View from the Highlight Room bar in New York

The most exciting new restaurants and bars for 2023

The most exciting restaurants and bars for 2023

From Paris to Copenhagen to New York and beyond, we can’t wait to book a table at these new venues.

Words by Ute Junker

Photos supplied

One of the best things about travel is the chance to discover new places to eat and drink. These are some of the new openings we can’t wait to try.

PARIS Le Gainsbarre

Cafe by day, piano bar by night, channelling the spirit of legendary French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg tout le temps? That sounds like a place we would love to hang out in, and it is coming to Paris’ 7th arrondissement soon. The upcoming opening of Maison Gainsbourg will not only give fans the chance to visit the musician’s former home, but will also provide an opportunity to relax in this vibey venue, with food courtesy of the team behind the popular Laperouse.

KYOTO Noma Kyoto

Copenhagen’s acclaimed Noma restaurant, repeatedly crowned best restaurant in the world, is packing up its bags and moving to Japan – temporarily at least. Chef Rene Redzepi regularly hosts pop-ups in far-flung destinations, including a previous stint in Tokyo, and during this 10-week residency at the Ace Hotel Kyoto from March to May the Noma team will deliver a special menu inspired by Kyoto’s traditional kaiseki cuisine. No surprise that the residency, which coincides with cherry blossom season, has already sold out, although you can still sign up for a waitlist.


In Noma’s absence there are still plenty of great restaurants in the Danish capital including a newcomer from Kristian Baumann, whose 108 was one of the city’s best. Since shutting that restaurant in 2020, Baumann – who was born in Korea and adopted by Danish parents – has been showcasing Korean-inspired cuisine in a series of pop-ups under the name of Koan. The restaurant finally get a permanent home next year, right near the Little Mermaid statue, and diners will have the option of pairing each course of the tasting menu with a Korean rice wine.

NEW YORK The Highlight Room

There is never a bad time to be soaking up the New York skyline and a new rooftop bar in the Lower East Side gives you plenty of opportunity to take in the lights while savouring a Negroni. The Highlight Room atop the Moxy Lower East Side hotel has a garden-like setting, complete with foliage unfurling from the ceiling, as well as a lush outdoor terrace that is perfect for the warmer months. When it is chilly outside, relax in one of the plush banquettes instead.

LONDON New Colagreco restaurant

The Raffles group is known for working with top chefs, including Anne-Sophie Pic at its Singapore flagship, so it’s no surprise that they have lined up one of the biggest names around for the new Raffles London at the Owo. Mauro Colagreco, whose three-Michelin-star restaurant Le Mirazur is considered among the best in the world, will helm the as-yet-unnamed restaurant at London’s new


With its hot springs and magnificent scenery, the island of Kyushu is a favourite with Japanese tourists. That may be why two of Asia’s top chefs have picked Kyushu’s largest city, Fukuoka, to launch their first collaboration. Housed in the new riverside 010 Building, GohGan is a partnership between Gaggan Anand, the powerhouse behind Bangkok’s influential Indian restaurant Gaggan, and local hero Takeshi ‘Goh’ Fukuyama, whose restaurant La Maison de la Nature Goh is known for Japanese-French cooking.


They nailed it with their Paradiso cocktail bar – accessed through a hidden door inside a sandwich bar – which was recently crowned the best bar in the world.  For their brand-new project, Monk, Barcelona’s La Confiteria Group have chosen an equally low-key location, this time nestled in behind a 24-hour supermarket. Two more things Monk shares with its older sibling: a cool playlist and cocktails with a distinct tendency towards the dramatic. If you love a bit of smoke billowing from your glass, you will be very happy here.

A longer version of this story was originally published in Traveller.

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