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The Top Women-Led Restaurants Around the Country

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’ve teamed up with the James Beard Foundation to showcase some of the world’s best restaurants on OpenTable with women at the helm. Some are James Beard Award-winners, nominees and semifinalists, others are trailblazing entrepreneurs whose reputations precede them. Though March 8th is the official day to celebrate women—with this many phenomenal restaurants in the mix—we encourage you to look through our lists and check them out any time you find yourself nearby.

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The OpenTable Team
Updated May 22, 2019
A photo of A16 - San Francisco restaurant

A16 - San Francisco

Price: Expensive
Italian
Marina / Cow Hollow / Presidio
4.6
4764 reviews
Co-owner and wine director Shelley Lindgren is one of the country's most respected Italian wine experts, as well as co-owner of SPQR and two craft cocktail bars. Her wide array of wine knowledge has granted her restaurant nominations for Outstanding Wine Service from the James Beard Foundation. Known for Lindgren's impressive collection of Italian wine varietals and chef Nicolette Manescalchi's rustic Italian cooking, A16 pioneered the Bay Area's casual-gourmet pizza craze with its wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas. The menu’s pizzas, pastas, and antipasti change with the season, but its popularity doesn’t.

A photo of Bistro Vendome restaurant

Bistro Vendome

Price: Moderate
French
Park Hill
4.6
6959 reviews
Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch, the owners of Rioja, purchased the neighboring Bistro Vendome (across Larimer Square) in 2006. With Missy Ihli as manager and Ben Ashworth as chef de cuisine, three out of four top team members at Bistro Vendome are women. While Ashworth runs the kitchen, the influence of James Beard Award-winner Jasinski is evident in the bistro's perfectionist approach to simple, fresh cuisine. Bistro Vendome is also recognized by James Beard Foundation as a Smart Catch Leader restaurant, which focuses on using healthy, sustainable food sources in the kitchen. The menus at Bistro Vendome showcase both casual bistro and haute cuisine classics, all very French but prepared with local Colorado ingredients, and brunch is a local favorite.


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A photo of Boulevard restaurant

Boulevard

Price: Very Expensive
Californian
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.9
8623 reviews
For more than 25 years, chef and co-owner Nancy Oakes' restaurant on the Embarcadero waterfront has remained a fine-dining go-to, reigning as a modern, elegant classic. Oakes, winner of the 2001 James Beard Best Chef: California award, has long been a pioneer of Californian cuisine. Before opening Boulevard in 1993, Oakes ran the trendsetting L'Avenue, which a game-changer on the culinary scene in San Francisco at the time. Ornate surroundings of mosaic floors, bronze accents, stained glass, and spectacular bay views suit both business lunches and romantic celebrations.

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Cafe Juanita

Price: Very Expensive
Italian
Kirkland
4.8
3266 reviews
After East Coast living and global travels, Holly Smith moved to Seattle in 1993. She opened Cafe Juanita in 2000, eager to show how well Northern Italian cuisine would blend with Pacific Northwest ingredients. Smith rose to further fame when she earned the 2008 James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: Northwest, along with nominations over the years for Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurant. She also works with FareStart, giving disadvantaged youths and adults the opportunity to enter the culinary world. Cafe Juanita has a bright yet decadent atmosphere where sustainable ingredients never serve as just garnish, they’re the main focus.


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Foreign Cinema

Price: Expensive
Californian
Mission District
4.7
8229 reviews
This Mission classic has drawn people in for two decades with its large, open-air central patio, nightly movie screenings, and elegantly executed menu. Chef and co-owner Gayle Pirie, a San Francisco native who co-authored two cookbooks changes the North African and Mediterranean menu daily. Pirie, along with John Clark have received multiple James Beard Foundation nominations for Best Chef: Pacific and Most Outstanding Restaurant awards. Foreign Cinema, with its extensive wine program, high ceilings, and low lighting, continues to be one of the city’s most romantic restaurants.


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A photo of Frances restaurant

Frances

Price: Very Expensive
Californian
The Castro
4.8
3472 reviews
Chef and owner Melissa Perello, a semi-finalist for the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Chef of the West, named this tiny, chic restaurant after her grandmother, Frances. It’s always packed, though the staff saves 10 counter seats for walk-ins. The cozy neighborhood restaurant serves Californian cuisine. With all the ingredients sourced from Northern California farms and local city markets, the menu changes daily according to what’s fresh and seasonal.

A photo of Girl & the Goat restaurant

Girl & the Goat

Price: Moderate
Contemporary American
West Loop
4.8
13542 reviews
As well as being a top Chicago restaurateur, Stephanie Izard was also the first-ever female winner of the ever-popular Top Chef series. It was shortly after this that she started to form the concepts behind Girl and the Goat, which she eventually opened in the West Loop. Girl and the Goat won the coveted James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, and is widely regarded as one of the best BYOB restaurants in Chicago. The philosophy is "nose to tail," with signature dishes including Roasted Pig Face, served with egg, cilantro, and potato stix.

A photo of Here's Looking At You restaurant

Here's Looking At You

Price: Expensive
Contemporary American
Koreatown
4.8
808 reviews
Farmers-market-driven New American cuisine with global influences, plus creative craft cocktails, characterize the offerings at Here's Looking at You, an eclectic space in Koreatown. General manager Lien Ta came to the restaurant business from a career as an entertainment editor covering Hollywood, transitioning via a stint as a food writer before taking on entry-level positions in Los Angeles restaurants. Partnering with chef Jonathan Whitener in opening Here's Looking at You in 2016 proved a savvy move, with the restaurant soon receiving high praise from the late, legendary L.A. food critic Jonathan Gold. In addition to crafting and serving delicious food, Ta also is also an alum of the James Beard Foundation's Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership in 2017. Regarding the menu at Here’s Looking at You, Ta stated that each dish is intended to represent L.A. on a plate. As such, the menu reveals diverse international influences, namely Mexican, Vietnamese, Indian, and Japanese.

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Honey Salt - Las Vegas

Price: Expensive
American
Summerlin
4.7
3439 reviews
This farm-to-table Vegas hot spot is the love child of restaurateur Elizabeth Blau and her husband, Chef Kim Canteenwalla, who both received a James Beard Award semifinalist spot for Outstanding Restaurateur. Blau has appeared on many televised events, including as a judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America competition. Her restaurant, Honey Salt is located in the mountain-rimmed residential Summerlin District of Vegas, the restaurant is widely considered one of the best off-Strip dining establishments in Sin City. Locally and regionally sourced ingredients are featured in plates like Nana’s chicken curry and Farm House meatloaf. Soft lighting and a brick-lined interior invite both local families and visiting diners to enjoy the latest offerings from a woman who has spent three decades helping transform Vegas into the international culinary destination it is today.

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Irma's Southwest

Price: Expensive
Mexican / Southwestern
Downtown
4.7
666 reviews
Irma Galvan first entered the restaurant scene serving up sandwiches out of an old home. Irma approaches hospitality from a place of deep faith and with a commitment to service. Her sandwich shop rapidly evolved into a Mexican restaurant, serving the same flavors she’d always enjoyed. Galvan's decades spent perfecting her craft in the kitchen received national attention when Irma's took home the James Beard Foundation's America's Classics Award in 2008. Irma continues on her culinary journey through Irma’s Southwest, adding a fine-dining element to her creations, while still keeping true to her roots. Mexican flavors are at the forefront, with housemade salsas and guacamole delightfully paired with entree plates like wild boar enchiladas. By blending locally-sourced wild game with authentic Mexican dishes, Irma creates a menu that is unique to Texas and an overall Houston favorite.

A photo of Jar restaurant

Jar

Price: Very Expensive
American
Beverly / Fairfax / La Brea / Third St.
4.8
3148 reviews
The specialty of Jar, a Beverly Grove chophouse helmed by chef-owner Suzanne Tracht, is modernized versions of classic American comfort food, prepared with impeccable ingredients. Grilled, sauteed, and braised meat and fish entrees, which come with a choice of a host of sauces, dominate Jar's dinner menu. The signature dish, pot roast, was highlighted by celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito on Food Network's Best Thing I Ever Ate, and it's been a firm favorite of Jar regulars since its 2001 opening. Other substantial entree options include a dry-aged Kansas City steak, a Japanese wagyu skirt steak, and a pan-roasted king salmon. The desserts lean retro too, among them a butterscotch pudding and banana cream pie. Jar is Suzanne Tracht's second solo restaurant venture, launched following the success of her first, Jozu. Before Tracht ran her own kitchens, she apprenticed at the Arizona Biltmore Resort, worked at the Hotel Bel Air, and was chef de cuisine at Nancy Silverton and Mark Peel's former Los Angeles institution, Campanile. In 2002, one year after opening Jar, Food & Wine magazine named Tracht one of its Best New Chefs. She was also honored at the 2009 Women in Food James Beard Foundation Awards gala, and appeared on season one of Top Chef Masters.


