Get us in your inbox

Patty Lee

Patty Lee

Articles (7)

The best fast food restaurants in the US

The best fast food restaurants in the US

Just because it's called 'fast food' doesn't mean it has to be 'inferior food.' From iconic originals like Taco Bell’s burrito-quesadilla hybrid Quesarito to reliable standards like a simple fresh-made burger, fast food restaurants offer an array of hand-held goodies that will satisfy your hunger fast. Now more than ever, the options are dizzying, and no matter where you live you likely have dozens of options within a short drive. Perhaps you seek out the absolute best restaurants in America, be it Mexican, Italian, French or some other cuisine type. But sometimes there’s nothing better than a pit stop at one of the best fast food restaurants in the country. Whether hitting up the drive-thru for a quick meal or a hangover cure, there are many worthy occasions when fast food eats (including burger joints, chicken chains, Americanized Mexican spots and other fast food favorites) are the way to go. So which fast food chain is the best? Here are our favorites, and you’re sure to find one in your neighborhood. If not, start planning your next road trip so you can visit these spots along the way while checking out the best places to visit in the US (and if you can find a good fast food joint, our list of the best gas station snacks will help). RECOMMENDED: The best burgers in America

The best cookies in the US

The best cookies in the US

Let's face facts, the cookie is as critical to American culture as apple pie. They may not be the fanciest of sweets, but a good cookie can easily outshine any dessert du jour. Like other all-American favorites (check out America’s best donuts and best pies), this sumptuous, sweet-tasting biscuit has the power to both comfort and delight. Luckily for candy junkies in search of the very best cookies in the US, bakeries and coffee shops from coast to coast are answering the call for copious cookie quantities by inventing all manner of new and fanciful flavors. So grab a big glass of milk – the classic complement – and become a cookie connoisseur with our exhaustive guide to all that's available.

10 unique tours to explore the country

10 unique tours to explore the country

As anyone who has wandered aimlessly through a museum knows, sometimes a tour is actually a good idea. Finding a truly interesting one, however, is the hard part. We want exciting sights, guides with insider knowledge and, most of all, guaranteed fun. Lucky for vacationers across the country, those tours actually exist—whether you’re making your way through the best art museums in America, embarking on the best cheap family vacations or seeking adventures while exploring the best honeymoon destinations in the US, here are 10 tours to add to your itinerary.

The best Greek restaurants in the USA

The best Greek restaurants in the USA

There’s more to Greek cooking than gyros, octopus and tzatziki. Just as the best Italian restaurants in America offer more than just pasta and pizza, the country’s top Greek spots showcase a mix of tradition and modern innovation. From a small plates stunner from Jose Andres—who’s no stranger to our best restaurants in DC list—to one of the best seafood restaurants in America, the best Greek restaurants in the USA are truly worthy of a celebratory “Opa!”

The 15 best ramen restaurants in America

The 15 best ramen restaurants in America

In recent years, Japanese food has emerged as one of the most sought-after cuisines in America, and Americans are becoming discerning—no longer are we satisfied by half-priced sushi rolls or sickly-sweet chicken teriyaki. As with those looking for the most authentic and the best Mexican restaurants in America, diners now seek out only the finest Japanese, from raw-fish temples (we’ve got you covered with the best sushi restaurants in America) to yakitori specialists and of course, joints offering the best ramen in the USA (and yes, we know there are questions about the exact origins of ramen—but no time for ramen wars here). The noodle soups have come a long way since they (like pizza and donut shop pastries) were merely thought of as a poor college student staple. Customized strands and slow-simmered broths ensure that these are as satisfying and slurp-worthy as their Japanese originals. Get ready to tuck into belly-warming bowls of the best ramen in America. Follow Time Out USA on Facebook; sign up for the Time Out USA newsletter

