We rely on our favorite restaurants for a delicious meal, especially when they've reached iconic status. But some gorgeous restaurants serve up a feast not just for the taste buds, but for the eyes, too. Whether you need an impressive spot for a special occasion or just want to gawk, here are some of the most beautiful places you can dine in every state.
City: Alexander City
Rustic can indeed be elegant. SpringHouse, near central Alabama's sprawling Lake Martin, shows exactly how. Snag a spot in front of the massive stone fireplace and gaze up at the beams -- or out at the stunning surrounding pines -- while chowing down on contemporary Southern cuisine.
ALASKA: THE SALTRY
City: Halibut Cove
The modest cabin-like Saltry is meant to blend into its surroundings, because when you're in the pristine Alaskan wilderness, there's no use trying to upstage it. Perched on wooden stilts, it's accessible only by boat, and diners who make the journey will be treated to sweeping views and seafood caught in the surrounding bay.
ARIZONA: CRESS ON OAK CREEK
This special-occasion restaurant at the L'Auberge de Sedona is home of one of the most picturesque patios you'll ever lay eyes on. Diners at Cress on Oak Creek can enjoy a locally sourced prix-fixe menu under a lush green tree canopy as Oak Creek tumbles over rocks nearby. Dining inside? Huge windows keep the scenery on full display.
ARKANSAS: ELEVEN AT CRYSTAL BRIDGES
Eleven, which serves up modern American comfort food at the architecturally dazzling Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, is something to see in its own right. The massive windows and sweeping arched ceiling meld together in a modern space that's warm despite the institutional setting.
City: Los Angeles
The highest restaurant west of the Mississippi, 71Above is on -- you guessed it -- the 71st floor and serves as an extraordinary perch for contemporary cuisine and expansive views. But the sculptural ceiling, striking light fixtures and undulating booths can hold their own against the dazzling city lights, too.
COLORADO: BEATRICE AND WOODSLEY
Want to go camping without leaving the city? The self-described "urban aspen grove" at Beatrice and Woodsley might be as close as it gets. Tree trunks stretch floor to ceiling, halved logs stand in for tables at the cozy booths, and dangling sticks and sheets create an aura of a grown-up treehouse. The fare, unsurprisingly, is rustic American.
Artisan, which spotlights fresh local seafood with a fine-dining twist, is ready for its close-up. Inside, elegant white trim, warm woodwork and flowers on the walls create a feeling of refined ease. On an expansive patio, vines climb pergolas and Edison bulbs burn in Mason jar fixtures.
DELAWARE: THE GREEN ROOM
To sample the over-the-top elegance of the Gilded Age, it's hard to beat The Green Room at the Hotel DuPont. Coffered ceilings, gold chandeliers, oak-paneled walls and heavy, ornate drapes transport diners to another time while they enjoy French cuisine that has snagged a coveted spot on the AAA Four Diamond list.
City: Miami Beach
This breezy restaurant at Soho Beach House has a generous courtyard and is a picture-perfect example of al fresco Italian dining. Couches offer plump pillows for lounging, lights dangle from pergolas, and greenery climbs wooden walls. At night, white lights twinkle in the trees for a truly magical meal.
GEORGIA: KIMBALL HOUSE
Housed in a former railroad station, this farm-to-table French restaurant echoes the feel of a classic hotel bar. Cozy leather booths, cluttered-but-curated bookshelves and retro globe lights combine for an elegantly cozy feel while diners savor caviar, mussels, or a cassoulet.
HAWAII: 'ULU OCEAN GRILL AND SUSHI LOUNGE
Between the swaying palms, tiki torches and white-capped waves, you probably won't want to leave this oceanfront restaurant featuring traditional Hawaiian fare. Part of the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, 'Ulu is tantalizingly close to the water, and you can gaze out over the Pacific from just about anywhere inside the warm wooden interior.
IDAHO: LE COQ D'OR
Idaho might be the last place you'd expect to dine in a chateau, but it's possible at Le Coq d'Or, inside Chateau des Fleurs outside Boise. Though built recently, the chateau and its restaurant have all the gilded mirrors, dangling chandeliers, and damask tablecloths of an aged classic. You'll get more than 100 wine choices to go with the locally sourced French cuisine.
