The life of a celebrity is full of glamour, parties, and massive amounts of publicity. Of course, despite the lack of privacy, most celebrities boast impressive personal fortunes. When money is no object, the most famous actors, singers, politicians, and other celebrities enjoy the finer things in life. It could be the best, most elegant designer furniture, or perhaps a top-of-the-line sports car. Whatever material possessions that celebrities have, they share one thing in common – the food. When you have the influence and fortune of a celebrity, getting a reservation at the hottest restaurants in the country doesn’t pose a problem. These places offer the most delicious food available to the public – even though it often comes at a steep price.
The shared love of fine dining that celebrities have means that it is easy to spot somebody famous if you go to a frequently-visited restaurant. While most of the dining establishments where you have a high chance of seeing a celebrity are located in Los Angeles (or, more specifically, Hollywood), there are high-class establishments all over the country. If you are looking to try your hand catching sight of some celebrities, read on to learn about the Top 20 U.S. Restaurants for Spotting Celebrities.
Catch LA – Los Angeles
Located near the West Hollywood district, this gorgeous seafood restaurant is the Los Angeles wing of Catch. The main location is in New York City, while other locations exist in Dubai and Playa del Carmen. This restaurant boasts an open kitchen and an open-air patio seating section with wonderful panoramic views of downtown Los Angeles and the Hollywood hills. Catch serves mostly seafood, with a strong focus on local grows and catches, as well as sustainability. This restaurant has a bouncer – and for good reason. The rooftop eatery is frequented by many celebrities and is thus usually surrounded by paparazzi. This restaurant is so exclusive that you must call ahead for reservations, sometimes days in advance – walk-in clients are not served unless they are on a small list of the top stars. However, you are bound to spot a celebrity or two if you manage to get into Catch LA.
RM Champagne Salon – Chicago
This little corner of Chicago is a classy combination of a speakeasy and a French bistro. The focus of the restaurant is champagne – it is, after all, called the RM Champagne Salon. There are a variety of dishes available here to complement the champagne as well, all made by Chef Jared Van Camp. The décor in the restaurant is romantic, making use of plenty of antiques and offbeat items to create its own special vibe. There is also a patio that is great during the summer, bringing to mind a distinctly-Parisian aesthetic. The RM Champagne Salon was mentioned in an article about the top celebrity hangouts in Chicago. Plus, this isn’t just talk – Gwen Stefani has been spotted with her kids at this restaurant, sharing a seafood-based meal. Christina Milian also enjoyed a meal here back in 2014. Either way, if celebrities are going to end up in the Windy City, they might just check out the RM Champagne Salon.
Juvia – Miami
If you have a trip to Florida planned, you might want to find a way to include a stop at Juvia in your itinerary. This restaurant offers some of the best food in Florida, using an eclectic mix of French, Peruvian, and Japanese cooking to create amazing meals with the freshest ingredients. The restaurant offers some incredible views with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over Miami. As far as celebrity spotting goes, Juvia is a good place to start if you make a trip to the Magic City. A few incredibly famous people have been here, including Harry Styles in 2014. The class, elegance, and great food offered at this restaurant are quite attractive to everyone – so don’t be surprised if you catch sight of a famous person should you decide to eat at Juvia.
Madeo – Los Angeles
Often known as one of the best Italian restaurants in Los Angeles – and maybe even in California – Madeo offers some of the most delicious food you can come across in West Hollywood. They also have a warm, comforting vibe that is greatly enhanced by the aesthetic choices they have made within. For example, the bar stretches quite far, and is made completely out of wood. This restaurant is often frequented by the biggest names in Hollywood. Not only is it conveniently located, but it also has a history of catering to the highest-profile clients. Some of the celebrities that have been spotted at Madeo include Piers Morgan, Alec Baldwin, Steven Spielberg, and Jennifer Lopez. So, if you can get into this restaurant you have a very high chance of seeing someone that has made their fortune in entertainment.
Roku – Los Angeles
This innovative spot provides a great challenge to traditional Japanese cooking. The restaurant focuses on hibachi and sushi, offering a great Japanese-American eating experience. You can sit at a patio, at the sushi bar, or in the Teppenyaki room with a reservation (which can fit up to 28 guests). One of the biggest draws to the restaurant is that each table gets a personal chef, and the food is made right in front of you. The classy establishment draws in all sorts of people as well. Business owners, professionals, and other well-to-do members of society frequent Roku. People who are trying to see a few celebrities would also like this spot, as it has been visited by Will Smith. Another famous person who has eaten at Roku is Gloria Allred, a women’s rights attorney who takes high-profile, controversial cases involving the protection of women everywhere.
Here's Looking at You – Los Angeles
This exclusive, high-end LA restaurant can’t be defined as any single type of cuisine. They have an evolving menu, meaning that what is offered one week might not remain in the menu in the next. They also offer an assortment of custom cocktails and high-quality wines. Seats can be limited at this location, so they accept reservations up to 30 days in advance. Celebrity sightings are quite common at this restaurant in Koreatown. For example, Mindy Project star Mindy Kaling enjoyed a meal here. The exclusivity of the restaurant tends to attract those of celebrity status. Another big draw to the restaurant for all of its diners is the unusual dishes served here – including baby octopus and frog legs.
