Restaurant brand identities that make our mouth's water

Look to the horizon in Boston these days and you’re bound to notice one thing: construction cranes. Boston is going through what some are calling a “renaissance” that’s ushering in tons of new towers, high-end living and—most importantly—a swarm of new restaurants.

Foregoing the wooden signage and Celtic-inspired swirly lettering often connected with the Boston food scene, the new breed of Boston restaurant is sophisticated; modern; and fun. And they take their brand identities seriously. It’s a sign of the times: Boston restaurants are catching on that in the era of Yelp, your branding needs to be equal parts show and tell.

Here are our picks for three restaurants in Boston whose visual identities are as satisfying as their menus.

HOJOKO

Not the newest of the new on the scene,  but we think the team at Hojoko has done a great job of asserting themselves with an identity that is uniquely their own.

The name Hojoko itself conjures up images of a buzzing, frenetic Japanese urban center. Our favorite part about the Hojoko brand? The rosy-cheeked, sake-wielding baby that serves as Hojoko's mascot. It works so well in personifying their brand as fun and approachable – like a character from a Miyazake film. The energetic tone of their messaging along with all the visual touches that are carried over once you step inside help to make this place feel like a little slice of Tokyo (the Pop-punk soundtrack that blasts every night doesn’t hurt either).

JULIET

Cambridge and Somerville have both been abuzz with news of Juliet – and for good reason. Aside from being named Restaurant of The Year by Eater for their breakout success, we think they’ve done a bang up job with the brand itself. Take the word mark for example. It's a perfect echo of the type of experience Juliet promises: unpretentious, organic, and approachable.


That same unassuming air is carried over inside the restaurant and on their website where Juliet’s owners Josh and Katrina pen and illustrate their own blog. The personal touches across the brand help Juliet feel accessible, even for a place with an eclectic prixe fixe menu. It’s a strategy we think other restaurants should consider adopting.

MAMALEH'S

This new delicatessen gets bonus points for taking a concept that feels straight out of Crown Heights and making it feel at home amongst the biotech giants of Kendall Square. Mamaleh’s branding ride a delicate line between feeling familiar and modern:


The flat graphics, muted color palette, and playful content are all very fitting for a place who’s name is a Yiddish term of endearment. It's a lighthearted approach that just works. And manages to make us hungry for bagels. Gravlax, anyone?