Making the trip to Sullivan’s in South Boston when it first opens for the season is a rite of passage. For many, the combination of comfort food and ocean views marks the turning point between cold, dark days and more pleasant stretches of weather that motivate people to get outdoors.
And while the spring of 2023 is no different from years past when it comes to heading out to Castle Island to enjoy classic cheap eats, those who live in the southern suburbs suddenly have a much easier Sully’s to get to – the people behind the seaside snack shack have opened a brand-new location at Hanover Crossing.
The new location of Sullivan’s may shock some when they first see it, since it’s quite different from the little takeout joint that’s been sitting at the tip of Southie for decades. Instead, the Hanover outlet looks huge from the outside, with a very large sign out front. That helps, because without it, the restaurant would be quite easy to miss, between the extensive construction of the mixed-use development – it’s starting to see more places up and running – and the fact that the restaurant is so far back from Route 53.
Upon entering, you’ll notice that there are basically three rooms which help create a dual concept. The center room is a counter-service area (much like the Southie location) where customers place their orders. They can dine in an airy room to the left with big windows and comfortable tables.
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The room to the right may cause veterans of the original Sully’s to do a double take, as it includes an actual bar (and a full bar at that) along with a mix of high-tops and booths. It’s a full-service area, which is a first for Sullivan’s – their other location at Hub Hall by Boston’s North Station is also counter-service only.
The bar area includes a garage-style overhead door which can be opened up in the warmer months to let fresh air in, and the plan is for the new Sullivan’s to have an outdoor patio as well.
Eat New England
Those who frequent the original Sullivan’s will see some familiar food options at the Hanover location, including the beloved Sully’s dogs (they are served in pairs here, though you can also get a single chili cheese dog) as well as their very underrated burgers that can be ordered with two or three patties.
Lobster rolls are available, and diners have their choice of the ever-popular chilled rolls or the type of warm rolls that are found in places along the South Coast and in Rhode Island and Connecticut.
The wonderful fried chicken sandwich has made it down to the South Shore as well, as has their clam chowder, fried clam strips, fish and chips, fried sea scallops, onion rings (and the ones at Hanover appear to be even better than those at the original), fries and soft serve.
Pizza is not something you think of from the original location, but not only is pizza on the menu at the Hanover outlet, but, this being the South Shore, it’s a classic bar pizza and it can be ordered with laced edges in which the sauce and cheese at the edge of the crust are caramelized, adding additional flavor and texture to the pizza.
PHOTOS: Food, Drinks at the New Sullivan's in Hanover
It seems strange to be talking about the “beverage program” at Sullivan’s, as the original offers water, soda, shakes, raspberry lime rickeys and a few other non-alcoholic options. But yes, the new location has a lot of adult beverages from which to choose, starting with their extremely impressive beer list which includes local options on tap and in bottles/cans.
Vitamin Sea, which is out of Weymouth, easily holds up head-to-head against the award-winning breweries of Vermont and Maine, but their extraordinary beers aren’t all that easy to find in local restaurants and bars – Sullivan’s is one place where you can.
You’ll also find brews from other top spots in the region, including from Widowmaker, Untold, Mayflower, Trillium, Stellwagen, Break Rock, Night Shift and, yes, Castle Island, which gets its name from the peninsula that the original Sully’s calls home.
A handful of wines are also offered, as are cocktails including martinis, old fashioneds, sangria and margaritas. Naturally, you can also get their aforementioned raspberry lime rickey if you’d rather not partake in alcohol.
When it was first announced in the spring of 2022 that Sullivan’s would be opening at Hanover Crossing, there was a lot of chatter among locals as to what exactly it would be like. Would it feature the same food options as the Castle Island location? Would the quality of the food be the same?
The answer to the first question is “yes,” and based on an initial visit during their soft opening, the answer to the second question appears to be “yes” as well. And while you won’t catch much in the way of sea breezes and nothing in the way of water views at the new spot (unless it’s raining really hard), what you will get is a spacious dining and drinking spot that is really a full-fledged restaurant and which has some options that the original does not have.
Sullivan’s, 1775 Washington Street (Suite 410), Hanover, MA, 02339. sullivanscastleisland.com/location/hanover-crossing