The Bucket List Restaurant in Your State

Bennethum's Northern Inn

Bennethum's Northern Inn/Yelp

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Bennethum's Northern Inn
Bennethum's Northern Inn/Yelp

Best in Class

Ready to splurge on the finer things in life? We've scoured the country for some of the most swoon-worthy cuisine in every state. Be forewarned: These spots aren't where you go to save money. These are the often-iconic restaurants where you'd go to celebrate a special occasion, brag to your foodie friends, or simply feel like royalty, if only for an evening. So where should you go to sample some of the best fine dining near you? Read on to find out.


Related: Bucket List Destinations for Foodies

Bennethum's Northern Inn
Bennethum's Northern Inn/Yelp

Best in Class

Ready to splurge on the finer things in life? We've scoured the country for some of the most swoon-worthy cuisine in every state. Be forewarned: These spots aren't where you go to save money. These are the often-iconic restaurants where you'd go to celebrate a special occasion, brag to your foodie friends, or simply feel like royalty, if only for an evening. So where should you go to sample some of the best fine dining near you? Read on to find out.


Related: Bucket List Destinations for Foodies

Café Dupont Birmingham
The Kentuckian/Yelp

Alabama: Café Dupont

Birmingham
Café Dupont is a rare bird among fine-dining establishments, devotees say, because it manages to be upscale without being stuffy. The AAA Four Diamond Award winner emphasizes locally sourced ingredients and has a menu that changes daily. Dishes with a Southern influence are a safe bet.


Reviewer rave: "My Favorite place when in BHM. Brock makes incredible cocktails to start things off. Menu has consist items and rotating specials. Always enjoy CD take on fried oysters to start. MS rabbit specials was amazing. Depth of flavor and texture both perfectly done." — Doug K on TripAdvisor

Café Dupont Birmingham
The Kentuckian/Yelp

Alabama: Café Dupont

Birmingham
Café Dupont is a rare bird among fine-dining establishments, devotees say, because it manages to be upscale without being stuffy. The AAA Four Diamond Award winner emphasizes locally sourced ingredients and has a menu that changes daily. Dishes with a Southern influence are a safe bet.


Reviewer rave: "My Favorite place when in BHM. Brock makes incredible cocktails to start things off. Menu has consist items and rotating specials. Always enjoy CD take on fried oysters to start. MS rabbit specials was amazing. Depth of flavor and texture both perfectly done." — Doug K on TripAdvisor

The Crow's Nest Anchorage
Daniella A./Yelp

Alaska: The Crow's Nest

Anchorage
Go for the sweeping views of the water and the mountains, stay for the impeccable service and top-notch food. This AAA Four Diamond restaurant high in the Captain Cook Hotel has a small but mighty menu featuring plenty of elegantly prepared meats and local seafood. Patrons love the bananas Foster, which is flambéed tableside.


Reviewer rave: "Our table was in a corner overlooking the Anchorage skyline and harbor. We started with perfect cocktails followed by my wife’s selection of the lobster crudo and I with succulent oysters. Absolutely delicious. My wife followed with the Alaskan black cod and I with the halibut. Both were fork tender and delicious. Then they presented our flourless chocolate desert with the plate commemorating our wedding anniversary. A very memorable meal both as to food quality and service." — Rene M on TripAdvisor


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The Crow's Nest Anchorage
Daniella A./Yelp

Alaska: The Crow's Nest

Anchorage
Go for the sweeping views of the water and the mountains, stay for the impeccable service and top-notch food. This AAA Four Diamond restaurant high in the Captain Cook Hotel has a small but mighty menu featuring plenty of elegantly prepared meats and local seafood. Patrons love the bananas Foster, which is flambéed tableside.


Reviewer rave: "Our table was in a corner overlooking the Anchorage skyline and harbor. We started with perfect cocktails followed by my wife’s selection of the lobster crudo and I with succulent oysters. Absolutely delicious. My wife followed with the Alaskan black cod and I with the halibut. Both were fork tender and delicious. Then they presented our flourless chocolate desert with the plate commemorating our wedding anniversary. A very memorable meal both as to food quality and service." — Rene M on TripAdvisor


For more great travel guides and dining tips,
please sign up for our free newsletters.

Kai Chandler
Erin R./Yelp

Arizona: Kai

Chandler
One of only a handful of restaurants to notch five stars from Forbes and five diamonds from AAA, the Sheraton Grand Resort's Kai sets itself apart with a menu inspired by the Pima and Maricopa tribes native to the area. Patrons say particular highlights include the foie gras and buffalo tenderloin, but the real star might be the Arizona sunsets outside the large windows.


Reviewer rave: "One of my all time favourite dining experiences. This is not only fine dining but a journey into First Nations culture. Our waiter was extremely knowledgeable and navigated us through an educational culinary experience. A must do if in that part of Arizona." — David M on TripAdvisor

Kai Chandler
Erin R./Yelp

Arizona: Kai

Chandler
One of only a handful of restaurants to notch five stars from Forbes and five diamonds from AAA, the Sheraton Grand Resort's Kai sets itself apart with a menu inspired by the Pima and Maricopa tribes native to the area. Patrons say particular highlights include the foie gras and buffalo tenderloin, but the real star might be the Arizona sunsets outside the large windows.


