Booking for the Insta: 17 Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

With mouthwatering shots like these, they don’t call them Instagram “feeds” for nothing. From piquant purple potatoes at Senti in Pittsburgh to Buddha’s bounty at TAO in New York City, here are 17 restaurants to follow on Instagram in 2017 — including some out-of-the-box choices worth that may not have caught your attention yet.

Gracias Madre, West Hollywood, California — @gmweho
This vegan Mexican restaurant may be called Gracias Madre, but it’s doubtful that many moms are able to produce the festival of flavors, colors, and textures that executive chef Chandra Gilbert does with ingredients from local farms. Think nopales, stewed cactus with chile sauce and cashew crema, or pozole hominy stew with ancho-chile broth — all served up with a selection of beverage director Jason Eisner’s small-batch mezcals and tequilas. With a special emphasis on local heritage corns, the menu, and the feed are absolutely ah-maize-ing. Make a reservation at Gracias Madre.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

Ernest Loves Agnes, Seattle, Washington — @ernestlovesagnes
With a menu featuring chitarra pasta with crab, pappardelle with wild boar Bolognese, and a scallop entrée with braised kohlrabi, polenta, and salsa verde, this isn’t your average mom-and-pop pizza shop. This so-called Italian kitchen also features an amazing space with semi-private nooks, an attic loft for family-style meals, and an airy, light-filled dining room just right for populating your own IG feeds. Make a reservation at Ernest Loves Agnes.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis, Minnesota — @spoonandstable
Winning a Michelin Star and international travels to cook in some of Europe’s top kitchens may have inspired him, but back in the U.S., Spoon and Stable chef/owner Gavin Kaysen brings the soul of what he first learned to cook with in his grandmother’s Heartland kitchen to the table (or, rather, the Stable). Dishes like Dorothy’s Pot Roast reflect both of these worlds, with French flavors like pommes aligot, mushroom confit, and rosemary broth. Make a reservation at Spoon and Stable.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

Sawyer Restaurant, Los Angeles, California — @sawyersilverlake
It’s always sunny on Sunset Boulevard at Sawyer, a new 2016 star spotlighting seafood. Pick off of shareable plates at the centerpiece communal table (or the patio), or try a large-format dish that will have you saying “winner winner chicken dinner”—like executive chef Alex McWilliams’s fried chicken. Make a reservation at Sawyer Restaurant.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

Industry Kitchen, New York, New York — @industrykitchen
Stunning views of the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges and the Brooklyn skyline make for a drool-worthy backdrop at Industry Kitchen, where the huge 300-seat space turns out an equally large number of options. Don’t miss the wood-fired pizzas, especially the dessert pizza with Nutella, mini marshmallows, and salted caramel. Make a reservation at Industry Kitchen.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

Willa Jean Bakery, New Orleans, Louisiana — @willajeanneworleans
Didn’t get your fill of holiday goodies? Check out Willa Jean, where pastry chefs Kelly Fields and Lisa White add modern touches to traditional Southern pastries and serve up three comfort-food meals a day. If you’ve got room after the fried chicken biscuit with Serrano slaw and Poirier’s cane syrup, try the Satsuma creamsicle with Louisiana citrus, carrot cake, curry granola, and whipped buttermilk. Make a reservation at Willa Jean Bakery.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

Senti Restaurant and Wine Bar, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — @sentirestaurant
Senti’s plates and automated wine dispenser for affordable measured pours may bring a bit of Italy to Pennsylvania, but the posh interiors and open-gallery-like layout are a straight-up homage to the local Pittsburgh art center. White plates serve as the canvases for homemade pastas and surf and turf options. Make a reservation at Senti Restaurant and Wine Bar.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

Plant Food + Wine, Miami, Florida — @plantfoodandwine
Where else to find some of the country’s best vegan cuisine than right next door to chef Matthew Kenney’s Culinary Miami state-of-the-art raw food culinary school? The Florida outpost of the Food & Wine’s Best New Chef Award-winner (who also has an LA location) supplements a practically made-for-IG menu featuring cauliflower steak with chimichurri and banh mi lettuce wraps with chili-almond paté with a contemporary interior, a bright exhibition kitchen, and a detox juice bar. Make a reservation at Plant Food + Wine.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

