TripAdvisor, the worldwide travel website, announced the winners of its 2019 Travelers' Choice Awards. The awards recognized the top 10 fine-dining restaurants in the U.S.
As with all categories, including fast casual and everyday dining categories which were added to the awards last 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.
"Diners rely on candid reviews and guidance from other TripAdvisor users to discover restaurants of all types, from local hidden gems to famous restaurants all over the world," said Bertrand Jelensperger, senior vice president for TripAdvisor Restaurants, in a statement. "Whether you're planning a special dinner or grabbing a quick meal on the go, you can turn to TripAdvisor and our 2019 Travelers' Choice award winners to satisfy any craving."
This year the awards revealed and confirmed some industry trends. Americans continue to love surf and turf dining as seafood restaurants and steakhouses dominated the list in the U.S. TripAdvisor also recognized Charleston as a fine-dining destination. “For the last two years, this South Carolina port city has been home to three of the top 10 Fine Dining restaurants in the country,” TripAdvisor said in a statement.
To view the full list of 2019 Travelers' Choice award-winning restaurants around the world visit here.
Methodology: Award winners were determined by factoring in the quantity and quality of reviews, gathered over a 12-month period. This year, the awards recognize 584 total restaurants globally and 75 U.S. restaurants in the categories of Fine Dining, Everyday Dining, and Fast Casual.
The celebrated hotel bar/restaurant from Michelin-starred chef José Andrés is known for its Spanish-inspired tapas. Guests can enjoy a wild sensory dining experience in a playful atmosphere. Drawing from Andrés’ Spanish roots, the decor and the cuisine mixes traditional and avant-garde elements.
Popular dishes: Smoked oysters, dragon fruit ceviche
25 years ago chef Peter Merriman opened Merriman’s in Waimea with a vision of creating a locally sourced fine-dining establishment. Merriman partnered with local farmers to grow local produce and raise meats locally to create a healthier and sustainable Hawaii. Along with Merriman’s, he’s expanded his restaurant empire with two more fine dining restaurants: Merriman’s Kapalua, on the grounds of the scenic resort on Maui’s West Side, and Merriman’s Fish House in Poipu, Kauai. Downstairs from the fish house, Peter offers casual dining at Merriman’s Gourmet Pizza & Burgers.
Popular dishes: Monchong, lamb chops
Once a beach house, this Hawaiian restaurant offers the ultimate tropical dining experience for diners. The restaurant is decorated with fresh flower arrangements, Polynesian artifacts, and original paintings. Hawaiian flavors, like hibiscus and pineapple, can be found across both the food and cocktail menus. “The food, just wow wow wow! Absolutely amazing and worth the drive out there," noted a TripAdvisor diner.
Popular dishes: Stuffed fish, panang curry
Located in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, Peninsula Grill is the epitome of Southern charm and fine dining. Diners can choose to dine inside or in the garden which is lit with carriage lanterns. The restaurant’s famous coconut cake has been on the menu since day one and is now available online, so guests around the world can have a taste of Charleston without leaving their home.
Popular dishes: Lobster "3 Way," coconut cake
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. The Southern restaurant moved up two spots on the list from 2018. “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.
Popular dishes: Foie gras, crab cakes
Jumping up five spots from last year, this Santa Fe establishment is 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.
Popular dishes: Elk tenderloin, sea bass
The highly acclaimed Lahaina Grill, which moved up from ninth place in 2018, 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.
Popular dishes: Wagyu beef ravioli, triple berry pie
Located in the French Quarter, GW Fins is well-known for serving fresh, high-quality seafood with a menu that changes daily. The New Orleans restaurant moved up four spots from seventh to third place on the list. "The service was impeccable. Every item we ordered was more delicious than the next. If I could eat those lobster dumplings every day I would,” noted a TripAdvisor diner.
Popular dishes: Soft shell crab, lobster dumplings
Jumping from sixth place to second, this Charleston restaurant is 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.
Popular dishes: Prime rib, crab cakes
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. After dropping out of first place in 2018, the iconic restaurant reclaimed the top spot in 2019.
“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.
Popular dishes: Foie gras, amuse bouches
These restaurants took top honors in TripAdvisor's new everyday dining rankings:
1. Pane & Vino – Miami Beach, Florida
Popular dishes: Spaghetti alla Ruota, cappelletti verdi tartufati
2. Carmine's Italian Restaurant - Times Square – New York City, New York
Popular dishes: Penne alla vodka, stuffed mushrooms
3. 5 Napkin Burger – New York City, New York
Popular dishes: 5 Napkin Burger, wings
4. 11th Street Diner – Miami Beach, Florida
Popular dishes: Burger, pancakes
5. Piccola Cucina Osteria – New York City, New York
Popular dishes: Arancini, octopus
6. Fog Harbor Fish House – San Francisco, California
Popular dishes: Clam chowder, salmon
7. Duke's Waikiki – Honolulu, Hawaii
Popular dishes: Fish tacos, ribs
8. The Crab Pot Seafood Restaurant – Seattle, Washington
Popular dishes: Clams, Dungeness
9. Old Ebbitt Grill – Washington, D.C.
Popular dishes: Oysters, crab cakes
10. Blue Heaven – Key West, Florida
Popular dishes: Lobster benedict, jerk chicken
Here are the top ten Fast Casual restaurants in the U.S. for 2019:
1. Earl of Sandwich in Orlando, Florida
2. Shake Shack in Miami Beach, Florida
3. In-N-Out Burger in Los Angeles, California
4. The Taco Stand in La Jolla, California
5. Portillo's Hot Dogs in Chicago, Illinois
6. Five Guys in New York City, New York
7. Tacos el Gordo in Las Vegas, Nevada
8. Teddy's Bigger Burgers in Honolulu, Hawaii
9. Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers in Orlando, Florida
10. Kewpee Hamburgers in Lima, Ohio