Foodies, epicureans and those who just love a good meal flock to restaurants across the U.S. just to trigger the pleasure sensors in their brains with a single bite of delectable dish. If you study lists of the top restaurants for foodies, you’ll notice a trend: most of the top rated restaurants are 5 years old or younger, are chef-driven or plant-centric. If you don’t have the time to spend a couple weeks on a gourmand tour of the best cities for foodies, check out a regional winner. Charter a private jet to one of these top 5 restaurants in the U.S.
Beast | Portland, OR
Run, owned and operated by Chef Naomi Pomeroy, Beast brings you the best of intimate family-style communal dining. The menus are adventurous, pairing the Pacific Northwest’s bounty with French inspiration. Five nights a week (Wednesday through Saturday), diners enjoy a six-course prix-fixe, service compris dinner twice nightly in the 24-seat restaurant. Chef Pomeroy also has two four-course brunch services and a single dinner service every Sunday, perfect for a weekend visit to Portland.
Beast’s menu is a set coursed meal of Chef Naomi’s choosing that changes every Wednesday. The feast is a pleasure for audacious eaters who do not have any dietary restrictions, as the restaurant does not offer substitutions. Be sure to ask for the exceptional wine pairing with dinner or brunch.
Lenoir Restaurant | Austin, TX
A small restaurant run by husband and wife Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood, Lenoir is an establishment that’s dedicated to building a culinary community and creating a new dining style. The restaurant’s three-course prix-fixe menu uses the best of central Texas’ seasonal produce and Gulf seafood, and prides itself in serving food that “works with the climate.”
Open Tuesday to Sunday, Lenoir has a casually intimate dining room and backyard wine garden. Private dining options are also available for you and up to 34 of your closest friends and family.
Goosefoot | Chicago, IL
In Chicago’s Lincoln Square area, goosefoot emerged from chefs Chris and Nina Nugent’s passion for cooking with the highest quality seasonal ingredients, such as those that come from the goosefoot, or chenopodium, plant family (think Swiss chard, quinoa, espazote, lamb’s quarters and Bordeaux spinach). The chefs carefully source each element of the restaurant, from the china to the banquettes to the edible flowers, to bring you the best dining experience. The restaurant’s aesthetics are the pinnacle of refinement, precision and visual artistry.
Goosefoot features a 12-course menu with seasonal ingredients that change frequently and does not accommodate substitutions for special dietary needs. The restaurant is BYOB (bring your own bottle), so be sure to bring your favorite vino or purchase a bottle at the restaurant’s wine shop.
Square Root | New Orleans, LA
A contemporary kitchen in which co-owner Chef Phillip Lopez employs the latest techniques in an open kitchen, Square Root in Nola’s Garden District is all about the element of surprise. The 10- to 12-course, farm-to-table tasting menu changes every day and remains completely unknown until you walk through the restaurant’s doors.
Square Root severs dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Unlike many of the restaurants rated highly by foodies, Square Root accommodates food allergies, preferences and dietary restrictions if you let the staff know at least 72 hours in advance.
Bibou (BYOB) | Philadelphia, PA
As its name implies, Bibou is another BYOB establishment. It requires a credit card when you make reservations, but only accepts cash as a form of payment. The south Philly restaurant in the Bella Vista area is family-run establishment with an imaginative seven-course, prix-fixe French tasting menu that returning Chef Pierre Calmels changes every week. The chef may be able to accommodate dietary restrictions with advanced notice. Bibou is open Wednesday to Saturday and has two seating sessions per night.