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This is the month when people who don’t live in Salem think about visiting Salem. The city gets its scare on, and those in search of spirits fill the streets. But most of the year, Salem feels somewhat like the Cambridge of the 1990s: quaint brick buildings, flannel-clad skateboarders smoking cigarettes, eclectic coffee shops, restaurants from vegetarian to Mexican to Italian.
The dining scene here is evolving, good news for locals and visitors alike. In recent months, for instance, two new restaurants opened blocks apart on Washington Street: Naumkeag Ordinary and Opus. The former is a gastropub operated by alums of the South End’s Coda, featuring comfort food and craft beer. The latter offers small plates, with wildly diverse flavors coexisting on the menu.