October 14, 2015
By: Alia Akkam, Zagat
In these social media–obsessed times, a restaurant's following is greatly enhanced by an eye-catching stream of photos updated on the regular. Even if the chef is acclaimed, turning out exquisite dishes that have diners reserving tables weeks in advance, it behooves the restaurant to capture those moments visually. They need to be glimpsed — and craved — by salivating gastronomes around the world. Showcasing the kitchen’s creations isn’t the only way to stand out. The most compelling photo streams will give plenty of attention to local purveyors, community events and other like-minded neighborhood joints, which all help underscore a restaurant’s distinctive, collaborative ethos. From a lauded San Francisco bakery to a New Orleans newcomer, here are eight colorful establishments from around the country with an impressive Instagram game — and a solid herd of followers to boot.
Willa Jean opened just a few months ago, but the bakery, the latest venture in John Besh’s New Orleans empire, already has nearly 4,000 followers. It’s not surprising. Upon glimpsing Kelly Fields and Lisa White’s creations — crimped lamb pot pie, a mound of chicken and rice, gooey broccoli casserole and glazed donuts among them — the desire to hightail it to the Central Business District for such comforting, homespun grub is fierce.