25 Best Restaurants in The United States 2024: A Gastronomic Journey

Gastronomic Journey

The James Beard Awards, one of the most prestigious accolades in the American culinary scene, annually recognize the country’s top chefs and restaurants. This year, the red carpet event held in Chicago saw Philadelphia’s Friday Saturday Sunday, a cozy restaurant offering a tasting menu featuring seasonal ingredients, being crowned as the country’s most outstanding restaurant.

The awards are a testament to the unparalleled quality of restaurants in the United States.

The U.S. boasts one of the finest dining scenes in the world, offering a diverse range of cuisines at various price points. The country is also at the forefront of culinary innovation, with restaurants highlighting the cuisine of diverse communities and often overlooked groups.

Farm-to-table dining is a common sight, and casual bakeries, cafés, and wine bars are now serving some of the country’s best menus. Korean, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Japanese dining continue to flourish, while plant-focused menus are thriving.

The epicenter of good food is no longer confined to New York City and Los Angeles, with top chefs increasingly moving to smaller towns. Mitchell Davis, a former chief strategy officer at the James Beard Foundation, points out emerging foodie destinations like the Stissing House in the Hudson Valley, Washington DC, Las Vegas, and both Portlands (Maine and Oregon).

For Jenn Rice, a food writer based in North Carolina, Wilmington, Charleston, and  South Carolina, are among the most exciting food hubs in the country. Minneapolis, with its strong Native American roots and large Somali and Vietnamese communities, is also a city to watch, according to Capri Cafaro, a former Democratic state senator turned cookbook author.

Here’s our selection of the 25 best restaurants in the United States.

New York

Naro, New York City


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Korean cuisine is evolving and growing in popularity across the U.S., and one of the finest examples is Naro, located in the historic Rockefeller Center on Fifth Avenue. Naro is both a casual café and a fine-dining establishment, drawing inspiration from traditional Korean food and expertly blending it with seasonal ingredients.

Both à la carte and tasting menus are available, including a vegetarian one. New York Times critic Pete Wells praises Naro for creating “new magic from classic Korean dishes,” with inspired takes on dishes like bibimbap or kimbap.

  • Price: $$
  • Must-order dish: Tasting menu
  • Contact: naronyc.com

Where to stay nearby: The Waldorf Astoria (hilton.com) offers double rooms from $299 (£234), room only.

Semma, New York City


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Located in Greenwich Village, Semma has taken New York City by storm with its thoughtful South Indian cuisine. Mitchell Davis describes it as “Michelin-starred Indian cuisine that fires on all cylinders,” with “creativity, flavor, and spice.”

Semma, which translates to “fantastic” in Tamil, offers a masterclass in South Indian cooking, with standout dishes like Goanese oxtail, a superb goat biryani, and Chettinad Maan, a venison shank with star anise and black stone flower.

  • Price: $$
  • Must-order dish: Goanese oxtail
  • Contact: semma.nyc

Where to stay nearby: Soho Grand Hotel (sohogrand.com) offers double rooms from $494 (£384), room only.


Sarma, Somerville


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Located in Somerville, a city five miles northwest of Boston and just north of Cambridge, Sarma is part of the growing trend in the U.S. for Middle Eastern-inspired small plates. Its extensive menu of boldly flavored mezze covers much of the Mediterranean, from cheese saganaki to sweet pea falafel to short rib dolmades.

Desserts include a Turkish coffee tiramisu and pistachio baklava. It’s incredibly popular, so it’s worth booking well in advance, although you might get lucky with a walk-in at the bar.

  • Price: $
  • Must-order dish: Short rib dolmades
  • Contact: sarmarestaurant.com

Where to stay nearby: Lenox Hotel (lenoxhotel.com) offers double rooms from $255 (£198), room only.

Neptune Oyster, Boston


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New England is renowned for its seafood, and arguably the best place to sample lobster, oysters, and fresh fish is at Neptune Oyster.