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Joule

Price: Moderate
Steakhouse
Wallingford
4.7
1193 reviews
Chef and co-owner Rachel Yang had an unconventional start, stepping away from her urban studies and visual art degrees to head to culinary school in New York City. With her husband, she opened Joule in 2007, which had wide success, and then reopened it in 2013 as a modern take on the Korean steakhouse. Bon Appétit magazine took notice, naming it one of the Best New Restaurants in America. The James Beard Foundation likewise nominated Yang for Best Chef: Northwest four years in a row. Fremont’s Joule focuses on inventive dishes with bold flavors and colorful combinations.

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Kachka

Price: Expensive
Eastern European
Southeast Portland
4.8
1823 reviews
Growing up in Chicago as the daughter of Belarusian immigrants was the inspiration for Bonnie Morales, the chef and co-owner of Kachka and Kachinka, both located in SE Portland, when she takes Russian cuisine to new heights in the United States. After studying at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and doing time in various kitchens in both the Big Apple and Chi-town, she’s now created nothing less than a Portland culinary sensation. She’s been recently tapped by the James Beard Foundation as a nominee for Best Chef: Northwest. Topping best restaurant in Portland lists in many different publications, the restaurant is a unique blend of old and new with Russian specialties like rabbit in a clay pot with porcini, sour cherries, and garlic and a horseradish-infused vodka made in house.

A photo of La Palapa restaurant

La Palapa

Price: Moderate
Mexican
East Village
4.7
826 reviews
La Palapa is the brainchild of Barbara Sibley, a chef and artist with extensive New York City restaurant experience. She started out at La Tulipe, a New York Times three-star French restaurant where she took influences from Julia Child, James Beard, and Sarah Moulton. La Palapa focuses on Mexico City tacos and authentic regional Mexican cuisine like Tacos al Pastor, Salsa Pibil, and other fresh and spicy specialties.


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Lark

Price: Expensive
Contemporary American
Capitol Hill / First Hill
4.6
1027 reviews
Kelly Ronan moved to Seattle in 1991, after spending years in California restaurants learning her way around wine and the dining room. When Ronan became co-owner of Lark in 2003, she knew she wanted to interact with customers in a hands-on role. Acting as general manager serves both those goals, letting her run the wine and front-of-house programs, and greet new and familiar faces. Ronan is also co-owner of Bitter/Raw and Slab Sandwiches. Lark, her Capitol Hill restaurant, focuses on artisan foods from local producers, where small plates inspire communal dining and lively conversation all around the table. Lark was also a semifinalist for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant.


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Lido

Price: Moderate
Italian
Harlem
4.6
1797 reviews
Perfectly positioned on a busy corner on Harlem’s Restaurant Row, Lido showcases the phenomenal cooking of James Beard Award-winning author and chef Serena Bass. She originally got her career start when she catered a last-minute 60-person dinner party for Andy Warhol. She has a vibrant, creative, and multi-faceted cuisine style. Her many food talents appear in her creations at Lido, where you can find scrumptious dishes like fresh squid ink linguine or parmesan polenta fries.


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Octavia

Price: Very Expensive
Contemporary American
Pacific Heights
4.7
2375 reviews
Chef and owner Melissa Perello, a semi-finalist for the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Chef of the West, opened this elegant, yet casual spot with a fresh rotating menu. Sara Hauman recently took over as chef de cuisine. Pastry chef Sarah Bonar makes the pastas and fresh-baked bread in-house, and the frequently changing menu bases its offerings on sustainable and seasonal ingredients. Together, this women-powered team serves up some of the best dishes in town.


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Marlowe

Price: Moderate
American
SOMA
4.2
2760 reviews
Chef Jennifer Puccio leads Marlowe, the epicenter of the restaurant extraordinaire Anna Weinberg’s Big Night Group’s restaurant empire. She also is executive chef at Leo's Oyster Bar, Park Tavern, and The Cavalier. Her impact in the culinary industry doesn’t go unnoticed, and as a result, she’s won a nomination as one of the Best Chefs in America according to the James Beard Foundation. This SoMa spot brings a high-energy, casual bistro vibe with white tiled floors and walls, and leather banquettes. Waiting guests tend to gravitate towards the bar to grab cocktails while waiting for their table.


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Menton

Price: Very Expensive
French
Fort Point Channel
4.5
2612 reviews
Chef Barbara Lynch may very well be the leading figure in fine Boston dining. After winning a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northeast back in 2003, she continues to wow diners with her culinary creations to this day. Beginning in the late 1990s with the acclaimed No. 9 Park restaurant in downtown Boston, she’s created a restaurant empire. Menton is her newest endeavor in the Fort Point neighborhood, joining her two other spots there (Drink and Sportello). Menton offers an elegant atmosphere, along with a colorful menu of French-Italian cuisine. The menu offers either a "Chef's Whim" menu or an "a la carte" portion. Be sure to try one of the creative cocktails, a trademark of the Lynch restaurants.

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Mustards Grill

Price: Expensive
American
Yountville
4.8
10133 reviews
Cindy Pawlcyn's "Truck Stop Deluxe" has been a Napa Valley landmark and go-to spot for casual dining for over 30 years. Pawlcyn, an award-winning cookbook author, and a James Beard Award nominee for Outstanding Restaurateur for three years in a row, has swooned Napa Valley with her culinary expertise. She later opened up Mustards Grill which features flavors from all around the world packed into delicious dishes. Mustards Grill sources its meat from sustainable suppliers and lettuces are freshly plucked from the bountiful garden boxes of this always-packed roadhouse.

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Nightbird

Price: Very Expensive
Californian
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
4.9
700 reviews
This elegant, boutique spot in Hayes Valley is the first solo project of chef and owner Kim Alter, a longtime fixture of the Bay Area food scene. Alter achieved critical acclaim while leading two Daniel Patterson Group restaurants in Oakland. Additionally, Alter received a semifinalist nod from the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef: West. Her creativity extends beyond food and into the interior design of Nightbird, where you’ll find simple decor that provides a refined, serene backdrop to a 10-course tasting menu that varies by season. Alter layers dishes with fresh ingredients and flavors in interesting combinations.

A photo of Nostrana restaurant

Nostrana

Price: Expensive
Italian
Southeast Portland
4.8
4968 reviews
Chef/owner Cathy Whims opened this SE Portland institution after studying with prominent Italian chefs in their homes in Italy. She’s driven several top Portland dining establishments for years, and has been nominated for the Best Chef: Northwest six times and counting by the James Beard Foundation. Considered one of the most authentic Italian eateries in town, Nostrana (which means "ours" in Italian), draws upon a network of local Oregon and Washington State farmers to supply the ingredients for the daily changing lunch and dinner menus. From the Formaggi cheese plates, served with wildflower honey and fig/walnut salumi, to pastas dishes like the pork and beef meatball fettuccine. Everything you find at Nostrana is also designed to pair perfectly with the hand-curated selection of Oregon and Italian wines.


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A photo of Parachute restaurant

Parachute

Price: Expensive
Korean
Avondale
4.7
1627 reviews
A small restaurant with a big reputation, Parachute’s Korean-American cuisine continuously impresses Chicago’s diners. One of six Chicago chefs on the ninth series of Top Chef, Parachute’s Beverley Kim says she gets immense satisfaction from cooking beautiful food and taking care of her guests. She’s part of a husband-and-wife team along with Johnny Clark. This dynamic duo landed themselves a James Beard Award nomination for Best Chef: Great Lakes. Parachute encompasses an exciting atmosphere, which pairs perfectly with the delicious food served here.


