Owner Craig Blum continues to convert doughnut skeptics with his irresistible pastries made from sugar, butter, flour and mashed potatoes. The spuds add a chewy quality to the doughnuts that sets them apart from standard rounds. Blum’s Wild Berry Bismark is a particular standout. This golden-brown fried pastry comes stuffed with a homemade jam made from Oregon berries, strawberries, sugar and fresh lime juice.
Jam quickly became Jeff Mauro's go-to brunch spot, not only because the chef is named Jeffrey Mauro, but also because he’s a fan of the breakfast sandwiches and other morning staples. The menu is loaded with creative twists on brunch classics, like Malted Custard French Toast. This popular dish is topped with a macerated cherry puree laced with pink peppercorns for a floral note.
This quirky cafe serves up a slice of Americana with its comforting dishes like the Sweet N’ Salty Pie: A luscious, lard-based crust envelops a dense cookie-dough filling studded with caramel bits and chocolate chips. A sprinkling of sea salt and scoop of vanilla ice cream add to the decadence.
Sink your teeth into seriously succulent pork at this spot, which specializes in the Mexican delicacy known as carnitas. The meat is flash-fried in cauldrons before being slow-cooked, resulting in juicy chunks of porky goodness with satisfyingly crispy edges. Order the meat by the pound or in tacos.
Head to this diner for comforting dishes made from family recipes. A standout is the chicken pot pie, which has a buttery crust composed of dough made fresh daily. The crust serves as the base of the pie, which comes piled with a hearty mix of chicken and vegetables topped with a creamy gravy.
Chef-Owner Peter Chang beat out other chef contestants in China to become the executive chef at the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. After leaving the embassy, he opened this spot, where he serves dishes bursting with the spicy flavors of the Sichuan Provence in the south of China. The most-fiery item on the menu is the Kung Pao Chicken, made with mouth-numbing peppercorn powder to ensure maximum heat.
Head to this Mexican spot for tasty pork tamales. These beauties feature the traditional dough known as masa, which is punched up with pork drippings and a filling of savory shredded pork mixed with chile pepper sauce. They come topped with Christmas sauce: a flavorful combo of red and green salsas.
This Italian restaurant offers a menu of hearty dishes featuring authentic touches like handmade mozzarella and meat that’s butchered in-house. A standout is the Veal Smash Job: The breaded-and-fried chop comes topped with melty mozzarella and a sauce made from heirloom tomatoes, onions and prosciutto.
Brunch is a standout meal at this spot serving cocktails and hearty American dishes like pot roast hash. The meat is slow-cooked in a water bath and sliced against the grain to create a tender bite, then mixed with fingerling potatoes and topped with a fried egg and a rich veal reduction sauce.
Naming his restaurant Yardbird is proof enough that Chef Jeff McInnis stands by his signature dish. The skillet-fried chicken takes 27 hours to prepare, leaving the chicken supremely tender with crispy skin. Make sure to order buttermilk biscuits with pepper jelly or the Tabasco-spiked honey.
This spot takes the hot chicken game to a fiery new level with its Tender Royale. Chicken tenders are brined, fried and doused with an oil made from Carolina reaper peppers before being served on a grilled cheese sandwich. Another standout is the Battle Royale, which clocks in at 9 pounds. Cheese sandwiches are fried until golden, then heaped with hot chicken tenders. Another layer of sandwiches and fried tenders are stacked on top, then finished with a mound of sweet apples.
For next-level breakfast indulgence, try the Custard French Toast at this historical diner. Slabs of Texas toast are dipped in an egg mixture laced with sweet and savory spices. Once fried, they’re dressed up with decadent finishes that include rum-spiked custard, raspberry syrup and candied pecans.
The moment Iron Chef winner Ed Lee lands in New Orleans he heads to Domilise's Po-Boy & Bar for their legendary fried oyster and roast beef po' boys. The fried oyster po' boy is made with crisp gulf oysters stacked on local bread and doused with mayonnaise, ketchup and hot sauce. It is, “the most perfect sandwich ever invented,” opines Chef Lee. The roast beef po' boy is draped with warm roast beef topped with mayo, lettuce and pickles doused in two mustards and hot gravy. “You hold on for dear life and you just go at it,” explains Chef Lee.
The owners of this smokehouse blazed new trails in Carolina barbecue by ditching the classic vinegar sauce and serving pork ribs with a fruity glaze instead. The ribs are seasoned with salt and pepper before being smoked, then finished with a blueberry chipotle glaze that adds sweet and spicy notes. Their creamy peanut butter pie with a crunchy pretzel crust is life-changing for Hannah Hart.
This taco truck is beloved for its natural ingredients, fresh tortillas and house-made salsas. For a hearty and flavorful breakfast, order the Migas Tacos. Soft eggs are cooked with crispy tortilla chips and served with pico de gallo, shredded cheese and avocado on a homemade corn tortilla.