Best New Restaurants in America

Best New Restaurants in America

The restaurant industry has certainly been through the ringer in the past few years, with dozens of renowned establishments and promising new eateries alike shutting their doors for good. (Here are the saddest restaurant closings of 2022.)

However, the perpetual evolution of the food world makes way for innovative and daring new restaurants to fill in the gaps. To assemble a list of the best new restaurants in America – those that opened in 2022 – 24/7 Tempo reviewed and extrapolated from lists published in the New York Times, Eater, Bon Appétit, Esquire, Robb Report, and Tasting Table, as well as numerous local and regional sites, using editorial discretion to arrive at our final choices.

Some of the best new eateries are helmed by the undaunted teams and chefs behind pandemic casualties. Others are the debut establishments of hot new chefs trained at distinguished restaurants like New York’s Atera and Spain’s Mugaritz. 

From a groundbreaking Korean/Basque mashup to a Peruvian exploration of altitude and bioregion to a classic French bistro, the restaurants on the list overwhelmingly convey strong cultural convictions. Numerous Japanese-style izakayas (bars with a wide range of small plates and snacks that go well with alcohol) made the list, as did Italian restaurants, Mexican places that nixtamalize heirloom corn for fresh tortillas, and Caribbean restaurants that highlight the flavors of the African diaspora.

Popular dining destinations like New York City, Los Angeles, and New Orleans feature prominently, along with a few gems from vacation and wine areas like Bainbridge Island, Sonoma, and the Willamette Valley. A trend toward seafood is noticeable, while plant-forward fare is also a highlight at some venues. (Here are the 35 best vegan restaurants in America.)

Source: Courtesy of Kann

> Location: Portland, Oregon

This Haitian-inspired restaurant takes advantage of the bounty of Pacific Northwestern farms while giving Caribbean cuisine its well-deserved place at the table. Four years in the making, chef Gregory Gourdet’s wood-fired hearth restaurant became an instant sensation upon opening. Dishes include spicy collards in peanut cream, smoky charred beef rubbed in coffee and served with pickles, and roasted plantain salad with cashew dressing.

Source: Courtesy of Le Rock

Le Rock
> Location: New York City, New York

Part of an influx of new boutique restaurants in Rockefeller Center, Le Rock is a French brasserie from the team behind Tribeca’s Frenchette. The spacious eatery offers raw bar fare and French favorites including chou farci (stuffed cabbage), duck confit with lentils, and merguez (lamb sausage) frites, in addition to weekly specials and a prix fixe option.

Source: Courtesy of n/soto

> Location: Los Angeles, California

Run by the visionary couple behind n/naka, this izakaya (a Japanese bar with a wide range of small dishes similar to Spanish tapas) features a colorful and elegant spread of skewers, nigiri, tempura, and more. The outdoor patio restaurant, which was conceived during the height of the pandemic, offers cocktails that lean savory, and clean, powerful flavors that change with the seasons.

Source: Courtesy of June Nashville

> Location: East Nashville, Tennessee

This multistory restaurant by Appalachian native Sean Brock features a main floor dining room and bar centered around an open kitchen that churns out flavor-packed Southern fare and cocktails, as well as an intimate second floor experimental tasting lounge inspired by Japan’s multi-course kaiseki meals and Spanish avant-garde cuisine.

Source: Courtesy of Andy M. via Yelp

> Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington

The popular Bainbridge Island restaurant Hitchcock made many twists and turns during the pandemic, then closed and reopened as Seabird, a showcase for fresh, local seafood, foraged mushrooms, and vegetables prepared in rather ingenious ways. Savory custards served in mussel shells, tartares with egg yolk gel, and uni french toast soaked in dashi highlight the menu, which also features organic wines and herbal house cocktails.

Source: Courtesy of Tatemó

> Location: Houston, Texas

This tortillería utilizes numerous and colorful varieties of heirloom maíz, freshly nixtamalized, to create a Mexican tasting menu with corn in every dish. Thursday through Saturday, the reservations-only dinner features tetelas (masa triangles stuffed with beans), quesadillas, and sopes, while the walk-in weekend brunch offers delectable masa pancakes and aguas frescas.

