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Top 15 Rising Star Destinations

These twenty restaurants are culinary homes away from home, the perennial favorites, that Gogobot users returned to again and again in 2013.
1

Shake Shack - Madison Square Park

Southeast corner of Madison Square Park near Madison Ave. and E.23rd St, 10010
A juicy, meaty classic, the Shake Shack was born in Manhattan's Madison Square Park, but now serves its shakes, burgers and fries around the world.
Everyone loves Shake Shack! Their burgers are just the right size and I can always go for a shake. The lines here can get a little bit out of hand, so you should check on their live webcam which can ... read more
be found on their website. If that fails, you could always pay a college student to wait in line for you!
2

Mon Ami Gabi - Las Vegas

3655 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109
This classic French bistro with its Old World ambiance offers a respite from the carnival-like atmosphere of Las Vegas, and excellent steak frites accompanied by a wine list curated by chef Gabino Sotelino.
You've seen "Midnight in Paris" and are dying to dine in a Parisian Bistro. But you don't have enough time or money to get to the capital of France. Not a problem. Just travel to Las Vegas and have a ... read more
meal at Mon Ami Gabi in the Paris Las Vegas hotel on "The Strip." I had lunch there in February, 2012 and thought the food and service were quite good. As for the ambiance, well for a short while for me it was "Mid-day in Paris," rather than "Mid-day Madness in Vegas."
3

L'As Du Fallafel

34 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris, France
The Marais district hosts this falafel destination, a real pilgrimage for vegetarians and a possible point of conversion for carnivores...its reputation is just that good.
Awesome! This place really stands for what they claim to be - the best fallafel sandwich ever. For 5,50 euros, you get the right to stand in line outside for a little while - the line moves fast - ang ... read more
get your amazing fallafel sandwich, the only thing that's on the menu. Grab a fork, find yourself a place to lean on out there and have fun with it! It's delicious.
4

Pizzeria Delfina

3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Inspired by the owner's memories of New York style pies, this upscale pizzeria has become a Mission District favorite.
Love this restaurant! They have two restaurants next to each other, one is the pizzeria and the other is an Italian restaurant. I have dined at both and am happy to report that both are amazing. Since ... read more
they are great, so be prepared to wait. In the regular restaurant, the white bean and squid salad and quail were delicious. I am happy with every pizza I tried at the Pizzeria.
5

Father's Office

1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403
This gastropub is known for its burgers, seasonal, local menu, and craft brewed beer and wine. A Santa Monica, and Gogobot, favorite.
Seriously great burgers here, cooked to perfection exactly the way you order them. I was prepared for this bar to be completely over-hyped, but nope. It really does make awesome food, and the list of ... read more
microbrews from around California, North America, Europe and beyond is killer. What's not to love? A side of brussel sprouts that costs $8. Yup, it's overpriced. But the staff were really quick, and sitting at the bar while flying solo, I felt right at home. TIPS: * Order at the bar, then grab a booth or table (show up early on weekends, or you'll be hanging around forever). * Bring cash.
6

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck

56-505 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku, HI
Oahu is known for its shrimp trucks, and Giovanni's is known among the shrimp trucks for the freshness of its pink, garlicky crustaceans. A popular stop for lunch or after a day at the beach.
It's been a couple of years since I've had Giovanni's Shrimp Scampi, but I still remember it clearly. Great perfectly cooked shrimp (not overdone) doused in a garlicky blend of olive oil, butter, ... read more
lemon and of course, garlic. I've just got to get back there....soon.
7

Phil's BBQ

3740 Sports Arena Blvd, #6, San Diego, CA 92110
Baby back and beef ribs, chicken and sandwiches keep San Diego citizens of every stripe lining up at Phil's for their fix. Casual, chaotic, and fast, Phil's has become a real institution in its thirteen years of business.
Oh Phil's, you will always remain a road block in my journey to become a vegetarian. The line does not lie, and there is always, yes I repeat always a line here. News of the BBQ sauce makes it up to ... read more
LA foodies who swear no one compares, and whether you slather it on chicken breasts or baby back ribs, you will be in BBQ heaven.
8

Mama's Fish House

799 Poho Pl, Paia, HI 96779
Maui's first fresh fish restaurant was founded by the Christensen family in 1973 and still serves imaginative seafood dishes like lobster guacamole and Tahitian ceviche.
Maui's north shore has myriad options for good food and great scenery, but Mama's Fish House might be the best destination for both. For almost forty years, this beach house turned restaurant has ... read more
offered visitors a scenic paradise to enjoy any special occasion. A coconut grove shades an open-aired deck overlooking a private, white sand beach and friendly servers deliver traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian fare, like wasabi crusted calamari and Ahi tuna caught only ten miles offshore.
9

The Wolseley

160 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EB, United Kingdom
Top restaurateurs Corbin and King restored this former car showroom into an elegant European cafe and restaurant on London's posh Piccadilly. Opened in November 2003, it's remained a consistent London favorite.
The omelette Arnold Bennet. The stuff of dreams. This place is the real deal. An old school London institution. Located in an old bank, with beautiful decorations, outstanding service, and proper ... read more
linen tablecloths. Make sure to visit the loos, in the old vault. Just grand.
10

