Drool Over These Pics From The Beard Award ‘Best New Restaurant’ Semifinalists


Last week, the James Beard Foundation announced its 2019 Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists and we can’t stop scanning through pictures of food from the restaurants nominated this year. In October, the Foundation made some much-needed changes to its policies, seeking to ensure their group of decision makers and award winners was more diverse than previous years, which has resulted in a 7% increase in representation for people of color among the Restaurant and Chef categories.

The ultra-long list of semifinalists will be dropping to five finalists near the end of the month, but we’ve gotta give serious respect to everyone who made this cut. We decided to feast our eyes on all the semifinalists from the Best New Restaurant category to put some delicious new dishes on your radar.

Check out the semifinalists below and prepare to become uncontrollably hungry!


31-31 Thomson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101

Adda is a Queens-based restaurant that serves Indian cuisine specializing in the type of home-style dishes that rarely populate your typical Indian food menus. In an Eater feature on Adda, chef Chintan Pandya explained, “My purpose at Adda is to reproduce the true taste of Indian home cooking.”

Adda has only been open for half a year now, but word of mouth and great reviews make this a must-try and a solid reason to trek to Long Island City.



106 W Gay St, West Chester, PA 19380

Chef Anthony Andiario heads this Pennsylvania restaurant that puts a heavy emphasis on an artisanal approach to ingredient sourcing and cooking. Through their dedicated network of farmers, craftsmen, and purveyors, Andiario takes a seasonal approach to their menu — so that every experience is imbued with a sense of time and space.


132 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

Angler makes use of the picturesque sights of the San Francisco Bay with this refined seafood restaurant located on the Embarcadero waterfront. Reviews indicate that chef Joshua Skenes keeps the atmosphere casual with a mix of 80s music and an a la carte menu that doesn’t fail to feel luxurious thanks to high-end service and ingredients bursting with flavor.

Another sure-fire hit after Skenes last success, the three-Michelin starred Saison.



104 E 30th St, New York, NY 10016

“Ato” is an ancient Korean word meaning “gift” — which is fitting given the special quality of every dish served up by Chef Junghyun Park and his wife Juengeun. Utilizing a multi-course menu that features both modern and traditional cooking techniques, Atomix specializes in banchan-style dishes that play thoughtful attention to presentation, as each new course of food is served on handmade plates and bowls crafted by South Korean artisans.

Bardea Food & Drink

620 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801

Headed by Chef Antimo DiMeo, Bardea specializes in Italian cuisine that is infused with an American influence — paying tribute to the Delaware Valley, which supplies the restaurant with its ingredients. Named for the goddess of food and drink, Bardea seeks to remaster classic dishes and push against the preconceptions of Italian food being all about pasta and red sauce.


500 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis infuse their familial roots from across Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt into Bavel’s Middle Eastern inspired menu. Ori and Genevieve already have one classic Los Angeles restaurant under their belts — Bestia — and if Bavel is even HALF as good, it’s probably the best Middle Eastern restaurant in all of SoCal.

Bywater American Bistro

2900 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70117

The Bywater American Bistro is all about community. With a casual atmosphere, treat-you-as-family hospitality, and locally sourced seasonal ingredients, Bywater couldn’t have picked a better, and more friendly city than New Orleans. With a menu consisting largely of fish and heavier soul food-inspired dishes, the Bywater American Bistro also boasts a stunningly robust wine list to help you savor every bite.


734 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

Located between East Portland and the Lloyd District, Canard is a lunch cafe by day and a wine restaurant by night, the brainchild of chef Gabriel Rucker. Rucker, the chef behind Portland’s James Beard awarded Le Pigeon, delivers a menu of French-inspired breakfast food.

Canard is bound to net Rucker yet another James Beard award. How do we know? Because the French toast is soaked in soft-serve ice cream and then deep fried. Take our money, say no more.


21 Bow St, Somerville, MA 02143

The team behind Celeste decided that the best way to celebrate the Peruvian roots of their menu was through a space that combined food, drinks, design, art, and music to help ensure their guests have the shared experience of a deep-dive into the culture of Peru every time they enjoy a meal. Through a curated playlist of Cambia, Salsa, Merengue, and Vallenato, Celeste focuses on the late-afternoon, dinner, and late-nite crowds with a menu consisting of ancient recipes that have been passed down through multiple generations.