This Boston favorite has been impressing guests and winning national awards for nearly two decades. Be prepared to queue due to its no-reservations policy, but the wait is well worth it for the classic and inventive seafood dishes. Try the clam chowder with salt pork and thyme, the Neptune burger (cheddar, fried oysters, and garlic mayo), and the unmissable Maine lobster roll.

  • Price: $$
  • Must-order dish: Maine lobster roll
  • Contact: neptuneoyster.com

Where to stay nearby: The Colonnade Hotel (colonnadehotel.com) offers double rooms from $244 (£190), room only.


Friday Saturday Sunday, Philadelphia


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Friday Saturday Sunday has become one of the most talked-about spots in the country, especially after winning the outstanding restaurant award at the recent James Beard Awards. The kitchen at this small fine-dining spot is run by Chad Williams, a Philadelphia native.

The eight-course seasonal tasting menu, focusing on American dishes with a twist, may feature mouthwatering items like sweetbreads with mushroom and plantain, oxtail with cabbage, and grilled quail with paté. An inventive cocktail list completes a top-class dining experience.

  • Price: $$$
  • Must-order dish: Tasting menu
  • Contact: fridaysaturdaysunday.com

Where to stay nearby: Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia (hotelpalomar-philadelphia.com) offers double rooms from $221 (£172), room only.

Washington DC

Bresca, Washington DC


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Ryan Ratino, chef-owner of Bresca, was among the youngest chefs to win a Michelin star. His avant-garde fare, featuring modern takes on French cooking inspired by Paris’s neo-bistro movement, has taken the nation’s capital by storm.

It’s not cheap, with set menus starting at $88 (there’s a two-course offer for $59 before 6pm), but it’s worth a visit for some truly innovative and delicious food, including foie gras with rhubarb and short rib cavatelli. Bresca is also known for its excellent drinks program, earning an exceptional cocktails award from Michelin.

  • Price: $$$
  • Must-order dish: Duck à la presse
  • Contact: brescadc.com

Where to stay nearby: Fairmont Washington DC (fairmont.com) offers double rooms from $255 (£198), room only.

Causa/Amazonia, Washington DC


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Causa and Amazonia are two interconnected restaurants, with Causa – named after Peru’s national dish – being the more formal. Its six-course tasting menu covers the country in an intimate, 22-seat setting. The menu leans towards seafood, inspired by Peru’s coastline, while also venturing into the Andes and Amazon.

At the more relaxed Amazonia, try the skewer menu, featuring duck tongue, chicken hearts, and asparagus, and the Amazonian ceviche is a hit. Peruvian cuisine is one of the most sought-after in global fine dining, but few places do it better than Causa and Amazonia.

  • Price: $$
  • Must-order dish: Amazonian ceviche
  • Contact: causaamazonia.com

Where to stay nearby: The Jefferson (jeffersondc.com) offers double rooms from $375 (£292), room only.


Cellar Door Provisions, Chicago


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In the heart of Avondale, a neighborhood brimming with culinary delights, you’ll find Cellar Door Provisions. This bakery, wine bar, and small plates restaurant has made waves across the US. Recognized as a semi-finalist in the 2020 James Beard Awards, this innovative bistro and bakery transitions smoothly from daytime counter service to evening table service.

The menu, which changes with the seasons, features dishes like stracciatella-filled squash blossoms and lamb loin tartare with horseradish, peas, and dill. Mitchell Davis praises the “beautiful food” and excellent baking. Be aware of the no-reservations policy.

  • Price: $
  • Must-try dish: Squash blossoms with stracciatella
  • Website: cellardoorprovisions.com

Nearby accommodation: Thompson Chicago (hyatt.com) offers double rooms starting at $215 (£167), room only.

Check out our guide for more top-notch restaurants in Chicago.

Mi Tocaya Antojería, Chicago


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Mi Tocaya Antojería, led by chef Diana Dávila, serves some of the finest Mexican cuisine in the US. The menu features dishes from various regions of Mexico, made with top-quality local and Mexican ingredients. Expect dishes like heirloom Oaxacan corn tortillas, wagyu steak burritos, and crispy oyster tacos with tomato, olive, orange, and chili salsa on squid-ink tortillas. The classics – guacamole, burritos – are divine, but don’t miss out on unique offerings like peanut butter tongue and dishes reminiscent of pre-Hispanic Mexico.

