16 Most Famous Restaurants in America - Restaurant Clicks (2023)

When planning a vacation, we fill our itineraries with a busy sightseeing schedule. All cities and towns have many iconic places, whether they are historical landmarks, natural parks or cultural attractions.

16 Most Famous Restaurants in America - Restaurant Clicks (1)

Certain attractions can combine history, culture and nature into an unforgettable experience. One such experience is eating. A delicious meal from the natural bounty of the land at a historic culinary institution that showcases local culinary traditions ticks all the boxes.

Restaurants deserve credit for a combination of atmosphere, service, and food, but there are other factors that go into making America's most celebrated restaurants.

Many of these restaurants have historical significance that connects them to a city. Some of them predate the city itself, while others have created the very dishes we associate with the surrounding city or region.

The most famous restaurants in America

Below I've compiled a list of America's Most Famous Restaurants so you can explore and discover the source of each longtime restaurant's fame.

Commander's Palace

1403 Washington Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: 504-899-8221
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Housed in a beautiful Creole-style building in the heart of New Orleans' Garden District, the Commander's Palace is a SeventimeJames Beard-Preis-Award winning Creole and Cajun fine dining restaurant.

It opened in 1893 and has been the gold standard for elegant dining ever since. The food, service and interior design at the Commander's Palace are the pinnacle of opulence.

Many celebrity chefs have headed the kitchen,like Emeril Lagasse, and continue to raise the bar for multi-course menu creativity.

The current Executive Chef is Meg Bickford, and she sources all the ingredients for the menu from the surrounding Louisiana bounty.

Eating was almost a religious experience for me. I'll spend the rest of my days daydreaming about the Creole Tomato Crawfish Curry.

The French Laundry

6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599
Phone: 707-944-2380
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The French Laundry is Chef Thomas Keller's longstanding culinary and architectural dream.

Chef Keller's dream to open oneauthentic french restaurantin the heart of Napa Valley came true with the purchase of a turn-of-the-century stone salon that served as a home, restaurant and steam laundry before becoming The French Laundry in 1994.

The French Laundry has received the highest awardMichelin-SternRating along with the James Beard Awards for Best Restaurant and Best Chef during his nearly 30-year tenure.

The menu changes daily and has been recognized for its authenticity by French national culinary organizations.

While there, I enjoyed a Napa Valley Cabernet with the most decadent version of mac and cheese I've ever seen, made with orzo pasta, parmesan, truffle mousse, and grated black truffles.

Katz's Delicatessen

205 E Houston Street, New York, NY 10002
Phone: 212-254-2246
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Katz's Delicatessen isthe most famous deli in Americaand a Lower East Side institution since 1888.

Originally called the Island Brothers, Katz's got its name when Willy Katz joined the partnership and eventually took over the business in 1910.

Family-owned and operated ever since, Katz's Deli is the standard for Jewish food in New York City and the world.

Tourists and locals alike flock to Katz's to sample their incredible sandwiches, stacked with the juiciest delicacies in a historic, bustling New York atmosphere.

The queue is always out front and you will most likely be pushed out the second you finish your meal. However, it's all part of the experience!

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I recommend the slow salted and hand carved corned beef sandwich. If you're ambitious, start by ordering potato pancakes.

Das Bluebird-Café

4104 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215
Phone: 615-383-1461
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Opened in 1982, The Bluebird Café has since become one of Nashville's most celebrated music venues.

It receives over 70,000 visits a year and is a sought-after venue for even the most famous performers and clients.

The Bluebird Café is a dining and music club with an intimate, casual atmosphere. Around 40 tables surround a small stage with outstanding live music from the house band and special guests.

Mentioned in The New York Times and as the setting for several famous TV shows, The Bluebird Café is a must-see. I recommend reserving a seat months in advance.

Snow's BBQ

Hauptstr. 516, Lexington, TX 78947
Phone: 979-773-4640
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Texas is known for its barbecue, and Snow's BBQ was voted the best barbecue in Texas by Texas Monthly.

Located in the small Texas town of Lexington, Snow's BBQ is the quintessential Texas dining experience where you can enjoy the best smoked meats and side dishes in the state in a rustic, family-friendly atmosphere.

Owner Kerry Bexley and Pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz serve barbecue every day, starting at 8am until they sell out.

