The khao soi at Las Vegas’s Lotus of Siam is ridiculous.

A running list of great restaurants, cafes, and hole-in-the-wall joints

Washington, D.C.

  • Elle (Expensive yet worth it coffee, bagels, sandwiches, desserts, etc. The brisket on the breakfast sandwich will make you forget about how much you spent on it.)
  • Thip Khao (Get the khao poon. Sometimes hard to get seating, so sit at the bar.)
  • Beau Thai (Solid thai food if none of the other options pan out.)
  • Potter’s House (Decent coffee and snacks but great books and atmosphere.)

Baltimore, Maryland

  • Ekiben (Get the neighborhood bird, a Taiwanese curry fried chicken thigh with pickled vegetables — or the tofu dish.)
  • Harmony Bakery (Take one of their gluten-free treats for a walk in Wyman Park.)
  • Grano (Get anything. Simple yet rich flavors in a cute atmosphere.)
  • Jerk Taco (Get the Jamaican curry chicken burrito with plantains.)
  • Bmore Licks (You must try the birthday cake ice cream.)
  • Paulie Gee’s (Get a large pizza. Make sure it is large.)

Chicago, Illinois

  • La Esperanza (This hole-in-the-wall joint in the really cool Pilsen neighborhood is authentic and good. And they have vegan options.)


  • The Lookout Inn (This place is so hidden they don’t give you a key to keep your cabin locked at night.)

Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Lotus of Siam (Get the khao soi and lose your mind.)
  • Tacos El Gordo (Cheap and better than any tacos the east coast has to offer.)
  • Vegenation (Dope vegan food.)

Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • El Paisa (Great cheap tacos, especially the asada.)

Sante Fe, New Mexico

  • Rancho Gallina (Mindblowing home-cooked meals at a rural bed and breakfast retreat center.)

New York City

  • Hao Noodle (Dim sum and noodle dishes. A friend who was eating with me had spent time in China and approved.)
  • Bricolage (Great vibe, great cocktails, even greater boneless ribeye. Enough said.)

San Juan, Puerto Rico

  • Lote 23 (Food truck lot in Santurce loaded with tasty surprises. The best taco I’ve ever had was the lamb taco from a truck called “Sr. Bigotes.”)

Northern Virginia

  • Taqueria El Poblano (French-inspired Mexican. What could go wrong? Get a margarita and the L.A.-style tacos, especially the vegetarian, or the tacos al carbon.)
  • Chennai Express (Great for a pre- or post-Dulles flight. Get anything and everything.)

Lewisburg, West Virginia

  • The French Goat (Best burger I’ve ever had, by far.)



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Jeremy Mohler

Jeremy Mohler


Writer, therapist, and meditation teacher. Get my writing about navigating anxiety, burnout, relationship issues, and more: