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Perhaps you’ve discovered a newfound love for cooking while cooped up at home. Or maybe you’re counting down the days until you can eat anything other than your own sad excuse for cacio e pepe.
One thing’s for sure: Most of us can’t wait until we can sit down at our favorite local restaurant for a good meal with our family and friends.
There’s something about going to a restaurant that can’t be replaced, even if at your house the breadbasket is bottomless and the booze is heavily poured.
Many restaurants that are now struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic have a story about how they came to be. They have ambiances and carefully crafted menus with special recipes and ingredients that are lovingly selected by the owners and chefs, who put a lot of thought and care into the food they make.
The restaurants that do this best can quickly catapult to cult fame, with lines out the door for orders and reservations on the calendar for months in advance.
But with dine-in restaurants across the country forced to close down for now, many are struggling for the opportunity to open their doors again — even beyond the pandemic.
Even before the era of social distancing, going to en vogue restaurants wasn’t necessarily doable for most people. That’s why many of these top restaurants first began sharing the secrets to their most popular dishes with tips and tricks from the chefs themselves in the form of cookbooks. That way, you can recreate famous dishes from the comfort of your home, while supporting your favorite local restaurants in the process.
If you’re itching for a restaurant-quality meal or treat but aren’t sure where to start, below we’ve rounded up a handful of our favorite restaurant cookbooks. It might not be the same as having your meal prepared by the pros, but hopefully it can hold you over until you can make a reservation to dine in once again.
Don’t see your favorite restaurant’s cookbook on the list? Let us know.
Below, restaurant cookbooks so you can recreate your favorite dishes at home:
The Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook is a revealing look at the recipes and culture that make Milk Bar unique. You'll find cult favorite recipes in this book, including Cereal Milk, Compost Cookies and Milk Bar Pie.
This book tells the story of how 3-Michelin-star chef Alex Stupak quit the world of fine dining to open the smash hit Empellón Taqueria in New York City. These recipes and essays make the case that Mexican food should be as esteemed as the highest French cooking.
From bestselling chefs and authors Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, "Ottolenghi: The Cookbook" features 140 recipes from the popular Ottolenghi restaurants, inspired by the culinary traditions of the Mediterranean.
A complete education on cooking meat and brisket from the country's most celebrated pitmaster and owner of the wildly popular Austin restaurant Franklin Barbecue — winner of Texas Monthly's coveted "Best Barbecue Joint in Texas" award.Find it for $19 at Target.
Barnes & Noble
The end-all-be-all guide to ramen featuring more than 40 recipes from Ivan Orkin, the New York-born owner of Tokyo's top ramen shop. "Ivan Ramen" will inspire you to forge your own path, give you insight into Japanese culture, and leave you with a deep appreciation for what goes into a seemingly simple bowl of noodles.
The history of Chicago's Berghoff Restaurant spans three generations and 107 years. It is one of America's oldest family-owned restaurants. To commemorate such a rich culinary history, Carlyn Berghoff and her mother, Jan Berghoff, collected 150 of the restaurant's most popular recipes, including classics such as Creamed Spinach, Berghoff Rye Bread, and Wiener Schnitzel. Find it for $30 at Barnes & Noble.
The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook
Creating a better world starts at home — and in the kitchen. For 20 years, The Birchwood Cafe has guided diners to live and eat sustainably and joyfully. Now you can sample Birchwood’s recipes, adapted for home cooks, and fill your own table with some of the irresistible fare that has made the cafe one of Minneapolis’ best-loved restaurants.
Jason Wang divulges the untold story of how the Xi'an Famous Foods empire came to be, alongside the never-before-published recipes that helped create this New York City icon. From heavenly ribbons of liang pi doused in a bright vinegar sauce to ﬂatbread ﬁlled with caramelized pork to cumin lamb over hand-pulled Biang Biang noodles, this cookbook helps home cooks make the dishes that fans of Xi’an Famous Foods line up for while also exploring the vibrant cuisine and culture of Xi’an.
For nearly six decades, cheesecake lovers have made the pilgrimage to Junior's restaurant for legendary dreamy, creamy slices. But now you don't need to trek to Brooklyn for "to-die-for" cheesecake because you can whip up these cakes right in your own kitchen with the help of "Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook."
Brooklyn's Roberta's pizzeria is what The New York Times called "one of the most extraordinary restaurants in the country." Roberta's began as a pizza place and quickly redefined the urban food landscape. Get the Bushwick restaurant's highly anticipated debut cookbook.
An appealing, stunningly designed full-color cookbook featuring more than 100 recipes for favorite food and drinks from the Egg Shop, New York City's beloved all-hours brunch-and-cocktails hangout. With "Egg Shop," anyone can create their delicious Egg Shop experience at home — whether it's a quiet breakfast for one or a boozy brunch for twenty.
In "Brodo," New York City chef Marco Canora shares the recipes for his flavorful, nutritious broths and shows you how to serve them year-round, as well as incorporate them into recipes and as a daily health practice.
At Brooklyn’s Butter & Scotch, everything is made by hand with inventive flavors that are created to satisfy any sweet tooth — especially those with a penchant for spirits. In their namesake cookbook, Allison Kave and Keavy Landreth dish up more than 75 recipes for incredible desserts, cocktails and creations that shake up the traditional approach to booze and sweets.
The husband-and-wife team behind one of New York City's and Nashville's favorite pizza places share the secrets behind their acclaimed restaurants in a cookbook featuring more than 100 recipes. You'll be shown how to recreate such crowd-pleasing favorites as their famous round pizza, the iconic Detroit pan pizza, and their legendary EMMY Burger, the juicy wonder that tops many New York City "Best Burger" lists.
At Sister Pie, Lisa Ludwinski and her band of sister bakers are helping make Detroit sweeter one slice at a time from a little corner pie shop in a former beauty salon on the city’s east side. With 75 of her most-loved recipes for sweet and savory pies — such as Toasted Marshmallow-Butterscotch Pie and Sour Cherry-Bourbon Pie — and other bakeshop favorites, the "Sister Pie" cookbook pays homage to Motor City ingenuity and all-American spirit.
Melissa and Emily Elsen, sisters who are proprietors of the wildly popular Brooklyn pie shop and cafe Four & Twenty Blackbirds, have put together a pie-baking book that's anything but humble. This stunning collection features more than 60 delectable pie recipes organized by season, with unique and mouthwatering creations such as Salted Caramel Apple, Green Chili Chocolate, Black Currant Lemon Chiffon, and Salty Honey.
From Jack's Wife Freda, the New York City neighborhood restaurants with a worldwide following, a gorgeously illustrated cookbook filled with beloved recipes for accessible, delicious, and inventive Jewish comfort food you can make at home.
The Big Gay Ice Cream cookbook describes itself as "a yearbook of ice cream accomplishment." In it you'll find all kinds of recipes from the NYC frozen treat spot including top-sellers like the "Salty Pimp."