Best Celebrity-Owned Restaurant (2015)


Actors, musicians and professional athletes are often no strangers to the business of restauranteering, after all, a little fame and the accompanying money makes entering the industry much easier.

  • JBJ Soul Kitchen

    JBJ Soul Kitchen
    Red Bank, N.J.

    Rock legend Jon Bon Jovi eschews the celeb scene and precious ambiance at his refreshingly benevolent Soul Kitchen Community Restaurant. No sticker shock here: No sticker period. Diners make donations or volunteer in exchange for their family’s meal. They are encouraged to get to know their fellow diners and to make a difference. Three-course meals feature fresh and often organic ingredients hand made into wholesome American style fare, often with a Latin flair, such as slow cooked pork stew with hominy posole.
    Photo courtesy of Melissa Mai Yee Lo

  • Joanne Trattoria

    Joanne Trattoria
    New York

    It is less surprising to learn that international pop superstar Lady Gaga is a partner with her parents in an Upper West Side Italian restaurant once one knows her real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. The Lady’s only fingerprints on a menu that tends much more traditional than the singer’s music and persona, are a couple of table wines listed under the heading “Gaga Collection.” Lady Gaga professes a love-hate relationship with her father’s pasta – blaming it for her fluctuating weight.
    Photo courtesy of Joanne Trattoria

  • Ted's Montana Grill

    Ted's Montana Grill

    From its 2002 genesis in Columbus, Ted's Montana Grill – at the hands of Ted Turner, founder of CNN and Turner Broadcasting – has stampeded across 16 states with its bison-logoed all-American restaurants. The 46-location franchise concentrates on the ingredients, food and hospitality of the American West, including healthy, low-fat bison meat. It appears in sliders, burgers, steaks and meatloaf. A dedicated environmentalist, Turner makes sure his restaurants make as light a carbon footprint as possible.
    Photo courtesy of Ted's Montana Grill

  • MARKET Restaurant + Bar

    MARKET Restaurant + Bar
    Del Mar, Calif.

    In the Del Mar community of San Diego, old school skateboarding sovereign Tony Hawk hurdles the half-pipes and other obstacles of the restaurant industry. Its fresh concept delivers the old “shuvit” to athlete-owned clichés by using organic, local products. Partner Chef Carl Schroeder serves product-driven cuisine on an artful menu that changes daily. In a setting as clean as its food, fresh fruit cocktails, local seafood, prime meat and house-made everything are de rigueur at Market.
    Photo courtesy of MARKET Restaurant + Bar

  • Watershed


    Indigo Girls strummer Emily Sailiers admits she is a “big foodie.” Her restaurant Watershed, one of the first to promote the farm-to-table movement more than a decade ago, gets its name from an Indigo Girls’ song. Its shiny, minimalist setting in Atlanta belies its good old Southern kitchen, but with contemporary spark. Sunday brings a Jazz Brunch with beignets, scallop and rice fritters, chicken and dumplings and smoked trout scramble. One of Sailiers’ favorites? The hot milk cake with caramel icing and sea salt.
    Photo courtesy of Green Olive Media

  • Zoom

    Park City, Utah

    Award-winning actor and director Robert Redford founded Zoom at the Sundance Mountain Resort 20 years ago in the old Union Pacific Railroad station that had sat unused since the late 1970s. Redford envisioned a restaurant that intertwined old with new, American with continental. Retro while contemporary, the setting reflects a menu that invents such dishes as duck confit tacos with mole sauce, buffalo pasta with mustard greens and Utah trout with black eyed peas and béarnaise.
    Photo courtesy of Preferred Hotels & Resorts

  • Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.

    Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.
    New York

    Movie stars and entertainment moguls are not the only celebrities in the food biz these days. A number of sports giants, too, take advantage of their star power to rocket restaurants into the spotlight. Basketball icon Michael Jordan has done just that at Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C. But instead of an athletic theme, the restaurant, located on the balcony of Grand Central Terminal, takes its cues from the glamor of classic railroad travel. Steaks and cocktails too run in the vintage vein.
    Photo courtesy of Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.

  • Bess Bistro

    Bess Bistro

    Like actress Sandra Bullock herself, this below-ground bistro exudes a style all its own. Hearkening to a candlelit speakeasy with its antique mirrors and pewter bar from France, Bess Bistro in Austin is fun and romantic. The food is sourced from local farms and ranches to compose a menu hailed for its creativity and seasonal freshness. Southern recipes inspire the menu with continental and nouvelle twists – from fried green tomatoes with blackened crawfish to braised goat ravioli and chocolate pistachio marjoline.
    Photo courtesy of Jody Horton

  • Tribeca Grill

    Tribeca Grill
    New York

    Dozens of film credits and awards to his name evidently are not enough for consummate actor Robert De Niro, who has been a solid force behind this popular downtown Manhattan institution for more than 20 years. Hangout for the likes of the late James Gandolfini, Meryl Streep and De Niro himself, Tribeca Grill pledges allegiance to hearty American cuisine and an award-winning global wine list. Consistent and classic, its menu holds a steady course amid the turbulent waters of food trends.
    Photo courtesy of Tribeca Grill

  • Jake's

    Deadwood, S.D.

    Lore has it that Kevin Costner was smitten by South Dakota while filming his Academy Award winner, Dances with Wolves. That explains such a celeb-forsaken location like historic gun-slinging town Deadwood for his fine Italian dining outpost above a saloon. Fine appointments such as etched glass and polished brass recall the era of gambling and prosperity. There’s still gaming downstairs at Kostner’s Midnight Star. For more casual fare, there’s also his Diamond Lil’s.
    Photo courtesy of Jake's

We asked USA TODAY 10Best readers to vote for their favorite celebrity-owned or -affiliated restaurants, and after four weeks of voting, the results are in.

The winning restaurant by a huge margin is Soul Kitchen Community Restaurant, an eatery in Red Bank, N.J. owned by rock legend Jon Bon Jovi. This isn't any ordinary restaurant either. JBJ Soul Kitchen encourages community and only asks for donations in exchange for wholesome, family-style meals.

Diners at Joanne Trattoria in New York, runner up for Best Celebrity-Owned Restaurant, might get lucky and catch a glimpse of Lady Gaga, as her parents own this Upper West Side Italian restaurant.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Celebrity-Owned Restaurant are as follows:

  1. JBJ Soul Kitchen - Red Bank, N.J.
  2. Joanne Trattoria - New York
  3. Ted's Montana Grill - Various Locations
  4. MARKET Restaurant + Bar - Del Mar, Calif.
  5. Watershed - Atlanta
  6. Zoom - Park City, Utah
  7. Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C. - New York
  8. Bess Bistro - Austin
  9. Tribeca Grill - New York
  10. Jake's - Deadwood, S.D.

Additional nominees for Best Celebrity-Owned Restaurant included Bedford Post, Beso, Craig's, Do Hwa, Elway's, Gladys & Ron's Chicken & Waffles, Mermaid Inn, Nobu, The Spotted Pig and Tagine.

10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners. The contest was promoted on 10Best and USA TODAY.

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