Last Call: Which restaurants should be on Yelp’s Top 100 list?

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Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

There are over a million restaurants in the good ol’ U.S. of A., and statistically they can’t all be winners. Quite a few of them can’t even manage to be adequate. But according to Yelp, at least 100 of them are very, very good, and now we know which ones they are thanks to this list of the Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2020. How did the online review site determine which restaurants deserved a spot on this very elite list? No idea! Well, some idea. Says Yelp, “Yelp’s data science team pulled the top restaurants by ratings and number of reviews in 2019 across the U.S., with representation based on each place’s share of top-rated restaurants nationally, then curated the list with the expertise of our Community Managers around the country to finalize the rankings.” That could mean almost anything. I am choosing not to bring my personal (complicated) feelings about Yelp into the mix here, and instead am choosing to celebrate the fact that this is a list of 100 businesses across the nation that could probably use your support more than any chicken-sandwich-slinging national chain.


I’ve never had the privilege of eating at any of the restaurants that made the list, and have never heard of 99% of them, so I turn to you, our brilliant readers, for insight: Have any of you visited these restaurants, and was the food as good as I’m imagining it to be? And if you, like I, do not recognize any of the spots on the Top 100, which of your local joints would you like to see up there? Personally, I think it’s criminal that Brooklyn’s Karam and Baltimore’s Coelum have not received national awards, and I’m sure you all have similarly passionate opinions.

Allison Robicelli is The Takeout staff writer, a former professional chef, author of three books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Questions about recipes/need cooking advice? Tweet @Robicellis.

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Needs to be renamed:

Top companies that have paid Yelp’s extortion fees.

To many stories out there about yelp removing reviews on companies and downgrading their reviews if they refuse to pay for yelp services.