founded Best of Boston winner Dakzen in Somerville (but left the company a few years back), is behind Ricen, which will focus on rice and noodle dishes, inspired by his most recent trip back to Thailand. “I was amazed by how much Thai food has changed,” says Kraiwong. “We will serve new Thai food” and focus on careful sourcing of ingredients like fresh calamari and salmon. Ricen’s meals fall under the category of “jaan diew,” essentially single-dish meals where an entrée is served complete with noodles or rice (as opposed to, say, dining with a big group and sharing lots of à la carte entrees with separate sides of carbs). Kraiwong’s friend’s mom, Sasirin (July) Siwayawirote, is cofounder and executive chef of Ricen. “She used to have her own restaurant in Thailand,” says Kraiwong, “so we can guarantee that the taste is really close to original taste.”

Anticipated opening: May 2024. 1906 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge, instagram.com/ricenboston.

A rendering of an elegant seafood restaurant has a very nautical feel, with light wooden beams, blue tiling, and ivory archways over rounded blue banquettes.

A rendering of Seamark Seafood & Cocktails. / Courtesy image

Seamark Seafood & Cocktails / Old Wives’ Tale

While there’s no shortage of food and drinks at Encore Boston Harbor, we’re always up for a shiny new option. (Can’t have a fancy steak every day, we suppose.) A new seafood restaurant—complete with a speakeasy-style cocktail bar—is opening soon, from Vegas-based Carver Road Hospitality, which is owned by Boston native Sean Christie. Expect elevated New England seafood dishes and nautical-inspired design, spanning a large main dining room and several other seating areas, including a seasonal terrace. Old Wives’ Tale, an intimate cocktail bar, will be hidden behind a wall of the restaurant, allowing spirits enthusiasts to “explore ports of call around the globe.” The team promises craft cocktails that “pay homage to the essence of the ocean”—and they’re sure to be photogenic, if that’s your priority, thanks to “oceanic glassware” and sea creature-like garnishes.

Anticipated opening: April 2024. 1 Broadway (Encore Boston Harbor), Everett, seamarkencore.com.

Exterior shot of a curved building. Paper in the ground-floor windows reads "top shelf low brow."

Find Small Victories right by the Andrew T stop. / Courtesy photo

Small Victories

This “no-frills neighborhood tavern,” coming soon to South Boston, is “mostly a carbon copy of [East Boston sibling] the Quiet Few, but if the Quiet Few drank a Monster Energy drink,” says founder Josh Weinstein. (The new spot is about twice the size of its older sibling.) It’ll focus on whiskey and American pub fare, serving as “a place for people in the neighborhood to congregate, celebrate, and commiserate with old and new friends alike.” The larger size will allow for even more whiskey than its big sibling, not to mention a bigger food menu (“Seafood!” notes Weinstein), an amaro list, a photobooth, and more fun.

Anticipated opening: Late March 2024. 400 Dorchester St. (across from the Andrew T stop), South Boston, smallvictoriesbar.com. 

Somaek, Temple Records, and more

Restaurateur Jamie Bissonnette’s 2023 departure from the restaurant group he built with Ken Oringer (Toro, Coppa, etc.) came as a surprise to longtime fans citywide. Now, he’s onto the next adventure—or, rather, at least three, as the Globe reports. With Andy Cartin and Babak Bina (JM Curley, Bogie’s Place, the Wig Shop), he’ll open a Korean restaurant called Somaek (with noodles, rice cakes, and more inspired by his Korean mother-in-law’s cooking) and a listening bar (is 2024 the year of the listening bar?) called Temple Records (with Bissonnette’s “super-eclectic” collection of music), plus a 20-seat sushi counter, Sushi @ Temple Records, this year. These’ll all be in Downtown Crossing, near Cartin and Bina’s existing spots. The trio is apparently planning more restaurants for 2024, too. Big year!

Anticipated opening: March 2024. 11 Temple Pl., Downtown Crossing, Boston.

Rendering of a bright white restaurant dining room with dark blue and wicker accents and some greenery.

Taco Azul rendering. / Courtesy image

Taco Azul

Restaurateur Dan Leyva—who counts spearheading a massive overhaul of the Wings Over chain among his 15 years of hospitality experience—is bringing “a modern Mexican taco restaurant” to Boston this year, opening first on Beacon Hill, with the Seaport and Cambridge in his sights—“and all throughout Massachusetts,” he says. The restaurants will be casual (but full-service, and with full liquor licenses) and feature “delicious guacamole, tacos, and margaritas,” he says, perfect for “a quick business lunch, a family dinner, a date night, or a fun night out.”

Anticipated opening: Mid-2024. Beacon Hill, Boston, tacoazul.com.

Unnamed fast-casual restaurant from Will Gilson

The chef and restaurateur behind Puritan & Co., Puritan Oyster Bar, and more is opening a casual rotisserie chicken spot with Mediterranean flare not far from his Cambridge Crossing trio of businesses (the Lexington, Geppetto, and Café Beatrice). Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant will have a year-round indoor farmers market attached. More to come soon, including a name.

Anticipated opening: Late May 2024. 68 First St., East Cambridge.

A rendering of a casual bakery and cafe features a mix of green vertical tiling, white subway tiling, potted plants, and shelves of breads.

Rendering of the counter area of Verveine Cafe & Bakery. / Rendering by Niemitz Design Group

Verveine Cafe & Bakery

The old gang is getting back together: Acclaimed pastry chef Monica Glass, who worked at restaurateur Ken Oringer’s restaurant Clio a decade ago, is partnering with Oringer to open a Cambridge bakery and café with global influences. This means treats such as kimchi egg cheddar danishes, black sesame croissants, ube brownies, and strawberry chamomile doughnuts. The beverage menu will play along the same lines, with “some fun coffee and latte drinks,” says Glass, featuring flavors like black sesame, ube coconut, peanut butter, and miso caramel. Also on deck: fresh juices and spritzes.

Anticipated opening: 2024. 298 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge, verveinecafe.com.

Overhead shot of raw salmon plated with a dramatically dripping green sauce.

XOXO Bar’s Ora King salmon. / Photo by Margaret Flynn

XOXO Bar

With Uni and Fat Baby alum Kegan Stritchko heading up the kitchen, American-Japanese restaurant XOXO Bar will feature omakase as well as à la carte sushi and robatayaki options. Dramatic cocktails will accompany—think smoke bubbles and fancy garnishes—in digs the team is describing as “sleek and modern,” centering around a 16-seat bar. Owners Fred Starikov and Steve Whalen are involved in a number of restaurants and bars in Greater Boston, including the reborn versions of the Thirsty Scholar in Somerville and the Silhouette in Allston.

Anticipated opening: March 2024. 1154 Boylston St. (across from the Shoppes at Chestnut Hill), Chestnut Hill, xoxosushi.com.

Overhead view of two bowls of udon, each featuring thick noodles, thinly sliced beef, scallions, crispy tempura flakes, and other toppings.

Yume Ga Arukara’s cold niku udon (spicy on the left, not spicy on the right). / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Yume Ga Arukara

There’s something to be said for the very concise menu at Cambridge mega-hit Yume Ga Arukara: You only have to choose hot or cold udon, spicy or not—and then sit back and enjoy your noodles. No appetizers, no desserts, no frills. (Seasonal specials occasionally appear.) That said, we’re excited to see the team get creative with an expanded space—more seating, full service, booze, and a bigger menu!—at the upcoming Seaport location.

Anticipated opening: February 19, 2024. 70 Pier 4 Blvd., Suite 260, Seaport District, Boston, yumegaarukara.com.