As 2022 comes to an end, we’ve been in a reflective mood. We’re dreaming about the best Roman-style pizza we’ve sunk our teeth into in LA. We’re craving the expertly made hand rolls from a New York City spot that’s been cranking them out long before the dish became trendy. We’re thinking about our favorite comforting Thai-style chicken and rice in Portland. You're likely feeling nostalgic too. Or at the very least: hungry.
So we rounded up Caviar’s 50 most-ordered-from restaurants across the country, featuring the above dishes you love and perhaps some you haven’t had yet. They’re the spots Caviar diners visit again and again. They’re the 50 Best Restaurants of 2022 — and thankfully they’re all a click away.
The always-bustling Daily Provisions from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group has been a neighborhood hit since opening in 2017. It has four lively locations around Manhattan, and the intimate spots serve up a variety of breakfast items, pastries, sandwiches, and dinner items, which make them an any-time-of-the-day favorite.
Win Son Bakery opened in Williamsburg in 2019 and remains a buzzworthy destination for all foods required to start the day. The bakery combines Taiwanese and American concepts into irresistible options: millet mochi donut, BEC scallion pancake (the essential New York bodega bacon egg and cheese, but tucked neatly between two crisp scallion pancakes), and fries, which are dusted with five-spice and cayenne.
This restaurant is definitely Thai, but it offers a little more than your typical pad thai and green curry. They have those, too, of course, but Thai Villa specializes in dishes like the yum pla duk foo, crispy catfish salad with shredded mango, and the salmon kaew-wan served with eggplant, pineapple, and basil. Try something new; it could become a favorite.
There is no cookie like a Levain cookie: hulking in size, dense, and almost raw in the center. It’s the heavyweight champion of the cookie world. Bakers Pam Weekes and Connie McDonald created this behemoth of a cookie to give them energy while they were training for a triathlon, and the rest is gooey, chocolate chip–studded history. It started with the chocolate chip walnut cookie, which you can get in a 12-pack, but you can’t go wrong with the signature assortment.
Silver Rice in Brooklyn offers creative takes on sushi favorites (see: the real crab California roll). Owners Hideki Kato and Sonny Doe are longtime friends from Japan, and everything they make just tastes better, including vegetarian options like the vegan eel roll. Don’t miss one of the most beloved dishes: the homemade miso soup with its three plump shrimp dumplings.
The Kings Co Imperial menu relies on locally sourced ingredients, cooked with care by chef Josh Grinker. Don’t miss the dim sum and dumplings, particularly the wok-seared long dumplings, slender potstickers filled with Berkshire pork and garlic stems. Larger plates, like Hong Kong-style noodles with Chinese barbecued pork, are great for family-style feasting.
At this Brooklyn restaurant, chef Albert Di Meglio channels his nonna (the restaurant is named after her birthplace, Barano d’Ischia). All the pastas are made by hand (get the maccheroni alla vodka), and the mozzarella is hand-pulled to order and served warm (come on!). Most dishes are kissed by the wood-burning oven or live-fire grill, from the charred-in-all-the-right places ’nduja pizza to the whole roasted branzino.
Westville, which opened in 2003, is a New York City staple known for serving up casual, eclectic American cuisine that’s reasonably priced and equally reliable for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. There’s something for everyone: indulgent favorites such as Westville’s award-winning smoky mac and cheese, bountiful salads, and the Market Plate (a selection of four vegetables).
Fresh Greek flavors abound at French Laundry alum Charles Bililies’s Souvla. The concept was founded in 2014 and grew to several locations around the Bay Area. There are salads and sandwiches made with carefully sourced ingredients, as well as large-format dishes like roast chicken. Whatever you order, be sure to tack on the Greek fries and some Greek froyo.
The classic cheeseburger at Ruby’s Café can — and will — blow you away. It’s a classic for a reason: premium beef stacked atop a potato bun and topped with melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and, yes, even special sauce. An honorable mention also goes to the oft-ordered fried chicken burger with buttermilk-marinated meat, spicy mayonnaise, pickles, coleslaw and a sesame seed bun, definitely one of the best fried chicken sandos in town.
