The 45 Best Restaurants In America

Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Blue Hill at Stone Barns

A great meal at a fabulous restaurant can be a memorable and maybe even life-changing experience.

We looked at five notable restaurant rankings made by food critics, diners, and experts, and combined these rankings to come up with the ultimate list of the best restaurants in America.

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

We gave each restaurant a numerical rating based on how many lists it appeared on and how high it appeared on lists that were ranked. Restaurants that appeared on all five lists ranked higher on our list, while restaurants that ranked on only one of these lists ended up closer to the bottom. You can read our complete methodology and see numerical scores here.

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permalink=”45-bouchon-bistro-1″
title=”#45 Bouchon Bistro”
content=”Location: Yountville, CA

Chef: Thomas Keller

The Yountville location of Bouchon Bistro took the 23rd spot in The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Restaurants list. It didn’t make any of the other lists.

The restaurant serves traditional Frech bistro fare and has a raw bar with oysters and other seafood.”
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permalink=”44-osteria-mozza-2″
title=”#44 Osteria Mozza”
content=”Location: Los Angeles, CA

Chef: Nancy Silverton

Osteria Mozza ranked 22nd on the 101 Best Restaurants in America list. It didn’t make any other lists.

The restaurant serves fresh, home-made Italian food. Renowned Chef Mario Batali is part of the Osteria Mozza team.”
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permalink=”43-animal-3″
title=”#43 Animal”
content=”Location: Los Angeles, CA

Chefs: Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo

Animal was ranked 20th in The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Restaurants, but it didn’t make any other lists this year.

As its name suggests, the restaurants serves all sorts of animal parts, with dishes like crispy pig head, beef heart, chicken liver toast, and veal tongue.”
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permalink=”42-zuni-caf-4″
title=”#42 Zuni Café”
content=”Location: San Francisco, CA

Chef: Judy Rodgers

Zuni’s been open since 1979, but it still continues to rank on major food lists, taking the number 19 spot on The Daily Meal’s list this year.

The restaurant, which serves fresh organic ingredients, has grown to about four times its size since it originally opened 34 years ago.”
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permalink=”41-torrisi-italian-specialties-5″
title=”#41 Torrisi Italian Specialties”
content=”Location: New York City, NY

Chef: Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone

Torrisi ranked on both The Daily Meal and on the Foodie 100 lists.

The NoLita restaurant serves Italian-American classics with an inventive, modern twist. There’s a $75 price-fixed menu that changes with the seasons.”
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permalink=”40-commanders-palace-6″
title=”#40 Commander’s Palace”
content=”Location: New Orleans, LA

Chef: Tory McPhail

Commander’s Palace ranked high on the Daily Meal’s list, at number 18, but it didn’t make any other lists.

Located in an old Victorian-era home, the restaurant serves what they call ‘Haute Creole’ cuisine. It also has two-course lunches starting at $16 and 25 cent martinis.”
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permalink=”39-the-bazaar-7″
title=”#39 The Bazaar”
content=”Location: Los Angeles, CA

Chef: Jose Andres

Located inside the SLS Hotel, the Bazaar earned points from both The Daily Meal’s and Foodie 100’s lists of best restaurants.

Chef Jose Andres re-imagines Spanish cuisine in a very artistic way.”
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permalink=”38-vernick-food-and-drink-tie-8″
title=”#38 Vernick Food & Drink (tie)”
content=”Location: Philadelphia, PA

Chef: Greg Vernick

Vernick made OpenTable’s Top 100 Restaurants list and is a James Beard semifinalist for the Best New Restaurant.

Located in the ritzy Rittenhouse Square area of Philly, Vernick serves simple, yet refined cuisine in a casual setting.”
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permalink=”38-empelln-cocina-tie-9″
title=”#38 Empellón Cocina (tie)”
content=”Location: New York City, NY

Chef: Alex Stupak

Empellon Cocina made the Foodie 100 list and also was a James Beard semifinalist for best New Restaurant.

