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Dining Trend
Prime 13 Restaurants
The Best New Restaurants You
Have to Try in a City Near You
verybody’s got a go-to restaurant: the happy hour spot where cocktails and half-priced apps can turn into dinner; the family-owned favorite with the generous wine pours; or the Main Street staple that always has an open table, even at 8pm on a Saturday night. It’s good to be a regular. But it’s also good to give the neighborhood newcomers a shot.

All year long, Thrillist scours the nation in search of the best new restaurant openings. We gather intel on tiny taco shacks, high-concept food experiences, authentic mom & pop shops, inventive first-time efforts, and new twists on legacy operations. The restaurants we’ve compiled here represent the latest and greatest offerings to hit your city in 2018. Take a gander and you might just find a new go-to.
By Mike Jordan
It turned out to be an extraordinarily good year for places that took their time and focused on the foods we love. There's never been a better time to eat in ATL.
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By Anastacia Uriegas
There were definite standouts in Austin’s crop of new restaurants in 2018, and the common threads seem to be sincerity and vision -- what’s more honest than a warm biscuit, or a meticulous commitment to masa?
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By Meaghan Agnew
Boston surprised with variety this year: Asian-Latin American-Turkish cuisine in the Back Bay, Mediterranean on the banks of Boston Harbor, and southern comfort in the South End. Dig in.
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By Sydney Gallimore
Charleston’s culinary reputation was solidified even further with the batch of openings we saw in 2018. From cozy Italian joints to Lowcountry classics, there’s never been a better time to go out for dinner (or lunch, or breakfast) in the Queen City.
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By Erin Maddrey
Charlotte is a vibrant and fast-growing city that’s undoubtedly coming into its own. And there's no better proof than our culinary scene.
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By Kailley Lindman
New Chicago spots proved tasty as ever this year thanks to an omakase explosion and franken-cuisines like Korean-meets-Italian and Filipino-meets-Cuban, to West Coast influences and soul-warming, hearth-focused fare.
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By Beth Phillips Synk
With the crop of restaurant openings Cleveland received in 2018, enthusiastic foodies can bop all over town to sample new and diverse offerings, from an unexpectedly delicious lunch on a hospital campus to a pricey surf & turf dinner.
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By Amanda Cobra
This may still be Texas, but steakhouses didn't own the Dallas scene this year. Instead, we enjoyed more diverse offerings, including surf & turf, tons of Asian cuisines, and vegan tacos.
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By Molly Martin
Keeping up with the culinary scene is a nearly impossible task as new restaurants flood in seemingly as fast as new residents. So allow us to help. Here are the best new places of 2018.
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By Dorothy Hernandez
2018 was another delicious year in restaurant openings for Detroiters, with some chefs making triumphant returns to the culinary scene and others expanding upon their already successful brands or striking out on their own.
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By Wendy Awai-Dakroub
Honolulu restaurants from Kaimuki and Waikiki took center stage this year, and their offerings include tea pairings, tuna pizza, trendy tacos, and even water cake.
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By Brooke Viggiano
This year’s new restaurants brought a mix of familiar faces and welcomed out-of-towners, cranking out unexpected delights from food court BBQ to neo-soul food.
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By Sam Stall
Indy's leading culinary lights stretched their skills by opening new restaurants and serving innovative cuisines: everything from nouveau sushi to fried chicken and soul food.
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Las Vegas
By Rob Kachelriess
Vegas remains a magnet for cuisines and chefs from around the world. And this year, you don't have to pay a lot to eat great food.
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Los Angeles
By Jeff Miller
The past year was important for LA’s restaurant scene; we were at the center of global culinary interest and saw a wave of intriguing new restaurants open up, with some of them riding out beyond their hype to claim 2018 supremacy.
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By Kevin Gibson
Louisville experiences a dizzying parade of new restaurants each year, and 2018 was no different. Here are the 10 best spots that opened around town.
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By Stacey Greenberg
There's never been a better time to check out our restaurant scene. From fine dining and soul food to the diner of your dreams, Memphis is making it happen in big ways.
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By Thrillist Staff
Not one but two Michelin-starred spots from the Northeast opened up in South Florida, as well as a slew of fantastic new taco restaurants and Italian joints you'll need to try ASAP.
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By Lacey Muszynski
"Comforting" and "cozy" were Milwaukee’s main restaurant buzzwords in 2018, and from reimagined diner fare to open-hearth homestyle cooking, each one of our favorite spots that opened since January is comforting in its own way.
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Minneapolis–Saint Paul
By Jenna Bennett
Welcome to the Twin Cities, where the restaurants are as varied as the neighborhoods they serve -- from street tacos in a super-hip former factory to modern Vietnamese at an old strip club.
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By Chris Chamberlain
Nashville's become a dining destination, not just for tourists, but also for restaurateurs. Half of this list of spots that opened in 2018 are outposts of restaurants from other cities. We welcome them.
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New Orleans
By April Siese
In a year of upheaval for New Orleans restaurants, vegan soul food, Latin American fare, and beloved chefs like Alon Shaya and Nina Compton emerged triumphant.
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New York
By Eliza Dumais
NYC’s restaurant scene is unparalleled. We have so many classics, opening a new place is an act of bravery. Most restaurants have an easier time getting started than they do getting noticed. This is everywhere we took notice of this year.
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By Marielle Mondon
Many of Philly’s 2018 openings stood on the shoulders of established local giants, but the best new restaurants in town took a variety of concepts in different directions, whether as a formal tasting menu experience that's also BYOB, or a fast-casual chicken joint that's delicious in its simplicity.
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By Lauren Reichert
This year's Phoenix restaurants represent a mix of a little bit of everything -- or in this case, a little bit of everywhere. Cuisines from around the country, and across the world, can all be found right here.
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By Emily Catalano
From a taco spot with quick counter service to an accessible-yet-refined French bistro, all the new restaurants that caught our eye in Pittsburgh this year have one thing in common: a totally genuine point of view.
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By Alex Frane
Continuing the trend of the past few years, 2018 saw a plethora of restaurant openings. But more so, it saw an increase in diversity. And we couldn't be more excited about that.
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San Antonio
By Georgina Buckley
San Antonio saw a handful of 2018 restaurant openings that immediately leapt to the front of the "eating here three nights in a row" pack, nailing dishes ranging from brisket bánh mì to creamy, spreadable burrata.
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San Diego
By Jackie Bryant
Many of San Diego’s best restaurant openings this year were higher-end “fast-casual” concepts, but a few “sit-down-and-eat-like-an-adult” spots managed to slip in, as well -- here’s every spot you need to hit in 2019.
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San Francisco
By Daisy Barringer
San Francisco has firmly ensconced itself as one of, if not the best, food cities in the US. And we'll back that up with these seven spots that should be on everyone's list to hit in 2019.
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By Naomi Tomky
From homemade tortillas to house-made pasta, this was the year of making things... better. Food trucks leapt into brick-and-mortar spaces, cooking schools became food counters, and a couple of great little restaurants found bigger and better homes.
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Washington, DC
By Lani Furbank
No matter what crazy thing dominated DC's news cycle, new restaurants gave us hope. The highlights serve up underrepresented cuisines from diverse chefs, delicious vegan food, amazing bagels, and a lot more.
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