Reviewer rave: "One of my all time favourite dining experiences. This is not only fine dining but a journey into First Nations culture. Our waiter was extremely knowledgeable and navigated us through an educational culinary experience. A must do if in that part of Arizona." — David M on TripAdvisor

One Eleven at the Capital Little Rock
Cheryl L./Yelp

Arkansas: One Eleven at the Capital

Little Rock
Elegant but understated, One Eleven at the Capital has a James Beard Award-winning chef at the helm and a shiny AAA Four Diamond Award to its credit. The menu is elevated Southern comfort food that is bound to please even picky palates. Diners recommend the scallops for dinner; at brunch, the shrimp and grits or eggs Benedict reign supreme.


Reviewer rave: "What a great restaurant inside the iconic Capitol Hotel. Great spot for people watching. Grab a cocktail or a glass of wine and visit in lobby before dining. Great menu selections with welcoming servers and staff." — Gran7 on TripAdvisor

One Eleven at the Capital Little Rock
Cheryl L./Yelp

Arkansas: One Eleven at the Capital

Little Rock
Elegant but understated, One Eleven at the Capital has a James Beard Award-winning chef at the helm and a shiny AAA Four Diamond Award to its credit. The menu is elevated Southern comfort food that is bound to please even picky palates. Diners recommend the scallops for dinner; at brunch, the shrimp and grits or eggs Benedict reign supreme.


Reviewer rave: "What a great restaurant inside the iconic Capitol Hotel. Great spot for people watching. Grab a cocktail or a glass of wine and visit in lobby before dining. Great menu selections with welcoming servers and staff." — Gran7 on TripAdvisor

The French Laundry
Meghana P./Yelp

California: The French Laundry

Yountville
It's hard to say anything new about Thomas Keller's much-lauded French restaurant in Napa Valley, one of just a handful in the United States to earn the coveted three-star Michelin rating. True foodies know to expect a high price tag (right now, $390 a head for a nine-course menu), but they also need to act quickly to score one of the coveted reservations.


Reviewer rave: We've been lucky enough to dine here 4 times now. It's always incredible and the staff, which hasn't changed in years, is always happy to see us and makes each visit a very special occasion. We live in Southern California and have what I think is some of the best restaurants in the country and nothing comes close to the experience you'll have here." — lafirstm on TripAdvisor

The French Laundry
Meghana P./Yelp

California: The French Laundry

Yountville
It's hard to say anything new about Thomas Keller's much-lauded French restaurant in Napa Valley, one of just a handful in the United States to earn the coveted three-star Michelin rating. True foodies know to expect a high price tag (right now, $390 a head for a nine-course menu), but they also need to act quickly to score one of the coveted reservations.


Reviewer rave: We've been lucky enough to dine here 4 times now. It's always incredible and the staff, which hasn't changed in years, is always happy to see us and makes each visit a very special occasion. We live in Southern California and have what I think is some of the best restaurants in the country and nothing comes close to the experience you'll have here." — lafirstm on TripAdvisor

Buckhorn Exchange Denver Bucket List Restaurant
Chris H./Yelp.com

Colorado: Buckhorn Exchange

Denver
What better place to find an epic meal in the Centennial State than one that can boast that it's Denver oldest restaurant (dating back to 1893) and has hosted the likes of Teddy Roosevelt and Sitting Bull? It's stuffed to the gills with taxidermy and Old West memorabilia, and it's also on the National Register of Historic Places. The menu features more than a few exotic items, including rattlesnake, alligator tail, a hefty selection of buffalo dishes, elk, and, of course, Rocky Mountain oysters. 

Reviewer Rave: "This was one of my favorite Denver experiences. There is a lot history at this restaurant which you get to read on the newspaper menu. The food, atmosphere, and service are top notch and impeccable! Try the Buffalo, it won’t disappoint!! Highly recommend Buckhorns!! We learned too, we dined at the table Princess Anne ate at when she visited!" — jesst445 on TripAdvisor

Buckhorn Exchange Denver Bucket List Restaurant
Chris H./Yelp.com

Colorado: Buckhorn Exchange

Denver
What better place to find an epic meal in the Centennial State than one that can boast that it's Denver oldest restaurant (dating back to 1893) and has hosted the likes of Teddy Roosevelt and Sitting Bull? It's stuffed to the gills with taxidermy and Old West memorabilia, and it's also on the National Register of Historic Places. The menu features more than a few exotic items, including rattlesnake, alligator tail, a hefty selection of buffalo dishes, elk, and, of course, Rocky Mountain oysters. 

