Food nourishes the tummy, but great food nourishes the soul. For some people, the food is a major part of their vacation and it contributes to the overall experience and depending on how good it is, it can make or break their impression of a city. Also, if you are one of those people who love keeping a bucket list of things to do, this might be a good idea: travel around the country and eat only at the top-quality restaurants.

The choices can be very overwhelming. But here are 10 gourmet restaurants to enjoy fine dining:

1. FarmTable Kitchen

If you are in St. Petersburg, Florida, you simply cannot miss out on dining here. Celebrity chef duo Don Pintabona and Michael Mina came up with this intimate restaurant that offers eight-course dinner experience for up to 10 guests. Chefs come out to tell you about the food they prepared and regale you with their stories. FarmTable Kitchen is part of Pintabona and Mina’s Locale Market collaboration. There is also a wine bar upstairs where you can get small plate treats.

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2. Giada

The name might sound familiar to Food Network fans, and yes, Giada De Laurentis is behind this Las Vegas, Nevada restaurant. If you have always wondered how the food she prepares on TV taste like, then come here and try out her family recipes and Italian dishes. Order the Tuscan rib-eye, or the pan-roasted salmon, then wash it all down with either a tiramisu or chocolate amaretto cake. Other notable Las Vegas restaurants you can go to are BARDOT Brasserie and DB Brasserie.

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3. Cosme

Any best-of list would surely include an entry from the Big Apple, and Cosme is one of the many restaurants in New York City that you should try out. Cosme serves the best Mexican food in a cozy dining space, thanks to Chef Enrique Olvera. Check out the duck carnitas, which is similar to Peking duck but with a twist. And if you can’t get into Cosme, you can try Batard or Dirty French.

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4. Liquid Art House

If you love your art as much as your food, then head out to this Boston, Massachusetts eatery called Liquid Art House. Chef Rachel Klein creates magic inside the kitchen while you take in the Murano glass chandelier and other art pieces all over the restaurant. Another top Boston restaurant you should try is Bar Boulud.

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5. Maude

Chef Curtis Stone worked at six different restaurants all over the world before he launched Maude. The TV show host and cookbook author make use of the freshest seasonal ingredients to come up with an unbeatable menu of delicious food that you would enjoy.

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6. The Grey

The restaurant takes its name from its unlikely location: a former Greyhound bus station from the 1930s. With Mashama Bailey in the kitchen, this Savannah, Georgia restaurant serves the best contemporary and Southern cuisine. Order the oysters, then the country pasta, and the pork shank, and top it off with a slice of sweet potato pie.

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7. Momotaro

If you are in Chicago and craving for Japanese food, then drop by Momotaro. Check out the sushi, small plates, and traditional Japanese food, as well as other more upscale fare with ingredients such as foie gras and black truffle.

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8. Tray Kitchen

Seattle, Washington is represented in this list by Tray Kitchen. You will be awed by the modern look of this restaurant, which is invariably described as modern, cutting edge and clean. It also helps that they offer one of the best and most delicious northwest and Korean food in the area.

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9. Monsieur Benjamin

Owned by Corey Lee, Monsieur Benjamin gives you the best French fare in San Francisco. Order the sweetbreads, seafood sausage or the fried frog legs. If you are looking for another great place in the city, check out The Progress.

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10. Pax Americana

Pax Americana is the brainchild of Shepard Ross and Dan Zimmerman. The Houston, Texas restaurant’s menu changes according to the availability of ingredients and that includes the cocktails and the wines. Chef Adam Dorris makes use of mostly local ingredients so you are guaranteed the best and the freshest!

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Other restaurants you should include in your bucket list are LUSCA in Atlanta, Gypsy Soul in Fairfax, Virginia, Faith & Flower, Pistola, and Redbird all in Los Angeles, Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis, MAURICE in Portland Oregon, and Lupo Verde in Washington DC.

Go out and experience one of the best gastronomic delights that you can find in the United States!

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