Here’s How We Ranked The Best Restaurants In America

We recently released our list of the Best Restaurants In America.

We compiled this list by looking at five major restaurant rankings made by food critics, diners, and experts, and giving each restaurant a score based on how many times it appears on each list.

The rankings we used were The Daily Meal’s 101 Best RestaurantsOpenTable’s Top 100 RestaurantsFoodie 100: USA, the World’s 100 Best Restaurants, and James Beard Semifinalists for “Outstanding Restaurants” and “Best New Restaurants” in 2013.

For The Daily Meal’s list, which was ranked 1 to 101, we calculated the score by using the following formula: 101-X (restaurant ranking) / 101. With this formula, the highest possible score is 0.99 and the lowest score is 0.

Each time a restaurant appeared on the Foodie 100 and OpenTable lists, we gave it a score of 0.25, since each of those lists included 100 restaurants that were not ranked.

Because the World’s 100 Best Restaurants looked at restaurants around the world and only 14 American restaurants made the list, we valued that list higher and gave each restaurant that made the list a score of 0.75.

We also valued the James Beard Awards higher since there were fewer semifinalists and considered the most prestigious award in the food world. We gave the 29 semifinalists who were nominated for “Best New Restaurants” in 2013 a score of 0.60. We gave the 16 semifinalists who were nominated for “Outstanding Restaurants” a score of 0.75, since those restaurants must have been open for at 10 consecutive least years and have attained a high level of excellence throughout their tenure.

We then tallied up the scores to create the final ranking. Based on these calculations, the highest possible score would be 3 — but that would be incredibly difficult, considering that even the number one restaurant (Blue Hill at Stone Barns) scored a 2.19.

Here is the spreadsheet showing our calculations (click to enlarge):