Lonely Planet Writer

Planning a big meal with friends? These are the best US restaurants for groups

Some restaurants are the perfect place for a romantic date, or a good spot to stop for a solo meal and people watching, but sometimes you need a place that accommodates you and a huge group of friends. Thankfully reservation app OpenTable has released its list of the top 100 restaurants for groups in the US for 2017.

OpenTable reveals the top restaurants in the USA for groups. Image by Hero Images/Getty Images

The results are based on OpenTable diner reviews that were collected between 1 October, 2016 and 29 September, 2017. Restaurants that had enough reviews and a qualifying score were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of reviews in which guests had said the spot was “great for groups”.

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The final list has spots in 26 states, but unsurprisingly, the cultural capital of New York has 20 restaurants that make the list, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen – known for its focus on sustainable produce – and Keith McNally’s long-standing and always bustling French brasserie Balthazar. Perhaps more surprisingly is that Illinois comes in second with 18, beating out California, which only had 12 on the list. Illinois’ boost comes in part from the presence of three restaurants from Top Chef-winner Stephanie Izard – Duck Duck Goat, Girl & the Goat and Little Goat. Girl & the Goat is so popular that getting a table can be tough, but thankfully the more casual Little Goat is right across the street.

The District of Columbia and Nevada each claim nine restaurants. DC makes a showing for places like the upscale Le Diplomate and mezze spot Zaytinya, while Las Vegas has places like the Top of the World Restaurant at the Stratosphere Hotel.

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“Celebratory gatherings among friends and family are a highlight of the holiday dining season, and when it comes to welcoming diners at these restaurants, it’s absolutely a case of the more the merrier,” said OpenTable Chief Dining Officer Caroline Potter in a statement. “These honorees each have a festive, energetic ambiance, warm hospitality, and crowd-pleasing menus that make them perfect for groups.”

If you want to start planning a big dinner out, check out the full list of the 100 Best Restaurants for Groups in America.