We recently ranked the best restaurants in America. Here’s how we came up with our list.
The rankings were mostly determined by an analysis of noteworthy restaurant rankings and awards determined by food critics, diners, and experts, as well as the number of Michelin stars a restaurant had. The score of each restaurant depends on where it fell on these lists.
The lists we used were The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Restaurants in America 2016, OpenTable’s 100 Hottest Restaurants in America for 2016, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the James Beard Foundation’s 2016 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists, Eater’s The National 38, and the Michelin Guide.
Since The Daily Meal and the World’s 100 Best Restaurants lists were both ranked, we gave each restaurant that appeared on these lists a number between 0 and 1 point, depending on their location on each list. The OpenTable and Eater’s lists were both unranked, so any restaurant that appeared on those lists received a flat 1/2 point.
For the James Beard semifinalists, we assigned 1/3 of a point to restaurants nominated for the “Best New Restaurant” award, and 2/3 of a point for nominees for the “Best Restaurant” award.
We weighed Michelin stars higher, awarding restaurants with one star 2/3 of a point, restaurants with two stars 4/3 of a point (or 1 and 1/3 of a point), and restaurants with three stars with a full 2 points.
These points were then added up accordingly to produce our basic ranking. For restaurants that tied — there were several cases where restaurants received two Michelin stars but weren’t on any other lists — we further ranked them based on reviews from diners, critics, and notable publications, as well as considering the price of their tasting menus and our editorial discretion.