The 25 Restaurants You Should Try at Least Once

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Many of our best memories include a meal in them as well. That’s because good cuisine, just like art, keeps a special place in our hearts, being many times connected with great memories alongside the ones we love.

Luckily, the American dining scene is extraordinary and expansive, full of surprises and wonders. From classic diners to seafood joints, we have so many options, that sometimes it’s just too difficult to choose.

Honestly, we encourage you to go out and try as many local eateries as possible. If you think about it, many restaurants are coming back to life from pandemic times, so they need your support now more than ever.

Plus, aren’t you curious to try those spots you’ve always heard about from your friends? We gathered 25 places we absolutely LOVED throughout America. Obviously, we want you to try them as well!

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Karv Kitchen- Atlanta, Georgia

You can find Karv Kitchen just outside of town north of Atlanta. This restaurant is led by a Greek family, drawing many tourists and locals alike. The rotisserie meat you’re going to find here is deliciously cooked, and the loukoumbombs are a sensation over here.

Americans ended up loving their European donuts that are golden brown, and the perfect way to start a meal, with a cup of coffee, of course.

Eleven Madison Park- NYC, New York

This is one of the most famous restaurants in all of America, and we completely understand why.

Eleven Madison Park has been defined for a long time as a high-end dining experience in New York. Recently, it boldly went completely meatless, for environmental, ethical, and first of all, health reasons. Even so, you will have a world-class experience there!

Higgins- Portland, Oregon

Portland is well-known for its cuisine diversity. Naturally, we need to show you the best restaurant in town. Higgins is almost always fully booked, as it is the home to the amazing seasonal menu and cozy bar Portland’s locals love so much. Plus, you will find many of the city’s best chefs there, before growing their own wings and starting their own establishments. Everything at Higgins is house-made, and the service is unmatched.

Vera’s Backyard BBQ- Brownsville, Texas

If you’re a barbeque lover, you already know by now that the best barbeque is always found in smaller towns, in places no one would guess. And yes, Vera’s is one of those places.

The Brownsville restaurant is specialized in “barbacoa de Cabeza”, also known as barbecued cow’s head. Although it sounds a bit weird, trust us, it’s madness! In a good way.

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Vaga – Encinitas, California

Vaga is located in between San Diego and Los Angeles, in the surf town Encinitas. If you dream of a place that has it all: ocean views, fresco dining, and creative southern California-inspired dishes, that’s the place to go to.

Do you want a little sneak peek? They have Baja sea bass with spiced ghee and Marcona almond basmati, or tomahawk steak with parmesan fondue. Yep, I know, it sounds mesmerizing.

Christoper’s at the Wrigley Mansion – Phoenix, Arizona

Although it had its grand opening delayed because of the pandemic, Cristopher’s is up and running and is one of the most appreciated places in the American West.

If you decide to go there, you’ll experience breathtaking design and delicious food.

Joule- Seattle, Washington

The whole mindset for Joule was to make the proper fusion between American and Korean cuisine. By going there, you’ll experience Rachel Young’s ambitious plates.

From scallion pancakes with smoked salmon roe AND smoked tofu with hon shimeji confit to miso black cod with bavette steak and topping of lemongrass pesto. It’s by far one of the best restaurants in all of the Pacific Northwest.

Gautrea’s Restaurant- New Orleans, Louisiana

If we were to talk about the amount of work the French have put in what we get to call now modern gastronomy, we wouldn’t stop talking for 3 days straight.

That’s why we should get in the car and head to Gautreau’s to skip the talk and just…EAT. Gautreau’s a classic French eatery with a great influence. You’ll find anything you could possibly wish for there: from foie gras and steak tartare to filet mignon.

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Lucille’s- Houston, Texas

Lucille’s brings a new perspective on southern cuisine, and thanks to that, it has become a real specialty in Houston. This restaurant brings a great homage to the owner’s grandmother. It subtly navigates many comforts of the food genre, from deliciously fried meats to fluffy grits.

Demi- Minneapolis, Minnesota

You can find Demi in the North Loop, in one of the coolest neighborhoods in Minneapolis. If you want to see how much the food culture in Minneapolis has evolved, this place is definitely a fine reflection.

Many home chefs have had quite the experience here, learning a lot and enjoying the work of a real culinary mind.

Vetri Cucina- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

If you wish for a true Italian restaurant, visiting Vetri Cucina by chef Marc Vetri will definitely put your desires at ease. The menu shows exactly how powerful the classic Italian kitchen is, with a touch of influences from all over the planet.

You will find some of the best pasta in the region there, but also a couple of inventive desserts, such as molten pistachio cake with strawberry-black pepper gelato.

Carnitas Lonja- San Antonio, Texas

In towns such as San Antonio, you’ll find good tacos growing on trees. Places like Carnitas Lonja become even more special, as it stands out among other options in the city.