  • Price: $
  • Must-try dish: Fried oyster tacos
  • Website: mitocaya.com

Nearby accommodation: Chicago Athletic Association Hotel (hyatt.com) offers double rooms starting at $159 (£123), room only.


COTE Miami, Miami


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COTE Miami, a Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse, is a branch of a New York City original. It offers a nightclub atmosphere and an impressive cocktail list. Mitchell Davis highlights the “exquisite meat aged on site” served with traditional Korean side dishes, or banchan.

Since 2021, Miami has had its own branch, which combines the excitement and flame of a Korean barbecue joint with the aesthetics of an American steakhouse. The steak omakase menu is a substantial $225 per person, but it provides an opportunity to sample the range of delicious meats available.

  • Price: $$$
  • Must-try dish: Steak omakase (tasting menu)
  • Website: cotemiami.com

Nearby accommodation: SLS Brickell (ennismore.com) offers double rooms starting at $180 (£140), room only.

The Surf Club Restaurant, Miami


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For lavish cuisine in a setting reminiscent of 1950s Miami, visit The Surf Club Restaurant. Located next to the Four Seasons hotel and just off the beach, it’s led by Thomas Keller, arguably America’s most renowned chef, who runs the celebrated three-Michelin star restaurant The French Laundry in Napa.

The Surf Club Restaurant, which also has a Michelin star, serves interpretations of classic Continental cuisine. Menu highlights include Maine lobster thermidor, gulf prawn cocktail, a $150 prime beef short rib wellington for two, and tableside-prepared caesar salad.

  • Price: $$$
  • Must-try dish: Tuna ribeye steak
  • Website: surfclubrestaurant.com

Nearby accommodation: Fontainebleau Miami Beach (fontainebleau.com) offers double rooms starting at $233 (£181), room only.


Honey Salt, Las Vegas


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Located slightly off the infamous Las Vegas strip, Honey Salt is a farm-to-table restaurant specializing in innovative takes on American classics.

Brunch is a standout here, with enticing dishes like fried chicken benedict, a breakfast poutine of potatoes, bacon gravy, smoked bacon, cheese curds and fried egg, or a breakfast pizza featuring, among other things, scrambled egg and smoked bacon. With reasonable prices and a family-friendly atmosphere, it’s a popular, accessible spot away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

  • Price: $
  • Must-try dish: Fried chicken benedict
  • Website: honeysalt.com

Nearby accommodation: Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel and Casino (caesars.com) offers double rooms starting at $85 (£66), room only.

Check out our guide for more top-notch restaurants in Las Vegas.

Kaiseki Yuzu, Las Vegas


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Japanese kaiseki, or multi-course tasting menus, are gaining popularity worldwide, offering some of the best fine-dining experiences. A visit to Kaiseki Yuzu, located in the heart of the Las Vegas strip, is a must when in Sin City.

The chef, Kaoru Azeuchi, was nominated for a James Beard Award this year, and his intricate dishes showcase the finest Japanese cuisine. From the open kitchen and sushi bar, diners sample the freshest fish, with dishes like king mackerel wrapped in lettuce with caviar and uni sauce, or grilled wagyu steak with truffles, foie gras, and vegetables.

  • Price: $$$
  • Must-try dish: Tasting menu
  • Website: kaisekiyuzu.com

Nearby accommodation: The Venetian Las Vegas (venetianlasvegas.com) offers double rooms starting at $136 (£105), room only.


La Petite Grocery, New Orleans


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New Orleans boasts one of the most unique and diverse cuisines in America, with influences from Africa, France, Spain, and beyond. La Petite Grocery, located in a former 19th-century grocery store, offers a fine-dining twist on Nola classics.

Chef James Devillier has received national recognition, including a James Beard award in 2016. Start with blue crab beignets before trying the famous turtle bolognese, shellfish stew, or Gulf shrimp and grits. The intimate dining room is a delightful place to spend an evening.

