Grab the popcorn; it’s award season. Whether you’re watching all the glamour and glitz with your friends or just craving a shareable snack ideal for pairing with date-night drinks, check out these 15 restaurants for next-level popcorn that is worthy of its own golden statuette. Not near one of these spots? Find a restaurant near you on OpenTable.
The Salted Vine Kitchen + Bar, Squamish, B.C., Canada
The flavors of Ethiopia run through this beloved bar snack. Its kernels are laced with a housemade Berbere spice mix rich with fenugreek, garlic, ginger, basil, korarima (Ethiopian cardamom), rue, nigella, and paprika. Definitely a big step up from your average bowl of popcorn. Make a reservation at the Salted Vine Kitchen + Bar.
Farmers & Distillers, Washington, D.C.
Mushroom popcorn gets its name from the fact it looks like a mushroom cloud when it pops. Here the king-sized kernels are coated with a sweet ‘n’ salty glaze to create a killer kettle corn. To ensure it looks as good as it tastes, the awesometastic app arrives in a Whirly Pop maker. Make a reservation at Farmers & Distillers.
Il Solito, Portland, Oregon
Cacio e pepe’s flavors come alive in this Italian accented snack. The kernels are popped and then deep-fried to add crunch. They’re then tossed in parmesan rind oil, pecorino cheese, and freshly cracked black pepper. Make a reservation at Il Solito.
Swan, Miami, Florida
We don’t mean to be corny, but this dish caught our ear. Called Corn, Corn, Corn, it features the titular vegetable three ways. Creamy polenta mixed with brown butter serves as the foundational layer, which gets capped with corn kernels and seasoned popcorn. Make a reservation at Swan.
Oceana, New York, New York
This dessert is popping off! Executive pastry chef Douglas Hernandez graces popcorn gelato with a tumble of frozen caramel popcorn and a dusting of caramel powder. Beautifully buttery and oh-so-sweet, it’s a picture-perfect ending. Make a reservation at Oceana.
Rasika, Washington, D.C.
Sit down at the bar for a cocktail and you’ll be given a bowl of masala popcorn to savor. The simple snack is surprisingly complex. The puffy kernels come seasoned with fennel, coriander, cumin, green chilies, curry leaves, red chili powder, salt, and sugar. Make a reservation at Rasika.
Ocean Prime, Troy, Michigan
Get ready to hang truff! There’s a complimentary bowl of truffled popcorn for anyone drinking or dining at the bar. Accented with parsley and thyme, it’s a next level nibble. Make a reservation at Ocean Prime.
Casa Sensei, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
How do you gracefully infuse the flavors of kimchi into a bowl of popcorn? Make kimchi butter, of course! It adds a flavor bomb to the kernels so they’re salty, spicy, garlicky, and just a tiny bit sweet. Make a reservation at Casa Sensei.
Acacia House, St. Helena, California
We love us some Porkcorn, even if it doesn’t technically include any popcorn. Instead, the piggy play features pork rinds dressed with black pepper and parmesan. Trust us, you won’t miss the corn. Make a reservation at Acacia House.
KYU, Miami, Florida
Show you’re a pro by ordering this off-menu popcorn at brunch. Caramel popcorn gets graced with nori, Pecorino cheese, and togarashi. It’s sweet, salty, spicy and packed full of umami. Make a reservation at KYU.