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Porto

Price: Expensive
Italian
Back Bay
4.5
1625 reviews
The local favorite Porto comes from the James Beard award-winning mind of Chef Jody Adams. Adams first made waves on the Boston scene with her celebrated Cambridge restaurant called Rialto. Moving into the city, Porto is one of her standout locations in downtown Boston. Porto has become a go-to spot for hungry crowds around the Copley Place and Back Bay neighborhoods. The Porto menu is an intriguing Mediterranean/Italian mixture of cuisine, with plenty of seafood and pasta dishes. It is also a great spot to try a handful of craft beers. Thirsty diners should check out the rotating selections from the fabled Maine Beer Company.


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Republique

Price: Very Expensive
French
Hollywood
4.7
4734 reviews
In opening Republique, Margarita Manzke and her husband Walter Manzke took over the West Hollywood space of the legendary former Campanile, meaning expectations were high. Republique restaurant retained the airy feel of its predecessor, taking full advantage of the atrium setting with its soaring marble arches and marble bar looking into an open kitchen. The French-leaning food — for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with menus changing daily — immediately proved worthy of critical acclaim and the high praise of diners. Margarita Manzke, who was recently nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Pastry Chef, oversees the bakery section of Republique. Born and raised in the Philippines, Manzke’s global training includes graduating from both the Cordon Bleu in London and the Culinary Institute of America in New York City. Her impressive resume also includes stints at Spago and as sous chef at Melisse.


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A photo of Rioja restaurant

Rioja

Price: Expensive
Mediterranean
Downtown / LoDo
4.7
9793 reviews
Rioja was the first restaurant opened by a team of two women who would later create an acclaimed mini-empire across Denver — executive chef/co-owner Jennifer Jasinski and general manager/co-owner Beth Gruitch. Jasinski claims a long list of impressive career achievements, top among them has to be winning the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2013, the first Denver chef to do so. She was also a finalist on television's Top Chef Masters, was a protégée of Wolfgang Puck for a decade, and worked for some time at the Ledoyan in Paris. Rioja offers Mediterranean-influenced modern American cuisine designed around impeccable regional ingredients. When the weather's pleasant, outdoor patio seating offers prime people-watching along with top-notch cuisine, while seats in the dining room and at the copper-topped bar boast views into the exhibition kitchen. Critics and regulars rave about the bread basket, as well as standout dishes like grilled Spanish octopus puttanesca and chestnut fried quail.


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State Bird Provisions

Price: Very Expensive
Californian
Western Addition
4.7
2723 reviews
The popularity of State Bird Provisions is due in large part to co-owners Nicole Krasinski and her husband Chef Stuart Brioza. This dream team has won two James Beard Awards including the 2015 Best Chef: West award, along with Best New Restaurant back in 2013. At this eatery, the innovative menu contains tapas-style shareable plates, which waiters serve dim sum-style on rolling carts that are pushed around the restaurant. State Bird's namesake is the California Valley quail, also typically found on the menu.

A photo of Stubborn Seed restaurant

Stubborn Seed

Price: Very Expensive
American
South Beach
4.8
2425 reviews
Not all great chefs have a long list of credentials and decades of experience. Every cook starts somewhere, and Dallas Wynne is no exception. At just 23 years old, this young up-and-coming pastry chef is already making a name for herself. After completing a highly competitive course at Johnson & Wales in 2015, she started working at Stubborn Seed. Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford own and operates this restaurant. Before Wynne advanced to an executive chef position, this young patissier spent years under the expert tutelage of one of Miami's most famous pastry chefs, James Beard Award-nominated Hedy Goldsmith. When Goldsmith moved to California, it was time for Wynne to expand her culinary chops. She took on the task of shaping artisan loaves for Stubborn Seed and plating delicate desserts. Wynne's take on brunch includes delights like an organic strawberry donut with a passion fruit sabayon. Simple, elegant, and delicious desserts and breakfast items hit the tables at one of Miami's freshest dining locations. She might be one of the youngest pastry chefs in the city, but her culinary creations are out of this world!


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AOC - Brentwood

Price: Expensive
Californian
Brentwood
4.6
3162 reviews
Tavern is the second restaurant by acclaimed Lucques owners Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne, the winners of four James Beard Foundation Awards between them. Food & Wine magazine named Goin one of its Best New Chefs in 1999; she runs the kitchen at Tavern while Goin serves as wine director. The moody, leather-and-wood adorned Brentwood restaurant, like Lucques, features menus driven by the freshest seasonal farmers market produce. Breakfast is served on weekdays, with a popular brunch on weekends. The dinner menu is divided into small, medium, and large plates, plus shareable sides, that encourage sharing. A highlight, when featured, is the critics' favorite short rub with sunchoke puree. Attached to Tavern is The Larder, which offers a more casual array of organic, farm-driven cuisine and hosts regular events like winemaker Wednesdays and grilled cheese Fridays. Tavern's Blue Room bar hosts happy hour daily.

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Terra Plata

Price: Very Expensive
Farm-to-table
Capitol Hill / First Hill
4.5
3752 reviews
Tamara Murphy has a lengthy culinary history, having worked in several New York City restaurants before making the move to Seattle in 1988. She made waves on the West Coast as well, earning the 1995 James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. Murphy opened Terra Plata in 2012, where her long-term love of local harvest features prominently; this is a place where the closer the ingredients, the better. Along with a rooftop edible garden, Capitol Hill’s Terra Plata sources its ingredients from local producers around Washington, impressing guests with a variety of earth-to-plate offerings.

A photo of Trade restaurant

Trade

Price: Expensive
Greek
Seaport
4.7
853 reviews
Trade is another smash hit from chef Jody Adams, a James Beard Award-winner for Best Chef: America. Already a local culinary superstar for her Cambridge restaurant Rialto, Adams opened Trade in 2011. The restaurant has been a favorite of Bostonians ever since. Trade is one of the jewels of the rejuvenated Greenway strip. Once an elevated expressway that cut through the heart of Boston, the Greenway is now a place for fine dining. The restaurant offers a creative menu of Mediterranean dishes along with an excellent cocktail and beer menu. Diners should try the hummus, which comes along with a massively puffed-up za'atar pita - delish! Trade also features a sterling menu of flatbreads, with mushroom and fig and lamb sausage versions available.

A photo of The Whale Wins restaurant

The Whale Wins

Price: Expensive
American
Wallingford
4.8
824 reviews
Having lived around Seattle her entire life, Chef Renee Erickson has an intimate relationship with the sea and land — and it shows up in all of her dishes. She is co-owner of The Whale Wins and other local restaurants, but her title of restaurateur first began in 1998 after she acquired the ownership of Boat Street Cafe from Susan Kaplan. Erickson earned the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Chef: West. Additionally, two of her restaurants — The Whale and the Carpenter and The Whale Wins — appeared in the Bon Appétit Top 10 Restaurants in America list, in 2011 and 2013, respectively. She is considered a leader for her cuisine and her commitment to redefining the restaurant industry. The Whale Wins features a mixture of European and Northwest influences, where the menu changes with the season.


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Yardbird Table & Bar - The Venetian Las Vegas

Price: Moderate
Unspecified
The Venetian and Palazzo
4.7
8058 reviews
Winning the season finale of Gordon Ramsey’s reality cooking show Hell's Kitchen, Kimberly Ann Ryan bloomed right into the culinary spotlight, and her gig as the head chef at the Venetian hotel’s Yardbird, is solidifying her status as a force to be reckoned with. Originally from Michigan, Ryan now crafts upscale takes on classic Southern favorites like the black truffle lobster mac and cheese and the prosciutto-wrapped grouper fillets at this James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant. This comfortably rustic yet sophisticated setting with an open kitchen makes for a great dinner spot.

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3030 Ocean

Price: Expensive
Seafood
Harbor Beach
4.6
2280 reviews
Adrienne Grenier started her professional career at 3030 Ocean. Under the mentorship of renowned chefs Paula DaSilva and Dean Max, she began her journey as a professional chef. Two years later, Grenier headed to the West Coast to learn more about great food and modern cooking. She spent hours at local farmers markets learning the ins and outs of farm-to-table cooking. She then made her way back to her Florida home. Once again working under the auspices of Paula DaSilva, Grenier made her television debut on Chopped. Walking off with the $10,000 prize, she took the title of champion. In 2013, Grenier returned to 3030 Ocean with a more advanced culinary knowledge. She quickly put those skills to work, and after a 2015 renovation at the restaurant, advanced to the executive chef position. Now, the menu at this seafood emporium includes local delicacies like stone crab claw and grilled black grouper.

