The 100 Best Restaurants in America: OpenTable Releases Its 2016 List

logo-press-forbesBy Karla Alindahao, Contributor, Forbes

OpenTable—the online restaurant reservations system—just released its “100 Hottest Restaurants in America for 2016.” And it’s refreshing, to say the least.

So how is this list different from more prestigious rankings such as The World’s 50 Best Restaurants or France’s La Liste? Or even the James Beard Awards and Michelin.

Most notably, there are no rankings or titles or awards. The restaurants that made the cut are simply called “honorees.” And the data is culled from more than five million reviews from verified OpenTable users in all 50 states and Washington D.C. Because of this, the list bears no resemblance to the others.

For instance, the usual New York-based suspects are nowhere to be found. And that’s a good thing. Per Se, Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, Eleven Madison Park, Jean-Georges, Masa, and Le Bernardin are not on the 100-strong list. (Granted, Masa and Chef’s Table aren’t on OpenTable. But still.)

As for the restaurants, all 100 are in 27 states. California tops the list with 25, closely followed by New York, which is home to 15. Illinois has seven. And a number of restaurants in the South such as Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, and more account for nearly 20 percent of this year’s hot spots.

To view the complete list, click here.

Note that the list below is not ranked—it is in alphabetical order. And restaurants marked with an asterisk show establishments that opened in 2015. It is also not to be confused with OpenTable’s annual “100 Best Restaurants in America” list, which is published every December using the same user-verified methodology. (And yes, that list doesn’t show any of the usual Michelin and James Beard winners either.)