2015 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America + 16 Delicious Instagrammable Dishes

The results of our most delicious annual awards are in! Work up an appetite and make a reservation at one of the OpenTable 2015 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Showcasing both new and established restaurants in some of the nation’s most rapidly growing dining destinations, the complete list features winning restaurants in 22 states and the District of Columbia, and includes Al’s Place in San Francisco, La Vara in Brooklyn, and Parachute in Chicago. The honorees show a commitment to local, sustainable sourcing and the creation of craft cocktails, soulful plates, many of which are finished in wood-fired ovens, and warm hospitality. Check out these 16 dishes from the winning restaurants that should be on every foodie’s must-try list.

Newer restaurants proved most popular, with a quarter of the eateries having opened in 2015 alone, and the majority of honorees were founded in the last five years. Restaurants serving American fare dominate the awards; however, the list represents cuisines from every corner of the globe, including Asian, Basque, French, Israeli, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Scandinavian. Geographically speaking, New York has 12 winning restaurants, followed by California with 11, Texas with nine, and Minnesota and Oregon with eight each. Colorado, Illinois, and Pennsylvania each have six honorees, while Washington boasts five. Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Virginia have three each. Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin all have two eateries. Connecticut, Florida, Nebraska, and Ohio are also represented.Continue Reading

An Edible Tribute to the Burning Man Festival: 11 Hella Hot Dishes #BurningMan

Right now, tens of thousands of free spirits, innovative artists, and fabulous freaks are flocking to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for the annual Burning Man Festival. Since we can’t take a week off to attend this year, we wanted to commemorate the event from afar. So, we sought out super-hot dishes that will set your taste buds ablaze. Please note: We are not responsible for any discomfort that may arise from enjoying these dishes. Just sayin’. Celebrate Burning Man at a restaurant serving one of these 11 hella hot dishes.

The Cecil, New York, New York
Chef JJ Johnson packs heat into his Portuguese piri piri sauce by using African bird’s eye chilies, which are many times hotter than jalapeños. The fiery condiment accompanies well-spiced, broiled giant prawns resting on a yam flapjack. Please restrain yourself from singing, “It’s getting hot in herre!” while eating it.

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Pepita Cantina, Arlington, Virginia
Chef-owner Mike Isabella loves a good taco. For his version starring stewed goat, he adds citrusy, spicy-sweet candied habaneros to cut through the meat’s richness. We wish he would sell the peppers on their own, so we could snack on them when we needed a proper pick-me-up.

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The Blind Burro, San Diego, California
Bacon makes everything better – even when those dishes are already awesome in the first place. Case in point: these bacon-wrapped, tongue-tingling jalapeños stuffed with chorizo and mozzarella-style queso Oaxaca paired with a zingy chipotle-tomatillo-piloncillo sauce. Muy impresionante!

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Fang Restaurant, San Francisco
Starting with a classic recipe from China’s Sichuan province, chef Kathy Fang wanted to kick her spicy sausage mapo tofu up a notch. So she incorporates plenty of chili, hot Italian sausage, and diced jalapeños to bring the heat. Make sure you have plenty of water on hand, though we find Hainan Punch with pineapple vodka and ginger ale works wonders, too.

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Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Virginia
Heat-seekers will love this dish. It’s simply called “The Warning,” because it’s THAT spicy! It’s actually scratch-made, hyper-hot Thai panang-style curry that chef-owner Cathal Armstrong packs with house-cured pork belly, soft tofu, and crispy garlic. When you’re sweating profusely and tearing up, you can’t say you weren’t warned. [Ed. note: You may not be able to say anything at all because your mouth will be on fire.]

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New to the Network: Meet Ksandek Podbielski + Katy Millard of Portland’s Coquine

We’re excited to introduce a new Open for Business series, in which we spotlight inspiring restaurants that are new to the OpenTable network. Here, we talk to Ksandek Podbielski, who opened Coquine in Portland with his wife and business partner, Chef Katy Millard, this summer. 

coquineCoquine may have opened its doors just last month, but the brand has been thriving for the past two years, as Ksandek and Katy held pop-up dinners at farms, wineries and other locations in the Portland area. Owning a brick-and-mortar restaurant was always the ultimate goal, though, and when they finally achieved it they were armed with an already-loyal fan base. The word was out about Katy’s elegant but rustic, super seasonal, technically masterful cuisine, complemented by Ksandek’s wine and hospitality expertise in the front of house.

We talked to Ksandek all about the story behind the restaurant, how they built a brand and following, and everything they learned along the way.

Read more on Open for Business

To Market, To Market: 9 Top Restaurants with Markets for When You Need to Grab + Go

Sometimes you want to sit and savor a meal at a restaurant; other times you just want to pop in to grab a bite to go or a few specialty ingredients to elevate a home-cooked meal. Thanks to innovative restaurateurs, you can now do both. These enterprising eateries are complemented by onsite bazaars brimming with freshly made foods, premiere wines, and hand-selected collections of boutique brand gourmet goods. Here are nine top restaurants with markets that make dining out and stocking up a breeze.

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, New York City
The market at the front of this delizioso eatery brims with imported Italian specialties. There are plenty of housemade goods as well, including just-baked breads, salumi and chef Joel Hough’s personal salt blends for grilling poultry, pork, fish, and steaks. Looks like it’s time to mangia. [Photo by Noe DeWitt]

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CUCINA enoteca, Newport Beach, California
Like the lights? Coveting that chair? You can purchase almost every design element in the place directly from the restaurant. If you’re just in the mood to dine and sip wine, you can take home any of the 250+ vintages on the list or anything on the menu, plus a variety of specialty goods.

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Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
Meaning “little center” or “the junction,” chef-owner Amy Brandwein’s new osteria-mercato is nestled at the heart of the recherché CityCenterDC development. Walking in to the market area, you’ll be greeted with shelves decorated with cookie cutters, pasta makers, and a fetching white and blue porcelain piggybank Brandwein has owned since childhood. “He’s my cute little watchdog, keeping an eye on the cash,” she says. The space is stocked with plenty of prepared foods, wine, Italian imports, and fresh produce, including hard-to-find mushrooms, such as morels and chanterelles. [Photo by Greg Powers]


Rossopomodoro, New York, New York
The back wall of the Neapolitan eatery is consumed with a virtual pantry of Italian ingredients. Expect to find San Marzano tomatoes, Caputo flour, artisanal dried Alfeltra pasta from Gragnano, and black truffle salt. To wash it down, there are bibite (Italian sodas) and plenty of vino.

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