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

Including one that's standing room only and a long-awaited Middle Eastern spot

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New York

Bistrot Leo

John McDonald, the restaurateur behind Lure Fishbar and Bowery Meat Company, has replaced his Italian restaurant, Sessanta, in the Sixty Soho Hotel. Brian Loiacono, who previously worked at Bar Boulud, is in charge, cooking smoked salmon rillette, lobster Nicoise and a lamb rack crown that comes with asparagus gratin.

Lumos Kitchen

Qifan Li, who launched the baijiu-focused Lumos Bar, is back with a restaurant. She's brought on Hong Kong-born and NYC-trained chef Hok Chin to oversee the kitchen. Diners can expect seared quail with foie gras, black bass with a baijiu-miso sauce and braised pork belly with "drunken" edamame. Naturally, it's all made to pair with baijiu.

Los Angeles


For more than five years, Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, the duo behind the ever-buzzing Bestia, have been talking about opening a Middle Eastern restaurant. Bavel finally debuted late last week, serving hummus that can be topped with chile paste or duck nduja, lamb neck shawarma, and malawach, which is a Yemeni flaky bread served with grated tomato and a soft-boiled egg.

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

This Southern number joins the new crew of restaurants at The Beverly Center. The team has had plenty of experience: They operate locations in Las Vegas, Singapore and Miami. In L.A., the menu features collards carbonara, a muffuletta that's assembled tableside, and a play on chicken and waffles that involves cheddar waffles and spiced watermelon.

San Francisco


Reem's California, which recently landed a spot on Food & Wine's Restaurants of the Year list, has a new sister project in Oakland, a collaboration between Reem Assil and Daniel Patterson's Alta Group. Inspired by Assil's Palestinian and Syrian background, the menu includes a fattoush salad with crispy fried pita and fresh-baked saj, a flatbread that can be wrapped around chicken, beef or vegetable curry.


Colby Heiman and chef Alex Hong's one-time pop-up now has a permanent residence. Hong is serving lamb tartare with nuts, seeds and anchovies; chestnut tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms; and sourdough focaccia paired with bagna cauda.  



Dining options near from Wrigley Field continue to proliferate. The latest addition to the crew in Hotel Zachary is a bourbon bar named for former Cubs player Mordecai Brown, from the team behind Billy Sunday. Don't let the long bourbon list fool you, as there's plenty to eat also—including pappardelle with charred asparagus purée, porchetta with English pea risotto and a chocolate fernet sundae.

Washington, D.C.

Spoken English

The Line hotel has been stacking its dining and drinking options, with A Rake's Progress and Brothers and Sisters already up and running. The newest member of the club is Erik Bruner-Yang's Spoken English, which was originally slated to be a fine dining affair. In the end, it morphed into a spot inspired by tachinomiya, small Japanese bars with snacks. The standing-room-only venue serves dumplings made in chicken skin, fermented durian curry with spaghetti squash and kushiyaki, or grilled skewers.  


The Brewer's Table

"Beer as good as food as good as beer. It starts and ends there," the team behind this sprawling restaurant and brewery write on their website. There are three separate spaces where you can settle in: a patio for drinking, a dining room for dinner and the namesake Brewer's Table. If you're going for dinner, expect whole animals prepared over an open hearth that make their way into dishes like smoked rabbit carnitas.



The duo behind The Farmer's Hand have a new all-day number in the Bagley-Trumbull Market in Corktown. Open from early morning through late lunch, the spot features a brunch feel with most of the options, like house-made granola, seasonal hash with kimchi and citrus ricotta toast. There are also floats made with Reilly Craft Creamery ice cream for a sweet treat.


Jackson Hall

Food halls, in general, don't have themes. Rather, developers aim for diversity and the biggest names they can get. Della Heiman's project in the Civica Center takes a different approach, with the vendors all having a healthy focus. Take Radiate Apothecary + Bar, which serves smoothies, juices, tonics and coffee, plus wine and beer, all curated by a nutritionist. There's also a poke bar and Levante, a Middle Eastern spot offering meze and kebabs.  

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.