From a speakeasy hidden behind a freezer door to a Michelin-starred eatery concealed by a painting, North America’s 17 most amazing ‘SECRET’ restaurants revealed by Time Out
- These hidden restaurants ‘are still very much a secret’ to the uninitiated
- Other eateries that feature include a canteen in the basement of a Hindu temple
- MORE: ‘I had NEVER seen these things before moving to the UK from the U.S’
They’re hidden behind freezer doors, behind cleverly disguised bookshelves and behind paintings in an art gallery.
These are the 17 most amazing ‘secret’ restaurants in North America according to Time Out, which recruited the knowledge of its local expert editors and writers to curate the list (which is not ranked).
Explaining why these restaurants were singled out, Virginia Gil, Time Out’s U.S Editor, said: ‘Few things are actually a secret in the age of social media and the internet. Chances are that if you can Google it or search for it on Instagram, you’ll find it. Still, that doesn’t change how we feel about hidden restaurants – which, to the uninitiated, are still very much a secret.
‘We love a good chase, a hard-to-find door, and an impossible-to-get reservation for a place you’ll have trouble finding once they actually allow you inside. Once you’ve committed to dinner at a hidden spot, you’ll find yourself anxiously checking your email for an access code or excitedly dragging your date down dark passages in pursuit of your next meal – it’s an adventure and Time Out is here to guide you through it.’ Scroll down to discover which hard-to-find restaurant you’ll be inspired to hunt down next…
1. La Noxe – New York City
Time Out has rounded up the 17 most amazing ‘secret’ restaurants in North America. One to make the list is La Noxe, a ‘petite bar and tapas spot’ in New York
Time Out describes this secret establishment as a ‘petite bar and tapas spot with noir flair’. It’s located underground, adjacent to the 1 train in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighbourhood.
The guide explains: ‘To get in, guests have to ring the bell up on the sidewalk level at 162 West 28th Street and hope for a seat.’ Visit lanoxenyc.com.
2. No Relation – Boston
Dine on a 14-course menu at No Relation restaurant, which is set inside a tropical-themed bar in Boston
‘This is a secret nine-seat restaurant hidden within a tropical-themed bar,’ Time Out reveals. It adds that visitors can only gain access if they have a ticket.
Once inside, the guide says that guests can enjoy a 14-course ‘omakase’ dining experience – a Japanese tradition in which guests invite the chef to determine their dishes for the night, rather than ordering a la carte. Visit norelationboston.com.
3. Duck Sel – Chicago
The Duck Sel pop-up dinners in Chicago are ‘shrouded in secrecy’, according to Time Out
Explaining the concept behind Duck Sel, Time Out says: ‘Chef Donald Young hosts a series of monthly pop-up dinners with whimsical courses showcasing local, seasonal ingredients and avant-garde techniques out of an undisclosed location, with the address not revealed until 24-48 hours before.’
It adds that the dinners are ‘shrouded in secrecy’. Visit ducksel.com.
4. Burger Joint – New York City
Burger Joint is hidden behind a red velvet curtain in a New York hotel
To access this eatery, you must first enter the lobby of the Thompson Central Park hotel, wherein hangs a red velvet curtain, Time Out reveals.
Pass through this red curtain and you’ll find Burger Joint, a ‘vintage-influenced spot where a burger costs under $10 (£8)’. Visit burgerjointny.com.
5. Eleanor’s – Smyrna, Georgia
Prohibition-style speakeasy Eleanor’s (above) can be found behind a freezer door in Smyrna’s Muss & Turner’s restaurant
Giving directions to this bar, Time Out says: ‘At Muss & Turner’s [a restaurant in Smyrna], breeze past the host stand and the [food] prep area and then walk through the freezer door to find yourself in Eleanor’s.’
Time Out describes the bar as a ‘Prohibition-style speakeasy serving well-crafted cocktails complemented by tasty small plates and unique sandwich offerings’. Visit www.mussandturners.com/eleanors.
6. Caverns Grotto Restaurant – Peach Springs, Arizona
Caverns Grotto Restaurant occupies the largest underground chamber in an Arizona cave system
‘Located on Route 66, this restaurant is tucked 210ft (64m) below ground inside the Grand Canyon Caverns,’ Time Out says.
It continues: ‘Perched on a platform overlooking the largest chamber in the cave system is this four-table, 16-seat restaurant.’ Visit gccaverns.com.
7. Sushi Kaneyoshi – Los Angeles
Sushi Kaneyoshi (pictured) is one of the best sushi restaurants in Los Angeles, according to Time Out
Time Out says: ‘While more hidden than secret (it is one of LA’s best sushi restaurants), this basement sushi bar in Little Tokyo serves pristine edomae-style sushi [a style of sushi that was invented in Tokyo] to a select group of diners every night of the week.’
