TripAdvisor, the worldwide travel website, announced the winners of its 2018 Travelers' Choice Awards. The awards recognized the top 10 fine-dining restaurants in the U.S.
As with all categories, including the addition of fast casual and everyday dining categories new this year, TripAdvisor picked the winners using an algorithm that takes into account the quantity and quality of reviews for restaurants over a 12-month period.
“Millions of diners worldwide rely on TripAdvisor to discover their perfect culinary experience. The 2018 Travelers’ Choice restaurant winners are what diners consider the best-in-class, and we hope these leaders in hospitality will inspire others to try something new,” said Bertrand Jelensperger, senior vice president for TripAdvisor Restaurants, in a statement. “Food and dining experiences can often be the main highlight of any trip or an evening out. Luckily, diners can use this list to find the ideal eatery for any occasion—from formal to casual and everything in between.”
Uniquely situated within a 250-year-old adobe home, Geronimo offers a global eclectic menu of Southwestern-inspired dishes in a warm and rustic atmosphere. “The food, service and ambiance are all amazing. Highly recommend planning a special meal if you are visiting Santa Fe. It is not easy to find a restaurant as awesome as Geronimo,” noted a TripAdvisor diner.
The highly acclaimed Lahaina Grill features delectable new American cuisine in a romantic, contemporary bistro setting. “An overall outstanding experience. Everything from the service, the menu, the wine list, the atmosphere, and the food was five-star. Expensive, but fine dining at its best,” noted a TripAdvisor diner.
Set within the Belmond Charleston Place hotel, Charleston Grill takes an elegant spin on Southern cuisine while featuring live jazz music seven nights a week. “I have dined at many fine restaurants throughout the world and this experience was amongst the best. Impeccable service, sensational cuisine accompanied by an amazing jazz combo made for a memorable evening,” noted a TripAdvisor diner.
Located in the French Quarter, GW Fins is well-known for serving fresh, high-quality fish with a menu that changes daily. “This restaurant has a great ambience, the staff are delightful and the food is absolutely delicious. Well cooked, nicely presented and as fresh as you can get,” noted a TripAdvisor diner.
Revered for its excellent service and premium steaks, the family-run Halls Chophouse features live music every night of the week. “We were treated like royalty the minute we walked in the door until the moment we left … Our steaks were amazing, wine was top-notch and the staff will leave you awe-stricken,” noted a TripAdvisor diner.
Set in the heart of downtown Memphis, indecisive diners will find delight in Flight Restaurant & Wine Bar’s unique approach of serving their meals in tasting flight trios. “The flight format for dinning is brilliant. The quality of the food, and the knowledge of our waiter in helping us to select our flights, then helping us pair wine with the food ... awesome,” noted a TripAdvisor diner.
Tucked behind the historic Wentworth Mansion, Circa 1886 is renowned for its modern take on classic Lowcountry cuisine and charming décor. “Super creative and delicious food, superior service and a wonderfully cozy and elegant dining room. It's our favorite restaurant in Charleston hands-down,” noted a TripAdvisor diner.
The family owned and operated Café Monarch offers an ever-evolving four-course tasting menu featuring local, organic, sustainable and premium ingredients in an elegant setting. “The food was exceptional in quality and presentation—a real delight for the taste buds. The staff pampered us and made us feel right at home in this former mansion. We had a most memorable meal in this world class restaurant,” noted a TripAdvisor diner.
Located on the Upper East Side, Daniel Boulud’s flagship restaurant, Daniel, is well-known for its refined European cuisine, world-class wine cellar and exemplary service. “From the moment we walked in the front door until we exited, we all agreed this was the most unique dining experience we’ve ever had… I’ve eaten all over the world and the meal, service and dining experience at Daniel will never be duplicated,” noted a TripAdvisor diner.
Michelin Star and James Beard award-winning chef Gabriel Kreuther serves up delectable French cuisine at his namesake luxurious Midtown Manhattan restaurant. “The food was exquisite, the service impeccable and the overall experience wonderful. It's pricey, so save it for a special occasion, but I can’t recommend it highly enough,” noted a TripAdvisor diner.
Goloboy shared some exclusive tips with FSR about how restaurants can move up in the rankings and own their review pages. Here are his top 5 pieces of advice:
- Register for free as an owner on TripAdvisor—It’s quick and easy. Simply create an account on TripAdvisor, which unlocks free resources that help you engage with diners on the site. The best advice I can give is don’t wait—register now. It only takes a few minutes.
- Make sure your listing is up-to-date—Once you’ve claimed your listing on TripAdvisor, you should update your information, add photos to put your best foot forward, and get in the habit of reading your customers’ reviews and opinions.
- Respond to guest reviews (positive and negative alike)—Show you care. Thank diners for their feedback and respond to any concerns they may have. If you’ve already done something to address their feedback, let them know. Remember that your responses are not just for the individual reviewer but for TripAdvisor’s community of millions of travelers around the world who will be able to read your Management Responses.
- Use guest feedback to improve the guest experience—If you see a recurring issue in the reviews, whether it be overcooked steak or a broken door, use the diner feedback to improve your service and remove the issue for future diners. This cuts down on negative reviews. Ask diners to share their candid reviews—When you consider the average review on TripAdvisor is more than 4 out of a possible 5, having a high volume of consumer reviews helps you.
- Ask your guests to write a candid review on TripAdvisor about their dining experience—When you consider the average review on TripAdvisor is more than 4 out of a possible 5, having a high volume of consumer reviews helps you. Ask your guests to write a candid review on TripAdvisor about their dining experience.
Here's a look at the fast-casual rankings:
1. Portillo’s—Chicago, Illinois
2. Earl of Sandwich—Las Vegas, Nevada
3. Shake Shack—New York City, New York
4. Blaze Pizza—Orlando, Florida
5. In-N-Out Burger—Los Angeles, California
6. The Taco Stand—La Jolla, California
7. Five Guys—Orlando, Florida
8. Super Duper Burgers—San Francisco, California
9. Tacos el Gordo—Las Vegas, Nevada
10. Torchy’s Tacos—Austin, Texas
These restaurants took top honors in TripAdvisor's new everyday dining rankings:
1. Pane & Vino—Miami Beach, Florida
2. Mon Ami Gabi—Las Vegas, Nevada
3. Hog Island Oyster Company—San Francisco, California
4. Phil's BBQ—San Diego, California
5. Spice Symphony—New York City, New York
6. Duke's Waikiki—Honolulu, Hawaii
7. Blue Heaven—Key West, Florida
8. Santa Barbara Shellfish Company—Santa Barbara, California
9. Oceana Grill—New Orleans, Louisiana
10. The Pink Door—Seattle, Washington