Source: Courtesy of Koloman via Yelp

> Location: New York City, New York

A modern European restaurant by award-winning Austrian chef Markus Glocker, Koloman serves Viennese-inspired cuisine in the space that formerly housed Breslin at the Ace Hotel. The dishes are elegant and precise, displaying a technical prowess and mastery of flavor that delights more than just the eyes.

Source: Courtesy of Mother Wolf

Mother Wolf
> Location: Los Angeles, California

Highlighting the ancient and urban cultural traditions of Rome, pasta maven Evan Funke’s celebrity-packed Mother Wolf – which actually opened for limited service just before New Year’s 2021 but came fully online last year – offers seasonal antipasti, wood-fired pizzas, and handmade pastas using local vegetables. The sumptuous interior, with blown glass chandeliers and red leather booths, provides a full view of the open kitchen and pizza hearth, while an amaro cart makes the rounds to cap off the evening.

Source: Courtesy of Dylan S. via Yelp

> Location: McMinnville, Oregon

A former executive chef at Tribeca’s Michelin-starred Atera, Matthew Lightner now helms this farm-to-table restaurant at a small luxury hotel in the Willamette Valley’s wine country. The produce is grown on a dedicated one-acre farm, with foraged mushrooms and plants prominently featured in the seasonal dishes, and the long form tasting menu comes in 15 to 20 impeccably prepared courses.

Source: Courtesy of Causa

Causa/Bar Amazonia
> Location: Washington, D.C.

This two-story Peruvian culinary destination offers both a casual terrace bar/dining room with a huge pisco selection, and an upscale seafood tasting lounge. Culinary elements from Peru’s three distinct regions – coastal, rainforest, and high Andes – include aji amarillo, ceviches, plantains and yuca, sea urchin, scallops, chicha (corn beer), heirloom potatoes, and alligator.

Source: Courtesy of Gigi's Italian Kitchen & Restaurant

Gigi’s Italian Kitchen & Restaurant
> Location: Atlanta, Georgia

What started as a pop-up in Candler Park built such an enthusiastic following that Gigi’s now boasts its own home base, complete with the red-checkered tablecloths that bring to mind an old-school Italian red sauce joint. The tightly curated rotating menu offers favorites like carpaccio, steak al limone, fried polenta with caviar, and a single pasta of the day, while also declaring, “No reservations, no lasagna.”

Source: Courtesy of Cory Y. via Yelp

Nami Kaze
> Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Nami Kaze’s daily brunch, which includes honey walnut shrimp and waffles, chawanmushi (egg custard) omelets, and tofu toast benedict, is enough to make this Honolulu restaurant a bustling destination. However, the evening izakaya menu wows with its inventive farmer-focused vegetable plates, fresh seafood. and sushi.

Source: Courtesy of Sukeban

> Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

This woman-owned, casual izakaya bar – whose name references the leaders of Tokyo’s girl gangs of the ’70s – brings temaki rolls, local seafood dishes, and a plethora of Japanese beers, sake, whiskeys, as well as natural wines to New Orleans. King salmon, bluefin tuna toro, and even shiitake mushrooms star in the special rolls, with add-ons like avocado, caviar, and uni.

Source: Courtesy of Ancora San Francisco

> Location: San Francisco, California

Serving sustainable seafood with simple European elegance, this Mission District fine dining restaurant offers both à la carte and prix fixe menus featuring fresh local fish. Ancora’s partnership with sustainable fishing company Water2Table allows chef Nick Anichini to serve fish caught the same day. Some menu standouts include plankton tagliolini with white sturgeon caviar, roasted halibut with porcini and chermoula, and spot prawns with sea urchin butter.

Source: Courtesy of Sedalia’s Oyster & Seafood

> Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Sedalia’s Oysters and Seafood offers a daily selection of fresh East Coast oysters along with a rotating menu of crudos and conservas. Try the smoked oysters with beurre blanc, yellowtail conserva with pumpernickel and romesco, or caviar with chicken liver mousse – and do take advantage of the array of fine Old World wines and light, sparkling cocktails.

Source: Courtesy of Bluebird North Carolina

> Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, this French bistro offers classics like salmon rillettes, salad lyonnaise, crêpes, duck confit, and beef bourguignon. A large covered patio caters to those who prefer al fresco dining, and the brunch menu features baked specialties like kouign amann and brioche.

