Each year, we index the best, brightest openings, but for the 26th edition of Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List, we’ve upped the ante: This time, editors at all seven worldwide editions had a hand in scouting and selecting the entries. At its heart, this is still a hotel list—a whopping 96 made the cut this year, which is a true testament to the industry’s resilience. But because (almost) no hotel is an island, we’ve widened the lens to include the best restaurants, culture, transportation, and cruises you need to know, and the destinations that are reinventing themselves. We mean it when we say this may be the hottest Hot List yet. Here, all the best new restaurants and bars to try out.
Click here to see the entire Hot List for 2022.
Chinese influences have shaped many of the dishes we’ve come to see as Thai, but rarely are they honored with the creativity and consideration chef Pichaya Utharntharm brings to the table at her fine-dining spot in the heart of Bangkok’s Chinatown. Harking back to her Thai Chinese roots, her 20-course menu reads like a personal memoir, with the setting—Utharntharm’s ancestors’ herbal-medicine dispensary—an enchanting backdrop. Most impressive, however, is her refusal to modify her cooking to suit today’s palate. That means fragrant roasted duck comes beak, brains, and all—as it would have generations ago. —Chris Schalkx
Cochinchina Bar, Buenos Aires
Inés de los Santos, Argentina’s leading mixologist, is known for her cocktail collaborations. But CoChinChina, an ambitious bar and restaurant with Southeast Asian–inflected cocktails and food in Buenos Aires’s trendy Palermo neighborhood, makes her the protagonist of her own show. Serious drinkers, South American TV stars, and fabulous locals rub shoulders at this party spot. The bar has a theatrical feel, with a counter made from resin-sealed eggshells and the wall of (fake) goldfish in plastic bags. The mood is always arriba; a live jazz trio or hip DJ keeps spirits high until the wee hours of the morning. —Sorrel Moseley-Williams
Orfali Bros, Dubai
The Orfalis really are related, a trio of Syrian siblings living in Dubai, where they oversee a jewel box of a space in a posh plaza in the Jumeirah district. In nice weather, the patio is filled with tables, and you can see the Burj Khalifa glittering in the distance. Their food is decidedly Syrian, but influenced by their travels and interests; just don’t call it fusion. Everything is delicious—especially the shish barak à la gyoza, Wagyu dumplings served with garlicky yogurt and sujuk oil—but it’s the brothers’ enthusiasm and the culinary storytelling unfolding with every bite that make the experience sing. —Sarah Khan
Mother Wolf, L.A.
At Evan Funke’s highly anticipated Italian brasserie, designed by Martin Brudnizki in the iconic Citizen News Building, light-as-air squash blossoms, crispy artichokes in salty salsa di acciughe, and soft pizzas topped with taleggio cheese and black truffle are prepared within a 3,000-square-foot kitchen, steps from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The house-made pastas, like rich spaghetti alle vongole and cacio e pepe, are particular crowd-pleasers. The only thing guaranteed to jolt you out of Funke’s Roman fever dream? The inevitable A-lister eating discreetly in the corner. —Lale Arikoglu
Sessions Arts Club, London
Charismatically chaotic and a bit naughty, this former judges’ dining room opened in a gorgeous 18th-century building in London’s Clerkenwell neighborhood and immediately stole the scene. It’s about the food first, with innovative dishes like flatbread with dandelion and fish roe, but it’s also about the space: Shaan Syed’s abstract paintings complement the peeling green paint and exposed plaster beneath. Most of all it’s about the feeling of being here, as if at a party where everyone wants you to have fun, from the witty sommelier to the waiter who gives you a tour of the rooftop bar mid-meal. Perhaps he does this for all his tables, but who cares? —Anna Prendergast
This earthy, dynamic space in the Peruvian capital’s leafy San Isidro neighborhood is an homage to vital ancestral cooking. Emerging local chef Jaime Pesaque leans into open-flame techniques, bringing one of South America’s most influential culinary trends to its most celebrated foodie city. The menu, distilled into core groups like vegetables, seafood, meat, and grains, benefits from Pesaque’s care for local, sustainable ingredients. Anything that hits the grill and then your plate is traceable, from the prawns with yellow pepper to the simple, superb roasted cabbage. Don’t skip on the alpaca charcuterie or paiche chorizo. —Sorrel Moseley-Williams
Yangban Society, Los Angeles
Husband and wife chef duo Katianna and John Hong earned their fine dining stripes at establishments like The Restaurant at Meadowood, The Charter Oak and Mélisse, but opted for a more playful approach at their Arts District spot, which seamlessly blends Korean flavors, regional California ingredients, and elements of New York of deli culture. The Hongs have transformed the 5,000-square foot space that formerly housed the restaurant Bon Temps into a bright and vibrant dining room that’s centered around an expansive deli case chock full of eclectic, flavorful fare. Order your meal, then head up to the second floor where there’s a supermarket carrying all sorts of bespoke trinkets, pantry staples, snacks and streetwear. Yangban is a blend of Korean and Jewish deli classics with a California twist, this is fusion fare done right; i’s only surprising someone didn’t think of blending banchan and salatim before. —Krista Simmons