Reviewer Rave: "This was one of my favorite Denver experiences. There is a lot history at this restaurant which you get to read on the newspaper menu. The food, atmosphere, and service are top notch and impeccable! Try the Buffalo, it won’t disappoint!! Highly recommend Buckhorns!! We learned too, we dined at the table Princess Anne ate at when she visited!" — jesst445 on TripAdvisor

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
©TripAdvisor

Connecticut: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

New Haven

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana will be celebrating its 100th anniversary next year. The old-school joint is famous for its New Haven-style coal-fired pizza and wood-paneled and leather-boothed dining space that looks and feels exactly like how you’d envision a classic pizzeria that ranks consistently as one of the best in the U.S. The original tomato pie (with or without anchovies) is the classic, but the unique white clam pizza is just as popular, topped with fresh clams, garlic, Romano cheese, oregano and olive oil. 

Reviewer rave: "I had an Italian beer called Peroni’s. It was in the Little Italy neighborhood of New Haven. I had a tough time finding a place. Nevertheless, I had the best pizza I ever tasted called the original Tomato Pie. ... It is naturally charred (not burnt). That is what is expected in a wood fire grill. I will go back again if I am in the area but I do not think I can try any other pizza there (including the White Clam). The original Tomato Pie is just so good!" — uncvcutraveller on TripAdvisor 


Related: Restaurants That Are Worth the Wait 

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
©TripAdvisor

Connecticut: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

New Haven

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana will be celebrating its 100th anniversary next year. The old-school joint is famous for its New Haven-style coal-fired pizza and wood-paneled and leather-boothed dining space that looks and feels exactly like how you’d envision a classic pizzeria that ranks consistently as one of the best in the U.S. The original tomato pie (with or without anchovies) is the classic, but the unique white clam pizza is just as popular, topped with fresh clams, garlic, Romano cheese, oregano and olive oil. 

Reviewer rave: "I had an Italian beer called Peroni’s. It was in the Little Italy neighborhood of New Haven. I had a tough time finding a place. Nevertheless, I had the best pizza I ever tasted called the original Tomato Pie. ... It is naturally charred (not burnt). That is what is expected in a wood fire grill. I will go back again if I am in the area but I do not think I can try any other pizza there (including the White Clam). The original Tomato Pie is just so good!" — uncvcutraveller on TripAdvisor 


Related: Restaurants That Are Worth the Wait 

Heirloom restaurant Lewes Delaware
Meghan L./Yelp

Delaware: Heirloom

Lewes 
Nestled in an intimate Victorian house near Delaware Bay, Heirloom is the highly regarded venue known for its emphasis on ingredients from local farms and fishermen. It’s also home to chef Matthew Kern, who was named a James Beard semifinalist this past year and has put the restaurant and its menu on the map with dishes ranging from corn-fried Chesapeake blue catfish to pan-seared duck breast.


Reviewer Rave: “This was our third (now annual) visit to Heirloom. Because of COVID, past dining experiences have been outside. This time, we were comfortable to sit inside (and it was a good thing because it really rained the day we were there). Heirloom continues to be outstanding. We sat in the front room next to the fireplace. Even though there were others in the room, the wait staff made us felt like we were the only ones there.” — dctravel on TripAdvisor  

Heirloom restaurant Lewes Delaware
Meghan L./Yelp

Delaware: Heirloom

Lewes 
Nestled in an intimate Victorian house near Delaware Bay, Heirloom is the highly regarded venue known for its emphasis on ingredients from local farms and fishermen. It’s also home to chef Matthew Kern, who was named a James Beard semifinalist this past year and has put the restaurant and its menu on the map with dishes ranging from corn-fried Chesapeake blue catfish to pan-seared duck breast.


Reviewer Rave: “This was our third (now annual) visit to Heirloom. Because of COVID, past dining experiences have been outside. This time, we were comfortable to sit inside (and it was a good thing because it really rained the day we were there). Heirloom continues to be outstanding. We sat in the front room next to the fireplace. Even though there were others in the room, the wait staff made us felt like we were the only ones there.” — dctravel on TripAdvisor  

Minibar
The_Loup_Garou / TripAdvisor

District of Columbia: minibar

The menu here is worthy of two stars from Michelin, which gives the restaurant high marks for whimsy and offbeat dishes such as soy chicharrón with wakasabi (a guacamole with a dash of wasabi) and Wagyu beef topped with pearls of caviar and petals of sunflower.


Reviews rave: "The overall experience was fantastic. It was dinner and a show. The courses were not just feasts for the stomach but for the eyes. The amount of mise en place that occurred earlier in the day must have been enormous—the mushroom leaf on the monkfish, the beef consommé sphere, the shaping of the maize butterfly and so on are "involved" processes. The cooking techniques and the technical skill were at the highest level in the culinary profession." — sljperfectswing on TripAdvisor

Minibar
The_Loup_Garou / TripAdvisor

District of Columbia: minibar

The menu here is worthy of two stars from Michelin, which gives the restaurant high marks for whimsy and offbeat dishes such as soy chicharrón with wakasabi (a guacamole with a dash of wasabi) and Wagyu beef topped with pearls of caviar and petals of sunflower.


