5 new restaurant openings we’re excited about this month

Restaurants

Boston-area openings include an Instagram-worthy brasserie, a Japanese noodles spot, and more.

Waffle Breakfast Burger at Sugar Factory. Courtesy

New Year, new restaurants: And Boston’s culinary scene is certainly kicking off 2024 with a bang. A New Haven icon brings its thin, char-crusted pizza to Woburn and the Seaport, the South End sees a new offering from Coda Restaurant Group in the form of a modern Portuguese eatery, and Faneuil Hall welcomes The Most Instagrammed Restaurant in the United States, according to Food & Wine Magazine.

Here are five restaurants we’re excited to check out in January.

Stew at Baleia. – Courtesy

Translating to whale in Portuguese, Baleia is moving into the ground floor of The Troy Building at the crossing of the South End and South Boston. The Portuguese concept with a seafood-forward menu will be the newest restaurant from Coda Restaurant Group, the team behind SRV, The Salty Pig, and Gufo in Cambridge. Baleia strays from its sister restaurants, which are primarily focused on Italian cuisine, as Executive Chef Andrew Hebert presents a balanced Portuguese menu with both contemporary and traditional flair. Shared plates and entrees range from $12-$60, including dishes like Piri Piri Chicken, Lamb Shank Tagine and Pork and Seafood Stew served in traditional Cataplana. The wine list will also showcase a vast selection of Portuguese labels, and the cocktail program will be influenced by the Iberian Peninsula. The new 90-seat restaurant, however, will liken its sister restaurants with its inviting, neighborhood atmosphere, in a warm, modern space designed by Boston-based RODE Architecture. 

264 E. Berkeley St.

Opens: Late January

After leaving her mark on Providence, Rhode Island, Milena Pagán is returning to her college town of Cambridge to relocate her artisanal bagels, pastry and coffee shop to Kendall Square. The 2023 James Beard Award semifinalist is a self-taught baker who prides herself on quality ingredients yet isn’t afraid to experiment. Pagan’s bagels undergo a two-day fermentation, including 24 hours of cold-proofing, which slows down the fermentation to give the crust a crispier look and more flavor. The hand-rolled bagels are served fresh daily and while there are classics like their Everything Bagel ($2.50), created with their house-made spice mix, or their popular house-cured lox sandwich ($14), Rebelle also plays with flavors inspired by local producers and seasonal ingredients. Past collaborations have included beer and cheese bagels with Revival Brewing and Narragansett Creamery, so we’re anticipating their first Boston experiment. There will be a selection of sweet staples like cookies and muffins ($2.50 and $3.50) as well as lunch sandwiches served on your choice of bagel, like the smoked whitefish sandwich ($10) or BLT-Squared ($11). Wash it all down with an iced or hot coffee that can be quickly elevated with a mocha, maple, vanilla or coconut syrup.

249 Third St., Cambridge

Opens: Late January 

Sally’s Apizza. – Courtesy

For the first time since opening in New Haven in 1938, the iconic Sally’s Apizza – its name a homage to its founder Salvatore “Sally” Consiglio – expands beyond Connecticut, first to Woburn, before a Seaport location set to become its Boston flagship. “We are excited for Bostonians to experience Sally’s and make memories a little closer to home,” shared Ricky and Bobby Consiglio, sons of Sally who are still involved in the business. “Everyone on the team is committed to transporting the same experience our father dreamed up 85 years ago, and with the expansion of the menu and the bar, there really is now something for everyone.” That’s right, along with the location expansion, comes a menu expansion, too, with new appetizers, an increased entree section, including chicken and eggplant parmesan ($24.50 and $19, respectively) and a 12 oz. ribeye with a cherry pepper sauce ($36), as well as an impressive bar program featuring red and white wine by the bottle and glass, and Italian-inspired cocktails like the Sicilian Margarita. And of course, there’s Sally’s signature pizza that represents the classic New Haven-style pie – thin crust pies that are handmade and coal-fired; the roots of which originate from Naples, Italy. The Woburn-location’s coal-fired oven was carefully built to the same specifications of the original oven of Sally’s Apizza on Wooster Street. There will be three sizes of pizzas available (12-, 15-, and 18-inches starting from $16.50) and there are a few things Sally’s Apizza wants its new customers to know: Its name is pronounced “Abeetz” – an Italian-American slang word formed from the dialect of Neapolitan immigrants arriving in New Haven. The pizza is charred, not burne: New Haven-style pies are left in the hot brick oven slightly longer than other kinds of pizzas, forming a chewy, yet crispy texture and smoky flavor. Lastly, mozzarella cheese is a topping, and if you don’t ask for it – properly, referring to it as “mootz” not “mozz” – you’ll likely receive a plain pizza. 

