The hottest new restaurants to visit in May 2024

From a wood-fired Greek spot in London's Borough Market to a retro Chinese dining room in Sydney, these are the best new restaurants to visit this month

Words by Club Oenologique Editors

New restaurants for May - Agora
A selection of dishes at Agora, London

There is no sign of classic European cuisine falling from its current level of favour in the restaurant world, with new openings in May offering another tranche of venues in which to get a fix of France, Italy and Spain. Cooking with fire appears to be going nowhere as a trend either, with two new restaurants in London putting char and smoke on their menus. One of those is Agora, the more casual offshoot of Oma in Borough Market, which arrives to offer twists on traditional dishes from Greece and the Levant – it comes from the brains behind Manteca and Smokestak, so confidently expect to leave happy if you manage to get a table (unlike upstairs in Oma, it’s walk-in only). Over in New York, a chef-sommelier pair are taking an ‘eclectic approach’ to European dishes, while a new Parisian hotel restaurant is sticking to the script with classic French food. In Sydney, a time capsule Asian-fusion restaurant is serving banquet-style dinners – complete with a tank of live shellfish to supply the kitchen.

Read on to discover the most exciting new restaurants to visit this May.

The best new restaurants to visit in May 2024

Demo food


New York, US

Chef Quang ‘Q’ Nguyen and sommelier Jacob Nass met at celebrated restaurant Wildair and went on to cement their friendship at Cool World restaurant in Brooklyn: Demo is the fruit of that experience. Describing the menu as ‘eclectic European’, Demo’s food ranges from Parisian lobster to a Tonnata made from beef tongue and tuna. The wines are as trendy as the dishes, with plenty of natural wine producers among bottles from Europe. Plus, by day it’s a friendly cafe, likely to serve growing volumes of Espresso Tonics as the weather heats up.

Open now demowestvillage.com

A table with food at Edith


Paris, France

Upstairs at Padam Hotel, classic French food is emerging from the kitchen in the hotel’s restaurant, Edith. Diners can experience some of France’s best ingredients – fish and seafood from Brittany, grassfed chicken from Perigord – in traditional dishes such as beef tartare, terrine and roasted fillets of fish with beurre blanc. As well as breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant also runs an after-work service from 5pm to 8pm for apéros (vermouth, pastis and pommeau) and cocktails (Pisco Sours, Spritzes and Negronis). Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, it’s perfectly located near the river, Arc de Triomphe and the Tuilerie.

Open now, en.padam-hotel.com

Agora food


London, UK

A brand-new, walk-ins-only spot under Oma is the perfect place to dine out on Greek and Levantine dishes that surf the trend of wood-fired cooking. Traditional dishes get a contemporary twist (like spicy pork sausage served with pineapple and hot honey and hummus served with the house’s hot potato crisps), but the menu is full of familiar classics too: Greek salad, grilled lamb and zhoug. There’s even a little tradition in the cocktail list: a Spritz, a punch with thyme, Margaritas with chilli and even a Daiquiri with the Greek liqueur mastiha.

Open now, agora.london

Good Luck

Sydney, Australia

Sydney is indeed fortunate to get this new restaurant on Bridge Street: Chinese-influenced dishes served in a fun, 1970s lounge-style dining room. There’s an impressive level of commitment on display: a tank for live crab and lobster, an option for ‘banquet’ dining and the dessert menu is loaded with soft-serve ice cream, as well as showy flans and babas. It’s still very much Sydney fare: there’s a hearty list of grilled steak, pork and seafood, and the wine list includes The Other Wine Co., Timo Mayer and Penfolds by the bottle and glass (along with some excellent picks from Europe). If you don’t mind a jaunt to the CBD, it’s one for you.

Open now, merivale.com/venues/good-luck


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Psycho Sandbar

Leeds, UK

Formerly The Man Behind The Curtain, the premises of Michael O’Hare’s respected fine-dining restaurant have been given an overhaul and a new lease of life. The fish-and-seafood tasting menu at Psycho Sandbar boasts oysters in nam jim sauce or Krug, skate wing with truffle, and ice cream topped with Exmoor caviar. The style may speak of luxe debauchery but there is still care for provenance: ethical foie gras, seasonal British ingredients and the like appear throughout the menu. The restaurant has given up its Michelin star owing to the rebrand and relaunch but expect this spot on Vicar Lane to carry on where the previous incarnation left off.

Open now, psychosandbar.com


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Edinburgh, UK

Roberta Hall McCarron is behind a café/bar/bottle shop in Leith. Open from 8am until 11pm, Ardfern is all things to its guests: haggis scones and fried duck eggs by morning, running through to handmade pies, langoustine rosti and kofte by night. The cocktail menu focuses on Edinburgh’s own liqueurs and spirits, while the wine list offers more than 100 bottles to drink in or take home. A development of The Little Chartroom (next door) and Eleanore restaurant (also in Leith), Ardfern is a welcome addition to an already buzzy area of Edinburgh.

Opens 31 May, ardfern.uk



London, UK

New for Marylebone is this Mediterranean bistro on Paddington Street, which is specialising in cooking with fire at the hands of chef Luke Ahearne. Formerly of Luca, Clove Club and Corrigans, Ahearne is now bringing some southern Spanish and Italian dishes to the table, complete with charred edges. The cocktail menu is a story of conviction and confidence, offering a simple selection of just three: a clear vodka and vanilla punch, a Jasmine Highball and a Pear Sidecar. As you might expect, the wine list is rather more extensive, with an emphasis on France and Italy.

Open now, litamarylebone.com