Chef-Owner Jeremiah Bullfrog set out to bring delicious made-from-scratch food to the people of Miami, and he succeeded with this no-frills food truck, where he slings standouts like the Old Dirt Dog. This hot dog starts with ground short rib (made from grass-fed meat to boot) that’s seasoned with a shower of spices, then poached in beer and grilled to order. A heap of tangy coleslaw and a squirt of spicy mayo complete the dog.
Two-for-one beers aren’t the only draw at this bar, as the bratwursts are also a standout. Try The Milton: A fresh Usinger’s sausage is poached in beer, then grilled to create a charred crust. The brat comes on a pretzel bun, loaded with a buttery mix of mushrooms, onions and melty cheddar.
This spot is known for its dense, almost butterlike ice cream and innovative flavors like Strawberry Balsamic with Black Pepper (which is loaded with freshly roasted strawberries, balsamic vinegar and black pepper). At the Portland storefronts, Stumptown Coffee & Burnside Bourbon is an always-available classic, made from single-origin Indonesian Sumatra coffee and Eastside Distillery Burnside Bourbon.
Crowds flock to this rustic Italian restaurant for dishes like the Baked Pasta with Five Cheeses. As the name implies, five cheeses (pecorni romano, fontina, Gorgonzola, mozzarella and ricotta) are used to make a rich sauce, which is then combined with rigate pasta shells and baked to create a bubbly, golden-brown crust.
Head here for classic Mexican sandwiches known as las tortas. A standout is the Pierna Enchilada Torta, which is made from high-quality pork that’s marinated in freshly squeezed orange juice and a simple spice blend. A bold adobo salsa adds some kick before the tender pulled pork is piled on a bun.
This Burbank spot is a great place to grab lunch, particularly given its customizable soup-and-sandwich combinations. One pairing that earned props on Top 5 Restaurants is the BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich and Corn Chowder. The sandwich is built on an aioli-slicked pretzel roll that’s piled high with wild arugula and fresh-roasted chicken, then finished with pickled red onions and a creamy goat cheese spread. A hearty bowl of corn chowder studded with bacon and corn completes the plate.
This modern Mexican eatery is a late-night hot spot for hungry Brooklynites, complete with an on-site DJ. The menu is packed with unique spins on Tex-Mex favorites, like the Cadillac nachos. Housemade tortilla chips are loaded with refried cranberry beans, then drenched in jalapeno cheese sauce, citrus sour cream and three chile-spiked salsas that pack a punch. A flurry of fresh cilantro and chopped radishes lend additional zest to the dish.
Domenica has built up a loyal fan base with its menu of rustic cuisine inspired by Sunday dinners in the Italian countryside. Iron Chef winner Lee Anne Wong finds pasta perfection there,” it’s like you’ve left Bourbon Street and walked into Bologna,” she muses. Their house-made bucatini with shrimp is enrobed in an “unapologetic amount” of lemon-chile butter and crowned with fried oysters. The maltagliati, a type of pasta that is ripped to resemble rags, is topped with succulent braised beef shank. Chef Wong calls the first bite, “romantic.”
You won’t find rice at this traditional Chinese noodle shop, where the chef slings bowls of garlic-tinged wide noodles instead. Hand-pulled by Chef-Owner Gene Wu, these noodles emulate the ones made in Xi’an, China, where wheat noodles became a local staple because of a climate that’s too dry for growing rice. The noodles are so flavorful that they don’t need broth; instead they’re topped with scallions, cilantro and hot pepper, then finished with a splash of sizzling sesame oil to blend the flavors.
This spot offers 120 different kinds of doughnuts 24 hours a day. It is also home to the mythical Wow-Nut, LA's first half-waffle/half-donut hybrid. The Red Velvet Lust Wow-Nut has fresh strawberries and fluffy tufts of whipped cream. Jeff and Audrey Dunham try a Wow-Nut ice cream sandwich filled with white chocolate ganache, chocolate cookies and cookie butter ice cream. “The little kid in me is doing backflips,” Jeff said between spoonfuls.
Waffles aren’t just for breakfast anymore at this whimsical spot on wheels that cranks out both sweet and savory incarnations of the fluffy, golden favorite. A must-try is the Pork Belly Banh Mi Waffle, which comes loaded with seared pork belly, pickled cabbage, cucumbers, cilantro and fiery jalapenos. A drizzle of togarashi and Sriracha sauce adds to the Asian-inspired flavors.
This spot serves ice cream in irresistible ways. There’s a grown-up version of a float that’s bittersweet in the best way: raspberry lambic beer poured over vanilla ice cream. Another star is the sundae featuring scratch-made dark chocolate ice cream and a fudgy brownie drenched in a rich sauce.
This late-night California spot is known for its old-school vibe and standout menu rife with Jewish deli staples. A favorite is the East Coast-inspired Brooklyn Ave Sandwich. Crunchy coleslaw, housemade Thousand Island dressing and tender slices of corned beef come sandwiched between house-baked caraway rye bread. The sandwich is so popular that Canter’s sells more than 500 pounds of corned beef daily.
In the fast-paced city of New York, crepe-loving denizens enjoy fueling up at Creperie NYC’s locales. More than 75 varieties of crepes are available, including both sweet and savory options. Each one starts with a batter of whipped eggs, peanut oil, vanilla, butter, whole milk and flour, which transforms into a golden crepe after a turn on the griddle. European-inspired fillings include creamy Brie cheese from France and rich dark chocolate from Belgium.
This casual California eatery is home to some of the best gumbo in the country. Chef-Owner Tanya Holland uses caramelized garlic instead of raw garlic to pump up the rich and sweet flavors in the dish. She starts with her homemade chicken stock, then thickens the gumbo roux with sassafras and okra, which add earthy notes to the dish. Tender chicken and shrimp complete the creation.