The Absolute Best Tomato Dishes In The US, According To Reviews

Tomatoes are a versatile ingredient, lending their sweet, juicy flavors to pizza, pasta, soup, salad, and more. Understandably, they're one of the most popular vegetables in the world, and Americans eat 31.4 pounds of tomatoes per person every year, according to a USDA report. This is second only to potatoes, which we count as no small feat. Common types of tomatoes include beefsteak, heirloom, cherry, grape, and Roma, though there are over 10,000 varieties.

With so many types of tomatoes and countless ways to prepare them, you really can't go wrong. From classic recipes to exciting innovations, tomato-based dishes are a delicious staple around the world. Every region offers its own unique spin on popular dishes, and some restaurants take it to the next level with their renditions.

To find the best tomato dishes in the U.S., we did some sleuthing to find the dishes that get people talking. You know that feeling you get when you take that first bite of your new favorite meal? We read countless customer reviews of well-loved restaurants across the country, searching for dishes that consistently have customers raving. Some of these dishes aim for simplicity, focusing on perfecting those classic flavors, and others offer fresh, delicious takes on tried-and-true favorites.

Tomato and basil spaghetti at Scarpetta - multiple locations

New York City has long been a hub for foodies. One of the most well-known spots for Italian food there is Scarpetta, born from the creative mind of chef Scott Conant (though Conant was announced as having cut ties with the NYC Scarpetta location in 2014 and is no longer affiliated with Scarpetta at all). After being nominated for "Best New Restaurant in America" by the James Beard Foundation in 2009, Scarpetta developed a reputation for greatness, and it all leads back to its famous spaghetti.

While Scarpetta offers (dare we say) more interesting dishes such as Pea and Ricotta Mezzaluna or Tagliolini Nero, the restaurant's signature spaghetti is what keeps people coming back. Garnished with tomato sauce and basil, there's nothing groundbreaking about this pasta. Yet customers consistently say it's Scarpetto's best dish. "It sounds crazy but this is the only place that'll ever get me to spend an absurd amount of money on tomato basil pasta– literally spaghetti noodles, tomatoes and basil but it's DIVINE," one diner wrote on Yelp. Many others were equally impressed, like one customer who wrote, "The best spaghetti I have had in my entire life." The dish had spurred countless fans to create their own versions of the pasta at home.

If you don't live near New York City, you're in luck because Scarpetta also has locations in Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and several major international cities. While Scott Conant has since moved on from the restaurant, you can still enjoy this special spaghetti at any of Scarpetta's locations.

Fried green tomatoes at Magnolias - Charleston, South Carolina

Fried green tomatoes are an essential dish in the Southern states. Making them is easy: Simply slice unripe tomatoes and coat them in batter before frying. While many hole-in-the-wall eateries serve this delectable treat, one restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina rises above the rest. Working out of an historic building since 1990, Magnolias serves upscale Southern cuisine with a modern twist, with dishes that range from fried chicken livers and Lowcountry Bouillabaisse to shellfish served on top of grits.

Magnolias has earned a reputation for serving some of the best fried green tomatoes that restaurants can offer. The tomatoes are served with white cheddar, ham, and onion grits. They're also topped with tomato chutney and tomato butter, making this the ultimate treat for fans of the summer fruit. According to customers, they're next-level delicious, perfectly crispy on the outside yet yielding to a soft interior. "These are hands down without a doubt the best ones I've had. The sauce?! Give me a bowl of that," wrote one satisfied diner. If you can't get enough of the appetizer, Magnolias also serves a fried green tomato BLT.

Tomato bisque at Seasons & Regions Seafood Grill - Portland, Oregon

For more than 20 years, Seasons & Regions Seafood Grill has served fresh seasonal produce and local seafood in the heart of Portland, Oregon. The restaurant takes the farm-to-table concept seriously, growing its produce on its own farm just outside of Portland. The farm grows varietals of heirloom tomato plants that are hard to find in stores. The fruits of these labors are prepared into delicious soups, salads, and sauces at the Southwest Portland restaurant.

