Five Great New Restaurants to Try If You Consider Yourself a Foodie

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Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of us regularly eating out and enjoying the finest restaurants in the United States was growing rapidly. As a society, we’d renewed our love affair with food and what was previously something of luxury was now far more commonplace.

New Restaurants

As families, we ate with our kids at establishments that welcomed us and our noisy offspring; as workers, we’d line up to either takeout or grab a bite to eat at lunchtime, chatting away with our colleagues while doing so. Until 2020, the restaurant industry was experiencing something of a boom, but the coronavirus outbreak did untold damage.

Hundreds of thousands of bars and restaurants shut up shop, and even though the pandemic has eased and not entirely vanished, there are signs that the green shoots of recovery are still some distance away. 

Our whole approach to visiting our favorite local restaurants have altered, hopefully not irrevocably, but for now, our dining activities have altered. We don’t eat out so much, but our desire for great takeout has certainly proven something of a silver lining for the restaurant business; our couches have to some degree, the new restaurant furniture of choice. 

Some brave new owners are looking to get back on track, which means there are exciting new restaurants to visit and eateries that can help make us fall in love with food again. Here are six great new restaurants that should be on your to-do list.

1. Kasama

This great eatery offers some truly outstanding Filipino-inspired dishes and has thrived since the coronavirus guidelines eased. It proved a big success for the takeout crowd during the outbreak, which has undoubtedly helped entice customers to dine in now that the situation has returned to normal.

Kasama is something of a double-headed culinary beast. During the day, it has a very casual area during the day, and in the evening, the tasting-menu-only restaurant wows the crowds. It’s all very informal, and that’s perhaps what we need right now. Try out their delicious pastries and stay for their stews and chicken adobo. This might be our favorite place to eat in Chicago right now, and that’s high praise indeed, given the wealth of options in the city.

2. Horses

This is another restaurant that isn’t trying to ‘shake’ the market but does what it does very well. It’s a calm and composed place where the food takes the front seat, which is how it should always have been. We’ll take substance over style every day of the week.

Horses is situated on Sunset, on the site where Pikey, a well-respected establishment, stood (before that, it was the Ye Coach and Horses), and co-chefs Brittany Ha and Lee Pallerino have made it their own. 

The place has an energy to it, in a good way, and the menu is a homage to California cooking, and there is plenty to quite literally drooling over. Whether that’s steak grilled over vines, roasted Cornish game hens, or their irresistible sheep’s milk cheesecake, this place will not fail to impress.

3. Audrey

Redefining Southern cuisine is a specialty for chef Sean Brock, and he’s worked his magic at Audrey in Nashville. There is a nod to the Danish, both in terms of the decor and the demeanor of the place. The food, however, is an insight into Brock’s world and what a delightful world that is.

The food comes from a five-course tasting menu where hams and seaweeds, oysters, and edible flowers are brought together in perfect harmony. The bear creek beef is just beyond words, and the desert, happily titled a ‘study of citrus,’ really hits the spot and brings a perfect ending to the culinary delights. 

Plan your visit, as getting a reservation isn’t easy.

4. Mena

If a place is hard to find, it’s well worth visiting. Well, Mena isn’t easy to locate, it’s hidden near Chinatown in New York, and once you manage to steer yourself in the right direction, you will not be disappointed.

Victoria Blamey’s new endeavor is elegance personified. Don’t even dream of not getting the ceviche as that’s quite frankly a dish you can not pass up. The menu changes regularly, which shows off a truly versatile chef at their peak. Salty duck crackling and Spanish lentils are two items that should also be on your wish list.

It’s a small joint and effortlessly hip, so make sure to make a reservation well in advance.

5. Callie

This debut restaurant, courtesy of Travis Swikard, is the spot to visit if you happen to be anywhere near San Diego. Even if you are not in the neighborhood, swing by; you won’t be disappointed.

Using the best SoCal ingredients was always going to make Callie a winner. When you look to infuse Mediterranean cooking into the bargain, you are left with a restaurant filled with very happy diners.

Beef tartare and squid-ink bucatini shows you a wide range of options, and believe us when we say both of these are unforgettable dishes. Be sure to leave room for the Eureka lemon pavlova; you won’t regret it!

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