Top American eateries
Foodies looking for a full belly, some interesting eats and a good time just have to take a trip to the USA. In this vast nation literally all the cuisines of the world are brought together, often in new and exciting ways.
Now, if you’re going stateside and have your heart set on dining in a Michelin Starred restaurant there are plenty to choose from (130 to be exact).
But this list is for those intrepid eaters who’d rather discover those little diners that represent all that’s great about food in the US.
Absolute Bagels, Broadway, New York
It’s practically a fact that anyone who goes to New York eventually gets sucked into that elusive search for the best bagel. But for many this search begins and ends with Absolute Bagels. Although not quite an eatery (as it only does take out) Absolute Bagels is open from 6 in the morning until 9 at night, and whether you go there to get a bagel-y breakfast, lunch or dinner there’s bound to be something to tickle your taste buds. The huge variety of flavours and bagel/filling combinations, coupled with a distinctly fresh-from-the-oven taste and super glossy crust means that queues heading far out the door are normal – but don’t be put off, it’s worth the wait. Must-try fillings include the blueberry cream cheese and the jalapeno cream cheese.
Canter’s Deli, North Fairfax, LA
Canter’s Deli is a little slice of old-school LA and does all the US deli favourites with style. It’s a family-run deli and one of the oldest in the whole of California, starting life as the Canter Brother’s Delicatessen in 1931. After moving from Boyle Heights (LA’s Jewish centre) to Fairfax it dropped the ‘Brothers’ from its name but kept everything else the same, and it hasn’t changed much since then. Since opening it’s sold over 9 million pounds of corned beef – some of it to celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and Dike Van Dyke. It has an exhaustive menu featuring classics like the Reuben sandwich and unusual offerings like the Buck Benny (knockwurst in a bun with sauerkraut and chips). Canter’s Deli even serves its customers a thanksgiving dinner every day of the year. The place still oozes Art Deco style and is one of LA’s best loved landmarks.
El Chile Cafe y Cantina, Austin, Texas
If you’re in Texas than you just have to try the state’s most famous cuisine – TexMex. This is a Texan-Mexican fusion that impresses on every taste level. There are some pretty bad TexMex restaurants around but if you want to find the real deal look no further than El Chile Cafe y Cantina in Austin. This restaurant takes a contemporary approach to a classic style and has received acclaim for its efforts, both within Texas and beyond. It’s particularly well known for its Oaxacan Red Mole sauce, which won first place in the Austin Chronicle’s Hot Sauce Contest. El Chile Cafe y Cantina boasts former presidents among its clientele but even though its customers are famous its ethos is simple: good quality ingredients and reasonable prices. A top dish to try is Relleno de Camarón (Poblano pepper stuffed with corn, mushrooms, Chihuahua cheese and shrimp, topped with poblano cream and served with white rice and black beans). From Monday to Friday this restaurant also hosts happy ‘hour’ from 5-7 pm, during which time customers can try the place’s signature margarita or Lone Star cocktails at a discount.
B&O Espresso, Capitol Hill, Seattle
Seattle is as famous for coffee shops as New York is for Bagels and B&O Espresso is one of its best. It’s been open since 1976 and was the very first coffee house/dessert cafe in Capitol Hill. It specialises in producing the highest quality coffee and extremely decadent deserts. Everything on the ‘Winter Warmers’ drink menu – from the Red Hot Holiday to the Spiked Holiday – is worth trying. Chocolate-lovers won’t want to miss the Black Muddy River dessert while chocolate-haters can tuck into the Sour Cream and Apple Pie. B&O also serves light meals and is open until 10/11pm. In January 2012 B&O relocated to Ballard due to a new development being built on the Capital Hill site, but it plans to return to its original location in 2014!
Piece Brewery & Pizzeria, Chicago
Pizza is one of America’s most popular foods and beer seems to go down quite well too. Part of the reason Piece Brewery & Pizzeria is so good is because it not only combines the two but does both elements exceptionally. If you want to try an authentic Chicago deep-pan pizza than there are hundreds of options available to you – this isn’t one of them. Piece favours a traditional, thin and crispy, New Haven style crust. The menu may seem limited but everything on it is delicious. Piece’s ‘Plain’ pizza is a variation of the original New Haven pizza designed in the early 1920’s; red sauce, garlic, parmesan and olive oil. Remember, New Haven style pizzerias consider mozzarella to be an extra topping rather than a basic one so if you want some on your pizza you have to ask for it! The beer served in this casual restaurant is brewed by Piece in their seven barrel brew house. The different varieties, from ‘Worryin Ale’ to ‘Fornicator’, have won a huge amount of awards including Gold at the Great American Beer Festival. All this goodness is housed in the cool, contemporary loft of a converted roofing company garage. The flat screen TV’s (set to big sporting games) and the karaoke nights are brilliant added extras.