The French Laundry

6640 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599
Located in a late-19th-century French steam laundry, chef Thomas Keller's beloved restaurant is as much a Napa Valley institution as it is a top restaurant of the world. Simply uttering the words 'French Laundry' conjures images of its intimate dining room, Keller's innovative American-French cuisine and a waiting list that's perpetually long.
Yes, this place is everything it's supposed to be. World-famous, and deservedly so, restaurant from Thomas Keller where they design two different 9-course meals each day, one of which is vegetarian. ... read more
The courses are small, purposely designed to make you think "dang, I really wanted a few more bites of that". Reservations? Good luck. They only take reservations 60 days in advance, and they go quickly, so don't plan on calling 59 days in advance or less than that and having success. Please realize that jackets for men are required for both lunch and dinner, and dinner is over $250 each, before you even order a glass of wine. Worth it? Oh yeah.
11
Forget the East Coast for clam chowder - this Seattle restaurant serves a New England recipe that has locals and visitors lining up for more. Born of a friendly cooking competition in the owner's previous restaurant, the thick, silky soup soon merited a dedicated establishment.
This is the best place to go for chowder lovers. New England clam chowder with bacon(!), salmon chowder, scallop chowder, and seafood bisque are the usuals here. They are all delicious, but if you ... read more
can't decide, you can always order their sampler and try most, if not all of them. They do close early, at 5, I believe, so make sure to stop by before then.
12

Salt Lick BBQ

18300 Fm 1826, Driftwood, TX 78619
Cash only, BYOB, this Texan 'Bar-b-Que' joint is about one thing only: meat. Featured in media from the New York Times to the Food Network, the Salt Lick holds an important place in many, many carnivores' hearts.
The best brisket of my life! The Driftwood location is the best. I come from a long line of Texans and I've never had brisket better than the Salt Lick.
13

Mother's Restaurant

401 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130
New Orleans comfort food ranks among the world's most decadent, and Mother's is a perennial favorite, an amazing place to sink into a po'boy or dive into a plate of jambalaya.
I LOVE Mother's! If it's out of the way, I suggest you go out of your way to get there. If there's a long line, stand in it. Long lines are usually there for a reason. People line up for good food! ... read more
It's worth it. Their shrimp po-boy was delicious and I never knew I liked bread pudding until I've had Mother's. Their bread pudding is a MUST!!!!
14

Pok Pok Restaurant

3226 Southeast Division Street, Portland, OR
Critics have showered accolade after accolade upon Pok Pok, Portland's Thai food destination. It's the love of the diners, however, that wins it a place on this list.
Wow! What an experience! Such unique food! Apparently there is often a two hour wait for this place at dinner time (they do not accept reservations except for big parties). I went for a lunch on a ... read more
weekday and we still had to wait about a half an hour! But it was worth the wait... the food was so unique and delicious! Everything is served family style to share. The most memorable dish was the spicy boar collar served with shredded ice and mustard greens. The combination of the hot and spicy meat with the greens and ice was so incredibly unique in your mouth. Also, the buffalo wings were possibly the best I've ever had! Check this place out!
15

The Purple Pig

500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL
A tag line like 'Cheese, Swine and Wine' is a clear advertisement of Purple Pig's menu. We have a feeling that the 'fried' section of the menu is another reason this newcomer, launched in 2010, gets a 'Most Love' designation.
Always a great spot for food! Packed, lively space, delicious small plates, outdoor patio, and right off Michigan ave. Even though it's in a touristy spot...locals and local chefs love it.
16

Neptune Oyster

63 Salem Street, Boston, MA 02113-2273
Eating oysters in Boston is without a doubt one of Beantown's unmissable culinary experiences, and Neptune Oyster is generally considered to be the best of the city's oyster houses: a modern establishment serving the freshest and best.
Let's just start with this: It was worth the 3 hour wait. Get there early, give them your number, and they'll call you when your table is ready. In the mean time you can just hang out in the lovely ... read more
cafes in the surrounding area. This place serves the best oysters I've had, and all the other (cooked) dishes are also exquisitely put together. Can't wait to go back.
17

Jim's Steaks

400 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Beloved by natives and in-the-know visitors, Jim's has been serving greasy, decadent cheesesteaks 'with whiz' for over seventy years.
Gino's and Pat's are most well know but Jim's has my heart. Their steaks are fantastic, made to order the way you line it! Keep in mind they don't take cards so make sure you have cash - exact change ... read more
preferred. That can be a little frustrating but the cheesesteaks are worth it!
18

Tim Ho Wan

Shop 8, 2-20 Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon
What's not to love? Delicious dim sum, low prices, and the prestige of a Michelin star create an irresistible hat trick at Tim Ho Wan.
The line is frequently around the block, but this is the best bang for your Michelin buck in HK (or the world, to be honest). Like dim sum in the US, come early or come late, but avoid meal times.
19

Quan An Ngon

18 Phan Boi Chau, Hanoi Vietnam
Did you ever wish you could go to twelve restaurants in one night instead of just one? Next time you're in Hanoi, try Quan An Ngon, where each tiny 'kitchen' around the courtyard serves different small plates from Vietnam's various regions. No wonder our users have fallen head over heels for this experience.
Best. Restaurant. Ever. With a lovely courtyard setting, this perpetually busy place (popular with both tourists and locals) serves gourmet takes on Vietnamese street food from a dozen small ... read more
'kitchens' arranged around the space. Shockingly good-value for the excellent quality of both food and atmosphere, I have literally never had a dish here I didn't like. It's small-plate style, and meant for sharing, so order whatever looks good (I happen to be a huge fan of their pounded shrimp-paste on sugarcane), order a Tiger beer or two, and roll up your sleeves!
20

Founding Farmers

1924 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20006
A collective of farmers owns this wildly popular, eco-friendly, farm to table restaurant in Washington DC.
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Great Food, cool country sheek decor. All organic! Sign me up. I know the guys who developed this restaurant concept and am a huge fan of all their restaurants, but this one ... read more
is at the top of my list. They also have some amazingly talented mixologists making some pretty insane and delicious cocktails, so I'd say that whether you want a full meal of just a great drink, this place is definitely one to check out.