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Chicken and rice at Nong's Khao Man Gai

Image: Jess Johnson

Podnah’s Pit

Chef Rodney Muirhead provides unequivocal testimony to Texas’s BBQ prowess. Hit up Lamb Thursdays, when ribs and shoulders are slow-smoked with garlic and coriander to gamey perfection.

Tasty n Sons

The renowned brunch spot eschews plain old eggs to order in favor of international intrigue: the house flagship Middle Eastern shakshuka, for instance, or Burmese red pork stew.

Nong’s Khao Man Gai

Portland’s food-cart queen creates the best Thai chicken and rice you can imagine, bundled old-school-style in butcher paper.

Salt & Straw

Every year, the ice cream mini-empire shakes up a new version of its Happy B-Day Elvis: a King-pleasing trio of bacon, banana, and peanut butter. Game changer!

Paley’s Place

This bastion of Northwest culinary ambition juggles its house classics—perfect Manila clams with chorizo, say, or exquisite bone marrow towers knee-deep in red wine sauce and escargot—with mad creativity.

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