While the restaurant may be primarily known for its seafood, one of its most popular offerings is the tomato bisque. This creamy soup — which features garlic, red wine, and fresh herbs — tastes out of this world, according to customer reviews. "The house soup, tomato basil bisque[,] is outlandishly good, rich and creamy, with layers of flavor," wrote one diner on TripAdvisor. Others declared it the best tomato bisque they've enjoyed anywhere. Seasons & Regions was featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives in 2020 and is the brainchild of Chef Greg Schwab, the self-proclaimed "Soup Jedi," so you know you're in good hands with this one.

Shakshuka at Nua - Beverly Hills, California

A dish with North African origins, shakshuka is popular throughout the Middle East. Made with tomatoes, poached eggs, peppers, garlic, and spices, shakshuka is typically served for breakfast or lunch. Thankfully, you won't need your passport to try this dish for yourself. One of the best places to order shakshuka in the U.S. is at a restaurant called Nua, located in the upscale city of Beverly Hills, California. Chef Yoav Schverd, a native of Tel Aviv, Israel, opened Nua in 2021. Offering a modern take on Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, Nua's most popular dish is its shakshuka, served hot in its pan.

While Nua's shakshuka features the usual ingredients, it comes with a Jerusalem bagel to scoop up all that delicious tomato sauce. For an extra serving of protein, customers can also add on Merguez sausage. Though shakshuka is a relatively simple dish to make, Nua's version stands apart for its overwhelmingly positive acclaim across customer reviews. One diner wrote, "the eggs were jammy and perfect and the bagel was soaked in olive oil and za'atar." Another customer praised the flavor profile, saying, "Hits every note, right combination of sweet, sour, and savory." Impressing even the pickiest of shakshuka lovers, Nua's version is a must-try for any brunch-goer.

Tomato pie at Corropolese Italian Bakery & Deli - Pennsylvania

Brought over by Italian immigrants in the 20th century, tomato pie has evolved into a regional specialty that anyone near Philadelphia will likely recognize. While similar to pizza, tomato pie is made with thicker bread and is topped with Romano or Parmesan cheese instead of mozzarella. Typically rectangular in shape, these pies are served and eaten at room temperature.

While there are several contenders for the best tomato pie in Philly, one restaurant takes the crown. Corropolese Italian Bakery & Deli is a family-run business that's been around since 1924. Today, you can pick up a tomato pie at any of its locations across Pennsylvania. Available in ¼ and full sheet sizes (the latter of which feeds 15 to 20 people), Corropolese's Classic Red tomato pie sports a layer of homemade tomato sauce and a sprinkling of Romano cheese. Other popular variations add pepperoni, sweet peppers, and melted cheddar cheese.

Customers have nothing but praise for the pie. "The way [the sauce] melts into the dough is just heavenly," wrote one diner on Yelp. Another customer who is fond of bringing the pies to parties, explained, "Sauce has just enough sweet and tart while the crust is just the right thickness." It's the perfect thing to bring to any event 一 if you desire, Corropolese will even use a stencil to write a special message or logo with cheese.

Bookbinder soup at Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House - Illinois

Bookbinder soup gets its name from Charles Bookbinder, an immigrant who invented the dish in 1893 after moving to Philadelphia from the Netherlands. The tomato-based soup is typically made with snapping turtle meat and various vegetables. However, the upscale Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House offers its own take, replacing turtle meat with white fish from Lake Superior. The soup is prepared with veggies like peppers, onions, carrots, plum tomatoes, herbs, Worcestershire sauce, and sherry. Prepare for a touch of heat from Louisiana hot sauce.

Named the best soup in all of Illinois by Food Network, Hugo's bookbinder soup has won over fans left and right. "That was actually delicious, super rich, super complex, super unique," wrote one satisfied customer, who went on to name it their favorite dish at the restaurant. Another diner commended the soup for not skimping on the seafood.

Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House currently has three locations in Illinois, including a restaurant in Chicago. The chain first opened its doors in 1997 with the goal of serving the finest seafood in the Windy City.

Tomato artichoke soup at Café Patachou - Indiana

In 1989, chef Martha Hoover opened Café Patachou on the principles of serving high-quality ingredients sourced from local suppliers. Nominated six times by the James Beard Foundation for Restaurateur of the Year, Hoover also owns five other restaurants in Indiana. With seven locations in and around Indianapolis, Café Patachou serves breakfast and lunch, offering menu items like croissant French toast, chicken salad, waffled grilled cheese, and matzo ball soup. The café also serves pastries, coffee, and cocktails.

According to customer reviews, Café Patachou's tomato artichoke soup is particularly delicious. Served since day one, this soup is topped with croutons and Parmesan. "I would highly recommend it. With chunks of tomato the flavor was delicious," wrote one diner. Customers explained that it goes well with any of the cafe's sandwiches. "[T]here is a reason it's a legend," said another customer, who urged newcomers to try the soup. Café Patachou's signature dish should be on the list for anyone craving a new take on the classic tomato soup.

Lasagna at Don Angie - New York City, New York

Located in New York City's West Village neighborhood, Don Angie has won several accolades for its Italian-American fare. The critically acclaimed restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2021, and owners Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli have both received nominations from the James Beard Foundation.

While the restaurant offers a wide range of exciting dishes — such as spicy cantaloupe with coppa, or buffalo milk caramelle with candied kumquat — its most famous dish is the lasagna for two. With Italian sausage bolognese and whipped robiolina cheese, this pasta resembles a dish of cinnamon rolls more than traditional lasagna. "I had been looking forward to their lasagna for a while. It was definitely worth the wait — rich and hearty. Tender and saucy," wrote one customer on Yelp, who added that Don Angie was more deserving of its Michelin star than anywhere else they'd tried. Others complimented its creative presentation and confirmed that it delivers on the hype.

Based on the reviews, the lasagna is a must-order for any first-time Don Angie diner. Just make sure to share it with the table. Or bring your leftovers home to enjoy later 一 customers claim that it only gets better the next day.

Pizza at Di Fara - New York City, New York

Tucked away on an unassuming corner in Brooklyn is a New York legend, now famous worldwide for having the best pizza in the city. Di Fara Pizza opened in 1965, the project of Italian immigrant Domenico "Dom" De Marco. Any given day, you can find a long line leading out from the Brooklyn shop or at Di Fara's other location in Lower Manhattan.

With so many options for pizza in New York City, what makes Di Fara so special? "The crust was the thinnest, most crisp I've ever tasted," wrote one customer. "I loved that they made the slices to order, not reheated. The ingredients were simple and fresh (they get everything from Italy)." Countless others echoed the same sentiments, saying it's well worth the long wait. Even Anthony Bourdain declared it the best pizza, and that says all you need to know.

Di Fara focuses on using simple, high-quality ingredients, such as San Marzano tomatoes, three different cheeses, and fresh basil. There are many topping options, and customers can also choose between the classic round and square-shaped pizzas. De Marco crafted every pizza by hand until his passing in 2022, but his children carry on this legacy.

Gazpacho at Jaleo by José Andrés - multiple locations

While Chef José Andrés owns many restaurants, Jaleo stands out for its selection of traditional Spanish cuisine that won't break the bank. Hailing from Spain, Andrés opened the first Jaleo location in Washington, D.C., in 1993. The James Beard Foundation-recognized chef has since expanded the restaurant to Chicago, Las Vegas, Disney Springs, and Dubai.