Reviews rave: "The overall experience was fantastic. It was dinner and a show. The courses were not just feasts for the stomach but for the eyes. The amount of mise en place that occurred earlier in the day must have been enormous—the mushroom leaf on the monkfish, the beef consommé sphere, the shaping of the maize butterfly and so on are "involved" processes. The cooking techniques and the technical skill were at the highest level in the culinary profession." — sljperfectswing on TripAdvisor

Victoria And Albert's, Orlando, Florida
Rob B./Yelp

Florida: Victoria & Albert's

Orlando
Be their guest, indeed. As the fine-dining restaurant at Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort, Victoria & Albert's is firmly enmeshed in the spirit of over-the-top Disney hospitality. But guests say there's nothing cartoonish about the harp music, opulent old-world decor, and comprehensive continental tasting menu at this Forbes five-star restaurant.


Reviewer rave: "This was a DINNER EXPERIENCE. We seek out memorable dining experiences. This remains one of the five top dining experiences of our lifetime. It is expensive. One knows that upfront. The setting is elegant. There is one amazing course after another, each exquisitely presented, almost like a work of art." — Toran I on TripAdvisor

Victoria And Albert's, Orlando, Florida
Rob B./Yelp

Florida: Victoria & Albert's

Orlando
Be their guest, indeed. As the fine-dining restaurant at Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort, Victoria & Albert's is firmly enmeshed in the spirit of over-the-top Disney hospitality. But guests say there's nothing cartoonish about the harp music, opulent old-world decor, and comprehensive continental tasting menu at this Forbes five-star restaurant.


Reviewer rave: "This was a DINNER EXPERIENCE. We seek out memorable dining experiences. This remains one of the five top dining experiences of our lifetime. It is expensive. One knows that upfront. The setting is elegant. There is one amazing course after another, each exquisitely presented, almost like a work of art." — Toran I on TripAdvisor

Polaris Restaurant Atlanta
Sherry C./Yelp.com

Georgia: Polaris

Atlanta

Perched atop the Hyatt Regency, Polaris is certainly worth a spin. Not only is Polaris 22 floors up the ground (guests arrive in a glass elevator), it also rotates, making a complete turn every 45 minutes and offering a panoramic view of Atlanta. The restaurant itself looks like a flying saucer and has hosted folks like Sammy Davis Jr.  and Gladys Knight. It opened in 1967, closed during the pandemic, and reopened in December 2022.

Review rave: "This is going to be a one of a kind review and a first for me. My husband and I went to The Polaris. This place gets a SIX OUT OF FIVE STARS which I have NEVER done. I have reviewed a lot of restaurants and this one, thus far, has literally taken the cake." — Ashley H. on Yelp

Polaris Restaurant Atlanta
Sherry C./Yelp.com

Georgia: Polaris

Atlanta

Perched atop the Hyatt Regency, Polaris is certainly worth a spin. Not only is Polaris 22 floors up the ground (guests arrive in a glass elevator), it also rotates, making a complete turn every 45 minutes and offering a panoramic view of Atlanta. The restaurant itself looks like a flying saucer and has hosted folks like Sammy Davis Jr.  and Gladys Knight. It opened in 1967, closed during the pandemic, and reopened in December 2022.

Review rave: "This is going to be a one of a kind review and a first for me. My husband and I went to The Polaris. This place gets a SIX OUT OF FIVE STARS which I have NEVER done. I have reviewed a lot of restaurants and this one, thus far, has literally taken the cake." — Ashley H. on Yelp

La Mer, Honolulu, Hawaii
Maki K./Yelp

Hawaii: La Mer

Honolulu
The incomparable ocean views at La Mer, part of the Halekulani resort on Waikiki Beach, are the ultimate backdrop for what diners say is some of the best food and service in the Aloha State, if not the country. Though some vacationers grouse about having to throw on dinner jackets over their Hawaiian shirts, most agree that the fusion of tropical and French cuisine at this AAA Five Diamond and Forbes five-star winner is worth it.


Reviewer rave: "This must be one of the best restaurants in Honolulu. The service, food, ambience, and overall experience were top notch. Throughly deserving of the great reviews and comments. There is either an extensive tasting menu or a la carte from the tasting menus - it is expected that all the table do al a carte or tasting (vegetarian available as the other menu is very fish heavy), which is not unreasonable. The service is “old fashioned” but not fussy and nothing is too much trouble." —TSC8 on TripAdvisor

La Mer, Honolulu, Hawaii
Maki K./Yelp

Hawaii: La Mer

Honolulu
The incomparable ocean views at La Mer, part of the Halekulani resort on Waikiki Beach, are the ultimate backdrop for what diners say is some of the best food and service in the Aloha State, if not the country. Though some vacationers grouse about having to throw on dinner jackets over their Hawaiian shirts, most agree that the fusion of tropical and French cuisine at this AAA Five Diamond and Forbes five-star winner is worth it.


Reviewer rave: "This must be one of the best restaurants in Honolulu. The service, food, ambience, and overall experience were top notch. Throughly deserving of the great reviews and comments. There is either an extensive tasting menu or a la carte from the tasting menus - it is expected that all the table do al a carte or tasting (vegetarian available as the other menu is very fish heavy), which is not unreasonable. The service is “old fashioned” but not fussy and nothing is too much trouble." —TSC8 on TripAdvisor

Beverly's, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Beverly's/Yelp

Idaho: Beverly's

Coeur d'Alene
The sweeping views of Lake Coeur d'Alene are more than worth the trip to Beverly's, but this restaurant serving Northwest cuisine isn't coasting on location: It's one of the Distinguished Restaurants of North America's top spots in the United States. Try the Snake River Farms beef carpaccio while browsing the enormous wine menu, some 14,000 bottles strong.


Reviewer rave: "Spectacular views of the lake.. be sure to request a window table…. Tasty cocktails, delicious salads/fresh soup, and flavorful entrees coupled with amazing service make this A MUST treat if you are in the Coeur D’Alene area…. Pricey meal, but worth the splurge!" — massimoo1 on TripAdvisor

Beverly's, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Beverly's/Yelp

Idaho: Beverly's

Coeur d'Alene
The sweeping views of Lake Coeur d'Alene are more than worth the trip to Beverly's, but this restaurant serving Northwest cuisine isn't coasting on location: It's one of the Distinguished Restaurants of North America's top spots in the United States. Try the Snake River Farms beef carpaccio while browsing the enormous wine menu, some 14,000 bottles strong.


Reviewer rave: "Spectacular views of the lake.. be sure to request a window table…. Tasty cocktails, delicious salads/fresh soup, and flavorful entrees coupled with amazing service make this A MUST treat if you are in the Coeur D’Alene area…. Pricey meal, but worth the splurge!" — massimoo1 on TripAdvisor

Alinea Chicago
Brian G./Yelp

Illinois: Alinea

Chicago
Alinea has honors in spades: It's a three-star Michelin restaurant and AAA Five Diamond Award winner, and was named the most outstanding restaurant in the United States by the James Beard Foundation in 2016. Hidden behind its unassuming Lincoln Park façade are elaborate molecular gastronomy tasting courses that reviewers call inventive, artistic, and even theatrical.


Reviewer rave: "Expect excellent, professional service with carefully curated courses and (optional) wine pairings. This is food as performance art so pay attention to the descriptions and directions of the staff who will take you on a journey through haute cuisine that has both substance and whimsy." — newzhnd on TripAdvisor

Alinea Chicago
Brian G./Yelp

Illinois: Alinea

Chicago
Alinea has honors in spades: It's a three-star Michelin restaurant and AAA Five Diamond Award winner, and was named the most outstanding restaurant in the United States by the James Beard Foundation in 2016. Hidden behind its unassuming Lincoln Park façade are elaborate molecular gastronomy tasting courses that reviewers call inventive, artistic, and even theatrical.


Reviewer rave: "Expect excellent, professional service with carefully curated courses and (optional) wine pairings. This is food as performance art so pay attention to the descriptions and directions of the staff who will take you on a journey through haute cuisine that has both substance and whimsy." — newzhnd on TripAdvisor

Artisan Elkhart
Artisan/Yelp

Indiana: Artisan

Elkhart
Interestingly, one of Indiana's handful of AAA Four Diamond restaurants isn't in Indianapolis but Elkhart, a small city in the northern part of the state near South Bend. Accordingly, Artisan says you'll get "fine dining flair without the formality," and diners agree — this is the spot for an elegant new twist on Midwestern cuisine, no pretension necessary.


Reviewer rave: "The staff is completely amazing. The food is absolutely full of flavor. The menu is like nothing else around. Great atmosphere. Definitely a date night or celebratory dinner atmosphere. They grow their own herbs. You must get the pink salt with your butter! My favorite place in Elkhart, hands down." — Lanae W. on Yelp

Artisan Elkhart
Artisan/Yelp

Indiana: Artisan

Elkhart
Interestingly, one of Indiana's handful of AAA Four Diamond restaurants isn't in Indianapolis but Elkhart, a small city in the northern part of the state near South Bend. Accordingly, Artisan says you'll get "fine dining flair without the formality," and diners agree — this is the spot for an elegant new twist on Midwestern cuisine, no pretension necessary.


Reviewer rave: "The staff is completely amazing. The food is absolutely full of flavor. The menu is like nothing else around. Great atmosphere. Definitely a date night or celebratory dinner atmosphere. They grow their own herbs. You must get the pink salt with your butter! My favorite place in Elkhart, hands down." — Lanae W. on Yelp

Archie's Waeside Cafe in Iowa
Heather C./Yelp.com

Iowa: Archie’s Waeside Café

Le Mars
Owner Bob Rand's grandfather, Archie Jackson, created Archie's in 1949. The menu boasts 10 cuts of dry-aged, hand-cut mouthwatering steaks such as Archie's Special Extra Thick, filets, rib-eyes, and porterhouses, all sourced from farms in northwest Iowa and northeast Nebraska. Rachael Ray named Archie's Waeside Café one of the best steakhouses in America, and its wine selection was a semi-finalist for a James Beard award in 2014. In 2015, Archie’s was awarded the James Beard American Classic award. 


