We feature restaurants that are pushing the envelope on some of America's beloved comfort foods. Plan Check in Los Angeles offers the most indulgent burgers, fried chicken and pastrami sandwiches, plus a unique towering doughnut dessert. A food truck in Nashville uses big, fat biscuits for hearty sweet and savory sandwiches. Cold fried chicken and baked potatoes are transformed into imaginative pizzas at Pete Zaaz in Brooklyn. And, in Atlanta, guilty pleasures can be found in creative hot dogs, sausages and fries at HD1.
Atlanta is a hotbed for unique eats. Heirloom Market BBQ brings together Korean and American barbecue in a quirky roadside eatery. Seafood dishes are brought to delicious new heights at swank newcomer The Optimist, while cozy corner restaurant One Eared Stag serves edgy American food. And Abattoir adds global touches to its Southern dishes.
Americans continue to pine over all things swine. Korean restaurant Palsaik in Los Angeles serves bacon in eight different flavors. Martin's Bar-B-Q in Nashville smokes whole hog right in the center of their dining room. At Cemitas Puebla in Chicago, diners sink their teeth on quesadillas stuffed with chicharones or their signature Mexican sandwich stuffed with sliced deli ham, fried pork and grilled pork. New York's The Cannibal celebrates nose-to-tail eating with their whole slow-roasted half pig's head, whipped lardo toast and boudin noir sausages.
Chicago continues to draw hungry foodies from all corners of the country with their innovative restaurants. Publican Quality Meats sells farm-raised meats and housemade charcuterie from their butcher counter, but the real draw is the hearty, meat-filled sandwiches. Yusho creates a buzz with their creative Asian-inspired street food. Antique Taco in Wicker Park offers authentic Mexican tacos and classic American comforts foods with a Mexican twist. Familiar brunch dishes get a fine-dining makeover at the Trenchermen.
Authentic global flavors can be savored right here in America. Folks craving Mediterranean and Israeli food flock to charming Balaboosta in New York. Popular Nashville food truck Riff's Fine Street Food marries Caribbean and Asian flavors. At Cook's Torta in Los Angeles, there's always a crowd for their Latin-style sandwiches, while Pecking Order in Chicago serves Filipino-style chicken that comes roasted, grilled or fried.
The lunch hour just got a little longer because the dishes at these restaurants are meant to be savored. Perla in New York City's West Village serves rich Italian sandwiches and delicious pizzas. It's all about the unique "baco" sandwich served daily at Baco Mercat in downtown Los Angeles. At Local Three Kitchen and Bar, diners order fast food classics without the guilt because only fresh, top-quality ingredients are used. Merchants Restaurant in downtown Nashville is a quiet retreat from bustling Broadway and serves elegant Southern food.
The borough of Brooklyn is the new rival to Manhattan on New York's dining scene. Celebrated chef Elizabeth Falkner makes her New York debut with her pizzeria Krescendo, which has grabbed the city's attention with creations like Finoccio Flower Power Pizza. Court Street Grocers takes the deli sandwich and raises it to new heights. La Vara is owned by a husband-and-wife team who turned to Brooklyn to open their most imaginative take yet on Spanish food. And Brooklyn's diversity even makes room for Southern hospitality at Pies-n-Thighs, a down-home fried chicken joint in the shadows of the Williamsburg Bridge.
These innovative chefs are creating uniquely modern food across the country. In Austin, Chef Paul Qui is keeping it weird and uniquely delicious at East Side King. In New York City's Atera, Chef Matt Lightner and his kitchen are the stars of this jewel-like culinary theater. A well-known Philadelphia innovator keeps it kosher while wowing the crowds, and in Los Angeles, a couple has gone from illegal dinners in their apartment to a full-fledged restaurant serving irresistible Pan-Asian fare.
We're looking for the most unique old-school eats across America. Yardbird in Miami gives a taste of the true South with its fried chicken and fried green tomatoes. Dinic's in Philadelphia's Reading Terminal has been serving up some of the best old-school sandwiches to crowds for decades. In New York, old school meets new school at Quality Meats steakhouse, while La Camaronera in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami honors a family seafood tradition.
We love classic dishes, but appreciate when they're uniquely reinvented. The Wakin' and Bakin' Brunch at Eating House in Miami, Florida, has something new for both savory and sweet lovers. Lucy's Fried Chicken in Austin, Texas, spruces up the traditional fried chicken dinner with lots of creative fixings and sides, while Josh's Deli in Surfside, Florida, brings the traditional Jewish deli to a whole new level by reinventing the ubiquitous matzoh ball into gnocchi. And Easy Tiger in Austin combines an artisanal bakery with a beer hall.
It's easy to sample everything on the menu when it comes in the form of small bites. My Ceviche in Miami Beach, Florida, keeps it light with the freshest local fish and zesty dressings that define the traditionally Latin-American ceviche dishes. Barley Swine in Austin, Texas, features 13-15 small plates a day, each highlighting ingredients from the local farmers' market. Amis in Philadelphia puts a twist on classic Roman trattoria food where diners are encouraged to order several dishes to share, and Momo Sushi Shack in Bushwick, Brooklyn, serves sushi and dumplings that have Manhattanites crawling through the tunnel to try.