Le Coucou, New York, New York — @lecoucou_nyc
Le Coucou’s flavors may be classic French, but the images are modern marvels. Chef Daniel Rose’s plates are as elegant as anything at the Louvre, enhanced by a light-filled and airy space with lots of glass, brick, and warm woods in the heart of SoHo. Make a reservation at Le Coucou.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

Uchi, Austin, Texas — @uchiaustin
Far from an ocean and even further away from typical Texas fare like slow-cooked barbecue, chef Tyson Cole proves you don’t have to cook anything at all here in the ATX. His flagship Uchi — like many sushi bars in Japan, located in a refurbished old home — means “house,” and Cole’s warm wit at the sushi bar conversing with patrons is as sharp as his knives. Make a reservation at Uchi.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

The Table at Season to Taste, Cambridge, Massachusetts — @cambridgetable
As home to the country’s top university (Ed. note: with apologies to New Haven), Cambridge knows a thing or two about schools — and chef Carl Dooley of Top Chef fame is teaching them right from the open kitchen at Season to Taste. The $65 prix-fixe menu for just 20 diners changes nightly, but those who aren’t lucky enough to score a coveted reservation can feast their eyes on the resto’s IG feed. Make a reservation at The Table at Season to Taste.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

TAO, New York, New York — @taodowntown
Originally a stable for the Vanderbilt family, then a balconied movie theater, TAO is now transformed into a majestic Asian “temple” that’s become the worshipping place of many an Instagrammer. They’re particularly drawn to the 16-foot tall Buddha floating above a virtual reflecting pool, but sushi and specialty cocktails are a feast for the eyes, too. Make a reservation at TAO.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

Ava Gene’s, Portland, Oregon — @avagenes
The Roman-inspired menu here may be, according to the operators, simple and rustic, yet the Instagram feed is anything but. Pastas pop and meats tantalize with luscious looking locally produced vegetables and proteins grown and raised by Pacific Northwest farmers and ranchers. Complement it with a regional Italian wine, amari, or grappa. Salut! Make a reservation at Ava Genes.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

The Publican, Chicago, Illinois — @publicanchicago
Like pork, beer, and oysters? Then the Publican is your place for all of that and then some. Set up like a European beer hall, you’ll get the same rustic fare here as across the pond, complemented by an extensive international beer list and Northern Italian-inspired wine list. Make a reservation at The Publican.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

The Riggsby, Washington, D.C. — @theriggsby
Though the Riggsby is billed as classic and nostalgic, its Instagram feed but don’t expect old skool shots. Their IG artfully features some of James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schlow’s most creative and casual fare, like crunchy jalapeño tater tots, in a modern light. Make a reservation at The Riggsby.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

Cypress Tavern, Miami, Florida — @cypresstavern
The eyes have it at Cypress Tavern, where the mounted deer heads seem to be watching diners as much as they are ogling every plate that comes out of the kitchen. Rather than game, think classics like pork chops, whole-roasted fish, and short ribs. Make a reservation at Cypress Tavern.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

The Dutch, New York, New York — @thedutchnyc
Despite it being called The Dutch and executive chef/owner Andrew Carmellini’s penning the acclaimed “Urban Italian” cookbook, the food here is classic American — burgers, a golden-crusted apple pie, and the stellar fried chicken and biscuits shine in the Instagram feed. Make a reservation at The Dutch.

Restaurants to Follow on Instagram in 2017

What are your picks for restaurants to follow on Instagram in 2017? Share your tips here or over on FacebookG+InstagramPinterest, or Twitter.

Carley Thornell is a travel writer whose experiences eating street food in Japan, English peas in the UK, free-range steak in Argentina, and Brussels sprouts at Estragon tapas in her hometown of Boston have provided unforgettable culinary inspiration. Shout out at carleythornell@gmail.com.

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