The signs of spring are inevitable: Daffodils burst through frozen ground, lighter coats struggle to emerge from the backs of closets, and big-name new restaurants start applying for liquor licenses. From Stephanie Izard’s new Chinese place in Chicago to Alain Ducasse’s glorious French expansion in Versailles, here are some of the most exciting openings around the globe to keep on your radar this season.
1. It’s true! To the delight of double ShackBurger fans on the West Coast, Shake Shack will start slinging its patties and crinkle fries in West Hollywood on March 15. The burger chain already has locations in Japan, the Middle East, and the U.K., but this will be the first for California. Prepare for a whole new, inevitable round of Shake Shack vs. In-N-Out debates.
2. Superstar chef and jam producer Jessica Koslow will soon open Sqirl Away, and her second restaurant promises to serve heftier stuff than the flagship’s sorrel-pesto rice bowls and compote-loaded toasts. Bonus: Sqirl Away, true to its name, will do takeout.
3. Charles Phan opened the Slanted Door in San Francisco in 1995 and later moved his influential, modern Vietnamese restaurant to the Ferry Building. Early this year, Phan will open his first location away from his home turf, at Downtown L.A.'s City Market South.
4. In Chicago's West Loop, Charlie Trotter alums John Shields and Karen Urie Shields are working on Smyth, a fine dining restaurant with an ambitious tasting menu, as well as The Loyalist, a more casual concept located downstairs from Smyth.
5. Stephanie Izard, the successful Chicago restaurateur of Top Chef fame, is now working on her Peking duck game in preparation for Duck Duck Goat. The new restaurant hosted a Chinese New Year party in February and should be opening its doors any day.
6. Alvin Cailan’s Eggslut is an Instagram magnet in L.A.’s Grand Central Market food hall, serving gorgeous breakfast sandwiches. This year, Eggslut goes big, with a new outpost in the Cosmopolitan resort in Las Vegas. No matter how you wasted your night on the Strip, you can start your day right with a $9 Slut (That’s the restaurant's wobbly egg, baked in a jar with mashed potatoes and a side of crusty bread.)
7. Tupelo Honey Cafe, the beloved, unfussy Southern restaurant that first opened in downtown Asheville, N.C., and now has nine regional locations, will soon open another one in Sandy Springs. Look out for the fried chicken BLT and fried green tomatoes with goat cheese grits.
8. Meanwhile, there’s no rest for Atlanta-based restaurant machine Ford Fry, who’s busy opening another of his Tex-Mex-inspired restaurants, Superica, in Buckhead this year.
9. Southern chef Linton Hopkins will open Linton’s in the Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden this spring. The restaurant will showcase Dale Chihuly's art, an open-air rooftop, and plenty of green views into the garden.
10. Husband-and-wife team Meherwan and Molly Irani are bringing their brand of Indian street food to Ponce City Market with Botiwalla, which will serve skewered meat cooked over open fires, as well as house-made flatbreads.
11. This month, expect American Cut to open a new destination in Manhattan for Tomahawk steaks. The restaurant, a collaboration with chef Marc Forgione, will be a a 6,000-square-foot, 130-seat dining room inside the Lombardy hotel.
12. You’ll soon be able to find Nashville-style hot chicken on Brooklyn’s Columbia Street Waterfront, when Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen opens. If you don’t like it too hot, there’s the mild level (or “naked”) and if you do like it hot, pull yourself together and ask for the “boomshakalaka.”
13. Sushi chef Akifumi Sakagami, who runs Sushi Ginza Onodera in Tokyo’s fashionable Ginza district, will this spring open a new omakase sushi restaurant on Fifth Avenue, in a small, 32-seat space. Sushi Ginza already has locations in Honolulu, Paris, and Hong Kong and is planning another to open later this year in Los Angeles.
14. Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, of Eleven Madison Park and the restaurants at the NoMad Hotel, are working on their new casual restaurant, Made Nice, slated to open late this spring. Expect dishes in the $12-15 range and an unexpectedly complex non-alcoholic drinks menu that includes plenty of house-made sodas.
15. Hummus fans rejoice: Philadelphia-based chef Michael Solomonov is opening Dizengoff NYC later this month. Like the original in Philadelphia, the restaurant is named after the street in Tel Aviv and is inspired by Israel's traditional hummus stalls. You'll find Israeli wines by the glass, as well as shakshuka all day, every day.
16. Günter Seeger, the German chef who made his name cooking serious fine dining in Atlanta for over two decades, will open a small, upscale restaurant in the Meatpacking District. Expect a six-course menu that changes daily and costs around $120.
17. Danny Meyer opened the first restaurant in his group, Union Square Cafe, 30 years ago, long before the phrase farm-to-table became a cliché. Closed temporarily because of a rent spike, the restaurant is currently in the process of moving from its old digs on 16th Street to a nearby location on 19th Street. Carmen Quagliata, Union Square Cafe’s executive chef, is tinkering with a new menu as the restaurant gets ready to reopen this spring.
18. Apparently New York isn’t at maximum food-hall capacity just yet. In April, Columbus Circle’s underground subway concourse will be updated with TurnStyle, over 30 food and retail vendors that include Bosie Tea Parlor (try the canelés!) and MeltKraft. Expect a regularly updated calendar of pop-up vendors and performances, too.
19. The young team behind London’s No. 1 Taiwanese snack sensation, Bao, is getting ready to open a second location in May in Fitzrovia. This is pretty fantastic news for everyone who loves top-notch steamed buns while hating queues.
20. Experimental Spanish chef David Muñoz is gearing up to open StreetXO in London in just a few more months, he says.(Yes, he’s said it before, but this time he says it’s for real.) Muñoz holds three-Michelin stars at his restaurant in Madrid, DiverXO.
21. Paulo de Tarso and Nicolas Jaouën are joining forces to open Margot, a 100-seat restaurant celebrating the glamour of Italian food, wine, and design in Covent Garden.
22. London's renowned Borough Market gets a new pasta destination with Padella, from the team behind the hugely popular Islington restaurant, Trullo. Expect a concise menu of simple, handmade pastas such as fresh pappardelle with braised beef shins or pumpkin-stuffed ravioli, all of which you can eat at the counter in front of an open kitchen.
23. Alain Ducasse and luxury go together like peas and carrots, so it couldn't be more perfect that the French chef will soon be opening Ore in the Palace of Versailles (the château's Pavillon Dufour, to be precise). A contemporary French café, run by Ducasse's team, is likely to thrill tourists visiting the palace and its gorgeous landscaped gardens.
24. While’s Noma’s fine dining team has been killing it at their pop-up in Sydney, back home in Copenhagen there’s been another exciting development: The team behind Noma’s new, casual, family-friendly restaurant 108 has been working on an à la carte menu and serving test versions of it in Noma’s dining room. Soon, they’ll shift it to new, nearby digs and open full-time.
25. Australian chef James Henry, known for his excellent Paris restaurant Bones, which closed last summer, will now recreate the look and feel of a neo-Parisian bistro in Hong Kong with Belon. It won’t open until a bit later this month, but Henry’s food is already getting attention.
26. The Four Seasons Hotel is opening a luxurious property in Bogota with a Japanese restaurant on the first floor. Kuru will serve meat, seafood, and local vegetables grilled over charcoal in an open kitchen, with Japanese beers and sakes by the glass.