101 Best Places to Eat: North America

Courtesy of Daniel

Brooklyn: 718-243-0050
Specialty: Fried Blowfish Tails

"It's the Western version of omakase—a small, intimate setting where the chefs cook for you and serve you directly."
Eric Ripert, Le Bernardin, New York

Luling, Texas. 830-875-9019
Specialty: Fatty Brisket

"The best Texas barbecue—a little less than an hour south of Austin. Everyone says brisket is king in Texas, and yes, it is, but in the Hill Country, beef sausage is king!"
Ford Fry, JCT Kitchen, Atlanta

San Francisco. 415-393-9000
Specialty: Kelp and Squid-Ink Pasta

"An experience like no other in the world. Beautiful, eccentric, and soulful, in sync with all of the best products of Northern California, and with a modern poetic vibe that only chef Daniel Patterson can speak."
Elizabeth Falkner, chef at Krescendo, Brooklyn, NY and author of "Cooking Off The Clock"

New York. 212-288-0033
Specialty: Black Sea Bass In Syrah

"I had such an incredible dinner at Daniel that he may have singlehandedly salvaged my opinion of fine dining ... Expert, delicious, exciting, and very, very beautiful. No palate fatigue whatsoever! We asked to have wine paired, and it was the best pairing I've ever had."
Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, New York

Santa Monica, Calif. 310-566-2400
Specialty: Fresh Burrata and Fruit

"Worth a drive from anywhere in L.A. Gorgeous and memorable flavor combinations."
Elizabeth Falkner, chef at Krescendo, Brooklyn, NY and author of "Cooking Off The Clock"

Brooklyn. 718-230-0221
Specialty: Spicy Clam Pizza

"Where sustainable meets a passion for Italian food and pizza." —Alain Ducasse, Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris

Cary, N.C. 919-447-4200
Specialty: Olive-Oil-Poached Grouper

"What's not absolutely absorbing about this: seared sea trout, smoked pineapple, purple yam purée, cashew cabbage, fermented pepper. Chef Scott Crawford is awesome—a really skilled guy. The man is bringing together everything and making it work."
Hugh Acheson, Five & Ten, Athens, Ga.

Charleston, S.C. 843-577-2500
Specialty: Pig's-Ear Lettuce Wraps

"Chef Sean Brock cooks with such a distinctive point of view that you can't help but fall in love with the flavors of the Low Country."
Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, New York

New York. 212-353-8000
Specialty: Cevapi With Onions

"Kafana, a Yugoslavian delight in the East Village, is focused, unwavering, and explicitly Serbian-Croatian, with grilled meats and chopped, crunchy, fresh salads. The staff is fast and sharp, and no one around you at the tables is speaking English; you feel as if you've just wandered into a popular, bustling, low-key supper club in a bohemian neighborhood of Dubrovnik."
Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, New York

Charleston, S.C. 843-577-0025
Specialty: Molasses Pork Belly

"Chef de cuisine Jeremiah Langhorne is young, inventive, a force to be reckoned with. Who else can serve something as simple as Southern rice and have it be ethereal? It was butter-steamed rice. That's it ... except it was transcendent."
Hugh Acheson, Five & Ten, Athens, Ga.

New York. 212-777-7773
Specialty: Pork-Belly Ramen

"It's truly a New York restaurant par excellence with all of David Chang's identity. It rocks, it's noisy, it really fits into its urban milieu. There are the wonderful buns—Chinese brioches—and the spicy noodles with spinach and peanuts, which are served icy cold. Really intense."
Inaki Aizpitarte, Le Châteaubriand, Paris

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Philadelphia. 215-763-0920
Specialty: Fresh Pasta

"I always wanted to go to Marc Vetri's restaurants and finally got a chance a few weeks ago. This is one of those places that makes you feel like you are right back in Italy."
Brandon McGlamery, Prato, Winter Park, Fla.

New York . 212-993-7189
Specialty: 'Italian Thanksgiving'

"I love their take on Italian-American cuisine. They do a spectacular job of combining the charm of classic dishes with the polish of modern New York food. The setting is very familial—small, intimate, and just delicious. Simple but inventive, classic but new."
Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York

Courtesy of Parm

San Francisco. 415-771-7779
Specialty: Ricotta Gnudi

"Chef Matt Accarrino has the best pasta in San Francisco, and Shelley Lindgren is one of my favorite sommeliers. Their attention to detail in the service, food, and amazing wines will blow anyone away."
—Elizabeth Falkner, chef at Krescendo, Brooklyn, NY and author of "Cooking Off The Clock"