You’ll experience out-of-this-world tortillas here, and other amazing dishes like ceviche, chorizo with fresh fish, and carnitas. If you decide to visit this place, it will be hard not to end up eating all of your 3 meals there.

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Bar Dough-  Denver, Colorado

Truth be told, there are numerous fantastic Italian restaurants in America. Another one on this list is Bar Dough, which is built around the wonder plates of chef Russel Stippich.

But it isn’t all just about the Italian cuisine here. There’s a happy hour outfitted with a great drinks program, although yes, it’s at dinner time where you can see the chef’s amazing talent coming out.

Come here to taste the burrata, prosciutto and mushroom pizza, bucatini amatriciana, and squid ink tagliarini.

The Catbird Seat- Nashville, Tennessee

The Catbird Seat brings a whole other experience “to the table”. If you decide to go there, you’ll be welcomed in an intimate setting built around a horseshoe-shaped table.

So, it’s fit for a couple of lucky diners. If you’ve never experienced something similar, you’ll encounter for the first time a new concept of “dinner theater”, with acclaimed chefs cooking for you haute cuisine.

Mister Jiu’s- San Francisco, California

Who doesn’t love Chinese food? There’s a San Francisco restaurant that perfectly combines many pillars of Chinese dining with Californian Cuisine.

Everyone that went there loved Mister Jiu’s great vegetable and tofu dishes, and the incredible wontons and larger plates with quail and goji berry, spruce, and sticky rice.

Stubborn Seed- Miami, Florida

South Florida is the home of some of the most amazing Cuban recipes and seafood options. It’s also the home of the Stubborn Seed, the restaurant of Top Chef Jeremy Ford.

At Stubborn Seed, modern gastronomy is perfectly blended with Latin culture and Japanese influences. And now let’s be honest, it isn’t called Stubborn Seed for nothing: it’s difficult to categorize this restaurant in just one food genre!

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Sushi Yasaka- NYC, New York

Some of us are really in love with sushi, especially when it’s made by people who really know how to cook it. Sushi Yasaka is a Manhattan-based restaurant FILLED with sushi talents.

Those people are real artists, given the fact that they constantly juggling with a mix of hot and cold dishes. There are many things from which you can choose: from tempura and noodles to sushi cuts. And if you want THE BEST, go for the restaurant’s signature maki.

Alinea- Chicago, Illinois

Just like Higgins and Eleven Madison Park, the Chicago-based Alinea just keeps on ruling the cuisine industry. With three Michelin star ratings, dining in this place comes with great food, and lots of enchantment, artistry, and spontaneity.

Ben’s Chili Bowl- Washington, D.C.

And now, to take a little break from shiny restaurants, let’s go back to the basics. Ben’s Chili Bowl has been enchanting D.C.’s locals ever since 1958. The chili dog adaptation in this place is crazy! While it can’t be placed on the healthiest restaurants list, it’s definitely one of the tastiest!

Mida- Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is worth visiting just for its food scene alone. Mida will welcome you with an excellent homestyle Italian atmosphere, with its barn-burning carbonara and its Bolognese sauce.

There are many times when these kinds of American places get somehow lost in the translation, not managing to get that type of pasta right. Not the case with this place.

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Odd Duck- Austin, Texas

Austin is often times seen as a playground for food enthusiasts, with its magical BBQ, chili parlors, and taquerias. Well, imagine that Odd Duck took all that, plus what’s left of the southern cuisine, and lifted it all to new heights.

Need something to imagine? Just picture the mushroom chorizo quesadillas with Oaxaca cheese, and pork loin with garlic-pecan mole. It’s the mother of rustic!

Pieterzyk Pierogi- Detroit, Michigan

It’s worth having a small conversation on Polish street food, as it’s a sector we might not be so familiar with, in comparison to a large part of the Midwest population.

Whether you’re into sweet or savory, you’ll definitely find something there that’s worth trying and which you’ll end up loving. The place is amazing!

Fore Street Restaurant- Portland, Maine

Many foodies run to the other Portland nowadays to grab a bite at Fore Street. Some of the highlights are the bevy of fresh seafood, wood-grilled marinated squid, pork loin with fermented cabbage, and half-chicken with collard greens.

Apteka- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you thought we were going to end this list without mentioning any vegan restaurants, you were mistaken.

Apteka is well known among the vegan locals of Pittsburgh, thanks to its slow cooking and braising that has made everyone love their food. You can also be a meat-lover, you’ll still love the ingenuity and flavor in this place!

Bazaar Meat- Las Vegas, Nevada

By deciding to eat here, you’ll be offered a bold, shared-plate experience. The meat is gloriously cooked here, alongside dishes like jasper-roasted asparagus, brilliant souffle, and chicken croquetas.

Are you pretty close to retirement? Well, we have the perfect locations for your golden years!  

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