As 2021 attracts to a detailed, we dug by way of our information to see what you hung out studying this yr — which information tales caught your eye, which maps hopefully helped you eat properly, which guides fueled your wanderlust.
The numbers present a pair clear indicators: Pandemic-related data — updates on rules, challenges, and closures — depressingly stays as necessary and related because it was in 2020. However there’s numerous hope on the horizon, too. Regardless of the whole lot, a lot of eating places did handle to open this yr, and also you wished to listen to about them, from a cell phone-free wine and dessert bar in Cambridge to a French restaurant within the South Finish to Italian in South Boston.
Information on huge out-of-town cooks and restaurant teams coming to Boston grabbed numerous your consideration — Man Fieri, Main Meals Group, and, narrowly lacking the highest 10, Gordon Ramsay — however you cared loads about impartial, native people as properly, together with a decades-old barbecue joint in Mattapan.
And also you’re actually into lobster rolls, Italian meals, out of doors eating, and Chinatown.
Right here’s a glance again at 2021 by way of the lens of Eater Boston’s most-read information tales, native and journey maps and guides, and options.
COVID-related information clearly continued to dominate the panorama this yr, however tales on out-of-town cooks and eating places coming to Boston additionally generated numerous curiosity, in addition to updates on restaurant openings across the metropolis.
- What Are Massachusetts’s COVID-19 Rules for Restaurants and Bars Right Now?: It’s maybe no shock that the most-read information of the yr was an oft-updated explainer on Massachusetts’s ever-changing COVID-related pointers for the restaurant business. There was a lull in new rules for the second half of the yr, however developing on the finish of December, Boston introduced a proof-of-vaccination mandate for indoor dining (beginning in January 2022), with extra communities seemingly following go well with. Early 2022 would possibly find yourself wanting like a repeat of early 2021, however right here’s hoping it doesn’t.
- A Running List of Spring 2021 Restaurant Reopenings: Winter 2020-2021 was marked by quite a few eating places quickly closing for the season, citing COVID-related challenges — staffing points, lack of outside eating house, and rather more. Fortuitously many reopened after winter. This winter, fairly a number of eating places have introduced transient closures after COVID publicity or constructive checks on employees, however it doesn’t appear to be there will likely be a repeat of final yr’s momentary however long-term closures.
- Guy Fieri Is Operating Ghost Kitchens Out of a Handful of Boston Area Bertucci’s: Really, fairly a number of “ghost kitchens” have been working out of native Bertucci’s this yr. And Fieri’s been within the native information a bit for different causes, too, together with a brand new downtown Boston restaurant that opened in December within the former Explorateur house.
- Capacity Caps Will Be Removed for Massachusetts Restaurants on March 1: Bear in mind the early days of 2021, a blur of phases and steps of reopening plans? March 1 marked an easing of the capability cap on indoor eating, which had beforehand been 40 p.c — and earlier than that, 25 p.c.
- Contessa, a Glitzy Rooftop Restaurant, Will Open by the Public Garden in June / Swanky Rooftop Restaurant Contessa Debuts on Newbury Street: Because it will get tougher and tougher for native, impartial eating places to outlive, main out-of-town restaurant teams — like New York-based Main Meals Group — have been swooping in with big-budget initiatives. Contessa is fairly, and reservations are onerous to come back by, however don’t overlook that Boston has fairly a number of excellent Italian restaurants owned and operated by locals, too.
- Over 70 Restaurants Have Opened Around Boston in Fall 2021: This operating checklist of fall restaurant openings included particulars on a Parisian cafe in Again Bay, a pho spot in Allston, ramen within the West Finish, southern Italian in South Boston, and rather more.
- Eastern Standard, the Hawthorne, and Island Creek Oyster Bar All Close for Good: Restaurant business people and native diners are nonetheless mourning the lack of this iconic Kenmore Sq. trio. Such a bummer.
- Japan’s Menya Jiro Ramen Chain Opens First Boston-Area Location: Boston loves ramen and is all the time completely happy to simply accept yet one more addition to the scene. This location is in Harvard Sq.; it’s additionally coming to Boston’s Seaport District and Dedham.
- It Was the Summer of Seafood Towers in Boston: Right here’s the rundown on all of the eating places that opened within the Boston-area eating scene in summer time 2021, serving the whole lot from lobster Rockefeller and vegan pizza to northern Italian delicacies and fancy tiramisu.
- Some Boston-Area Restaurants and Music Venues Are Requiring Proof of Vaccination: Within the absence of statewide COVID mandates, cities, cities, and companies could make their very own guidelines as omicron variant circumstances are on the rise. Some companies started requiring proof of vaccination over the summer time; now, Boston and a few close by communities will likely be requiring proof of vaccination for indoor eating beginning within the new yr.
Maps and Guides (Boston and Close by)
- The 38 Essential Restaurants in Boston: Up to date every season, the Eater 38 is supposed to reply any query that begins, “Are you able to advocate a restaurant?” It spans a number of cuisines, prices, and neighborhoods in and close to Boston, providing restaurant suggestions for each event.
- The Hottest New Restaurants in Boston: Up to date every month, the Eater Heatmap includes a dozen buzzy new eating places in and across the metropolis which might be thrilling keen diners.
