Last updated November 2023
At SpotOn, we love to see restaurants and breweries succeed at what they do best. While we supply the restaurant tech to make the job easier, it’s not about us. Restaurant operators and staff are the ones out there doing the impossible, giving it their all until the very last guest leaves through the door feeling satisfied.
That’s why we put together a list of the award-winning restaurants using SpotOn tech in their operations. We're here to celebrate their accomplishments and successes in doing what they love—creating great cuisine and perfecting dining experiences for every guest.
Maggiano’s Little Italy. Chicago, Illinois.
- Maggiano’s Little Italy had a humble start, first opening up in 1991 as a little restaurant in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The restaurant just wanted to bring back the authentic feeling of authentic Italian food made by grandma on a Sunday night. Nearly 30 years later, after having expanded to 54 locations in 22 states, Maggiano’s Little Italy was recently recognized by the Nation’s Restaurant News as the tenth largest chain restaurant in America based on estimated sales per unit.
Joe Vicari Restaurants. Detroit, Michigan.
- Joe Vicari first entered the hospitality industry in 1989. His wanted to create a variety of restaurants that would appeal to every type of palate. Now, with 10 different types of restaurants located all over the country, the Joe Vicari Restaurant Group is proud to see five-star dining and family friendly meals everywhere. As a result of all this hard work for authentic eats, Joe Vicari Restaurants recently gained a spot as one of the top 25 restaurant groups in the United States by the Nation’s Restaurant News.
Thunderdome Restaurant Group. Cincinnati, Ohio.
- In 2012, the Thunderdome Restaurant Group was established by three experienced individuals in the hospitality industry - two brothers and their best friend. Their debut restaurant, Currito, gained immense popularity and expanded to 23 locations nationwide. The Thunderdome Restaurant Group expanded its offerings by introducing eight more concepts, which now have over 40 locations across the country. Recently, the Nation's Restaurant News recognized the Thunderdome Restaurant Group as the sixth-best restaurant group in the United States.
Majani Soulful Vegan Cuisine. Chicago, Illinois.
- While Chicago has plenty of unique food options, Chefs Tsadakeeyah and Nasya Emmanuel wanted to bring an entirely different experience that they weren’t finding in their town. That’s why they started Majani, a soulful and vegan comfort food inspired by their Swahili upbringing. Eater.com recently placed Majani as one of the best vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Chicago.
Grandma’s Philly. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Everybody loves their grandma’s cooking. That’s why Chef Locket was motivated to bring her favorite Thai food to the city of brotherly love. Her restaurant, Grandma’s Philly, proudly claims it is the first to bring Thai Tapas to Philadelphia. Thrillest.com recently ranked Grandma’s Philly as one of the best restaurants in Philadelphia.
Antique Bar & Bakery. Hoboken, New Jersey.
- A New Jersey staple, Antique Bar & Bakery has been serving up fresh bread, meals and drinks to locals and travelers alike. With a 30-ton brick oven and passion, they’re especially proud to have made Frank Sinatra’s favorite bread he’d allegedly take with him everywhere. Their birria burger, which places Mexican birria style meat into a bun, was recently featured on nj.com, the largest digital news in all of New Jersey.
Gates Bar-B-Q. Kansas City, Missouri.
- Gates Bar-B-Q is often considered one of the oldest BBQ joints in all of Kansas City, serving great meals and memories across their different locations. You can even buy a bottle of their BBQ sauce for your own adventures back home by the grill. Eater.com recently rated Gates Bar-B-Q as an essential Kansas City restaurant.
Ilis. New York City, New York.
- On the surface, Ilis might seem too good to be true as a restaurant concept. Mads Refslund, cofounder of Noma, conceptualized Ilis nearly a year ago. He wanted a place where great chefs could use local ingredients to make an unforgettable dining experience. Guests are seated, given a 10-12 meal course that lasts at least two hours. Thanks to Refslund’s hard work and genius perspective on Nordic cuisine, Ilis was recently named one of the best restaurants of the year by Esquire.
Aquavit. New York City, New York.
