Looking to add some awesome places to eat to your bucket list?
Like most people, I am strongly motivated by food, and discovering new dishes to try while we’re abroad is one of the best things about travelling!
I’ll thoroughly research an area to find the best spots to eat, scour the menu and photos, and read reviews. I’ll pretty much eat anything, and especially love food from around the world and love trying new flavours and recipes.
This is why I’m so excited to share this awesome list of the best restaurants in the Americas – everything from casual to high end. Food is what brings us all together for celebrations, to get to know one another, learn about each other’s culture and heritage, and learn about the unique cooking methods and spices used in various dishes.
This is the first post of a four-part series of favourite restaurants from around the world, put together by travel bloggers aiming to inspire you, and more than likely make you hungry (or is it hangry?).😂
Are you ready?
Pilgrimme, British Columbia
Contributed by Cecily of Groovy Mashed Potatoes
The journey is worth it to reach this rustic restaurant located in the middle of the forest on Galiano Island, Canada. The enchanting wooden cabin serves farm-to-table ingredients foraged from the Pacific Northwest. It feels like stepping into a fairy tale.
The dishes from the tasting menu are creative and outstanding, such as the fermented potato and grain sourdough, the albacore tuna with heritage corn and smoked rutabaga, or the aged duck with pear, charred greens and koji. Chef Jesse McCleerly spent a season in the kitchen of Noma, a highly acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurant, which advanced his cooking techniques and inspired new ideas.
A visit to Galiano Island is a treat in itself. The island is small, but it has a lot to offer with its remote nature, beautiful beaches and marine life watching. Rent a cozy Airbnb and set yourself up for the perfect nature escape.
To get to Pilgrimme, you will need to take a one hour ferry from the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, located a 45 minute drive from Vancouver. Once you arrive in Galiano it’s an 8 minute drive to the restaurant.
Make sure to make a reservation for Pilgrimme far in advance, as it’s a sought after spot. The tasting menu costs $85 CAD per person with an optional $45 CAD drink pairing.
Mantles Restaurant, British Columbia
Contributed by Casandra of Karpiak Caravan Adventure Family Travel
A restaurant that we keep coming back to again and again is Mantles Restaurant at Sun Peaks Grand Hotel. It has a restaurant, lounge and, during the summer, a large patio with the most extraordinary view of the mountains. The restaurant is right in the heart of Sun Peaks Resort’s village, so you can watch the hustle and bustle of tourists and locals going by or gaze through the windows surrounding the entire restaurant showing off the mountain view.
Their breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings will appeal to many culinary cravings. The menu features seasonal specials, and the lunch & dinner menus in particular, are a commitment to working with unique local ingredients to showcase their “farm to fork” philosophy. Some of our favourite entrees are their Forbidden Rice Buddha Bowl and Papardelle Stroganoff among many others that we tasted throughout the years.
Mantles Patio during the summer is the place to be in the village, relaxing after a long hike or bike ride. My all-time favourite is to sip away on an Aperol Spritz while I relax in the glorious mountain sunshine. Mantles Lounge in the winter during ski season is perfect for relaxing après-ski with a martini or specialty coffee to warm you up. The fireplace in Mantles Lounge is a favourite regardless of what the weather is like outside.
If you find yourself visiting the interior of beautiful BC, stop by Mantles Restaurant at Sun Peaks Resort to experience a culinary destination in this picture perfect mountain village.
See 5 reasons to stay at Sun Peaks Resort here.
Skylon Tower Restaurant, Ontario
The Skylon Tower is an icon that sits high along the Niagara Falls, Canada skyline. Sitting 775 feet above the falls you will find Skylon Tower’s two dining options with great views of the falls, making it a must for any visitor to the area and one of my favorite restaurants! Aside from the dining experience, you will also enjoy the ride to the top of the observation tower and enjoy access to the indoor and outdoor observation decks. At the base level of the tower you will find a 3D/4D movie, “The Legend of the Falls” and a family fun center with bowling and arcade games.
The first dining option in the 360 Revolving Dining Room. The dining room rotates 360 every hour, so while you dine and enjoy your meal, you will be greeted with great views of the city, surrounding areas, and most importantly the falls! Among the offered options are plenty of soups, seafood dishes, chicken, veal, and vegetarian friendly vegetable based dishes. Lunch and dinner is offered at the Revolving Dining Room.
The Summit Suite Buffet is a stationary dining room, but there are plenty of seating options that will give you stunning views of the falls. The Summit Suite Buffet is, you guessed it, a buffet style restaurant offering lunch and dinner. The buffet includes many soup and salad options, chicken, fish, potato salad, penne alfredo, potatoes, rice, vegetable dishes, and more!
