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Soleil opens stall in Boston Public Market

Nubian Square eatery expands to new space, new diners

Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Soleil opens stall in Boston Public Market
Soleil now offers its southern and Cajun flavors at Boston Public Market. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

Chef Cheryl Straughter has been serving up Southern-inspired comfort food at Soleil in Nubian Square since 2018. Open for breakfast and lunch, the spot is known for dishes like a classic Louisiana-style Po Boy sandwich and fried catfish. Now Straughter has brought the charms of Soleil to the Haymarket neighborhood, where she’s opened up an outpost at Boston Public Market.

“It’s been wonderful,” says Straughter. “It allows me to have another venue where I can expose my food to new clientele, and to also be in an area where there is organically a lot of people, both from office buildings and tourists.”

Although the flavor profiles between Soleil’s two locations are similar, there is one marked difference in the menus. At the Boston Public Market outpost, Soleil only serves bowls that are easy to grab and go or eat at the communal picnic tables on site. Guests choose two sides, a protein and a sauce, and everything is served up promptly. Whereas the Nubian Square restaurant is meant to be a community meeting ground, the Boston Public Market spot focuses on grab-and-go service.

“At our Nubian Square location, you can order beef ribs on a bone. At our Boston Public Market location, all of our meat options are pulled,” says Straughter. “It’s the same flavor and inspiration, but just served in a different style.”

Both locations prioritize healthy food, utilizing only fresh produce and organic ingredients whenever possible.

Boston Public Market offers a spectrum of food offerings from pre-made dishes like Soleil’s to local farm-fresh produce, meat and fish. Local artists also have booths here displaying paintings, pottery and other pieces. Soleil is the only stall in the Boston Public Market playing with Cajun and Southern flavors. Straughter hopes it brings exciting new flavors to the space. The reception from both the market and the customers has been overwhelmingly positive, she says.

Soleil has found a warm community among the market’s vendors. Straughter says the business owners often discuss their food and business strategies and mix and mingle socially during private events at the market.

She hopes this new outpost will help her continue her culinary mission: to provide a delicious and healthy Southern-style food option for Bostonians.

“A lot of people don’t understand how critical it is for your body to have fresh food organically close to its original form,” says Straughter. “I believe that healthy foods make for a healthy fuel for your body.”

Boston Public Market, Cajun, Haymarket, Soleil