Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (2024)

What makes a stellar restaurant experience, exactly? It's not just the delicious flavors but also the ambience, hospitality, and overall package that make a place stand out among the rest. Throughout the country, there are countless restaurateurs who put their everything into making their restaurants an extension of their personality, welcoming guests into their spaces to feed them and make them feel invited.

For Food & Wine's second annual Global Tastemaker Awards, we celebrate those restaurants that, through the creative use of ingredients, unparalleled hospitality, and general vibe, made for the most memorable dining experiences from coast to coast. From a farm-to-table experience in coastal Maine, to a former Food & Wine Restaurant of the Year in Nashville, to a Michelin-starred Indian dining destination, this list celebrates the best of the country's culinary offerings.

Here are the 20 best restaurants in the U.S., according to our panel of expert food and travel journalists — and our Plus One pick that can't be missed.

01of 21

Anajak Thai (Los Angeles)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (1)

At this Sherman Oaks hotspot, 2022 F&W Best New Chef Justin Pichetrungsi allows his creativity to lead his kitchen. The restaurant's name might have the word Thai in it, but if you're convinced that you'd be tucking into the expected, think again. Here, Pichetrungsi's vision is tethered to Thai culinary traditions, but it's expanded by his own unique ideas surrounding food. So, for favorites like pad thai and papaya salad, prepare to enjoy the best version of them you may have ever tasted. But his fits of whimsy — like Thai Taco Tuesday or the occasional omakase dinners — have become some of the most sought-after dining experiences in Los Angeles. And he's even added a robust wine program to the Anajak Thai menu. No wonder the James Beard Foundation named Pichetrungsi California's best chef in 2023.

A Family-Owned Thai Restaurant with a 43-Year History Is the Best Restaurant in America

02of 21

Aragosta (Deer Isle, Maine)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (2)

Chef and owner Devin Finigan’s seasonal farm-to-table restaurant in coastal Maine is over 10 years old, but it’s still among the most coveted places to eat in New England. Finigan has cooked with and learned from the likes of Thomas Keller and Dan Barber so you know that she’s got the fine-dining chops. At Aragosta, Finigan takes the finest hauls from the region’s farmers and fishermen and transforms them into delicate casseroles of green beans and mushrooms, bowls of lobster bisque around which a speck-wrapped lobster tail sits, and a plate of peach-olive oil upside-down cake crowned with oregano flowers.

03of 21

Semma (New York City)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (3)

At this colorful Greenwich Village dining room, you’re supposedly getting a menu of south Indian cooking. But you’re really getting chef Vijay Kumar’s most cherished childhood meals. Many of the regional items here — from the rice and lentil dumplings to the venison spiked with clovers — are new for diners accustomed to mainstream Indian cuisine in the U.S. These are dishes that you’re more likely to find in a friend’s home in Goa, but we couldn’t be more grateful to Kumar for showcasing the specialties.

04of 21

Birdie’s (Austin, Texas)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (4)

Food & Wine’s 2023 Restaurant of the Year winner, Birdie’s offers a rare dining experience. It’s a counter-service restaurant that flirts with fine dining while offering high-quality hospitality. Husband-and-wife team Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel and Arjav Ezekiel elevates every part of your experience with thoughtfulness, from the chuggable wine selection to the surprising New American menu where expensive steak shares the spotlight with an addictive portion of creamy soft-serve ice cream.

05of 21

Kasama (Chicago)

When husband-and-wife team 2022 F&W Best New Chefs Tim Flores and Genie Kwon opened Kasama in July 2020, they started with a cafe concept serving bakery items and savory Filipino comfort classics like chicken adobo. Today, this Ukrainian Village hit is an all-day affair that includes a full tasting menu for dinner, where Flores and Kwon show off the globally inspired depth of the Philippine kitchen. Since 2022, it’s also the first and only Filipino restaurant that’s been awarded with a Michelin star.

06of 21

Damian (Los Angeles)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (6)

At celebrity chef Enrique Olvera’s leafy DTLA restaurant, the kitchen’s Mexican seafood identity is layered on with influences from Asia and farmer-fresh produce from California. Start with the bright raw bar before moving onto a light tostada topped with uni from Santa Barbara and the juicy swordfish poc chuc. Seats here are so coveted that even with a reservation, you may still have to wait a bit for your table. Thankfully, the creative no-waste beverage program can keep you occupied until it’s time to sit down.