Craving some heat? This welcoming Sichuan spot is the casual sister to the Michelin-starred Cafe China, from co-owners Xian Zhang and Yiming Wang. Everything from the homemade dim sum to the hearty mains is made with care, giving timeless classics a contemporary twist.
This acclaimed taqueria offers delicious tacos, burritos, and quesadillas from Baja and beyond. If seafood is your thing, order a couple of crispy fish tacos filled with beer-battered, wild-caught Alaskan cod. Back on land, go with al pastor, carnitas, pollo, or a hearty black bean and sweet potato taco. Can’t choose? Try one of each.
Inspired by the street food culture of Taiwan, Joy’s menu is chock-full of standouts like slack-season noodles and minced pork on rice. The Joy Combo — a bundle including a scallion bread sandwich, cup of soup, cold appetizer, and shaken tea — is an ideal choice for folks who want to try a little bit of everything.
DOMODOMO began as NYC’s first hand-roll bar in NYC in 2015 and has now expanded across the Hudson into Jersey City. Culinary Institute of America grad Brian Kim runs a seasonally inspired kitchen. Think apps, like roasted cauliflower with green pea miso and green garlic bacon-fried rice. You can sample the freshest fish of the day with the Sushi Domokase, a combination of sushi, hand rolls, and sashimi. Or go for the 16-piece hand-roll set, which comes with your choice of four hand rolls, edamame, and crunchy cabbage salad. Add on garlic-bacon fried rice and black sesame panna cotta for dessert.
Dune is beloved for its creative Mediterranean fare. Its signature item — the organic chickpea falafel — is filling and flavorful, and can be enjoyed as a plate, a sandwich, or on its own. The Meze Plate, perfect for folks who want a little bit of everything, offers a choice of meat alongside a spread of hummus, pickled vegetables, and condiments.
Cholita Linda is all about the vibrant flavors of Latin American street foods. The menu includes your favorite tacos, like Baja fish, carnitas, and carne asada, but much more than that, too. Beyond the tortilla, Cholita Linda serves a slew of two-handed sandwiches, including the Asado (Peruvian-style roast beef with caramelized onions and jack cheese), the Cubano (pulled pork shoulder, Black Forest ham, pickles, and swiss), and the Lechon (sweet potatoes and pork shoulder with salsa criolla).
Triple Beam Pizza covers all the bases with Roman-style pizza, inventive focaccia, and great wine. Its owners drew inspiration from their visits to restaurants and panini shops in Italy, where pizza is sometimes sold by weight. (The name Triple Beam is actually a reference to the triple beam scales used to precisely measure mass.) The restaurant dishes up thin, pan-baked pies that are scissor-cut into rectangular slices. The dough is thinner and packs more crunch than traditional Neapolitan pizza, and all of the pies can also be made gluten-free.
You used to have to wait in a long line to get a sandwich from Parm. But things are looking up, because now you can order your very own chicken Parm hero (fried chicken cutlets, homemade tomato sauce, melted mozz) right to your house. The mozzarella sticks, Sunday salad, and baked ziti are equally pleasing. For dessert? There’s Mario’s Cannoli, a sweet end to a meal that feels impossible to pass up.
Good thing you can find multiple locations of this bakery scattered throughout the D.C. and Boston areas, because the morning buns are so good you’d drive across town for them. The self-taught chef and founder, Tzurit Or, started her bakery 15 years ago out of her home kitchen, and now it has grown to over 20 locations. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but we keep coming back to the biscuit and egg sandwich and the chocolate croissant.
This traditional all-day taqueria serves some of the best burritos, tacos, and tortas in the East Bay. Tacos include all your favorites — achiote grilled chicken with chipotle salsa; slow-simmered beef barbacoa; Berkshire pork carnitas with bright salsa verde; and al pastor with pineapple and chipotle. Yes, there are also terrific burritos: The chorizo, potato, and egg is a favorite for the morning after a night of too many margaritas, while the one stuffed with sauteed mushrooms, spinach, beans, and rajas makes a super vegetarian meal. Word to the wise: Turn your favorite taco or burrito into a salad by choosing one of Comal’s beautiful bowls.
