Years of carbon copy concepts offering the same, tired standards for breakfast, lunch, and dinner have given hotel restaurants a bad rap. But today, the hotel dining scene is robust with restaurants captained by star chefs, featuring the best of local produce and cuisine. Concepts range from brave new takes on French cuisine to dishes inspired by the traditions of Oaxaca, Mexico. Meet some of the best hotel restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, equally fit for travelers and locals.
The George – Seattle, WA
This posh newcomer in otherwise casual Seattle bucks tradition. Opened in April 2022, The George is a Pacific Northwestern brassiere inside the storied and newly renovated Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle. Helmed by Tavolàta alum chef Thomas Cullen, the menu is a nod to the classics—but with modern flair. There are local oysters on the half-shell that are as icy as the martinis, but also novelties, such as the nori-infused sourdough and salmon belly crudo, soaked in a Vietnamese fish sauce. A staggering seafood tower stacked with prawns, crab, and geoduck epitomizes The George’s signature opulence. As does the baked Alaska, set ablaze at the table, under the glow of the saucer-like chandeliers.
Fia – Atlanta, GA
Fia, which means “flickering fire” in Italian, is chef Burges Jokhi’s ode to wood-fired cooking. The restaurant, which finds a home at The Burgess Hotel, a boutique sleep in Atlanta’s trendy Buckhead neighborhood, draws on cuisines from across the Mediterranean: there’s charred sweet onion hummus, whole hearth-roasted branzino, and saganaki, for a taste of Mykonos in the Peach State. Channeling the convivial vibes of a campfire, Fia, is more neighborhood taverna than typical hotel restaurant. Plus, adjoining bar Mr. B slings handcrafted cocktails and a shorter bites menu for those looking for a late-night haunt.
Cathédrale – New York, NY
Inside the Moxy East Village Hotel, Cathédrale delivers a unique twist on French-Mediterranean cuisine from inside a palatial dining room. Chef Jason Hall channels the best of regional coastal cuisine from all over Europe, taking cues from southern France, Italy, Spain, and Greece. Signature dishes include grilled baby artichokes with one-hundred-year-old balsamic and a 30-day dry-aged ribeye with rotisserie leeks and bearnaise. Impressive 26-foot ceilings in the main dining room are decorated with a dreamy mesh sculpture, evoking a grand domed ceiling; the bar is adorned with vintage-style neon signs that reference storied East Village nightclubs, such as the Palladium.
Louix Louis – Toronto
As the name suggests, this luxurious lair, tucked in Toronto’s St. Regis hotel, is both French and American-inspired. Even the burger, made of dry-aged beef and topped with a truffle relish, gets the royal treatment here; foie gras, caviar, and escargot round out the other lavish appetizer offerings. The dessert menu boasts a thirteen-layer dark chocolate cake that stands as tall as Louis XIV. The vaulted ceilings and gold accents in the dining room mirror the menu, making Louix Louis a special occasion spot—or a dinner for visitors seeking an unforgettable meal in Toronto.
The Barish – Los Angeles, CA
Set in the lobby of the historic Hollywood Roosevelt, The Barish is James Beard Award-winning chef Nancy Silverton’s latest addition to Los Angeles’s dining scene. The steakhouse pays homage to Silverton’s family, who raised cattle at the Barish farm in central Canada, but adds a Californian twist. The restaurant’s vintage-inspired design evokes the Italian countryside, accented with decor that the chef collected from European flea markets. Menu highlights include a savory dutch baby with aged prosciutto, a deconstructed steak tartare, wood-fired baked rigatoni, and olive oil gelato.
Xochi – Houston, TX
Named for Xochitl, the Toltec goddess of flowers, this buzzy restaurant inside the Marriott Marquis Houston is the newest creative endeavor by James Beard Award-winning chef, Hugo Ortega. It celebrates the rich traditions of indigenous food and culture from Oaxaca, Mexico. Ortega arrived in Houston via Mexico City, working his way up from dishwasher to executive chef at a clutch of the city’s top restaurants. At Xochi, the menu includes a variety of housemade masas, a plethora of moles, and handcrafted chocolate. Don’t miss the tlayudas, an iconic Oaxacan street food dish made of large, thin tortillas with various toppings such as roasted mushrooms with fresh huitlacoche (corn smut), cooked over a wood fire. And make sure to order a mezcal from the robust bar program, which also teems with an extensive tequila and Mexican craft beer selection.