Reviewer rave: "We go to Archies on our yearly trips to Iowa to visit family. This restaurant is a throwback to the old fashioned steakhouses of our youth! The decor and atmosphere hasn't changed for years, just the way we like it." — Kim E. on TripAdvisor 


Related: Historic Steakhouses Across America for an Old-School Indulgence

Archie's Waeside Cafe in Iowa
Heather C./Yelp.com

Iowa: Archie’s Waeside Café

Le Mars
Owner Bob Rand's grandfather, Archie Jackson, created Archie's in 1949. The menu boasts 10 cuts of dry-aged, hand-cut mouthwatering steaks such as Archie's Special Extra Thick, filets, rib-eyes, and porterhouses, all sourced from farms in northwest Iowa and northeast Nebraska. Rachael Ray named Archie's Waeside Café one of the best steakhouses in America, and its wine selection was a semi-finalist for a James Beard award in 2014. In 2015, Archie’s was awarded the James Beard American Classic award. 


Reviewer rave: "We go to Archies on our yearly trips to Iowa to visit family. This restaurant is a throwback to the old fashioned steakhouses of our youth! The decor and atmosphere hasn't changed for years, just the way we like it." — Kim E. on TripAdvisor 


Related: Historic Steakhouses Across America for an Old-School Indulgence

Story Prairie Village
Raeesa G./Yelp

Kansas: Story

Prairie Village
This suburban Kansas City restaurant has been quietly turning heads with its contemporary American cuisine and upscale atmosphere, earning honors from Wine Spectator and The Diner's Club, among others. Reviewers say you can't miss the smoked duck empanadas, served with black beans, avocado, jicama, and barbecue sauce.


Reviewer rave: "Buried in a mall, Story was a bit difficult to locate but well worth the search. We were early before the crowd and nabbed a couple of the soft shell crabs on offer. As opposed to the inedible salad in the museum earlier in the day Story’s salad was tender and tasty. The lobster tagliatelle-house made- was delightful. Our soft shell crabs done to perfection." — r m on TripAdvisor

Story Prairie Village
Raeesa G./Yelp

Kansas: Story

Prairie Village
This suburban Kansas City restaurant has been quietly turning heads with its contemporary American cuisine and upscale atmosphere, earning honors from Wine Spectator and The Diner's Club, among others. Reviewers say you can't miss the smoked duck empanadas, served with black beans, avocado, jicama, and barbecue sauce.


Reviewer rave: "Buried in a mall, Story was a bit difficult to locate but well worth the search. We were early before the crowd and nabbed a couple of the soft shell crabs on offer. As opposed to the inedible salad in the museum earlier in the day Story’s salad was tender and tasty. The lobster tagliatelle-house made- was delightful. Our soft shell crabs done to perfection." — r m on TripAdvisor

Vincenzo's Louisville's only AAA Diamond Award Winner in 2024
Mike C. / yelp.com

Kentucky: Vincenzo's

Louisville

Continuing a streak that started 14 years ago, Vincenzo's earned another Four Diamond Award from AAA in 2024 and was the only Louisville restaurant to be honored this year. Inside, guests find exquisite but warm and inviting dining areas where classic Italian fare like fettucini con pollo, and veal and chicken marsala and parmesan reign. Also available is a five-course champagne dinner. 


Reviewer rave:  "Great service and great food. Although we were not as dressed up as some of the patrons, the staff made us feel welcome and valued. The wait staff was attentive and helpful with recommendations. Loved the table side presentation. And both our meals were fantastic. Definitely recommend." — Rita H. on TripAdvisor 


Related: Where to Find the Best Meatballs Across America

Vincenzo's Louisville's only AAA Diamond Award Winner in 2024
Mike C. / yelp.com

Kentucky: Vincenzo's

Louisville

Continuing a streak that started 14 years ago, Vincenzo's earned another Four Diamond Award from AAA in 2024 and was the only Louisville restaurant to be honored this year. Inside, guests find exquisite but warm and inviting dining areas where classic Italian fare like fettucini con pollo, and veal and chicken marsala and parmesan reign. Also available is a five-course champagne dinner. 


Reviewer rave:  "Great service and great food. Although we were not as dressed up as some of the patrons, the staff made us feel welcome and valued. The wait staff was attentive and helpful with recommendations. Loved the table side presentation. And both our meals were fantastic. Definitely recommend." — Rita H. on TripAdvisor 


Related: Where to Find the Best Meatballs Across America

The Grill Room at Windsor Court New Orleans
Ashley J./Yelp

Louisiana: The Grill Room at Windsor Court

New Orleans
Though it might be easy to overlook this AAA Four Diamond, Forbes four-star restaurant in the Windsor Court hotel, devotees say it's one of the most elegant spots to dine in New Orleans. Service is warm without being stuffy, they enthuse, and the menu is filled with elevated Southern favorites. Don't want to spend a fortune? Try the $35 weekday lunch, which pairs an entrée with three sides.


