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The 2016 Eater Young Guns Winners, Mapped

Italian ramen, okonomiyaki fritters, and lamb pizza from this year's champions

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The 2016 class of Eater Young Guns has been announced. These up-and-comers are shaking up the industry and breaking ground from the front of house and behind the bar to inside the kitchen, where specialties range from nixtamalization to pizza making. Read more about this year's winners and find them in restaurants from Troy, NY, to San Diego — all mapped right here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Katrina Jazayeri chooses to run Juliet with a no-tipping, profit-sharing model aimed at "creating a career pipeline rather than just jobs," she says. Read Katrina's profile.

Mei Mei

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Family is a big part of what goes on at Irene Li's Mei Mei, a popular food truck and restaurant in Boston, MA, that serves Chinese-American cuisine. The Double Awesome, a staple offering at Mei Mei's locations, features scallion pancakes, pesto made from local greens, cheddar cheese, and eggs, with an optional add-on of pasture-raised cottage bacon, ham, or turkey. Meet Irene.

Peck's Arcade

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Community is everything to Heather Lavine and Vic Christopher, who own and operate two restaurants and a wine shop in downtown Troy — plus brand new all-day cafe Little Peck's. Peck's Arcade does a tasting menu and a la carte offerings and, on some nights, you can even hear co-owner Vic Christopher DJing. Meet Heather and Vic.

The Buffalo Jump

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The Buffalo Jump will operate at Coonamessett Farm in East Falmouth, one of the places Laura Higgins-Baltzley will use to source ingredients. "We're going to be focusing on very, very native stuff," she says. It will be a dinner series, with 12 to 14 people each seating, and "we'll be able to really focus on the food and the plate ware," she says. Get to know Laura.

Wassail

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It’s not uncommon for Daniel Pucci to be on his feet all day, serving the many curious patrons of Wassail, New York’s first cider bar where he serves as the cider director. More on Daniel.

Momofuku CCDC

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This new Momofuku outpost takes the best of Momofuku in New York — the buns, the ginger-scallion noodles, the eponymous ramen — and then adds new things, like Patrick Curran's beef noodle soup, a long-tested dish which debuted in DC. Read Patrick's profile.

A bitters-centric cocktail lounge in the city’s once-bohemian, increasingly glitzy Inman Park neighborhood, where Matt Welch wants to send you on your way in a better mood than when you arrived. Get to know Matt.

Short Grain

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Local food truck Short Grain sets up in different locations around Charleston each day to serve "untraditional Japanese cuisine" from chef and operator Shuai Wang. Every event he cooks at becomes wildly popular — the Short Grain dumpling night on Spring Street brought in a full house. More on Shuai.

Eater Charleston

The Standby

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Whether she’s making new flavor infusions in Standby’s vacuum chamber or muddling herbs with nitrogen for guests, Dorothy Elizabeth is always thinking about new ways to improve techniques. Her process of tinkering and layering drinks with flavors that circumvent traditional cocktail formulas resulting in "the trippiest, weirdest" cocktails. Meet Dorothy.

GreenRiver

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GreenRiver's thought-provoking menu is broken down into eight ingredient-based sections with four cocktails on each, themed and named after historic Chicagoans of Irish descent. Most of the drinks were composed and tweaked by head bartender Julia Momose over many months and, in some cases, years. Meet Julia.

Pastaria

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Executive chef Ashley Shelton believes in perfection for the dishes being prepared on the fly at Pastaria: the ever-popular crispy risotto balls laced with Grana Padano, a margherita pie baking in their wood-fired oven, or a bowl of Italian ramen. But that doesn't mean the 27-year-old can't have a little fun either, and Pastaria is all about easily accessible Italian flavors. More on Ashley.

Anvil Bar & Refuge

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The in-house training program at Anvil is notoriously grueling, involving reading assignments, written tests, and a final blind taste testing of 50 spirits. Typically it takes bartenders a year to 16 months to complete the training program, but Negranza "graduated" in just over eight months, the shortest time the bar has seen as of yet, all while mixing more than 1,000 cocktails per week during his regular shifts. Read Alex's profile.

Barley Swine

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All members of the Barley Swine staff collaborate to create unique dishes, like the "magical" koji rice pudding with "flavors that I've never had," Susana Querejazu says. Then there's the changing tasting menu, where she learns and practices how to balance tastes, flavors, and techniques. "It's another level of complication that you have to master." Think of a menu like a puzzle, and the pastry chef is figuring out how her sweets can fit in just right with everything else. Get to know Susana.

Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

At Maya Lovelace's year-old Portland, Oregon concept Mae — a convivial twice-weekly pop-up — Lovelace delivers each dish to the table with anecdotes that reveal windows into the menu, and by association, the trajectory that led her from her native North Carolina to the precise moment she’s standing beside your table. Meet Maya.

