Oct. 12, 2021
After a fitful and often grueling 19 months, the nation’s restaurants are slowly coming back. So are the pleasures of eating out.
But where to start? We dispatched our critics, reporters and editors around the country to find the 50 most vibrant and delicious restaurants in 2021. They’re not ranked, but together they reflect the rich mosaic of American dining — from the melding of Thai curry and Texas brisket in the Pacific Northwest, to heritage crab rice on the South Carolina coast, to vegan soul food in the East Village.
Some are classics, still great after decades. Others are in their prime, restaurants at their practiced peaks. And still others are newcomers, intrepidly making their way through the roughest stretch the restaurant business is likely to endure. All of them beckon us back to the table.