21 Drydock Ave, Boston, MA 02210

Chickadee calls itself a New England born, Mediterranean-inspired restaurant located in the heart of Boston’s Innovation and Design building. Headed by chefs John DaSilva and Ted Kilpatrick, Chickadee offers a seasonal menu and a full bar that takes inspiration from the kitchen for a fun and hospitable environment that pays homage to the craft and attention to detail of contemporary culinary art.


3221 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010


Chef Brad Deboy delivers a menu of unconventional flavor combinations like grilled kimchi with yogurt on toast, or maple marinated feta at Mount Pleasant favorite Ellē. Located in the historic Heller’s Bakery building, Ellē has only been open for a little over a year, but Chef Deboy is no stranger to food fame, already winning a Michelin star as head chef of the Blue Duck Tavern.

The Elysian Bar

2317 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70117

The Elysian Bar serves up French and Southern food fusion from chef Alex Harrell with a menu that consists of most small plates focused on seafood and vegetables. Located in a former Catholic church on NoLa’s Burgundy street, The Elysian Bar features a grand interior that makes use of the natural lighting of the old church, for a variety of dining spaces, with an espresso cafe located in the church’s chapel.


823 Meridian St, Nashville, TN 37207

At Uproxx, we f*cking love pizza, so it’s impossible for us to not salivate over Philip Krajeck’s newest restaurant Folk — just look at the picture perfect pizza they serve! Cooked in a wood-fired oven, Folk’s menu consists of mostly snacks and small plates, but that is very much by design. Krajeck made sure you’d have enough of an appetite to fully appreciate every slice of pizza you taste.


241 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Chefs Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson lead the kitchen of this New York restaurant with a rotating dinner menu of French standards. Brouillade, spaghetti bottarga, roast chicken and pork schnitzel — It’s all here in this Tribeca brasserie.


2507 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Kyōten is a reservation-only omakase sushi restaurant from Chef Otto. The preparation of their classic Edomae sushi uses fish sourced from Japan prepared with ultra-rare Inochi-no-Ichi rice seasoned with aged red vinegar, using techniques that leave each serving with layers of depth, complexity, and mouth-watering umami.

Larder Delicatessen and Bakery

1455 W 29th St, Cleveland, OH 44113

Chefs Allie, Jeremy and Kenny — who keep it first-name friendly on their site — started Larder as a popup event, touring the country as they searched for a home before finally deciding on Cleveland’s Hingetown neighborhood. Housed in a 100-year-old Cleveland firehouse, Larder Delicatessen and Bakery identifies itself as a “Delicatessen of Yesteryear” — the type of place that the three-chef team hopes that friends and neighbors can gather to enjoy great food and life experiences.


3750 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, HI 96753

Hometown hero Sheldon Simeon provides Lineage with a menu of homestyle Hawaiian dishes, inspired by his childhood growing up on the islands. In the early part of the decade, Simeon was one of the top contestants on Top Chef but was eliminated when he turned his back on his Filipino roots in favor of the fancy pairings popular in contemporary cooking — since then he’s sought to embrace his past and focus on flavor and substance over style.


1725 Naud St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Majōrdomo is Chef David Chang’s long-awaited west coast debut, but instead of repeating the success he’s built up in New York City with his Momofuku restaurants, he decided he wanted to do something different with Majōrdomo. Inspired by the food culture of California, Majōrdomo delivers a more straight forward approach to Korean cuisine than Chang is known for, and it’s already received positive reviews from outlets like Eater and Los Angeles Magazine.


8044 Kercheval Ave, Detroit, MI 48214

Marrow founder Ping Ho was inspired by memories of her childhood in Singapore when she’d witness the rapport between her grandmother and their local butcher. Seeking to capture the spontaneity of what fresh ingredients you’d find on a daily trek to the market, Marrow builds its menu from small local producers and what’s in season for Detroit’s first neighborhood butcher shop-restaurant hybrid.

Nyum Bai

Ste. 11, 3340 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94601

Nyum Bai’s food is a modern take on classic Khmer dishes that make use of organic locally-grown produce, with all pastes, sauces, and pickled vegetables made in-house from scratch. Inspired by 1960s Cambodia — when Cambodian pop and rock n’ roll ruled the airwaves — the restaurant seeks to preserve Cambodian culture and music through food with a nostalgic menu of classics for the modern age.


5420 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640


Korean restaurants are no stranger to this year’s James Beard semifinalists, but Passerotto — Italian for little sparrow — approaches Korean cuisine with a twist. Fusing traditional Korean dishes with touches from the Midwest and Central Italy, chef and owner Jennifer Kim has crafted a menu inspired by both her childhood and culinary influences full of small and medium plates, as well as large-format Korean spreads meant for table sharing.

Petra and the Beast

601 N Haskell Ave, Dallas, TX 75246


According to their own website, Petra and the Beast “flows with the natural seasons and cycles of the earth to bring unique, pleasant, and hearty refections from farm, forage, fermentation, and fire to table,” through an ever-changing seasonal menu. We have absolutely no idea what that means exactly, but coupled with their chalk written menus and BYOB policy, the vibe at Petra and the Beast seems to be refined-yet-ultra-relaxed.


Popol Vuh

1414 Quincy St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

Craft mezcal and tequila cocktails with a seasonal Mexican inspired menu make Popol Vuh a Minneapolis favorite from Chef Jose Alarcon. Named for the K’iche people’s creation myth and translating directly to “book of the People” Popol Vuh is all about community, not just between people, but between all living things and the earth itself.

That’s a tall order, which Alarcon seeks to achieve through high-quality ingredients cooked over raw wood fire.

Q House

3421 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206

Q House serves modern Chinese food in Denver, Colorado’s Bluebird District. Headed by chef Chris Lin, who cut his teeth working as a cook at David Chang’s Momofuku, Q House highlights some of Chinese cuisine’s lesser-known dishes.

According to several reviews, the braised pork rice is a must-have.


5309 22nd Ave NW suite a, Seattle, WA 98107

Located in the heart of Ballard’s burgeoning restaurant scene, Sawyer is a new American restaurant and bar headed by local chef Mitch Mayers. Mayers wanted to capture the creativity and quality of fine dining restaurant fare, with the approachability of American comfort food for a menu of light-hearted and tasty dishes like the S’more Choco Tacos, which look as fun as you could ever hope for!

Spoken English

1770 Euclid St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Spoken English is a Japanese-inspired, snack bar and wood-grill with a menu of communal favorites meant to be shared. Tachinomiya-styled and standing-room only, Spoken English invites patrons to engage with fellow eaters in a space that encourages new interactions and conversation with street style dishes and exclusive sake selections at this dinner-to-late night only restaurant in the heart of Washington D.C.

The Stanley

1961 E 7th St, Charlotte, NC 28204

Headed by Chef Paul Verica and Sous Chef (and Verica’s son) Alex Verica, and located in Charlotte’s Elizabeth neighborhood, The Stanley makes use of a seasonal and market-driven menu for yet another farm to table-style restaurant. You don’t go to The Stanley for a specific dish, you COULD, but with a menu that changes daily, you have to just roll with what Verica gives you on any given day.

We suggest just going for ‘The Play Ground” an improve tasting menu where the kitchen surprises you!


1800 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702


With a combination of local ingredients, thoughtful cooking techniques, and the flavors of Mexico, Suerte is an East Austin restaurant headed by Executive Chef Fermin Nunez with a full bar and patio overlooking East Sixth Street. Two words to describe this one: homemade masa. If you’ve ever had it, your mouth is probably in the midst of salivating over the mere mention.

Suerte’s menu is simple, consisting of mostly tacos and Mexican snacks with a few grand specialties like the Duck Breast Y Mole Negro or the Goat Barbacoa.


The Surf Club Restaurant

9011 Collins Ave, Surfside, FL 33154

Headed by Chef Thomas Keller and located in a renovated Miami Beach club, The Surf Club Restaurant interprets classic Continental cuisine for a contemporary audience of eaters. In a nod to the cocktail-culture of the venue’s past, The Surf Club tackles post-prohibition style cocktails and features an extensive selection of old and new world wines.


1413 Avenida Juan Ponce de León, San Juan, 00907, Puerto Rico

Opened just a little over a year ago, Francis Guzmán and Amelia Dill’s Vianda almost didn’t happen because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. But Puerto Rico has proved resilient, and Vianda has thrived in the aftermath, creating a communal space for people to enjoy food and interact with one another. Inspired by the farm to table movement, Vianda represents the beginning of a new era in the way Puerto Rican establishments value locally sourced agriculture — long devalued by Spanish colonialism — in the aftermath of Maria and seeks to support farmers in the process of restoring the farmlands damaged by the hurricane.