For those of you who follow me on Instagram, it is no secret that I enjoy going out to eat. Having travelled so much in recent years for work, I’ve had the opportunity to check out some pretty amazing restaurants and lounges across the US. From small burger joints to upscale fine dining, here are my top picks for 2016.

  1. Sugar Lounge, San Francisco, CA

Impressive little lounge in one of my favorite cities. The décor is one of a kind. Great cocktail selection and happy hour. I had a few too many Pink Pussycats (Vodka/Mango Juice/OJ and Rose Champagne float). 



  1. Paradise Beach Cove, Malibu, CA

Dig your toes into the sand while enjoying casual beachfront dining. Get the guacamole! And yes, that is a pina colada served in a coconut. The burgers are also delicious, and I love the clam chowder served in a bread bowl.



  1. Pier 6, Charlestown, MA

I spend a lot of time here since it is in my hood. Great place for drinks and oysters with a beautiful waterfront view of Boston. Awesome brunch spot!



  1. Peppermill, Las Vegas, NV

Very unique 70’s vibe. I always stop in for a dirty martini when I’m in town. They serve food late which is always a plus. I love the neon décor and the fast service.




  1. Nicks on Broadway, Providence, RI

Amazing American bistro. My parents and I love this place. The Brunch is outstanding. And No, that was not me nursing that bloody mary, that was my Dad! The wait can be pretty long sometimes as they do not take brunch reservations, but trust me it is worth it.



  1. Sudbury29, Sudbury, MA

OK, so I have a slight obsession with eggs benedict. Sudbury29 also has a Bloody Mary bar and some killer spaghetti and meatballs. I like the variety on the menu and the casual vibe of the restaurant. Great place to bring the whole family.



  1. The Venetian Chop House, Orlando, FL

The Ahi Tuna (pictured) and and Gnocchi Stroganoff are my favorite apps here. The Chilean Sea Bass is incredible. The atmosphere and the service is just as impressive as the food. Make sure you make a reservation! There is also a dress code. Perfect place for date night, if you are into that sort of thing.




8. AJ Bombers, Milwaukee, WI

Bloody Mary’s with a slice of bacon cheeseburger and a Miller Lite chaser? Yes, please. This is without a doubt one of the best burger joints in Milwaukee. No wonder they are “Food Wars” champions.



  1. Edgewater Grill, San Diego, CA

I frequent this waterfront spot because not only is the food amazing but the view and atmosphere makes for a very relaxing experience. It is located right in the heart of Seaport Village, a waterfront shopping and dining complex in downtown San Diego. I took My Mom here and she loved it. That is her Starbucks cup, I decided to stick to mimosas.


  1. Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, Chicago, IL

I had been meaning to try this steakhouse for quite some time, so I checked it out the last time I was in Chicago. The New York Strip is to die for and I’ve actually had a few dreams about the double smoked bacon since my last visit. The staff is accommodating and the décor is very elegant. This is the Chicago location, there is also a location in New York City and in Connecticut at Mohegan Sun.




  1. The Tropicale, Palm Springs, CA

As you can see, Jackie and I love this place. I actually went three nights in a row the last time I was home in Palm Springs for Style Fashion week. I’ve tried almost every appetizer on the menu and enjoyed them all. And not to mention the patio is beautiful! They often have live music as well. The meatballs and the nori ahi tuna roll are my favorite items on the menu here.




  1. Serafina, Boston, MA

OK, top 4 now its getting serious. Serafina has all of the Italian classics and yes, I have tried them all. The Rigatoni Alla Bolognese is my absolute favorite, and the lobster ravioli is a close second. I’ve spent hours in here downing wine and they never kick me out. The staff is friendly and this is a great place to host a party.



  1. Sportello, Boston, MA

While we are on the topic of Italian food, here is another one of my favorite spots for pasta in Boston. The Potato Gnocchi and Tagliatelle are my two favorite dishes on the menu. If you like handmade pasta, you must check out Sportello in South Boston. I mean, if you don’t like handmade pasta there is probably something wrong with you. Just sayin.




  1. Mastro’s Ocean Club, Las Vegas, NV

I love this place so much I make it a point to go every time I am in Vegas. I always start with a dirty martini, extra dirty with belvedere vodka and blue cheese olives. The waiter always puts the rest of the shaker on the table so its like having two drinks at once. That makes me happy. The Alaskan king crab claws are my favorite appetizer. I always order the filet, and the lobster mashed potatoes. I like my filet rare so I’m pretty picky about it being overcooked but they always get it right. I highly recommend this restaurant, but be sure to make a reservation!




  1. Yvonne’s, Boston, MA

I’m going with Yvonne’s as my favorite restaurant of 2016 for a number of reasons. I have tried almost everything on the menu and everything is always consistently delicious. I love everything about this place from the food and drinks to the décor, even the glassware is unique.  They are often adding new items to the menu to change it up but my recent favorites are the baked oysters, the grilled octopus, the chicken and quinoa meatballs and the crispy tater tots. My favorite drink is the “King Louie” (Vodka, house coconut, grilled pineapple, banana) The service is always on point and the staff is very knowledgeable on their menu and wine list especially. This place is absolutely beautiful.  I mean, look at those chandeliers. This is the most instagrammable spot in Boston.




SO there you have it! My top 15 picks for 2016! Big thank you to all of these restaurants for welcoming me this past year.  Be sure to follow me on Instagram @Chippyshell for my latest adventures in food. Happy Holidays!!!


Written by Michelle Lynn Salituro


Michelle Lynn Salituro is a Boston based event producer and trade show specialist. She is responsible for executing hundreds of events nationwide.  When she is not on the road, Michelle enjoys cooking, playing guitar and volunteering with animals. Follow her on Instagram @Chippyshell



Featured image via Zagat

Written by qmpkatherin