2018 promises to be a bumper year for new restaurant openings and reopenings, with some big name chefs continuing to empire-build, and others looking to set out on their own for the first time.
Los Angeles will further cement its reputation as one of the most exciting places to eat in the US, with a spate of high profile openings, Europe welcomes the return of perhaps its most influential and innovative restaurant, and over in South America, the darlings of Peruvian cuisine have an array of exciting projects on the slate.
Here, in no particular order, are our picks for the hottest new restaurant openings of 2018.
1. Noma 2.0, Copenhagen
The unveiling of Noma 2.0 at the start of the year is already shaping up to be one of the biggest food events of 2018. Having shuttered the original in early 2017, chef René Redzepi and the team have popped-up in Mexico in the interim, while much of their summer was spent on the ideas trail in Northern Europe.
This is what we know so far about the second coming of the pioneering Copenhagen restaurant: the year will be divided into three seasonal menus, opening with seafood, followed by vegetable, and then come autumn/winter, an emphasis on game, the only time meat will have a starring role. The price is going up, while the restaurant will only be open four days a week, from Wednesday to Saturday, as a way to improve the work/life balance of the staff, a trend we’re seeing in some of the world’s top restaurants.
As we recently reported, you could win an all expenses paid trip to Copenhagen, including dinner at Noma 2.0 on opening night by donating to Redzepi’s MAD non-profit via Omaze.
2. Mil, Peru
Virgilio Martinez and Pia Leon, the husband and wife team behind three-time Latin America’s Best Restaurant, Central in Lima, Peru have a number of exciting projects planned for 2018.
As we exclusively revealed back in 2016, they’ll be relocating Central to a larger space in Lima, where Leon will take charge of her own restaurant, the more casual Kjolle, alongside an exhibition space for Mater Iniciativa, the restaurant’s research arm.
Excitingly, they’ll also be opening a brand new restaurant at the ancient Inca site of Moray, close to the city of Cusco. Mil will focus on local Andean cuisine when it opens in late 2018, and Martinez hopes its strong sense of place, high in the mountains, will blow diners away. "In Central, sometimes we have to write down stuff for guests to understand the story of our dishes. If you are there, eating in the area, you will feel the magic," he told us previously.
3. NoMad, Los Angeles
Will Guidara and chef Daniel Humm have chosen downtown Los Angeles for their first opening outside of New York City. Housed in the neoclassical former headquarters of the Bank of Italy, the 241-room NoMad hotel Los Angeles will offer five different eating and drinking spaces, from a formal dining mezzanine overlooking the lobby, to a rooftop poolside bar. They’re currently taking room bookings from 20 January onwards. Expect to see NoMad Las Vegas too in the not too distant future.
4. Sabor, London
Having led one of the biggest success stories of the London dining scene in recent years, Barrafina, chef Nieves Barragan and general manager José Etura are set to open their own restaurant in Mayfair in January 2018, offering cuisine from across Spain. As at Barrafina, they’ll be counter dining around an open kitchen, but also an Asador-style eatery upstairs, where diners can enjoy octopus and suckling pig at large serving tables, according to Hot Dinners.
5. Massimo Bottura, Florence
The exact details of Massimo Bottura’s new restaurant in Florence, Italy, news of which we brought you last month, are being tightly guarded. But we can tell that it will be housed in the Gucci Garden (formerly the Gucci Museum) in the Palazzo della Mercanzia. Currently undergoing renovations, the Gucci Garden will reopen during the annual Pitti Uomo men's fashion event in January 2018, and so, presumably, will the restaurant.
6. Majordomo, Los Angeles
David Chang is extending his Momofuku empire further West to Los Angeles with Majordomo, which is expected to open in early 2018 over in East LA. The menu reportedley won't feature any of the Momofuku classics, such as ramen or pork buns, but there will be a lot of smoked meats and an emphasis on local produce. Chang, who has long harboured desires to set up in LA and was recently spotted house hunting in the city, describes LA’s nearby K-Town as “probably the best place to eat in America” right now.
7. Una Pizza Napoletana, New York
New York will get yet another superior pizza joint to add to its pie arsenal in spring 2018 when Anthony Mangieri’s Una Pizza Napoletana relocates to the Lower East Side after eight years in San Francisco. The restaurant will be a collaboration between Mangieri and Contra and Wildair’s Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske, with New Jersey-native Mangieri making the pizzas in house daily. Expect natural wines, a buzzy atmosphere and, of course, long lines for what is a triumphant return to New York for Mangieri, having relocated his business to the West Coast in 2009. The pizza menu will be short, but expertly crafted.
8. Cosme, Los Angeles
One of New York’s hottest tables will be coming to Los Angeles in 2018. The Cosme restaurant from Enrique Olvera and Chef de Cuisine Daniela Soto-Innes, is heading to the West Coast, where they’ll no doubt find a hungry and appreciative audience for the modern Mexican cuisine that has seen Cosme hit number 40 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, having only been open since 2014. We’ll bring you more details as we have them.