Just like everything else in the world, restaurants thrive on rankings. Which of course has created a massive industry of businesses that exist simply to rank restaurants. Fine dining is expensive as balls, but every now and then it’s refreshing to break open that piggy bank and spend a small fortune on a meal prepared at a restaurant with Michelin Stars. But which list do you look to when choosing the ‘best restaurants in America’?
Nearly everyone I know uses Yelp, but most people refuse to acknowledge that every since Yelp released this case study on how an increase of just 1 star in a restaurant’s rating can lead to a 5-9% increase in revenue, Yelp has opened itself up to being manipulated by fake reviews. Other options include the James Beard Foundation’s rankings, or Daily Meal’s 101 Best Restaurants, but in order to wade through all the clutter Business Insider used the five most prevalent lists ranking the ‘Best Restaurants in America in 2015′ and combined that data to show the ’44 Best Restaurants in America’. Living in NYC I try and take advantage of the world’s finest restaurants all concentrated in this city, but even so I’m shocked at how few of the restaurants on the list I’ve actually dined in. Of the 44 restaurants on this list I’ve only eaten at two of them Commander’s Palace in NOLA (#20) and Blue Hill at Stone Barns (#4), but oddly enough I’ve sampled the food of 3 additional restaurants on the list due to guest appearances from chefs and catered events (Momofuku Ssäm Bar #13, Momofuku Ko #11, and Del Posto #16).
But enough about how awesome my life is and the food I put in my belly tastes, without further ado here is Business Insider’s ’44 Best Restaurants in America (in 2015)’
44. The Bazaar — Los Angeles
43. Masa — New York City
42. Jean-Georges — New York City
41. Galatoire’s — New Orleans
40. Spiaggia — Chicago
39. Victoria & Albert’s — Orlando, Florida
38. Blackbird — Chicago
37. Blue Hill — New York City
36. Uchi — Austin, Texas
35. Bâtard — New York City
34. Restaurant Guy Savoy — Las Vegas
33. Husk — Charleston, South Carolina
32. Abe Fisher — Philadelphia
31. Bouchon Bistro — Yountville, California
30. Girl & the Goat — Chicago
29. Next — Chicago
28. Spago — Beverly Hills, California
26 (TIE). Saison — San Francisco
26 (TIE). Bacchanalia — Atlanta
25. o ya — Boston
24. Halls Chophouse — Charleston, South Carolina
23. Joël Robuchon — Las Vegas
22. Frasca Food & Wine — Boulder, Colorado
21. Bazaar Meat by José Andrés — Las Vegas
20. Commander’s Palace — New Orleans
19. Cosme — New York City
18. Highlands Bar and Grill — Birmingham, Alabama
17. Fore Street — Portland, Maine
16. Del Posto — New York City
15. Manresa — Los Gatos, California
14. Hominy Grill — Charleston, South Carolina
13. Momofuku Ssäm Bar — New York City
12. NoMad — New York City
11. Momofuku Ko — New York City
10. The Restaurant at Meadowood — St. Helena, California
9. Restaurant Gary Danko — San Francisco
8. The French Laundry — Yountville, California
7. Canlis — Seattle
6. Le Bernardin — New York City
5. Daniel — New York City
4. Blue Hill at Stone Barns — Pocantico Hills, New York
3. Per Se — New York City
2. Alinea — Chicago
1. Eleven Madison Park — New York City
A few things of note:
1.) I have so much work to do if I want to try and hit up even a quarter of the restaurants on this list. And by work I mean actual work, because in order to afford these restaurants I need to make A LOT more money.
2.) New York City is CRUSHING IT with 13 restaurants in the top 44 restaurants in the United States. But that’s no surprise at all, as NYC is the greatest city in the U.S. (and the world).
3.) Thomas Keller craps gold. Every restaurant he opens immediately turns into a successful venture, and he should open up more restaurants.
4.) I’ve been trying to go to Le Bernardin (#6) for what seems like years, and every time I call for a reservation even months out the only time they can do is either before I get off work or at like 11pm at night. It’s just crazy how hard it is to dine at some of these restaurants at normal hour.
5.) Unless you’re a foodie you couldn’t give two shits about this list and anything I’m saying, but it is pretty cool to see Daniel Chang’s Momofuku empire just EXPLODE.
6.) The irony of the thumbnail I used as the first pic in this post is that it wasn’t even taken in America, but at Cap Maison in St. Lucia where I recently spent my honeymoon. But they have INCREDIBLE food, and it’s the only high quality photo of food I’ve taken in the past few years.
For descriptions of the restaurants, methodology of the rankings, and more on the chefs of the restaurants I highly suggest you CLICK HERE NOW to go over to Business Insider.