Best New Restaurants In NYC, L.A. Chicago & More

13 openings around the country, including one from José Andrés


New York

Legacy Records

The team behind the beloved Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones have a new address: Hudson Yards. It's in the former Legacy Recording Studios' space (redone by Ken Fulk) and doubles down on seafood with dishes like Nantucket bay scallops with almond, lime and yogurt; tuna belly with salted Japanese lemon; and spaghetti with cuttlefish in its own ink. Those looking for meat will find duck for two and a rib eye with chanterelles.

The Bombay Bread Bar

The true stars at Floyd Cardoz's now-closed Paowalla were always the breads. At his recently revamped restaurant, which occupies the same space, there's an entire section of the menu dedicated to bread with different chutneys and kulchas like cheddar cheese naan and chicken chickpea naan. There are also larger plates, like monkfish curry and Goan pork vindaloo—if you haven't filled up solely on carbs.


Yudai Kanayama, who is behind Izakaya, has opened another petite restaurant. This one draws on kissaten tradition, which focuses on tea, coffee and lighter fare. There's Napolitan spaghetti made with ketchup, pork curry, onigiri with sea urchin and lots of oden.


Tucked below Masa Takayama's Tetsu is the aptly named new kaiseki destination. The famed chef, who has made his name with fish, is focusing on meat here. There are chicken-neck skewers and garlic toast with Ohmi beef and a mound of caviar, plus his take on Shanghainese drunken chicken. Dinner is $350 a person.

Los Angeles


Less than a month after being named the 2018 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year, José Andrés, along with Spanish chef Aitor Zabala, has opened an ambitious restaurant in the SLS Beverly Hills, in what was his tasting room, Saam. Named for the Catalan word for "dream," Somni has room for just 10 diners around a counter that might remind Andrés fans of Minibar in D.C. Those who manage to snag reservations are treated to 20 courses of modernist fare.


James Beard nominee Casey Lane is in charge of this restaurant in the redone Hotel Figueroa. Drawing on the building's Spanish architecture for inspiration, the menu includes dishes like crispy fried potatoes with romesco aioli, Moorish spiced carrots and fried chicken with Catalan greens. Veranda, a poolside restaurant in the hotel, and the cocktail bar from acclaimed bartender Dushan Zaric called Bar Alta are still in the works.


Tied House

The minds behind storied music destination Schubas Tavern have a new place next door that's not just for concertgoers. James Beard Award semifinalist chef Debbie Gold is at the helm, starting meals with bread and "smears" like bone marrow butter and crème fraîche honeycomb. The remainder of the menu is divided into vegetable, sea and land categories, the last of which includes milk-braised pork with cabbage, salsify and apple.

Washington, D.C.

Mi Vida

The Wharf's latest addition comes from Roberto Santibañez, the man behind New York's popular Fonda restaurants. At this two-story spot, the menu is long enough to offer something for everyone. There's guacamole, enchiladas de mole negro with braised brisket and options from the hearth, like costillas norteñas, or slow-braised short ribs with cream poblanos and hand-pressed corn tortillas. 


This all-day café in Mount Pleasant from husband-and-wife duo Nick Pimentel and Lizzy Evelyn, which first opened in January, is finally serving dinner. The sample menu reads like a microcosm of how people are eating in 2018. There's crispy pork belly with grilled lettuce, grilled kimchi toast with labneh and XO sauce, and a charred broccoli and fennel salad.



Smoke's wafting from the open-fire kitchen of Garrison, one of a number of restaurant and bar properties that opened in the Fairmont hotel. That smoke graces not only steaks, but mashed potatoes and a vegetarian play on Indonesian gado gado made with oak-grilled cucumbers.

Better Half 

The menu is broken up into two categories: early (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and late (from 3 to 10 p.m.). During the first half of the day, there's a breakfast sandwich, as well as waffle-iron hash browns with coffee gravy, an egg, pickled onions and cheese. Later in the day, go for wine and dishes like a greens and grains bowl made with braised greens, smoky mushrooms, tamari broth, wheat and rye berries, and a fried egg.



The people behind this plant-based restaurant in Toronto have decided to escape to Miami for the last bit of winter. There's no meat, but the team doesn't mind riffing on it with dishes like a meat lovers' pizza made with farro "sausage," cashew mozzarella and mushroom "bacon." Vegan sushi and ceviche are also on the table.

St. Roch Market

The New Orleans market by the same name now has an offshoot in Miami's Design District. It's home to a dozen vendors including Chef Chloe, a new concept from celebrity vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli; the Israeli-inspired Jaffa; and Elysian Seafood, which you'll also find in the original location.

Devra Ferst is a food writer, editor and cooking teacher based in Brooklyn. She cares much more about babka than any one woman should. Follow her on Instagram at @dferst.