No doubt you've heard of celeb-backed restaurants like Justin Timberlake’s Southern Hospitality, Michael Jordan's Steak House Chicago and Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Grill. But did you know about these more under-the-radar restaurants owned by stars? Because who needs a side dish when you can feast on some killer celeb sightings.
Jon Bon Jovi, JBJ Soul Kitchen, New Jersey
Feast for a good cause at rock-star mogul Jon Bon Jovi’s JBJ Soul Kitchen in New Jersey. In exchange for your meal, pay with a donation to the community, or volunteer an hour of your time at the casual joint housed in a former auto body shop. The food is no afterthought: The kitchen cranks out a rockin' slow-cooked pork stew with hominy posole and chiles, made with with ingredients straight from the restaurant’s organic herb and vegetable garden.
Ryan Gosling, Tagine Restaurant, Los Angeles
Modern Moroccan food rules the menu at Tagine in Beverly Hills, where hunky actor Ryan Gosling owns a piece of the action along with chef Ben Benameur. Sit in a plush candle-lit banquette with Moroccan pillows and spice up your date night with a tagine, a North African stew made here with roasted white sea bass, potato purée and sautéed mixed peppers. Cap off the evening with a rich chocolate soup served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a side of baklava.
Armie Hammer, Bird Bakery, San Antonio
Actor Armie Hammer and his wife Elizabeth Chambers own San Antonio’s Bird Bakery. The charming counter-service shop serves made-from-scratch baked goods showcasing family recipes. At the end of each day, whatever sweets are left get donated to local charities. Stop by and sample the heavenly cakes, pies, cupcakes, brownies and cookies, or one of the nearly dozen sandwiches. Go for the egg salad with Havarti, dill and sunflower seeds on wheat, and then polish off a flourless Monster cookie made with peanut butter, chocolate chips and M&M’s for dessert.
Tony Hawk, Market Restaurant and Bar, San Diego
Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk’s success isn’t limited to his athletic prowess. His Market Restaurant and Bar in Del Mar, helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Carl Schroeder, stands out thanks to the imaginative, daily-changing menu of seasonal California-inspired cuisine. Must-try dishes include the blue cheese soufflé, made with sweet white nectarines, vanilla-apricot preserves, coriander-scented almonds and a French dessert-wine-based vinaigrette dressing.
Jay Z, Fatboy Slim, Michael Stipe and more, Spotted Pig, New York City
At The Spotted Pig in New York City, the roster of prominent investors includes chef Mario Batali; former manager of The Smiths and UB40 Ken Friedman; Fatboy Slim; Jay Z; Bono; Michael Stipe of REM; music-industry lawyer Michael Guido; and U2 manager Paul McGuinness. But potential celeb sightings aren’t the only reason guests keep coming back for more. According to New York Magazine, the Spotted Pig cranks out 75,000 of chef April Bloomfield's signature burgers, topped with Roquefort cheese and served with shoestring fries, annually. Pair yours with an ice-cold Guinness beer, which made the drink list at the insistence of Irishman Bono, who is known to stop by for a pint.
Robert Redford, Zoom, Park City
The former site of a Union Pacific railway depot, laid-back joint Zoom in Park City is owned by Robert Redford. The kitchen cranks out dishes ranging from baby-back pork ribs with cornbread and celery seed coleslaw to lamb shank with apples, barley, salsify and cherry rosemary jus. If you happen to be headed to the Sundance Film Festival, which this year runs January 21-31, you'll want to stop in for a bite—and a famous sighting, or two or three.
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