Pandemic closures have been particularly tough on the restaurant business. The National Restaurant Association estimates roughly 110,000 restaurants have shuttered either temporarily and permanently as patrons ate at home to avoid COVID-19. (These are the saddest restaurant closings of 2020.)
Most states have lifted pandemic-inspired restaurant restrictions, however, and diners are venturing forth again. According to a Morning Consult poll this month, 70% of diners say they now feel comfortable eating in restaurants, though outdoor dining remains preferable to indoor.
The review site Yelp asked its users, in December, to send in lists of the eating places they most looked forward to patronizing again in 2021. 24/7 Tempo is showcasing their top 25 choices. (For more dining-out recommendations, see this list of the one can’t-miss restaurant in every state.)
Yelp’s list of the top places to eat in 2021 is based on thousands of suggestions sent into the site in response to their request in December for users to name the restaurants they most looked forward to visiting as pandemic restrictions are lifted this year. The choices, according to Yelp, are “representative of the uniqueness of our community and…powered by the people.”
This isn’t a roster of Michelin-starred establishments or trendy hangouts. The places listed here serve everything from Ethiopian fare to sushi, pasta to barbecue. A hot dog joint, a saloon, an ice cream parlor, and a coffee shop made the list. And the No. 1 most anticipated restaurant is a women-owned vegan café. If this list shows anything, it’s that American diners have wide-ranging tastes.
25. Pho Haus
> Location: Denver, Colorado
24. Chris’s Ice Cream
> Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
23. Los Andes Restaurant
> Location: Providence, Rhode Island
22. Café La Maude
> Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
21. Moku Roots
> Location: Lahaina (Maui), Hawaii
20. Cutbow Coffee Roastology
> Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
19. The Pasta Shop
> Location: Denville, New Jersey
18. Wright’s Barbecue
> Location: Johnson, Arkansas
17. Juan’s Flaming Fajitas & Cantina
> Location: Henderson, Nevada
16. Tacos Doña Lena
> Location: Houston, Texas
15. Tasty Pizza
> Location: Omaha, Nebraska
14. Sushi J
> Location: Bellevue, Washington
13. La Finca Bowls
> Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
12. Jack of Cups Saloon
> Location: Folly Beach, South Carolina
11. Nova Kitchen & Bar
> Location: Garden Grove, California
10. Enat Ethiopian Restaurant
> Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
9. Intentional Food Cafe and Market
> Location: Mesa, Arizona
8. 1618 Asian Fusion
> Location: Austin, Texas
7. Halls Chophouse
> Location: Charleston, South Carolina
6. Arun’s Indian Kitchen
> Location: Coral Springs, Florida
5. Simon’s Hot Dogs
> Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
4. Heat Da Spot
> Location: Washington, D.C.
3. Local Expedition Wood Fired Grill
> Location: Alpharetta, Georgia
> Location: San Bruno, California
1. Kelley Farm Kitchen
> Location: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Sponsored: Want to Retire Early? Here’s a Great First Step
Want retirement to come a few years earlier than you’d planned? Or are you ready to retire now, but want an extra set of eyes on your finances?
Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help you build your plan to retire early. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free.
Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.