Unveiling ExpatOwned Restaurants Beyond the Tourist Trail in Boston

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Boston's culinary scene boasts a rich tapestry of flavors and cuisines, but often, the tourist trail leads to the same old eateries. Look beyond the crowded restaurants and explore the hidden, expat-owned establishments that offer a unique culinary experience. These hidden gems provide a sense of community and culture for expats living in Boston, and offer visitors a diverse array of flavors and cultural exchange. In this article, we unveil some of the most exceptional expat-owned restaurants that are worth discovering.

Exploring Hidden Culinary Treasures

From Roxbury to South End, Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain, expat-owned restaurants are tucked away in various neighborhoods of Boston. Each of these establishments provides a unique culinary experience, catering to an array of tastes and cultures. As American-born expat Sarah Robinson, who owns the popular Province Cafe in Jamaica Plain, explains, "Our aim is to bring a little bit of Australia into Boston, and make customers feel like they've traveled down under, if only for a few hours."

The Province Cafe

Located in the heart of Jamaica Plain, the Province Cafe offers a diverse menu of Australian and New Zealand delights. Their star dish is the Kangaroo Burger - made from locally-smoked kangaroo meat, served on a homemade seeded bun, and garnished with beetroot, caramelized onions, avocado, and egg. Robinson also highlights the vegetarian and meat-based dishes that are inspired by her Australian experiences.


Located in South End, Tiden is a cozy Nordic restaurant owned by American expat Elizabeth Michaelsen. The menu features traditional Nordic dishes like Fårikål, a Swedish meatball stew; and Lutfisk, a traditional Norwegian salted cod dish. Michaelsen's love for the Nordic climate and food influence everything from the décor to the menu items.

Naj Medicine

Naj Medicine is a Caribbean-Mexican spot located in Roxbury, run by Belizean expat Ho Ying. This restaurant offers a unique fusion of these two distinct culinary traditions. Their Trini Chicken is a must-try, flavored with traditional Caribbean spices and served with rice and beans.

The Trap

The Trap is a cozy Irish bar and restaurant owned by Irish expat Brendan Quinn. Known for its authentic Irish food and drinks, The Trap's menu includes a mix of traditional Irish dishes like Irish stew and Shepherd's pie, as well as contemporary dishes like fish and chips and loaded nachos.

Patrice's Caribbean Cuisine

Patrice's Caribbean Cuisine, located in Dorchester, is run by a Haitian expat Patrice Provillon. This restaurant offers a wide variety of Caribbean dishes, from Italian-inspired pasta dishes like Rigatoni Creole to traditional Haitian fare like Pikliz.

From Appetizers to Desserts

The expat-owned restaurants of Boston offer a diverse array of dishes, from appetizers to desserts. Dishes like the Massaman Curry at Sambal, a Thai restaurant owned by American expat Tjitjudoj Kim, to the Dutch Apple Pie at Amsterdam Falafelshop, owned by Dutch expat Andrew Bartelink, showcase the culinary expertise and creativity of expat chefs.


Sambal, located in the Fenway neighborhood, is owned by American expat Tjitjudoj Kim, a chef trained in Thailand. This Thai restaurant's menu features traditional dishes such as Pad Thai and Massaman Curry, but Sambal's renditions are unique, incorporating American twists like the use of avocado and corn in their curries.

Amsterdam Falafelshop

Amsterdam Falafelshop is a Dutch chain brought to Boston by Dutch expat Andrew Bartelink. Their menu includes a variety of falafel sandwiches, salads, and soups, including a Dutch Apple Pie, a popular Dutch dessert made with a flaky pastry crust filled with sliced apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Enawet Ethiopian Resort

Enawet Ethiopian Resort, run by Ethiopian expat Alemayehu Worku, is a restaurant located in Roxbury. The menu features traditional Ethiopian dishes such as Doro Wat, a spicy chicken stew, and Injera, a sourdough flatbread used in place of utensils for scooping up the stews.


Hearty is a cozy restaurant and bar run by Finnish expat Aleksandra Cishinska. The menu is focused on comfort food with a Finnish twist, including baked goods like Finnish Cardamon Rolls and Salmiakki (licorice candy) Cheesecake.

Join the Culinary Conversation

These expat-owned restaurants represent not only a diverse array of flavors but also the importance of community and connection. As Robinson explains, "The Province Cafe is not just a restaurant, but a community center where people can feel like they're back in Australia for a few hours." Michaelsen highlights the importance of sharing cultural traditions, like the mid-summer traditions celebrated at Tiden, to educate and enrich the American community.

Share your Favorites

We'd love to hear your thoughts and recommendations on these hidden culinary treasures or your personal favorite expat-owned establishments in Boston. Share your experiences and dishes with us in the comments section below.


Boston's expat community has contributed significantly to the culinary scene's vibrancy, providing the city with a diverse array of flavors and cultural influences. As Michaelsen puts it, "Eating is a cultural experience, and these expat-owned restaurants are an opportunity to share that experience with the local community." Explore these hidden culinary treasures and discover the flavors and community that make Boston such a unique and exciting culinary destination.