According to customers, Jaleo's gazpacho is unmatched by anywhere else in the U.S. "The gazpacho was so silky and full of flavor, I'm glad we ordered one for each of us," said one diner on Yelp. For the uninitiated, gazpacho is a Spanish tomato-based soup that's served cold. Jaleo's version of the dish involves tomatoes, vinegar, and a dash of sherry, though certain seasonal offerings also include beets, strawberries, and cherries. Poured at the table onto chopped-up cucumbers, tomatoes, and green peppers, the gazpacho is often topped with pieces of bread, pistachios, citrus, or goat cheese crumbles.

For anyone interested in trying Jaleo's gazpacho, you can rest assured knowing that you won't be disappointed. As one customer described in a review, "The gazpacho was totally on point & had an incredible richness & depth of flavor, while still being light & refreshing." Jaleo has been awarded two Bib Gourmands, in 2017 and 2018.

Cioppino at Sotto Mare - San Francisco, California

Aside from clam chowder, the dish most associated with San Francisco, California is cioppino, a spicy seafood and vegetable stew with a tomato base. Cioppino as we know it originates from the city's Fisherman's Wharf, where Italian fishermen would throw the day's catch into a pot with chili peppers. Sotto Mare, an eclectic spot located in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood, claims to have the "best damn cioppino" in the city. And customers wholeheartedly agree.

Sotto Mare's cioppino features fresh seafood — which could include Dungeness crab, mussels, shrimp, scallops, squid, and more — piled high in a bowl. "But what really made it special was the broth, which was a subtle blend of tomato and spices and was just sublime," said one customer on TripAdvisor. Others said it's well worth the wait, and the serving size is generous. To waste not a drop of the delicious broth, several diners suggested using the bread to soak it all up. No matter how you enjoy it, this cioppino has certainly earned its claim to fame.

Tomato salad at Boccali's Pizza & Pasta - Ojai, California

Boccali's Pizza & Pasta, located in Ojai, California, has been family-owned and operated since its opening in 1986. True to its name, the restaurant offers an array of pizzas and pasta dishes, though it also features an extensive list of salads. In fact, Boccali's serves what many customers would call the best tomato salad around. Using flavor-packed tomatoes grown right on Boccali Ranch, this salad is only available August through October. However, customers say it's well worth the wait.

"The tomato salad was so good that I while I'm writing about it I'm drooling," one customer wrote in their review. Others were blown away by the freshness and flavor of the tomatoes, like one diner who said, "The tomatoes are 'home grown' and taste like tomatoes should." Served with red onions, olives, basil, baby greens, and tossed with a touch of vinaigrette, these tomatoes are the star of the show. Tomato season is short (yet sweet), so don't miss out on this exclusive dish if you're making the trek to Boccali's during the summer or fall. 

Chili at Woodyard Bar-B-Que - Kansas City, Kansas

Chili is a quintessential American food, commonly found at cook-offs and BBQs across the country. Many states have their own ways of preparing it, and Kansas is no different. Located in Kansas City, Woodyard Bar-B-Que makes some of the best chili the Sunflower State has to offer. Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2012, Woodyard Bar-B-Que has also been visited by the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern, and Nigella Lawson.

This famous chili features tomatoes, three types of beans, and chopped burnt ends. According to customers, it lives up to the hype. "Chili topped with burnt ends, best chili I have ever had. Life-changing chili food wise," said one customer. Burnt ends are fatty and flavorful pieces of meat that come from a smoked brisket. Many customers found them to be melt-in-your-mouth delicious. One diner wrote, "Burnt ends had a nice smokey flavor, and the beans were pretty darn tasty too." While Woodyard Bar-B-Que isn't fancy by any means, its chili has captured the hearts (and stomachs) of both renowned chefs and regular diners everywhere.


We researched different types of tomato-based dishes available in the U.S. While we could easily write an entire article on just tomato soup or pizza, we aimed for diversity. Tomatoes are extremely versatile, after all. We used our findings to search for restaurants known for making these dishes. We considered restaurants with accolades and high overall reviews, but it really came down to what customers had to say. Scouring countless reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor, we selected dishes that consistently deliver when it comes to flavor, texture, and presentation, earning overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers.