Home Entertainment The best new restaurants that opened in 2022 in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River counties

The best new restaurants that opened in 2022 in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River counties

The best new restaurants that opened in 2022 in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River counties

Dozens of new restaurants opened across the Treasure Coast this year.

A handful of those new businesses in Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties were highly anticipated and talked about throughout the community before and after they opened.

Some of the most popular were El Rey Mexican Restaurant in Vero Beach, That Crepe Place in Port St. Lucie and Hudson’s on the River in Stuart.

Here’s a list of the top new restaurants of 2022.

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Vero Beach

El Rey Mexican Restaurant

Pedro Cruz opened El Rey in July after moving to Vero Beach from Daytona Beach. The chef, who moved to the U.S. from Hidalgo, Mexico, in 1996, is versed in the cuisines of Cuba, China and Japan, and features cultural fusions. In addition to classic Mexican fare (enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, chimichangas with protein options such as chicken, steak, shrimp, tinga, ground beef, birria and more), he serves red curry with pineapple, a spicy red curry simmered in coconut milk, red peppers, onions, yellow and green squash, basil, lemongrass and pineapple; or La Realeza Fried Rice, jasmine rice cooked with diner’s protein of choice, scrambled eggs, onions, carrots, zucchini, green peppers and topped with a sunny side up egg and cilantro.

El Saussie, serving Mexican-American fusion cuisine, opened in Vero Beach in March 2022.

El Saussie

The owners of The Saussie Pig food truck hoped to expand their clientele, debuting a brick-and-mortar restaurant in March. El Saussie, in the former Greedy Burger location, serves Mexican-American fusion cuisine. Among the most popular menu items are the burrito, with lettuce, tomato, crema, rice, beans and meat; the Phillie deluxe, a cheesesteak with either chicken or steak topped with peppers, onion, lettuce, tomato, cheese and mayonnaise; and the 10-piece chicken wings, featuring sauces such as honey hot, honey BBQ, garlic Parmesan, lemon pepper or Cajun dust. The menu also features tacos, burgers, loaded nachos, pulled pork sandwiches and more.

Sesame chicken at Red Wok is battered and crispy fried with a thick sauce featuring sesame seeds and oil.

Red Wok

Kelsey Bui sought to instill a sense of family tradition for both her children and Vero Beach residents alike, moving here from Kansas just a few months ago and opening a new restaurant in March. Red Wok serves Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine, including pho, fried rice, lo mein and more for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Among the most popular menu are the basil wings, Mongolian beef, shrimp roll and pork chop rice. Traditional Chinese and Vietnamese dishes are a fan favorite, too, including the roasted duck and roasted pork both served with steamed vermicelli.

Casa Amigos Authentic Mexican Kitchen

A new Mexican restaurant didn’t let Hurricane Nicole stop it from opening Nov. 9. Casa Amigos Authentic Mexican Kitchen, in the former TGI Fridays location inside the Indian River Mall, serves traditional Mexican fare including tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, flautas, margaritas and more. The restaurant serves micheladas, a traditional Mexican drink with beer, tomato juice, lime, black pepper and Maggi Sauce, as well as craft margaritas.

Casa Amigos Nachos were covered with shredded cheese, queso, grilled chicken, steak, chorizo, and shrimp.


Khob Khun Thai & Sushi

Thailand native Luksika Bridges, a veteran restaurant industry worker who moved to Vero Beach in 2008, decided it was time to open her own restaurant. Khob Khun, which means “thank you,” has an extensive menu of traditional Thai, Japanese and sushi fare. Entrees feature curry, ramen, stir fry, fried rice and noodle bowls with protein options including chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, tofu, squid, duck and more. Sushi rolls include classics and custom creations.

13600 U.S. 1, Unit 3, Sebastian; 772-388-8510; khobkhunthspanispanndsushi.com

That Crepe Place in Port St. Lucie opened in August 2022.

Port St. Lucie

That Crepe Place

Longtime Port St. Lucie residents Jeanetta Torres and Rob Kellar wanted to bring a new, eccentric restaurant to the city. That Crepe Place opened in August, serving sweet and savory crepe dishes in addition to espresso, coffee, specialty teas and gelato. Among the most popular menu items are the Gimme A Chimi, with beef brisket, gouda cheese, onions, spinach and chimichurri sauce; and the Strawberry Cheesecake, with strawberries, graham crackers and whipped cream.

Chef Kelly's Restaurant in Port St. Lucie opened in October 2022, serving traditional American cuisine in addition to vegetarian and keto options.

Chef Kelly’s Restaurant

Chef Kelly Dakis has been a caterer along the Treasure Coast for a few years but wanted to provide more opportunities to share her cooking with the community. Chef Kelly’s Restaurant in Port St. Lucie offers something for every eater, even gluten-free, keto, vegetarian and vegan options. Among the most popular menu are the French dip, slow cooked roast beef, sautéed Vidalia onions, Swiss and provolone cheese on a hoagie served with au jus; the beef brisket mac and cheese, beer-marinated and slow-roasted brisket, BBQ sauce and crispy onions on top of mac and cheese; and the vegan magic brussels, a special sauce of balsamic, white truffle and maple syrup over fried Brussels sprouts.

