Hot Plates: 10 Dishes to Try Right Now in Boston
From all-American burgers to Brazilian-style hot dogs to scoops of boozy ice cream, check out this handy list of buzz-worthy plates.
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Hungry? We’re here to help. Behold our list of the most crave-worthy, must-try dishes on Boston menus at this very moment. These are the tasty new offerings that have us talking–when our mouth isn’t full, of course. [Updated: April 23, 2021]
Burgers at the Capital Burger
Here’s a capital idea: Pull up a patio seat at Newbury Street’s newest burger bar, which comes from the same prime beef purveyors behind the upscale Capital Grille steakhouse chain. Their proprietary patty blend is provided by Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, which supplies some of New York’s best restaurants, and it winds up topped with everything from aged-balsamic mushrooms to candied smoked bacon to shallot aioli. Every meal starts with a mason jar full of house pickles, but we highly suggest ending things with a spiked milkshake—say, the Stoli Doli with vodka, vanilla ice cream, and candied pineapple.
159 Newbury St., Boston, 617-262-1333, thecapitalburger.com.
Brazilian-style hot dogs at Hot Doogy
What comes after burgers? Hot dogs, of course—though you’ll need a fully dedicated appetite to handle the massive, overloaded dogs at Hot Doogy, which just opened in Natick. Brazil natives Thiago and Fernanda Andrade wanted to bring the Bay State somewhere to find the kind of toppings-heaped franks they love back home, where you’ll commonly find mashed potatoes, peas and spread-like catupiry cheese among the many, many fixings. Whatever you add on top, make sure you include the signature spicy, seasoned green mayo; it’s especially delicious on the Linguiça Doogy, a smoked sausage buried under olives, potato sticks, jalapeños, and more.
1300 D Worcester St. (Sherwood Plaza), Natick, 774-231-4177, hotdoogy.com.
Flan from La Flanetería
Attention flan fans: Prepare to obsess over La Flanetería, a new project from Vanessa Yip. Her tremendous takes on the custard dessert have quickly amassed a cult following—how could it not, when she covers her always-changing creations in everything from Fruity Pebbles cereal to caviar to Chilean pebre sauce from Bow Market-based Buenas? (Don’t worry, there’s plenty of caramel slathered classics, too.) Buenas is currently hosting La Flanetería on #OnlyFlans Mondays, when customers can pick up their advance orders of slices or full tins, or score some of the fast-going flan that’s available for walk-ups.
The Pavona from Lamplighter Brewing Co. and Pammy’s
What do you get when one of the region’s best breweries and best Italian restaurants decide to team up? The Pavona, a crisp new Pilsner that is on the delightfully dry side and perfect for day-drinking. (Just in time for spring!) The new collaborative brew, whose name is Italian for “peacock” (a nod to local artist Rebecca Walsh’s colorful mural at Pammy’s), is available exclusively at the Cambridge restaurant and brewery. It’s making an impact across the region, though, by donating $1 of every bottle sold to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, which supports survivors of sexual violence.
Ramen at Muku Ramen
You want something hot? Like, really hot? Okay, then: Head to Central Square’s newest ramen shop, Muku Ramen, and order the Blue Devil. The bowl of tonkotsu broth—filled with pork belly chashu, corn fritter, egg and more—invokes the Carolina Reaper, a chili pepper that is currently recognized by Guinness World Records as the hottest on the globe. Dance with this devil if you dare, though you won’t be disappointed by any of the other offerings from chef Toru Oga, a Kyoto, Japan native who also owns Oga’s Japanese Cuisine in nearby Natick.
411 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-865-7888, mukuramen.com.
Fried chicken and waffles from the Neighborhood Kitchen
If you still haven’t made it to Medford to check out one of the Boston area’s best spots for fried chicken, take note: There’s one week left to check out the Neighborhood Kitchen during its pop-up appearance at Ruckus in Chinatown. The highlight is chef Eddie George’s crispy wings or tenders that come in a slew of flavors—from lemon pepper to sweet barbecue—and nest atop your choice of waffle: red velvet, honey cornbread, and Asian sesame and scallion are among the options. You can find these anytime at his restaurant, or hit up Ruckus before the Neighborhood moves out at the end of April.
84 Spring St., Medford, 781-391-9000, nkboston.com; Ruckus pop-up is located at 5 Tyler St., Boston.
“Wide Awake” warm brownie sundae at Night Shift Kitchen & Tap
Although Night Shift’s West End brewery and restaurant won’t reopen until sometime in May, the craft beer maker has just launched another exciting bar and eatery inside the Encore Boston Harbor casino. Kitchen & Tap, located just down the street from Night Shift’s original brewery in Everett, has more than 20 beers on tap and a full, fantastic menu from chef Kyle Bradish that covers suds-friendly snacks and larger plates like marinated steak tips. The real nightcap, though, is the Wide Awake brownie sundae, served warm with candied pecans, maraschino cherries, and a chocolate sauce made with Night Shift’s Wide Awake imperial stout.
1 Broadway (Encore Boston Harbor), Everett, 857-770-7000, encorebostonharbor.com.
“The Boozy Capsule” ice cream collection at OddFellows Ice Cream
Missing all your favorite, still-closed cocktail bars? We are, too. And so, evidently, is OddFellows, the NYC-based ice cream brand with a shop just outside Boston. The scoop shop has just unveiled a new “Boozy Capsule” collection of pints inspired by cocktails found at some of the world’s best bars: La Finca, for instance, is a sherry and coffee liqueur-infused variety inspired by Australia’s definitive drinking destination, Maybe Sammy. Then there’s the coconutty, gin-spiked Buko Gimlet, a tribute to Manhattan’s Death & Co., as well as the gin-, mint-, and lemon-saturated Strawberry Kush, which nods to the Barcelona bar Two Schmucks. There’s six “capsule” ice creams overall, and a portion of proceeds benefit Another Round Another Rally, which offers financial aid to hospitality workers struggling during COVID.
33 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 617-505-6446, oddfellowsnyc.com.
Beach-food favorites from the Shack Truck by Summer Shack
It’s not quite time for summer beach trips, but iconic Boston chef Jasper White’s Summer Shack restaurant has already put its brand-new Shack Truck on the road. The mobile meal dispensary has already started rolling up to the Rose Kennedy Greenway multiple days a week, with plenty of visits to breweries and other venues already on the agenda. Check out the calendar here, then head out to snag beach-food favorites like lobster rolls, fried fish tacos, fried whole belly clams, and more. The Shack Truck also has one item you won’t find at the restaurants: the Smash Burger, a quarter-pound Angus beef patty with grilled onions and cheddar on a brioche bun—with a side of Cape Cod potato chips, because beach.
A board of fire-kissed skewers at Terra
If our recent guide to Boston’s best charcuterie boards hasn’t already given you meat sweats, may we suggest a sizzling splay of spiedini from Terra? Chef Dan Bazzinotti’s wood fired grill-centric restaurant inside Eataly has just added to its menu Per La Tavola (“For the Table”), an assortment of tender meat skewers that arrive fire-kissed and still smoking. (No, seriously, there’s even charcoal on the board.) The specific offerings change monthly, but you’ll always find something exciting—like bombette, skewered rolls of pounded-out pork loin filled with salumi and Pecorino Romano—plus the cooling accompaniment of a little gem salad with sweet garlic dressing.
Eataly, 800 Boylston St. (Prudential Center), Boston, 617-807-7307, eataly.com.