They sell their simple menu of meats and sides by the pound to long lines of hungry customers. I've never had a juicier, tastier brisket and jalapeno cheddar in my life.

Mom's fish house

799 Poho Pl, Paia, HI 96779
Phone: 808-579-8488
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Located on the paradise island of Maui, Mama's Fish House was one of the island's first seafood restaurants, opening in 1973.

Founders Floyd and Doris Christenson had been visiting Maui when Hawaii became statehood.

Its unreserved beauty inspired them to leave their life on the mainland and sail around the world for four years before returning to the island where it all began.

They opened Mama's Fish House to honor local catches and fishermen in Hawaii. What was once a local gathering place is now Maui's premier sea-to-table bistro.

All fish are caught by local fishermen who use local flavors and traditions to create a multi-course seafood smorgasbord.

I loved their macadamia nut crab cakes.

Unit volume

1723 N Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60614
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Receptionthe highest Michelin star ratingand voted the best restaurant in the world by Business Insider, Elite Traveler and The World's 50 Best Restaurants, Alinea is Chicago's premier modernist dining experience. You could mistake the setting and food for a museum.

The main dining room is called the Gallery and serves a menu that appeals to all the senses, using the latest techniques and innovations to create a culinary show that is second to none.

They even call their meals "performances" due to a theatrical, multi-sensory dining experience.

There are three dining experiences, all priced differently and all pre-determined multi-course menus.

The Union Oyster House

41 Union Street, Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-227-2750
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The Union Oyster House is both Boston's andAmerica's oldest continuously operating restaurant.

The hotel is just a few blocks from the iconFaneuil-Halle, The Union Oyster House opened in 1826 and is now a National Historic Landmark on the famous Freedom Trail.

It has only changed three owners in nearly a century of business.

The Union Oyster House has beautifully preserved the interior of its 19th-century origins, and the walls and alcoves feature numerous historical artifacts and pictures to peruse while you await a fresh New England seafood meal.

In honor of Boston's most celebrated culinary contribution, I ordered their famous clam chowder.

coffee of the world

848 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116
Phone: 800-772-2927
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Another New Orleans staple, Café Du Monde is a world-renowned French coffee shop that opened in the French MarketFrench Quarterin 1862.

The French market was a trading post between Native Americans and a long line of European colonizers that originated in the 18th century.

Café du Monde still serves the same menu of café au lait andBeignets or French donutsthat they have served as a humble food stall since they opened.

Now Café du Monde is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's a popular meeting place for a sumptuous breakfast or a decadent midnight snack after the bars and music halls have closed.

Café Du Monde Beignets are the perfect light and crispy fried batter treat, with a fluffy interior and a powdered sugar finish. I will have at least one a day during a stay in New Orleans.

St. Elmo Steakhaus

127 S Illinois Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225
Phone: 317-635-0636
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Recognized as one of Forbes' 10 Great Classic Restaurants, St. Elmo Steakhouse is Indianapolis' oldest steakhouse, opening in 1902.

Originally a male-only facility, it hosted many political alliances, business deals, and sports team dinners.

Today, St. Elmo Steakhouse is a historic andromantic destination for men and women.

The building is from the turn of the century with wooden moldings and carved ceilingsa stunning setting to enjoy a traditional American steak.

I went with a date and ordered the luxurious bone-in prime rib with horseradish and gorgonzola butter.

Mystical Pizza

56 W Main Street, Mystic, CT 06355
Phone: 860-536-3700
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You might think that the namesakeFilm, starring Julia Roberts, predated this famous Connecticut pizza joint, but in fact, the pizza joint inspired the film!

Opened by the Zelepos family in 1973, Mystic Pizza's enticing family recipes are as legendary as ever.

The pizza and the setting remain the same as in the 1988 film that is responsible for its national fame.

I would compare the pizza to the New Haven style, a thin crust pizza with a crispy but chewy outer crust.

The Zelepos family uses their Greek heritage to create many special cake combinations. I loved the moussaka pizza with eggplant, meatballs and extra sauce.

Johannes Georg

1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023
Phone: 212-299-3900
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Named for its founder and Executive Chef, Jean George Vongerichten, Jean Georges is a fine-dining French, American and Asian fusion restaurant set in a stunning dining room in the heart of Manhattan's Central Park.

