Wednesday May 31, 2023

A list of new dining spots that opened in 2021

Nothing is certain in life except death, taxes and restaurant openings.

Last year, thousands of restaurants in New Jersey closed after being ravaged by COVID-19. Many people in the restaurant industry said it was the worst year they could remember.

And yet, restaurants still opened. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen cafes, ice cream shops, restaurants run by top chefs, swanky rooftop bars, quick counter-service joints and so much more open. 

The North Jersey dining scene is constantly changing, growing and adapting. And for that, our taste buds are very thankful.

Here’s our guide to every new restaurant we’ve profiled this year.

Coming Soon

David Burke, chef at David Burke Orange Lawn and Drifthouse By David Burke, and culinary director at Son Cubano and Ventanas

In love with Ventanas in Fort Lee, Son Cubano in West New York or any of the other restaurants David Burke is associated with? If so, his new venture in Morristown may be of interest to you.

Coming soon:Celebrity chef David Burke to open a restaurant in Morristown

May new restaurant openings

Khoya Matter Paneer from Jaipur Kitchen.

May brought us Jaipur Kitchen, a service that will deliver expertly made Indian meals to your door, and Guatemalan restaurant Mi Flor Latin Cafe in Westwood.

May:New restaurants in North Jersey, from Guatemalan eats to homestyle Japanese cooking

April new restaurant openings

The Craftsman offers cocktails

In April we welcomed The Craftsman, a stellar cocktail bar in Fair Lawn, Bodegon, led by accomplished chef Alex Piñeiro who specializes in the food of Galicia, Spain, and more.

April:Hungry for something new? Here is the latest batch of restaurants to open in North Jersey

March new restaurant openings

Bartender, Victor Reinoso, of Lodi, prepares a Colomitos Coconut. Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Our favorites from March include Bitol Mexican Cantina, a Clifton restaurant that offers out-of-this-world cocktails (one is literally served on fire) and Jack’s Potatoes in Westwood, which specializes in baked potatoes piled with fixins’.

March:7 new North Jersey restaurants to try now: Vegan, burgers, Mexican and more

February new restaurant openings

Dottie's Crispy Chicken, a ghost kitchen, fries up NJ chickens and curly fries at The Vanguard kitchen in Harrison. Chicken sandwiches and ghost kitchens should be a food trend in 2021.

Highlights from February include Dottie’s Crispy Chicken, a delivery-only ghost kitchen churning out delightfully crispy chicken sandwiches, and Bageriet in Hackensack, a Swedish bakery with unique sweet treats.

February:8 new North Jersey restaurants that will shake you out of your dining rut

Sweet treats

Il Laboratorio del Gelato

In spring, we noticed a bunch of new ice cream shops opening. So, we decided to round them up, and throw in some classic favorites for good measure. May this list guide you to incredible ice cream all summer long.

Love ice cream?:Here are new, soon-to-open and longtime NJ shops to delight your sweet tooth

Outdoor dining

The gliders offer the best view of Lake Hopatcong.

Dining on a porch, patio, sidewalk or rooftop — with the feel of a gentle breeze and the sun on your face, people watching as pedestrians walk by — is, in many cases, infinitely preferable to being cooped up inside. OK, so maybe these restaurants are not all new. But, we couldn’t resist including this guide.

More:Your ultimate guide to eating in North Jersey, including restaurants with outdoor seating

What’s old is new

Blue Spice glass noodles

This roundup from early March is outdated in that most of these eight restaurants are now open. But, all for the better! Now you can actually eat at these spots instead of just reading about them. Enjoy!

More:From Indian takeout to a swanky rooftop bar, 8 restaurants opening soon in North Jersey

Rebecca King is a food writer for For more on where to dine and drink, please subscribe today and sign up for our North Jersey Eats newsletter.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @rebeccakingnj 

Instagram: @northjerseyeats


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