The south Belfast restaurant Firestone suffered smoke damage and broken windows after a car was driven into the front of the premises and set alight.
Police said the incident happened in the Shaftesbury Square area of the city in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
They said the Ford Focus car was extensively damaged as a result of the fire, while two men were seen leaving the area.
It is understood the restaurant will now be closed, with the plan to reopen again on Friday evening.
Firestone only opened in the premises around two months ago.
PSNI Inspector Tori Anderson said: “It was reported to police that at around 3.15 am, a Ford Focus was driven into the front of a restaurant in the Shaftesbury Square area, it was then deliberately set alight.
“It was reported two men were observed fleeing from the scene.
“Officers attended the incident along with colleagues from Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, who extinguished the blaze. Extensive damage was caused to the car.
“The restaurant was smoke damaged and windows were broken as a result of the incident.
“Enquiries are ongoing and anyone who was in the area at the time and saw any suspicious activity, and in particular anyone who may have any dash-cam or other footage, is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 118 of 09/02/22.
“Alternatively, you can submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/.
“You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/.”