The Progress

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Sommelier Marie-Louise Friedland doesn’t expect her patrons to have the same knowledge of wine that her staff does. Although she makes sure that the waitstaff is well-versed in the the specifics of the wine list, she asks them not to confuse customers with details about soil type or grape yields. That doesn’t mean, however, that she’s content to stick with wines that people know. In her ideal restaurant community, servers and sommeliers from throughout the city would share tips on new wines to taste, how to help unique varietals find a market, and where to source rare bottles, because, she says, "you can’t sommelier in a bubble." Get to know Marie-Louise.

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana

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While many hungry diners come to Tony's for head chef Laura Meyer's traditional pies, it's ones like her award-winning, non-traditional pizza with rosemary-infused dough, braised lamb, tzatziki yogurt, pomegranate seeds, lemon zest, and chili flakes that have people lining up each and every day. More on Laura.

Barcito

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Owner and operator Andrea Borgen opened Barcito last year as a homage to her Argentinian heritage. "We're not trying to recreate traditional Argentine cuisine," she says. ""What always appealed to me about bars and cafes in Buenos Aires is the cultural meaning that they have. Those classic corner bars are pillars of their communities." That's what Barcito is all about. Read Andrea's profile.

Orsa & Winston

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With Los Angeles's dining scene reaching international prominence, the native Angeleno is taking chef Josef Centeno's menu and reconstructing a world-class experience from the ground up. "Nothing is more Los Angeles than being able to show up in slip-ons, shorts, and a t-shirt and experience a Michelin-level tasting menu," Schnee says. Learn more here.

Galaxy Taco

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Chef de cuisine Christine Rivera showcases a casual, modern Mexican menu that includes guacamole topped with local sea urchin, birria-steamed clams, and adobo-rubbed, wood-grilled trout, in addition to, of course, some well-regarded tacos. Tortillas are made fresh on site daily. Read more on Christine.

Juliet

Katrina Jazayeri chooses to run Juliet with a no-tipping, profit-sharing model aimed at "creating a career pipeline rather than just jobs," she says. Read Katrina's profile.

Mei Mei

Family is a big part of what goes on at Irene Li's Mei Mei, a popular food truck and restaurant in Boston, MA, that serves Chinese-American cuisine. The Double Awesome, a staple offering at Mei Mei's locations, features scallion pancakes, pesto made from local greens, cheddar cheese, and eggs, with an optional add-on of pasture-raised cottage bacon, ham, or turkey. Meet Irene.

Peck's Arcade

Community is everything to Heather Lavine and Vic Christopher, who own and operate two restaurants and a wine shop in downtown Troy — plus brand new all-day cafe Little Peck's. Peck's Arcade does a tasting menu and a la carte offerings and, on some nights, you can even hear co-owner Vic Christopher DJing. Meet Heather and Vic.

The Buffalo Jump

The Buffalo Jump will operate at Coonamessett Farm in East Falmouth, one of the places Laura Higgins-Baltzley will use to source ingredients. "We're going to be focusing on very, very native stuff," she says. It will be a dinner series, with 12 to 14 people each seating, and "we'll be able to really focus on the food and the plate ware," she says. Get to know Laura.

Wassail

It’s not uncommon for Daniel Pucci to be on his feet all day, serving the many curious patrons of Wassail, New York’s first cider bar where he serves as the cider director. More on Daniel.

Momofuku CCDC

This new Momofuku outpost takes the best of Momofuku in New York — the buns, the ginger-scallion noodles, the eponymous ramen — and then adds new things, like Patrick Curran's beef noodle soup, a long-tested dish which debuted in DC. Read Patrick's profile.

Amer

A bitters-centric cocktail lounge in the city’s once-bohemian, increasingly glitzy Inman Park neighborhood, where Matt Welch wants to send you on your way in a better mood than when you arrived. Get to know Matt.

Short Grain

Eater Charleston

Local food truck Short Grain sets up in different locations around Charleston each day to serve "untraditional Japanese cuisine" from chef and operator Shuai Wang. Every event he cooks at becomes wildly popular — the Short Grain dumpling night on Spring Street brought in a full house. More on Shuai.

Eater Charleston

The Standby

Whether she’s making new flavor infusions in Standby’s vacuum chamber or muddling herbs with nitrogen for guests, Dorothy Elizabeth is always thinking about new ways to improve techniques. Her process of tinkering and layering drinks with flavors that circumvent traditional cocktail formulas resulting in "the trippiest, weirdest" cocktails. Meet Dorothy.

GreenRiver

GreenRiver's thought-provoking menu is broken down into eight ingredient-based sections with four cocktails on each, themed and named after historic Chicagoans of Irish descent. Most of the drinks were composed and tweaked by head bartender Julia Momose over many months and, in some cases, years. Meet Julia.

Pastaria