My Top 10 Favorite Restaurants of 2012

photo (23)I traveled to over 15 American cities, London and Barcelona in 2012, and I made it a point to check out some of the best restaurant experiences in each city — within my per diem budget, of course! I have two rules about the restaurants I select: they can’t be a restaurant chain (though I eat at those too), and they must have received at least 4 stars on Yelp reviews. When I arrive in a City, I do three things to select restaurants: 1) Google “best restaurants in _____ [city name], 2) Check out Yelp using a search of “best restaurants” and “city name,” and 3) ask colleagues or friends. I do not look for expensive restaurants — just great ones, with some priority given to farm-to-table restaurants. Readers will note that I tend to gravitate towards Mexican and New American / comfort food, and tend to gravitate away from sushi more than a foodie should.

Here are my top 10 favorite restaurants of 2012:

10. La Condesa, Austin

9. Artesenal, New York City

8. Noodie’s Thai Kitchen, Hell’s Kitchen, New York City

7. The Red Iguana, Salt Lake City

6. The Southern Seafood and Oyster, Nashville

4. Vermillon, Alexandria, Virginia

3. Cuisines Santa Caterina, Barcelona

photo (22)

2. Restaurant R’evolution, New Orleans

1. Bern’s Steak House, Tampa

My next 10:

MiLa, New Orleans (Picture #1 above)

Crave, El Paso

Arang, New York City

Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Austin

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Chicago

The Winery Restaurant, Tustin, California

Ted’s Cafe Escondido, Oklahoma City

Rosario’s, San Antonio

Nick’s, Laguna Beach

Michael English Food Court, Plaza Hotel, New York City

You can read all of my reviews on my Yelp profile here.

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