The Bucket-list Restaurant In Every State

What is your state's most well-known restaurant? Perhaps it is an award-winning restaurant, a fine-dining establishment with a Michelin star, or a modest, local establishment that has been in business for decades. From slick restaurants with innovative menus to vintage diners and mom-and-pop businesses, we've selected the essential must-see sites across the United States.

The Best Classic Restaurants in Every State

The Best Classic Restaurants in Every State

Alabama: Chez Fonfon, Birmingham:

Chez Fonfon, a bustling French cafe, has been one of Alabama's most popular restaurants for over 20 years, thanks to its attractive décor, picturesque terrace completes with boules, and wonderful food, wines, and cocktails. The restaurant, which is run by award-winning chef Frank Stitt, who was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2009, and his wife Pardis, is extremely popular. Expect familiar French dishes like steak frites and daily specials such as duck breast with cassis, blackberries, and field peas.

Arizona: FnB, Scottsdale:

The recent James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest has elevated FnB and its owner and chef, Charleen Badman, to new heights. The honour, the first for an Arizona chef in more than a decade, confirmed what local foodies had always known. FnB remains popular due to its menu, which features seasonal products acquired from Arizona's top farmers and purveyors. The restaurant is also known for its wine program, which promotes local winemakers.

Arkansas: The Pantry, Little Rock:

The Pantry, which has two locations in Little Rock, is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. With a menu of German, Czech, and American dishes, it offers a unique eating experience compared to most other establishments in the neighbourhood. Highlights include the Pantry Pie with Hungarian goulash and mashed potatoes, Svickova (Czech roast beef, bread dumplings, and creamy root vegetable sauce), and the Stock Pot (red snapper, Savoy cabbage, carrots, onions, and mushroom broth).

California: Chez Panisse, Berkeley:

Dinner at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California | Surreyfarms. A serene  haven in the foothills of Northern California

Chez Panisse is a must-visit restaurant for foodies everywhere. When it first opened in 1971, it was a pioneering restaurant, presenting a menu focused on local and seasonal ingredients long before it became popular. Alice Waters, an iconic chef, and her restaurant have garnered numerous awards, including the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award for being one of the most important individuals in American culinary over the last 50 years. The set menu changes daily, and dishes include Monterey Bay squid with butter beans and romesco, as well as grilled Sonoma County duck with green lentils, glazed turnips, and garlicky greens.

Colorado: Frasca, Boulder:

Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, executive chef and creator, draws inspiration from the sub-alpine region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia in northeast Italy to create an outstanding Italian dining experience in Colorado. The James Beard Foundation has praised Frasca for great service, outstanding wine service, and finest chef, and it has been named to multiple 'best restaurants' lists. Frasca offers prix fixe meals as well as the chef's six-course tasting menu with wine pairing.

Connecticut: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven:

In New Haven, you either prefer Frank Pepe or Sally's Apizza. The friendly rivalry between the two businesses, started by an uncle and a nephew respectively, has been lasting for close to a hundred years now. Frank Pepe's pizzas, named an American Classic by the James Beard Foundation in 1999 and recently ranked as one of the best pizzas in the United States by Food & Wine magazine, have remained unchanged since their inception in 1925. The pizzas, baked to perfection in coal-fired brick ovens identical to the original, can now be found in a variety of other locations, but it is the original eatery that has foodies lining up.

Delaware: The House of William and Merry, Hockessin:

Delaware: The House of William and Merry, Hockessin:

This restaurant, which is run by husband-and-wife combination William Hoffman and Merry Catanuto, has won numerous awards since its inception in 2011. William was been selected a semifinalist for the James Beard Best Chef Award 2022. The House of William and Merry, located in a rebuilt centuries-old farmhouse, serves a frequently changing menu that includes dishes like crawfish bisque with pork belly crackling and herb oil, grilled prime beef steak with potatoes baked in truffle butter, and their famed, house-made chocolate truffles.

Florida: Joe's Stone Crab, Miami:

Joe's Stone Crab, a Miami Beach tradition, has opened multiple other locations, but the original establishment remains a Florida landmark. The restaurant, which has been serving foodies and celebrities since 1913, is famous for its stone crabs, as the name implies, and received the James Beard Foundation's American Classics award in 1998. Not only is it one of the most popular restaurants in the country, but it is also mentioned in Ian Fleming's novel Goldfinger as Bill's on the Beach, where James Bond had the best dinner of his life.


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