MarketStreet Lynnfield is becoming a foodie paradise

Is Lynnfield one of Metro Boston’s rising dining destinations?

Several spots at MarketStreet are making the case for it.

MarketStreet Lynnfield seemingly has tasty options for any meal, mood, or occasion, from a morning breakfast smoothie, to high-quality fast casual, to sit-down fine dining. It even has a spot for dessert.

If you’re looking to start your day with a refreshing and healthy option, look no further than Squeeze Juice Company.

Squeeze has called MarketStreet Lynnfield home since February 2022 and offers a selection of juices, smoothies, and smoothie bowls year-round.

Founder and owner Sasha Nisenbaum, who lives in Lynnfield, said the restaurant is an approachable take on the increasingly popular juice and smoothie scene.

“We really want to have people know what they’re consuming,” Nisenbaum said. “We want to be approachable for any consumer, whether it’s a child or just someone trying to be healthy.”

Two of the shop’s signature menu items are the Elvis smoothie and Good Morning bowl.

The Elvis is Squeeze’s take on a peanut-butter banana smoothie, with the addition of dates, cacao nibs, and oat milk.

“Our bestseller has always been the Elvis,” Nisenbaum said. “It’s just a great smoothie.”

The Good Morning bowl is a refreshing and fruity bowl of flavor, featuring a mix of acai, blueberries, apple juice, and almond butter, all topped with granola and strawberries.

“Our bowl, for me, is our best offering,” Nisenbaum said. “Everything is made in-house. We don’t outsource the blends or anything like that. That’s not a thing that a lot of people in our industry are doing currently.”

Nisenbaum said one of the most important priorities for Squeeze is making sure that customers get the most out of what they pay for.

“We want people to feel that they are getting value for their money,” Nisenbaum said. “The bowls are loaded up, the smoothies are loaded up.”

Nisenbaum said customers should look out for more grab-and-go options that can be enjoyed year-round.

For lunchtime, MarketStreet Lynnfield’s newest spot is bringing a taste of traditional Southeast Asian cuisine.

Soi 8 / Sushi Ike is the newest addition to the retail center, having opened in May.

The restaurant is split into two halves as a dual-concept space, with Sushi Ike acting as a cozy sushi counter and Soi 8 serving up traditional Thai dishes in a fast-casual setting.

“The concept of the restaurant is to have Southeast Asian cuisine and sushi,” Rong Cong, managing partner, said. “We ended up dividing the space because the foods are complimentary but the atmosphere that they bring are pretty opposite.”

Soi 8’s intricately presented sushi rolls are made right before the customer’s eyes.

“It’s almost like a dinner and a show type of thing,” Cong said. “That needs an intimate space for that to happen. It’s a little quieter and a little more serene for you to really enjoy the sushi chef’s work.”

The Heaven and Earth roll is one of Sushi Ike’s signature rolls, featuring the flavors of spicy salmon and avocado.

For those new to sushi, Cong suggested trying one of the tempura rolls. The Shrimp Tempura roll features fried shrimp for those who may be hesitant to try raw seafood.

“In American cuisine, fried shrimp is a staple,” Cong said. “Especially around here in Boston and around New England.”

For those looking to explore new flavors, the Black Dragon roll features a mix of shrimp tempura, eel, and avocado.

At Soi 8, the menu features a variety of noodles, salads, rice, curry, and fried foods like chicken wings and crispy veggie rolls.

“The flavors are a lot spicier, fresher, and it needs to be a more lively environment,” Cong said. “For sushi, it’s a little too rowdy.”

Cong said pad thai is one of Soi 8’s bestsellers, but noted that the menu has something for everyone looking for new and true Southeast Asian flavors.

“People love it,” Cong said. “As far as authenticity goes, it’s probably as authentic as it gets.”

If you’re in the mood for traditional American fare, Chicken & The Pig, which opened at MarketStreet in the fall of 2022, is looking to end the chicken-sandwich wars once and for all.

