Food and Beverage

What Yelp Says About the Top 10 Independent Restaurants in the US

The Ultimate List of Places to Eat Across the States

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, you might want to check out some of the best independent restaurants in the US.

These are the places that have earned rave reviews from customers on Yelp, the popular online platform that allows users to rate and review businesses.

But what makes an independent restaurant? For this article, we followed the criteria used by OnDeck, a small business lending company that analyzed Yelp data to find the highest-rated independent restaurants in the US1.

They defined an independent restaurant as one that has no more than five locations and has a rating of at least four stars out of five, based on at least 100 reviews.

Using these criteria, OnDeck ranked the top independent restaurants across various categories, such as pizza, vegan, burger, and breakfast.

They also ranked the top independent restaurants for each state. But for this article, we focused on the overall ranking of the top 10 best independent restaurants in the US, based on their average star ratings.

So, without further ado, here are the 10 best independent restaurants in the US, according to Yelp:

10. Destination Taiwan (Wyoming)

If you’re craving authentic Taiwanese cuisine, you don’t have to travel far.

Just head to Destination Taiwan, a cozy and friendly restaurant in Cheyenne, Wyoming. This place has a perfect five-star rating on Yelp, based on 111 reviews.

Customers praise the quality, flavor, and variety of the dishes, as well as the attentive and helpful service.

Some of the most popular items on the menu include the beef noodle soup, the scallion pancakes, the popcorn chicken, and the bubble tea.

You can also find vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as a kids’ menu.

The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable, making Destination Taiwan a great value for money.

One Yelp reviewer wrote: “This is hands down the best Taiwanese food I’ve ever had in the US. The owner is super nice and the food is amazing. Everything is made fresh and the ingredients are high quality. I highly recommend this place to anyone who loves Taiwanese food or wants to try something new.”

9. Beewali’s Vegan AF (California)

If you’re looking for a plant-based feast, look no further than Beewali’s Vegan AF, a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles, California.

This place also has a perfect five-star rating on Yelp, based on 117 reviews. Customers rave about the delicious and satisfying vegan dishes, as well as the friendly and accommodating staff.

Some of the most popular items on the menu include the vegan fried chicken, the vegan mac and cheese, the vegan nachos, and the vegan cheesecake.

You can also find gluten-free and soy-free options, as well as a variety of drinks and desserts.

The portions are huge and the prices are fair, making Beewali’s Vegan AF a great deal for vegans and non-vegans alike.

One Yelp reviewer wrote: “This place is amazing! The food is so flavorful and filling, you won’t believe it’s vegan. The staff is super nice and helpful, and the atmosphere is cozy and inviting. I love everything I’ve tried here, especially the fried chicken and the cheesecake. This is my new favorite vegan spot in LA.”

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8. Hey, Sunshine Kitchen (California)

Another vegan gem in Los Angeles, California, is Hey, Sunshine Kitchen, a vegan restaurant that specializes in Filipino cuisine.

This place also has a perfect five-star rating on Yelp, based on 120 reviews. Customers love the authentic and tasty vegan dishes, as well as the warm and welcoming service.

Some of the most popular items on the menu include the vegan sisig, the vegan adobo, the vegan pancit, and the vegan halo-halo.

You can also find gluten-free and nut-free options, as well as a variety of drinks and snacks.

The portions are ample and the prices are affordable, making Hey, Sunshine Kitchen a great option for vegan food lovers.

One Yelp reviewer wrote: “This place is amazing! The food is so flavorful and satisfying, you won’t miss the meat at all. The staff is super friendly and helpful, and the vibe is cozy and cheerful. I love everything I’ve tried here, especially the sisig and the halo-halo. This is the best vegan Filipino food I’ve ever had.”

7. Hillcrust Pizza (California)

If you’re in the mood for some pizza, you might want to try Hillcrust Pizza, a pizza place in San Diego, California.

This place has a 4.9-star rating on Yelp, based on 1,024 reviews. Customers appreciate the quality, freshness, and variety of the pizzas, as well as the fast and friendly service.

Some of the most popular items on the menu include the pepperoni pizza, the veggie pizza, the cheese pizza, and the garlic knots.

You can also find gluten-free and vegan options, as well as salads, wings, and desserts.

The pizzas are made to order and the ingredients are locally sourced, making Hillcrust Pizza a fresh and delicious choice.

One Yelp reviewer wrote: “This place is awesome! The pizza is so good and fresh, you can taste the difference. The service is quick and courteous, and the place is clean and comfortable. I love the pepperoni pizza and the garlic knots, they are so addictive. This is my go-to pizza place in San Diego.”

6. Siamo Napoli (California)

Another pizza place in San Diego, California, that deserves a mention is Siamo Napoli, a pizza place that serves authentic Neapolitan pizza.

This place has a 4.8-star rating on Yelp, based on 1,057 reviews. Customers compliment the quality, flavor, and authenticity of the pizzas, as well as the attentive and knowledgeable service.

Some of the most popular items on the menu include the margherita pizza, the diavola pizza, the capricciosa pizza, and the tiramisu. You can also find gluten-free and vegan options, as well as salads, pastas, and wines.

The pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven and the ingredients are imported from Italy, making Siamo Napoli a true taste of Naples.

One Yelp reviewer wrote: “This place is amazing! The pizza is so good and authentic, you feel like you’re in Italy. The service is friendly and professional, and the place is cozy and elegant. I love the margherita pizza and the tiramisu, they are so delicious. This is the best pizza place in San Diego.”

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5. Pizzeria Company (California)

The third pizza place on this list is Pizzeria Company, a pizza place in Los Angeles, California.

This place has a 4.8-star rating on Yelp, based on 1,061 reviews. Customers praise the quality, taste, and variety of the pizzas, as well as the efficient and courteous service.

Some of the most popular items on the menu include the pepperoni pizza, the Hawaiian pizza, the cheese pizza, and the chocolate chip cookie. You can also find gluten-free and vegan options, as well as salads, sandwiches, and drinks.

The pizzas are made with fresh dough and premium ingredients, making Pizzeria Company a satisfying and enjoyable choice.

One Yelp reviewer wrote: “This place is awesome! The pizza is so good and fresh, you can tell they use high-quality ingredients. The service is fast and friendly, and the place is clean and modern. I love the pepperoni pizza and the chocolate chip cookie, they are so yummy. This is my favorite pizza place in LA.”

4. Leatherneck Club (Nevada)

If you’re looking for a burger joint, you might want to check out Leatherneck Club, a burger place in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This place has a 4.9-star rating on Yelp, based on 1,087 reviews. Customers appreciate the quality, flavor, and size of the burgers, as well as the fun and lively service.

Some of the most popular items on the menu include the Leatherneck burger, the bacon cheeseburger, the mushroom Swiss burger, and the onion rings. You can also find salads, wings, and beers.

The burgers are made with fresh beef and the toppings are generous, making Leatherneck Club a great value for money.

One Yelp reviewer wrote: “This place is amazing! The burgers are so good and big, you won’t leave hungry. The service is awesome and entertaining, and the place is cool and cozy. I love the Leatherneck burger and the onion rings, they are so tasty. This is the best burger place in Vegas.”

3. Bistro 6050 (Illinois)

If you’re looking for some international cuisine, you might want to try Bistro 6050, a restaurant that serves a variety of dishes from around the world in Chicago, Illinois.

This place has a 4.9-star rating on Yelp, based on 1,098 reviews. Customers love the quality, diversity, and creativity of the dishes, as well as the friendly and helpful service.

Some of the most popular items on the menu include the empanadas, the crepes, the poke bowls, and the gelato. You can also find vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, as well as soups, salads, and drinks.

The dishes are made with fresh and quality ingredients, making Bistro 6050 a delightful and surprising choice.

One Yelp reviewer wrote: “This place is amazing! The food is so good and diverse, you can find something for every taste and mood. The service is friendly and helpful, and the place is clean and cozy. I love the empanadas and the gelato, they are so delicious. This is the best international food place in Chicago.”

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2. The Blue Hen (Delaware)

If you’re looking for some breakfast or brunch, you might want to visit The Blue Hen, a restaurant that serves American cuisine in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

This place has a 4.9-star rating on Yelp, based on 1,112 reviews. Customers enjoy the quality, flavor, and presentation of the dishes, as well as the attentive and courteous service.

Some of the most popular items on the menu include the chicken and waffles, the eggs Benedict, the French toast, and the biscuits and gravy. You can also find vegan and gluten-free options, as well as coffee, tea, and cocktails.

The dishes are made with local and organic ingredients, making The Blue Hen a fresh and healthy choice.

One Yelp reviewer wrote: “This place is awesome! The food is so good and beautiful, you can tell they put a lot of care and attention into it. The service is friendly and professional, and the place is bright and spacious. I love the chicken and waffles and the French toast, they are so tasty. This is the best breakfast place in Delaware.”

1. The French Laundry (California)

And finally, the number one spot on this list goes to The French Laundry, a restaurant that serves French cuisine in Yountville, California.

This place has a 4.8-star rating on Yelp, based on 1,496 reviews. Customers appreciate the quality, elegance, and creativity of the dishes, as well as the impeccable and attentive service.

Some of the most popular items on the menu include the oysters and pearls, the salmon cornets, the truffle macaroni and cheese, and the chocolate soufflé. You can also find vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as wine, champagne, and caviar.

The dishes are made with the finest and freshest ingredients, making The French Laundry a luxurious and exquisite choice.

One Yelp reviewer wrote: “This place is amazing! The food is so good and sophisticated, you can taste the excellence and innovation. The service is flawless and attentive, and the place is elegant and romantic. I love the oysters and pearls and the truffle macaroni and cheese, they are so decadent. This is the best French restaurant in the US.”


So, there you have it. The 10 best independent restaurants in the US, according to Yelp. These are the places that have impressed and delighted customers with their quality, variety, and service. Whether you’re looking for pizza, vegan, burger, breakfast, or French cuisine, you can find it among these top-rated independent restaurants.

But don’t take our word for it. Why not try them out for yourself? You might discover a new favorite place to eat, or a new favorite dish to savor. And don’t forget to leave a review on Yelp, to share your experience and help other customers find the best independent restaurants in the US.

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