It is located in Manhattan’s East Village, and serves sophisticated Mexican food.”
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permalink=”36-canlis-10″
title=”#36 Canlis”
content=”Location: Seattle, WA

Chef: Jason Canley

Canlis has been around for about 60 years, and it still earns spots on major restaurant rankings. This year it was a James Beard semifinalist for Most Outstanding Restaurant and it also made The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Restaurants list.

The dining room is elegant, the food is refined, and the service is superb, experience, making for a fine dining experience.”
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permalink=”35-the-inn-at-little-washington-11″
title=”#35 The Inn at Little Washington”
content=”Location: Washington, Va.

Chef: Patrick O’Connell

Located about 90 minutes from D.C., the Inn was featured on both the Foodie 100 and The Daily Meal lists.

The quaint inn has a stellar restaurant that has a 14,000-bottle wine cellar.”
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permalink=”34-shake-shack-12″
title=”#34 Shake Shack”
content=”Location: New York City, NY

Shake Shack was ranked 11th in The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Restaurants in America–a surprisingly high spot–but it didn’t make any other rankings.

Shake Shack started as a hot dog cart in New York’s Madison Square Park, but now has multiple locations around New York City.”
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permalink=”33-cochon-13″
title=”#33 Cochon”
content=”Location: New Orleans, LA

Chef: Donald Link

Located in a renovated warehouse, Cochon was ranked 10th by The Daily Meal, but it didn’t make any other lists.

This restaurant lives up to its name, serving all things pig like smoked ham hock and pork tongue, along with other Cajun specialties.”
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permalink=”32-girl-and-the-goat-14″
title=”#32 Girl & the Goat”
content=”Location: Chicago, IL

Chef: Stephanie Izard

Girl and the Goat came in at number nine on The Daily Meal’s list, but didn’t make any other lists.

Its menu is broken down into vegetables, fish, and meat. And it also bakes fresh bread daily.”
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permalink=”31-babbo-15″
title=”#31 Babbo”
content=”Location: New York City, NY

Chef: Mario Batali

Babbo is number eight on The Daily Meal’s list of top restaurants, but it didn’t make any other lists this year.

This landmark West Village restaurant by renowned Italian Chef Mario Batali incorporates the best seasonal produce with imported cheeses and olive oils from Italy to create high-quality authentic Italian cuisine.”
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permalink=”30-vetri-16″
title=”#30 Vetri”
content=”Location: Philadelphia, PA

Chef: Marc Vetri

Vetri is on both Foodie 100 and The Daily Meal’s lists of top restaurants.

Located in a quaint townhouse, Vetri serves simple yet refined Italian cuisine. There used to be an a la carte menu, but the format has changed to a $155 tasting menu.”
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permalink=”29-jaleo-17″
title=”#29 Jaleo”
content=”Location: Las Vegas, NV

Chef: Jose Andres

Jaleo made The Daily Meal’s list and was a James Beard semifinalist for Most Outstanding Restaurant.

It offers a tasting menu of more than a dozen Spanish dishes, like paella and tapas, but you should make your reservation three months in advance.”
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permalink=”28-wd-50-18″
title=”#28 WD-50″
content=”Location: New York City, NY

Chef: Wylie Dufresne

WD-50 earned points from both the Foodie 100 and The Daily Meal.

The restaurant is known for its creative molecular gastronomy techniques, and has a price-fixed tasting menu for $155.”
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permalink=”27-marea-19″
title=”#27 Marea”
content=”Location: New York City, NY

Chef: Michael White

Marea was included in both the Foodie 100 and The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Restaurants lists.

The elegant Italian restaurant is best known for its fresh seafood dishes and homemade pastas.”
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permalink=”26-fore-street-20″
title=”#26 Fore Street”
content=”Location: Portland, Maine

Chef: Sam Hayward

Fore Street was included on the list of The World’s 100 Best Restaurants, in addition to making an appearance on The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Restaurants list.