07of 21

Chubby Fish (Charleston, South Carolina)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (7)

In food-focused Charleston, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to seafood. Still, it’s clear that for our voters, chef James London’s Chubby Fish is a standout both for its sustainable sourcing practices and a delicious menu that dodges expectations. Grilled oysters slathered with crab fat curry, bone marrow paired with crunchy shrimp tempura, and delicately poached fish served with leeks and radish are just some of the crowd-pleasing favorites at this beautifully designed restaurant.

08of 21

Daru (Washington, D.C.)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (8)

Since opening in August 2021, chef Suresh Sundas’s inventive Indian restaurant has been one of the District’s most talked about dining destinations. Here, Sundas takes familiar dishes from his homeland and adds unpredictable details that forces diners to see them anew, like adding burrata to daal. You can easily tuck into a massive meal here or just pick-and-choose a few things from the snacks menu, all of which pair easily with the equally inventive co*cktails coming from the bar.

09of 21

Bell’s (Los Alamos)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (9)

This charming, casual bistro from 2020 F&W Best New Chef Daisy Ryan has become one of the most talked-about stops on Los Alamos’ incredibly trendy main drag. And why not? For a destination restaurant, Bell’s, which serves modernized French food, is sneakily comforting. Maybe it’s the intimate size or the leafy, bright courtyard where you can lose an entire afternoon indulging in garlicky snails and digging into a crepe cake layered with uni while sampling glass after glass of rosé.

10of 21

Kann (Portland, Oregon)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (10)

At this 2023 James Beard Foundation Best New Restaurant, Gregory Gourdet celebrates Haitian cuisine in bold, creative ways, marrying it with Pacific Northwest ingredients and live-fire cooking. Dishes like grilled salmon marinated in epis (a blend of garlic, peppers and herbs), crispy akra (a taro root fritter), and Gourdet’s take on Haitian spaghetti showcase the immense range of Haiti's culinary traditions.

Locust (Nashville)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (11)

This gorgeous, photogenic space started as an homage to dumplings and shaved ice when it opened in 2020. And it would deserve a spot on this list if it remained that way. But today, Locust, , is a lot more than that. Peekytoe crab omelets, curry potato chips, and clam toasts are each a marvel in their simplicity, concentration of flavor, and delicate preparation. Dumplings, with their whisper-thin wrappers and juicy stuffings, are a must.

12of 21

Naro (New York City)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (12)

With beloved projects like Atoboy and Atomix in their resume, Married couple Ellia and Junghyun “J.P.” Park (the latter a 2019 F&W Best New Chef) are pioneers of New York City’s modern Korean fine-dining scene. That claim only got stronger in 2022 when the pair opened Naro on the lower concourse of Rockefeller Center. With this upscale paean to Korean cooking, the Parks treat guests to details you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the U.S. — like a granita made of kimchi brine that’s paired with octopus; their take on twigim (a Korean street food of battered, deep-fried fish); and a delicate yet rich potato Jeon, layered with pine nut cream.

13of 21

Leah and Louise (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (13)

Greg and Subrina Collier’s modern juke joint is satisfying in every way, starting with the ambience. Leah and Louise is easygoing with just a touch of rustic-chic courtesy of myriad reclaimed wood fixtures throughout the space. It’s an inviting setting for the Memphis-inspired Southern cooking happening in the kitchen. Think: hot fried quail and oysters, a cornmeal brioche with black-garlic butter, and a pasta dish called Walking in Memphis, where noodles are tossed with a smoked-lamb ragout and topped with miso-aged cheddar.

14of 21

March (Houston, Texas)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (14)

With chef Felippe Riccio and expert sommelier June Rodil leading a service-first team, March has become Houston’s primo fine-dining destination. In the kitchen, Riccio gets creative with the expansive (and fluid) nature of Mediterranean cuisine, with ever-evolving tasting menus that draw inspiration from Spain and Greece to Corsica and beyond. And for Rodil’s part, you won’t find a more impressive and exciting wine list in the state. Their 11,000-bottle cellar is as well-traveled as the food menu with labels coming from Champagne, Penedes, the Douro Valley, and Lebanon.

15of 21

Maty's (Miami)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (15)

Finding Latin food in Miami isn’t particularly difficult. But what 2023 F&W Best New Chef Valerie Chang is doing with Peruvian cuisine in Midtown is truly one-of-a-kind, largely because the food here is inspired by her grandmother’s cooking. (The restaurant is named after her.) Grilled grouper tail crowning a shallow plate of beurre blanc, a bowl of lomo saltado with tender oxtail, and tuna taradito like never before (with cranberry beans, cilantro, and aji limo) are just some of the ways in which she’s paying homage to her upbringing while letting her own vision shine.

16of 21

Kin (Boise, Idaho)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (16)

When chef Kris Komori won the 2023 James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef: Mountain Region, it marked Idaho's first medal from the organization. At Kin, Komori launches frequently rotating tasting menus that highlight seasonal harvest from regional farmers and food purveyors. One week the star dish might be a deconstructed chicken-noodle soup. Another menu delights with an unusual raw-bar twist on fish and chips. Many of these menus are themed around community initiatives, including fundraising for a range of causes.

17of 21

Nixta Taqueria (Austin, Texas)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (17)

2023 F&W Best New Chef Edgar Rico’s tricky to categorize kitchen proudly proclaims that they’re not a typical taqueria. “We’re a little silly and a little serious,” it says on the restaurant’s website. The dining experience here is mostly counter service, but you can also opt for the taco omakase that’s offered on weekends. Either way, you’ll want to go into it with excitement and a ravenous appetite for dishes like snapper soup with udon noodles and oyster sauce, golden beet salad brightened with pickled fennel, and duck mole tamal.

18of 21

Mister Jiu's (San Francisco)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (18)

This contemporary Chinese restaurant in San Francisco’s historic Chinatown has won all the awards: The James Beard Foundation named chef-owner Brandon Jew Californa’s best chef in 2022, and Mister Jiu's has been Michelin-starred since 2016, six months after opening. The menu of creatively composed dishes range from plump dumplings stuffed with fresh and dried scallops, Dungeness crab and bamboo fungus, to a family-portion feast of roasted duck. The co*cktails are just as beautifully crafted.

19of 21

Tatiana (New York City)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (19)

This grand Lincoln Center restaurant has become one of NYC’s most exciting thanks to Bronx-raised 2019 F&W Best New Chef Kwame Onwuachi's playful imagination. With peerless work coming out of the kitchen, the space itself is one of the city’s most visually compelling. Good luck snagging a reservation, but if you do, just order everything from Onwuachi’s menu, starting with the crab dumplings drenched in a Nigerian red stew to the hearty seafood boil to the juicy pork belly pernil with a red-bean sofrito.

20of 21

Mosquito Supper Club (New Orleans)

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For chef Melissa Martin, this seafood-focused New Orleans restaurant is an homage to every part of the Cajun culinary tradition, from farmers and shrimpers to grandmas tirelessly putting together Sunday-night suppers. Expect a constantly changing and indulgent set menu that might start with succulent Gulf oysters before moving onto a devotion-inspiring shrimp and okra gumbo, and concluding with crisp-fried soft-shell crabs. Don’t sleep on a crawfish pie chaser.

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Plus One: Yellow (Washington, D.C.)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (21)

At Yellow, Palestinian-American chef Michael Rafidi (who also operates the Michelin-starred Albi and is a James Beard Award semifinalist) marries Middle Eastern flavors with French pastry techniques. The restaurant opened in 2020 next to its sister restaurant Albi, before expanding to Georgetown two years later, with plans for another location in Union Market later this year. The menu is casual and comforting, with many offerings from Rafidi's childhood, including mezze, hummus, and pita sandwiches that are wood-fired to order.

A Playful Cafe in Washington D.C. is One of America’s Best Restaurants

Global Tastemakers is a celebration of the best culinary destinations in the U.S. and abroad. We asked more than 180 food and travel journalists to vote on their favorites, including restaurants and bars, cities, hotels, airports, airlines, and cruises. We then entrusted those results to an expert panel of judges to determine each category’s winners. In many categories, we’ve included a Plus One, hand-selected by our expert panel, to shout out more culinary destinations we don’t want our readers to miss. See all the winners

Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts (2024)


Top 20 Restaurants in the US, According to the Experts? ›

NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Le Bernardin was named the number one restaurant both in the U.S. and worldwide by La Liste, the global restaurant guide and ranking system of the world's top 1,000 restaurants.

What is the #1 restaurant in America? ›

NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Le Bernardin was named the number one restaurant both in the U.S. and worldwide by La Liste, the global restaurant guide and ranking system of the world's top 1,000 restaurants.

