DESTINATION FOOD

Secret Restaurants of Celebrity Foodies

We asked the world's best chefs, cookbook authors, food writers, cooking-show hosts, and specialty-food purveyors to tell us where they love to eat. The answers are all over the map (literally!), but there's one thing all the places have in common: Every one of them is worth traveling to.

Summer at the Bite, on Martha's Vineyard
Summer at the Bite, on Martha's Vineyard (David Welch)

WEST COAST & HAWAII

Marnee Thai San Francisco The Miang Kum appetizer is a marveling concoction of ginger, dried shrimp, dried coconut, peanuts, and chopped lime that you wrap in spinach leaves with a dab of special sauce (1243 9th Ave., 415/731-9999, Miang Kum $7.50). Marion Nestle

Rosso Pizzeria + Wine Bar Santa Rosa, Calif. This is a sweet little place that's deeply local. Get the white pizza! (Creekside Center, 53 Montgomery Dr., 707/544-3221, from $12). Cindy Pawlcyn

Giusti's Walnut Grove, Calif. When it's nice out, customers arrive at this riverside bar and restaurant by boat. The fried chicken has an almost flaky coating (14743 Walnut Grove–Thornton Rd., 916/776-1808, dinner from $13.50). Darrell Corti

In-N-Out Burger Various locations There's so much pressure to follow the what's-new trend in burgers; this place holds its ground (229 locations in the West, from $1.50). Thomas Keller

Side Street Inn Honolulu Side Street Inn has comfort food like pork chops and ribs with a passion-fruit glaze. Drink a Kona Longboard beer and be happy (1225 Hopaka St., 808/591-0253, entrées from $13). Ming Tsai

SOUTH & SOUTHWEST

Pizzeria Bianco Phoenix The way they raise their dough, the fire...A good pizza is minimalist, and they do it right (623 E. Adams St., 602/258-8300, pizza from $11). Lidia Bastianich

Bon Ton Cafe New Orleans Locals gravitate to the soulful cooking. They have dishes you don't find in most of the haute Creole restaurants, such as étouffées, proper Cajun-style bisques, and slow-cooked one-pot meals (401 Magazine St., 504/524-3386, entrées from $16). John Besh

Tree House Pastry Shop and Café Santa Fe, N.M. Everything they serve here is just sparkling fresh. The deep-dish quiches are something to dig into, and not at all stodgy (1600 Lena St., 505/474-5543, quiches from $13). Deborah Madison

The Pit Raleigh, N.C. Time—and only time—gets good 'cue done right, so they start the lunch barbecue the night before. My mouth waters for the triple-meat combo (328 W. Davie St., 919/890-4500, combos from $10). Patrick Ford

Scott's BBQ Hemingway, S.C. They cook whole hogs over open pits, slather on sauce with long-handled mops, and ferry the hogs to the cutting block on what looks like an old hospital gurney (27-34 Hemingway Hwy., 843/558-0134, sandwiches from $4). John T. Edge

MIDWEST

Zingerman's Delicatessen Ann Arbor, Mich. Nate's Nosh sandwich (chicken liver, corned beef, coleslaw, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on a roll) isn't on the menu anymore, but they'll make any of the old sandwiches upon request, and this one is a must (422 Detroit St., 734/663-3354, sandwiches from $6.50). Gabrielle Hamilton

Portland Malt Shoppe Duluth I appreciate places that know they're the best but are still nice. You find that kind of friendly cockiness at this art deco shack set on Lake Superior. I've never had a better malt in my life (716 E. Superior St., portlandmaltshoppe.com, open summers, malts from $6). Danny Meyer

O'Connell's Pub St. Louis When your cheeseburger arrives, it just blows your mind. The toasted bun almost melts into the meat: They're really one. I have mine with a draft beer, fries, and onion rings (4652 Shaw Blvd., 314/773-6600, burgers from $5.25). Danny Meyer

NORTHEAST

The Clam Castle Madison, Conn. When I'm home in the summertime, we go for the lobster rolls. My wife always gets the classic cold roll with celery, mayonnaise, and herbs; I order mine warm (1324 Boston Post Rd., 203/245-4911, open summers, lobster roll $13). Jacques Pépin

L.A. Burdick Chocolate Cambridge, Mass. Anytime I'm in Boston, I come here to buy chocolate-covered ginger. The tanginess of the ginger is perfectly balanced by the chocolate (52-D Brattle St., 617/491-4340, ginger chocolate $10 per quarter pound). Marion Nestle

Oleana Cambridge, Mass. I always insist that my out-of-town friends try chef Ana Sortun's Turkish-themed Eastern Mediterranean food, much of it scented with peppers and spices that she imports herself (134 Hampshire St., 617/661-0505, entrées from $15). Corby Kummer

WHERE TO EAT NOW

Restaurant Month coupon
June is the first-ever Budget Travel Restaurant Month! We teamed up with some of the chefs on our list to offer discounts and freebies at their restaurants.
Download the coupons

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