The 50 Best Restaurants – Spoon University

April 2, 2016

Corinne Robertson

25. KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI: Q39

Q39 is a finger-licking good type of barbecue restaurant that also features a large menu with plenty of soups and salads as well.

24. JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI: THE PIG & PINT

A place that’s all about having some barbecue in one hand and a cold beer in the other. This restaurant is located in the Jackson area for all of those who need this in their lives.

23. ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA: JOAN’S IN THE PARK

This restaurant’s gourmet food has won numerous awards. And while the flavors are savory and delicious, they don’t come at an exorbitant price, as nothing is over $35 on the main menu, with all salads averaging $13 and desserts at $9.

22. DETROIT, MICHIGAN: WRIGHT & CO.

Located in Detroit, this restaurant doesn’t take reservations so it tends to turn into quite the scene as people gather and mingle at the bar while waiting for a table. Wright & Co. is widely known for their small plates with big flavor.

21. BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: NEPTUNE OYSTER

This restaurant’s specialty is in the name, although they serve excellent seafood of all kinds. They have such good oysters they even put them on their sandwiches. There may be a bit of a wait, but this restaurant has some good eats if you are in the area and craving some seafood.

20. BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: WOODBERRY KITCHEN

The Woodberry Kitchen prides itself on using organic and local ingredients. This restaurant is one that looks exactly as it sounds. It has cozy, orange tinted lighting, big wood tables, and brick walls. The atmosphere is comfortable and the food is delicious, which is why business is booming at this Baltimore restaurant.

19. PORTLAND, MAINE: BACK BAY GRILL

A seaside restaurant that serves highly-rated fresh seafood, as well as many other gourmet dishes such as lavender-marinated duck breast. With a friendly and attentive staff, this restaurant is one that will always make you feel welcomed.

18. NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA: RESTAURANT REBIRTH

Located in New Orleans this restaurant, no doubt, serves great creole food. It is relatively new, however almost every online review started with a personal recommendation.

17. LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: JACK FRY’S

A classic restaurant established in the 1930’s by Jack Fry and his wife Flossie. The restaurant became a bit of a sports hangout and today it still has the classic feel with walls adorned in old photos of men in suits hanging out at the racetrack. The restaurant, located in Louisville, is one that takes pride in the presentation and taste of the food. For this, Jack Fry’s has been often noted and awarded in many publications, including The New York Times.

16. WICHITA, KANSAS: PUBLIC AT THE BRICKYARD

Besides having great food, this restaurant is overall one where you just want to be. Its atmosphere is relaxing and comfortable and the food isn’t too out there but still packs flavor. This is an ideal place for group dinners or a casual place with great food to take friends.

15. DES MOINES, IOWA: THE FLYING MANGO

This restaurant is known as a hotspot in Des Moines for it one of a kind combination of Southern dishes, Cajun and Creole, and barbecue. The restaurant owners are also very passionate about the arts and often have music and dining events occasionally in the evenings where budding artists are set to perform, however, tickets must be purchased to attend. The walls of the Flying Mango are also styled with art by local artists they support.

14. INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA: TINKER STREET

In Indianapolis, this restaurant is known for flavorful dishes such as the most-Instagrammed pork belly dish; it’s probably delish, but we know it’s pretty. This dish comes flavored with kimchi, placed on forbidden rice, drizzled with sorghum glaze, and topped off with a farm egg.

13. CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: GIRL & THE GOAT

While reading reviews amongst all different sites one will see over and over, “there is a reason it takes months to get in restaurant seating…” Besides having amazing food, this place excels at service and creates a welcoming environment. One review even asks, “are any more reviews even necessary? (Currently at 5,020 on yelp and 1,879 on Trip Advisor) This place is just plain excellent and one of the few that met the hype.” Now you know to book reservations ASAP if you are headed to Chicago anytime soon.

12. BOISE, IDAHO: CHANDLER’S STEAKHOUSE

A fine dining establishment in Boise that will serve you towers of tuna, duck, perfectly cooked steak and exquisite desserts to end your meal.

11. HONOLULU, HAWAII: HELENA’S HAWAIIAN FOOD

This restaurant, known well by locals as well as tourists due to its high ratings through many travel sites is located in Honolulu. Highly praised are the tuna and rib dishes.

10. ATLANTA, GEORGIA: AVIVA BY KAMEEL

Titled the #1 restaurant in Georgia by Trip Advisor and Yelp, this Mediterranean grill is intent on giving you your veggies with healthy servings of sandwiches, soups, and salads, as well as a juice bar. While this restaurant only serves lunch, it is open as early as 7:30 am for all in the Atlanta area to get some juice.

9. MIAMI, FLORIDA: CYPRESS TAVERN

A well-known restaurant in Miami for its prestigious chef Michael Schwartz, this restaurant definitely will not disappoint no matter what you order. The service will make you feel welcomed and well attended.

8. WILMINGTON, DELAWARE: JULIANA’S KITCHEN

Juliana’s Kitchen isn’t just known for serving the best Peruvian food in all of Delaware by Delaware Today – it has often been ranked as the best restaurant in the state. If you ever find yourself in Wilmington, make sure to stop by.

7. HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT: SALUTE

Serving Italian dishes and an array of seafood, this restaurant gets many glowing reviews for its friendly service and ability to feel intimate despite its crowded nature due to the great food.

6. DENVER, COLORADO: FRUITION

Serving beautifully plated gourmet meals that are so pretty you will want to just appreciate the aesthetics of the food before indulging in all the perfected paired and nuanced flavors of these rich dishes. If you are ever in Denver you may want to get in on theses goods.

5. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: LITTLE TART

While California is a large state that has a reputation for having pretty amazing (and often outlandish) restaurants, it’s hard to say which is the absolute best. However, there is a new restaurant of three months in Los Angeles that has topped the charts on Yelp with locals and travelers alike raving about the over the top burgers and hot dogs served in a quaint and homey environment.

4. LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS: LULU’S ROTISSERIE & GRILL

Serving up empanadas, fresh full salads, parilladas, and South American cocktails, this restaurant in Little Rock delights the need for a taste of zest in its community.

3. PHOENIX, ARIZONA: LITTLE MISS BBQ

Reviewed by many as “the best BBQ [they’ve] ever eaten,” this restaurant in Phoenix Arizona knows how to smoke and grill up brisket and pulled pork. If you go you may want to arrive early as it is very well known and tends to form long lines, but reviewers state it’s well worth it.

2. ANCHORAGE, ALASKA: GLACIER BREWHOUSE

Glacier BrewHouse is located in Anchorage Alaska. This restaurant is known for great seafood, peanut butter pie, a warm cozy environment and handcrafted ales.

1. BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA: HIGHLANDS BAR & GRILL

Located in the city of Birmingham, this restaurant is no stranger to raving reviews and prestigious awards. This restaurant offers a “French-inspired southern dinner” with a daily changing menu to keeps things fresh. Take note that if you do find yourself wanting to dine here it is best to make a reservation and wear appropriate attire as jackets for gentlemen are preferred.