A photo of A16 Rockridge restaurant

A16 Rockridge

Price: Expensive
Italian
Oakland
4.6
2219 reviews
The Oakland version of one of San Francisco’s most popular upscale Italian restaurants holds many similarities. Both share an owner, Shelley Lindgren, who curates an impressive selection of regional wines, and chef Nicolette Manescalchi, who oversees the Southern Italian menu prepared with high-quality local ingredients. Lindgren is one of the country's most respected Italian wine experts, as well as co-owner of SPQR and two craft cocktail bars. A16 Oakland features a full bar with excellent cocktails, and walk-ins are always welcome at the wine bar and chef's counter. Many of the dishes, traditional to Italy’s Campania and Puglia regions, are not found in other East Bay restaurants.

A photo of Ace Eat Serve restaurant

Ace Eat Serve

Price: Moderate
Asian
Uptown
4.6
836 reviews
It takes a certain kind of daring to open a ping-pong-based restaurant, but the married-couple team of Jen and Josh Wolkon, owners of the Secret Sauce Food & Beverage Group, took such a risk with Ace Eat Serve. It certainly paid off, with locals and visitors flocking to the 9,000-square-foot venue, an award-winning redesign of the old Storz Garage space, to play ping pong, dine on contemporary Asian-inspired cuisine, and enjoy the offerings of a top-notch drinks program. Food & Wine magazine called Ace Eat Serve one of the nation's best new bars in 2013, lauding its fun atmosphere and creative cuisine. The main menu features small plates, ramens including a duck duck ramen with fried leeks and a vegetarian Sapporo butter miso ramen, various baos, and bigger "for the table" options. The tiger wings are a firm favorite among regulars. Joining executive chef Thach Tran behind the scenes is executive pastry chef Nadine Donovan, who was called Denver's Best Pastry Chef by Westworld magazine and named to Zagat's 30 Under 30 list. Her stand-out desserts at Ace Eat Serve include bao donuts with five spice sugar and lime leaf Anglaise, and a miso caramel mousse.


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A photo of Arlo Grey by Kristen Kish restaurant

Arlo Grey by Kristen Kish

Price: Expensive
American
Downtown
4.5
1477 reviews
Self-taught chef Kristen Kish rose to fame after winning season 10 of Top Chef in 2012. However, she didn’t stop there. She traveled extensively for five years, before moving to Austin and diving into the world of the hotel restaurant. Kristen says cooking for others gives her confidence, and that confidence is certainly apparent in every aspect of Arlo Grey. Local Texan ingredients are elegantly and expertly fused into a French and Italian menu, including simple yet indulgent weekend brunch options.


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A photo of Arnaud's restaurant

Arnaud's

Price: Very Expensive
Creole
French Quarter
4.8
6756 reviews
Arnaud's is a true New Orleans institution, founded in 1918 by Arnaud Cazenave and spanning almost a full city block in the French Quarter. This formal fine-dining institution, whose famous French 75 bar was once for gentlemen only, is now ironically owned by a majority female team comprising Katy Casbarian, her mother Jane, and brother Archie. The Casbarian family purchased Arnaud's in 1978 and reinvigorated its impeccable offerings of classic and contemporary Creole cuisine as well as renovating the building, notable as the largest restaurant in New Orleans. It also houses a fascinating Mardi Gras museum. A number of dishes have remained on the menu since the restaurant's opening, including shrimp Arnaud in a remoulade sauce, oysters Bienville (invented in Arnaud's kitchen) and turtle soup. The cafe brulot, a citrus- and spice-infused coffee, is flambéed tableside in a dramatic fashion befitting the restaurant's special-occasion vibe. If you’re looking for brunch with a side of entertainment, the Sunday jazz brunch is very popular.

A photo of Barbuzzo Restaurant restaurant

Barbuzzo Restaurant

Price: Moderate
Mediterranean
Center City
4.7
5936 reviews
Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran are often referred to as the Queens of Midtown Village, due to the sheer number of successful establishments they’ve opened up. Safran-Turney hospitality is the gift that just keeps giving, with their five restaurants and various boutiques always filled to the brim with satisfied foodies. Barbuzzo is a rare find; a restaurant that seems to have something for everyone. Small plates to share are popular, as is the pizza, but the dish to keep an eye out for is the coveted salted caramel taco.

A photo of The Black Sheep restaurant

The Black Sheep

Price: Expensive
Contemporary Asian
Spring Valley
4.8
1422 reviews
Mixing the flavors of her Vietnamese upbringing with the fine French techniques she learned while working in top Strip restaurants has proved to be an unbeatable combo for chef Jamie Tran. Her off-the-Strip restaurant, The Black Sheep has racked up multiple reader's choice and industry awards, including her own chef of the year award in 2018. The sleek and stylish restaurant now draws locals from across the metro area and visitors from all over, here to dig into her unique brand of fusion with items like the lemongrass duck confit and the vegan Vietnamese glass noodles.

A photo of Border Grill – Mandalay Bay restaurant

Border Grill – Mandalay Bay

Price: Moderate
Mexican
Mandalay Bay Resort
4.4
5000 reviews
Originally opened in Los Angeles after co-chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger completed a road trip across Mexico in a VW Bug, Border Grill is now also a Vegas culinary institution. You may recall this dynamic duo from their Food Network show, Two Hot Tamales, which was a breakout hit of the late '90s. These two foodie jet-setters then opened up Border Grill, which is located inside the Mandalay Bay Casino bordering the famous artificial beach area, Border Grill creates Mexican street food-inspired gourmet fare in a festive atmosphere that is made for celebrating this important holiday. Dishes here range from regional specialties like the Yucatan-style pork roasted in banana leaves, to the cauliflower annatto paella served on a bed of red quinoa and designed to satisfy vegetarian and vegan diners.


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Bud & Marilyn's

Price: Moderate
American
Center City
4.6
4803 reviews
Bud and Marilyn are Chef Marcie Turner’s grandparents, who ran their own restaurant for nearly 50 years. Marcie has infused Bud & Marilyn’s with their long-standing philosophy of serving all-American comfort food and knowing the first names of the guests. Along with partner Valerie Safran, Marcie has opened an astonishing nine restaurants and food boutiques along 13th Street. This has not only made her a huge name in the Philadelphia restaurant scene, but has brought new life to a previously run-down neighborhood. From weekend brunch to a nightly happy hour, Bud & Marilyn’s retro and relaxed vibe keeps diners coming back for more.

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Capitol Cider

Price: Expensive
Contemporary American
Capitol Hill / First Hill
4.3
888 reviews
As original investor, Julie Tall assumed full ownership of Capitol Cider after her son stepped down in 2014. From the outset, though, Tall’s influence was everywhere — from the paintings on the walls to the period architecture and gluten-free menu. Gluten-free herself, Tall wanted an inclusive place where people could dine without worry. She elevated the menu and introduced cider flights displaying the extent of their on-tap offerings. Yet Tall wasn’t ready to stop there; she added the Ballast Bar downstairs for live music, board games, and art-focused programs. Eclectic Capitol Cider earns its name for its range of hard ciders, spirits, and gluten-free pub fare.

A photo of Chai Yo Modern Thai restaurant

Chai Yo Modern Thai

Price: Expensive
Thai
Buckhead
4.8
986 reviews
Whereas her restaurant Tuk Tuk keeps things authentic with street-style food, DeeDee Niyomkul’s second restaurant, Chai Yo, combine modernity with innovation. Chef and owner Niyomkul opened Chai Yo in 2018 to introduce diners to Thai food’s hidden depths. Later that year, The Atlantan magazine included her in its “5 Top Chefs to Watch” list. Located in Buckhead, Chai Yo welcomes diners with its understated elegance and inventive, classically contemporary Thai dishes.


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Chauhan Ale & Masala House

Price: Moderate
Indian
The Gulch & North Gulch
4.7
4791 reviews
Chef and co-owner Maneet Chauhan is truly a celebrity -- snagging a gig as a judge on popular food show Chopped and making a guest appearance on Next Iron Chef. She’s also worked at top eateries in Chicago and New York. Nation’s Restaurant News named her one of the most influential people in the restaurant business. Her menu of global fusion cuisine is deeply rooted in India, with specialties like Goan mussels and Peshwari ribs. Keep your eyes peeled for unique cross-cuisinal touches like the Chicken Pakora Po Boy.

