How the group behind beloved Lincoln Tavern transformed South Boston’s dining scene

BRG's restaurants, including Fat Baby Sushi and Cocktails seen here, have transformed South Boston. Photo credit: Fat Baby Sushi and Cocktails.
A group of dishes including noodles at the Boston restaurant Fat Baby Sushi and Cocktails

Eleven years ago, South Boston was hardly a place night owls or singles put on their must-visit list. The 2012 opening of Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant, the first hot spot from Broadway Restaurant Group, changed all that. Over the years, the group has transformed South Boston into a go-to restaurant neighborhood and perfected a recipe for success with establishments that have stylish digs, affordable plates, and creative cocktails.

Their roster now includes Southie favorites such as Italian-forward Capo Restaurant, Fat Baby Sushi and Cocktails, and Southern spot Hunter’s. BRG expanded its footprint last month with a Fenway outpost of Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, bringing tequila, Baja favorites, and a fun place to pre-game or post-game a visit to America’s oldest ballpark.

“Broadway Restaurant Group seems like a geographic reference to the first three BRG restaurants that opened on Broadway, but it’s so much more than that,” says director of operations Will Clark. “Broadway Restaurant Group is really about the idea that every night we’re putting on a show, with food being the primary focus.” 

With its spotlight on Sushi, Italian, Southern, and Mexican food, a visit to a Broadway Restaurant Group spot is a culinary globe-trotting adventure. Here’s where to eat.

Looking for… spring break-worthy vibes?

A hand shown squeezing lime over a taco at Boston restaurant Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar
Mexican beers and staples such as carnitas and al pastor tacos star on the menu at Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar. Photo credit: Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar.

The robust tequila menu—and party vibes—at Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar are reminiscent of the fondest spring break in Cancun. Mexican draft beers on tap complement staples such as carnitas and al pastor tacos, nachos, and street corn with garlic and chile sauce. Dishes with twists include roasted Brussels sprouts with honey-lime glaze and smoked chile powder, octopus with serrano pepper salsa, and chile-crusted tuna with poblano pesto. Like any good college town, the fun here continues late into the night with a nibbles menu that runs until 12:30 am every day.

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Looking for… an Instagram-worthy brunch daily?

A breakfast pizza with eggs and red peppers at Boston restaurant Lincoln Tavern
The breakfast pizza is a menu favorite at Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant. Photo credit: Lincoln Tavern

Boston is notoriously short on weekday breakfast spots, making Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant one of the city’s favorites for the most important meal of the day. Whether it’s a perfectly crispy breakfast pizza with poached eggs and bacon, nostalgic and colorful Fruity Pebbles pancakes, or steak frites with truffle fries, there’s something to upend any average Wednesday morning. 

The magic doesn’t end come lunch or dinner. Lincoln’s long bar makes it a happening night spot, so much so that the tavern has its own hashtag, #lincolnlovestories, to profile couples who met here. That includes executive chef Nicholas Dixon and his wife Liz, who were married by director of operations Will Clark. While the historic wood-and-brick interior captures the feel of Boston at its finest, Lincoln is also one of Southie’s most fun spots for outside dining and people-watching in warmer months.

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Looking for… a dance party to accompany dinner?

A series of colorful cocktails on a wooden bar at Boston restaurant Capo
Capo Restaurant brings top-notch cocktails and dance party vibes to Boston. Photo credit: Capo Restaurant

Whether it’s swinging to T Swizzle or stirring swizzle sticks—or both—there’s something for everyone at Capo Restaurant. The sprawling bar upstairs has an extensive list of pre-dinner cocktails such as the Aperol-and-gin-based When in Rome, before diners tuck into a candlelit dinner of Italian classics such as orecchiette with pistachio pesto and burrata. Grabbing a table in the wood-burning hearth area is the go-to move if you’re looking for an intimate night out.

Post-game it downstairs at the supper club, where the entertainment includes Taylor Tuesdays (Swifty tunes), Bingo nights, and DJ-led or live-music dance parties. Another highlight is Sinatra Sundays, where jazz crooner (and longtime local radio host Rich DiMare) performs the best of Old Blue Eyes’ classics with the Ron Poster Trio from 6-9 pm.

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Looking for… the warm embrace of Southern comfort food?

A group of Southern food dishes at the Boston restaurant Hunter's
Chef Lambert Givens showcases Southern food, including his grandmother’s recipes, at Hunter’s. Photo credit: Hunter’s

Hunter’s chef Lambert Givens is just as much of a champ on the football field as in the kitchen. The South Carolina State University gridiron alum bested Bobby Flay on his Food Network show with his grandmother’s gumbo recipe, a staple at Hunter’s since day one. It can be ordered by the cup or a larger bowl, along with other Southern specialties such as Bayou shrimp and grits, chicken and dumplings, and ribs. While a seat at the peninsula bar here is always fun, game day with the New England Patriots playing is a whole celebration of its own. 

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Looking for… a cool family-friendly sushi joint?

Several pieces of sushi on black trays at Boston restaurant Fat Baby Sushi & Cocktail
Nothing on the menu at Fat Baby tops $19. Photo credit: Fat Baby Sushi and Cocktail

When chef Mike Shaw (who helms several BRG restaurants) and BRG leased a uniquely shaped spot on Dorchester Street in 2017, they didn’t realize how far back the space went. “It looked really wide and fat,” he says. “We started calling it our fat baby.” The name stuck and the restaurant behind the iconic blue door continues to draw in crowds of families and friends for its wallet-friendly—nothing on the menu tops $19—bao buns, poke bowls, sushi, noodles, and rice dishes. Massive murals, rustic wood, and exposed brick make this restaurant go well beyond a standard grab-and-go joint. This is the kind of place you want to pull up a chair—or a high chair—and stay a while. Pro tip for Fat Baby-obsessive parents: The restaurant sells baby gear including onesies with restaurant branding.

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Carley Thornell-Wade is a Boston-based food, travel, and technology writer who’s been to more than 70 countries and delighted in tasting the regional delicacies of each. 

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