Earning two Michelin stars, Jean Georges focuses its menu on fresh produce, meat and fish sold daily at surrounding New York farmers' markets.

I almost forgot I was in town when I dined in this stunning two-story dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the perfectly manicured grounds of Central Park.

The 10 course dinner was as beautiful as my surroundings.

Pat’s King of Steaks und Geno’s Steaks

1237 E Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: 215-468-1546
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Established in 1930, Pat's King of Steaks is where the Philadelphia Cheesesteak was born, while fierce competitor Geno's Steaks opened across the street in 1966.

Pat's King of Steaks and Geno's Steaks are an invaluable part of Philadelphia's culinary history and fame.

Both are no-frills 24-hour diners and food stands that are the pride and joy of South Philadelphia, though most Philadelphians doprefer their cheesesteaks from places with fewer tourists.

The main dish on the menu is of course cheesesteak sandwiches, which you can customize with your choice of toppings, sauces and condiments.

They have a fishcake sandwich, hot dogs, and fries, but leaving without trying a cheesesteak is a sin. I loaded my cheesesteak sandwich with onions, mushrooms, peppers and Cheese-Wiz.

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So, are you a person of Pat or a person of Geno?

Das Flusscafé

1 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-522-5200
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There's nothing more iconic than the New York skyline, and the River Cafe offers you front-row seating with the most incredible view of Manhattan from across the Hudson.

The River Cafe in Brooklyn, below the Brooklyn Bridge, has been New York's most picturesque fine-dining restaurant since 1977.

The menu is as spectacular as the view and earned chef Brad Steelman a Michelin star.

The River Cafe is not only one of the most famous restaurants in America, it's also considered one of the bestthe most beautiful restaurants in the world.

The menu is a new American multi-course menu using the finest ingredients from around the world.

I recommend the lavender flavored duck with sherry wine gastrique and risotto cake with confit.


813 Bienville Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: 504-523-5433
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Located just off Bourbon Street in New Orleans' French Quarter, Arnaud's is an ode to everything New Orleans is famous for, including food, jazz and festivities.

Opened in 1918, Arnaud's is a classic Creole gourmet restaurant and cocktail lounge with live jazz music.

The iconic French-Creole architecture and old-school decor only adds to the authenticity of your dining experience.

They offer dinner and Sunday brunch. There are a variety of rooms, each with its own charm and theme, from the Jazz Bistro to the famous French 75 Bar Lounge.

I went to the Pre-Fixe Jazz Brunch in the main dining room and had their famous Egg Sardou with poached eggs on an artichoke crust smothered in hollandaise sauce.

Peter Luger Steakhaus

178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: 718-387-7400
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The Peter Luger Steakhouse in Williamsburg opened in 1887 as a pool hall and bowling alley, where owner Peter Luger's nephew oversaw the kitchen, serving up the neighborhood's most popular steaks.

It was also the business haunt of prosperous silver magnate Sol Forman, who bought the business at auction so he could still get his three steaks a day.

Today, Peter Luger is a New York icon for fine steaks in a historic atmosphere, having been voted New York's best steakhouse since 1984.

The Michelin starred menu usesHandverlesenes USDA Prime Beefwhich is dry aged on site.

The menu is simple, with USDA Prime Beef for one, two, three, or four people. I got steak for one with creamed spinach on the side and Luger's German fried potatoes.

The most famous restaurants in America

  1. Commander's Palace
  2. The French Laundry
  3. Katz’s Deli
  4. Das Bluebird-Café
  5. Snow's BBQ
  6. Mom's fish house
  7. Unit volume
  8. The Union Oyster House
  9. coffee of the world
  10. St. Elmo Steakhaus
  11. Mystical Pizza
  12. Johannes Georg
  13. Pat’s King of Steaks und Geno’s Steaks
  14. Das Flusscafé
  15. Arnauds
  16. Peter Luger Steakhaus

Final Thoughts

America's most famous restaurants give customers a taste of heaven and history.

Whether you're in New York, New Orleans, or a small town in Texas, you'll find an iconic piece of history along with a memorable meal to tick off your bucket list.

If you are looking for more interesting restaurants, stop bythe most expensive restaurants in the worldand see if you can afford to splurge!

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