THE BLOG
02/06/2014 09:45 am ET Updated Apr 08, 2014

The Best Guacamole in America

Guacamole is one of those perfect foods. The simple avocado, with the addition of lime juice, cilantro, jalapenos, and tomato, transforms into the highly addictive and unbelievably satisfying undisputed king of dips. The Daily Meal searched for some of the best, and most unique, tableside variations of guacamole, and tracked down ten that are putting their restaurants on the map.

Click Here to see The Complete List of the Best Guacamole in America

There's nothing guacamole can't do: It's the perfect snack, it pairs countless other food items, and, of course, is an absolute necessity to have on hand when inviting guests over to watch the big game. But like any highly revered culinary item, it is not without its controversy. Purists insist ingredients should be minimal while others find delight in pushing the creative envelope of what guacamole can look like. Then there's the eternal debate about whether guacamole should be chunky or smooth.

  • #5) Cantina 1511, Charlotte, N.C.
    Click Here to see The Complete List of the Best Guacamole in America Seafood lovers will tell you there are very few things fresh crab doesn’t pair with. Now you can add guacamole to that list. The tableside guac at Cantina 1511 features lump crab and goat cheese. There’s also a cranberry sauce and walnut variation. And yes, they have a guacamole flight so you can try both of them, along with the traditional version. Photo Credit: Cantina 1511
  • #4) A.G. Kitchen, New York City
    This New York City restaurant is giving guacamole some tropical flare, and lists the tableside pineapple and pomegranate guacamole as one of its signature dishes. If that isn’t exotic enough there is also a papaya and mint guacamole option. Photo Credit: Noah Frecks
  • #3) Rosa Mexicano, Multiple Locations
    Click Here to see The Complete List of the Best Guacamole in America This restaurant has locations scattered throughout major cities across the country and claims to be one of—if not the first—to start the tableside guacamole trend. It features the traditional ingredients; but its chile paste is what gives this guacamole its signature taste. You can check out a video on the restaurant’s website that shows you how to make it. Photo Credit: Rosa Mexicano
  • #2) Flying V Bar & Grill, Tuscon, Ariz.
    This Arizona restaurant, located inside the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, takes its guacamole extremely seriously. The restaurant employs a ‘guacamoliere’ who makes your tableside guacamole with a standard recipe but also has a number of unique add-ons like lobster, tequila and papaya. Here’s the recipe and the restaurant’s complete list of interesting additions; have fun! Photo Credit: Loews Hotel
  • #1) Toloache, New York City
    Click Here to see The Complete List of the Best Guacamole in America Here’s a restaurant that’s not afraid to get unorthodox with its guacamole. The New York City eatery has a frutas guacamole featuring mango, apple, peach, habanero and Thai basil. For those who like it hot you can get the rojoguacamole, with chipotle and queso fresco. They also offer a trio so you can try both aforementioned styles along with the traditional guacamole. When it comes to guac, it doesn’t get much better than the one served at chef Julian Medina’s Toloache. Photo Credit: Tolache

Of course, as you know, this dish isn't really divisive; it's just a perfect example of how we all have different sensibilities. On the contrary, when there is guacamole there is usually a group of people sharing a meal, having great conversation and creating memories. Most of us remember the absolute thrill of the first time we had guacamole prepared for us tableside, as if we just witnessed a magic trick for the first time.

Fortunately, the secret to great guacamole is not as tightly guarded as a magic trick. The most mystifying part of the process is knowing the name of the stone vessel the guacamole is prepared in; it's called a molcajete and your friends will be impressed when you know the name for this exotic mortar and pestle. Regardless of all the variations and personal preferences, there's really no wrong way to enjoy guacamole and the novelty of having it prepared before your eyes is one that never wears thin.

Whether you like add-ins like pomegranate seeds or lump crab meat with your guacamole or you prefer to keep it traditional, there's no arguing that guacamole is delicious, healthy, and a great dish to share with friends and family. Add the enjoyment and showmanship of tableside preparation and it just might be the perfect food.

In order to find the top ten restaurant guacamoles in America, we started with more than 100 variations served throughout the country then narrowed them down according to the following criteria: Is it made fresh to order (preferably tableside)? Can you specify the ratio of ingredients added (for example, extra jalapeno)? Is the guacamole one of the most popular items on the menu, and is the restaurant known for it? And does it have a special 'something' that makes it stand out from the pack?

We found 10 variations of guacamole to get your mouth watering and your mind considering the infinite possibilities of guacamole. Whether you're a guac purist or an avocado mad scientist, our slideshow will show you places that elevate guacamole to an art form and give you ideas on how to perfect, or tweak your own guacamole recipe.

-Dan Hesse, The Daily Meal

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