For American Independence Day, July 4th, we're celebrating the rich diversity of the U.S. and the cuisines found across the country. Restaurants in the U.S. MICHELIN Guide range from Afghani to Hawaiian, with everything in between. The choice is astounding: yakitori, tacos, mapo tofu, Neapolitan pizza, larb, biryani...if there's a dish you crave, it's there. Below, 12 places to eat food from around the globe and celebrate diversity.
HunaneseHunan Bistro: A dinner of delicious, lip-scorching, and hearty Hunan food might kick off with as sour string beans sautéed with minced pork, chilies and toothsome konjac noodles. Next up: pork belly braised in their signature soy- rice wine- and star anise-broth, best eaten with greens and some soft, white rice. Finally, fish fillets dusted with cumin and set in a warm oil infused with toasted sesame hints at the raw firepower that is Hunan heat.
Mythos: This family-run and friendly restaurant tempts with impeccably fresh fish, cooked over charcoal and basted simply with olive oil, lemon juice and herbs. Settle into an array of pikilia; cold appetizers such as melitzanosalata, eggplant whipped with herbs and olive oil. Whole smelts are a rare and traditional treat, simply pan-fried with a lemony-herb dressing. Finish with a choice of authentic, nutty and syrup-soaked pastries.
PeruvianClaudy's Kitchen: A native of Peru, Chef Claudia Berroa follows a preservative-free dictum, so diners may expect a plethora of local and organic flavors. Savory empanadas, like chicken, lomo saltado, aji de gallina or verde chorizo, are impossible to resist. Desserts shine just as bright with the chef's famous and fast-selling flans, starring passion fruit, vanilla and pumpkin.
AfghanLapis: From the stunning Afghan rugs warming the floor to the sepia-toned heirloom photos on the walls, this place exudes warmth and charm, albeit in a highly stylish manner. Chopawn is the real deal—this trio of grilled-to-perfection lamb chops is served with sensational cardamom-scented rice and draws you in forkful after fluffy forkful.
LaoThip Khao: Chef Seng Luangrath's crispy pig ears dusted with a deliciously tart tamarind salt and dipped in fermented chili-fish sauce are both original and outstanding; but the knap paa, or Chilean sea bass, is a true standout. Brushed with curry paste and coconut cream, then grilled in a banana leaf, this dish will have you wondering if it's dinner or a present?
Zenebech: While many cultures break bread together, few do it as well as this one, where injera is torn apart to scoop up stews, like awaze tibs. Its tender lamb cubes, in a smoky, brick-red berbere, are simmered to tender perfection, then crowned with greens, spicy lentils, and potatoes.
KoreanJin Ju: Without tableside barbecue grills here, fatty pork slabs are sautéed in the kitchen for sweetly caramelized samgyupsal. Wrapped in sesame leaves with Brussels sprouts, beets, crispy leeks and a smear of kicky miso paste, the package provides instant gratification.
Cumin: This menu has most of the usual suspects, but get gnawing on chicken momos (dumplings) accompanied by a tomato dipping sauce laced with turmeric, garlic, and chili powder. Soak up pieces of garlic naan in an intensely spiced lamb vindaloo stocked with soft potatoes.
Basquemfk.: Dimple, flavorful dishes, like warm boquerónes stuffed with marinated anchovies and Fresno chilies, or croquettes with Montamoré cheese and Sherry aïoli are tempting. A crumbly slice of Basque cake and an expertly pulled cortado end the meal on a high note.
BurmeseBurma Superstar: Regulars here stick to traditional items, marked by asterisks on the menu. Palate-tingling options include rice noodles with pickled daikon and tofu in a spicy tomato-garlic sauce, or pork and kabocha squash stewed in a gingery broth with coconut sticky rice.
ItalianA16: A16 is known for rustic Italian cooking and a vast selection of delicious, unusual wines from all over the boot. Dinner reservations are indispensable, especially if you want one of the prime counter seats facing the open kitchen and wood-burning pizza oven.
HawaiianLiholiho Yacht Club: Fusing Californian technique with the flavors of Chef/owner Ravi Kapur’s native Hawaii, this dining room hums with groups savoring beef tongue bao, luscious coconut-clam curry and nori crackers heaped with tuna poke. If you turn your nose up at Spam, a Hawaiian staple, try the house-made (and off-menu) version. It just might convert you.
Guerrilla Tacos: Almost everything on this menu is a hit—from fish tacos with chipotle créma to taquitos stuffed with all the accoutrements of a loaded baked potato, then drizzled with tomatillo salsa. For a more unusual bite, try the pocho tacos, highlighting wild boar.
Flame: This restaurant focuses on salads, grilled meats and slowly simmered stews enriched with dried lime and pomegranate. Start with the soulful classic ash reshteh, thick with beans, broken strands of pasta and finished with a drizzle of kashk (fermented whey).
Carlitos Gardel: Start with a salad or crispy empanada here with a side of chimichurri that’s so good it’s even available for purchase. Sweet lovers rave about desserts, like a fluffy wedge of mascarpone tart with strawberry drizzle.
Hero image: Burma Superstar's kitchen. Photo by Robert McClenahan