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Elle is turning 30 years old, and the monthly publication is celebrating by honoring women in the restaurant industry. As the magazine's February issue points out, women have been doing incredible things in American restaurants for years, though not always getting the credit for it. Only six female chefs worldwide, for example, have been awarded the highest honor of three Michelin stars, though none are from the U.S. Times appear to be changing, however, and the proof is in the numbers: according to an article in the new issue, there was a 50% increase in female-owned restaurants from 1997 to 2007.

Elle used a three-pronged system to determine its final list of the top 30 female-operated restaurants in America. Its criteria stipulated that a woman is a head chef and/or owner, that the restaurant opened in the past two and a half years (with a “precious few exceptions”) and that the restaurant is “Elle-ish,” namely, that the menu is forward-thinking and challenging, the scene cool, the décor inviting and the food top notch. The list spans coast to coast, with numerous stops in the Northeast, South, Midwest and Northwest regions and does a nice job of mixing in young upstarts with industry veterans. Here's the list (you can read about each restaurant on the magazine's website). 

  1. Måurice (Portland, OR)
  2. Sqirl (Los Angeles, CA)
  3. The Whale Wins (Seattle, WA)
  4. Langbaan (Portland, OR)
  5. Chez Nous (Charleston, SC)
  6. State Bird Provisions (San Francisco, CA)
  7. The Grey (Savannah, GA)
  8. Rose's Luxury (Washington, D.C.)
  9. Trove (Seattle, WA)
  10. Arguello (San Francisco, CA)
  11. Kin Khao (San Francisco, CA)
  12. Chi Spacca (Los Angeles, CA)
  13. Dizengoff (Philadelphia, PA)
  14. Little Goat Diner (Chicago, IL)
  15. Brut (Minneapolis, MN)
  16. Rye KC (Kansas City, MO)
  17. Death & Taxes (Raleigh, NC)
  18. N/Naka (Los Angeles, CA)
  19. Tosca Cafe (San Francisco, CA)
  20. Nightbell (Asheville, NC)
  21. Semilla (Brooklyn, NY)
  22. Spice To Table (Atlanta, GA)
  23. Meauxbar (New Orleans, LA)
  24. Sarma (Boston, MA)
  25. Vergennes Laundry (Vergennes, VT)
  26. Via Carota (New York, NY)
  27. Take Root (Brooklyn, NY)
  28. V Street (Philadelphia, PA)
  29. Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe (Denver, CO)
  30. Cure (Rochester, NY)