Marcus Samuelsson's Restaurants Ranked Worst To Best

If you've never seen Chef Marcus Samuelsson's smile and heard his soft, gravelly voice on your TV, there's a strong chance you're living under a rock. This superstar chef is everywhere. From competing on Top Chef and Iron Chef, to serving as a judge on Chopped and The Taste, to winning James Beard Awards, Samuelsson is a bonafide star. He's been in the restaurant game for decades and can even claim the title of youngest recipient of a three-star rating from the New York Times, according to his website.

If you've been curious about how the chef stacks up in the real world, you can dine at one of his 12 restaurants that are sprinkled throughout the globe. Some of his establishments are Nordic-inspired, drawing on Samuelsson's childhood in Sweden (via the New York Times), others pull from the heritage of Black-American soul food. He says that cooking is all about identity, and he credits his Swedish grandmother with inspiring his passion for cooking. No matter your preference, there's likely a Marcus Samuelsson restaurant to suit whatever you're in the mood for — from live jazz and fried chicken to Japanese-Peruvian fusion.

We've ranked Marcus Samuelsson's 12 restaurants from worst to best, so if you happen to be near one (or a few) of Chef Samuelsson's restaurants, here's the inspiration you've been waiting for!

Kitchen & Table

Marcus Samuelsson will likely never come in near the bottom of any other list. But he's his own toughest competition, and as such, we had to rate his Kitchen & Table low for a few key reasons. This branch of the Samuelsson empire has 18 locations throughout Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark. And because many of the locations are located in airports, there's a general understanding that the food won't be above average. The good news is that it is in fact above average. But in comparison to Samuelsson's other restaurants, Kitchen & Table is nothing to write home about. This eatery should be a glimpse into the glitzy dining scene of Manhattan. Thankfully for New Yorkers, there aren't many similarities.

The menu contains some downright delicious-sounding dishes. A Norwegian Mackerel, for example, comes with horseradish cream and celeriac. And a cauliflower steak drizzled in whiskey sauce sounds like the perfect meat-free option. But sadly, the execution is nothing special. One Google reviewer describes the food at the Copenhagen Airport as "average." And one Yelp diner, who had the fries at the Kungsholmen location, said they were dry and overcooked. These wouldn't normally be dealbreakers, but Samuelsson has set the bar high ... even for himself.

Eatery Social Taqueria

Any day is a good day to eat tacos. And at Marcus Samuelsson's Malmö, Sweden joint Eatery Social Taquería, you'll never have trouble tracking some down. (There's also a location in Stockholm.) At Eatery Social, you can expect typical Mexican-inspired cuisine. The dinner menu boasts such dishes as scallop and shrimp ceviche, breaded tuna tacos, bean tacos, and a grill platter featuring chicken or steak. The lunch menu, however, seems a bit more disjointed. Salmon with potatoes and trout roe? Pork chop with red wine sauce? It's unclear how those tie into the Mexican theme, but the real downfall of this restaurant is the service.

One Google reviewer of Eatery Social Taquería's Malmö location said it used to be a solid choice but now has "bad service" and is "too unorganized" to be enjoyable.

As if that wasn't bad enough, there seems to be an issue with customers receiving the wrong plates, or missing them altogether. This is not indicative of what Marcus Samuelsson is capable of. Perhaps with new management, they can turn this into a more enjoyable experience.

Marcus Montreal

If we're starting with the positives, we can't help but mention that Marcus Montreal is stunning. This restaurant — in Canada's second-largest city, according to World Population Review – is located in the Four Seasons Hotel. That should help to set some expectations about what kind of service and food you may expect. Another positive is that this is a trendy eatery. If you're looking for a place to see and be seen in Montreal, then you may have found your perfect spot. But it's not a restaurant without food. Overall, the food is good. But with these price points — 55 CAD, or around $42 for a salmon entree — one might expect dishes that are better than just good.

Unfortunately, the service isn't impeccable. And at this price point, it should be at least close. CN Traveler notes that there have been reported kitchen delays. Marcus Samuelsson has far better options in his repertoire, but while Marcus Montreal isn't perfect, we'd probably still swing by for an appetizer and a glass of wine.

