Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

The Gayot Top 40 Places to Dine in the U.S.

November 1990

To be or not to be the best? That is the question, and also the raison d'être, of scores of young chefs around the country. The revolution that shook French ovens twenty years ago, when Gault Millau revealed the birth of nouvelle cuisine, has now spread to the entire world. Previously unsung talents have emerged. Gourmet eating is no longer a guarded privilege enjoyed by a pampered few. Naturally influenced in the beginning by its European roots, America has integrated the flavors of Asia and Latin America into the melting pot, and succeeded in creating at least half-a-dozen original, genuinely American cuisines: Californian; American nouvelle; Northwestern; Southwest; Cajun; Creole; Floridian; and guess what—even Alpine American.

No one will be surprised to find that the best restaurants are located in large, cosmopolitan areas: money draws; and the ready cash in urban areas seeds terrific restaurants. But there are creative talents all over the country that need to be encouraged. Accordingly, we have searched for the best in the rest of America as well. And this explains our far-reaching list of the best.

We've been busily honing our reviewing skills over the past thirty years in restaurants, auberges, inns, cabarets, posadas and weinstüben, and yes, our choices are subjective. Agree or disagree with our conclusions, it's up to you.

Vive la démocratie!

 

Le Cirque
Le Bernardin
Restaurant Lafayette
The Quilted Giraffe
Ambria
Aureole
Le Bec Fin
Chanterelle
Chillingsworth
Chez Panisse
Chinois On Main
The Everest Room
Fleur de Lys
Citrus
Inn at Little Washington
Jasper's
Le Marquis de Lafayette
Montrachet
Patina
San Domenico

Valentino
Bayona
Charlie Trotter's
Henri
Lark Creek Inn
Mark's Place
Jean Louis
Masa's
Nippon
La Panetière
Roy's Restaurant
St. Estephe
Stars
Atwaters
Café Annie
Coyote Café
Goodfellow's
The Grille Room
The Mansion on Turtle Creek
The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead



RESTAURANT AWARDS 2014

Check out the 2014 edition of GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Issue, which features the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., Rising Chefs and more.