- Offering Nordic cuisine with an emphasis on style, Aquavit has a strong reputation for maintaining traditional cuisine alongside experimentations with new techniques and experiences. After winning two Michelin stars, the Michelin website highlights how Aquavit takes a special care in noticing every single detail in their cuisine.
Cote. New York City, New York.
- Hailed as one of the few Korean barbeque restaurants with a Michelin star, Cote blends KBBQ with the American steakhouse experience to create a unique, convivial, and interactive atmosphere for guests. Cote is especially proud to call themselves New York City’s first Korean steakhouse. Cote was also recently listed as a James Beard award semi-finalist in the Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program. Cote’s owner and operator, Simon Kim, was recently named as one of the 50 most powerful people working in American fine dining today.
Dirt Candy. New York City, New York.
- This Lower East Side flagship restaurant has one goal in mind—to break past misconceptions surrounding ethical and vegetable based food options. Their menus are seasonal, crafted for anyone craving a fine dining experience and delicious food. The Michelin Star website puts a strong emphasis on Dirt Candy’s ability to make every guest leave feeling nourished.
Masa. New York City, New York.
- Having won three Michelin Stars, Masa is a New York sushi restaurant with a unique philosophy for the dining experience. The restaurant emphasizes a purity of food as it relates to traditional Japanese dining expectations. Guests are even asked to not wear as much perfume to maintain an untarnished dining experience.
Northwest & Pacific
James Beard Awards
Kann. Portland, Oregon.
- After being a contestant on Top Chef, Gregory Gourdet decided to take his passion for Haitian food to the next level by opening up his restaurant, Kann. Inspired by his own memories of Haitian cuisine as a child, Chef Gregory treats every meal as a love letter to his home. Both Esquire and Eater recently ranked Kann one of the best new restaurants of 2022. Bon Appétit even ranked Kann & Sousól as one of the best new restaurants of 2023. Gourdet was also recently recognized as one of the 50 most powerful people working in American fine dining today.
Sousòl. Portland Oregon.
- After his success with Kann, Gregory Gourdet decided to boost his guest’s dining experience by opening up a bar right beneath the restaurant itself. Sousòl, which is Haitian-Creole for basement, provides the perfect ambiance for anyone waiting for a reservation or wanting to unwind with a beer or mocktail. Esquire even ranked Sousòl as one of the best bars in America for 2023.
Michelin Star Awards
Poor Hendrix. Atlanta, Georgia.
- Poor Hendrix started out as a dream between Aaron and Jamie Russell, who first met as teenagers working in a small Italian restaurant. As they grew older and Aaron pocketed a few James Beard Awards for his amazing skills as a pastry chef, the couple decided to venture off and open a restaurant named after their rescue pitbull, Poor Hendrix. As a result of their hard work and love of food, Poor Hendrix recently won a Michelin Star Award for their delicious mix of Southern and Asian flavors.
Bon Ton. Atlanta, Georgia.
- This powerful fusion of Cajun Louisiana style food with a Vietnamese twist dares to be bold and proud. Bon Ton is the perfect place for locals and tourists alike looking to experience a late night drink or meal, which explains why they’re considered one of the top 50 restaurants in the Atlanta area.
Heirloom Market BBQ. Atlanta, Georgia.
- Heirloom Market BBQ is a roadside eatery run by husband and wife, Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee. The couple started the restaurant to combine two amazing culinary traditions—Korean and Southern Style BBQ—into one amazing sensation for the soul. Their hard work has earned them a spot as one of the top 50 restaurants in Atlanta, alongside a Michelin star for their amazing food.
Pondicheri. Houston, Texas.
- Located in the heart of Houston, Pondicheri is most well known for its Mumbai style menu. They offer a ton of healthy vegetarian options that bring a robust flavor profile for every eager guest. Their great food is why they’re considered one of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Houston.
World's 50 Best Restaurants
Mina Restaurant Group. San Francisco, CA.
- Michael Mina, an acclaimed chef and winner of the James Beard award, established the Mina Restaurant Group in 2003. His vision was to provide guests with a memorable dining experience coupled with excellent hotel accommodations. Today, the Mina Group boasts over 30 restaurants across the US, offering the finest wine, food, and dining experiences to guests. Their commitment to excellence has earned them recognition as one of the top 20 restaurant groups in the United States by the Nation's Restaurant News. Michael Mina was also recognized as one of the 50 most powerful people working in American fine dining as well.