Once upon a time, this acclaimed Chicago burger was only available at Au Cheval, the always-jammed West Loop restaurant that created it. Now, thanks to the proliferation of Small Chevals throughout the city, everyone can enjoy this fantastic construction of the beefiest griddled patties and tangy bread-and-butter pickles in a slurry of melty cheese and house Dijonnaise. Yes, you can get a single patty, but why?
The vibe at HomeState is Tex-Mex to the core. In 2013, Texas native Briana Valdez wanted to bring the breakfast tacos, queso, brisket, and housemade flour tortillas she had loved while growing up to her new Los Angeles home. For brunch, get breakfast tacos — maybe a Don't Mess with Texas, filled with charro beans, Beeler's bacon, potato, and cheddar, or something more vegetarian friendly, like the Comal, stuffed with pasture-raised eggs, black beans, and Monterey Jack cheese. To honor your inner child, you should get a Cookie Milk Cold Brew: It's a combination of chocolate chip cookie–steeped oat milk and iced coffee.
Don’t let the simplicity of the menu here fool you: The Puerto Rican fare at Sol Food stands on its own. Follow the lead of regulars and go with a plate, like chicken thighs or pan-fried pork chops, both served with rice, beans, and fried plantains. And don’t miss the cubano and bistec sandwiches.
Dig helped ignite the greens- and grain-bowl craze by using carefully sourced ingredients and creating combinations that deliver an ideal marriage of delicious and nutritious food. The spicy lime-leaf salmon bowl gets us every time, but we stan the classic Dig bowl with charred chicken, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. The seasonal offerings keep things exciting as well.
We'd celebrate Taco Tuesday any day of the week. Same? Bryan Steelman’s Por Que No Taqueria, open since 2005, has a dozen tacos for all occasions at its two locations. There are all the classics, like barbacoa and al pastor, each prepared with sustainably sourced proteins.Taste of Homerecently named it the best Mexican restaurant in the state(!), and management regularly supports local charities.
The Mexican food from brothers Miguel and Victor Escobedo and Victor’s wife, Jodi, is inspired by days spent with family in the Chapultepec area of Mexico City. The menu is extensive, with tacos, quesadillas, and more, but you’re going to want to include at least one burrito in your order. Papalote, after all, was selected as having one of the top burritos in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle. Power move: Load up on the sublime roasted tomato salsa.
Owners Catherina and Kevin Huang opened the Sichuan-Taiwainese restaurant in the Rittenhouse neighborhood in 2015, and its spicy-sweet dishes have quickly become neighborhood favorites. Come for the Taiwanese specialties, like garlic-charred shrimp fried rice and pumpkin rice noodles with shredded pork, but don’t forget the titular dan dan noodles.
Whoever said you can’t get a good bagel outside of New York has never been to Wise Sons Deli. Sure, it’s California-inspired Jewish deli food, but it has its roots in tradition — and that includes boiling and baking its bagels. Everything is made in-house with the best ingredients available, from the hormone-free meat for the pastrami to the Guittard chocolate in the rugelach. Order a spread that would make any bubbe proud: potato latkes, bagel with a schmear, and a chopped liver plate. Or just pick a classic sandwich, like the turkey, and get to noshing.
What screams “American brasserie” more than a little gem Caesar, shrimp cocktail, and filet mignon? It’s not a trick question — it’s The Smith in a nutshell. The restaurant has gained a huge fan base (and multiple locations) since opening in 2007 and has continued to check all the boxes of comforting fare. The gooey mac and cheese is a worthy indulgence, as are the Sriracha-laced bites of spicy salmon tartare.
In the East Village, when it comes to Chinese food, Han Dynasty is king. (Is there a New Yorker alive who has not eaten its dan dan noodles by now?) Speaking of that dan dan, order it, in all of its spicy glory. It comes with housemade chile oil, sweet soy sauce, sesame paste, scallions, and minced pork. Silky wontons in chile oil are another must-order; the steamed pork wontons are served with black vinegar and chile sauce, then topped with scallions.
