Kari Lloyd
Thrillist essential restaurants 2017

Is there anything that can cause a bigger debate than the best place to eat in your town or city? If there is, we don’t know about it.

Thrillist recently published its Top 50 Essential Restaurants Every American Should Visit list – a treasure trove of American dining experiences that you should make sure to add to that ever-growing must-eat list. While you might think this means a list of high-end, totally out-of-budget restaurants, you’d be wrong. While some are expensive, many fall into the “sandwich you can’t miss” or “to-die-for BBQ” categories.

We’ve picked our favorites from this year’s list, but you can see the full list here.

Apartment Guide’s Picks from Thrillist’s Top 50 Essential Restaurants:


Brooklyn, NY

Peter Luger Steak House

Arguably the best steak in NYC, and therefore probably the world – these Peter Luger’s are the Jedi Masters of meat.


Cambridge, MA

Yume Wo Katare

Great ramen, applause when you finish your bowl and encouragement to write down your dreams and hang it on the wall. Bliss.


Denver, CO

The Buckhorn Exchange

Open since 1893, this restaurant has seen several presidents pass through its doors. It’s also where you can try Rocky Mountain oysters, rattlesnake or even buffalo.


Elmwood Park, IL

Johnnie’s Beef

In a town known for Italian beef sandwiches, this Chicago area classic serves up one of the city’s finest examples.


Flushing, NY

Ganesh Temple Canteen

Found in the basement of a Hindu temple, this all-vegetarian eatery is known for their beautiful, crepe-like dosas.


Huntington, NY

It may look like just another New York pizza place, but think again. They’re slinging out slices covered in cold, unmelted mozzarella cheese. And people love it. Really.


Kansas City, KS

Joe’s Kansas City BBQ

Forget the pulled pork of the south and the brisket of Texas and belly up for what’s often called a “life-changing slab of ribs.”


Los Angeles, CA


Yes, it’s a chain fast food joint, but to West Coast folks, it’s more than that. Grab yourself a cheeseburger and go “animal style,” otherwise you’re ordering it wrong.


Memphis, TN

Payne’s BBQ

Let’s face it – Memphis is known for BBQ, and they take it seriously. When the locals tell you this is the best place in town? You believe them.


Minneapolis, MN

Matt’s Bar

Home to a cheeseburger’s bigger, badder older brother, the Jucy Lucy (yep, it’s spelled that way), Matt’s ditched cheese on top for their famous, oozing cheese-stuffed burger.


Nashville, TN

Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack

If you love spice, this is the place for you. Crunchy chicken drowned in sauce of varying degrees of heat. Don’t be a hero: you can’t handle the “XXX Hot.”


New Orleans, LA

Café Du Monde

Undo what you surely got up to the night before with classic, chicory-infused café au lait and a pile of fried beignets, heavy with powdered sugar.


New York, NY

Katz’s Deli

Home to a classic pastrami sandwich as big as your head, and also the backdrop to many films. Don’t lose your ticket!


Philadelphia, PA

Pat’s King of Steaks

You simply can’t go to Philadelphia without getting into a cheesesteak. We think it may be the law.


Phoenix, AZ

Pizzeria Bianco

Love a proper Italian pie? Meet the place that kicked off the revolutionary American artisanal pizza movement.


Pittsburgh, PA

Primanti Bros.

This old-school lunch counter is home to the city’s favorite blue-collar special: their sandwiches stacked with meat, slaw and a fistful of fries.


Richmond, VA

Mama J’s

The portions are almost as enormous as the lines at this classic, Southern soul food restaurant.


Washington, D.C.

Ben’s Chili Bowl

World famous chili dogs adored by both locals and tourists alike. One will never be enough, so order a couple and prepare for a chili facial.


Do you agree with Thrillist’s list? Did they miss something major, or overlook a culinary hotspot? Get social with us and tell us your favorites!




About The Author

Kari Lloyd has been a freelance writer for over 15 years. A Chicago native and recent transplant to Atlanta, Kari spent 10 years living in London, UK where she worked as a music journalist and restaurant reviewer.