“A lot of people only have a few chicken sandwiches,” owner Guy Ciolfi said. “We have around 15 different types of chicken sandwiches. You can get any type of chicken sandwich you want here.”

According to Head Chef Randy Williams, who has been working at Chicken & The Pig since January, adding new items and recipes to the menu is one of the best parts of his job.

“We’re starting to add a lot of new things to the menu,” Williams said. “It’s exciting to be here and help it get to that next level with all the new items.”

The menu includes Williams’s own mouthwatering creation, the Vermont, a chicken sandwich with maple aioli, cheddar cheese, double-smoked bacon, lettuce, and tomato.

Ciolfi said Bird is The Word is the restaurant’s signature sandwich, and very similar to a traditional chicken-sandwich recipe.

According to Ciolfi, the restaurant’s simple aesthetic matches its no-frills roots dating back to its launch as a food truck, also called Chicken & The Pig, in the summer of 2021 at the Lot on South Main in Middleton.

“We designed this place basically off of the food truck,” he said. “The cool thing about our concept is that it’s pretty simple. The menu is real small, we cross-utilize a lot of different ingredients.”

However, he said when it comes to the chicken-sandwich wars, the chicken sandwich that is made fresh is the one that is best.

“It’s just not the same,” he said.

After walking off the lunch and visiting many of MarketStreet Lynnfield’s shops, you may decide to stick around for dinner.

Alchemy has you covered.

The restaurant, which opened in the summer of 2021, is fine dining with the atmosphere of an American bar.

The eclectic menu takes inspiration from everything from American fare, to Italian dishes, to Asian cuisine.

“I think the juxtaposition of being able to have a sushi program but have upscale American comfort food is great,” General Manager Vinny Polcari said. “I really think it’s our biggest strength.”

The Alchemy roll is one of the restaurant’s signature menu items, according to Polcari, and combines flavors of salmon, cucumber, and avocado.

The lobster ravioli is another one of Alchemy’s signature dishes, according to Polcari, consisting of lobster- and ricotta-stuffed pasta, along with creamy garlic pomodoro, charred sweet corn, confit tomato, and basil.

The restaurant is part of Serenitee Restaurant Group, which operates several restaurants north of Boston. Sous Chef Cameron Vinci said being part of a smaller company allows him to have more creativity in the kitchen.

“I have a lot more creative freedom with what I want to present to the customers,” Vinci said. “I’m allowed to express myself on the dish more.”

Dessert anyone?

J.P. Licks has grown to 17 ice-cream parlors in the state since founder and CEO Vincent Petryk opened the first location in Jamaica Plain, Boston in 1981. The MarketStreet Lynnfield location opened in 2013.

Petryk said the restaurant’s ice cream is unique because of its intense taste, which he said allows each flavor to stand out.

“We try to do everything from scratch as much as we possibly can,” Petryk said. “When it’s made from scratch, you get to control what it tastes like… I started off with a flavoring style that’s based on intensity.”

One of the most important things about the shop, according to Petryk, is the customer experience. He said he encourages his employees to focus on having interactions with customers that make them feel seen.

“What’s really important to people in ice-cream shops is how they get served,” Petryk. “You almost don’t have to say anything. You just need to smile with your eyes. That’s it, people relax then.”

J.P. Licks’ menu has grown to include around 15 standard flavors daily, with the company often experimenting with other flavors on the menu, including ones like Tabasco ice cream in the past.

Cookies and Cream was one of the flavors Petryk pointed to as a signature option the shop offers.

The menu also features other items like cakes, pies, frozen yogurt, and coffee. Petryk said the coffee flies under-the-radar, but is a must-try.

“We use good beans, we roast them very well,” Petryk said. “And it’s local.”

Petryk said special ice-cream flavors to look out for in the fall include pumpkin, apple sorbet, and caramel apple.