The Williamsburg location of the East Village dining institution shares its older sibling’s devotion to Morocco with a menu that spans breakfast through dinner. It has a serious following for its mezze like hummus, labneh, spicy Moroccan carrots, and matbucha, but the showstoppers here are clay tagines made with fall-off-the-bone-tender lamb shank or chicken.
RedFarm debuted in NYC’s West Village in 2011, serving inventive Chinese food and dim sum. A collaboration between chef Joe Ng and restaurateur Ed Schoenfeld, the menu at RedFarm includes whimsical Pac-Man dumplings, pastrami egg rolls, and must-try pork-and-crab soup dumplings.
Much has been written about the standout insalata verde, an inviting green hill of butter lettuce and endive dressed in a delicate shallot-sherry vinaigrette, at this West Village trattoria. But honestly, everything chef-owners Rita Sodi and Jody Williams create is spot-on and simple yet satisfying. They have a way with homemade pasta, succulent meats, and fresh vegetables, so get a mix. We like the cacio e pepe tonnarelli (thick pasta strands), Sicilian-style polpette (little meatballs) made with pine nuts and currants, and broccoli rabe with chiles.
This Detroit-style pizza joint makes incredible pies, but real ones know that the burger is also a must-order. Dubbed Le Big Matt, after chef and co-owner Matt Hyland, it is an architectural feat: two beef patties glistening with American cheese, special sauce, and pickles, sandwiched in between halves of a pretzel bun. You can get the best of both worlds by ordering the combo, which comes with four burgers and your choice of two pizzas (we’ve got our eye on the Vodka and smoked-gouda-crowned Good Paulie).
Photo courtesy of Emmy Squared
The name says it all. Almost. The burgers here are packed with toppings that create truly singular sensations. Dressed with pepper jack, jalapeno relish, avocado, tomato, white corn strips, and herb ranch, the Tejano hits all the right notes. The extensive kids’ menu is a win for parents, and the in-house butcher shop menu includes heritage breed and pasture-raised meats.
Photo courtesy of Alicia von der Lieth
Khao man gai is Thai chicken and rice. It’s flavorful, well balanced, and at Nong’s, served with chef Nong Poonsukwattana’s signature sauce and a side of soup. If you ever visit Bangkok, you’ll find khao man gai on every corner, but you’ll only find Nong’s signature sauce at Nong’s Khao Man Gai.
Who are the folks at Luc Lac? According to them, they’re “just one big, pho sling’n, fish-sauce cookin', cocktail pourin', Portland lovin' family.” Yes, there’s pho and banh mi and vermicelli bowls, but go for the signature Luc Lac — cubed beef tenderloin wok-seared with Hennessy and beurre de France — to see how creative and capable the team is 10-plus years in.
Fans of Red Hook’s beloved Baked rejoiced when founder Renato Poliafito and head baker Ginger Fisher Baldwin joined forces again to open Ciao, Gloria. The sandwiches are top-notch, from the breakfast sandwich with Calabrian chile aioli to the Italo Disco Club, with turkey and tomato compote on homemade focaccia. On the sweet side, we love the tricolor bars.
Left Coast Food + Juice will transport you from Navy Pier to the Santa Monica Pier with its breezy California vibes and vibrant, veg-forward menu. Founder Michael Madden and his wife, Jamie, offer an all-day breakfast menu, and for lunch and dinner you’ll find salads, grain bowls, and wraps with many vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.
Rubirosa’s founder, AJ Pappalardo, was New York pizza royalty. (His father opened Joe & Pat’s, a Staten Island classic.) After making the family’s 57-year-old recipe his own, he brought Staten Island–style pizza to the city. The Tie-Dye pizza, a cult classic, marries a pink vodka sauce with a swirl of green pesto. Pizza is the name of the game here, of course (you can order a regular pizza or a vodka sauce–only pie), but the restaurant also serves up excellent pasta, including lumache alla vodka and a manicotti in tomato sauce that’ll impress even the fussiest of Italian food devotees.
Chef Arturo Leonar was born in Mexico City and, after moving to New York City in his 20s, worked his way up at some of the best kitchens in town. At Chavela’s, he serves the traditional Mexican food he grew up with. Our favorites are the enchiladas, flautas, and, of course, the guacamole.
