Top 25 Hidden Gem Restaurants in Hot Destinations #WillFlyForFood

top hidden gem restaurants

Did you know that one in four people have flown for food? To shine a light on the rise in culinary tourism, we teamed up with KAYAK to reveal the top 25 hidden gem restaurants worth traveling for in 25 of the world’s most popular destinations. Spanning the globe, from Australia to Canada, Japan, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, and across Europe and the United States, these restaurants from KAYAK’s most popular cities will fulfill diners’ appetite for an authentic dining experience.

Every city has its bucket list restaurants where you’re going for the ‘gram. But these are the under-the-radar establishments and off-the-beaten-path hotspots that highlight local favorites so you can soak up a city’s true culture and vibe. We’ve also compiled details on flight cost and when to book both your flight and your dining reservation. Additionally, KAYAK and OpenTable share how to tip and what to order, including many of the restaurants’ most well-known dishes, so food-focused travelers can confidently plan their next vacation to the cities that ranked among KAYAK’s most popular destinations over the last six months.

To help uncover how travelers and diners are approaching their foodie escapes, KAYAK and OpenTable commissioned a survey which revealed 1 in 5 Americans will plan a trip based solely on how good they expect the food to be.

A separate survey, conducted on Kayak’s behalf by YouGov, found that nearly three quarters (73 percent) of Americans would pick a local restaurant over a high- end restaurant when traveling. Additional key takeaways from the survey include: 

  • Americans will travel for a good meal. 44% of Americans said they would book a flight or train or even take a road trip or bus ride just to dine at a specific restaurant. Many also noted that they’d take a long detour (30%) or a day trip (42%) just to dine at a restaurant they wanted to try.
  • Good food is worth buckling in for.  61% of Americans would travel an hour or more to eat at a restaurant on their wish list.
  • Travelers seek local vs. familiar Over 6 in 10 Americans (62%) agree they prefer to eat the local cuisine over more familiar food when on vacation.

 To help the traveling foodie uncover the top hidden gem restaurants in some of KAYAK’s most popular travel destinations, OpenTable looked to diners for their recommendations. Here’s what we found:

  1. 12th Avenue Grill – Honolulu, Hawaii
  2. Alux Restaurante – Cancun, Mexico
  3. Battista’s Hole in the Wall – Las Vegas, Nevada
  4. Bistro Campagne- Chicago, Illinois
  5. Cafe Luxembourg- New York, New York
  6. CRUST- Miami, Florida
  7. Frances- San Francisco, California
  8. Gilda by Belgious- Barcelona, Spain
  9. Mamma Maria – Boston, Massachusetts
  10. Musso & Frank Grill- Los Angeles, California
  11. Nusr-Et Dubai- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  12. Omonia Taverna & Bar- Frankfurt, Germany
  13. Osteria Savio Volpe- Vancouver, British Columbia
  14. Paddock & Vine- Sydney, Australia
  15. Rosetta- Mexico City, Mexico
  16. Schnitzelei Charlottenburg- Berlin, Germany
  17. Serafina by the Water- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  18. Stella Cocktail Club- Dublin, Ireland
  19. Terroni Queen – Toronto, Ontario
  20. Tatel Madrid- Madrid, Spain
  21. The Tap Room at Dubsdread- Orlando, Florida
  22. Van Speyk- Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  23. Westerns Laundry- London, England
  24. Wirtshaus in der Au- Munich, Germany
  25. 開花屋 (Kaikaya by the Sea )- Tokyo, Japan 

Get all the tips for these spots and destinations at

And don’t forget to enter our #WillFlyForFood giveaway for a chance to win a trip to one of these top hidden gem restaurants.

OpenTable + KAYAK Methodology:

OpenTable’s list of the top 25 Hidden Gem Restaurants worth flying for is generated solely from diner reviews collected between 7/1/2018 and 6/30/2019. Cities were chosen based on KAYAK’s list of the top 50 most popular destinations for travel between July 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. The overall score is made up of unique data points, such as overall diner rating, user clout, total number of reviews and regional overall rating. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the sum of tags for which “neighborhood gem” was selected as a special feature. Additionally, OpenTable conducted a 2 question survey on their website between June 19-June 24 asking diners whether they have ever flown for food.

YouGov Methodology

This press release contains survey data collected and analyzed by YouGov plc. This survey has been conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc panel of 1.2 million individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. Emails are sent to panelists selected at random from the base sample. Total sample size was 1,190 US  adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between August 2-5, 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

ITS Methodology

KAYAK performs a global travel survey every year since 2014. In 2019 we asked 23,400 people from 22 different countries about their travel habits. Some of the data used in this release covers the Americans’ travel habits. Data collection took place between January 3, 2019, through January 10, 2019, through an e- survey via Cint’s panel. 1,015 Americans aged between 18 and 65 were surveyed.