AMA - Nikkei

AMA Nikkei is Marcus Samuelsson's attempt to serve up Japanese and Peruvian fusion food in a chic, modern setting. This restaurant in Helsingborg, Sweden is in the Clarion Hotel and pays to those who migrated from Japan to Peru and the resulting dishes. The menu contains an array of dishes such as miso grilled cod, a rack of lamb, Swedish asparagus, and short ribs.

But with a rating of only 3.1 stars out of 5 on Google, it seems that the food isn't enough to carry this restaurant's reputation. At one point the price of the food was unacceptably high for one Google reviewer. Some diners also found an issue that the link between Japanese / Peruvian fusion was not as clear as the branding portrays. Although it might be pricey, the cost does seem to at least be slightly justified by the fresh, local ingredients. Maybe it doesn't have the perfect track record, but for those who have a few extra dollars to spend, AMA Nikkei might end up being a surprisingly pleasant meal.


While the flagship location of Streetbird is permanently closed, Marcus Samuelsson offers up the joint's signature crispy, golden, fried chicken at a few other places. If you're headed to Yankee Stadium, Las Vegas, or planning to order through Goldbelly, then you'll have no problem finding Streetbird's eats.

Samuelsson's Yankee Stadium opening was an exciting one, especially after news of his location's shuttering. Unfortunately, the food doesn't align with expectations. One Yelp reviewer thought the chicken tenders ranked below what they could find at their local supermarket: "The hype is NOT real!" And several other users have been saddened by the chicken's lack of flavor.

This is a bit like rolling dice. You might get a fantastically seasoned chicken dinner, or you might end up disappointed. Perhaps it depends on who's working the fryer. But if you're looking for the signature Marcus Samuelsson experience, you might want to continue looking.

Norda Bar & Grill

Marcus Samuelsson's deal with Clarion Hotel has resulted in several restaurant placements. Norda is one of those, with one location in Clarion Hotel Oslo, Norway, and the other in Clarion Hotel Gothenburg, Sweden. The Gothenburg location opened in 2012, according to Fodor's, and serves contemporary American and Scandinavian-inspired dishes.

You can count on stunning views from the rooftop, according to one Google review. This helps to give the restaurant some bonus points. At Norda, the service is also on point, one visitor remarked about the Oslo location: "When it got too cold out the staff were very kind to help us get a table inside." But Norda doesn't get higher rankings because the food is not solid enough to take it to a top spot. It's important to note that the food is not at all bad. But that's what makes this such a disappointment. Because it's so very close to being great, but falls short. One diner was left with unmet expectations.

Many restaurants struggled during COVID, and Norda seems to be no exception. It seems to have more positive reviews after what seems like a reprioritization. With its classic raw bar and an interesting menu, with dishes such as onion fritters with yuzu tofu dressing, the restaurant may be back to its former glory in no time.


As part of his partnership with Clarion hotels, Samuelsson opened a Kitchen & Table branch in the Helsinki hotel. He also operates the Skyroom bar and lounge. Because this isn't specifically a restaurant, it's hard to judge it on the same scale as Samuelsson's other spots, but we will say that with the views combined with great service, it's a wonderful little place to settle in for a few hours.

This is definitely a bar more than anything else, but they do serve some bar snacks like potato chips. Back to that view: You get a sweeping panoramic view of Helsinki as you're sipping on a well-made cocktail. There are not many drinking experiences that can top it. One Google reviewer called it "a true 5 star experience." While you may not be able to get a feel for Chef Samuelsson's signature dishes, you can have a cocktail, soak in the view, and then navigate to his Kitchen & Table restaurant — which is in the same hotel!

Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House

We love that with each of Samuelsson's restaurants, no matter the cuisine, there's always a common thread that ties the concept back to the chef. Cornbread, for example, is served at both Red Rooster locations and it's also served at Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House. Here you can find those familiar soul-food-inspired flavors, but it's no surprise that this Bahamas-based restaurant in chef Samuelsson's portfolio is heavy on fresh seafood. Think Coconut tom yum with crab, white fish, shrimp, and corn, or grilled octopus salad with confit tomato, and mango-carrot puree.

