Trentina
     

Trentina

Cleveland, Ohio

With LeBron James coming home and Johnny Football holding the place down in the meantime, there's like an unexpected trip to Cleveland in a lot of your futures. A meal at Trentina is a good idea while you're there. Located in University Circle, this new, Kickstarter-backed eatery serves up inventive tasting menus created by chef Jonathon Sawyer that are inspired by the Trentino province in northern Italy and go light-years beyond the typical pasta and red sauce most people envision when they hear "Italian restaurant".

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Grand Banks
     

Grand Banks

New York, New York

There are plenty of great places to eat outside in New York — but few offer the unique views of Grand Banks. This seasonal oyster bar is located on the deck of a 142-foot sailboat docked in Tribeca at Hudson River Park's Pier 25. The menu is seafood-heavy, with fresh oysters, a collection of small plates, and some terrific summer cocktails. And should you somehow tire of the views of Manhattan (unlikely), you can always head downstairs to check out the on-board museum.

Photos: Christine N.
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Westward
     

Westward

Seattle, Washington

There's no denying the nautical theme at Westward, but when you're cranking out seafood this good, it doesn't matter what the inside of the restaurant looks like. In fact, you don't even have to enjoy the excellent fare — influenced by both Northwest and Mediterranean cuisine, with many items making a stop in the wood-burning oven — inside, thanks to a large deck, fire pit, and beach area. Oh, and the cocktails are pretty terrific, too, making this an ideal spot to park your boat — they have a 150 ft. dock — and step inside for an afternoon refreshment.

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Bunk Sandwiches
     

Bunk Sandwiches

Portland, Oregon

It might have an unusual name, but it makes sense, as you won't be finding any normal ol' ham-and-cheese affairs at Bunk Sandwiches. Instead, they have a chalkboard menu of inventive, hand-held fare that changes daily, but includes such bread-bound delicacies as their pork-belly Cubano and a veggie option with marinated garbanzo bean salad, feta, arugula, and hot peppers. Every sandwich comes with kettle chips, and even better, you can add bacon to any sandwich. Mmmm, Bacon.

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Magnolia Smokestack
     

Magnolia Smokestack

San Francisco, California

The Magnolia Brewing Company has been going strong for over 15 years on Haight, but now it's expanding into food at Magnolia Smokestack. This unique new spot in Dogpatch combines a drinkery — complete with 12-15 taps of Magnolia's best, along with a full bar — with a killer BBQ joint run by Namu Gaji chef Dennis Lee. On the food side, you'll find two smokers and two grill pits serving up brisket, short ribs, chicken sausage, and more, with flavors influenced by barbecue destinations around the world. So go in, order up some food, grab a fresh beer, and find a seat. [via]

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Big Star
     

Big Star

Chicago, Illinois

Few things go together to create a great summer evening out like great food, good drinks, and terrific outdoor atmosphere. Big Star checks all three of the list. The simple menu includes a variety of tacos and tostadas, as well as grilled jalapeños, queso, salad, beans, and, of course, chips and guacamole, while the booze menu encompasses a solid selection of beers, an extensive bourbon list, an impressive variety of tequilas and mezcals, and a simple cocktail menu divided up into bourbon- and tequila-based drinks. Best enjoyed on the killer patio.

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Shady Lady Saloon
     

Shady Lady Saloon

Sacramento, California

Don't let the name fool you — there's very little "shady" going on inside the Shady Lady Saloon. Impeccably decorated for a classic look, this upscale spot offers up a great food menu of American classics, with a particular fondness for Southern favorites like fried green tomatoes, fried chicken and greens, and shrimp po'boys. Also on offer are outstanding cocktails both classic and modern, made from fresh, high-quality ingredients and the occasional house-made mixer like ginger ale, tonic, and cola. There's also live music several nights a week, should you decide to stick around after dinner — and with drinks as good as these, that's a good possibility.

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Tomboy
     

Tomboy

Collingwood, Australia

There are plenty of places to get a sandwich in Fitzroy, but you'll be hard-pressed to find one with more style than Tomboy. Powered by the duo behind Box Brownies, this unique café features a strong focus on sustainability, with an interior filled with repurposed items — including the vintage stereo built into the brick counter — and a menu filled with sandwiches, salads, and other baked goods made using seasonal produce from their own garden and other locally-sourced ingredients.

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Faidley's Seafood
     

Faidley's Seafood

Baltimore, Maryland

Chesapeake Bay is famous for its killer seafood — and there's few better places to try it than Faidley's Seafood. Founded in 1886, this Lexington Market standout offers an array of fresh seafood, including a raw bar with clams and oysters, as well as beer and wine. But what it's best known for is its award-winning, ball-like lump crab cakes, which are available both by themselves or on a tasty sandwich that goes great with one of the aforementioned beers.

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Bacon Bros. Public House
     

Bacon Bros. Public House

Greenville, South Carolina

Don't let the slogan fool you — while the Bacon Bros. Public House certainly is "powered by bacon", there's plenty more on the menu than breakfast meat cured in-house. Consider: the excellent charcuterie, the smoked turkey gumbo, the chorizo on a roll, the wild shrimp and grits, and the trout BLT (okay, that one has bacon, but still). They also offer a solid selection of beers on tap, a full bar — including some rare bourbons — and a casual, friendly atmosphere that belies the quality of the food. [Scouted by Prem]

Photos: Heath W., Cory R.
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The Rock
     

The Rock

Kusini, Tanzania

You would expect a place that sits atop the sea to serve up some super-fresh seafood. And in the case of The Rock, your expectations will most certainly be met. Perched atop a natural rock outcropping not far from the shores of Michanwi Pingwe beach, this unforgettable eatery serves up a short but satisfying menu that includes fish, prawns, squid, octopus, crab, and other seafaring creatures, along side fresh vegetables, rice, pasta, and even fried chips. Stop in for a leisurely lunch, or arrive later for spectacular sunset views.

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Peg Leg Porker
     

Peg Leg Porker

Nashville, Tennessee

It's nice to go out to fancy dinners every once in a while, but when all you want is some great barbecue, there's really no need. Take the Peg Leg Porker for example. Located in the Gulch district, this no-nonsense smokehouse serves up some of the best barbecue in town, with a short but simple menu of specialties like pulled pork, dry ribs, wet ribs, BBQ nachos, wings, smoked green beans, fries, BBQ beans, and mac and cheese. Enjoy your food inside or head out onto the patio to take in the great views of downtown.

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