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Chez Zee

Price: Moderate
American
Northwest
4.5
4196 reviews
Chez Zee has been an Austin favorite since 1989. Owner Sharon Watkins used to run an ad agency but decided to buy a little dive known as Chez Fred and make a go of it in the restaurant biz. She wanted to combine the sense of an old-world bakery with the simple and satisfying charm of an American bistro. Today, Chez Zee continues to delight diners with a range of dishes from fried pickles to flat iron steak. Board games and author-featured nights ensure guests are always entertained. Come and be enchanted by this fun and welcoming restaurant.

A photo of CHICA Las Vegas restaurant

CHICA Las Vegas

Price: Expensive
Contemporary Mexican
The Venetian and Palazzo
4.6
2693 reviews
Originally from Venezuela, busy Chef Lorena Garcia runs several airport eateries across the nation and the Culinary Loft in Miami, as well as overseeing the kitchen at this popular restaurant located within the Venetian on the Vegas Strip. Her pan-Latin fusion menu taps into many of the top flavors of the Americas, with everything from Peruvian-style tuna ceviche to Argentine-inspired churrasco with herbed chimichurri beckoning from its pages. Modern and stylish, yet comfortable and colorful, the dining room of Chica bursts with exuberance.

A photo of Cibo E Beve restaurant

Cibo E Beve

Price: Moderate
Italian
Sandy Springs
4.7
1252 reviews
With more than three decades in the culinary world, Linda Harrell knows her way around the kitchen. She’s worked in several fine dining restaurants and has shared her culinary knowledge with everyone she’s worked with, inspiring them with her can-do attitude and love of community. Harrell opened Cibo e Beve in 2011 as both chef and co-owner. Each dish she creates features her loving expertise and attention to detail. In addition to features in periodicals and magazines, including Williamsburg Magazine’s “Top Ten Culinary Wizards,” Harrell received the 2014 Celebrate the Chef Award from Springer Mountain Farms. Cibo e Beve is an intimate, inviting space where Italian dishes feature the best local ingredients.

A photo of Cocotte restaurant

Cocotte

Price: Expensive
French
Russian Hill
4.7
1271 reviews
Co-owners Aurore Martinez and Mikael Audry operate Cocotte as a Provencal-style, French rustic rotisserie with a limited yet welcoming space. Seating near the front of the dining establishment provides an excellent spot to watch the cable cars and people. The menu focuses on classic French dishes: roast chicken is a particular highlight, and a family-style rotisserie to-go menu fulfills quick dinner needs.


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Costa Brava Bistro

Price: Very Expensive
Spanish
Bellaire
4.9
1739 reviews
Angeles Dueñas and Kitty Bailey bring a combined near six decades of expertise to the kitchen and atmosphere at Costa Brava Bistro. Dueñas alone has lived through 30 years in the hospitality industry, with much of it spent in management at the Cordua Group, the parent company behind Churrascos, Americás, and Artista. As she developed her knowledge of restaurant management, she devoted equal time to her love of wine. As a certified sommelier, her educated palate is behind many of the wine selections on the menu, along with thoughtful pairing suggestions to turn an entree into a truly sublime experience. Kitty Bailey, co-owner and leader in the kitchen, has always been a creative soul. Moving from the front of the house at Cent’anni, La Mer, Café Annie, and Abuso Catering Co., Bailey brings an equal amount of experience at the prep counter to the kitchen at Costa Brava Bistro. These two amazing women make up the executive management team at one of Houston's best Spanish restaurants. Costa Brava Bistro is a fine-dining restaurant that uses traditional French cooking techniques to prepare authentic Spanish cuisine like the Angeles Paella or Basque Chicken.

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Duck Duck Goat

Price: Expensive
Chinese
West Loop
4.8
4999 reviews
Stephanie Izard was born in Chicago and, after attending Scottsdale Culinary Institute, returned in 2000 when she began her illustrious career working with chefs like Dale Levitski and Sean McLain. It was only four years before she decided to open her own restaurant. She now owns three busy restaurants and a successful event-catering business. Duck Duck Goat delivers high-end Chinese food in a modern space that still manages to retain that traditional Chinatown feel. The menu is a mix of creations, with unique twists such as goat belly lo mein and blueberry shrimp.


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Eden

Price: Expensive
American
Avondale
4.8
1212 reviews
You can’t get fresher than ‘just-picked’ ingredients. That’s the ethos at West Loop’s Eden, which has an on-site greenhouse where fruit, veggies, and herbs grow in a delightful urban garden. CEO and founder Jodi Fyfe has over two decades’ experience in the food industry, and is passionate about going above and beyond for her guests. She also runs a catering and events company, and is a passionate supporter of breast cancer charities. Eden caters to vegetarians and vegans — just ask a server for selections.


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El Alma Cafe y Cantina

Price: Moderate
Mexican
Downtown
4.7
870 reviews
Chef Alma Alcocer hails from Mexico City and honed her culinary skills at Jeffrey’s, an Austin fine-dining institution. She is now the executive chef for the entire El Chile restaurant group, and along with friend and restaurateur, Carlos Rivero, she has opened her own venture: El Alma. The vision was to meld Alma’s Mexican roots with her fine dining training. This has resulted in a unique menu that includes delights such as Huevos Franceses. The rooftop patio is a favorite spot for stunning views of Austin’s skyline.

A photo of Le Colonial - Houston restaurant

Le Colonial - Houston

Price: Moderate
Vietnamese
Galleria / Uptown
4.7
3335 reviews
Classic French meets Southeast Asia at Le Colonial, a well-known Houston restaurant. Nicole Routhier and Hassan Obaye are the culinary masters behind the menu that delicately balances French cooking with Asian flavors. Routhier developed the first Le Colonial menu, and Obaye continues to reproduce many of those dishes today. Routhier brings a wealth of experience to this menu, as one of the world's most noted experts on Vietnamese cuisine. Her cookbook collection includes titles like, The Foods of Vietnam and Cooking Under Wraps. Nicole is an avid writer who spends almost as much time describing the process as she does cooking food. Her work is in The New York Times and The Houston Chronicle, along with dozens of food magazines. When Le Colonial was looking for a chef-consultant for their fusion menu, this Houston culinary teacher was an obvious choice. Dishes like the braised sablefish or shaking beef serve classic flavors with a modern twist.

A photo of Equinox - DC restaurant

Equinox - DC

Price: Expensive
Contemporary American
Downtown
4.5
3304 reviews
Established in 1999, Equinox promises locally-sourced fine dining in the heart of Washington. One of the masterminds behind this simple yet effective concept is Ellen Kassoff Gray. A major mover in Washington’s hospitality scene, Ellen has won Manager of the Year and the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR) Golden Fork Award for Front-of-the-House Excellence. Ellen’s New Year’s resolution this year is to make Equinox even more mindful, by reducing waste and repurposing scraps and leftovers in the kitchen. Diners can enjoy classic American cooking such as Louisiana prawns and pan-seared duck.


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etch

Price: Expensive
Contemporary American
Downtown / Sobro
4.8
7832 reviews
Deb Paquette isn’t just an accomplished chef here in Nashville, she’s also inspired and empowered many other women in the food business, such as Kim Totzke, COO of Provence Breads. She’s optimistic about the future of women in professional kitchens. Her own kitchen at Etch is her creative outlet, allowing her to experiment with new developments in the realm of cooking. Some menu highlights at Etch include tempura tofu, veal meatballs, or scallops in forbidden rice -- all encapsulated at the perfect space with an elegant, yet inviting atmosphere.

A photo of Filomena Ristorante restaurant

Filomena Ristorante

Price: Expensive
Italian
Georgetown
4.8
15771 reviews
JoAnna Filomena moved from New York to Washington in 1980. At that time, she found eating out in D.C. a rushed affair with no soul. She decided to try and emulate the warmth and hospitality of a New York-style Italian restaurant, and so opened Filomena Ristorante in 1983. She brings memories to life through food, conversation, and good times. That philosophy is now carried on by her descendants, who run this historic restaurant in exactly the same way. These "pasta mamas" are ready to welcome all guests, with Italian classics like seafood cannelloni, gnocchi, and indulgent tiramisu.

