The FINANCIAL -- TripAdvisor on October 19 announced its Travelers’ Choice awards for top restaurants around the world.
This year’s awards recognize 528 restaurants overall, including the top 25 fine dining in the world and dedicated lists for Asia, Canada, Europe, India, Mexico, South America, South Pacific, the U.K. and the U.S. This year, TripAdvisor has also awarded some of the best bargain dining establishments around the world. Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for restaurants around the world, gathered over a 12-month period.
“Thanks to insights from the millions of tastemakers in the TripAdvisor community, we’re excited to recognize the top restaurants around the world,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “This esteemed restaurants list can be consulted for a special night out, a meal without breaking the bank, or anyone looking to book a special gourmet getaway.”
Top 10 Fine Dining Restaurants in the U.S.:
1. Alinea – Chicago, Illinois
For its 10th anniversary, chef Grant Achatz decided to deconstruct his own creation, revamping the restaurant interior and its popular menu that promises a timeless spin on the freshest food. A TripAdvisor reviewer stated, “You will be there for four hours, but it will be four hours of culinary ecstasy! Each course is carefully prepared and executed like a work of art. The mix of flavors and presentation is unparalleled.”
2. Victoria & Albert’s – Orlando, Florida
Chef Scott Hunnel offers modern American cuisine in a beautiful old-world setting, using flavors from all over the world to enhance local ingredients. Observed one TripAdvisor reviewer, “The whole experience here is like having front row orchestra seats. Food, presentation and service are perfect. The ultimate place for that special or any occasion!”
3. Per Se – New York City, New York
Thomas Keller’s New York outpost features a daily nine-course tasting menu that showcases classic French gastronomy. “Per Se lets the food speak for itself by finding the perfect balance between tradition and innovation without trying to add gimmicky touches. Beyond the headline dishes, the menu is sophisticated and not overbearing. Between the heavier dishes, there was a great selection of fresh and delicate dishes,” wrote a TripAdvisor reviewer.
4. Halls Chophouse – Charleston, South Carolina
At this storied steakhouse, celebrated as one of America’s best, the Hall family puts a premium not just on the quality meat and other ingredients, but on hospitality. One TripAdvisor reviewer playfully claimed, “Don't go here! It will ruin every future restaurant experience you ever have. It's that good.” Though it’s not just for carnivores, “a classic steak and a classic experience awaits.”
5. Bouley – New York City, New York
Vaulted ceilings, opulent fabrics and the aroma of ripe apples greet you when you enter Bouley. On your plate? The season’s finest ingredients prepared with purity and health in mind. Travelers should book a reservation soon as the restaurant is reported to be closing by the end of the year. According to a TripAdvisor reviewer, “Still (after 30+ years) the most creative cuisine around, with an attention to quality and freshness in ingredients, subtle and nuanced preparation, and superb service, all in one of the most beautiful spaces in New York.”
6. Charleston Grill – Charleston, South Carolina
Cool jazz, dark wood and marble floors welcome visitors to the Charleston Grill. The menu puts a French spin on Lowcountry style, from sautéed frog legs, to fried green tomatoes. A TripAdvisor reviewer raved, “Fantastic food, beautiful setting, classic Southern hospitality. The dishes are elegantly crafted and the service is impeccable. Get a table near the garden and absorb a true Charleston treasure.”
7. Daniel – New York City, New York
Daniel Boulud now owns restaurants around the globe, but his flagship restaurant in New York City is still the crown jewel. His bold blend of classic and contemporary French cuisine ranges from foie gras to lapin. “Decor is delightful, service unobtrusive but totally attentive. The four-course tasting menu is complemented by amuse bouche, coffee, macaroon and chocolates and even a tasty canelé to take away to remember your evening,” praised a TripAdvisor reviewer.
8. Restaurant Gary Danko – San Francisco, California
Farm-fresh ingredients and dash of the dramatic turn classic French fare new and exciting at Restaurant Gary Danko. After 17 years, the restaurant is now as iconic as its Fisherman’s Wharf surroundings. “It is a lovely setting, refined and understated. The menu is quite interesting, with options for three, four or five courses—and selections broad enough to please any palate and mood. The food was simply sublime, well-prepared, and beautifully presented,” wrote a TripAdvisor reviewer.
9. The French Laundry – Yountville, California
Another elite Thomas Keller restaurant, The French Laundry brought classic French cuisine to the Napa Valley. According to a TripAdvisor reviewer, “Not for the gastronomically challenged, this restaurant will take your palate on a run through fresh-grown vegetables to perfectly cured meats. I enjoyed every single aspect of this restaurant, from its gardens to its fine service. I took a nice ride through Thomas Keller's mind and emerged better for it.”
10. Mama’s Fish House – Paia, Hawaii
Nestled in a coconut grove on a private beach, Mama’s Fish House has been setting the standard for fresh fish, local cuisine and Hawaiian hospitality for more than 40 years. The daily menu even lists the names of the fisherman who caught the day’s offerings. A TripAdvisor reviewer noted this to be “the absolute freshest, most simple yet exquisitely prepared seafood on Maui, bar none. The setting is paradise, and the decor is vintage Hawaiian and delightful.”
Top 10 Travelers’ Choice Restaurants in the World:
1. Martin Berasategui – Lasarte, Spain
2. Maison Lameloise – Chagny, France
3. L'Auberge de l'Ill – Illhaeusern, France
4. Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons – Great Milton, England
5. Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890 – Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi, Italy
6. Alinea – Chicago, Illinois
7. Waterside Inn -- Bray on Thames, England
8. Voila Bistrot – Paraty, Brazil
9. Adam’s – Birmingham, England
10. Azurmendi Gastronomico – Larrabetzu, Spain
America’s Top 10 Bargain Dining Restaurants
1. Old Tyme Grocery – Lafayette, Louisiana: This Louisiana hotspot has been serving up beloved New Orleans-style po’boys (referred to as “Poor Boys” in the restaurant) since 1982.
2. Mas Tacos – Nashville, Tennessee: Eight-year-old roadside establishment has quickly built a following for its tortilla soup, fried plantains, and of course, tacos.
3. Phillippe the Original – Los Angeles, California: An L.A. institution since 1908, Phillippe is famous for its French Dip sandwich, which the restaurant claims to have invented.
4. Stewby’s Seafood Shanty – Fort Walton, Florida: A Fort Walton fixture for decades, Stewby’s prides itself on its fresh seafood and seasoning made from scratch.
5. Home Slice Pizza – Austin, Texas: Featuring New York-style pizza with Austin prices, customers having been enjoying slices there since 1985.
6. Brown Dog Deli – Charleston, South Carolina: Popular city sandwich shop is best known for its gourmet specialty sandwiches including the “Pig n’ Fig” pulled pork.
7. Helena’s Hawaiian Food – Honolulu, Hawaii: Since 1946, Helena’s has been serving up traditional Hawaiian cuisine including kalua pig and short ribs pipikaula style.
8. Pantry Restaurant – Santa Fe, New Mexico: Mexican dining spot serves breakfast all day and is beloved for plates from breakfast burritos to brisket tacos.
9. Eli’s BBQ – Cincinnati, Ohio: People line up at this Riverside Drive joint known for its baked beans, pulled pork and jalapeno cheddar grits.
10. Saw’s Soul Kitchen – Birmingham, Alabama: Popular for its pork, greens and grits, Saw’s also serves a signature sweet-tea fried chicken.