Instead of the usual ranking of my 75 favorite restaurants, this year’s Best Places to Eat is roadmap to dining well and putting food on the table during the pandemic (which isn’t going to go away until everyone starts wearing their damn mask and taking it seriously). To that end, this year’s guide features a strong focus on takeout and delivery, ranging from family-style meals to special-occasion splurges. I’ve also ranked my favorite Thai, Chinese, Italian and Japanese ramen restaurants, most of which were already adept at takeout and delivery before the entire industry had to pivot. And for those who need to get out of the house and enjoy the restaurant experience again (something we all need and should take part in with caution), I offer a list of restaurants where you can dine safely outdoors in very 2020 fashion.
So instead of counting backwards from 75, this year the Register is rolling out the guide in themed segments, culminating with the announcement of Restaurant of the Year on Friday, October 16. Here’s the full schedule:
- Top 5 hot new restaurants (Oct. 6)
- 5 takeout splurges when you want to celebrate (Oct. 7)
- Top 5 Italian restaurants (Oct. 8)
- 10 options for family-style takeout (Oct. 9)
- Top 5 pizzas (Oct. 10)
- Top 10 Chinese restaurants (Oct. 11)
- 20 places to kickstart date night al fresco (Oct. 12)
- Top 10 Japanese ramen (Oct. 13)
- Top 5 Thai restaurants (Oct. 14)
- 5 picks for late-night takeout (Oct. 15)
- Restaurant of the year (Oct. 16)
To view more of my work for the Register, check out the archives. For more dining and travel inspiration, I invite you to follow me and join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.