The 16 best donut shops in America

The 16 best donut shops in America

In the pantheon of great and sweet American comfort foods, the best donuts in the U.S. rank right up there alongside the best pies and best pancakes—and in America, the donut shop is an institution. Whether they’re piped with cream, slathered in glaze or simply rolled in sugar, a good donut occupies a special place in our sugar-loving hearts, straddling the worlds of breakfast and dessert with ease. The next time you need to satisfy a fried-dough craving, head to one of these expert donut shops—some mom-and-pop bakeries, some new-age specialists, some simple coffee shops, and one even in a car wash. (Nothing close to you? These donut shops are with the pilgrimage, trust us.) Follow Time Out USA on Facebook; sign up for the Time Out USA newsletter

The 15 best pancakes in America

The 15 best pancakes in America

They go by a lot of names—hot cakes, flapjacks, griddle cakes—but the best pancakes in America have one thing in common: light, fluffy centers that, when done right, can only be described as cloud-like. And damn delicious, of course. From options flecked with chocolate chips to the classic buttermilk variety (and even some health-conscious versions), these takes on the breakfast staple are worthy of a syrup-fueled road trip. If you’re a lover of all things flat and fluffy, hit up these cafés, coffee shops, breakfast restaurants and diners for the best pancakes in America. Follow Time Out USA on Facebook; sign up for the Time Out USA newsletter

Listings and reviews (20)

Hudson Hill

Hudson Hill

3 out of 5 stars

By day, Hudson Hill is a sunny coffee shop pouring Commonwealth brews; at night, it transforms into a laid-back hangout where locals linger with craft cocktails and wine in hand. The am-to-pm spot is the brainchild of Jakes Soffes, a New York City transplant (hence the Hudson half of the name) who worked at ChoLon before teaming up with bartender Danielle Solano. Made to match the bar’s all-vinyl soundtrack, drinks are sophisticated, but not intimidating—a boozy dose of NYC charm mixed with Denver’s easygoing mood.

Holy Mountain Brewing

Holy Mountain Brewing

4 out of 5 stars

Seattle’s beer scene has always been a vibrant one—it’s possibly the only city in America where new breweries seem to pop up as frequently as new Starbucks locations. And that makes the market an even tougher one to break into because residents know their beer. What sets Holy Mountain apart is Mike Murphy and Colin Lenfesty’s dedication to lesser-known varieties of the hoppy stuff. Shockingly, there’s no signature IPA on the menu, for example. Instead drinkers are more likely to find yeasty saisons and oak-aged stouts that are best enjoyed in the Interbay brewery-slash-taproom.

The Rookery Bar

The Rookery Bar

4 out of 5 stars

Rookery’s bar team has truly gone next-level with its attention to detail. In addition to house cocktails featuring top-notch liquor, there’s another handful of drinks made with single-barrel spirits bottled exclusively for the Portland hideaway. Like its sister restaurant Raven & Rose, which occupies the ground floor of the historic carriage house that they share, food also draws inspiration from the British Islands—house-made “provisions” include fish and chips, shepherd’s pies and Yorkshire pudding.

Anvil Bar & Refuge

Anvil Bar & Refuge

5 out of 5 stars

Bobby Heugel’s Anvil debuted in 2009 with an ambitious 100List, a roster of classic drinks ranging from daiquiris and caipirinhas to Manhattans and juleps. The ever-evolving menu also boasts original tipples made with an array of high-quality spirits, herbal infusions and house-made tinctures, which would be intimidating to the average drinker if they weren’t at the hands of Anvil’s talented barkeeps. True to the “Refuge” half of its name, the Montrose drinkery has a warm, industrial-chic vibe—there are cozy leather couches and a long, inviting bar manned by a very knowledgeable staff.

Cane & Table

Cane & Table

5 out of 5 stars

The French Quarter has no shortage of places to imbibe, but only one that specializes in outstanding rum-based cocktails—even the iconic NOLA milk punch gets a tropical makeover. Run by owner-bartender Nick Detrich, Cane & Table breathes new life into pre-Prohibition and tiki standbys that are divvied up into four categories: classic, adventurous, refreshing and heady. No matter which you choose from, the resulting glass (or possibly pineapple) arrives strong. Food also highlights the flavors of New Orleans and the Caribbeans—crispy venison boudin share the menu with rope vieja and rum-glazed ribs.