The restaurant uses local ingredients that are are in season. It has a quaint brick-lined dining room and a wood-fired oven.”
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permalink=”25-terra-tie-21″
title=”#25 Terra (tie)”
content=”Location: St. Helena, CA

Chef: Hiro Sone

Terra made the Foodie 100 list and was a James Beard semifinalist for Most Outstanding restaurant.

This Napa Valley restaurant offers a price-fixed menu (starting at $70 for four-courses) and refined American cuisine. It’s also known for its extensive wine list and creative cocktails serves at Ithe bar next door.”
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permalink=”25-mlisse-tie-22″
title=”#25 Mélisse (tie)”
content=”Location: Santa Monica, CA

Chef: Josiah Citrin

Mélisse was included on the Foodie 100 list and was a James Beard semifinalist for Most Outstanding restaurant.

This Santa Monica restaurant serves contemporary French cuisine in an elegant setting. The menu changes with the seasons, and there’s an outstanding wine selection.”
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permalink=”25-manresa-tie-23″
title=”#25 Manresa (tie)”
content=”Location: Los Gatos, CA

Chef: David Kinch

Manresa was included on both the World’s 100 Best Restaurants and the Foodie 100 best restaurants lists.

The restaurant serves fresh farm-to-table fare. It sources most of its ingredients from Love Apple Farms, a biodynamic farm in nearby Santa Cruz. The price-fixed menu costs $125.”
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permalink=”25-highlands-bar-and-grill-tie-24″
title=”#25 Highlands Bar and Grill (tie)”
content=”Location: Birmingham, AL

Chef: Frank and Pardis Stitt

Highlands Bar and Grill was included in both the World’s 100 Best Restaurants and Foodie 100 lists.

The restaurant has been around since 1892, and serves French-inspired Southern cuisine, like Alabama paddlefish caviar and asparagus soup with crawfish and sweet peas.”
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permalink=”25-blue-hill-tie-25″
title=”#25 Blue Hill (tie)”
content=”Location: New York City, NY

Chef: Dan Barber

The New York institution has been open since 2000 and continues to make best restaurant lists. This year it made Open Table’s list and was a James Beard’s semifinalist for most outstanding restaurant.

Located in Greenwich Village, Blue Hill sources its ingredients from local farms, including the restaurant’s own Blue Hill Farm. In addition to a regular menu, there is a five-course tasting menu that includes items from the week’s harvest.”
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permalink=”20-jol-robuchon-26″
title=”#20 Joël Robuchon”
content=”Location: Las Vegas, NV

Chef: Joël Robuchon

Joël Robuchon was recognised by both The Daily Meal and Foodie 100 as a top restaurant.

It is Robuchon’s only restaurant in the U.S., and the only three-star Michelin Guide Winner in Las Vegas. Tasting menus start at $120 for two courses.”
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permalink=”19-gotham-bar-and-grill-27″
title=”#19 Gotham Bar and Grill”
content=”Location: New York City, NY

Chef: Alfred Portale

Gotham Bar and Grill was included on The Daily Meal’s 100 Best Restaurants and the Foodie 100.

Open since 1984, Gotham is a Village institution that’s renowned for its elegant American food. Lunch is a bargain at $33, and there’s currently a three-course chocolate tasting for $30.”
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permalink=”18-del-posto-28″
title=”#18 Del Posto”
content=”Location: New York City, NY

Chef: Mark Ladner

The Daily Meal and Foodie 100 both included Del Posto on their best restaurants lists.

Overseen by experienced restaurateurs Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali, this Meatpacking District spot offers classic Italian dishes with contemporary influences. A five-course price-fixed menu costs $115.”
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permalink=”17-abc-kitchen-29″
title=”#17 ABC Kitchen”
content=”Location: New York, NY

Chef: Dan Kluger with Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Located inside ABC Carpet & Home, an upscale home furnishing store, ABC Kitchen is one of the hottest restaurants in New York City.