300 Mishawum Drive, Woburn

Now Open 

Flaming HOT Cheetos® Burger at Sugar Factory.

The Most Instagrammed Restaurant in the United States is finally in Boston. Sugar Factory, a global chain that’s famous for its celebrity endorsed candy-inspired goblet drinks (starting at $46), like Snoop Dogg’s Strawberry Lemonade Smash, Bruno Mars’ Watermelon Piña Colada, and Brody Jenner’s Mamitas Hurricane, is now in Faneuil Hall. Its evidently sweet name portrays only a portion of the menu as the new 11,836-square-foot-space, spanning two floors, also offers a full-service restaurant and retail space. The 124-seat main dining area is classified as the “Pink Room,” a rosy-hued room with heart-candy prints, cotton-candy-colored booths, flowery chandeliers, a dedicated bar with capacity for 50 guests, both indoor and outdoor seating. Those with a sweet tooth will be impressed by the more than 50 ways to get a sugar rush, from milkshakes to brunch favorites to desserts. Favorite dishes include Reese’s Pieces Churro French Toast topped with vanilla ice cream, peanut butter cups, whipped cream, and a drizzle of peanut butter and chocolate sauce ($14); or the Giggles Snickers Milkshake with vanilla ice cream blended with caramel and peanuts, served in a chocolate caramel popcorn mug, topped with fried Oreos, gummy worms, peanuts, chocolate, and dulce de leche sauce, whipped cream, and a Snickers Bar ($20). The Boston Cream Pie is one of the specialty menu items created for this location, with a number of other New England-influenced dishes, including savory items like fried Ipswich clams with a savory buttermilk tart shell (market price), lobster mac and cheese ($25) and lobster sliders ($43). There’s also an indulgent burger menu, including their renowned Flaming HOT Cheetos® Burger ($22), and 24K Gold Burger, served dripping in edible 24K gold leaf ($150).

100 South Market Building, Quincy Market, Units 100-134 

Now Open

Yume Ga Arukara will open in the Seaport. – Courtesy

Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Juan Carlos Vidal are ready to bring their award-winning Japanese udon noodles to the Seaport at The Superette. Translating to “Because I have a dream,” this will be Yume Ga Arukara’s second location, but diners can expect the same integrity of the scratch kitchen, respecting each ingredient for an elevated noodle experience in this minimalist, but chic, space. Their signature dishes include the Cold Niku Udon, a mix of sweet and savory sliced beef topped with grated ginger, dried seaweed, scallion, crispy tempura batter, a lemon wedge and daikon radish ($14); Spicy Cold Niku Udon with a homemade chili paste and oil that enhances the flavors of original ($17); Hot Niku Udon that’s served with homemade chicken broth ($17); and Soup Curry Udon, a dine-in specialty that’s a blend of traditional hot udon and hearty curry, topped with red onion, scallion, crispy tempura batter, Japanese pepper flakes, an onsen egg and cheddar cheese ($25). The new location will be open for lunch and dinner, adjusting its offerings for the time of day. Lunch will see a faster pace to match the speed of the buzzing Seaport, while dinner will present a menu with additional appetizers as well as sake, beer and wine. 

70 Pier 4 Blvd., Seaport

Opens: Early January