It may only be April, but Yelp already knows where America likes to eat in 2018. The restaurant and services rating app tracked down the best restaurants of the year in the United States, and the results may surprise you.
Yelp employs internal researchers who are always working to develop new ways to make their treasure trove of reviews useful to diners. That’s why The Daily Meal was elated to get an exclusive look at a list of the most popular restaurants in America for the year to date, based on an algorithm that interprets a restaurant’s star rating and the volume of reviews devoted to it.
These are the restaurants that have been pleasing everyone over the past few months. Not many of them are fancy or complicated; most of them serve up classic American comforts, while some serve Thai and Pakistani flavors. You won’t find a Michelin starin most of these kitchens, but you will find lines out the door and happy customers who leave lengthy, glowing reviews on their Yelp pages. Don’t be surprised to spot a few chains on this list, either — 2018 could be the year fast-causal restaurants completely take over.
We pulled some of the most telling reviews — leaving in place the Yelpers’ sometimes-dodgy grammar and capitalization—and included them below, because the customer is always right. Find out which chains and standalones made the cut with the best restaurants of 2018, according to Yelp.
#15 Bento Café, Davie, Fla.
This Florida lunch spot is always packed, and for good reason. For $8 to $11 you can order a bowl, noodles, or a bento box filled with a ton of great-tasting food. They also serve boba drinks! “The food is great and pretty quick,” one reviewer said of Bento Café. “The long lines tell you how good it is. Love that I can get a poke bowl quickly. They have tons of other Asian food options like miso soups, sushi, poke bowls, Asian teas and sodas, etc. Would definitely recommend.”