As backyard barbecue season comes to a close, Zagat is revealing the results of its 2014 Burger Survey. This year 3,466 burger aficionados visited to rate and review the top burgers at patty purveyors in 16 major markets.

For the first time ever, Zagat is presenting the ratings and reviews of an actual dish. Unlike Zagat’s iconic restaurant surveys where users rate the Food, Decor, and Service of establishments, burger survey participants reviewed the most popular burgers in their cities and separately rated their Flavor, Ingredients and Value on Zagat’s signature 30-point scale.

The top burgers in each market (with accompanying overall* score) are as follows:

Atlanta: Illegal Food - The Hank (28)
Austin: Mighty Fine Burgers Fries Shakes - The Classic with Cheese (25)
Boston: Craigie On Main - Local Grass-Fed Beef Burger (26)
Chicago: Lockdown Bar & Grill - The Lockdown Warden (28)
Dallas: The Grape - Classic Cheeseburger (26)
Denver: Highland Tap & Burger: Shroom Luva's (26)
Houston: Kenny & Ziggy’s - In Queso Emergency! (26)
Los Angeles: In-N-Out - Double-Double (23)
Miami: db Bistro Moderne - The Original db Burger (28)
New York: Peter Luger - Luger-Burger (24)
Philadelphia: Nick's Roast Beef Bar & Grille - Nick’s Bacon Burger (26)
San Diego: Carnitas' Snack Shack - Snack Shack Burger (26)
San Francisco: Nopa - Grass Fed Hamburger (24)
Seattle: Palace Kitchen - Palace Burger Royale (28)
Washington D.C.: Le Diplomate - Burger Americain (26)
 * Overall scores are an average of the Flavor, Ingredients and Value scores.

Participants report eating burgers 4.6 times per month on average, typically getting their fix at specialty burger joints (53%), general restaurants (23%), fast food spots (9%) and diners (4%). While 72% of respondents say they would be willing to spend between $10 - $20 for a burger, 44% said they have or would spend more than $25 on a “mind-blowing” burger.

When it comes to food trends, these adventurous eaters say they have or would consume burgers with a fried egg (64%), on a pretzel bun (64%), on a ramen bun (30%) and even on the decadent donut bun (23%). Although 82% of men admit to eating multiple-patty burgers, a whopping 68% of them admit to no-so-barbarically cutting their burger in half with a knife. Surprisingly, 20% of respondents say they prefer to dress their burger with artisanal ketchup (vs. 31% who prefer the classic Heinz). See more on the ketchup wars here.

For the full round-up of the 155 best burgers nationwide (plus Toronto!), visit

Posted by Tiffany Herklots, Zagat

Are you in a last minute scramble to plan a lovely evening for your Valentine? Hop to it! Reservations are going quick because according to Zagat’s 2014 Valentine’s survey, 42% of respondents will be hitting the town to celebrate the day of love. Whether you’re searching for a restaurant to take your date to, scouting for the perfect gift in a store nearby or looking up directions to a movie with friends, Google Maps has the ingredients to cook up a successful night. To read more, visit Google Lat Long: Forget Cupid, all you need is Google Maps this Valentine's Day.

Today we’re announcing the release of the redesigned Zagat mobile apps for iOS (v2.0) and Android (v2.1). The free updated apps add 29 cities to the existing offering, bringing the total markets covered to 42.  Another major new feature of the apps are ratings and reviews for hotels and shopping establishments in each city.  Besides supporting iPad and Android tablets, the apps feature new home screens that offer easier access to Zagat ratings and reviews.

The free apps are available for download today for iOS and Android. Enjoy!

For the first time, Zagat is adding blog and video coverage for San Diego. Whether you're a local or a visitor, Zagat media editors can help you discover amazing places and experiences like Sublime Tavern's Sisig. Plus, match the perfect spot to any occasion with lists such as Best Restaurants With Fireplaces in San Diego or Best Business Dining Restaurants in San Diego, as well as trusted ratings and reviews for restaurants, shopping and nightlife categories.
Zagat breaks through the clutter with accurate information and the trusted opinions of thousands of avid consumers so you can quickly and easily make informed decisions. Through our digital products, you can discover notable places, perfectly suited for any occasion.

Posted by Curt Gathje, Zagat Lead Editor

Today we’re announcing the results of the 2014 America’s Top Restaurants Survey. The survey covers 1,478 of the nation’s top-rated restaurants in 36 major markets based on ratings and reviews from over 224,000 avid diners.

The full results can be found on This year’s winners include such perennial favorites as the “sensational” Gary Danko (San Francisco) and Eric Ripert’s “extraordinary” Le Bernardin (New York), as well as a new crop of winners: Etch (Nashville), Katsu (Chicago), and Neptune Oyster Bar (Boston). 

A complementary survey of approximately 8,000 surveyors covers dining trends market-by-market across the country. For example, Houston beats out the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex as the market whose diners eat out most often (average 5.5 meals out per week in Houston vs. 4.9 in Dallas/Ft. Worth). The national average is 4.4 meals out per week, and the cities with the lowest average are Boston and Portland, OR both with 3.7.

As for the average per capita spend for dinner, Texas cities are among the most affordable surveyed: Dallas/Ft. Worth ($31.87), Austin ($33.76) and Houston ($35.57). In contrast, the national average dinner spend is $40.53. The most expensive markets are New York City ($48.56), followed by the Westchester/Hudson Valley ($46.35) and Long Island ($46.00) close behind.