Tip: Visit Skylon Tower in the late evening for dinner and not only will you enjoy the great food and views, you will also be able to enjoy illumination of the falls and a fireworks show!
Golden Unicorn, Manhattan, New York
Contributed by Courtney of Courtney in the Middle Seat
In the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown, Golden Unicorn is a neighborhood staple for dim sum. A variety of small dishes, dim sum is ideal for sharing family-style. Soft, fluffy pork buns, steamed dumplings, shrimp siu mai, and so many other Cantonese favorites that come 3 or 4 to an order.
Traditionally dim sum is a morning or brunch meal, and Golden Unicorn opens at 11 am. Visit in early afternoon when the vibe is one of excitement with a side of fragrant chaos. Weaving through the tables, small, steaming carts circle the floor, showcasing the delicious options waiting to make their way to your plate!
Pointing and nodding is the primary mode of communication, so no need to know the name of the dish that you want to try. Just wave down the cart as it is rolling by.
Golden Unicorn’s menu also includes plenty of choices for visitors with a sweet tooth. The star of the show are the custard piggy buns. So cute you almost feel bad eating them! But, after tasting the creamy custard inside you’ll have no qualms about biting into a second.
Golden Unicorn’s piggy buns are one of my favorite desserts in New York City! This is a popular spot with locals and visitors alike. To avoid crowds and a long wait arrive before 11 am on weekends.
Café Moulin, Pittsburg,
Contributed by Kanupriyaa of My Lost Camel
Cafe Moulin in Pittsburgh is a rustic French restaurant that serves the best crepes in the world. I have traveled from Paris to Hong Kong and Cafe Moulin has managed to beat the top Michelin star restaurants on every continent. They have a menu of sweet and savory crepes, French Toast platters and Panini Toast platters.
The menu is so small that they have honed the skills to a point of each crepe being a masterpiece. My favorite sweet crepe, the Cheese Cake Crepe is a light fluffy crepe filled with smooth creamy mascarpone and rich dark chocolate. It is topped with a warm tangy berry compote that adds the perfect third component to the melody.
The Spinach and Feta savory crepe in contrast has piping hot baby spinach and dripping feta cheese with perfectly made bechamel sauce. As the dry bechamel sauce slides down your throat, every single craving of yours will be satisfied. The salad that accompanies it is the perfect companion with cold oranges and topped with balsamic vinaigrette.
Cafe Moulin does what a restaurant is supposed to do best, the food. It’s the perfect place to be on a winter Pittsburgh day. When the ground is covered with snow and the temperature in the negatives, this cafe is like a warm hug with pretty much the best food you will ever have in your life.
Boston Burger Company, Massachusetts
By Krystianna of Volumes & Voyages
Boston Burger Company is truly my favorite restaurant from around the world, and I’ve been to 14 countries! This restaurant serves up amazing monster-sized “freak frappes” and burgers with tons of toppings.
This is a regional chain with just a few locations scattered throughout Boston and its suburbs. It truly is one of the greatest restaurants in Boston and you’d be missing out if you didn’t go at least once.
Their prices are fairly affordable considering how much food you get! Burgers range from $10 to $15, though you can never fully finish one of their burgers in one sitting because they have so many amazing toppings. The milkshakes are also around $10, but they’re huge and can be split between at least two people.
They serve a wide variety of burgers, including the Whiskey Tango Foxtrong, the Artery Clogger, the Mac Attack, the Waikiki Beach, and the Big Papi Burger. One of their top sellers is called The 420 and includes fried macaroni and cheese, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, American cheese, fries, BBQ sauce, and bacon on top! Talk about a burger, am I right?
Boston Burger Company’s milkshakes are also no joke. They refer to them as #freakfrappes and they have different flavors throughout the year. Some of their permanent flavors include Nutella, Choc Full of Madness, S’More Than You Can Handle, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana.
Joe’s Stone Crab, Miami Beach, Florida
One of the most memorable restaurants in Miami Beach is Joe’s Stone Crab. Only open for eight months out of the year (October-May), this restaurant is a legendary and understandably, a widely popular place in Florida.
Started by a Hungarian immigrant, Joe Weiss, in the early 1900s, who believed the warmer climate would help his asthma. He opened a lunch counter in 1913 and didn’t know at the time that the local stone crabs were edible. It was only discovered a few years later when a friend brought him some to try. He then reopened at Joe’s Stone Crab, and the rest is history!
