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Visit these Celebrity- and Celebrity Chef-Owned Bars and Restaurants

by Katie Skrzek

Nov 30, 2022

PHOTO: © JACK’S WIFE FREDA

Trends / Food & Drink

From Julia Child and Top Chef to Anthony Bourdain and The Bear, the culinary world is an integral part of pop culture. Celebrity-owned bars and restaurants give diners an opportunity to connect with their favorite famous people. Whether you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of that star or simply want to enjoy an incredible meal, these restaurants offer unique experiences you won’t soon forget.

 

Robert De Niro’s Nobu has been a staple of the celebrity-owned restaurant circuit since the 1990s. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa opened his eponymous restaurant Matsuhisa in 1987 in Los Angeles. De Niro became a regular diner and suggested Matsuhisa expand to New York. While Matsuhisa originally declined, as he wanted to focus on his Los Angeles outpost, he eventually agreed. Matsuhisa, De Niro, restaurateur Drew Nieporent and investor Meir Teper agreed to a joint restaurant venture. The first Nobu opened its doors in 1994 in New York’s trendy Tribeca neighborhood. Nobu currently has more than 50 restaurants in locations around the world.

 

Photo: © JBJ SOUL KITCHEN

Musician Jon Bon Jovi owns JBJ Soul Kitchen in New Jersey, a nonprofit community restaurant run by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. The volunteer-run restaurant serves paying and in-need customers, a model imagined by Bon Jovi’s wife, Dorothea, to address issues of food insecurity while uniting communities and forming healthy and lasting relationships through food. Diners enjoy classic comfort food with ingredients sourced from local purveyors. There are currently three locations: in Red Bank, Toms River and at Rutgers University’s Newark campus.

 

 

Singer Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio, own and operate Estefan Kitchen, a restaurant, nightclub and entertainment venue in Kissimmee, Florida. The menu boasts Cuban dishes and drinks.

 

Actor Channing Tatum owns the bar and restaurant Saints and Sinners in New Orleans along with his friend and business partner. Opened in 2012, the restaurant is styled after the bordellos and burlesque halls of New Orleans’ former red-light district. Saints and Sinners frequently hosts charity events.

 

Actor Hugh Jackman owns Laughing Man Coffee Shop in New York. All proceeds from the shop go to The Laughing Man Foundation, Jackman’s organization that supports coffee farming communities.

 

Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon opened a chain of ping pong venues and bars, SPiN, in 2009. The first location opened in New York City’s Flatiron District. In addition to drinks, visitors can enjoy pub grub like burgers, wings and pizza. Today there are nine locations from Toronto to Seattle, San Francisco to Washington, D.C.

 

Actor Danny Trejo owns Trejo’s Tacos, with several locations in California. The fast-casual restaurant serves tacos, burritos, quesadillas and bowls. The first location in Los Angeles happened to open in a former Taco Bell.

 

Actress Piper Perabo famously played a bartender in Coyote Ugly. Off screen, Perabo co-owns Jack’s Wife Freda in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. The all-day bistro offers a menu inspired by its co-owners’ families from Israel and South Africa.

PHOTO: © THE BEDFORD

Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart recently opened her first restaurant, The Bedford by Martha Stewart. Located at Paris Las Vegas Hotel, the restaurant is a replica of Stewart’s 1925 farmhouse and serves French-inspired cuisine and her favorite recipes.

 

With the introduction of Food Network and other cooking shows (Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, Chef ’s Table), the line between celebrity and chef is often blurred. Foodie fans also flock to celebrity chef-owned restaurants.

 

Wolfgang Puck’s Spago dominated the restaurant scene in Beverly Hills during its heyday, catapulting Puck to icon status. The restaurant remains on many best-of lists, a true testament to the quality and consistency of its California cuisine.

 

The Food Network launched in 1993 and since then has made many chefs household names. One of the network’s biggest success stories is Guy Fieri. The chef competed and won the network’s competition show The Next Food Network Star in 2006. Since then, Fieri has gone on to host numerous shows on the network. He owns restaurants around the country, including Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen and Bar. Beyond his shows and restaurants, Fieri demonstrated his philanthropy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, Fieri created the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which raised more than $21.5 million for restaurant workers in need.

 

Fellow Food Network regular Bobby Flay has graced our screens since the mid-1990s. Flay has hosted and participated in numerous television shows and authored several cookbooks. Flay fans can visit his restaurants around the country including Amalfi by Bobby Flay and Bobby’s Burger Palace.

 

Celebrity chef Cat Cora, known for her appearances on Iron Chef, has opened more than 18 restaurants with a focus on health, wellness and sustainability. Travelers have likely seen Cat Cora’s Kitchen, located in airports throughout the United States.

 

Emeril Lagasse became a household name thanks to his cooking show catchphrases including “Bam!” The James Beard Award winner owns multiple restaurants, including several in New Orleans, highlighting his mastery of Creole and Cajun cuisine.

 

PHOTO: © CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT

British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay might be best known for his colorful language and fiery temper. However, fans of his television cooking competition show Hell’s Kitchen might not realize Ramsay’s restaurants hold multiple Michelin stars. Ramsay owns several restaurants in the United States and the United Kingdom, ranging from fast casual to the 3-Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London.

 

Bravo’s cooking competition series Top Chef introduced viewers to a new group of rising chefs. Many contestants and winners have gone on to open restaurants, write cookbooks and appear in other television programs.

 

Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio, along with his brother and fellow Top Chef finalist Bryan Voltaggio, co-own several restaurant ventures together including Voltaggio Brothers Steak House, Thacher & Rye and Showroom. The chef brothers frequently collaborate together, including a recent culinary residency at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

 

Chef Stephanie Izard was the first female chef to win Top Chef. Since winning the title, Izard went on to open several restaurants, including Girl & the Goat, and win a James Beard Award in 2013 for Best Chef: Great Lakes.

 

Top Chef finalist Nina Compton appeared on the show’s New Orleans season. The chef fell in love with the city and opened her own restaurant there: Compère Lapin. The restaurant pulls from her Saint Lucian roots while also highlighting the local cuisine. Compton won a James Beard Award for Best Chef: South in 2018.

 

The British baking competition The Great British Bake Off delights viewers with its charming contestants and delectable baked creations. While many of the popular contestants and winners go on to publish cookbooks, fans of the show can sample one winner’s desserts firsthand. Series 7 winner Candice Brown co-owns The Green Man pub in Eversholt, England, with her brother. The pub serves classic British fare alongside desserts made by the star baker herself.

 

Use these restaurants as your guide to create an itinerary for a star-worthy taste on your travels. Bon appétit!

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