Week after week, developers and designers alike tell us that a key component in restaurant design today is creating an experience — an experience that might be worthy of Instagram. The popular app recently released a list of restaurants that are most frequently geo-tagged on their app and site.

We combed Instagram images to find out what makes these places so popular with the app’s users. A combination of place (population density certainly didn’t hurt any of the restaurants on this list), a mix of offerings (retail/restaurant combos were big) and celebrity-infused buzz made these the top spots of 2016.


#10: Perch, Los Angeles  
A “French-inspired” restaurant with rooftop bistro, Perch provides a dining room adorned with antique-style furniture, plush seating and a rooftop bar that makes for amazing captures.


A photo posted by La Marina NYC (@lamarinanyc) on Sep 7, 2016 at 5:26pm PDT

#9: La Marina, NYC 
One of many waterfront restaurants on our list, this one sits on a prime piece of real estate on the Hudson River.


This Italian restaurant and nightclub puts its décor front and center. The restaurant channels a 19th-century Italian bistro and the nightclub features decadent design elements meshed with modern flourishes. The combination makes this a wildly popular spot to capture the moment.


#7: San Pedro Fish Market and Restaurant, San Pedro, Calif. 
Decidedly downscale, this popular restaurant and market benefits from the fresh fish deliveries at its waterfront location as well as the communal tables and party atmopshere.


A photo posted by Oana (@_oanaraluca) on Dec 19, 2016 at 1:38pm PST


#6: Bottega Louie, Los Angeles
An upscale restaurant, market, patisserie and cafe that specializes in macarons, Bottega Louie benefits from having endless rows of beautiful, perfectly sorted confections but it also has numerous ornate design details that make for great images.


A photo posted by A K U R A (@akuramusic) on Dec 18, 2016 at 10:29pm PST

#5: Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, Meatpacking District, NYC
Having a great design is one thing, but having food items that demand to be photographed is where Black Tap excels. Known for its decadent burgers and “crazy shakes” this NYC restaurant gets buzz from celebrities and mortals alike.


A photo posted by Marta (@pi_marta) on Nov 25, 2016 at 9:55pm PST

#4 Katz’s Deli, NYC 
An NYC institution, the setting for a very famous movie scene, and having some of the best pastrami on earth helped make Katz’s make the list.


A photo posted by TAO Downtown (@taodowntown) on Nov 29, 2016 at 5:30pm PST

#3: TAO Downtown, NYC 
Dramatic art draws NYC clubgoers in, making this a place to see, be seen, and share your artsy party photos with friends.

A photo posted by @vie.voyager on Dec 6, 2016 at 7:54am PST

#2: Nobu, Malibu, Calif. 
Having a spectacular waterfront view that hosts a great sunset every night — not to mention being a favorite of the rich and famous — gives Nobu the #2 spot.


#1: Sugar Factory, NYC 
A funky design, over the top drinks, and a slew of celebrity photos make the Meatpacking District’s candy shop and brasserie the most Instagrammed restaurant of 2016.


*Background note on data methodology: The ranking is based on the total number of the United States' top geo-tagged restaurants.

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