Charcoal Fish, Sydney
When Australia’s sustainable-seafood maestros enter the fish-and-chips game, consider it a giant evolutionary step away from the breaded pieces doused in salt and vinegar that Antipodeans grew up on. At Charcoal Fish, Josh and Julie Niland’s fast casual spot in Sydney’s well-heeled Rose Bay, guests dine on line-caught yellow tuna and sustainably farmed native Australian Murray cod served as burgers, “wings,” and classic fillets with chips. It’s counter service only, and seats are limited, yet a hip sneaker-clad crowd forms lines out the door every night for what could be the ultimate take on high-low Aussie dining. —Chloe Sachdev
The journey to arrive at this 20th arrondissement spot is part of the appeal—and definitely adds to the impression that cool things are about to happen. The closer you get to the end of the long cobblestone alley covered in murals and ivy, the louder the music gets. If there’s a line to check in, you know you’ve reached the right place. (And if there isn’t, they’re closed.) Whether you’ve got a stool at the marble bar, which is usually where two-tops go, or a table, expect to shimmy to the beats in your seat while sipping on Sangria and popping Padron peppers and other classic Catalonian dishes from ham croquettes to tortilla and patatas bravas with aioli. Since it’s open on Sunday, a rarity in Paris, you’ll often see chefs of other restaurants come in for some grub and socializing. There’s a very hip, “friends and family” vibe happening with lots of bisous and elbow bumps amongst both guests and staff. Even if you’re not a regular, you’ll be treated like one and leave wanting to be one. —Sara Lieberman
The Maybourne Bar, L.A.
The bar at the newly transformed Maybourne hotel is the old world glam we all need after years of sweatpants and cocktails at home, a real destination in the heart of Beverly Hills. Designed by architect and interior designer André Fu, known for his work at the ultra-sleek Upper House in Hong Kong, neither the interiors nor the cocktails, which nod to British classics with a SoCal twist, disappoint. No expense was spared when it came to building out the space which gives off old world European money meets Beverly Hills energy. The highlight of the room is the bar carved out of solid Turkish silver onyx paneled with ivory and walnut. Soft golden lighting hits the nickel backbar, giving everyone a sexy glow in this jewel box of a watering hole. —Krista Simmons
The neon sign at the door reminds diners that “YOU ARE ON NATIVE LAND.” So does every dish served in the first full-service Indigenous restaurant from Oglala Lakota chef Sean Sherman, a.k.a. The Sioux Chef, and his life/business partner Dana Thompson, a descendant of the Wahpeton-Sisseton and Mdewakanton Dakota tribes. Forget fry bread tacos. Sherman’s whole M.O. reclaims Native American cuisine by scrubbing away centuries of colonial influence. Instead of dairy and wheat flour, there is blue corn mush and wild rice sorbet. In place of pork, chicken, and beef, Sherman plays with cedar-braised bison, grilled forest mushrooms, and conifer-preserved rabbit. Even the location—in a tidy park lording over Owámniyomni, a.k.a. St. Anthony Falls, on the Mississippi River—makes a statement: This land is sacred and we were here first. —Ashlea Halpern
Few chefs have made their mark on contemporary French dining like Jean-François Piège, who shot into the spotlight as head chef at the Hôtel de Crillon before opening several of his own restaurants. His latest, Mimosa, a 128-seat Mediterranean restaurant inside Paris’s Hôtel de la Marine on the Place de la Concorde, may be his splashiest project yet. With a nautical-inflected style, the space was designed to channel the South of France in the ’60s. The must-order is the oeufs mimosa, or deviled eggs. Topped with the likes of lobster and caviar, they are a far cry from your great-aunt’s version. —Lindsey Tramuta
Bonus: The best new restaurants New York City
The pandemic crippled New York’s dining scene. But this city doesn’t just rebound—it roars back to life. And with so many dress-for-dinner throwbacks and electric urban hideaways from big names, we may have just entered New York’s greatest dining era yet.
At Lodi, Uruguayan superstar Ignacio Mattos brings high-end neighborhood Italian to Rockefeller Center. On the West Side, Danny Meyer offers his own take on Italian comfort food at Ci Siamo, with sophisticated spins on favorites like stracci with a rabbit ragù and a caramelized onion torta. In NoHo, grab a stool at revived, discreet Temple Bar. Linger over a bracing Vesper Martini before winding through the West Village for truffle soup at classic French spot Les Trois Chevaux, from Angie Mar of Beatrice Inn fame. The dress code is more lax downtown at Indian canteen Dhamaka, but you practically need to be cousins with chef Chintan Pandya to snag a table and tuck into his masterfully spiced lamb ribs.
Across the river in Brooklyn, the rooftop Bar Blondeau at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg is an elevated gin joint (with knockout views of Manhattan) from the team behind the hotel’s beloved brasserie Le Crocodile. But maybe the most New York opening of them all is Downtown Brooklyn’s Gage & Tollner, an old-world dining hall serving oysters and veal chops. The 2021 relaunch of this storied 19th-century institution perfectly encapsulates the city’s aptitude at making a comeback. —Erin Florio