South Florida Restaurant and Bar

Sophonie Zidor opened the restaurant and bar in August. Breakfast features Southern comfort foods, Caribbean and American breakfast dishes. It has omelets, biscuits and gravy, steak and eggs, pancakes, waffles and corned beef hash. Lunch features cheeseburgers, Philly cheesesteaks, chicken tenders, fish and chips, grilled cheese sandwiches, meatball marinara subs, chili, BLTs and fish sandwiches. Dinner includes a 16-ounce T-bone steak.

The Beef/Lamb Gyro featured marinated meat piled into a warm pita and garnished with lettuce, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce.

Fort Pierce

Dirty Martini Restaurant and Lounge

Dave and Marianela Sherrill are no strangers to the Treasure Coast restaurant industry, having previously owned Sunrise City Cafe and Seaside Cafe. They debuted their latest venture in September. Dirty Martini Restaurant and Lounge serves classic American comfort food, craft cocktails, draft beer and more. Among the most popular menu items are the 10-ounce cheeseburger, served with lettuce, tomato, onion and waffle fries; the smothered chicken breast, two chicken breasts topped with mushrooms, onions, bacon and cheddar-jack cheese served with garlic mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables; and the Cowboy Salisbury steak, a 10-ounce sirloin steak served with a bacon-mushroom gravy, garlic mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables.

The exterior of Swift Grill is painted an upscale black and white with a shawarma logo to tempt you to enter and explore.

The Swift Grill

Romanian native Vlad Bradescu spent six months working as a general contractor in downtown Fort Pierce and struggled to find authentic Middle Eastern cuisine, inspiring him to open Swift Grill in June.

Then, he partnered with a sushi chef to add a bar serving Japanese cuisine such as raw and tempura sushi rolls, poke, dumplings, spring rolls and more.

The Mediterranean side specializes in gyros, al pastor and shawarma, which Bradescu described as “vertical rotisserie fusion.” He uses a Turkish mix of 80% beef and 20% lamb. Bradescu wants to bring a taste of his culture to the Treasure Coast while providing quick, on-the-go meals for area workers. Swift Grill also serves locally produced kombucha on draft and fresh-pressed juices. 


Hudson’s on the River

The long-awaited addition to downtown Stuart opened in March. Hudson’s on the River specializes in seafood dishes that have an Asian and Caribbean influence, said operations director Benjamin Foster. Among the most popular menu items are the octopus “hot dog,” a sous vide octopus tentacle with Napa cabbage, black garlic aioli, spicy avocado puree on a brioche roll; the Duck Two Ways, seared breast and confit legs served with pork belly fried rice, roasted asparagus and a pear teriyaki; and the short rib empanadas filled with braised short rib, corn, caramelized onions, trumpet mushrooms and served with Fresno aioli, avocado crema and poblano relish. There is also a raw bar that features clams, shrimp, oysters, lobster and stone crab.

The Red Grill is a located in the Riverside Shoppes in Stuart.

The Red Grill

The Red Grill opened its second Martin County location only months after debuting its flagship restaurant in June. The Mexican restaurant serves traditional dishes such as birria, enchiladas, carnitas, tostadas, chimichangas, chicarron and more. Nearly everything is made in-house, including the tortillas and guacamole, and produced fresh daily. Even the meat is ground on site. The menu features fajitas (chicken, shrimp or carne asada) sautéed with peppers, onions and tomatoes; birria de res, blended with dried chile peppers and Mexican seasonings in a stew beef sauce with onions, cilantro and corn tortillas on the side; and aguachile, a ceviche-style dish with shrimp cooked in lime juice, topped with onion and avocado served with a side sauce of cilantro and serrano. This is the third restaurant for owner Yazmin Garcia, who first opened The Red Grill on Manhattan’s Upper East Side before bringing two locations to Martin County.

The Red Grill has two Martin County locations

The Hangar SUA

Martin County native Carolyn Gehron had long dreamed of opening a restaurant that pays homage to the area’s aviation industry. She partnered with Brent Martin of Stuart Jet Sales to make it a reality. The Hangar SUA opened in August in the former Crafted Keg location and serves a unique take on American fare plus 41 beers on tap. Among the most popular menu items is the $100 Burger, an aviation pun well-known by pilots who would often travel a short distance to enjoy their favorite airport meal. This chargrilled burger is served with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and homemade BA Hangar Sauce. Other popular dishes include the Rainbow Rachel, a Fruity Pebble cereal-crusted mahi topped with coleslaw, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing served on rye bread; and the Confusion Corner Charcuterie appetizer, a mix of meats, cheeses and other accoutrements served inside a Bavarian pretzel.

Jensen Beach

Cork’d Wine Bar

Cork’d Wine Bar in downtown Jensen Beach opened in July. The lounge features a wine, beer and sake bar — plus a scratch kitchen. There are nightly live performances and events, such as a saxophonist, “buck a shuck” oysters, a DJ every Friday and monthly drag queen shows. Sunday brunch features $25 bottomless mimosas.

Burny Pit Stop in Jensen Beach opened in April 2022, serving traditional Canadian poutine, burgers and hotdogs.

Burny Pit Stop

A new fast food restaurant in Jensen Beach opened in April. Burny Pit Stop, in the former Phat Burgers location, features burgers, hot dogs and poutine. The various poutine dishes have been the best sellers, said Quebec native Nancy Joyal. Poutine is a Canadian entrée of French fries and cheese curds topped with gravy. Diners can add protein options such as ground beef, chicken nuggets, hot dogs and chili. Other menu items include hamburgers or cheeseburgers, topped with lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard on a toasted bun; chicken sandwich or a grilled cheese sandwich.


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