Top 5 Dining Destinations

Foodie alert! How many times have you gone on vacation and hated the food? It was uninspiring, bland, boring and horribly overpriced.

If having a quality dining experience is a priority, then you'll want to check out these Top 5 dining destinations.

In all five of these cities, you'll not only enjoy the creations of award-winning celebrity chefs, but you'll also get the inside track and learn about some unique favorites that the locals love.

NEW YORK CITY
New York City is the undisputed motherland of fine dining. There are more award-winning restaurants in Manhattan than in any city in the country. The competition in the fine dining arena is fierce and the clientele is often fickle. To entice savvy customers in this world-class food mecca, you need a brilliant chef, a magnificent menu and a stunning atmosphere.

You'll find all three of these elements at Gilt, inside the New York Palace Hotel. Executive chef Christopher Lee is known for his phenomenal Tuna Wellington and if the scenery looks familiar it's because the hotel and the restaurant are often seen on the hit show "Gossip Girl."

Another dining hot spot that continues to make the grade is Thomas Keller's Per Se, where you can feast on the always changing nine-course tasting menu.

For another exquisite fine dining experience try Gordon Ramsay at The London NYC where you can also have traditional high tea service from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For a meal that won't make your piggy bank squeal, head to the lower east side to the hip and trendy Thor, inside the Hotel on Rivington. Chef Jesi Solomon has added a delicious goat cheese fondue ($14) and a succulent spiced rack of lamb dish ($26) to his new menu.

Mercat a la Planxa Restaurant, Chicago, Courtesy: Mercat a la Planxa

CHICAGO
If you're more of a meat-and-potatoes person, or if the idea of an original deep-dish pizza makes you drool, head to the heartland where Chicago doesn't disappoint. While this is traditionally a dining destination known for delivering great steaks, Chicago is flexing its culinary muscle offering some new, interesting choices.

Top on the list of unique eats is Mercat a la Planxa, where you'll feel like you've traveled to Barcelona even though you're right on Michigan Avenue. Select the chef's choice and chef Jose Garces will put together a special tapas meal for you. Also, don't miss the pine nut flatbread with pancetta, marinated anchovies and goat cheese.

If you're still craving steak, head to the upscale Charlie Trotter's, or to funky outdoor grilling restaurant Weber Grill. For a dessert you'll never forget, follow the locals to the Riverside Deli where you can get served Twinkies, Dingdongs and Little Debbies on a silver platter.

Mooo Restaurant, Boston, Courtesy: Mooo Restaurant

BOSTON
The only city on the list where a tea party is part of its history, Boston is the land of fresh seafood prepared New England style. Some popular favorites to try include Great Bay Restaurant where the menu changes daily, Anthony's Pier 4 and Legal Seafoods. Head to the waterfront to hang out with the neighborhood folks at the Boston Sail Loft where you can find some of the best lobster specials in the city.

Once you've had your fill of lobster, clam chowder and steamers, try sinking your teeth into something meatier at one of the hottest new steakhouses in the city called Mooo. The Kobe beef dumpling is a signature dish and if you have a group that's ready to drink some vino, ask to sit in the wine cellar.

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