Reviewer rave: "We were spending a few days in New Orleans on a road trip across the country. A couple of days before our arrival President Macron of France visited. I found out on the internet that he had a meal at Windsor Court. So one day we happened to walk by and stopped in for lunch. I didn't keep notes on our order, but we greatly appreciated the meal and highly recommend The Grill Room." — ShortStack12 on TripAdvisor

The Grill Room at Windsor Court New Orleans
Ashley J./Yelp

Louisiana: The Grill Room at Windsor Court

New Orleans
Though it might be easy to overlook this AAA Four Diamond, Forbes four-star restaurant in the Windsor Court hotel, devotees say it's one of the most elegant spots to dine in New Orleans. Service is warm without being stuffy, they enthuse, and the menu is filled with elevated Southern favorites. Don't want to spend a fortune? Try the $35 weekday lunch, which pairs an entrée with three sides.


Reviewer rave: "We were spending a few days in New Orleans on a road trip across the country. A couple of days before our arrival President Macron of France visited. I found out on the internet that he had a meal at Windsor Court. So one day we happened to walk by and stopped in for lunch. I didn't keep notes on our order, but we greatly appreciated the meal and highly recommend The Grill Room." — ShortStack12 on TripAdvisor

The White Barn Inn Restaurant Kennebunk
Bill S./Yelp

Maine: The White Barn Inn Restaurant

Kennebunk
Don't let the barn fool you: This restaurant has an AAA Five Diamond Award and five stars from Forbes. It offers fresh, seasonally inspired fare on a prix fixe menu that's fine enough to please any gourmet. 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.


Reviewer rave: "We are global travelers, and it is no exaggeration to say that for us this was probably the most memorable and delicious meal that we can remember in a very long time, perhaps ever. In addition to the incredible food, the table service was superb and there was gentle, unintrusive music including caroling and a pianist in the background. We look forward to returning to the restaurant in the future and feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience (Chef) Mathew Woolf's extraordinary talent." — Freedom63461765421 on TripAdvisor

The White Barn Inn Restaurant Kennebunk
Bill S./Yelp

Maine: The White Barn Inn Restaurant

Kennebunk
Don't let the barn fool you: This restaurant has an AAA Five Diamond Award and five stars from Forbes. It offers fresh, seasonally inspired fare on a prix fixe menu that's fine enough to please any gourmet. 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.


Reviewer rave: "We are global travelers, and it is no exaggeration to say that for us this was probably the most memorable and delicious meal that we can remember in a very long time, perhaps ever. In addition to the incredible food, the table service was superb and there was gentle, unintrusive music including caroling and a pianist in the background. We look forward to returning to the restaurant in the future and feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience (Chef) Mathew Woolf's extraordinary talent." — Freedom63461765421 on TripAdvisor

Charleston Baltimore
Drew S./Yelp

Maryland: Charleston

Baltimore
You know you're in good hands at Charleston, where chef Cindy Wolf is an nine-time James Beard Award finalist. This Inner Harbor restaurant is a staple on "best of Baltimore" lists, and for good reason, diners say. The prix fixe menu combines elegant French technique with Low Country comfort food: think cornmeal-fried oysters or creamy shrimp and grits.


Reviewer rave: "We had a very pleasant experience dining at Charleston in Baltimore. The service was very attentive from arrival to departure, including valet parking. The 3,4 or 5 course menu is interesting with a variety of choices. Ours included a delicious bison, halibut, squab, and other plates. The chef came and talked with us and gave us a delicious “loose pudding” dessert. We recommend this restaurant for a classy, delicious meal in a great atmosphere." — Navigate14853661162 on TripAdvisor

Charleston Baltimore
Drew S./Yelp

Maryland: Charleston

Baltimore
You know you're in good hands at Charleston, where chef Cindy Wolf is an nine-time James Beard Award finalist. This Inner Harbor restaurant is a staple on "best of Baltimore" lists, and for good reason, diners say. The prix fixe menu combines elegant French technique with Low Country comfort food: think cornmeal-fried oysters or creamy shrimp and grits.


Reviewer rave: "We had a very pleasant experience dining at Charleston in Baltimore. The service was very attentive from arrival to departure, including valet parking. The 3,4 or 5 course menu is interesting with a variety of choices. Ours included a delicious bison, halibut, squab, and other plates. The chef came and talked with us and gave us a delicious “loose pudding” dessert. We recommend this restaurant for a classy, delicious meal in a great atmosphere." — Navigate14853661162 on TripAdvisor

Tenderloin of Beef Wellington at Mooo Restaurant in Boston
Mike K./Yelp.com

Massachusetts: Mooo

Boston

If you can get past the irreverent name, you'll find a decidedly fine-dining experience waiting at Mooo in Boston's XV Beacon hotel. Though pricey in typical steakhouse fashion ($60 for a 8-ounce filet mignon), Fodor's Travel Guide notes that "portions are as exaggerated as the prices." Reviewers recommend the Wagyu dumplings to start, beef Wellington for an entrée, and bananas foster to cap a decadent meal. 