Alan Wong's – Honolulu
Alan Wong’s Honolulu boasts a unique location. Though it is located in beautiful Hawaii, the restaurant is on the third floor of an office building – and there’s no ocean view (let alone parking). However, this establishment has been quite successful with their experimental flavors and invented dishes. Chef Alan Wong takes a lot of inspiration from local culture, as well as freshly-farmed local ingredients. This gives rise to their slogan – Taste Hawaii! While Honolulu may not be the first city you think of for spotting celebrities, when they do visit Hawaii they might make a stop at Alan Wong’s. One famous couple – that is, ex-President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle – dined with a few friends at this avant-garde establishment. It seems that they have been to the restaurant before, as Alan Wong thanked them for their “continued support…during [their] annual winter vacation in Hawaii”.
BOA Steakhouse – Los Angeles
The BOA Steakhouse is a business casual establishment that combines an artistic, modern design with excellent steakhouse fare. They offer some of the best cuts of meat available in Los Angeles, such as a bone-in Rib Eye and a Dry Aged New York Strip. They also have handmade steak sauce called J-1 – a great complement to any cut. There are other dishes available here as well, including seafood, poultry, sandwiches, and salads. You can have a drink as well, with an extensive wine list and cocktail menu. The West Hollywood location and delicious food makes this a top spot to visit in Los Angeles. It is quite popular among the rich and famous. Some celebrities that have been seen here are Alexander Ludwig, David Spade, Ryan Seacrest, Sharon Stone, and Paula Abdul. Many more entertainment professionals have been spotted at this top-of-the-line location.
Hillstone – Santa Monica
The first thing a diner will notice about Hillstone Santa Monica is the building that houses this establishment. It is a two-story building that was custom-designed by local Santa Monica architects. They have complemented the creative construction with top-tier pieces from different artists. The food here includes a large sushi selection. In addition, there are other dishes offered here like pineapple sesame ginger ribeye and seared tuna. With a location that is close to all of the entertainment hotspots of Los Angeles, and the overall upscale vibe of the restaurant, it has played host to many celebrities over the course of its existence. Taylor Swift and ex-boyfriend Tom Hiddleston once met for a romantic dinner here, for example. Making reservations early is wise if you decide to go to this restaurant. It is quite popular, so a reservation is essentially a necessity.
Rosie's – New York City
This East Village restaurant is the home of the very best Mexican-inspired cuisine. The backbone of Rosie’s is Head Chef Marc Meyer, an incredibly experienced culinary artist who has a great take on the food of the USA’s southern neighbor. They create a traditional dining experience by using the original techniques – including cooking on a comal (a certain type of griddle) and grinding masa by hand. New York City is a great place to run into celebrities. While they may not be as prevalent as in Hollywood, the Big Apple still has its fair share. Rosie’s is no exception – Jessica Simpson has been spotted here, on a date night with her husband. The East Village is an upscale neighborhood and tends to attract the rich and famous.
Craig's – West Hollywood
This Hollywood hotspot is a great place to find classic American food with an upscale twist. They have all sorts of food, and even will cater to vegans with special dishes. They have been called “The Olive Garden for celebrities”, and their food and interior décor reflects it. Custom artwork adorns the walls, with beautiful chandeliers and brickwork accenting the interior of this establishment. Craig’s is one of the best spots to see celebrities. Larry King has been known to eat here, as well as many other celebrities. The entertainment industry respects Craig’s as a central spot for meet-ups and making new connections. Whether you are searching for celebrities or simply wish to make some industry connections, this restaurant is a great place to check out.
Zuma – New York City
Zuma was created by Rainer Becker, and seeks to bring modern Japanese cuisine to New York City. The upscale restaurant Is located in Midtown, and serves dishes inspired by the Izakaya (grill and drinks) style of dining. The flavors are bold and authentic, and highlight the best ingredients used to create each dish. The interior décor is quite modern, and the dining experience is unmatched. This restaurant is known globally for its celebrity following. Zuma has played host to such celebrities as Kanye and Kim Kardashian West, along with their friend Jonathan Cheban. They promote respect for famous people as they dine, even directly intervening with attempts of other patrons to approach them. Despite this, it’s still a good restaurant to spot a celebrity in New York City.
Mastro's – Palm Desert
The Mastro’s Steakhouse in Palm Desert is a great place to buy a steak. They have 100% grass-fed beef, and also offer a variety of excellent sides and cocktails. The classy establishment features occasional live music, as well as some elegant and modernized décor. It is one of the best steakhouses in California, and the Palm Desert location is quite popular among many crowds. This steakhouse is also popular with several celebrities, such as Jamie Foxx and Holly Robinson Peete. Though there are a lot of great restaurants in Palm Desert, Mastro’s is a top choice for spotting world-renowned entertainment professionals. If you find yourself heading out this way, consider making a stop at Mastro’s a central part of your day.