The original Square Pie Guys opened in 2019 in SoMa, and the restaurant has been busy enough to encourage its owners, Danny Stoller and Marc Schechter, to open two additional locations in the years since. The restaurant is known for Detroit-style pizza: square pies cooked in a metal pan with toppings that extend all the way to the edge of the crust. The Ellen Supreme, with vodka sauce, pepperoni, Italian sausage, caramelized onions, pickled peppers, and mushrooms, is always a good idea. Try the sweet monkey bread too, which is pizza dough bathed in brown sugar, butter, and seasonal toppings, such as diced apples and pumpkin spice caramel.
At this casual Echo Park café, it’s all about supporting what’s in season and local. Case in point: The menu is full of organic vegetables from small farms found at the Echo Park, Hollywood, and Santa Monica farmers markets. Everything is customizable, including the noodles, rice, and garnish of your bowl and the extra fillings in your sandwich. Honey Hi really takes into account all dietary restrictions, too; it has options for gluten-free, vegan, and paleo folks. Grab a breakfast bowl with sweet potato hash, poached egg, avocado, bacon, greens, herbs, and sumac, and a No Fomo smoothie with kale, spinach, avocado, mango, banana, and chlorophyll. Your body will thank you.
Blue Ribbon has been in the sushi game since 1995; that’s pretty much a century in New York restaurant years! It’s a collaboration between prolific NYC restaurateurs Bruce and Eric Bromberg and sushi master Toshi Ueki. The focus here is on quality fish and attention to every detail. It takes familiar dishes like sunomono, the classic cucumber salad, and executes them perfectly. The more inventive dishes here include the cucumber-wrapped Kyuri Special Roll with eel, crab, cucumber, and avocado.
This Williamsburg restaurant channels the flavors of Thailand into a menu that’s nothing but hits. Noods is the third NYC restaurant from chef Manadsanan Sutipayakul, who, with her three children, turns out some of the best pork dumplings in Brooklyn. And the lamb, served in a chile-lime sauce, is outstanding. Just choose your own heat level.
Israeli food is thriving in New York City, and 12 Chairs is as good as it gets, with perfect takes on the classics: creamy hummus, fresh falafel, grilled eggplant, and labneh sprinkled with za’atar, all served with pita bread flown in from Israel and baked on-site. While you won’t miss the meat with the aforementioned line-up of dishes, Sammy’s Kebab is hard to ignore.
It’s easy to go overboard when scanning chef Ayesha Nurdjaja’s menu, which is inspired by the culture and cuisines of Italy, Morocco, and Tunisia. Just look at that hummus. Thankfully, the Soho hang’s got your back with the Feast for 2, a variety of dips (including that hummus), your choice of two kebabs, and plenty of pita and zhoug to keep you reaching for more.
It’s not unusual to find crowds of people milling around near this Greenpoint institution while waiting for their orders. That’s because this family-owned Jewish deli is easily one of the best in the city, and its hand-rolled bagels, hot pastrami, and matzo ball soup are deservedly renowned. Ordering with Caviar allows you to skip the wait.
Pine & Crane is one of three restaurants by first-generation Taiwanese American owner Vivian Ku. This fast-casual spot offers classic Taiwanese fare, and the passion, dedication, and hard work Wu and her team put into their dishes is evident in every bite. Inspired by her grandfather’s work ethic and noodle business in Taiwan, Ku grew up on her family’s farm in Bakersfield, planting seedlings alongside her parents, and observed them as they ran their small business. The Pine & Crane menu uses seasonal vegetables from that very farm for its comforting noodles and small plates. Don’t forget something to drink: The curated loose-leaf tea list perfectly complements the Taiwanese dishes.
The Mexican food served at Mesa Coyoacan is the sort of rustic, regional cooking you’d find in an abuela’s kitchen in Puebla. But there’s no grandma here; instead it’s chef Ivan Garcia, who grew up in Mexico City, translating his family’s recipes into comfort food. His rich, silky mole comes with tender roast chicken or on platters of enchiladas. Tacos and quesadillas are also on the menu, crafted from handmade tortillas that are made with heritage masa. Ingredients are fresh, traditional and — most importantly — cooked with love.