Reviewer rave: "This exquisite steakhouse was within our hotel, XV Beacon, and was one of the most delightful dining experiences we have ever had. A knowledgeable staff and attentive service, PLUS incredible food! Don't miss this delicious dining adventure!"  — Z9150RXrebeccag on TripAdvisor 

Tenderloin of Beef Wellington at Mooo Restaurant in Boston
Mike K./Yelp.com

Massachusetts: Mooo

Boston

If you can get past the irreverent name, you'll find a decidedly fine-dining experience waiting at Mooo in Boston's XV Beacon hotel. Though pricey in typical steakhouse fashion ($60 for a 8-ounce filet mignon), Fodor's Travel Guide notes that "portions are as exaggerated as the prices." Reviewers recommend the Wagyu dumplings to start, beef Wellington for an entrée, and bananas foster to cap a decadent meal. 


Reviewer rave: "This exquisite steakhouse was within our hotel, XV Beacon, and was one of the most delightful dining experiences we have ever had. A knowledgeable staff and attentive service, PLUS incredible food! Don't miss this delicious dining adventure!"  — Z9150RXrebeccag on TripAdvisor 

Bennethum's Northern Inn
Bennethum's Northern Inn/Yelp

Michigan: Bennethum's Northern Inn

Gaylord 
It doesn't have the floor-to-ceiling windows or white tablecloths of some of the elegant, urban restaurants on this list — in fact, walking in you may feel like you're at camp, especially if you stick to the simpler pub fare. But start with the filet mignon sliders at Bennethum’s Northern Inn, reviewers say, and you'll begin to understand the appeal. The perch and Austrian jaeger schnitzel won't let you down either, and the “impeccable” service and big portions will impress.


Reviewer rave: "We were a group of 14 and this restaurant blew me away. I am from Chicago and didn’t know what to expect while trying to find a nice restaurant in Gaylord, Michigan. The service was amazing and everything we ordered was A grade, from vegetarian to the wagyu American steak. The dessert was phenomenal! We have been going on a golf trip for 17 years and we felt this was hands down the best restaurant we have been to in all of our years on this trip." — Passenger355936418 on TripAdvisor

Bennethum's Northern Inn
Bennethum's Northern Inn/Yelp

Michigan: Bennethum's Northern Inn

Gaylord 
It doesn't have the floor-to-ceiling windows or white tablecloths of some of the elegant, urban restaurants on this list — in fact, walking in you may feel like you're at camp, especially if you stick to the simpler pub fare. But start with the filet mignon sliders at Bennethum’s Northern Inn, reviewers say, and you'll begin to understand the appeal. The perch and Austrian jaeger schnitzel won't let you down either, and the “impeccable” service and big portions will impress.


Reviewer rave: "We were a group of 14 and this restaurant blew me away. I am from Chicago and didn’t know what to expect while trying to find a nice restaurant in Gaylord, Michigan. The service was amazing and everything we ordered was A grade, from vegetarian to the wagyu American steak. The dessert was phenomenal! We have been going on a golf trip for 17 years and we felt this was hands down the best restaurant we have been to in all of our years on this trip." — Passenger355936418 on TripAdvisor

Manny's | Minneapolis
©TripAdvisor

Minnesota: Manny's

 Minneapolis
Zagat calls Manny's "a steak man's steakhouse," and indeed it has snagged a spot on Men's Journal's list of the world's 10 best steakhouses. Try the 50-ounce "Bludgeon of Beef" ($133) for a real exercise in gastrointestinal endurance. You also don't want to miss the hash browns here — reviewers say they are anything but humble.


Reviewer Rave: "Truly a top tier steakhouse experience. Manny's has a great vibe to it and the service we had was phenomenal. While not cheap (classic steakhouse prices) the food was worth it, was really nice having the meat cart brought to us before we ordered to scope the options! Another plus was the pour's of the drinks were huge! Highly recommend if you're looking for fine dining in the heart of Minny." — bencA7950NN on TripAdvisor

Manny's | Minneapolis
©TripAdvisor

Minnesota: Manny's

 Minneapolis
Zagat calls Manny's "a steak man's steakhouse," and indeed it has snagged a spot on Men's Journal's list of the world's 10 best steakhouses. Try the 50-ounce "Bludgeon of Beef" ($133) for a real exercise in gastrointestinal endurance. You also don't want to miss the hash browns here — reviewers say they are anything but humble.


Reviewer Rave: "Truly a top tier steakhouse experience. Manny's has a great vibe to it and the service we had was phenomenal. While not cheap (classic steakhouse prices) the food was worth it, was really nice having the meat cart brought to us before we ordered to scope the options! Another plus was the pour's of the drinks were huge! Highly recommend if you're looking for fine dining in the heart of Minny." — bencA7950NN on TripAdvisor

Mary Mahoney's, Biloxi, Mississippi
Fernanda + Justin D./Yelp

Mississippi: Mary Mahoney's Old French House

Biloxi
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.


Reviewer rave: The restaurant is really quaint with tables set up in small rooms. Each room has its own old world charm. We sat in the room with a nice fireplace. More importantly, the food is heavenly! We've had multiple menu items and each one was delicious and prepared perfectly. It is a bit pricey, but so worth it!" —  Cape-Deb on TripAdvisor 


Related: The Best Seafood Restaurant in Every State

Mary Mahoney's, Biloxi, Mississippi