How do you get in? The guide explains: ‘To access the restaurant, navigate a set of winding stairs from the parking garage or ask the security desk for elevator access.’ Visit kaneyoshi.us.
8. Gia – Montreal, Canada
Enjoy sizzling grilled meat skewers and the extensive natural wine selection at Gia in Montreal
This ‘rustic’ Italian restaurant is tucked in a ‘nondescript cement building’ between the Autoroute 720 underpass and one of the largest Home Depots in Montreal, Time Out reveals.
According to Time Out, Gia is known for ‘its sizzling grilled meat skewers, extensive natural wine selection, and making Uber drivers crazy’. Visit giagiagia.com.
9. Hiden – Miami, Florida
You need to punch in a special code to access the Florida restaurant Hiden, which sits behind this door
This Michelin-starred restaurant is ‘hidden behind an unmarked secret door inside a taco restaurant’.
‘Guests will need to punch in a special code to actually get inside,’ Time Out reveals. Visit hidenmiami.com.
10. Frevo – New York City
To access Frevo restaurant in New York, guests need to pass through an entrance that’s hidden behind a painting. MailOnline Travel dined there last year and declared it a ‘one-of-a-kind restaurant’
Time Out says that this Michelin-starred eatery is ‘inconspicuously tucked behind a modern art gallery in Greenwich Village’.
It continues: ‘Guests have to step behind an oversize painting to enter Frevo’s upscale 16-seat chef’s counter to enjoy artfully plated courses of seasonal fare.’ MailOnline Travel dined there last year and declared it a ‘one-of-a-kind restaurant’. Visit frevonyc.com.
11. Chicago Secret Burger – Chicago
Head to one of Chicago Secret Burger’s sporadic pop-up events to enjoy its burgers
Time Out says: ‘Only offered through an Instagram account, this concept from an anonymous home cook sells its elusive specialty at sporadic pop-up events so diners have to keep their eyes peeled for announcements on social media.’
The guide notes that you need to act fast if you want to experience the concept, as tickets sell out right away.
12. Marianne’s – San Francisco
Time Out says that Marianne’s bar in San Francisco is a ‘throwback to ’70s rock-and-roll glamour’
You’ll find this cocktail bar behind a bookshelf within the San Francisco restaurant Cavalier.
What can you expect once you enter? Time Out says: ‘This London-inspired salon is a throwback to ’70s rock-and-roll glamour. Think royal purple walls, animal print, leather accents, and candlelit mood lighting.’ Visit instagram.com/mariannes_sf.
13. Ganesh Temple Canteen – Flushing, New York
You can dine on some of New York’s best Indian food in the Ganesh Temple Canteen in Queens
‘Since 1993, some of New York’s best Indian food [has been] served in a basement cafeteria below a Hindu Temple in Flushing, Queens,’ Time Out reveals.
It says that most of the canteen’s menu items are priced under $10 (£8), ‘making for a great value feast’. Visit canteen.nyganeshtemple.org.
14. Bar Nonnina – San Francisco
Bar Nonnina is ‘one of the most exciting places to drink and eat in San Francisco’, according to Time Out
According to Time Out, this 14-seat lounge bar, which sits on the rooftop of an Italian restaurant named Fiorella, is ‘one of the most exciting places to drink and eat in San Francisco’.
The guide reveals: ‘The intimate space features a roaring fireplace behind a gorgeous marble bar, where a bartender crafts drinks that change with the season.’ Visit barnonnina.com.
15. Blind Tiger – Aventura, Florida
The Blind Tiger Japanese restaurant is hidden within another restaurant, Reunion Kitchen, in Aventura, Florida
This ‘full-blown’ Japanese restaurant sits behind Reunion Kitchen, one of a chain of restaurants.
Time Out says that first, diners need to head to Reunion Kitchen’s host stand to check in for their meal at Blind Tiger. ‘Then you’re on your own to find the Blind Tiger: make a quick left when you reach the bathrooms, walk past the small room, past the curtain and you’re inside,’ the guide reveals. Visit blindtigerexperience.com.
16. Terrasse Carla – Montreal, Canada
Enjoy ‘insane views of Old Montreal’ from Terrasse Carla restaurant (pictured)
This ‘glamorous’ rooftop restaurant lies atop the Hampton Inn by Hilton hotel in the heart of Montreal’s Chinatown.
Time Out says the establishment ‘serves up classic French fare with a Vietnamese twist’ and offers ‘insane views of Old Montreal’. Visit terrassecarla.com.
17. Club 33, Disneyland – Anaheim, California
Members wave a key card to gain entry to the members-only Club 33 in Disneyland, California
‘Club 33 is hiding in plain sight at Disneyland,’ Time Out declares.
It says: ‘Members wave a key card at the entrance at 33 Royal Street across from La Mascarade d’Orleans in New Orleans Square [one of the park’s themed lands] to gain entry to the members-only space.’ Visit disneyland.disney.go.com.
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