Who Will Win Best New Restaurant?

Hint: it's definitely one of these five spots.

April 9, 2019

By Neal McLennan

A few weeks back we rolled out the nominees for the 30th edition of our Restaurant Awards and, as I mentioned last week, the calls and emails immediately started to roll in. And to be fair, for the most part they are very civil requests for clarification variety (the “get your head out of you ass” ones are reserved for online). But one of the big questions was “Where’s Best New Restaurant?”

The answer lies a bit in the awards’ past. For most of the first 30 years, Best New was like Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year in that only one winner is named—there are no silver medals, no honorable mention. A few  years back we changed that, so now it mirrors the rest of the categories with a gold, silver, bronze and and honorable mentions. 

So why wasn’t it in the main short list? Well that’s the second part of the process: Best New is voted upon by all the judges at the same time we vote on Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year, after all the other awards are decided. So the short answer is that it wasn’t ready when the main batch of nominees went out. It is now, and the five below will vie for the title on April 29th.

Como Taperia

Elisa

Pepino’s

Stem Japanese Eatery

Ugly Dumpling

It’s a pretty amazing list and it speaks to how big a year it was for openings. How big? Think that restaurants like Di Beppe, Autostrada (Main St), Popina and the Origo Club (all which one can imagine winning in a slower year) didn’t make the cut in the minds of our judges and you get an idea of the depth of talent that we have in the running this year.

See the full list of 2019 Restaurant Awards finalists ▸▸▸

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