Petite Taqueria – Los Angeles
This restaurant focuses on providing the best Mexican-American food in L.A. They have a distinct focus on high-quality techniques and fresh ingredients. While they offer a lot of classic foods, they also experiment with new dishes. Whether you come here for a taco, burrito, or an updated arroz con pollo, Petite Taqueria offers a perfect dining experience. Petite Taqueria is well-known among members of high society. Kendall Jenner even celebrated her 22nd birthday at this restaurant. If you are in the market for some of the best Mexican-inspired food, alongside a healthy dose of celebrity sightings, the Petite Taqueria is a prime destination.
Yamashiro – Los Angeles
Yamashiro is a restaurant that is located in a Japanese-style palace that was constructed in 1914. It first began to be used to serve top-of-the-line Eastern cuisine in 1948. At first, it was just four tables – but soon expanded to take up the rest of the restaurant. Now, it is a world-famous dining spot that can accommodate up to 500 guests at once. With its location just past Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Yamashiro is a popular destination for Hollywood elites. Celebrities who have enjoyed the California-influenced Asian cuisine recently include Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Anjelica Houston, and Faye Dunaway. Besides the food, the historical aspects of the restaurant are another draw. There is even an imported 14th-century pagoda on-site, nestled within koi ponds, waterfalls, and lush gardens.
Umi – Atlanta
Umi is located in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. It is famed for its unique take on Japanese cuisine, taking both traditional ingredients and dishes and adding a modern twist. The best dishes from this elegant establishment make use of the freshest fish – and thus the highest-quality ingredients – to create all sorts of seafood-based dishes. There is also a very diverse beverage list, including a few types of craft sake alongside premium wines, beers, and even pressed Lamill coffee. This Atlanta establishment is widely-known as the premier destination for celebrities who are passing through or visiting Atlanta. It has boasted famous clientele such as Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Aniston, and Elton John. Plus, many local socialites make Umi their destination quite often. Either way, it is a great place to dine if you want to see who’s who in Atlanta.
Fiola Mare – Washington, DC
This restaurant brings the distinctive Mediterranean dining experience found along the coast of Italy to the US capital. This restaurant specializes in seafood, preparing their dishes in a delicious, subtly-spiced manner. It also has some of the best wine available in the States – all of which have been curated to match various dishes offered by the husband-and-wife chef team behind Fiola Mare. Many politicians dine here, drawn to the superior food and location on the water. When celebrities pass through DC, they often make this seafood-focused Italian joint their destination of choice as well. Barack Obama even celebrated his 55th birthday here, and commonly patronized the restaurant during his two terms as President.
Barclay Prime – Philadelphia
This Philadelphia boutique steakhouse is a “sleek and sexy space” to dine on some globally-recognized cuisine. The décor of this establishment has been based on a European library – including chandeliers and marble surfaces. It also has a creative revamped menu that takes steakhouse conventions and twists them, creating something new. Whether you buy meat or seafood at Barclay Prime, you will be getting some of the best cuisine available in Pennsylvania. A lot of the people who frequent this restaurant know that Barclay Prime has had a few celebrity patrons. Most of them are athletes, including Kevin Kolb, Cliff Lee, and Joe Blanton. It’s a great place to dine on contemporary cuisine – and there’s a pretty good chance that you could see (or even meet) a sports superstar. This is definitely a great location to go to on your next trip to Philadelphia.
The Nice Guy – West Hollywood
The Nice Guy was created to bring an upscale, fun lounge environment to Los Angeles – the first restaurant to do so. It’s not quite a club, but it’s more than a restaurant. The idea behind The Nice Guy was to evoke the Mafia era of bars and restaurants in a revival of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. It is a reservation-only location, so if you want to dine here you must call far in advance. The West Hollywood lounge is pretty hard to get into. It has a very strict door policy, and due to the frequent celebrity appearances has a strict no-photos policy. The Nice Guy has been frequented by the Jenners, the Kardashians, and the Baldwins. Justin Bieber also dines here almost every weekend. All-in-all, this Goodfellas-inspired restaurant feels like a private party every night. As long as you can get into the exclusive establishment, you are nearly guaranteed a celebrity sighting.
The Campbell – New York City
One of the most iconic locations in New York City is The Campbell. It is located in Grand Central Terminal and was originally used by John W. Campbell – a Jazz Age financier – who made the space into his own private reception hall and office. It has huge, vaulted ceilings, a stone fireplace, and many other interior design elements that reinforce the upscale vibe of this location. There is a Bar, an indoor oasis-like Court, and a huge outdoor Terrace. The food served here is improved bar fare, as the focus at this restaurant is mostly on the custom selection of cocktails. It’s a great place to get a drink and a light meal. However, it has also been visited by several celebrities who appreciate the lovely cocktails and upscale vibe of this old bar. For example, Jennifer Lawrence and her father once shared a round of cocktails here. If you are headed to New York City, be sure to stop at The Campbell for a delicious beverage and a chance to spot a famous face.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker