Where to Eat in Greater Boston in May 2024

New and exciting restaurants to check out, plus new reasons to visit older spots.

A margherita pizza with a leopard-spotted crust sits on a rustic dark wood countertop in front of a white brick wall.

Ciao Somerville’s margherita pizza (San Marzano tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil, Parmigiano Reggiano). / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

May is here, and it’s an exciting month for Neapolitan-style pizza, fancy sushi, beer gardens, and lots more. Here’s the latest installment of our monthly guide on where to eat around Greater Boston—a mix of new restaurants, old restaurants doing new things, a few particularly great meals we’ve enjoyed lately, and a peek ahead at imminent openings. (Check out last month’s guide here.)

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New Restaurants to Try This Month

Recent openings you’ve got to check out.

Closeup of a pizza with a leopard-spotted crust and a crumbled sausage topping, sitting on a white marble countertop.

Ciao Somerville’s salsiccia pizza (San Marzano tomato, house-made fennel sausage, Calabrian peppers). / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Ciao Somerville

Favorite Chelsea pizzeria Ciao, known for its Neapolitan-style pies, quietly opened its new Somerville location in April, featuring a little bit more seating than at its big sibling, plus a larger menu and easy Green Line access. Wood-fired bruschetta with seasonal toppings, pasta, salads, and a handful of desserts (try the poached pear) round out the menu.

688 Broadway, Ball Square, Somerville, 617-764-1108,

The Dooliner

This Nonantum newcomer from Doolin, Ireland, native Seamus Queally has all the trappings of a perfect neighborhood pub: cozy vibes, live Irish music, hearty gastropub fare (the corned beef Reuben is an early hit), and even a dog-friendly patio. Sláinte!

7 West St., Newton,

An arcade space features racing simulators.

F1 Arcade. / Courtesy photo

F1 Arcade

Put the pedal to the metal at this Formula 1 simulator venue, a London import with an eye toward massive U.S. expansion. The racing spot, which debuted in late April, is the latest addition to Boston’s bustling activity-bar scene, complete with Wagyu burgers and themed cocktails. Here’s a peek inside.

87 Pier 4 Blvd., Seaport District, Boston,

Fox & Flight

Pre-flight rigatoni Bolognese and Campari margaritas? Don’t mind if we do. Boston’s acclaimed chef Karen Akunowicz has opened an offshoot of her first restaurant, the northern Italian–inspired Fox & the Knife, post-security at Logan.

Boston Logan International Airport (Terminal A Satellite Concourse), East Boston,

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

When chef Jody Adams makes Italian food, beautiful things happen. Bottle that magic up inside the gorgeously designed Raffles Boston hotel, and you’ve got one of the most hotly anticipated restaurants of the year, courtesy of Adams and her A Street Hospitality partners (also behind Trade, Porto, Saloniki, and the Venetian). Keep an eye out for La Padrona’s glamorous debut at some point this month.

40 Trinity Pl. (Raffles Boston), Back Bay, Boston, 617-351-8888,

Post 1917

Find yourself north of the city and in the mood for steak? Reading’s newest opening is a steakhouse, Post 1917, from chef and owner Jason Carron, who has worked in hospitality consulting for years. On the menu: a seafood tower, a variety of steak cuts sourced from Brandt Beef, lobster mac and cheese, and more. A large patio, complete with an outdoor bar, is expected to open on Memorial Day weekend.

136 Haven St., Reading, 617-970-8566,

Three cups of ice cream with Van Leeuwen branding in cursive sit in front of a yellow background.

Van Leeuwen ice cream. / Courtesy photo

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Maybe limited-time ice cream flavor collabs like Hidden Valley Ranch aren’t quite your thing, but New York-based chain Van Leeuwen is known for its simple and creative-but-not-as-weird-as-ranch flavors, too—and now, it’s here in Greater Boston. The first of three planned scoop shops opened in Chestnut Hill last month, with Seaport and Harvard Square locations on the way later this year. Watch for flavors like lemon poppyseed muffin, Sicilian pistachio, and praline butter cake.

55 Boylston St. (The Street Chestnut Hill), Chestnut Hill,

Wa Shin

It takes guts to open an omakase spot in a city already full of excellent ones, but this elegant newcomer, nestled in Boston’s tiny Bay Village neighborhood, is off to an impressive start. Reserve a seat at the hinoki-wood counter for 18 courses of exemplary sushi by executive chef Sky Zheng, who trained under Daisuke Nakazawa at the Michelin-starred Sushi Nakazawa in New York. Reservations are a must.

222 Stuart St., Bay Village, Boston, 857-289-9290,

Overhead view of scallop, prepared with delicate garnishes and plated in its shell, atop a bed of kelp.

XOXO Sushi Bar’s live scallop with strawberry zu, makrut oil, lemon, and candied quinoa. / Photo by Joe St.Pierre

XOXO Sushi Bar

You want a modern twist on Edomae-style sushi; your date wants crispy pork-belly skewers grilled over charcoal. Toast to your differences with dramatic cocktails at one of the newest Japanese hot spots in town.

1154 Boylston St. (across from the Shoppes at Chestnut Hill), Chestnut Hill,

Older Restaurants Doing New Things

Interesting menu changes, special events, new chefs, seasonal reopenings. 

Aeronaut Allston

Aeronaut Brewing Co.’s popular Allston beer garden returns for the season on May 9, with plans to stay open until mid-September. Head over Thursday through Saturday night all summer long for beer, hard seltzer, and nonalcoholic beers and kombucha; a genre-hopping live music schedule; rotating food trucks; and other fun. Bring your dog!

267 Western Ave., Allston, Boston,

Bloc Cafe

Bloc Cafe is welcoming Acton-based winery Marzae Wines for a weekly pop-up natural wine bar on Thursday nights, starting May 2. The café will offer a special counter-service food menu with dishes like savory pop-tarts, grilled cheese on semolina sourdough, and mascarpone ice cream with roasted strawberries, while the beverage menu (wines, wine cocktails, mocktails) will be available via table service from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. It’s a good opportunity to get to know Marzae, since the Acton facility is a bit of a hike for those in and around Somerville. Keep an eye out for Marzae founder and head winemaker/winegrower Eliot Martin, who will be on hand most weeks to chat about the wine.

11 Bow St., Union Square, Somerville, 67-623-0000,

Cambridge Brewing Company

Not a “new thing,” per se, but a celebration of an old thing: CBC hits the big 3-5 this year, throwing a party on May 4, which will include the release of a special version of the brewery’s Tripel Threat aged in apple brandy barrels. Even if you can’t make the party, consider revisiting the Kendall Square stalwart this month for craft brews and comfort food. Plus, the spacious patio is open for the season.

1 Kendall Sq., Bldg. 100, Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-494-1994,

The Greenway Beer Gardens

In other booze news, the Rose Kennedy Greenway has brought back—and added to—its beverage options for the summer. The Trillium garden reopened for its eighth season in mid-April, serving up a variety of its own beers on draft, plus hard seltzers. Rotating food trucks stop by, and leashed dogs are welcome; find it at Atlantic Avenue at High Street. And starting on May 8, Night Shift Brewing will operate a garden at Dewey Square Park, with easy access to rotating food trucks and a variety of events throughout the warm months.

Rose Kennedy Greenway, Downtown Boston,

Hi-Rise Sweets

The Cambridge carb experts behind Hi-Rise Bread Company have expanded into the former EHChocolatier space in Huron Village with a new, more dessert-focused business: Hi-Rise Sweets. Swing by for cakes, jams, cookies, and other treats.

145 Huron Ave., Cambridge,

Mamaleh’s Kibitz Corner

The newest endeavor from the Mamaleh’s delicatessen crew is a revamp of the Cambridge space previously housing sibling spot Vincent’s (and before that, Hungry Mother). Now open as Mamaleh’s Kibitz Corner, this multipurpose outpost is a test kitchen, event space, and more.

233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave., Cambridge,

Two hands hold a brioche hot dog-style bun stuffed with fried seafood and topped with a thick squiggle of white sauce.

Nightshade Clam Shack’s fried salt and pepper clam roll. / Photo by Alyssa Blumstein

Nightshade Clam Shack

The team behind the award-winning Lynn restaurant Nightshade Noodle Bar is offering its seasonal, casual Nightshade Clam Shack menu for a third year, starting May 2. Available for takeout and delivery via sibling/neighbor Sin City Superette (which also has a bit of seating inside and out), the Clam Shack menu features Viet-Cajun seafood, a variety of bánh mì, fried clam boxes, and more. Available for lunch Thursday through Sunday.

71 Exchange St., Lynn,

The Playwright

The Playwright is back and better than ever, celebrating 20-plus years in business with a big overhaul. If the stage for live music or the projector screens don’t catch your attention, maybe the toasted-s’mores-cup dessert and large-format Amalfi spritz will.

658 E. Broadway, South Boston, 617-269-2537,

Staff Recommendations

Just a few places we’ve enjoyed recently that we think you’ll love too.

Overhead view of a Thai noodle bowl with pork, eggs, crispy wontons, and greens, with a side of broth.

Dakzen’s ba mee moo dang. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal


Davis Square Thai staple Dakzen always hits the spot. The khao soi—a warming northern curry—is one of the best around, but when we want to change things up, our other go-to is the ba mee moo dang, featuring pork three different ways. Egg noodles are topped with barbecue red pork, crispy pork belly (which Dakzen does particularly well; order it as your protein of choice for other dishes), and pork-and-shrimp wontons, plus greens, egg, cilantro, crispy wonton, and barbecue sauce. Finish with the side of flavorful chicken broth, which feels like it can cure just about anything.

195 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville, 617-718-1759,

Two Neapolitan-style pizzas, one with cheese, tomato, and basil, and the other with pepperoni, sit on a wooden table.

Margherita and pepperoni pizzas at Sogno in Woburn. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal


Open for about a year and a half, this classy Woburn Italian spot features live music every weeknight in its spacious dining room—not to mention some of the best Neapolitan-inspired pizza around. The airy, lightly charred crust is showcased best when you go with minimal toppings: Try the margherita (fior de latte, San Marzano, and basil) or the pepperoni, which features the always-perfect pepperoni from Ohio-based Ezzo Sausage Co., only served at a few spots around Greater Boston.

304 Cambridge Rd., Woburn, 781-625-1300,

Overhead view of plump Italian tortellacci with a crumble of panko.

Brown butter and sage tortellacci at Table. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal


I’m a sucker for a communal dining experience—sharing a table with strangers is always a fun, dinner-party-like adventure. This is how the seating works at Table in the North End (but germaphobes needn’t worry, you’re only sharing the family-style dishes with the people in your own party). It makes for a lively, warm evening with friends new and old, as you stuff yourself full of course after course of Italian on the pre-set, generously portioned tasting menu. A recently highlight was the plump tortellacci al formaggio with pancetta panko crumble, brown butter, and sage; you won’t find exactly this dish on the current menu, but a similar combination of ingredients stars pan-seared ricotta gnocchi instead of the tortellacci. Whatever’s on the menu, you’ll leave quite satisfied—and probably with a hefty doggy bag.

445 Hanover St., North End, Boston, 857-250-4286,

Looking Ahead

We’ve got an eye out for these soon-to-open spots. (Find our full list of 2024 anticipated openings here.)

Several Uyghur noodle dishes and a dish with hot chili oil are spread on a colorful carpet with a copper pot of tea and a glass of wine in view.

A spread of dishes at Jahunger. / Courtesy photo


We’re big fans of this acclaimed Uyghur restaurant in Providence, so we’re eagerly awaiting opening day at its new Cambridgeport location—which could be as soon as this month. Don’t miss the spicy hand-pulled Jahunger noodles or the lamb kavap (kebabs).


Thai-style small plates are spread across a table, including sausage in a bun, dumplings, noodles in a thick orange sauce, and more.

A spread of dishes from the opening menu at Merai, with lobster-topped khao soi fettuccine in the foreground. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal


Mahaniyom, a big-deal Thai restaurant in Brookline Village that keeps snapping up acclaim (and our hearts), is getting an exciting new sibling down the street any day now. Merai, an “elevated dive bar,” takes Thai flavors and mixes them up with global influences. The opening menu features dishes such as khao soi fettuccine, cold Korean-style noodles with some Thai-inspired changes, and kra pao sausage served like an American hot dog, for example.

14 Harvard St., Brookline Village,

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

Love the Quiet Few in Eastie? Check out its new (bigger!) sibling, awash in whiskey, amaro, pub grub, and a photo booth. It’s as if the Quiet Few “drank a Monster Energy drink,” as founder Josh Weinstein puts it. As of mid-April, the bar had shared a few sneak peeks of the nearly complete space on Instagram, so prepare for an imminent opening—and brush up on your shuffleboard skills.

400 Dorchester St., South Boston,

A version of this guide first appeared in the print edition of the May 2024 issue with the headline, “Hot List.”