Reviews.org has released their list of the highest-rated restaurants in the most populous city of each state, plus Washington, DC.
Some of the top-rated restaurants make sense on the surface. The top cuisine among states located in coastal areas is seafood. The restaurant with the best ratings in Nevada is located in Las Vegas and is a buffet. The highest-rated restaurants in Kentucky and South Carolina specialize in Southern food.
But there were some interesting restaurant revelations that may come as a surprise to people unfamiliar with what’s popular in other states. For example, Wyoming’s Rib and Chop House in, you guessed it, Wyoming, specializes in not just steakhouse fare but also seafood. This indicates that seafood is the preferred cuisine in at least one state located further inland.
Cocina Azul, the top-rated restaurant in New Mexico, specializes in a type of food that some may be surprised to learn is a recognized category of cuisine: New Mexican.
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The highest-rated restaurant in Oregon—famously located in the Northwest—is known for Southern food.
When it comes to other cuisine-based revelations, while what's popular is largely subject to region, 17 of the concepts offer American fare. Eight restaurants on this Reviews.org list offer seafood. Six specialize in barbecue, and four in Southern food. Perhaps most intriguing given the shift toward sustainability, transparency, organic and locally-sourced food and ingredients is that four concepts on the list are categorized as farm-to-table restaurants.
Other notable findings gleaned through analyzing the Reviews.org list include the prevalence of restaurant names beginning with the letter B: 12 of 51. Second place is a three-way tie between the letters F, P and R—four restaurant names begin with each of those letters.
Most of the restaurants in the list below—29 of them—are single-concept, single-unit operations. Ten are single-concept, two-unit operations; four have three units; two concepts operate three units; two concepts have four units; and two have expanded to 7 units.
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One concept has grown to 5 units; one to 9 units; and one operates 15 units in the USA. One concept, Burger & Lobster, operates 16 units internationally with restaurants in Dubai, Bangkok, Kuwait, London, New York, Malaysia, and Singapore. Seven concepts are multi-state operations. Two concepts operate a to-go or quick-service kiosk.
2019 Reviews.org Best Restaurant in Each State (Alphabetical Order)
- Acme Oyster House, New Orleans, LA, New Orleans-style seafood and Cajun and Creole cuisine: 7 locations (5 throughout Louisiana, 1 in Alabama, 1 in Florida)
- Bacchanal Buffet, Las Vegas, NV, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, American, and more: 1 location
- The Bearded Pig, Jacksonville, FL, Southern barbecue: 1 location
- The Bee & The Biscuit, Virginia Beach, VA, New American cuisine: 1 location
- Bestia, Los Angeles, CA, Multi-regional rustic Italian cuisine: 1 location
- Big Fish Grill, Wilmington, DE, Seafood: 2 locations in Delaware
- Block 16, Omaha, NE, Farm-to-table street food, specializing in sandwiches: 1 location
- Blue’s Egg, Milwaukee, WI, Modern American brunch: 2 locations in Wisconsin
- The Breakfast Klub, Houston, TX: American cuisine and soul food: 3 locations in Houston (2 in Bush Intercontinental Airport: 1 full-service, 1 to-go)
- Brick + Wood, Fairfield, CT, Italian street food and pizza: 1 location
- Burger & Lobster, New York, NY, Seafood and prime burgers: 16 locations (2 in New York, 9 throughout London, 1 in Dubai, 1 in Bangkok, 1 in Malaysia, 1 in Kuwait, 1 in Singapore)
- The Burger Dive, Billings, MT, American cuisine, specializing in burgers and hotdogs: 1 location
- Butcher & The Boar, Minneapolis, MN, American cuisine: 2 locations (1 in Minneapolis, 1 in Charleston, SC)
- Cocina Azul, Albuquerque, NM, New Mexican cuisine: 3 locations in Albuquerque
- Dime Store, Detroit, MI, Modern American breakfast, lunch and brunch: 1 location