It ranked on The Daily Meal and the Foodie 100 lists, and is renowned for its market fresh cuisine made with high-quality organic ingredients.”
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permalink=”16-state-bird-provisions-30″
title=”#16 State Bird Provisions”
content=”Location: San Francisco, CA

Chef: Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski

State Bird Provisions only opened in 2012, but it’s already ranked on several major lists, including The Daily Meal, the Foodie 100, and earned a spot as a semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant on the James Beard Awards.”
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permalink=”15-spiaggia-31″
title=”#15 Spiaggia”
content=”Location: Chicago, IL

Chef: Tony Mantuano

Spiaggia made The Daily Meal list and ranked as a semifinalist in the James Beard Awards for Most Outstanding Restaurant.

Opened since 1994, Spiaggia serves authentic, upscale Italian cuisine in an elegant setting on Michigan Avenue.”
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permalink=”14-august-32″
title=”#14 August”
content=”Location: New Orleans, LA

Chef: John Besh

August scored on the Daily Meal and ranked as a semifinalist in the James Beard Awards for Most Outstanding Restaurant.

Located in a historic 19th century French-Creole building in New Orleans’ Central Business District, August serves contemporary French and Southern American cuisine.”
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permalink=”13-gramercy-tavern-33″
title=”#13 Gramercy Tavern”
content=”Location: New York, NY

Chef: Michael Anthony

Since it opened in 1994, Gramercy Tavern has continued to rank high on NYC restaurant lists. This year, it made The Daily Meal, OpenTable, and Foodie 100 lists.

The restaurant serves upscale American tavern cuisine, like smoked trout with cipollini puree and braised lamb with broccoli, leeks and potatoes.”
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permalink=”12-coi-34″
title=”#12 Coi”
content=”Location: San Francisco, CA

Chef: Daniel Patterson

Coi ranked on The Daily Meal and World’s 100 Best Restaurants lists.

The San Francisco Financial District restaurant serves contemporary Northern California cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients that have been harvested from nearby forests, gardens, and farms.

The tasting menu, which changes regularly, costs $165.”
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permalink=”11-momofuku-ssm-bar-35″
title=”#11 Momofuku Ssäm Bar”
content=”Location: New York, NY

Chef: David Chang

David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants have taken over New York City. This East Village restaurant ranked on The Daily Meal and World’s 100 Best Restaurants lists.

The Ssäm Bar serves elegant small plates like steamed pork buns and raw Spanish mackerel with black garlic, lotus root, and lime. There are also price-fixed menus for $60 and $75.”
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permalink=”10-masa-36″
title=”#10 Masa”
content=”Location: New York, NY

Chef: Masa Takayama

Even though it’s a small 26-seat restaurant, Masa is considered one of the best Japanese restaurants in New York City.

It’s renowned for its high-quality sushi and its simple fresh cuisine served in an elegant Zen-like setting.

Located in the Time Warner centre, this restaurant ranked on multiple lists including The Daily Meal, the Foodie 100, and the World’s 100 Best Restaurants.”
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permalink=”9-chez-panisse-37″
title=”#9 Chez Panisse”
content=”Location: Berkeley, CA

Chef: Alice Waters

Chef Alice Waters essentially gave birth to the slow food movement, using fresh local, organic ingredients in her high-end American cuisine.

Her California restaurant, which originally opened in 1980, has since become an icon, and continues to rank on many lists, including The Daily Meal, the Foodie 100, and the World’s 100 Best Restaurants.

The restaurant was damaged by a bad fire in March this year, but is slated to reopen in June.
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permalink=”8-alinea-38″
title=”#8 Alinea”
content=”Location: Chicago, IL

Chef: Grant Achatz

Chef Grant Achatz is known for his creative modern cuisine and artistic presentations, with dishes like squab inspired by Miró.