ILLINOIS: 3 ARTS CLUB CAFE
It's inside a massive, museum-like Restoration Hardware store, but don't let that dissuade you: 3 Arts Club Café is a stunner. A dazzling chandelier, soaring glass ceiling, interior fountain and brick arches make for a grand place to snack on a donut, chow down on a sandwich, or grab a glass of wine.
Vida, a Four Diamond AAA Award winner serving artful contemporary dishes, is definitely easy on the eyes. Diners will find vast windows, soaring ceilings, a cozy fireplace, and an impressive hydroponic wall garden that stretches along the open kitchen, yielding the greens for their salads.
IOWA: LADORA BANK BISTRO
It doesn't get much more unique than this: Relax with a shared plate and a drink at a bistro inside a historic "jewel box" bank that closed its doors during the Depression. Inside, you'll find soaring coffered ceilings, original teller windows, and even a vault that's been repurposed as storage for wine and beer.
A meal at Harry's, inside what used to be a hotel that welcomed guests during the roaring '20s, is an elegant affair. But the classic interior stops short of being stuffy, with ornate molding, plenty of warm wood, and a cozy bar. Follow up a steak or seafood dinner with a selection from the in-house bakery.
KENTUCKY: ENGLISH GRILL
This historic restaurant is tucked in the famous Brown Hotel, where the iconic open-faced Hot Brown turkey sandwich was invented. Diners will appreciate the rich wood-paneled walls, ornate ceilings and refined table settings as they dig into Southern-influenced fare. There are also two chef's tables for true foodies.
LOUISIANA: CAFÉ AMELIE
City: New Orleans
In New Orleans, there's no shortage of romance. But if you want to share a quiet meal in a gorgeous courtyard with a private feel, head to Café Amelie in the French Quarter. The fountain, flowers, and brick buildings provide ambience in spades. Don't worry if you can't snag an outdoor table -- the carriage-house interior is equally atmospheric.
MAINE: WHITE BARN INN RESTAURANT
Don't let this beautiful, cozy barn fool you: This restaurant has a Five Diamond Award from AAA and offers its guests fresh, seasonally inspired fare to please any gourmand. The view out the floor-to-ceiling windows changes with the seasons -- expect lush gardens in warmer months, while the winter can bring a fresh coating of snow and twinkling holiday lights.
MARYLAND: CHART HOUSE
This former boat house offers unrivaled views of Annapolis Harbor from its massive windows and surrounding dock. Inside, bronze-clad fireplaces, soaring beams and evocative light fixtures add to the experience. Come in May to watch the Annapolis Yacht Club sailboat races while you dig into some of the freshest crab around.
MASSACHUSETTS: BANYAN BAR + REFUGE
This quirky Asian gastropub in the South End brings the outside in with willow-branch chandeliers, birch-lined walls and green snakeskin seats. There's also colorful artwork and an open kitchen that lets eager diners keep an eye on the action. If the weather's nice, there's a picturesque patio outside, too.
MICHIGAN: GOLD CASH GOLD
As its name suggests, Gold Cash Gold serves up its Southern-inspired fare in a former pawn shop -- in fact, the vintage sign still graces the façade. Inside, white brick arches, warm wood ceilings, colorful glass partitions and dangling globe lights fuse the past and present in a way that seems fitting for this city on the rise.
MINNESOTA: W.A. FROST AND CO.
City: St. Paul
W.A. Frost and Co. presents an exquisite dilemma: Enjoy the beautiful patio, or the equally lovely interior? Either way, you can't go wrong at this turn-of-the-century establishment with brick walls, tin ceilings, half-moon windows, and grand fireplaces. Outside, massive trees, climbing vines and a stone fire pit make al fresco dining equally appealing.
MISSISSIPPI: MARY MAHONEY'S
Stepping past the ivy-covered walls and into the brick courtyard at Mary Mahoney's makes diners feel like they've found a secret gem, but this historic seafood and steak restaurant is deservedly well known. Built in the 1700s, some rooms feature cracked plaster and exposed brick, while others have crystal chandeliers and fine art.
MISSOURI: THE GRAND HALL
City: St. Louis
One look at the gorgeous domed ceiling of St. Louis' Union Station, a National Historic Landmark, won't be enough -- you'll be craning your neck the whole time you nosh on The Grand Hall's variety of small plates. As if that's not enough, there's a 3D light show every hour in the evenings.
MONTANA: WHITEFISH LAKE RESTAURANT
Claiming to be one of the state's oldest log structures still in use today, Whitefish Lake Restaurant is everything you'd expect from Montana dining. The vaulted ceilings and wooden beams won't fail to impress, and the massive stone fireplace is inviting on a cold night. If it's warm, the patio provides lovely golf-course and mountain views.
NEBRASKA: THE BOILER ROOM
Step into The Boiler Room and you'll understand that a space can be beautiful even if it's a little rough around the edges. Housed in a renovated flour- and grain-sack factory, it features plenty of exposed brick and ductwork, concrete ceilings, and steel beams. The inventive contemporary American menu draws heavily from local providers.
NEVADA: JOEL ROBUCHON
City: Las Vegas
In a city where the most gorgeous restaurants can have a theme-park feel, Joel Robuchon's AAA Five Diamond eatery at the MGM Grand is sumptuous but never gimmicky. The dazzling, dramatically purple space features marble floors, plush banquettes, crystal chandeliers, modern art and towering mirrors that complement the artful French cuisine.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: CABONNAY
Cabonnay bills itself as a "multi-level urban chill space," and the experience you'll have depends on where you dine. There's the swanky white and purple bar, a bronze-roof dining room with projections of gorgeous scenes on the wall, a floral-walled space with a classic checkered floor, and a mod roof deck perfect for relaxing when it's warm.
NEW JERSEY: STONEHOUSE AT STIRLING RIDGE
Under an hour outside New York City, Stonehouse at Stirling Ridge is a rustic, elegant farm-to-table restaurant. Head here in the summer for the dazzling outdoor patio with its twinkling lights, pergolas and fire pits. When it cools down, the stone walls, warm chandeliers, fireplaces and towering collection of fine wine keep things cozy inside.
NEW MEXICO: EL PINTO
Devotees definitely come to El Pinto for the atmosphere as much as the New Mexican cuisine. This behemoth of a restaurant can seat more than 1,000 diners among the hacienda-like grounds. Dine by a babbling fountain or amid lush greenery on one of the patios, where red chili peppers dangle in huge bunches.
NEW YORK: BUDDAKAN
City: New York City
Over-the-top Buddakan stands out among stiff competition in the Big Apple because of sheer scale: Try not to gawk as you walk through the main dining room, a cathedral-like space with massive chandeliers and an imposingly long table. Also impressive is the library, where diners nosh on Asian cuisine surrounded by glowing books.
NORTH CAROLINA: CANYON KITCHEN
What a setting for Canyon Kitchen: The restaurant, housed in an open-air barn, sits in a green valley at the foot of a dramatic granite rock face. Outside, sit in an Adirondack chair and gaze at the pines and gardens; inside, take in the soaring timber ceilings, chandeliers and stone fireplaces as you savor the local, seasonal Southern fare.
NORTH DAKOTA: MEZZALUNA
Mezzaluna, in a historic downtown warehouse, has an eclectic, urban feel that stands out among the state's typical rustic fare. You'll find tin ceilings, exposed pipes, dripping crystal chandeliers, plush booths, billowy white curtains and a horseshoe "Alleyway Bar" serving up craft cocktails to go with the new American dishes.
OHIO: CROP BISTRO AND BAR
The main dining room at Crop Bistro is a stunner: This former bank has 35-foot coffered ceilings and massive granite columns to dazzle diners as they peruse the menu of locally sourced dishes. There's even a vault with enough room for smaller parties and a skylight penthouse with views of Lake Erie and the Cleveland skyline.
City: Oklahoma City
Anyone who's gazed out over the Oklahoma plains would describe them as vast, and that's exactly the bird's-eye view that diners get at this swanky New American restaurant on the 49th floor of the Devon Energy Center building. Don't miss the bar, where dozens of lights dangle down from the high ceilings, but make no mistake: The view is the star of the show here.
This sleek Asian restaurant atop The Nines Hotel is all about cohesive, minimalist design -- and the view of downtown Portland from the spacious, stylish patio isn't too shabby, either. Light floods in through windows and skylights, and sleek wood and strong angles dominate the interior.
Famed chef Masaharu Morimoto's flagship restaurant is as much a must for design lovers as it is for those who love top-tier Japanese cuisine. Diners will find an undulating ceiling, sculptural walls, glass tables, and dividers that can light up in an array of colors, creating different moods.
RHODE ISLAND: CAV
Ever wondered what it's like to dine in an antiques store? CAV gives you that chance, surrounding diners with a variety of stunning pieces -- some of them may even be for sale. Mirrors, lanterns and chandeliers shine in the brick and wood interior, creating an ambience unlike anywhere else.
SOUTH CAROLINA: 5CHURCH
A restaurant inside a former church is sure to dazzle, and contemporary Southern eatery 5Church definitely delivers. There are the requisite vaulted ceilings and stained-glass windows, but there are also some decidedly modern touches, including eclectic art, plush black booths, and contemporary light fixtures.
SOUTH DAKOTA: FIREHOUSE BREWING COMPANY
City: Rapid City
History buffs will find a lot of beauty in this casual restaurant, housed in an old firehouse built in 1915. Now a National Historic Landmark, the interior has polished brass, fire-fighting equipment on the walls, a gorgeous tin roof, and a massive fire-engine-red door. A heated outdoor patio offers views of Rapid City, too.
TENNESSEE: BUTCHERTOWN HALL
This relative newcomer to Nashville's Germantown pays tribute to the butchers and breweries that used to line the streets, but with a modern twist. You'll find white subway tile, a moss-topped rock wall, spindly trees, white-beamed cathedral ceilings and exposed ductwork. Meat takes center stage on the menu, influenced by Tex-Mex and European standards.
City: San Antonio
Dining in a glass observatory is cool enough in its own right, but Ocho gives diners a gorgeous view of the famously scenic San Antonio River Walk. Adding to the atmosphere at this pan-Latin eatery: Massive chandeliers, bright blue chairs, and turquoise beams.
UTAH: LA CAILLE
To call La Caille a restaurant is an understatement: It's on 20 acres of beautiful grounds near Sandy's Little Cottonwood Canyon that just beg for an after-dinner stroll; the restaurant even has its own vineyard. The building itself also smacks of romance, with its shingled turret, creeping ivy and heaps of colorful flowers. Unsurprisingly, it's a favorite wedding spot, too.
VERMONT: SIMON PEARCE RESTAURANT
With its wooden beams and exposed brick, eating the fresh local fare inside this restored woolen mill is a romantic affair. But snagging a table by the window is a must: You'll have a view of a dazzling waterfall and a covered bridge. It simply doesn't get any more Vermont than that, does it?
VIRGINIA: INN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON RESTAURANT
Dining on a classical French meal inside the self-described "wondrous cocoon of luxury" at the Inn at Little Washington is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the palate. Tapestries, ornate curtains, flowers, gilded mirrors, and intricately painted ceilings all compete for your attention at this much-lauded bucket-list restaurant, an AAA Five Diamond Award winner.
Mid-century modern Canlis is a Seattle landmark. Go, and you'll see why: Perched above Lake Union, the restaurant and its angular windows jut out dramatically. There are gorgeous views of the pines and Cascade Mountains beyond as smartly dressed diners inhale dishes with local and Japanese influences.
WEST VIRGINIA: MAIN DINING ROOM, GREENBRIER RESORT
City: White Sulphur Springs
Dining in the Greenbrier's Main Dining Room is a formal affair, with bowtie-clad waiters attending to your every need. The time-warp décor is something to behold as well, with its elaborate chandeliers, arched windows, columns and buttercup-yellow walls. The time-warp dress code is equally interesting (no hats for the guys, but ladies can sport bonnets).
The eye-catching modern atmosphere at this downtown steakhouse is sure to get your juices flowing. You'll find the requisite dark wood, but also plenty of stone, arched beams, whimsical hexagonal tiles, and stalks of bamboo that act as barriers between spaces. Moody lighting, an impressive wine list and a cozy bar check the rest of the boxes.
WYOMING: THE KITCHEN
City: Jackson Hole
The Kitchen, inside a repurposed A-frame, proves that this Grand Tetons resort town is more than antlers and other rustic-chic clichés. The intimate dining room features a lighted, gracefully curved wall, plenty of sleek wood beams, and a thoroughly modern fireplace. There's a raw bar and plenty of contemporary twists on local game, too.