  • Price: $$
  • Must-try dish: Blue crab beignets
  • Website: lapetitegrocery.com

Nearby accommodation: The Ritz-Carlton (ritzcarlton.com) offers double rooms starting at $232 (£180), room only.

South Carolina

Chubby Fish, Charleston


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Chubby Fish in Charleston, one of America’s top food cities, is a local institution. This no-reservations seafood restaurant often has people lining up well before its 5pm opening time, hoping to secure a table. “It’s like stepping into a cosy restaurant in a European sea town. Order the caviar sandwich, grilled oysters in a rendered crab fat sauce, tuna crudo, and literally one of everything on chef James’s menu,” recommends North Carolina-based food writer Jenn Rice.

  • Price: $
  • Must-try dish: Caviar sammich
  • Website: chubbyfishcharleston.com

Nearby accommodation: The Vendue (thevendue.com) offers double rooms starting at $201 (£156), room only.

North Carolina

Neng Jr.’s, Asheville


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Nestled in the alternative haven of Asheville in the North Carolinian Appalachians, you’ll find Neng Jr.’s. This small Filipino restaurant – the city’s first – is what food writer Jenn Rice describes as “ultimate fantasy dining.” Down a back alley, through an unmarked door, you’ll be transported into a world that feels like a mystical 1980s film. Run by chef Silver Iocovozzi, the menu constantly changes, but highlights might include adobo oyster, spring onion bistek, or marinated sweetbreads served with a fermented barbecue sauce.

  • Price: $$
  • Must-try dish: Rock shrimp with hand-pulled noodles
  • Website: nengjrs.com

Nearby accommodation: Cambria Downtown Asheville (cambriadowntownasheville.com) offers double rooms starting at $128 (£99), room only.


The Appalachian, Sevierville


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The small town of Sevierville is nestled between Knoxville and Gatlinburg, deep in the Appalachians. With a menu that changes daily, chef David Rule pays tribute to a region often misunderstood by elevating Appalachian food. The Appalachian, with its farm-to-table ethos, blends traditional and modern flair.

On any given day, you might find buffalo frog legs, squirrel catfish, and trout from local rivers. “It’s a place that has traditionally suffered tremendously with poverty, and people are reclaiming what it means to be Appalachian,” says Capri Cafaro, a former Democratic politician and author of United We Eat: 50 Great American Dishes to Bring Us All Together.

  • Price: $$
  • Must-try dish: Buffalo frog legs
  • Website: theappalachianrestaurant.com

Nearby accommodation: The Oliver Hotel, Knoxville, (theoliverhotel.com) offers double rooms starting at $232 (£180), room only.


Bulrush, St Louis


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Like the Appalachians, the Ozarks (encompassing parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas) have long been underrepresented. Chef Rob Connoley is trying to change that with his contemporary fine dining experience.

The two-time James Beard semi-finalist delved into historical records to uncover the origins of Ozark cooking, which blends indigenous influences with those of European settlers and enslaved people. Most ingredients are locally sourced, with wild game and foraged mushrooms being a particular highlight. While it retains a casual feel, the multi-course menu is “very much an elevated dining experience,” says Cafaro.

  • Price: $$$
  • Must-try dish: Tasting menu
  • Website: bulrushstl.com

Nearby accommodation: The Ritz-Carlton, St Louis (ritzcarlton.com) offers double rooms starting at $486 (£378), room only.


Owamni, Minneapolis


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Sean Sherman, also known as the Sioux Chef, has become one of America’s most important chefs by focusing on the cuisine of indigenous peoples, particularly those of the Dakota and Minnesota territories. Sherman’s Minneapolis-based restaurant has consistently been named one of the best in the country. You should also check for a great slice of pizza.

The menu emphasizes pre-colonial ingredients, with no dairy, wheat, cane sugar, beef, chicken, or pork. Expect a variety of dishes made from wild rice and corn, while turkey, bison, or elk, as well as fish, provide the protein.

  • Price: $$
  • Must-try dish: Elk taco
  • Website: owamni.com

Nearby accommodation: Alma Hotel (almampls.com) offers double rooms starting at $250 (£194), room only.