A photo of Flex Mussels - West Village restaurant

Flex Mussels - West Village

Price: Moderate
Seafood
West Village
4.5
1602 reviews
Veteran restaurateur Laura Shapiro has found the magic recipe for fantastic seafood. Flex Mussels - 13th Street serves up the highest quality Prince Edward Island mussels, seafood from around the globe, and oysters that taste like you’re kissing the sea. Her daughter Alex has spent years forming a relationship with a mussel farm in Prince Edward Island along with other fresh fish purveyors. She serves up the best mussels in town at Flex, no doubt about that. Added bonus: They also offer the famous “Flex Donut Collection” with funky flavors for dessert for a nice sweet note to end your meal.

A photo of Flex Mussels - UES restaurant

Flex Mussels - UES

Price: Moderate
Seafood
Upper East Side
4.6
2479 reviews
Laura Shapiro partnered with her daughter Alexandra and husband Bobby to bring Flex Mussels to New York City. The seasoned restaurateurs have instrumented 20-something successful venues in NYC alone! The owners modeled Flex after a charming seafood shack on Prince Edward Island and they serve up the area’s freshest mussels, global seafood, and oysters along with 23 extraordinary sauces. This 82nd Street location features happy hour specials seven nights a week at the bar. Get your seafood fix, and then some!

A photo of FlintCreek Cattle Co. restaurant

FlintCreek Cattle Co.

Price: Moderate
Contemporary American
Greenwood
4.6
1676 reviews
The success of seafood-centric RockCreek led co-owner Christy Donnelly and her chef husband to open FlintCreek in 2016. The converted Greenwood industrial building serves as the perfect backdrop for a menu offering a range of ethically-raised steak and game meats, along with some vegetarian dishes. As Operations Manager, Donnelly keeps tabs on the daily ins and outs, greeting customers and inviting everyone to enjoy a meal in a bright spot in Greenwood.


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Kinzie Chophouse

Price: Very Expensive
Steakhouse
River North (Chicago)
4.4
2550 reviews
River North is host to a dazzling array of restaurants, but Kinzie Chophouse keeps it simple and satisfying with sizzling steaks, classic burgers and sandwiches, and homemade favorites like meatloaf. Owner Susan Frasca purchased the restaurant as a dingy dive in 1998 and completely transformed it into one of Chicago’s top eating spots. This is a true definition of a women-powered restaurant. In addition to owner Susan Fresca, you’ll also find Colleen Morris, general manager and wine director, helping create the magic. Liz Keaty is also a manager for the restaurant and looks after the beer, while Samantha Klotz tends sales and private events.


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Lao Table

Price: Moderate
Thai
SOMA
4.7
334 reviews
For 20 years, Lalita Souksamlane has brought the Thai culinary experience to San Francisco with her Osha Thai locations. At Lao Table, she focuses on food she grew up eating in Northeastern Thailand, in a town that bordered Laos. Much of the Laotian menu encourages diners to eat with their hands; staff provides a bowl of water at each seat for hand washing. Diners here should expect a delicious, (literally) hands-on meal!

A photo of Le Bouchon - Chicago restaurant

Le Bouchon - Chicago

Price: Expensive
French
Bucktown / Wicker Park
4.8
1707 reviews
Susanne Poilevey runs the French restaurants La Sardine and Le Bouchon, both creations of her late husband, Chef Jean-Claude Poilevey. Le Bouchon is widely renowned for introducing French home-style food to Chicago diners. Susanne has carried on this legacy, ensuring French cuisine is as relevant and fresh today as it was 25 years ago. Expect French classics such as succulent steak frites and aromatic bouillabaisse.

A photo of Letena Ethiopian Restaurant restaurant

Letena Ethiopian Restaurant

Price: Moderate
Ethiopian
Columbia Heights / Brightwood
5.0
78 reviews
Based in Columbia Heights, Letena offers traditional Ethiopian food with plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians. The spices that give the dishes their unique flavors come all the way from Ethiopia, but all other ingredients are grown locally and organically, when possible. The burrito style wraps are popular, as are Tibs: stir-fried beef cooked in front of the diner. Owner Yamrot Ezineh moved to D.C. in 2006 and was so impressed by local Ethiopian restaurant Madjet that when it closed, she hired one of its old chefs. Ezineh originally comes from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, and you can find many of her family recipes on the menu.

A photo of Macello restaurant

Macello

Price: Expensive
Italian
West Loop
4.7
1974 reviews
Macello invites you to "Step into the world of Italy." Angela (Angie) Padula is the mastermind behind the restaurant, and does everything from designing menus to managing the restaurant’s social media presence. Angie says she wants guests at Macello to feel like they’ve had an experience, not just a meal. With that in mind, look out for special events on their website such as comedy nights. You’re sure to enjoy an array of savory wood-cooked dishes like the lamb chop casserole — a hit with regulars.


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Mamnoon

Price: Expensive
Middle Eastern
Capitol Hill / First Hill
4.6
944 reviews
Racha Haroun is both the co-owner and the passion behind Mamnoon’s rich menu. She brought her family’s hospitality and their love of food from Damascus all the way to Seattle in 1989. Haroun is an active community member, inspiring others with her cultural integration and creative design. She co-owns several other Seattle restaurants, all with authentic Middle Eastern menus. Mamnoon offers fresh, aromatic dishes in its sophisticated dining room, along with a walk-up window for traditional street foods.

A photo of MC Kitchen restaurant

MC Kitchen

Price: Expensive
Italian
Design District
4.7
942 reviews
Brandy Coletta and Dena Marino teamed up to create a one-of-a-kind restaurant. MC Kitchen reflects a lifetime of experience and dedication to fresh, seasonal food. Coletta brings a unique skillset to the position of managing partner. Before entering the family business, she spent time building some of the world's biggest retail brands like Tiffany & Co., Neiman Marcus, and Gucci. Born and raised in Memphis, the family business was a century-old Italian restaurant, Coletta's. With that background, Coletta was always on the lookout for what was happening in her local food scene. Bringing all that expertise with her, Coletta partnered up with Marino, one of the nation's hot young chefs. Marino's attention to detail and passion for Italian-American cuisine was the driving force behind the MC Kitchen menu. Rustic Italian fare including whole roasted branzino and seafood pasta. While Marino has since left the restaurant, her distinct food style is still very much present on the menu. Diners still enjoy some of her creations while relaxing in a whimsical room. Fixtures like delicate butterfly lights and a wireframe airplane invite a little fun with every bite.

A photo of Modern Love Brooklyn restaurant

Modern Love Brooklyn

Price: Moderate
Vegan
Williamsburg
4.8
1412 reviews
This Brooklyn hot spot is actually modeled after the original restaurant in Omaha. Chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the coolest vegan chef on the planet and, in addition to her two vegan cookbooks, has built an empire on her fantastic vegan eateries. Modern Love takes up prime real estate in Williamsburg and focuses on real ingredients used in plant-based versions of familiar favorites like mac and cheese with cashew cheese and delicata squash with candied pecans, vegan butter, cinnamon, and cayenne.

A photo of Mooncusser restaurant

Mooncusser

Price: Very Expensive
Seafood
Back Bay
4.8
1163 reviews
Mooncusser's chef Carolyn Johnson rose to fame under Jody Adams at the Cambridge favorite Rialto. When she set out to open her own restaurant, she developed Mooncusser in the heart of Stuart Street. Mooncusser sits comfortably in a Theater District/South End area known for excellent restaurants. The restaurant's elegant third-floor dining room boasts a menu of upscale seafood favorites. For a true Massachusetts flavor, there's also a New England-centric tasting of local fishes. Those who would like a livelier atmosphere can stop into the first-floor Moon Bar. The more casual Moon Bar is one of the best places in the city for lunch. For a real New England highlight, try one of the Moon Bar's classic North Shore roast beef lunch sandwiches. With rare roast beef smothered in barbecue sauce, mayo, and cheese, it's a delightful local lunchtime treat.

A photo of Mr. B's Bistro restaurant

Mr. B's Bistro

Price: Expensive
Creole
French Quarter
4.7
5376 reviews
Mr. B's Bistro, one of the most celebrated restaurants in New Orleans, owes its continuing success to two women: owner Cindy Brennan and chef Michelle McRaney. Cindy Brennan, of the venerable, multi-generation Brennan family of restaurateurs, is also an owner of Commander's Palace in New Orleans and Brennan's in Houston, and is the author of The Mr. B's Bistro Cookbook. She opened Mr. B's Bistro in 1979 and has steered its success for four decades. Executive chef Michelle McRaney took a job at Mr. B's as soon as she graduated from culinary school, which she attended following prior ventures in business and baking. From an entry-level position, she rose to sous-chef within a year. After further culinary adventures across the country and back, she returned to Mr. B's and continues to turn out the exemplary Creole classics that make this French Quarter restaurant famous. Visitors and regulars adore the signature Gumbo Ya Ya, barbecued shrimp, and Creole bread pudding with Irish whisky sauce.

