Do you ever wonder how to make the “Best New Restaurants in the World” list? A daunting task, to say the least. The list, created by Condé Nast Traveller, is in its 27th year, sharing the world’s best restaurants since 1996.
As George Bernard Shaw said, “Imitation is not just the sincerest from of flattery, it’s the sincerest form of learning.” Let’s see what we can learn from a few of the restaurants that hit the pinnacle of “World’s Best.”
New Restaurants Making the Grade
Where do we start? You’ll find these world-class restaurants in Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, and Bangkok, to name a few of the many cities across the globe. Here, we’ll focus on the ones that made the best of the best mark in the U.S., their defining differences, and their similarities.
Only five U.S. cities found their way onto the list.
New York City
Two new restaurants in New York City made this impressive list: Place des Fêtes and Masalawala & Sons. Place des Fêtes is a wine bar in Clinton Hill. Care to start with sardine toast, smoked butter, and kosho with some crispy maitake mushrooms with black garlic fudge? It’s a menu that places it at the pinnacle of wine bars.
Masalawala & Sons lays claim to family recipes and age-old authentic cooking techniques of India. To get a seat indoors requires a reservation. You’ll find small, medium, and large plate options on the menu, with items like Biyebarir fish fry with bhetki, cilantro-chili, butter batter, and kasundi.
La Semilla impressively established itself as one of the best new restaurants among the multitude that opened in Atlanta. This plant-based oasis with a Latin flair offers unique specials, like reserve wines, chef specials, happy hours, and vinyl DJs every Wednesday night.
Along with enmoladas con verduras and chochoyotes, it offers an extensive list of sugarcane and agave spirits and biodynamic wines.
Located outside the Hearst Museum of Anthropology on the UC Berkeley campus, Mak-‘amham/Café Ohlone is dedicated to the Ohlone culture. Guests pass through native plant gardens before they reach the singing trees, seven native trees with the voice of elders and children speaking and singing in the Chochenyo language.
Once dinner begins, diners are serenaded by the songs of flickers, blue jays, blackbirds, and geese, eating amidst an abundance of plants, shells, and earth. A few of the menu offerings include traditional Ohlone dishes like fine black oak acorn soup, chanterelle mushrooms, and Tomales Bay mussels and clams.
Alyssa Mikiko Di Pasquale, the owner of Boston’s first sake bar, The Koji Club, is known for her extensive sake knowledge and love of hospitality. Koji Club features sake from small rural brewers in Japan and combines them with a variety of cuisines.
If you didn’t know much about sake, you will once you enter these sacred sake halls. If you get hungry while trying the nearly limitless sakes, like Nigori Junmai, Farthest Star ‘Mountains on the Moon,’ enjoy caviar, Japanese curry empanada, or mushroom miso soup. Calling this new bar unique may be an understatement.
Her Place Supper Club made the best new restaurant list. I know seeing a supper club on such a competitive channel is a surprise. This restaurant, however, defines today’s in-demand experience. The family-style tasting menu and intimate atmosphere create a place where strangers become friends as the host describes each dish as it’s delivered to the dining room.
As Amanda Shulman, chef and host, describes it, “Her Place is kind of like a restaurant but kind of like a dinner party…Imagine showing up to your mom’s friend’s house for dinner and just eating whatever she makes—it’s a little like that. The food leans French and Italian with some Jewish touches swirled in.” The restaurant offers two seatings of 24 guests each.
Opening the Next Best New Restaurant
So, what does it take to receive this distinguished accolade? And is one of these cities the place to consider for your next location? As you can probably guess, opening a restaurant in New York City would be both exciting and challenging. Why? There is a tremendous amount of competition. In fact, according to VinePair, you could eat at a different restaurant every day for 22.7 years and never visit the same place twice.
What about Atlanta? A few years ago, Atlanta ranked as one of the best cities to open a restaurant. That ranking considered median income, workforce potential, restaurant sales and restaurants per capita. Of course, finding an ideal location isn’t just about sales. It’s also about competition, over-saturation, and disposable income.
There must have been, however, several entrepreneurs that read those findings. 2022 saw a record number of restaurants opening in Atlanta. If you check out Eater’s very long list of Atlanta restaurants yet to open in 2023 and 2024, one wonders if the next chefs will have to start elbowing their way into The Big Peach. We’re especially excited about one of our clients, Puttshack, opening its second Atlantic area location at the High Street development.
Outside of location, it’s clear that creativity and unique offerings are the glue that holds these best restaurants together.
Are you ready to explore the world together and find your brand’s next location? At Emerging Concepts, we work with today’s leading restaurant and entertainment concepts, helping them make critical choices, developing expansion plans, and directing them toward their short and long-term goals. Our team comprises business analysts, data scientists, and real estate and restaurant experts, working together to create unprecedented value for our clients. To learn more about our process or to schedule a consultation, contact Emerging Concepts today.