SingleThread. Healdsburg, California.
- SingleThread is more than just a farm with a restaurant attached to its side. The tour-de-force establishment is a combination of Japanese style dining experience, including an inn and the farm itself, to meet the needs of every guest. There’s a good reason why SingleThread is named one of the world’s 50 best restaurants, alongside its three Michelin stars and a 2023 James Beard nomination for Kyle and Katina Connaughton in the Best Chef category. Kyle and Katina were also recently named one of the 50 most powerful people working in American fine dining today.
China Live. San Francisco, California.
- Founded with the intention to show San Francisco the true power of Chinese cuisine, China Live is a mix of different casual and fine dining restaurants and shops. Touting a ton of authenticity and epic proportions, this dining establishment was recently listed as one of the top 100 independent restaurants of the year by Restaurant Business Online for the second year in a row.
COLD Coast Brewing Company. Lompoc, California.
- As newcomers to the brewing scene, the COLD Coast Brewing Co. isn’t afraid to put their best beer forward. Despite opening in April of 2022, COLD Coast stepped up to the plate at the Great American Beer Festival and won a bronze medal. In their short time brewing craft beers, the company is proud to have accomplished so much with, what co-founder Eric Oviatt considers, a little 3BBL system.
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company. Buellton, California.
- Father and son duo, Jim and Jaime Dietenhofer, founded the Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. in 2010 as a way of paying homage to the surrounding Santa Ynez Valley. Since then, the company has grown thanks to a ton of new staff and locations all over the country. The company recently won the bronze medal in the American Beer Fest in the English India Pale Ale or New Zealand India Pale Ale category for the 12th year in a row.
House of Prime Rib. San Francisco, California.
- Considered a classic staple of the San Francisco restaurant scene, House of Prime Rib offers the highest quality meat carved right at the table for guests to enjoy like royalty. The restaurant’s interior itself is designed as a Renaissance fair dining hall or an old English pub. House of Prime Rib was also listed as a 2023 James Beard Award semi-finalist for outstanding hospitality.
Little Saint. Healdsburg, California.
- While this plant-based restaurant opened in April 2022, it’s already leaving a big impact on the national food scene. The New York Times recently dubbed Little Saint as one of the best restaurants in United States for 2022, which makes sense once you realize it was started by the same geniuses behind SingleThread.
Mela Bistro. Oakland, California.
- At this intimate downtown Oakland restaurant, it doesn’t matter whether you’re familiar with Ethiopian food or trying it for the first time. Chef Adiam Tsegaye blends the modern and traditional, creating a dining experience that brings people together and showcasing Ethiopian cuisine. Heralded as one of the Top Ethiopian Restaurants in the Bay Area, it’s the perfect spot to set aside the knife and fork for some authentic injera.
Scoma's Restaurant. San Francisco, California.
- For nearly 60 years, Soma's Restaurant has proudly served sea-food fresh with a rare authenticity that's hard to find nowadays. While they started out as a humble little restaurant with six-stools, one for each fisherman who loved their chowder, Scoma soon became a hidden gem. Where else could you find the freshest crabs of the season, or drink an iconic 1965 Manhattan? With Scoma now being an irreplaceable establishment of the Fisherman's Wharf, the restaurant was recently listed as one of the top 100 independent restaurants of the year by Restaurant Business Online.
The Hideout Kitchen. Lafayette, California.
- Brunch becomes more than a specialty at The Hideout Kitchen, which offers a delicious wave of California comfort cuisine to every customer. As a result of making some of the best cocktails and breakfast food around (such as their waffle sandwich and honey fried chicken), Yelp recently listed The Hideout Kitchen as one of the top 100 brunch spots in California.
Viewpoint Brewing. Del Mar, California.
- Viewpoint Brewing, named as one of the best breweries in San Diego by Thrillest, places a strong emphasis on the collaborative experience of good beer. With a great view of the San Dieguito Lagoon and an outdoor patio, the brewery offers a rotation of craft beer alongside some amazing food options for any party size.
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