A photo of Nakato 'Sushi Bar and Regular Dining' Japanese Restaurant restaurant

Nakato 'Sushi Bar and Regular Dining' Japanese Restaurant

Price: Expensive
Sushi
Morningside-Lenox Park
4.8
541 reviews
Original owner Tetsuko Nakato came to the United States and fell in love with Southern living, opening her Nakato steakhouse, tempura, and sushi bar restaurant in 1972. As the oldest Japanese restaurant in Atlanta, this place remains a family business with a history of women as managers. Sachiyo Nakato Takahara took over ownership in 2004, taking strides to maintain tradition while modernizing amenities. Hibachi and teppanyaki grills are displayed prominently in front of the restaurant, while the back rooms have authentic tatami mats across the floor. Nakato serves high-class Japanese cuisine and a selection of sake and wine.


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Nan Thai Fine Dining

Price: Expensive
Thai
Midtown
4.8
3971 reviews
Nan Niyomkul first entered the restaurant industry at age 19, fine-tuning her craft in Manhattan, and later setting her sights on Atlanta. As chef and co-owner, Niyomkul first opened Nan Thai Fine Dining in 1997, with the support of her husband, son, and daughter, DeeDee. Niyomkul is passionate about introducing people to Thai cuisine, and over the years she’s cooked for several PGA Tour Championship, Master’s Championship, and FedExCup dinners. Nan Thai Fine Dining, the proud recipient of more than a dozen AAA Four Diamond ratings, is a mix of grand opulence, perfected Thai flavors, and authentic ingredients.


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Osteria Mozza

Price: Very Expensive
Italian
Hollywood
4.8
6642 reviews
Chef Nancy Silverton has created a Los Angeles restaurant empire, and Osteria Mozza is the crown jewel. Get anything from the in-house mozzarella bar, and you can’t go wrong with any of the pastas. Just make sure to save room for dessert.


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Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

Price: Expensive
Seafood
Logan Circle
4.8
1364 reviews
Barbara Black is one half of the dynamic duo running Black Restaurant Group. The group consists of nine top establishments in the Washington area, including Pearl Dive Oyster Palace near Logan Circle. Barbara has over a decade of experience in restaurant ownership, and with a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, she knows what she’s doing when it comes to food. This is evident in Pearl Dive’s menus, which offer the highest quality oysters and seafood and always served with a side of Southern-style hospitality.

A photo of Poquitos - Capitol Hill restaurant

Poquitos - Capitol Hill

Price: Expensive
Mexican
Capitol Hill / First Hill
4.5
542 reviews
Courtney Fox fell in love with the notion of running a restaurant, and in 2011, she teamed up with husband Eric and friends Matt Fundingsland and Dustin Watson to open Poquitos in trendy Capitol Hill. They later opened Bavarian restaurant Rheim Haus in 2013. Along with partner-designers James Weimann and Deming Maclise, the group created an authentic Mexican restaurant sourcing both local ingredients and unique Mexican culinary items. The handmade Talavera tiles from Pueblo, Mexico add bold colors all throughout this eatery. Stop by during lunch and enjoy the many flavors of their hand-crafted tacos.

A photo of RL Restaurant restaurant

RL Restaurant

Price: Very Expensive
American
Gold Coast / Streeterville
4.8
6372 reviews
Ralph Lauren might be famous for fashion, but now the world-renowned clothing company has dipped their toe into the restaurant industry. The flagship restaurant stands proudly on East Chicago Avenue, right next to the Ralph Lauren store. The classic American restaurant is under the meticulous care of general manager Anna Finnegan, who through her passion for food and experience, has helped RL become one of the top 100 restaurants in the whole of America -- two years in a row!

A photo of Saigon Sisters restaurant

Saigon Sisters

Price: Moderate
Vietnamese
West Loop
4.7
947 reviews
As the name suggests, this multiple award-winning Vietnamese restaurant is the brainchild of two sisters, Mary Nguyen Aregoni and Theresa Nguyen, along with their mother, Mama Suu. Their entrepreneurial adventure began with a stall in the Chicago French Market in 2009, where their Pho and spring rolls were so popular with the local lunch crowd they decided a restaurant was the next move. Today, Saigon Sisters is a modern and intimate restaurant offering fine Vietnamese fare with dishes like whole branzino and bun bo hue.


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A photo of Seaspice Brasserie & Lounge restaurant

Seaspice Brasserie & Lounge

Price: Very Expensive
Global, International
Downtown Miami
4.5
3564 reviews
Jill Martinez Montinola breathes new life into the sweet treats served on the dessert menu at Seaspice. Martinez Montinola brings more than a decade of experience with pastries to the cutting board in this modern take on a classic gastropub. She started her career with a degree in international studies before putting her education to work at the Wynn Las Vegas. During her time with Samba Brands Management, she worked tirelessly to build a culinary reputation that traveled with her from Las Vegas to Miami. When she eventually transitioned to Seaspice as the executive pastry chef, she was part of the team from day one. Now, it’s her imagination that fuels the design of every sweet treat on the menu. Try the tropical pavlova for a succulent treat with a hidden kick from the pink peppercorn chantilly. The lemon mousse uses local key lime curd softened by a raspberry swirl. The dolce de leite cake features blood orange gel and cafezinho ice cream. These imaginative combinations generate rave reviews among anyone who dines here!


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A photo of Shakewell restaurant

Shakewell

Price: Expensive
Mediterranean
Oakland
4.7
1103 reviews
This trendy, casual food spot, led by Top Chef alumni Jen Biesty, focuses primarily on Mediterranean fare with Spanish influences, though Northern California flavors appear in several dishes. After working as executive chef at San Francisco’s Sir Francis Drake Hotel and Scala’s Bistro for several years, she opened Shakewell in Oakland. A full bar mixes up interesting cocktails, and the vibrant space mixes up the crowd of diners.

A photo of Sinema restaurant

Sinema

Price: Moderate
American
Waverly / Melrose / Breeze Hill
4.6
3532 reviews
Brenda Reed is one of the owners of Sinema, a classic American restaurant housed in the historic Melrose Theater. The entire concept aims to keep the atmosphere and ambiance of the movie theater alive, through the architecture and décor. Dinner choices range from short rib to stroganoff, while the brunch menu offers omelets, French toast, and bottomless bloody marys. In addition to the work she puts in at Sinema, Brenda gives a lot of time and energy to the Food Project, helping to feed over 1,000 homeless or poverty-stricken people every week.


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Spuntino

Price: Expensive
Italian
Highlands
4.8
1724 reviews
Sputino, in Denver's historic Potter Highland neighborhood, started as a gelato shop and transformed into a casual Italian restaurant, currently owned by the married couple Cindhura Reddy and Elliot Strathmann. Reddy was already chef de cuisine and Strathmann the general manager under Sputino's previous owners, when they took over ownership in 2014. The couple met in Philadelphia where Reddy attended culinary school, and they honeymooned in Italy, exploring the culinary landscape of Abruzzo and Tuscany and working for a while on a farm. These influences are evident at Sputino, where as new owners Reddy and Strathmann took the menu in a thoroughly authentic, regional direction. The from-scratch kitchen turns out house-made charcuterie, digestifs, and gelati along with long-perfected handmade pastas. Sputino has a low-key vibe and ever-changing choices of cheeses, fish, and pastas of the day, along with a stunning seasonal vegetable plate. It's known among regulars as a place equally ideal for date nights and leisurely family dinners.