- Where to Eat in Boston’s North End: The very best bakeries, pizzerias, and eating places within the Hub’s Little Italy.
- The Eater Boston Outdoor Dining Guide for 2021: Patio maps and updates, beer backyard information, and extra — Bostonians are all the time hungry for out of doors eating information, and going into one other COVID winter, out of doors eating will proceed to be necessary. Keep tuned for 2022 updates on heated patios and different pertinent data.
- 26 Iconic Dishes Around Boston: Get to know town and surrounding space with these important eats, from cannoli to fried clams to Cream of Wheat (sure, actually).
- 25 Outstanding Boston-Area Sushi Restaurants: From easy perfection to mountains of gold flakes and truffles.
- Where to Eat in Boston’s Chinatown: The neighborhood’s finest eating places for dumplings and dim sum and noodles and sushi and a lot extra.
- Where to Eat Italian Food in Boston: It’s not all concerning the North Finish (however okay, positive, there’s numerous good Italian meals within the North Finish).
- Where to Eat Lobster Rolls in Boston: The northeast is awful with lobster rolls — right here’s the place to discover a good one within the Hub.
- Where to Dine on Rooftops in and Around Boston: Don’t simply get outdoors — stand up excessive and soak up all of the views Boston has to supply.
Maps and Guides (New England Journey Past Boston)
- New England Doughnuts Worth the Drive: Day-tripping from Boston? Seize some doughnuts at one (or extra) of those glorious outlets.
- How to Eat and Drink in Portland, Maine, Like a Restaurant Industry Pro: Croque-monsieur croissants, late-night lobster grilled cheese, platters of barbecue, omakase, and extra. This information was written pre-COVID (bear in mind 2019?), however Bostonians all the time get enthusiastic about journey to Portland, an unimaginable meals metropolis and a reasonably quick drive away.
- Where (and What) to Eat Outdoors in Portland, Maine: Extra Portland! From patios at cafes and breweries and izakayas to the sands of close by seashores, Vacationland’s greatest metropolis boasts plenty of glorious al fresco eating choices.
- How to Make the Most of a Quick, Off-Season Trip to Portland, Maine: Yet one more for Portland, with a cold-weather angle.
- How to Spend a Food-Filled Day in Mystic, Connecticut: The waterfront city is lower than two hours from Boston by prepare, and cacio e pepe sourdough doughnuts await.
- A Taste of New Haven’s East Rock Neighborhood: Get to the Connecticut metropolis in as little as two hours from Boston by prepare, and discover lots to eat within the East Rock neighborhood only a mile from the station.
- Four Maine Winter Adventures That End With Good Beer: Sneak away from Boston for a weekend stuffed with winter sports activities, vacation buying, and some glorious pints.
- What to Eat and Drink During an Off-Season Weekend in Provincetown: Even within the colder months, the seaside spot sings with warming schnitzel and ideal desserts.
- How to Eat and Drink in Maine — Beyond Portland — Like a Restaurant Industry Pro: Ployes, sauerkraut, an old-school salad bar, and extra.
- Where to Pick Apples and More in Massachusetts Before the Season Ends: Listed here are 15 Massachusetts farms that provide pick-your-own apples, pumpkins, and extra, to not point out quite a lot of different family-friendly fall actions.
Inside appears at new eating places, a deep dive right into a pizza model, private essays, and extra.
- Boston’s Detroit-Style Pizza Obsession Is Ramping Up: The place (and why) to eat the thick, spongy, rectangular pizza in and across the metropolis.
- Babka, Burekas, and Breads: Bakey Has Arrived in Boston: Steps from Boston Widespread, Danish-Israeli baker Uri Scheft is serving his well-known chocolate babka and plenty extra.
- Bonjour to Brasserie, Bringing French Fare Back to a Familiar Space: The primary restaurant from the brand new SoWa Eating Group opens within the former house of Gaslight.
- Nautilus Pier 4 Pulls Into the Seaport With Global Tapas and Futuristic Nautical Design: An inside have a look at the brand new Boston sibling of a pair of well-liked Nantucket eating places.
- For Pit Stop Barbecue, Southern Comfort Has Always Been Top Priority: The Mattapan restaurant has remained true to its roots for over three a long time.
- Leave Your Phone at Home to Enjoy Zuzu’s Petals, Cambridge’s New Wine and Dessert Bar: The cellphone-free zone, dripping with wealthy chocolate mousse and high quality wines, is a spot for “the one that’s obsessive about meals.”
- “There’s Been a Lot of Depression Over the Last Year”: For Boston’s LGBTQ nightlife and restaurant business staff, financial precarity solely represents a part of the devastation introduced on by COVID-19.
- Coquette Brings French-Inspired Cuisine to Boston’s Seaport, Dressed in Pastels and Mischief: Right here’s a better have a look at the menu from the brand new Yvonne’s and Mariel sibling, enjoying with influences from Basque Nation and past.
- The Noodles King: There may be by no means something good to eat in hospitals. So when my father was being handled for most cancers, I turned to a bowl of noodles for some consolation.
- The Teenage Wasteland of Cumberland Farms: As a teen within the ’90s, there was no higher approach to “look cool” than by casually ingesting espresso. For me, that meant iced espresso from Cumberland Farms.
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