His Chicago restaurant earns many accolades, including spots on The Daily Meal, the Foodie 100, and the World’s 100 Best Restaurants. The tasting menu here costs $210 per person.”
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permalink=”7-daniel-39″
title=”#7 Daniel”
content=”Location: New York, NY

Chef: Daniel Bouloud

Daniel Bouloud’s eponymous restaurant ranked on The Daily Meal, the Foodie 100, and the World’s 100 Best Restaurants.

The Upper East Side restaurant serves upscale French cuisine that’s inspired by the seasons. A 3-course price-fixed tasting menu for dinner costs $116.”
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permalink=”6-jean-georges-40″
title=”#6 Jean-Georges”
content=”Location: New York, NY

Chef: Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Located on Manhattan’s Central Park West, the eponymous restaurant of Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is one of the most elegant restaurants in New York City.

The restaurant ranked on The Daily Meal, the Foodie 100, and the World’s 100 Best Restaurants.

The menu blends French, American, and Asian cuisine, and a 3-course tasting menu for dinner costs $118. At $38, the 2-course lunch tasting menu is a bargain.”
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permalink=”5-eleven-madison-park-41″
title=”#5 Eleven Madison Park”
content=”Location: New York, NY

Chef: Daniel Humm

Eleven Madison Park has received numerous accolades recently, including the #5 spot on The Daily Meal’s list and spots on the World’s 100 Best and OpenTable’s list.

Swiss chef Daniel Humm earned his first Michelin star at the age of 24, and brought his creative refined cuisine to this New York City restaurant. The tasting menu here costs $195 per person.”
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permalink=”4-le-bernardin-42″
title=”#4 Le Bernardin”
content=”Location: New York, NY

Chef: Eric Ripert

Le Bernardin scored high on The Daily Meal’s list, at #3, and also ranked on the Foodie 100 and the World’s 100 Best Restaurants.

The high-end seafood restaurant serves the freshest seafood in very creative ways. Here, the motto is ‘the fish is the star of the plate.’

There’s a price-fixed 4-course tasting menu for dinner for $127.”
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permalink=”3-the-french-laundry-43″
title=”#3 The French Laundry”
content=”Location: Yountville, CA

Chef: Thomas Keller

Located in Napa Valley, the Thomas Keller restaurant is a Mecca for foodies.

The French Laundry took the number one spot on the Daily Meal’s list and made the Foodie 100 and World’s 100 Best Restaurants, but didn’t make OpenTable’s list or the James Beard Awards.

The restaurant serves two two 9-course tasting menus–a chef’s tasting and a tasting of vegetables–which change daily based on whatever is fresh and in season. The 9-course tasting menu costs $270 per person.”
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permalink=”2-per-se-44″
title=”#2 Per Se”
content=”Location: New York, NY

Chef: Thomas Keller

Per Se earned a spot on every ranking we looked at, except for the James Beard Awards.

The chefs prepare two tasting menus each day: a chef’s tasting and a tasting of vegetables. Menus change daily based on whatever is fresh and in season.

Tasting menus start at $185 for 5 courses at lunch, and run up to $295 for a 9-course tasting menu.”
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permalink=”1-blue-hill-at-stone-barns-45″
title=”#1 Blue Hill at Stone Barns”
content=”Location: Pocantico Hills, NY

Chef: Dan Barber

Blue Hill at Stone Barns earned a spot on every ranking we looked at, except for the James Beard Awards.

The restaurant is unique in that it’s located on a working farm, and everything is sourced from the property itself or from nearby farms in upstate New York’s Hudson Valley.

There are no formal menus here. Instead, guests are presented with dishes made from whatever ingredients are fresh that day. Tasting menus start at $108 per person.”
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title=”Now check out some great restaurants in New York City.”
content=”The Best Eats In New York City’s West Village >
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