Business Insider’s Best Restaurants-in-the-State Awards

According to Business Insider, every state has what can be classified as “the best restaurant in
the state.” BI’s criteria for deciding such things could be based on genuine experience or,
perhaps, it’s merely what all the locals say. Curious, I took a look at the list and found everything
from “joints” like Gates Bar-B-Que in Missouri to something entirely more elegant like
Greenbrier in West Virginia.
Business Insider claims they went “state-by-state” to find the most famous restaurant and
measured the winners based on “culinary awards, TV and movie appearances, and celebrity
sightings.” That should make for quite a tasty list. 
That said, it’s good to know as one never knows where the road will take them, especially
in the meetings and hospitality industry. The entries that caught my eye and might be of interest
to our readership of planners for their offsite events are listed here. My list is short so be sure to
check out the full story at as well. Ok, here it is, as edited by me:
1 Phoenix, AZ: Durant’s Steakhouse is a fine dining restaurant establishment well-known for its
steaks, red booths, and martinis. The menu has attracted notable celebrities through the years,
from John Wayne to Clark Gable. Today, the steakhouse is also a popular eatery among Arizona’s
2 Los Angeles, CA: Craig’s opened in 2011 and can be considered “the new kid on the
block,” at least in the restaurant world but it’s already making a hit with its extensive menu from
pizza and pasta to honey truffle chicken and tantalizing steaks. It’s also known for its hipster
crowd and celebrity clientele from Lizzo to Nicky Hilton.
3 Miami, FL: Seaspice sits on the Miami River offering customers sweeping views of the city.
The restaurant specializes in “gastro-classic dining” serving dishes like steak tartare, crab
tempura, and truffle brie tart. The establishment often has more than a two-hour wait and is a
favorite among celebrities like Marc Anthony.
4 Atlanta, GA: In addition to a hearty lineup of steaks, STK restaurant specializes in seafood
dishes like oysters, shrimp cocktails, and salmon, as well as other dishes like roasted rack of lamb
and short ribs. The restaurant has drawn in a lot of celebrities over the years, including Selena
Gomez and Denzel Washington.
5 Chicago, IL: Named by Time Out as “the most prominent Jewish deli in Chicago” Manny’s
Cafeteria and Delicatessen have been owned by four generations of the same family for 80 years.
In addition to classic deli fare, like Reuben sandwiches and corned beef hash, the restaurant also
serves more sophisticated fare to please all who enter.
6 Kansas City, KS: Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que was founded by Jeff and Joy Stehney in 1990
after the couple attended a local barbecue contest and thought it a good idea to pursue a new
career. Result? Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que. It’s so successful that it now has three restaurants
across the state, in addition to a private tasting and event space. 
7 New Orleans, LA: Situated inside a bright blue-and-white Victorian-style building in New
Orleans' Garden District, Commanders Palace opened in 1893 and has been serving locals ever
since. Surprising footnote: This is where celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse once worked as the
restaurant's head chef for eight years – where he perfected his Creole-influenced cooking style.
8 Las Vegas, NV: Mr. Chow is a luxury restaurant inside of exciting Caesar's Palace in Las
Vegas, Nevada. It’s a popular stop among celebrities from Britney Spears to Jennifer Lopez. But,
more than that, the restaurant itself is famous for its tantalizing Asian cuisine – and its amazing
champagne trolley is legendary with its clientele.
9 Charleston, SC: Butcher & Bee in Charleston, South Carolina, was a recent finalist for the
James Beard Award for outstanding restaurant. The establishment has an ever-evolving menu
that changes with the season. Ingredients are locally grown and always fresh. And, one might see
Leonardo Di Caprio dining out on the patio too.
10 Nashville, TN: Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee, is a famous restaurant that also
operates as a famous music venue. Blue Bird Cafe serves a lot of comfort foods and other fare,
but people also come for the music which includes everyone from Johnny Cash to Garth
Brooks. Also, the ABC show “Nashville” was filmed here. 
11 Austin, TX: Franklin Barbecue has been a staple for barbecue for years. In fact, Anthony
Bourdain once visited the spot for an episode of “No Reservations” and called the brisket “earth-
shatteringly good.”  No wonder owner Aaron Franklin is one of the first chefs specializing in
barbecue fare to be awarded the James Beard Foundation Award for best chef in the Southwest.
12 Greenbrier, West Virginia: The Greenbrier Resort's main dining room has been serving
customers for more than 100 years, becoming a landmark in the state. The fine-dining restaurant
serves impressive dishes like corn-crusted scallops, beef bourguignon, pan-seared ribeye steak,
and Maryland crab carbonara. And, it’s an excellent off-site venue for a variety of groups.
All that said, and as a reminder, log onto for the whole low-down on
Best Restaurants in the State awards.—Stella Johnson

PS/If you go, let me know.

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