Chefs Tell Us The Restaurants They Return To Again And Again

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If you’re looking for the best any industry has to offer, you find out where the people actually working in that industry go. Where do hairstylists get their hair cut? Where do bartenders drink? And where do chefs go to eat?

We often ask pros in the food world to steer us toward the best restaurants out there as part of our Chefs Tell Us series. This time, we didn’t just want to know where they’ve been a time or two, we wanted to know those joints that they frequent compulsively. Whose takeout containers are always in their fridge? Whose hosts know them by name? Which kitchens expect them right before closing?

Check out what these chefs had to say about the places they can’t keep away from.

Din Tai Fung (Costa Mesa, California)

Jason Quinn, Head Chef & Owner Playground DTSA and Playground 2.0

Din Tai Fung just checks all of the boxes for a place you’d go back to. The food is meticulously crafted, it’s affordable, it’s clean — in that you never leave feeling heavy or sluggish. I really admire what they’ve done there, they take great care in their recipes and ingredients.

The idea of a “chain” is often a bad word in restaurants, but this place has eight locations and their quality control stays on point. That’s really hard to do.