Bistro Na’s, Los Angeles


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If you’ve read the work of the late, great LA food critic Jonathan Gold, you’ll know that the San Gabriel Valley in northern LA County is arguably the best region in the country for Chinese food.

Bistro Na’s, which once held the area’s only Michelin star, is among the best. Here, the focus is on Chinese fine dining, particularly Manchurian cuisine. Highlights include the braised Kurobuta pork belly and the wok-fried Dungeness crab.

  • Price: $$
  • Must-try dish: Tea-smoked duck breast
  • Website: bistronas.com

Nearby accommodation: Andaz West Hollywood (hyatt.com) offers double rooms starting at $223 (£173), room only.

Damian, Los Angeles


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Enrique Olvera, the Mexican chef and founder of Damian, is more famous for running Mexico City’s Pujol, ranked the 13th best restaurant in the world in the World’s 50 Best 2024.

But his LA outpost Damian, in the Arts District, has garnered much acclaim for its inspired modern Mexican cuisine. In a city famed for its outstanding Mexican restaurants, Damian’s menu, featuring twists on Mexican classics, like lobster al pastor and duck carnitas, is a beacon to food lovers.

  • Price: $$
  • Must-try dish: Fish tartare tostada
  • Website: damiandtla.com

Nearby accommodation: InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown (ihg.com) offers double rooms starting at $210 (£163), room only.


Kann, Portland


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Since its opening in 2022, Kann has quickly gained nationwide recognition, recently being named the Best New Restaurant at the James Beard Awards.

The brainchild of Haitian chef Gregory Gourdet, Kann’s menu pays homage to his Haitian roots, with dishes like plantain brioche buns, glazed duck with cane syrup, pineapple and tamarind, and smoked beef rib in a Haitian coffee rub. Don’t miss classics including legim, a savoury stew of aubergine, carrots and spinach, and pikliz, or spicy pickled cabbage.

  • Price: $$$
  • Must-try dish: Smoked beef rib with a Haitian coffee rub
  • Website: kannrestaurant.com

Nearby accommodation: Woodlark (woodlarkhotel.com) offers double rooms starting at $126 (£96), room only.


Tavernetta, Denver


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“There’s a reason why the Michelin Guide is expanding into Denver, and it’s because of restaurants like Tavernetta,” says food writer Ali Wunderman. This “understated alpine Italian dining experience” focuses on perfectly cooked Italian food, with a small menu offering big flavours. The tagliatelle with Maine lobster and gnocchetti sardi with fennel sausage are guaranteed hits, as is the stellar tiramisu.

  • Price: $
  • Must-try dish: Tiramisu
  • Website: tavernettadenver.com

Nearby accommodation: The Oxford Hotel (theoxfordhotel.com) offers double rooms starting at $195 (£152).


Franklin Barbecue, Austin


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A visit to Austin isn’t complete without sampling Texas barbecue, famous for its incredibly tender brisket, ribs, and sausages. All three are as good as it gets at Franklin’s, a must-visit spot. Unfortunately, that’s common knowledge, and the queues here can be monumental, especially on weekends.

But don’t let that put you off, because pitmaster Aaron Franklin is widely considered one of the best in the country. Order brisket, pork ribs, and beef ribs by the pound, or any in a sandwich with classic sides like coleslaw, potato salad, or pinto beans.

  • Price: $
  • Must-try dish: Brisket
  • Website: franklinbbq.com

Nearby accommodation: Fairmont Austin (fairmont-austin.com) offers double rooms starting at $160 (£124), room only.

Final Words

The culinary scene in the United States is thriving and diverse, offering a wide range of cuisines and dining experiences. From fine-dining establishments to casual eateries, the country is known for its culinary innovation and commitment to using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.

The 25 best restaurants in the United States showcase the country’s culinary excellence. From New York’s Naro, offering creative takes on classic Korean dishes, to Philadelphia’s Friday Saturday Sunday, a small fine-dining spot known for its outstanding American dishes, each restaurant brings something unique to the table.

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