What is the highest ranking for a restaurant? ›

Michelin gives out up to three stars, with only the world's greatest dining establishments attaining that coveted third star. But exactly what does each star mean?

Who has better food Chicago or New York? ›

Chicago Ranks Ahead of NYC, LA as One of the Best 'Foodie' Cities in US, Wallethub Report Says – NBC Chicago.

What is regarded as the best restaurant in the world? ›

Central, the acclaimed tasting menu restaurant in Lima, landed at No. 1 on the 2023 World's 50 Best Restaurants list. At the helm are married chef-owners Virgilio Martínez and Pia León, and their tasting menu brings diners through the different altitudes and ecosystem of the Peruvian landscape.

What is a 10 top restaurant? ›

Definition: A number with “top” following it refers to the amount of people in a party dining at the establishment. Example: Hey Michelle, you've got a 6-top coming in so be ready. 86'd. Definition: When the restaurant (as in bar, kitchen, or service station) runs out of a certain ingredient or menu item.

What is the top 10 food in the US? ›

Top 10 famous American foods: burgers, pizza, hot dogs, fried chicken, apple pie, mac and cheese, BBQ ribs, chili, tacos, grilled cheese sandwich. There are many foods that are famous in America and have become a beloved part of the country's culinary culture.

What is a 20 top in restaurant? ›

To-go – Orders that are meant for off-premise delivery, whether that's curbside service, takeout, or delivery. Top – The number in a dining party, as in “8 top at table 20.” See also: the number of seats at a table/how many guests a table could seat.

What is an 8 top in restaurant? ›

eight-top (plural eight-tops) (restaurants) A table seating eight diners.

Who is the best chef in the world? ›

Who are the Most-Awarded Michelin-Star Chefs in the World?
  • Joël Robuchon, 31 Michelin Stars.
  • Alain Ducasse, 21 Michelin Stars.
  • Gordon Ramsay, 16 Michelin Stars.
  • Martin Berasategui, 8 Michelin Stars.
  • Carme Ruscalleda, 7 Michelin Stars.

Which US city has the best food? ›

10 Top US Cities for Food and Drinks, According to the Experts
  • 01 of 11. New York City. Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images. ...
  • 02 of 11. New Orleans. Andriy Blokhin / Alamy. ...
  • 03 of 11. Chicago. ...
  • 04 of 11. Austin. ...
  • 05 of 11. Los Angeles. ...
  • 06 of 11. Charleston. ...
  • 07 of 11. Miami. ...
  • 08 of 11. Washington, D.C.
Apr 2, 2024

What is America's favorite fast food restaurant? ›

Of all the fast food restaurants in the country, Americans are happiest with Chick-fil-A, according to new results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Which state food is the best? ›

Some Signature Cuisines of Indian States
  • Punjab – Makke di Roti and Sarso da Saag. ...
  • West Bengal – Kosha Mangsho. ...
  • Maharastra – Misal Pav. ...
  • Assam – Papaya Khar. ...
  • Tamil Nadu – Rasam. ...
  • Bihar – Litti Chokha. ...
  • Andhra Pradesh – Kodi Pulao. ...
  • Telangana – Hyderabadi Biryani.
Feb 10, 2023

What is the only 7 star restaurant in the world? ›

Head to Al Iwan restaurant at Burj Al Arab, dubbed to be "the world's only 7-star hotel". Enjoy a high-class buffet lunch or dinner of authentic Arabian dishes while you take in the sea and city views of Dubai.

What is the most popular restaurant chain in the United States? ›

McDonald's is the most well-known restaurant chain in the U.S. Founded in 1940 in San Bernardino, California, the American fast-food chain is recognized by 92 percent of internet respondents.

What is the most popular fast food chain in the US? ›

Most popular fast food companies

McDonald's is by far the most popular fast food chain in the United States. It has about 13,500 locations in the U.S., 40,000 worldwide, and it operates in 118 countries. McDonald's serves 69 million people every day, more than the population of Thailand and the United Kingdom.

How many 5 star restaurants are there in us? ›

US Michelin Star restaurants showcase the creativity of food craft across the country. With nearly 200 Michelin Star restaurants nationwide, the US delivers on culinary excellence with inspiration from all over the world.

Is Eleven Madison Park still number 1? ›

That means that EMP will never again snag a spot on the list. The upscale tasting menu restaurant landed the top spot in 2017, but it spent a portion of that year closed for renovations. Now, all former No. 1 winners will be thrown into a group called “Best of the Best.”


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