Food connoisseurs will go to extremes to visit the best dining establishments in the world. Regardless of the price tag, foodies will wait for months to enjoy an evening in some of these infamous restaurants. Unfortunately, some of these restaurants require a 12-month advance reservation and some don't even take new guests at all. If you consider yourself a lover of fine dining and adventure, check out some of these places that people are willing to wait forever to get into.
Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas has been by dubbed by Bon Appétit as the best barbecue restaurant in America. You might really like barbecue, but do you like it enough to wait in line for 2 1/2 hours? Because that's how long you're going to be waiting in line at Franklin Barbecue. This infamous barbecue joint started in 2009 with a dream and some coffee-spiked barbecue sauce. If you really want a taste of their brisket or pulled pork, then you should definitely arrive early because some days a "sold out" sign will appear even before they open the doors.
Damon Baehrel in Earlton, New York, just a half hour south of Albany, in the basement of the home of owner and restaurateur Damon Baehrel. The idea of going into someone's basement to enjoy a meal may seem crazy, but it's actually ingenious. Damon Baehrel prides himself on being the only one that works in his restaurant. The meal, which consists of 15-20 courses and can last up to 7 hours, is unlike anything you've ever had. The owner, who cooks and serves everything himself with ingredients from his land, says: "I've more or less created my own cuisine here. It's called Native Harvest and, again, I create everything, including my own flours, my own oil, so there's nothing getting delivered other than if I choose to use seafood." The wait time is 10 years.
N/Naka in Los Angeles, California is the pride and joy of owner and chef, Niki Nakayama and her partner Carole Lida. Nakayama has put everything that she has in creating a unique dining experience for her guests. The best part about enjoying Nakayama's kaiseki cuisine is the fact that she never makes the same meal for her returning guests, which means that she keeps extensive notes on every single person that sits at her dining table.
You can find the unique Noma restaurant sitting on a small lake outside of Copenhagen, Denmark. Noma, which has been voted the best restaurant in the world four times, relies solely on ingredients that can be found in the Scandinavian region of the world. While food connoisseurs are willing to pay the $350 price tag for the 20-course meal, it's not exactly easy to get reservations. Noma opens up reservations only three times throughout the year, forcing guests to sit on the Noma website in hopes of getting a reservation, which means that they'll have to pay for their food upfront.
If you're a fan of sushi, then you should head to Sukiyabashi Jiro, also known as Sushi Jiro, which is located in the Ginza Subway Station at Exit C6 in Tokyo, Japan. Unfortunately, you'll have to make reservations at least one month ahead of time. Because Sushi Jiro only offers 10 counter seats, it's essential to show up on time or risk losing your spot, which you would still have to pay for. The meal, which costs a little over $300, is picked out the morning of each day and consists of 20 pieces of fish and some melon for dessert. Sushi Jiro prides themselves on their strict rules, so make sure to eat each piece of fish as they place it on your plate or you'll receive some dirty look for taking too long to eat.
The infamously secretive Club 33 can be found in the New Orleans Square Section of Disney. Club 33, which opened its doors in 1967, has an initiation fee of $25,000-$50,000. There are also annual dues that members must pay, which can add up to $30,000 a year. But just because you have the money, it doesn't mean that you're going to get right in because there's actually a 10-year waiting list to join the exclusive club. Once you're accepted into the only part of Disney that serves alcohol, you'll be served a five-course dinner, which starts with an $18 caviar appetizer.
Sushi Dai in Tokyo, Japan is one of the most visited sushi places in all of Tokyo. Even though there is typically more than a 4 1/2 hour wait, patrons are more than willing to accept their fate for a taste of Sushi Dai's world-renowned sushi. Considering that there are only eight seats available, sushi lovers are more than happy to wait in line for Sushi Dai's reasonably priced sushi.
Trois Mec can be found Los Angeles, California, but you have to make sure to pay attention to your surroundings because it's not the easiest thing to find. The only sign that remains on the restaurant is a yellow sign for Raffalo's Pizza, but don't let that deter you from dining at this exclusive restaurant. There's one thing to remember before you enjoy their five to the six-course meal: don't be surprised if you eat something that doesn't seem to go well together. This is because the chef is always trying new dishes and enjoys experimenting with his guests. But if you're okay with being surprised, then you should definitely check out this restaurant, which typically costs around $100 per person.
If you're the type of person that enjoys meeting new people and learning new things, then you should head to the Lazy Bear restaurant in San Francisco, California. Lazy Bear, which opened in 2009, allows guests to enjoy a communal dining experience with strangers while they take notes from the chef. When patrons first arrive, they'll head to the upper floor of the warehouse to enjoy drinks and appetizers. Once they finish, they'll go back downstairs to eat their meal, which changes every month according to the season and availability. Tickets for a Lazy Bear dinner go on sale a month ahead of time, so make sure you lock in your reservation for one of their two dinner seatings well in advance.