Often visited by film stars, politicians, and athletes (including Muhammad Ali, Matt Damon, and John Travolta!), Joes Stone Crab is the second highest ranking restaurant in the USA for revenue ($35 million in sales, in only eight months!!!).
Popular dishes include the stone crab claws (obviously!) served with sweet mustard sauce, and sides of fried green tomatoes, potatoes, and creamed spinach.
The meat of the crab claws is almost lobster-like and delicately sweet, and an interesting fact is only one claw is taken from the crab. It’s returned to regenerate that claw for future harvesting.
Joe’s Stone Crab is an incredibly popular restaurant, but they don’t take reservations. Show up early for a chance to grab a seat!
Cha Cha Chicken, Santa Monica, California
Contributed by Marika of Clumsy Girl Travels
Cha Cha Chicken is a colorful, lively and laid back Caribbean restaurant in Santa Monica, California. It’s been around for over 20 years and is loved by locals and tourists alike. It’s located right next to the beach, making it a perfect spot to grab a bite to eat before heading to the beach or after spending a day at the beach. They serve some of the best Jerk Chicken, Ropa Vieja, and Cantaloupe juice, but honestly, you can’t go wrong ordering anything off the menu. Everything is deliciously flavorful and comes in generous portions.
The establishment itself is a beach shack with Bob Marly vibes. There is a lovely outdoor seating area with plants scattered around and a colorful fence and lights wrapped around the outside. During the colder months, heating lamps are turned on, making it a cozy place to eat on a chilly day.
Cha Cha Chicken is one of the more unique places to eat in Santa Monica and with gentrification taking over, it’s nice to know there are still family-run restaurants surviving with delicious food.
Mama’s Fish House, Maui, Hawaii
Contributed by Alenis of Sea Salt & Fog
One of the best things about traveling is getting to eat amazing food, and by far the best meal I’ve had has been at Mama’s Fish House in Maui, Hawaii. Located on the north shore of Maui, Mama’s sits in front of a gorgeous rocky beach, and has some of the freshest seafood around.
I really can’t say enough good things about the food at Mama’s – it’s simply out of this world. The fish is all fresh caught by local fishermen right off the Maui coast, and is served within 24 hours of being caught. The daily menu tells you the name of the fisherman and the location where the fish was caught – how cool is that?
Start your meal off with one of their many cocktails while you wait for your table. Because the fish is fresh-caught, the menu changes daily. Pick the best sounding fresh caught fish for your meal and you won’t be disappointed. The Tristan Island lobster tails are almost always on the menu, and are the perfect addition to your meal. End your meal with the Polynesian Black Pearl, a gorgeous and decadent chocolate dessert.
Make reservations as far in advance as you possibly can, tables tend to book up months in advance. Eating at Mama’s is one of the best things to do in Maui. While it’s definitely a splurge, the food and the atmosphere make it worth every single penny.
Fleetwoods on Front Street, Maui, Hawaii
Contributed by Jessica of I’m Jess Traveling
Maui is truly a paradise, so much in fact that several celebrities choose to live here including the infamous Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac. Not only does he live here but he also owns one of the best restaurants in Lahaina, Maui.
Fleetwoods on Front Street is one of my favorites restaurants in the world for several reasons.
The first has got to be the view. Make your way to the 3rd floor where you’re greeted with panoramic sunset views looking out into the ocean. This is the only rooftop bar in Lahaina and it’s a stunner.
Everyday at 530 there is a rooftop sunset ceremony that involves a Hawaiian Kumu and a Scottish bagpiper! Pair this with one of the elegant hand crafted cocktails like the Mai Tyler and you’re doing something right.
Love live music? It’s the house of Mick Fleetwood, so there’s a high standard for the quality of musician that plays here. There is up to 4 live performances everyday. The best part is that he’s known to pop in the restaurant and play a few songs with the local talent. How cool is that? You know the music is above par and you may even get to listen to the legend himself.
If the views and the music wasn’t enough, wandering around the restaurant to see the unique memorabilia and pictures that came directly from his house.
The menu and wine selection only adds to the allure of this restaurant. The food is outstanding and the knowledgeable staff will be able to pair your beef Wellington with the perfect bottle.
An average dinner for 2 with an appetizer and a few glasses of wine will set you back a couple hundred dollars. This isn’t just a dinner, it’s a dining experience.
Taqueria Orinoco, Mexico City, Mexico
Contributed by Shelley of Travel Mexico Solo
If there’s one thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Mexico — it’s TACOS!