- The Eagle, Indianapolis, IN, American comfort food: 4 locations (1 in Indianapolis, 2 in Ohio, 1 in Kentucky)
- Eventide Oyster Co., Portland, ME, Seafood: 2 locations (1 in Portland, 1 in Boston)
- The Farmhouse Tap & Grill, Burlington, VT, Farm-to-table American fare: 1 location
- Fork, Boise, ID, Farm-to-table American cuisine: 1 location
- Founding Farmers, Washington, DC, Upscale American cuisine: 4 locations (1 in DC, 1 in Pennsylvania, 2 in Virginia)
- Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, Atlanta, GA, Texas-influenced multi-regional barbecue: 2 locations in Atlanta (1 full-service, 1 quick-service kiosk)
- Girl & The Goat, Chicago, IL, Globally-influenced cuisine: 1 location
- Hammerheads, Louisville, KY, Contemporary Southern gastropub and smokehouse fare: 1 location
- Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Nashville, TN, Nashville hot chicken: 7 locations (4 locations in Tennessee, 1 in Alabama, 1 in Georgia, and 1 in Nevada)
- Hot Chicken Takeover, Columbus, OH, Nashville hot chicken: 3 locations in Columbus
- Kitchen No. 324, Oklahoma City, OK, Seasonally-inspired café and bakery: 1 location
- Little Miss BBQ, Phoenix, AX, Central Texas-style cuisine: 2 locations in Phoenix
- Los Andes Restaurant, Providence, RI, Peruvian and Bolivian cuisine: 1 location
- Marukame Udon, Honolulu, HI, Japanese cuisine: 1 location
- Midwood Smokehouse, Charlotte, NC, Multi-regional barbecue: 5 locations (3 in Charlotte, 1 in Huntersville, NC, 1 in South Carolina)
- Moose’s Tooth, Anchorage, AK, Italian and American cuisine, specializing in pizza: 1 location
- Neptune Oyster, Boston, MA, Seafood: 1 location
- Pies & Pints, Charleston, WV, Pizza: 15 locations (3 in West Virginia, 6 in Ohio, 2 in Alabama, 2 in Indiana, 1 in Kentucky, 1 in Virginia)
- The Pig & Pint, Jackson, MS, Barbecue with global influence: 1 location
- Pike Place Chowder, Seattle, WA, Local seafood: 2 locations in Seattle
- Poogan’s Porch, Charleston, SC, Southern cuisine: 1 location
- Q39, Kansas City, MO, Chef-driven barbecue: 2 locations in Missouri
- Red Iguana, Salt Lake City, UT, Mexican cuisine: 2 locations in Salt Lake City
- Republic Cafe & Bistro, Manchester, NH, Certified local farm-to-table Mediterranean cuisine: 1 location
- The Root Café, Little Rock, AR, Upscale Southern cuisine: 1 location
- Root Down, Denver, CO, Globally-influenced seasonal cuisine and inventive American small plates: 1 location
- SAW’S Soul Kitchen, Birmingham, AL, Barbecue and soul food: 1 location
- Screen Door, Portland, OR, Southern cuisine: 1 location
- Shio Ramen Shop, Kansas City, MO, Chinese cuisine, specializing in ramen: 1 location
- TapHouse 41, Sioux Falls, SD, American cuisine, specializing in burgers: 1 location
- Thames Street Oyster House, Baltimore, MD, Seafood: 1 location
- Tops Diner, East Newark, NJ, American cuisine: 1 location
- Würst Bier Hall, Fargo, ND, German-style pub fare: 2 locations (1 in Fargo, 1 in West Fargo)
- Wyoming’s Rib and Chop House, Cheyenne, WY, American steakhouse and seafood: 9 locations throughout the state
- Zahav, Philadelphia, PA, Modern Israeli cuisine: 1 location
- Zombie Burger & Drink Lab, Des Moines, IA, American cuisine: 3 locations throughout Iowa
Using an approximation of the Reviews.org methodology, I’ve identified Marmalade in San Juan as the highest-rated restaurant in Puerto Rico. San Juan is the most populous city in Puerto Rico, and while Marmalade is ranked number two overall by Yelp with 4.5 stars, it has accumulated 1,168 reviews. The number-one ranked restaurant in San Juan has 5 stars but only 188 reviews. Marmalade is a single-concept, single unit concept specializing in globally-influenced, farm-to-table, sustainable and organic cuisine.
Reviews.org Methodology: To determine each state's highest rated restaurant, Reviews.org poured through data on Yelp and found the top three restaurants (both by ratings and number of reviews) for each state’s most populous city. Reviews.org then chose the highest-ranked restaurant of the three based on the quality of the reviews.
Source: Reviews.org, "Top-Rated Restaurant in Every State 2019"