Unless you're a flexible person, or you're willing to wait a month to get in, The Polo Bar in New York City is not for you. Owned by American fashion designer Ralph Lauren, The Polo Bar is one of the most exclusively strict bars in all of New York. Patrons wanting to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail, Polo Bar burger, or a real hot dog, better think ahead of time because unless you're on the list, you're not getting in.
If you enjoy Asian cuisine, then you should head to Paris, France to a hidden gem called Yam’Tcha. Yam'Tcha offers guests a unique experience of Chinese-French fusion. The restaurant only seats 20 people so you'll have to call up to three weeks ahead of time to enjoy a delicious six-course meal paired with the perfect teas.
A visit to Rao’s in New York City is definitely worth the effort to get in. If you're a fan of Italian food, then you might want to look somewhere else. Unless you're one of the very few people who "bought" a table back in 1977, you're going to struggle to get into this infamous restaurant, which has Christmas decorations hanging up year round.
Takazawa is another favorite spot for food lovers in Tokyo, Japan. The chef, who works pretty much by himself, prepares his meals right in front of the guests. Reservations are available on the first day of every month, but those who would like to visit Takazawa should make their reservation as soon as possible because they only serve 10 people each night.
Unless you have a bit of money to blow, then you should avoid Minibar By Jose Andres at all costs. A meal at this restaurant, which is located in Washington, DC, tends to cost patrons a pretty penny. Each meal, which consists of 25-30 courses, costs over $300 per person, dubbing it the most expensive restaurant in all of Washington.
If you're planning a trip to Beverly Hills then you might want to make a reservation at Urasawa on Rodeo Drive. But unfortunately, unless you're a big spender, you're not going to get into this exclusive restaurant. One meal for two people will cost you and you're date an incredible $1,200!
Unless you have at least nine other people who want to join you, you won't be having dinner at Talula’s Table in Pennsylvania. Reservations at this gourmet market can only be made one year in advance to the day you plan on attending. They provide guests with a 10-course meal, which costs $100 per person, but make sure to bring your drinks because it's a BYOB kind of establishment.
People go to great lengths in search of unique dining experiences all over the world, which is why many people head to The Fat Duck in Bray. Located in a small village in Berkshire, The Fat Duck offers a dining adventure for anyone who crosses their threshold. The staff, who double as actors, bring guests on a journey of a lifetime as they enjoy their meal. The Fat Duck is only one of 3 restaurants in the UK with a Michelin 3 star rating.
If you're the type of person that enjoys a good plate presentation then The French Laundry in Yountville, California is for you. For just $110 per person, guests can enjoy French cuisine with American influences. Surrounded by gardens in the Napa Valley, French Laundry is the perfect place for a romantic dinner for two.
Dubbed as the planet's best restaurant, El Celler De Roca in Girona, Spain gives patrons a unique cultural experience. From the very first meal, guests are able to try different cuisines from all over the world. While the owners walk around greeting their guests, meals are enjoyed in uniquely beautiful ways, such as their dessert which has five different countries represented in five small bites.
If you're up for a history lesson then you should most certainly check out Quintessence in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan. The Michelin 3-star restaurant serves Japanese French fusion and offers guests an elegant dining experience. The staff at Quintessence teaches their patrons a bit about Japanese history and culture. But unless you like surprises, you should avoid Quintessence, because their menu is a surprise every single day.
If you'd like a chance to eat at Tickets in Barcelona, Spain, then you better start planning now. Tickets only open their reservation every few months and they're typically sold out within 10 minutes. So if you're interested in going prepare for a battle with the Internet because so are thousands of other people. But if you're lucky enough to get in, you'll get to enjoy the fun and vanguard tapas!
Even though people can typically get a reservation at Schwa restaurant in Chicago within three weeks, it's not always easy to get a hold of them. Apparently, their mailbox is so full at times that it can take weeks to even get in touch with them. But with just one taste of their food, you'll know that the wait was well worth it. You're welcome to bring your own bottle and you can look forward to hearing heavy metal playing while Chef Michael Carlson makes your nine-course meal.
Thanks to a rave review from Bon Apetit, Rose’s Luxury restaurant is one of the busiest establishments in Washington. If you're up for the wait, which can turn into five long hours, then you won't regret it. Rose's menu offers spicy oysters, seafood bolognese, and Tandoori chicken.
Like many other restaurants, Next in Chicago only takes reservations online. In three month cycles, potential guests fight for the opportunity to make a reservation. Unfortunately, the site often crashes because of how many people are trying to get reservations, so unless you have patience, you're pretty much not getting a table. You can expect a surprise because they change their entire prix fixe menu every four months.
Food lovers can find the Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare Kitchen attached to the Brooklyn Fare grocery store. For an evening that will cost about $361 per person, guests enjoy food inspired by Japanese cuisine and Franch technique. You'll need to make reservations six weeks in advance, but good luck getting in because it's rumored that the phones stay busy for hours.