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Kebabs at Al Ameer in Dearborn, MI
Kebabs at Al Ameer in Dearborn, MI
Bill Addison

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Where to Eat in 22 Great American Cities

Your guide to the essential restaurants in cities across the country

The culmination of a year of nonstop travel, Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison’s guide to the 38 best restaurants in America is here, and it's incredible. While Bill runs down the top places to eat from coast to coast, Eater’s local sites have their own deep dives that focus on the essential restaurants in their respective cities. Created for locals and visitors alike, these Eater 38 maps are updated quarterly and span a variety of cuisines, prices, and neighborhoods in cities across the country. Check them out below, or head to Eater’s guide to the whole entire world for more international destinations.

  • Austin: Barbecue, tacos, and Tex Mex run thick in Austin’s bloodlines. But the city has a rich wealth of other dining options, too, highlighting Texas-forever ingredients, skillfully crafted sushi, and even kickass ramen.
  • Atlanta: Atlanta doesn't receive the kind of national buzz that Charleston and Nashville do, but with a diverse roster of culinary talent all over town — and perhaps the best new restaurant in America — it can stand up as one of the country's great dining cities."
  • Boston: Old and new New England cuisine come together in Boston’s cadre of essential restaurants. There are Australian meat pies, Xi’an-style noodles, Scottish haggis, and so much more.
  • Charleston: The Charleston dining scene balances the past with the present — a few old-school Southern haunts meet an excitement of newcomers. Abundant produce from local farms and freshly caught seafood tend to top menus across every cuisine in the Lowcountry.
  • Chicago: King of mid-range cuisine, Chicago is home to some of America's most innovative internationally inspired chefs and world-class fine dining, but there's still enough glorious comfort food to keep you warm all winter long.
  • Dallas: Years ago, Dallas was just a land of insipid steakhouses and see-and-be-seen restaurants. Now, the city's dining scene has transformed into an incredibly diverse and thoroughly interesting one. From Matt McCallister's chef-driven, locally-foraged fare at FT33 to some of Texas' finest barbecue, there's plenty to love.
  • Denver: With a very dynamic food scene, Denver offers everything from the authentic tacos at El Taco de Mexico to the award-winning experience at Boulder’s Frasca.
Pie from Detroit’s Sister Pie.
Sister Pie, Detroit.
Bill Addison/Eater
  • Detroit: From diner classics to seasonal small plates, Detroit’s essential restaurants combine the city’s working-class soul and it’s nationally notable forward-thinking direction. Think Detroit-style pizzas, new-age sliders, and salted maple pies.
  • Houston: Everyone from David Chang to Anthony Bourdain is proclaiming Houston as the globe's next big food city. Here’s why: its demographic diversity, proximity to the Texas Gulf Coast, and voracious population make for the dining world's best kept secret. Whether you're want the country's best Vietnamese cuisine, an on-point cocktail, or a slab of certified Kobe beef, Houston's got it.
  • Las Vegas: Dining experiences from outrageous 16-course tasting menus at Joël Robuchon to inexpensive but oh-so-good Hainan chicken at Flock & Fowl make the Eater 38 in Las Vegas.
  • Los Angeles: With its anything-goes eating landscape — spanning international restaurants to chef-focused upstarts — Los Angeles provides fertile ground for places like the Paris-inspired Petit Trois and the freewheeling Korean Baroo to thrive in strip malls. Meanwhile, excellent Californian fare holds strong at institutions like Republique, Cassia, and Bestia.
  • Miami: Miami's best restaurants — just like the city — showcase a truly global melting pot. From pristine seafood to the Cuban hole-in-the-walls found on Calle Ocho to celebrity chef-run dining meccas, Miami's restaurant scene features a variety of different flavors, cultures, and price points that make it uniquely its own.
  • Montreal: French-influenced but decidedly not French, Montreal's 38 reflects what’s happening in the province of Quebec at large: it’s full of meat and forested produce. But there's also no shortage of outside voices, from Portugal, Haiti, and beyond.
Omelet at Petit Trois
Omelet at Petit Trois, Los Angeles.
Bill Addison
  • Nashville: While the restaurant boom shows no sign of slowing down in Nashville, the city's old-school stalwarts continue to hold their own. This means you can eat best-in-class hot chicken one day, and experience one of John Besh’s most show-stopping American restaurants the next.
  • New Orleans: From gumbo to boudin, New Orleans essential restaurants encompass the best casual eats for locals and those visiting the Big Easy.
  • New York: Whether you're hungry for delicatessens, steaks, ramen, veggie burgers, or forward-thinking fare, Eater NY’s guide to dining in the five boroughs has got you covered.
  • Philadelphia: Not much about glitz, glam, or extravagant dining rooms, Philly is an old-school town pushing its way into the national limelight with hundreds of tiny chef-owned BYOBs, cozy bistros, quirky gastropubs, and Italian food like you wouldn’t believe.
  • Portland, OR: From enticing offal dishes to fine-dining versions of fast food, Portland eaters embrace a huge number of cuisines and styles of cooking — often at a much lower price point when compared with other American cities. While these restaurants embody Portland’s no-holds-barred approach to cooking, they maintain reverence for the freshest Pacific Northwest ingredients.
Rabbit in a clay pot at Kachka in Portland, OR.
Rabbit in a clay pot at Kachka in Portland, OR.
Bill Addison
  • San Diego: Long known as one of the country’s great beer meccas, San Diego’s local food landscape is increasingly dynamic thanks to farm-to-table fare, tap-heavy dinner destinations, and neighborhood gems that celebrate international cuisine.
  • San Francisco and East Bay: San Francisco’s dining scene is a reflection of the city’s old soul and the new, bringing together fancy toast, Mission burritos, and a classic California cuisine that continues to evolve. Eater SF’s Essential 38 is an amalgamation of these places, from Zuni Cafe’s famous roast chicken to the fine dining temples of Saison and Benu. The new school of SF chefs have come into their own, mingling cuisines and cultures like Hawaiian dishes at Liholiho Yacht Club, and classic French with Korean flavors. Whether it’s a full-on tasting menu that will blow your mind, or a hole-in-the-wall dumpling spot on the edge of town, San Francisco has a unique mix of restaurants that will scratch every itch.
  • Seattle: From influential poke bars and innovative French-style steakhouses to iconic sandwiches and fresh Pacific Northwest oysters — Seattle’s most important restaurants provide this and so much more.
  • Twin Cities: Whether you’re looking for breakfast or a special occasion dinner spot; burgers stuffed with molten cheese or Korean fried chicken, Eater Minneapolis' 38 Essential restaurants covers every dining desire.
  • Washington, DC: A diverse selection of international food destinations — from fine-dining Indian to spicy Lao haunts — makes D.C. dining what it is today. Meanwhile a burgeoning crop of ambitious neighborhood restaurants are taking the city’s dining scene to new heights.
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