The Nassau Guardian reviewed the restaurant and only had one piece of feedback — the conch fritters were delicious, but not quite authentic. Besides that, Samuelsson has crafted a menu that resonates with a sense of place, drawing on local influence and fresh ingredients. Now you'll have to keep in mind that this restaurant is located in the Baha Mar resorts in the Bahamas. This means you're likely to get great service, but a Google reviewer echoed a few others, by saying the food was good, but not great. With the Bahamas as a backdrop, and the salty sea air swirling around, we're convinced this is one of the best places you can taste Samuelsson's restaurant offerings.

Red Rooster Harlem

Red Rooster is the first introduction many diners have had to Marcus Samuelsson. The now-iconic Harlem spot has been a bustling and vibrant part of the neighborhood since it opened in 2010, according to the New York Times.

Red Rooster notes that this is a restaurant that proudly pays homage to the long-gone speakeasies of Harlem. So it's no surprise that it has a menu full of soul food favorites such as deviled eggs, cornbread, chicken and waffles, and catfish. Samuelsson has even opened an additional outpost of Red Rooster in London.

There are some gems on the menu, which help to catapult Red Rooster from good to really good. The deviled eggs, with a po' boy hummus, caper berries, chives, and onions, are a Google reviewer favorite with one diner, who calls them "insanely good." You'll definitely be pleased with almost anything you order at Red Rooster, but maybe not wowed. As The Infatuation points out, you come to Red Rooster for the vibe, not the food.

Marcus B&P

Marcus B&P is Chef Samuelsson's take on a more laid-back neighborhood joint, specializing in comfort food. There are a few familiar items on the menu like the chef's famous cornbread, chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and deviled eggs. For those who want the decadence of Red Rooster's food without the live music and raucousness, Newark, New Jersey's Marcus B&P may be a better choice.

The restaurant's menu, according to NJ Monthly, considers Newark's cultural influences with mashup dishes celebrating Caribbean, Italian, African-American, and Portuguese food. Although some Google reviews indicate the restaurant may have struggled with some supply chain issues and COVID hiccups like the rest of the food and beverage industry, it has been able to keep some consistency. Marcus B&P offers customers a great experience, delicious food, and tasty drinks, all bolstered by stellar service. Come for the food, stay for the drinks and experience.

Red Rooster Overtown

It's hard to ignore a restaurant that dishes up some of the best fried chicken in Miami (via The Miami Guide). The original Harlem location of Red Rooster made waves for bringing liveliness to New York's dining scene. When Chef Samuelsson opened a location in Overtown, Miami, the city's historically Black area, it seems he was hoping for the same impact.

The good news is that Red Rooster Overtown is a hit. Between service, food quality, drink creativity, atmosphere, and more, this is a place you may want to return to again and again. CN Traveler notes that it's hard to miss the bold combination of Latin and Caribbean influences. The chicken and waffles, fried yardbird, and deviled eggs are all standouts, with one Yelp diner even referring to her meal as "heavenly." There are occasionally some issues with mixed-up dishes, which is to be expected occasionally unless you're being served by robots. But overall Red Rooster Overtown is all the vibes and flavors you expect from Marcus Samuelsson, served in a vibrant setting.

Ginny's Supper Club

Ginny's Supper Club is directly beneath the Harlem location of Red Rooster, which makes for a tough decision if you're indecisive. But that's the only negative point we can mention about Ginny's Supper Club. Because this is the food you expect from Marcus Samuelsson — cornbread, hot honey chicken, etc. — paired with the tunes of a rotating roster of live musical performers.

This place has been a hit since it opened in 2012. A New York Times article referred to it as a place to bask in all eras of Harlem's musical past! We love that the menu is pared down. Diners still have some options, but the laser-focused menu will make it easier to choose so you can get back to the important stuff: the live music and the drinks. This is one of Samuelsson's standout concepts and one that has been executed to perfection, earning it the top spot!