Zagat Releases 2013 America’s Top Restaurants Survey
Zagat recently announced the results of its 2013 America’s Top Restaurants Survey today. The print guide and e-book are now available, while ratings and reviews can also be found for free across Google Maps, Search, Google+ and mobile. This year’s guide includes 1,822 leading restaurants in 46 cities and regions as reviewed by more than 225,000 diners.
Dining Trends: Zagat Surveyors* report cooking at home an average of 7 meals per week, outpacing the average number of meals they eat/take out (6.1) – a trend that has been building since the Great Recession. Dining in restaurants dropped from an average of 3.4 times per week in 2008 to 3.1 in 2011, however, meals out are inching back to 3.2 this year. The average number of times each surveyor visited the restaurant they voted on before the recession was 12.1 – which dipped to 9.3 in 2011 and increased to 9.8 this year. When they do eat out, 31% of diners report spending more per meal vs. 11% who say “less.” They are also increasingly generous when it comes to tipping – with the average tip coming in at 19.1% compared to 18.3% ten years ago.
* Surveyors in 10 major cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington DC/Baltimore.
Of these 46 destinations, 13 have French as their No. 1 restaurant, 12 have American and seven have Japanese.
Casual Gourmet: While many of this year’s No.1 restaurants are expensive, a number of other standouts included in the guide are more affordable, casual places, like pizzerias: Settebello (Vegas and Salt Lake City), Supino Pizzeria (Detroit), and Dough (San Antonio); sandwich specialists: Baco Mercat (LA), Cochon Butcher (New Orleans) and Melt Bar & Grilled (Cleveland); burger specialists: B Spot (Cleveland), Flip Burger Boutique (Atlanta), and Sketch (Philadelphia); BBQ’s: Union Woodshop, Slows Bar BQ and Zingerman’s Roadhouse (Detroit).
ABC’s: Diners want to be in the know when it comes to food safety. Thus, 81% of them say that restaurants should be required to post their health department grades in their windows.
Service Complaints: When asked what irritates them most at restaurants, surveyors consistently said “Service” (64%) followed by “Noise/Crowds” (19%), “Prices” (6%), “Food” (6%) and “Parking/Traffic” (3%) follow. In New York, only 58% of complaints related to service, with noise/crowds cited by 27% as their main complaint.
Peak Picks: Farm-to-plate menus rise in popularity: Acme (NYC), Barbuzzo (Philly), Blackbird Kitchen & Bar (Sacramento), Boca Kitchen Bar Market, The Refinery and Indigenous (Tampa/Sarasota), Community Table and Oyster Club (Connecticut), Barley Swine and Foreign & Domestic (Austin), Skillet (Columbus), The Woodsman Tavern (Portland), State Bird Provisions (San Francisco), Braise and Odd Duck (Milwaukee), Late Harvest Kitchen, Bluebeard and Recess (Indianapolis), Oxheart (Houston), M.B. Post (LA), Local 127 (Cincinnati), The Root (Detroit), Table & Main (Atlanta) and Linger (Denver).
Dinner and a Show: Watching an open kitchen is popular at: The Crimson Sparrow (Hudson Valley), L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Vegas), Lukshon (LA), Max’s Harvest (Palm Beach), Saison (San Francisco), Tavern Kitchen & Bar (St. Louis), Sbraga and Vernick Food & Drink (Philly); likewise, dining at communal tables: Travail Kitchen & Amusements (Minneapolis), A- Frame (LA), Black Market (Indianapolis), Communal (Salt Lake City/ Provo), Corson Building (Seattle) and Sweet Cheeks Q (Boston).
The Zagat 2013 America’s Top Restaurants Survey was edited by Karen Hudes. Zagat’s scores and reviews for restaurants throughout the U.S. are integrated across Google, including Maps, Search, Google+ and mobile. Zagat guides are available wherever books are sold.
Zagat is known as the “burgundy bible” and a trusted source for consumer-generated survey information. With a worldwide network of surveyors, Zagat rates and reviews restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, shopping and a range of other entertainment categories and is lauded as the “most up-to-date,” “comprehensive” and “reliable” guide. Zagat content is integrated throughout Google, including Maps, Search, Google+ and mobile. Guidebooks are also available at all major retailers. In September 2011, Zagat was acquired by Google Inc.