I often joke that I moved to Mexico because everyday is Taco Tuesday. Meaning, rest assured; I’m qualified to help you navigate Mexico City’s overwhelming world of tacos.
For me, no trip to Mexico City (AKA CDMX) is complete without a visit to Taqueria Orinoco. This is one of the most famous and most visited taco shops in the Roma neighborhood — the same neighborhood featured in the 2018 Oscar-winning film, Roma.
Orinoco is a no frills spot, popular with the late night crowd. You’ll find it on Roma’s hippest street, Álvaro Obregon. After a long night of bar hopping there, those in the know head to Taquería Orinoco.
In fact, you’ll probably spot this taquería from the long lines outside.
Once you make it inside to order, you’ll notice the simple decor, the 10 item menu, and that the chairs are of the “folding” variety! What Orinoco lacks in ambience, it makes up for in flavor… and everyone knows it.
Orinoco, like all great CDMX taquerías, serves the undisputed king of the city’s foods, tacos al pastor. However, it carves out a unique identity in a city with thousands of pastor shops.
Taquería Orinoco is an import from the city of Monterrey, in northern Mexico. It is unique to the CDMX taco scene because they serve tacos Norteños (northern Mexico style tacos).
This puts Taquería Orinoco on a short list of places where you can get both delicious tacos al pastor and delicious carne de res (beef) tacos under one roof.
While pastor (pork) is the #1 taco meat in Mexico City, northern Mexico is cattle country!
When you eat at Orinoco, don’t skip the chicharrón (fried pork skin). They prepare it Norteño-style here, so it’s going to be different than at most other places in CDMX.
See some of 50 best tacos in Mexico City here!
Kitchen Table, Tulum, Mexico
Contributed by Mayara of May the Journey Begin
Kitchen Table was one of the most incredible restaurants I’ve ever visited. And trust me, I’m picky when choosing places to eat during my travels. It’s located in Tulum, Mexico, and as you walk in you already feel like you are in the middle of the jungle. It is very rustic and totally open with lots of rocks and greenery surrounding it.
What usually is behind the scenes in a regular restaurant, at Kitchen Table it’s part of the show. The kitchen is not only completely open but on a stage. Besides being able to watch them cook and the whole dynamics between the staff, at Kitchen Table you’re invited to walk into the jungle kitchen and to prepare/finish your own dish with the chef/staff. They will explain the tricks and techniques behind it, which I highly recommend doing when dining there.
The owner has years of experience in fancy big kitchens and award winning hotels all over the world. He decided to create a restaurant that is beautiful in its simplicity, is more intimate and staffed with a team that has one goal: making people happy! Mission 100% accomplished, sir.
Kitchen Table is totally genuine and the staff is very friendly; you’ll instantly feel close to them. If you like to cook or simply to eat (who doesn’t?!) you’ll feel connected and appreciate every single bit of its full experience.
The menu is very complete and with local ingredients, which means that changes periodically. The food is absolutely delicious and fresh, the cocktails are incredible and impossible to have just one. If you travel to Tulum, this is a must visit restaurant.
Visiting recently, I can say that this was the best experience I’ve ever had in a restaurant. I felt the warmth of the staff, the simplicity of its ambiance, and the incredible taste of a fancy dinner. Plus, sharing our passion for cooking just made my heart explode.
Restaurant Strip in Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Contributed by Christian of Punta Cana Travel Blog
My favorite restaurant in the Dominican Republic is not a specific one, it’s a strip of restaurants and bars. Unsurprisingly for an island in the Caribbean, those are located directly at the beach, but there are a couple of more reasons why I am electing the restaurants and bars in Cabarete as my favorite option to dine out in the country.
First of all, it’s the laid-back vibe the bars and restaurants in this area, located between Lifestyle Resort and Hotel Villa Taina, are oozing. Chill-Out music, chains of lights between palm trees for illumination and a marvelous ocean view are a few of the elements which add up to the charm of this place.
Second, in every single restaurant in this area – there are around 10 in a row which you can all access from the beach – you can eat and drink with your toes in the sand, listening to the rushing sea in the background.
And third, everything is super affordable. While you might find the first two points in some of the beach clubs of Punta Cana, Las Terrenas or Juan Dolio (but the vibe can only compete to a lesser extent), you usually pay a premium price for drinks and food in these places. Cabarete has preserved its surfer-vibe and therefore offers budget-friendly prices in most of the restaurants, even there are also some fancier ones where you can dine in style.
That’s why Cabarete is my top pick for my favorite restaurant(s) in the Dominican Republic. The combination of a beach vibe, prime location and affordable prices is unique and can hardly be found in other places in the country.
