TOP 40 RESTAURANTS IN THE U.S.
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 -
By Sophie Gayot
December 9, 2020
Each year around this time, we publish our “Restaurant Issue” in which we bestow awards on restaurants in America for their accomplishments over the course of the last 12 months. The recurring categories include the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., the Best New Restaurants in the U.S., and Best Restaurateur.
As we have all been experiencing, 2020 is an unprecedented year. The least we can say is that restaurants have not been able to operate normally. Depending on the period of time, the state, the county, and, sometimes, the city, the health orders have been different and have continuously evolved depending on the case numbers and court rulings. Some can have dine-in, others can solely provide outdoor dining, and many can only offer takeout and delivery (most of the time, using platforms costing them an important commission). We know and we have seen it — chefs and restaurateurs have put their imagination to the task. They have come up with great ideas to attract and retain diners, turning unthinkable spaces into pleasant patios when they did not already have one. They have made important investments for the protection of their employees and of the diners. We have seen staff working for hours wearing both a mask and a visor while keeping a smile on their face and being courteous. If they have done it to retain their job, they also have done it for us so we could enjoy a meal outside of the house while we are seated maskless. Have you ever ventured into a restaurant’s kitchen where, most of the time, the heat is unbearable? Imagine being in there with a mask for eight hours…
It has become clear that we love our restaurants, and don’t want to see them shutter. In support of the restaurant industry, which by the way, involves much more than the team you can see in the restaurant, we have decided that all the restaurants in operation in 2020 are GAYOT’s winners.
We are very sad to see that the pandemic has forced many restaurants to close forever, but we are also happy to see that the culinary level in America is in constant elevation. It is a very good thing, because it triggers a “chain of command” of “requiring better” in many other domains. Wouldn’t you agree that if you have better food (which implies better ingredients), wouldn’t you want better music, better art, better movies, better books? Wouldn’t you better respect your surroundings? That would be your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues… not forgetting the environment, our legacy to our children and grandchildren and all the generations to come.
We feel very hopeful with the prospect of the COVID-19 vaccine. Yesterday marked the first time the vaccine was administered to someone outside of a clinical trial, a 90-year-old lady in the UK. [UPDATE 12/15/2020: Shipments of it are starting to arrive across the U.S.] The beginning of our victory against the virus is now a reality. We think we can all say that we are impatiently looking to close this chapter of our life and move to 2021. We wish you all good health and present our condolences to those who have lost loved ones.
To the next year!
By Gayot Editors
Best Restaurants in America for 2019
As 2019 comes to a close, we reflect on a year of exceptional meals and how they represent the current state of haute gastronomy. In some instances, fine dining has become a more intimate affair, with jewel-box dining rooms accommodating a select number of guests per service. Making reservations can sometimes be a competitive sport!
To please those diners who have parted ways from eating food prepared from formerly living creatures — of course, by that we mean the group (growing larger every day) formed by vegetarians and vegans — more and more chefs are now offering dishes and full menus to accommodate those eating habits, even at the level of the restaurants below.
Chefs have always focused intensely on flavor, but that same care and detail has also expanded to the aesthetic aspects of the experience. We’ve noticed such artistic strides in recent years, from intricate presentations to handmade ceramics to photography that truly captures the creative culinary spirit.
For us, it still always comes down to taste, and we are pleased to honor the best chefs across the U.S. and their dedication to their craft.
GAYOT’s Top 40 Restaurant in the U.S. are presented in alphabetical order.
By Gayot Editors
Best Restaurants in America for 2018
To reach the upper echelons of gastronomy is a truly stunning feat requiring years (decades, more accurately) of dedication in the kitchen, a constant thirst for culinary knowledge, and passion to achiecve the next creative break-through.
We salute these stalwart chefs across America who continually exceed expectations with their cuising, seeking out the finest ingredients from near and far to please our palates.
GAYOT's 2018 Top 40 Restaurant in the U.S. are presented in alphabetical order.
Addison | Chef William Bradley
Alinea | Chef Grant Achatz
Atelier Cren | Chef Dominique Crenn
Atera | Chef Ronny Emborg
Aubergine | Chef Justin Cogley
Blue Hill at Stone Barns | Chef Dan Barber
Chef Marvo | Chef George Mavrothalassitis
Daniel | Chef Daniel Boulud
Eleven Madison Park | Chef Daniel Humm
Everest | Chef Jean Joho
Frasca Food and Wine | Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson
The French Laundry | Chef Thomas Keller
George Trois | Chef Michael Lachowicz
The Inn at Little Washington | Chef Patrick O'Connell
Jean-Georges | Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Joël Robuchon Restaurant
L'Espalier | Chef Frank McClelland
La Folie | Chef Roland Passot
La Toque | Chef Ken Frank
Le Bernardin | Chef Eric Ripert
Manresa | Chef David Kinch
Mélisse | Chef Josiah Citrin
Menton | Chef Barbara Lynch
NAOE | Chef Kevin Cory
Patina | Chef Joachim Splichal
Per Se | Chef Thomas Keller
Picasso | Chef Julian Serrano
Providence | Chef Michael Cimarusti
Restaurant Eugene | Chef Linton Hopkins
Restaurant Guy Savoy
The Restaurant at Meadowood | Chef Christopher Kostow
Restaurant Nicholas | Chef Nicholas Harary
Saison | Chef Joshua Skenes
SingleThread Farm - Restaurant - Inn | Chef Kyle Connaughton
Twist by Pierre Gagnaire
Vetri | Chef Marc Vetri
Vie | Chef Paul Virant
The Willows Inn | Chef Blaine Wetzel
By Gayot Editors
Best Restaurants in America for 2017
The year 2017 brought some significant changes to the realm of fine dining in the U.S.
Meanwhile, stalwart chefs across America persevered in their pursuit of culinary innovation through refined techniques and pristine ingredients sourced from near and far. We’re proud to honor these excellent establishments on GAYOT’s 2017 Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., presented in alphabetical order.
By Gayot Editors
Each year we honor fine-dining establishments in America that reach the top echelon of gastronomy, where meals transcend mere sustenance. Browse GAYOT’s selections for the 2016 Top 40 Restaurants in America, presented in alphabetical order.