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A photo of Stiltsville Fish Bar restaurant

Stiltsville Fish Bar

Price: Expensive
Seafood
South Beach
4.6
2620 reviews
Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis define the term ‘power couple’ in the restaurant industry. These two culinary masterminds were behind the wildly successful Root & Bone brand that took New York by storm and eventually expanded to Puerto Rico. Booth, like her partner, spent a season on Bravo's Top Chef, pitting her culinary skills against some of the best chefs in the country. Her time in New Orleans filming led right up to her first steps into restaurant ownership. After several years of building that brand, her love of sunshine and fresh foods brought her back down south. The Miami lifestyle is close to her Australian roots with plenty of outdoor time and fun in the sun. Working side-by-side with famous McInnis, another Top Chef contender, she opened the popular Stiltsville Fish Bar in Sunset Harbor. This restaurant combines a casual neighborhood vibe with some of the best sunset views in the city. Grab a table or relax in a hammock chair while enjoying food fresh from the sea. The small plates menu offers bite-sized servings of fun favorites like the snapper ceviche or crab krab Louie.

A photo of The Love restaurant

The Love

Price: Expensive
American
Rittenhouse Square
4.8
6112 reviews
Aimee Olexy is a key player in the burgeoning Philly food scene. She opened Talula’s Garden and Talula’s Daily, both farm-to-table eateries that consistently attract a lot of attention. She’s been a panel member and speaker at ThinkFest, Philadelphia’s week-long event designed to spark conversations about how the city is developing. Her latest venture, The Love, aims to support local farmers and producers while serving vibrant flavors with inspirations as far flung as Italy and Hungary. Forget trendy, oddball menus — Aimee says The Love is all about having a "nice dinner" in a comforting, inviting atmosphere.

A photo of The Shuckery restaurant

The Shuckery

Price: Moderate
Oyster Bar
Petaluma
4.8
950 reviews
Petaluma's first oyster bar is the creation of sisters Aluxa and Jazmine Lalicker. Born in the Mexican Caribbean and Yucatan, respectively, they’ve spent their lives near the ocean and bring their passion for seafood to The Shuckery. Here guests will find excellent seafood, friendly and attentive service, and a classy yet festive ambiance.

A photo of The Tin Table restaurant

The Tin Table

Price: Moderate
Northwest
Capitol Hill / First Hill
4.4
605 reviews
Does ballroom dancing have anything in common with casual eats? Hallie Kuperman, owner of The Tin Table, firmly believes so. That’s why she owns both businesses and situated them across the hall from one another in the historic Oddfellows Building. In between teaching dance students the art of swing, salsa, and more, she works hard to inspire a safe, inclusive space for members of the LGBTQ community. The Tin Table offers a relaxed atmosphere with exposed beams, brick walls, and a sustainable menu featuring everything from traditional to eclectic pub fare.

A photo of Pez Loco restaurant

Pez Loco

Price: Expensive
Mexican
Wynwood
4.6
35 reviews
Norman Van Aken's latest culinary institution, Three, employs some of the most talented young chefs in the business, and Mame Sow is no exception. Her culinary brilliance was first recognized in New York City, her home away from home. At age 11, this young talent first landed on American shores from Senegal. A graduate of the prestigious International Culinary Center, Sow brings her talents with desserts to the thriving Miami food scene. In 2010, her decadent creations won the coveted title of Best Dessert Bar NYC for the kitchen at Spot Dessert Bar. Three, her current kitchen, is where she plates up lush concoctions like the Orely's Chocolate Custard, which comes with a brown butter cake and banana gastrique. Hibiscus has a prominent place on the ingredient list with two infused desserts featuring this less common flavor profile. Her sweet post-meal treats are the icing on the cake at Three, where New World cuisine celebrates local flavors and food history.

A photo of Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft restaurant

Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft

Price: Moderate
Thai
Brookwood Hills
4.6
2536 reviews
Chef DeeDee Niyomkul grew up around restaurants, learning her trade at an early age alongside her grandmother at home, as well as in her parents’ restaurant, Nan Thai Fine Dining. After taking on the role of Nan Thai Fine Dining executive chef in 2006, later in 2010, she ventured to become chef and owner of Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft. Niyomkul sought to bring authentic Bangkok street food to Atlanta, earning praise for her original creations and unique menu. In 2014, Travel + Leisure magazine called Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft one of the top Thai restaurants in the United States. Additionally, Atlanta Journal Constitution chose Tuk Tuk as one of the top 50 restaurants in the state. Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft, which includes an Atlanta skyline view, serves tapas-style dishes and a range of entrees showcasing bright colors and bold flavors.

A photo of Twin Creeks - Silverton Casino Hotel restaurant

Twin Creeks - Silverton Casino Hotel

Price: Expensive
Steak
Silverton Casino Hotel
4.6
1898 reviews
Sizzling steaks, a top-shelf bourbon selection, and an excellent wine list make the Twin Creeks Steakhouse inside the Silverton Casino a destination for those looking for a true culinary experience in Vegas. Executive Room Chef Jaimee Pepe is a New Jersey native who studied under celebrity chef Michael Mina over at the MGM Grand and also put in time in the kitchens of NYCB. She keeps the menu here fresh and focused. Expect well-done classic steakhouse favorites like the 32-ounce Tomahawk for two, served with a variety of sauces and sides, as well as a new plant-based menu that includes an innovative cauliflower steak, which is pan-seared and served with pine nuts, apricots, and sauteed Swiss chard. A magenta- and hardwood-themed decor here makes room for both intimate dining and festive occasions.

A photo of Uchiko Austin restaurant

Uchiko Austin

Price: Very Expensive
Sushi
Central Austin
4.8
5817 reviews
Billed as the "child of Uchi," one of Austin’s finest and most popular restaurants, Uchiko is Japanese cuisine with a farm-to-table philosophy. Uchiko is famous for its divine private dining and immaculate events, and the woman behind the scenes is Camille Ross. Her position as events manager at Uchiko has transformed it into so much more than just a restaurant. Uchiko’s women continue with Angela Majko, expert sushi chef and veteran of Food Network’s Chopped. Majko is popular with regulars, often getting a personal mention in reviews. Sushi delights at Uchiko include boquerones with white anchovy and hotate with scallop and avocado.

A photo of Ultreia restaurant

Ultreia

Price: Expensive
Spanish
Downtown / LoDo
4.3
822 reviews
General manager Jessica Cann and executive chef Adam Branz join owners Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch in running Ultreia, a Spanish-Portuguese restaurant that opened in 2017. Along with its female-dominant team, Ultreia stands out from the Denver restaurant scene for its setting inside the Great Hall of the historic Union Station building downtown. A large-scale rustic mural wraps around a dining room inspired by a Spanish plaza complete with fountain and flowers, and a wrought iron staircase leads up to mezzanine seating that overlooks the open kitchen. Ultreia's menu is divided into "bare hands" offerings, such as sunchokes with piri piri creme fraiche and dates stuffed with goat cheese and jamon serrano; and "tools required" items including patatas bravas, fermented carrots with olive oil labnet, and cured trout.


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A photo of Vessel NOLA restaurant

Vessel NOLA

Price: Moderate
Seafood
Mid-City / City Park
4.6
2292 reviews
Chef Amandalynn Picolo and pastry chef Amelia Watts drive the menus at Vessel, a Mid-City restaurant famously housed in a former church. Diners are drawn to the circa-1914 building, which retains its original stained glass windows and architectural details inspired by a ship's hull. The space, one block from the Canal Street streetcar line, is a stunning venue for Picolo's coastal cuisine, which reflects Mediterranean, Californian, and Pacific Rim influences in its small and large plates and sides. Fresh, seasonal ingredients are the focus. Some stand-out menu items include the mussels with lemongrass, ginger and five-spice shrimp broth, and crispy pork belly. Pastry chef Amelia Watts, formerly of Compere Lapin and Restaurant August, brings a Southern influence to the dessert menu. Critics adore her buttermilk pie with pickled blueberries. Classic cocktails are a specialty of Vessel too too. Happy hour brings great deals on such locally inspired concoctions like La Louisiane, Royal Pearl, and St. Charles Punch.


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A photo of Yves restaurant

Yves

Price: Expensive
French
TriBeCa - Downtown
4.7
220 reviews
Located in downtown Manhattan, just a block from the Hudson River, Yves is one of the city’s most elegant French brasseries. Alex Baker is Paris-trained, she attended culinary school and worked at Spring and Le Chateaubriand in the City of Lights before coming to New York to help open Rebelle in 2015. At Yves, she interprets upscale French food with a delightfully relaxed attitude. Her creative touches include the duck l’orange with crispy farro and smoked cauliflower and a bouillabaisse featuring black bass and fennel. The restaurant boasts a fun-loving atmosphere with sunlight streaming in through the windows by day, and the warm glow of candles by night.

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