To learn more about the city-by-city key results and dining trends, including frequency of dining out, average spend and tip, online reservation practices, percent of meals cooked at home and chief dining irritants, click here.

Cheers to the winners!

Tim and Nina Zagat
Co-Chairs, Zagat


Today, Zagat is launching ratings and reviews for over 500 hotels and 4,400 shops on across 15 cities, supplementing its extensive coverage of restaurants and nightspots in over 40 cities.

And for the first time, Zagat is adding blog and video coverage for Atlanta, Denver and Toronto. The new cities feature the latest news and curated lists from Zagat local editors, as well as powerful search and map-based browsing capabilities.

Zagat breaks through the clutter with accurate information and the trusted opinions of thousands of avid consumers so you can quickly and easily make informed decisions. Through our digital products, you can discover notable places, perfectly suited for any occasion.

Posted by Curt Gathje, Zagat Lead Editor


Whether you’re traveling to Dallas, Houston, Miami or Seattle for business or pleasure  or you’re a resident simply exploring your own backyard  Zagat can now help you find the perfect place for any occasion. Discover notable places through trusted ratings & reviews, curated lists, and all-new blog and video coverage from Zagat's editors.

City coverage will now be complete with:
  1. Full media content including blog posts, video and lists 
  2. Brand new nightlife reviews, as well as restaurant ratings & reviews 
  3. Local insights via city-specific Zagat Twitter handles 
In order to learn more about diners’ profiles in Dallas, Houston, Miami and Seattle, we conducted a dining trends survey in each of these cities. Here are some of the highlights for each as compared with the national average:

Dallas Diners:
  • Eat out often.
    • On average, Dallas surveyors report eating out 2.5 lunches and 2.4 dinners per week, for a combined total of 4.9 meals out per week, higher than the national average of 4.4 meals out per week. 
  • Spend less for dinners out. 
    • They report spending an average of only $31.87 per person for dinner, significantly lower than the national average of $40.53. 
  • Love their Mexican food. 
    • Although still not beating out classic favorites like No. 1 Italian (18% of the vote) and No. 2 American (14%), Mexican ties Seafood at No. 3 with 13% of the vote for favorite cuisine. But while nationally Seafood cuisine is preferred by 11% of surveyors, Mexican cuisine is only preferred by 5% of them, showing that Dallas residents love Mexican food even more than the rest of us. Find the Top Mexican Restaurants List here…and let’s not forget Tex-Mex Tops too. 
Dallas’ Top-Rated Restaurants Include: Saint-Emilion (Top Food), The French Room (Top Decor & Service) and Abacus (Most Popular)

Houston Diners:
  • Eat out even more often (than Dallas diners, as well as the national average). 
    • Houston diners eat out for lunch 2.8 times per week (vs. 2.1 nationally) and 2.7 times for dinner (vs. 2.3 nationally), for a combined total of 5.5 meals per week eaten out. 
  • Spend less for dinners out too. 
    • As previously mentioned, nationally, diners report spending an average of $40.53 per person for a dinner out, but in Houston, the reported average dinner spend is $35.57. 
  • Desire more French cuisine. 
    • French is the top cuisine in demand in Houston. Nineteen percent of Houston francophiles asked to see more restaurants in the area, in contrast with only 12% nationwide. Check out the Top French Restaurants in Houston here
Houston’s Top-Rated Restaurants Include: Da Marco (Top Food & Most Popular) and Brennan's (Top Decor & Service)

Miami Diners:
  • Dine out often for dinner, average for lunch. 
    • Even with the average reported spend for dinner in Miami at $43.82 (vs. $40.53 national average), Miami surveyors reported eating out for dinner 2.7 times per week, higher than the national average of 2.3 meals/week. Restaurant lunch dining is at 2.2 meals per week, on par with the national average of 2.1 
  • Take dining etiquette very seriously. 
    • Sixty-three percent of Miami surveyors think it’s “rude and inappropriate” to text, email, tweet or talk on mobile devices in a restaurant, while only 32% feel it’s “ok in moderation.” 
  • Are irritated by noisy restaurants. 
    • The No. 1 dining irritant among Miami diners is the Noise Level. Eighty percent of Miami surveyors actively avoid restaurants that are too loud vs. 73% nationally. 
Miami’s Top-Rated Restaurants Include: Naoe (Top Food & Service), Setai The Restaurant (Top Decor) and Joe’s Stone Crab (Most Popular)

Seattle Diners:
  • Cook/prepare more meals at home. 
    • On average, Seattle surveyors cook or prepare 7.5 meals/week vs. the 6.9 meals nationally. They only eat out 4.2 meals per week as compared with the 4.4 meals/week national average. 
  • Make reservations via Internet. 
    • When Seattle diners do eat out, 60% make their reservations online, with the largest percentage (34%) booking via desktop/laptop. 
  • Are irritated by parking. 
    • Though the No. 1 dining irritant for Seattle diners is Noise Level (26%) and No. 2 is Service (17%), Parking comes in third at 16%, compared with an average 7% nationally. 
Seattle’s Top-Rated Restaurants Include: Nishino (Top Food), The Georgian (Top Decor), Canlis Restaurant (Top Service) and 13 Coins (Most Popular)

We hope you like the new Dallas, Houston, Miami and Seattle additions to our media coverage. Stay tuned as we continue to expand our content to even more locales in the coming months!

Posted by Curt Gathje, Zagat Lead Editor