We recently released our 2015 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 2015 list of the 101 Best Restaurants in America, OpenTable’s 2015 Hottest 100 Restaurants in America, the 2014 World’s 100 Best Restaurants, the James Beard Foundation’s 2015 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists, and TripAdvisor’s Favourite Fine Dining Restaurants in the US.
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 OpenTable list, we gave it a score of 0.25, since the 100 restaurants on that list were not ranked.
Because the World’s 100 Best Restaurants looked at restaurants around the world and only 16 American restaurants made the list, we valued that list higher and gave each US restaurant on the list a score of 0.75.
We also valued the James Beard Awards higher since they are considered the most prestigious awards in the food world, and there were fewer semifinalists. We gave the 25 semifinalists who were nominated for “Best New Restaurant” in 2015 a score of 0.60. We gave the 20 semifinalists who were nominated for “Outstanding Restaurant” a score of 0.75, since those restaurants must have been open for at least 10 consecutive least years and have attained a high level of excellence throughout their tenure.
For the TripAdvisor list, which was ranked 1 to 25, we calculated the score by using the following formula: 25-X (restaurant ranking) / 25. With this formula, the highest possible score is 0.96 and the lowest score is 0.
We then tallied up the scores to create the final ranking. Based on these calculations, the highest possible score would be 3.7 — a nearly impossible feat, as even the number one restaurant (Eleven Madison Park) scored just 2.85.
Take a look at the spreadsheet below to see our calculations (click to enlarge):