My recommendations when dining at the restaurant strip in Cabarete: Mojito Bar if you want some cheap eats, La Casita del Papi for some moderately fine dining and La Cosita del Mojito for the best mojitos in the area.
Sushi Mar Vegano, São Paolo, Brazil
Contributed by Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan
Before I became vegan, sushi was my favorite food in the world. I often said that if I had to eat just one food for the rest of my life, I would choose sushi. The raw fish wasn’t what I loved about sushi. It was the mix of flavors surrounding it — the wasabi, the pickled ginger, the nori seaweed, the slightly sweet sushi rice seasoned with vinegar, and everything else wrapped up inside it. Unfortunately, most sushi restaurants offer pretty boring vegan sushi options, often limited to cucumber rolls or avocado rolls.
That’s why I was so excited to discover Sushi Mar Vegano, where I could finally enjoy creative and delicious sushi again, without harming any fish in the process. One of the best vegan restaurants in São Paulo, Brazil, Sushi Mar specializes in plant-based sushi and other Japanese dishes. São Paulo has a large Japanese community, and sushi is taken very seriously here. I recommend ordering the sushi “rodízio”, where the staff bring out many different plates one after the other for you to try. Although it’s technically not all you can eat like most rodízios in Brazil, you definitely won’t leave hungry.
In addition to the colorful sushi platter featuring maki rolls and sashimi-style sushi made from different vegetables, I was also able to try dumplings, gyoza, pickled vegetables, edamame and some hand-rolled sushi cones. At 65 reais for the rodízio at lunchtime, it’s a bit pricier than average for Brazil but definitely worth it.
La Cabrera, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contributed by Elizabeth of The Fearless Foreigner
Argentina is known for having some of the best steak in the world. The steakhouse, La Cabrera in Buenos Aires, Argentina is one of the top places to go for steak. The portions are gigantic. When you order many of the steaks you receive not one, not two, but three or four steaks! That means you are getting about 14 – 21 ounces of steak!
One of my favorite steaks is the churrasquito con panceta, a steak topped with bacon. How much better can it get? To balance out all the meat you may be tempted to order a salad. Be aware that the salads and side dishes are huge. I thought I was ordering a side salad, but my salad was large enough to feed the whole table. When eating at La Cabrera I am always amused at the amount of food. Just when you think you have all your food they bring out more!
La Cabrera is a very popular spot in the city so remember to make reservations. They often have a happy hour from 4 – 6pm with discount prices. When in Buenos Aires make sure to eat at La Cabrera for both the experience and the food!
Fauna, Valparaíso, Chile
Contributed by Connor from Standby With Me
The colorful hills of Valparaíso hide surprises around every corner, but none are as spectacular as Restaurant Fauna. This Chilean restaurant is perched on a hotel rooftop and provides patrons with sweeping views of the vibrant port city that once was home to Pablo Neruda. The panoramic scenes from the terrace provide the perfect backdrop for afternoon drinks, and the kitchen here produces delightful meals.
The menu highlights seasonal ingredients and boasts a curated drink menu that is proudly Chilean. You can expect fresh ingredients and Instagram-worthy plates. The open-air bar allows guests to watch their cocktails being crafted on the patio, and the impressive wine list features a number of Chilean producers.
The grilled octopus at Fauna is to die for, and all of the seafood dishes have something unique to offer. Choose one of the shared platters for a crash course in Fauna’s exciting offerings like seaweed ceviche, garlic butter mussels, and shrimp bruschetta topped with chili coriander sauce. For lighter fare, I recommend pairing one of Fauna’s panini-style sandwiches with a glass of carmenere or an IPA from the nearby Cerveza Mauco.
Patrons can enjoy Fauna’s intimate dining room that glows with natural light in the afternoon, but the outdoor terrace is the star of the show. The magnificent views from this Cerro Alegre rooftop are amplified by the dramatic drop-off facing the bay. Sipping a pisco sour while watching the sun dip below the horizon is something that every visitor to Valparaíso should experience, and Fauna’s rooftop patio is the best place to make that happen.
Feeling hungry yet? 😂
Have you been to any of these restaurants? Or maybe you have a favourite from your travels? I’d love to know what other places you think are worthy of being on this list.
A big thank you to these awesome bloggers from all over the world who submitted their favourite restaurants they’ve been to during their travels. I know I’ve marked a few down to get to!
Hungry for more? Check out the 23 Most Awesome Restaurants in Europe and 19 Remarkable Restaurants in Africa and the Middle East!