It’s a question that’s posed to everyone who lives to dine out, and it’s also one of the most loaded questions that can be posed to a food writer: “Where should I eat?” We asked a handful of the country’s most esteemed food writers, “If a friend were coming to your city to visit, what’s the one restaurant where you would tell them to dine?” and allowed them to suggest restaurants outside of their city along with that.
Their responses ranged from the new and hip to the tried-and-true, and one restaurant was, surprisingly, suggested by two writers. There are restaurants that you’ve probably never heard of, and others that are nothing short of legendary. We also asked the writers to provide an explanation for their choices, so you know exactly what, in their opinion, makes these restaurants so great.
Respondents included Esquire’s John Mariani, Texas Monthly’s Daniel Vaughn, the Miami Herald and Miami.com’s Evan S. Benn, Houstonia Magazine’s Robb Walsh, Forbes.com and USA Today’s Larry Olmsted, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Heidi Knapp Rinella, Chicago Magazine’s Penny Pollack, and Bedford + Bowery’s Daniel Maurer.
It’s not easy to narrow down your favorite restaurants to visit, but these writers were up to the challenge. Read on for 12 restaurants that you should definitely plan on visiting in 2015.
Bazaar Meat, Las Vegas
“A dedication to careful sourcing and showcasing various types of meats in many forms separates Bazaar Meat from the pack.” — Heidi Knapp Rinella, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Bern’s Steakhouse, Tampa
Both Larry Olmstead and Heidi Rinella suggested making a special trip to Bern’s. Here’s what Olmstead had to say: "'Best' is very subjective and, in my opinion, there are very few big cities, like New York, London, and Paris where you claim just one ‘must eat’ restaurant. However, in a few places there is one restaurant so special in its way that, to me, a trip to that city is wasted if you miss it. A perfect example is Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa. I'm just never going to Tampa and not eating at Bern's, which, in addition to great food, has the best and most unique wine program in the country if not the world.”