Special Report

50 Highest Grossing Restaurants in America

Source: Photo by Don C. via Yelp

15. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
> Location: Washington, DC
> Annual sales: $23,000,000 (est.)
> Avg. check: $80 (est.)
> Meals served annually: 288,000

Prices at this outpost of Joe’s in the nation’s capital are slightly lower in many cases than at the parent restaurant in Chicago, but the menu is otherwise identical. There’s a long “Cocktail Hour” daily, running from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and featuring signature drinks and half-price oysters on the half shell.

Source: Courtesy of TAO Uptown via Facebook

14. Tao Uptown
> Location: New York, NY
> Annual sales: $23,089,638
> Avg. check: $85
> Meals served annually: 282,827

One of two Taos in New York City (Tao Downtown is listed at No. 3) — others are in L.A., Chicago, and Las Vegas (see No. 1) — this Asian-themed mega-restaurant occupies a building that was a Vanderbilt family stable in the 19th century and later a movie theatre. The design of this three-level, 300-seat place is appropriately theatrical, with a dining room dominated by a 16-foot-tall seated Buddha above a virtual reflecting pool.

Dim sum and other small plates such as rock shrimp lettuce cups, and chicken satay, as well as Chinese-style spareribs, tempura vegetables, sushi and sashimi, seafood in various guises, kung pao chicken, and a grilled Kobe ribeye with yuzu cilantro butter are among the menu choices. The Madison Square Garden Co. bought a 62.5% stake in Tao Group for $181 million in early 2017.

Source: Tom Grizzle / Getty Images

13. Prime 112
> Location: Miami Beach, FL
> Annual sales: $23,100,000
> Avg. check: $120
> Meals served annually: 193,000

Miami Beach-based Myles Restaurant Group operates four restaurants and a boutique hotel within a one-block radius in trendy South Beach. The group launched this place — which it describes as “the first modern steakhouse in the United States” — in 2004.

The extensive menu includes a raw bar selection, more than 20 appetizers and salads — including such unusual choices as truffle provolone fondue and pan-seared diver scallops with slow-braised wagyu short rib — 15 different cuts and sizes of steak with 17 accompanying sauces and compound butters, 10 kinds of regular and sweet potatoes, 22 vegetable preparations, and a raft of “chef’s compositions,” from blackened local swordfish to chicken and waffles.

Source: Photo by Vandal via Yelp

12. Vandal
> Location: New York, NY
> Annual sales: $23,680,917
> Avg. check: $80
> Meals served annually: 215,483

Another oversized restaurant complex from the Tao Group (see No. 50, No. 14, No. 7, No. 3, and No. 1), which has been majority-owned by the Madison Square Garden Co. since last year, Vandal eschews the Asian ambiance of the Tao restaurants themselves to feature what its website styles as “the art, architecture, and food of global culture.” Graphics, multimedia works, and photographs by an international group of urban artists line the walls. It can be debated whether yellowtail crudo with blueberry and ginger, avocado toast with peas and radishes, or a 50-day-dry-aged 36-ounce tomahawk ribeye steak were “[i]nspired by street food from around the world,” as the website puts it, but there is certainly a multi-cultural flavor to such dishes as roasted squash tostadas, shawarma salad, tortilla soup dumplings, and wild mushroom “street pizza.”

Source: Takahiro Nagao / Flickr

11. Junior’s (Times Square)
> Location: New York, NY
> Annual sales: $23,972,978
> Avg. check: $24
> Meals served annually: 950,000

Since the original was opened in 1950 in Brooklyn, Junior’s has been famous for its New York-style cheesecake. The menu goes far beyond that, though, with a full deli-style selection of blintzes and potato pancakes, deli sandwiches (including four Reuben variations), burgers, and entrees, including brisket of beef and Hungarian beef goulash. Less in the deli mode are such appetizers as Thai ginger BBQ wings, disco fries, and seven barbecue shrimp, chicken, and ribs choices. When this first Junior’s in Manhattan’s Times Square neighborhood opened in 2006, according to the restaurant website, its “Brooklyn NY” sign confused would-be customers who thought they’d come out of the subway at the wrong stop. There’s a newer Junior’s four blocks north, as well as outposts at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut and in Boca Raton, Florida.