The Inn at Little Washington – Washington, DC
The globally acclaimed Inn at Little Washington, part of a luxurious, 23-room hideaway, is the first and only three-star MICHELIN restaurant in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In 1978, chef Patrick O’Connell, also known as ‘the Pope of American Cuisine,’ opened the restaurant in a former garage in the small town of Washington, Virginia—it’s been treated to multiple transformations since. O’Connell’s tasting menu is whimsical, but stays true to the French fine-dining formula, best reflected by plates such as a lamb loin carpaccio with a Caesar salad ice cream. The dining room is equally playful, lined with colorful wallpaper and patterned carpeting.
Botanist – Vancouver
Located in the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in Vancouver’s scenic Coal Harbour neighborhood, this restaurant is inspired by local flora and fauna. It’s no wonder the pretty plates here, which feature ingredients such as salmon from the area and locally foraged mushrooms, come embellished with edible flowers, vines, and leaves. A terroir-driven wine list prioritizes organic, sustainable, and biodynamic growers, both in the dining room and at the Botanist bar, which was recently named one of the best in Canada.
Shanghai Terrace – Chicago, IL
This storied spot inside Chicago’s Peninsula Hotel invokes a 1930s Shanghai supper club—it’s scored a vote of confidence from Zagat, in addition to consistently earning the AAA Four Diamond Award. The praise is due in no small part to chef de cuisine Elmo Han’s menu, which showcases classic and creative takes on Chinese specialities from dim sum to Peking duck, plus wok-fried dishes. For a retro-chic ambiance, opt to eat indoors—or choose a seat on the terrace, where there are also delicious skyline views.
Matador Room – The Miami Beach EDITION – Miami, FL
World-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten reinvented the historic Matador Room inside the former Seville Hotel–now the Miami Beach EDITION—once frequented by Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. The new menu consists of small and large plates inspired by Caribbean, Spanish, Latin, and South American cuisines, interpreted by the acclaimed French chef. Highlights include the charred octopus with smoked paprika and crispy potatoes as well as the arroz con pollo with crackling skin. The cocktail menu combines traditional drinks with global ingredients, resulting in libations such as a tomatillo daiquiri and shiso gin and tonic. With both veranda seating and a chandelier-clad dining room, it’s worth visiting to experience the glamorous decor alone.
Proof on Main – Louisville, KY
Proof on Main, nested inside the Louisville 21C Museum Hotel, is an essential stop on the city’s famed Bourbon Trail. Against a backdrop of exposed brick and contemporary art, this hip spot’s main claim to fame is a significant bourbon collection, including many rare and small-batch varieties that complement the Southern and Italian fusion plates. The multifaceted menu shines a spotlight on cuisine inspired by the Ohio River Valley, from Kentucky paddlefish caviar to grilled prawns with cornbread couscous, skillfully including local bounty in dishes that are as modern as the art on display.
Mizumi – Las Vegas, NV
This oasis-like restaurant in the Las Vegas desert transports you to Japan with one of the most stunning dining rooms in the city, complete with a garden, koi pond, and a 90-foot waterfall. Chef Min Kim’s menu is both extensive and elegant, featuring tableside presentations, a sake sommelier, and—aside from stellar sushi and sashimi—a dazzling line-up of hot dishes such as abalone chawanmushi (a savory egg custard) and lobster miso soup. The dishes exemplify the perfect use of rarified ingredients—especially the beef, also known as black wagyu, which chef Hashimoto sources from an exclusive private reserve in Japan.
Alana Al-Hatlani is an assistant food editor at Southern Living in Birmingham, Alabama.