Special Report

The One Can’t Miss Restaurant In Every State

Source: Courtesy of Sam Choy's Kai Lanai Restaurant / Facebook

11. Hawaii
> Restaurant: Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai
> Location: Kailua-Kona

The ebullient, James Beard Award-winning Choy serves what he calls “Hawaiian heritage cooking” at his beautifully situated restaurant on Hawaii’s Big Island. Ale-steamed Kauai clams with Portuguese sausage, ahi poke in three different preparations, and grilled Hawaiian sea bass wrapped in banana leaves with sticky rice cakes on the side are examples.

Source: Courtesy of The Snake Pit / Facebook

12. Idaho
> Restaurant: The Snake Pit
> Location: Enaville

This landmark establishment near Coeur d’Alene dates its origins to 1879. Along the way, it has operated under numerous different names, but has been known as the Snake Pit at least since the 1950s. Chicken-fried steak and eggs for breakfast and sandwiches and burgers for lunch and dinner are typical fare, but there are also barbeque specialties smoked in-house.

Source: Courtesy of Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern

13. Illinois
> Restaurant: Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern
> Location: Chicago

Frank Sinatra was a regular at this 1932-vintage tavern and barbecued rib joint, with its linoleum floor, bare red tables, and nautical decor. Sinatra, hosting a party there in the 1970s, reportedly ordered “Ribs, and keep ’em coming!” The list of other celebrities who have enjoyed the food at this Chicago standby includes Conan O’Brien, Jack Black, Mike Ditka, Goldie Hawn, and Helen Mirren. The restaurant is open for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Source: St. Elmo's Steakhouse / Facebook

14. Indiana
> Restaurant: St. Elmo Steak House
> Location: Indianapolis

This classic steakhouse has been serving Indianapolis since 1902. There’s nothing contemporary here — just a signature shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, lobster tails, an array of steaks, and other standards of the genre. No trendy wagyu, either — just Midwest Black Angus beef.

Source: Courtesy of Breitbach's Country Dining via Facebook

15. Iowa
> Restaurant: Breitbach’s Country Dining
> Location: Balltown

It’s tough to beat a company history that opens like this: “Opened in 1852 by federal permit issued from President Millard Fillmore, Breitbach’s is Iowa’s oldest food and drinking establishment.” What’s more, the place has been in the Breitbach family since 1862. Steaks and seafood (including frogs’ legs) are featured, there’s a full range of sandwiches, and the pies are homemade.