I'm not sure why, but this weekend I was thinking about restaurants that always have a line. Places you could visit day or night and there would be a chain of people snaking out the door for the food.
Two that I thought of were L'As du Fallafel in Paris and the Shake Shack in New York. I have literally never, ever seen either of these places without a long, long line.
So, what are some of your favorite restaurants that always, no matter what, have a line? They can serve any kind of food and be anywhere in the world!
Oklahoma Joe's BBQ & Catering > lines are especially long after being named by Anthony Bourdain as one of the "Thirteen Places to Eat Before You Die." I don't even like BBQ, but I'll line up here for the pulled pork with zesty bbq on Texas toast!
Katana Ya near Union Square, SF -- there was always a line no matter what time I passed by it.
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Gaulart & Maliclet Fast & French Inc. in Charleston. A tiny cubby hole serving outstanding and delicious French cuisine with a local flair, 3 meals a day, at prices that have to be seen to be believed. If you look inside this tiny space you can somewhat understand how they MIGHT be able to afford to give such good food away at such low prices. This place has been my family's go-to breakfast spot for years (my parents live 2 1/2 blocks away), ever since we moved here from the UK when I was 10, and they're not bad for lunch or dinner either.
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I just thought of another one--Veniero's Pastry in New York City. You might be OK if you go there in the "off season" but show up near the holidays and you'll have a nice long wait for their incredible pastries and cheesecake. This place has been in existence for over 100 years and it's a big neighborhood favorite.
downtown LA. Horrible area 5th and Central. Fisherman's Outlet. the best seafood ever. been going there for 30 years! it started out as a little place next to the truck loading area where the restaurant trucks would co e to pick up fresh seafood. now the trucks have been relocated. the ambiance is "0", cement tables and benches. you could sit next ,to a judge, jury duty people, police, drivers, retail/wholesale workers, etc. Always a line. Everything is amazing. I happen to love the Cajun salmon or the crab salad! It's an adventure!
Any of the Relais de l'Entrecôte Saint Germain restaurants in Paris! They open their doors at 7 pm and the line starts around 6:30/6:45 and doesn't end until they close!
Great Question! Bertucelli's La Villa Gourmet in Willow Glen, CA. They use an old fashioned paper number dispenser so there is no question when its your turn. It is an old style Italian deli, serving many veg and pasta salads, as well as BBQ chicken and lasagna etc... But the line is really for the ravioli. its as close to grandma's as possible. Oh and get a meat ball or two for Pete's sake.