Source: sarahvain / Flickr

> Location: Sonoma, California

From the owners of New York’s famous Mu Ramen, which closed during the pandemic, comes a tantalizing blend of Basque and Korean cuisines that meld together so naturally you’ll wonder why no one has done it before. Pastrami adds pizazz to the kimchi fried rice, and a wood fire adds smokey, rustic flavor to dry aged ribeyes, lobster, and burnt cheesecake.

Source: Courtesy of Mike C. via Yelp

> Location: New York City, New York

From the owners of the English-style seafood restaurant Dame, this new English bistro serves such fare as peppered sirloin, curried lamb with scotch eggs, mushroom kebabs with lentils, and cured trout with dill and celeriac. An elegant twist is notable on the typically stodgy fare, while the rotating meat pie selection and prevalence of offal keep things decidedly British.

Source: Courtesy of Allison C. via Yelp

Port of Call
> Location: Mystic, Connecticut

This nautical-themed cocktail lounge and restaurant features an upper-level saloon with tapas-style plates inspired by flavors from port cities around the world, as well as a lower-level pub with a laid-back menu of tacos, tamales, smoked hotdog bao buns, and buttermilk fried chicken.

Source: Courtesy of Nana's Westerly via Yelp

Nana’s Bakery & Pizza
> Location: Westerly, Rhode Island

The second location of a beloved Mystic, Connecticut, pizza parlor, Nana’s in Westerly uses regional, organic, sustainably grown grains and naturally-leavened dough in their farm-to-table pies, breads, and addictive fried-to-order donuts. Inventive pizzas, breakfast sandwiches, and vegetable-forward small plates keep customers coming in from morning till night.

Source: Courtesy of Conejo

> Location: Richmond, Virginia

A Mexican kitchen that boasts house-milled heirloom corn tortillas, Conejo carries the tradition of food as a celebration. Share small plates of tacos, ceviche, sopes, costras, and other street-food snacks while exploring the abundance of tequila and mezcal cocktails, sangrias, and Mexican beers.

Source: Courtesy of Yangban Society

Yangban Society
> Location: Los Angeles, California

This Arts District Korean-American restaurant defies categorization, with Jewish-deli influences, an attached mini-mart, and elements of seasonal, high-end dining gracing the shared plates. Try the matzo ball soup with sujebi dumplings, biscuits with kare (Korean curry) gravy, fried tofu in fermented black bean mole, and the roasted abalone congee pot pie.

Source: Courtesy of Hav & Mar via Yelp

Hav & Mar
> Location: New York City, New York

Chef Marcus Samuelsson of the Red Rooster in Harlem has drawn on his Swedish and Ethiopian roots to name his new restaurant-museum “hav” (Swedish for ocean) and “mar” (Amharic for honey). Ethiopian elements carry the menu, which also highlights the diversity of the African diaspora. The dining room is a temple to Black joy, with artworks by Derrick Adams, and the wine list prominently features Black vintners.

Source: Courtesy of Kevin P. via Yelp

> Location: Los Angeles, California

Nearly hidden in a basement under Little Tokyo, this exclusive omakase bar seats up to eight and serves a 17-course Edomae-style sushi menu with an optional but highly recommended cocktail pairing featuring Japanese liquors. With little social media or marketing, this intimate venue has managed to gather an eager clientele through word of mouth.

Source: Courtesy of Petty Cash

Petty Cash
> Location: Detroit, Michigan

This New American restaurant in Green Acres celebrates Southern Black culinary traditions with a Mediterranean flair in upscale-casual digs. The aromatic, refreshing cocktails cleanse the palate well between courses of spicy peri peri wings, curried carrots with honey citrus yogurt and pistachios, and lamb ribs smothered in pomegranate molasses barbecue sauce and served over mint cilantro yogurt.

Source: Courtesy of David B. via Yelp

> Location: Miami, Florida

This modern Israeli restaurant in Surfside takes its influence from the Levant as well as Spain and North Africa. The menu of non-kosher dishes features mezze, crudo, and shareable plates with ample seafood, wagyu beef, and lamb. The cocktail menu is just as inspired as the cuisine, with house-made herbal syrups and fruit purees, while the extensive wine list leans heavily toward France, Spain, and California.

Source: Courtesy of Matthew P. via Yelp

> Location: Austin, Texas

Mexican coastal fare comes to Austin at this gardenside restaurant housed in the former East Side Cafe. Fresh produce is grown on site, with beehives, bird houses, and lush flowers adorning the garden. Charcoal-fired oysters, grilled shrimp, fried fish, and plenty of raw bar fare are served with colorful and piquant accents, while the happy hour offers deep discounts on oysters, wines by the bottle, and seafood towers.

Source: Courtesy of Nataliya Z. via Yelp

> Location: Chicago, Illinois

A high end French bistro from the brothers behind Le Bouchon, Obélix steers modern French cuisine toward new horizons with outstanding results. The Asian-accented steak tartare is topped with green garlic aïoli, banh mi pickles, and seaweed, while the foie gras is served in a blue corn tortilla with concord grape jam and salsa macha. Never mind that it’s the most expensive taco in Chicago – try one and you’ll be tempted to order another.

Source: Courtesy of Lucio S. via Yelp

Ipoh Kopitiam
> Location: Alhambra, California

This café in Alhambra specializes in Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine, utilizing recipes handed down through generations and spices imported from Malaysia. The pared-down menu features all the well-known hits, from tender, flaky roti canai to Hainan chicken rice, aromatic beef rendang, and char kway teow (stir-fried flat rice noodles).

Source: Courtesy of Travis T. via Yelp

Queen Trini Lisa
> Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, chef Lisa “Queen Trini” Nelson made a name for herself at local events long before she finally opened her first brick and mortar restaurant. Serving crowd-pleasers like Lisa’s award-winning jerk chicken, doubles (a beloved street food of two flatbreads sandwiched around curried chickpeas), and fried fish sandwiches on coco bread, Queen Trini Lisa delivers flavor packed meals, and offers many vegan dishes.

Source: Courtesy of Cordelia

> Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Down-home cooking meets modern charm at this New American restaurant in the heart of downtown Cleveland. With a seasonal menu inspired by the staples of the old Midwest, Cordelia pulls from global spice profiles to serve comforting dishes like salisbury steak with gamja potato salad, “lamburger” helper with squash, pistachios, and green olives, and a beet and apple salad with saffron, sorghum, and goat cheese.

Source: sarahvain / Flickr

Little Saint
> Location: Healdsburg, California

An ambitious, completely plant-based restaurant that got its start with help from the team behind Michelin-starred SingleThread, Little Saint offers more than vegan cuisine. The eatery is nestled into a community center with a market, wine shop, and cafe, and features produce grown at an affiliated 24 acre farm. The divinely colorful fare is both light and satisfying, with edible flowers, house-infused herbal oils, and specials from the wood-burning oven.

Source: Courtesy of Twelve

> Location: Portland, Maine

A special occasion fine dining establishment that is well worth the hype, Twelve hit the scene in July and has received numerous accolades since then. From the addictive Parker House rolls to the baked halibut with Ritz crackers and bone marrow jus to the macaron and ice cream bar, every item that leaves the kitchen is steeped in perfection. Choose from a rather affordable prix fixe menu and an a la carte menu.

Source: Courtesy of Zaab Zaab

Zaab Zaab
> Location: Queens, New York

This cheery little Isan restaurant in Elmhurst has garnered itself a Bib Gourmand listing in the Michelin guide for good reason. Zaab Zaab’s vibrant dishes are a feast for the senses. Whole fried grouper are piled with fresh mint, catfish are stuffed with aromatic pandan leaves, and the signature duck breast larb is served with crispy duck skin slivers, rich duck liver, and fried lime leaves.

Source: Courtesy of San Ho Won

San Ho Won
> Location: San Francisco, California

A welcome addition to the Mission District, this Korean BBQ establishment uses lychee-wood charcoal to grill their meats – and the sweet char-grilled flavor definitely stands out. The short ribs are cut thick, the savory egg soufflé with anchovy broth is impossibly creamy, and the seasonal vegetable bibimbap with preserved squid and pollock roe mayo is a must-have.

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