We've found the most unique new Asian eats across the country. In Austin, Texas, an authentic ramen house is taking classic broths and adding intense flavors. At Pubbelly in Miami, Florida, the pig is big and served at this gastropub in unique Asian-inspired ways. Traditional Thai food has reached the people of Austin, and they couldn't be happier with Sway. And in Brooklyn, Dassara is transforming brunch favorites into an Asian noodle dish.
These restaurants are putting their modern spin on some Italian classics. Parm in New York's Little Italy dishes out classic Italian-American sandwiches and brings out the kid in all of us with their colorful ice cream sandwich cake. Italian comfort food is paired with beer at gastropub Alla Spina in Philadelphia, while Superba Snack Bar in Venice, California, crafts their own pastas using unusual ingredients and cooking techniques. City House in Nashville puts a Southern twist on Italian sausages and seafood and uses leftover pizza dough to create gnocchi.
These are places where the drink list may be long, but the dining is the real reason to visit. We meet the chef who brought the tradition of gastropubs over from England and experience her nose-to-tail cooking. Then, a gastropub that serves American favorites like hot dogs and tater tots, but this fare is far from the ordinary. Plus, a traditional German-style beer hall that boasts the best homemade charcuterie in town.
The meals are hand-held at these hot spots, but the unique flavors are the big attraction. Authentic Mexican cuisine pioneer Rick Bayless celebrates Mexico's most beloved street food and snacks, while two brothers bring decadent Italian toasts to one of New York's hippest neighborhoods. A Top Chef winner turns traditional Eastern-European cuisine on its head with inspirations from his own Scottish-Israeli heritage. And a former fine dining chef feeds the need for cheese on the streets of Los Angeles, one gourmet grilled cheese sandwich at a time.
We're taking you on a gastro tour of some of the most adventurous efforts in dining today. From a nine-course underground dinner party to a double-decker bus serving gourmet comfort food and an all-out Beef Seven Ways feast, these unique culinary adventures are not to be missed.
We take you to some of the most unique eateries in New York City that are serving up their twists on comfort food staples. A rowdy meatball joint on the Lower East Side, a bustling restaurant serving knockout chicken and waffles in Brooklyn, an eco-friendly hot dog haven where the chef makes the condiments from scratch and a burger and fries shack in the middle of the city that boasts lines down the block every day.
We'll find out why the burger at Minetta Tavern is the most talked about burger in town and what makes this eatery top everyone's reservation hot list. Plus, starred chef Daniel Boulud takes us inside his first downtown eatery for an international tour of his house-made sausages. And, there's nothing more unique than a restaurant that specializes in every kind of grilled meat imaginable -- and it's all you can eat.
Visit a pie shop in Brooklyn where they sell by the slice and are sold out within hours every single day. Discover an ice cream truck that sells artisanal ice creams with specialty ingredients sourced from around the world, and stop by a bakery filled with treats so good, you'd be shocked to know they never use butter, eggs, milk or flour.
Indulge your weekend cravings at some of the most unique brunch spots from the nation's capitol and New York to the Pacific Northwest. Check out a do-it-yourself pancake house, savor Italian versions of brunch favorites, dive into over-the-top sweets and treat yourself to an upscale brunch you won't forget.
We're taking you from coast to coast to taste the most unique cupcakes in the country. Indulge in artisanal cupcakes paired with beer and wine, stuff yourself with custard-filled cupcakes, take a trip to the frosting bar to create your own unique combination and take your cupcakes to go in a jar!
We highlight some of the most unique takes on Southern home cooking. From fiery hot chicken in Brooklyn and Southern heavies that are actually light and healthy to a decadent Southern Sunday brunch in Portland, OR, and a "Meat and Three" supper in Atlanta you'll want every night of the week.
Everything is better with cheese, and these restaurants will show you why. Take a tour of a cheese cave and enjoy a world-renowned fondue and cheesecake in New York. Find out how many cheeses can fit into one macaroni and cheese dish in Connecticut. And enjoy some of the most unique and sought-after grilled cheese sandwiches in San Francisco.
Check out creativity at its best at these eateries where it's not just about the food, but also the unique drinks. Visit a java boutique where coffee drinks come in the most unique flavors, a brew pub where the beer menu reads like a book and the ales are used in the dishes too, a Mexican eatery shaking up margaritas and mezcals in unusual combinations and a prohibition-style gin joint where even the ice is carefully crafted.
Small plates with big flavors are the attraction at these restaurants. Enjoy unique tapas in one of Boston's hottest hangouts, Peruvian seafood specialties by the bay in San Francisco, Mediterranean bites in Los Angeles and Southern twists on American comfort food in Charleston, South Carolina.
Give in to your cravings at these unique hot spots that make everything you could ever desire in chocolate! From gourmet confections like chocolate fleur de sel toffee and nostalgic baked treats like whoopie pies to outrageous hand-formed chocolate salami and chocolate sea salt crostatas, these handmade treats will tantalize your taste buds.