Santorini Estiatorio Detroit

Santorini Estiatorio Detroit

3 out of 5 stars

When Athina Papas opened Santorini Estiatorio in 2012, she was looking to put the Greek back into Detroit’s Greektown. Papas breathed new life into the corner space, working closely with designers to fill the restaurant with whimsical, nautical decor and with the kitchen team to form a menu filled with classics: saganaki opa (Greek kasseri cheese flambeed in brandy), eggplant moussaka drenched in creamy bechamel and bone-in lamb shank braised in white wine and herbs.

The Fat Greek

The Fat Greek

3 out of 5 stars

The Fat Greek himself, Yanni Gourmroian, presides over this Vegas restaurant, a cheery white-and-blue space tucked inside a local strip mall. Expect Hellenic staples done right—not just your average feta salad or grilled octopus (though they do those well, too), but homey dishes like pasticcio, a baked pasta layered with meat sauce, bechamel and kefalotiri cheese, and avgolemeno, a chicken and rice soup imbued with lemon. Gourmroian is also a skilled baker, turning out desserts that should not be missed.

Kyma

Kyma

4 out of 5 stars

Named after the Hellenic word for “wave,” this elegant, navy-ceilinged eatery run by Buckhead Life Hospitality Group (103 West, Bistro Niko) fittingly focuses on whole fish. Chef Pano I. Karatassos selects the day’s freshest catch—displayed on ice as diners enter the room—and cooks them over a wood-burning grill, basting frequently with lemon, oregano and olive oil. Skilled servers will fillet the finished fish tableside, adding to the fine-dining ambiance, but Kyma is anything but stodgy—its separate and highly-popular vegan and vegetarian menus make it an inviting and satisfying experience for everyone.

Omega Ouzeri

Omega Ouzeri

4 out of 5 stars

Chef Thomas Soukakos has been closing the distance between the Greek isles and the Emerald City since opening his first Seattle spot in 1994. His latest Capitol Hill venture dispatches elevated takes on mezze from an open kitchen into a modern, minimalist dining room filled with splashes of his homeland’s iconic blue. Begin with a basket of grilled Columbia City Bakery bread and house-made sesame-studded koulari, followed by oregano-dressed branzino and grilled meatballs. For dessert, there are puffy loukoumades drizzled in Greek honey, cinnamon and a Theo’s chocolate sauce that’s listed as optional, but should really be mandatory.

Helen Greek Food & Wine

Helen Greek Food & Wine

5 out of 5 stars

The James Beard-nominated taverna is the brainchild of sommelier Evan Turner, so it’s no surprise that Helen boasts one of the country’s most extensive Greek wine lists. The bottles—more than 120 varieties imported from all over the peninsula—are piled in racks scattered throughout the space, creating a rustic, cellar-like atmosphere more typical of a wine bar than a traditional Mediterranean eatery. Chef William Wright (Telepan, Philippe) leads the kitchen, turning out elevated Greek fare (don’t miss the impeccably flaky cheese-and-greens phyllo pie) that also highlights local Houston ingredients, including—of course—the area’s excellent Gulf Coast seafood.

Lovejoy Bakers

Lovejoy Bakers

It’s hard to go wrong with any of the baked goods at this bustling mini-chain of PDX cafés, but head baker Dan Griffin’s cookies bring a much-needed shot of sugary cheer to the infamously rainy town. Opt for the ginger molasses, a soft, pliant number infused with warm holiday spices, or the chocolate crinkle, which is rolled, then baked in powdered sugar to form a crackly, nearly caramelized crust.

Fluff Bake Bar

Fluff Bake Bar

Houston’s “Sugar Fairy” (also known as Rebecca Mason) has cast a saccharine spell on the Lone Star city with her homemade fluffernutter cookies. Drawing from the flavors of the dessert-like sandwich, she bookends peanut butter cream and sticky marshmallow Fluff with gloriously rich peanut butter and oatmeal biscuits. They’re so popular, Fluff Bake Bar goes through crates of the spreadable confection, which Mason, of course, sources directly from its birthplace of Lynn, Massachusetts.

The best things in life are free.

Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

Loading animation
Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!