Yelp Names Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. This Year

Yelp Names Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. This Year

By Katie Kelly Bell, Special for USA TODAY

Yelp’s list of the Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2016 is a study in diversity, featuring everything from Michelin-starred fine dining establishments and family-run cafes to worker-owned collectives and barbecue joints. The broad range of cuisines, price points and styles reflects a growing national curiosity about food and dining out — which is great news for America.

The winners were determined using a combination of factors including ratings and total number of reviews. According to Yelp, “only reviews written by users whose profiles list their home location as within the reviewed businesses’ country were factored into the ranking.” In contrast to last year’s ranking (which was mainly based on a restaurant’s recent performance), this year’s list is a more comprehensive look, taking into consideration rankings and reviews that go back to the founding of Yelp in 2004.

Taking the number one slot is Porto’s Bakery and Café in Burbank, Calif. — a family-run business started by Cuban immigrants with multiple locations. Not far behind, at No. 19, is Alinea, a three Michelin star-rated fine dining restaurant in Chicago. Clearly California diners like to rate their experiences more than the rest of the nation, as almost 50 of the top 100 restaurants are based in California, followed by a high density of wins from New York and Las Vegas.

Three places merit attention as Hot and New according to Yelp. These are restaurants that appear on the Top 100 List for the first time having received a large number of positive reviews despite being new to the dining scene: No. 25, Adobo Taco Grill (Lakewood, Calif.), No. 27, Mr. BBQ (Fullerton, Calif.) and No. 60 Rockfire Grill (Mission Viejo, Calif.).

While many might argue the steakhouse experience is No. 1 in the hearts of American diners, based on this list it appears the American palate is evolving towards a passion for barbecue (nine winners), tacos (six winners) and a range international cuisines. See the full list here.