What to eat at CanalSide, a new food hall coming to Cambridge

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Food News

The new dining hall will feature 10 eateries and a bar from Blossom Bar’s Ran Duan and Grill 23’s Brahm Callahan.

CanalSide, a food hall at the CambridgeSide center, will open in October 2024. Courtesy CambridgeSide

Another food hall is coming to Greater Boston with CanalSide, part of a redevelopment plan of the CambridgeSide mall.

It’s kicking out its national fast food tenants that made up the former CambridgeSide food court and replacing them with mostly fast-casual, local concepts. At the center of the modernized, revamped food court is a bar run by drink-making stars in Boston. 

Ran Duan of Baldwin Bar and Blossom Bar and Brahm Callahan of Grill 23 are partnering together to bring C-Side, which will feature cocktails, wine, and beer. 

The bar joins 10 more eateries that will open in October, but CambridgeSide regional marketing director Melissa LaVita said patrons can expect three more tenants to join the food hall soon after.

[We’re] transitioning away from the traditional mall food court and the typical chains you would see in it,” LaVita said. “It’s going to have a completely different feel. [We’re] working with local eateries as part of the redesign, and then the bar in the middle, which is definitely different from what you would find in a traditional food court.”

Hours for CanalSide and each eatery have not yet been confirmed. From Mediterranean food to pasta and tacos, here’s what you can expect to find on the menus at CanalSide this fall:

C-Side

This 50-seat bar will be able to make classic cocktails and serve a selection of wine (with the help of Master Sommelier Callahan) and beer. But the concept behind the craft cocktails plays on the nostalgia of mall culture — fitting in the CambridgeSide.

“Back in the day before online shopping [the mall ] is at least where I hung out in high school, even in college,” said Duan, who shared that one of his first jobs was at a Hollister. “I want to do something that reminds people of the good old days: mall culture.”

For example: there’s one cocktail inspired by Orange Julius drinks, with Aperol, macadamia, and grapefruit made similar to a frappe. Another cocktail is a nod to Auntie Anne’s pretzels. 

Anoush’ella

This Boston-based restaurant takes inspiration from street foods in the Eastern Mediterranean region, and has three other locations in Greater Boston — including at another food hall, the Time Out Market. Featured on the menu are m’anoush, their flatbreads topped with various seasonings, vegetables, or proteins. If you’re new to m’anoush, they recommend the chicken Za’atar M’anoush, which includes hummus, tomatoes, spicy potatoes, pickled turnips, and topped with garlic and “secret” sauces. 

They also have grain bowls, like the lentil rice bowl that pairs with an Armenian salad, labne, and harissa. Or skip the grains for just the greens with their salad options, including the fattoush salad that mixes several vegetables and greens with sumac, saj chips, and a pomegranate vinaigrette.

Chilacates

You’re probably familiar with Chilacates, a local Mexican cuisine chain that has several locations around Greater Boston and serves up stuffed burritos and taco plates for lunch and dinner. At its new CanalSide location, it’s bringing diners its same Mexican street food menu with a choice of several different proteins.

For example, you could get a flour tortilla burrito with rice, beans, cheese, and pico, then add chicken. Choose shrimp for your taco plate, which comes with three corn tortillas, topped with onions, cilantro, and radish and even comes with a side of rice and beans. 

Courtesy CanalSide

DalMoros Fresh Pasta to Go

The small chain of customizable, on-the-go pasta is bringing its first Massachusetts location to CanalSide. It may be a quick meal, but this shop promises homemade sauces and fresh pasta, and they use recipes from their original location in Venice, Italy. 

The way it works: pick a fresh pasta, like rigatoni or fettuccine. Then select a sauce, such as amatriciana, cacio e pepe, or pesto. Lastly you get your pick of many toppings, from a garlic breadstick and chicken to parmesan cheese and sundried tomatoes. 

Fresh

This sandwich shop started in Nantucket and has since expanded to Boston. The CanalSide eatery will be its third location, serving sandwiches on their house-made focaccia bread. 

Some sandwiches include the Island Mambo with prosciutto, burrata, truffle honey, and arugula, or the vegetarian option caprese with tomato, mozzarella, little leaf greens, balsamic glaze, and pesto. There will also be a breakfast menu, with items like the Wake N Bacon sandwich on a plain or everything bagel, topped with a fried egg, bacon, hash brown, jalapeño cream cheese, and sriracha aioli.

Courtesy CanalSide

InChu

A Time Out Market spot serving Asian fusion bowls is getting a second location in CanalSide. It’s also Chef and Unique Concepts restaurant group owner Nina Festekjian’s second showing at CanalSide in addition to Anoush’ella.

The customizable bowls start with picking a base between organic greens or jasmine rice. Move onto proteins next with BBQ chicken, poached salmon, ginger beef. Your last choice is between three flavors: Japanese donburi, Thai pad Krapow, and Vietnamese banh mi. 

Lala’s Neapolitan-ish Pizza

Since 2021, Lala’s has served whole pies as a pop-up and then at its first brick-and-mortar location at Time Out Market. The CanalSide will be its second location, with the same menu of red and white sauce pizzas and cheesy garlic bread.

For first-time diners, their most popular pizzas include the Margherita, a hot honey-pepperoni pizza called the Hot Johnny, and the Cheese Please with ricotta cream, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and parmesan.

Courtesy CanalSide

Nu Burger

Another entry from Chef Festekjian, this burger restaurant serves several beef burgers — and one cauliflower veggie burger — and toppings to make globally-inspired ingredients. Its Time Out Market location has since closed, so the CanalSide eatery will be its sole brick-and-mortar space.

Those looking for a more traditional burger will find that with the Fenway Burger, topped with sharp cheddar, tomato, charred onions, lettuce, spicy pickles, and NuSauce. The veggie burger patty is a combination of cauliflower, quinoa, and cheddar, and the burger is then topped with avocado-pesto red cabbage slaw and NuSauce.

Sapporo Ramen

Big hot bowls of ramen are of course on the menu, like the house ramen made with chicken broth, a spicy miso ramen that blends three kinds of miso pastes, and even a vegan ramen. 

But those not looking for hot soup will find rice bowls — for example, a Japanese katsu curry bowl and a chicken teriyaki bowl — as well as some sushi options, like the tiger roll made with shrimp tempura and a sweet potato tempura veggie roll. 

Caffe Nero

This UK-based, Italian-style coffee chain has multiple coffee shops around Greater Boston, serving an extensive list of java that includes lattes, espresso, cold brews, and their espresso-blended frappe lattes. There are some tea options for those who don’t drink coffee, and an assortment of cafe sandwiches and pastries.

Teazzi Tea Shop

This bubble tea shop has a variety of house teas, like the strawberry four seasons milk tea or the house special milk tea, as well as a seasonal selection that changes. Besides topping your tea with boba, you also have other add-ons, like oats, grass jelly, aloe, and honey. 

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